WordPress User Roles and Permissions

WordPress User Roles and Permissions to manage your sites properly

WordPress User Roles and Permissions

WordPress is the largest Content Management system and has the big following throughout the world. It has the multi-user interface role management system which defines what a specific user can perform. The WordPress user roles and permissions are essential as your WordPress site grows.


If you have already setup a WordPress website or blog this is very important to know the WordPress user roles and capabilities.

This guide will explained you to know the specific WordPress user roles and permissions. And how to use them for your site management.

Once you understand the capabilities and responsibilities of the WordPress user roles, you can instantly assign or modify roles through the user section from the WordPress admin area.

WordPress comes with five default roles that help you control how specific user interactions with the website performance.

These WordPress user roles will help in multi-network websites and popular blogs to maintain the standards of your site. A top blog which is hitting massive traffic and maximum revenue, they obviously need people with different roles to support the website.

WordPress User Roles and Permissions

These are the 5 different default user roles in WordPress.

  1. Administrator
  2. Editor
  3. Author
  4. Contributor
  5. Subscriber

Now let’s move on to the explanation of each WordPress user roles as each role has significant permissions and access control for the WordPress blog.

Administrator (Admin) user Role

An administrator has the full rights over the WordPress site. An admin role is the most powerful user role in the WordPress. The administrator can add new posts, edit any post by any user on the site and even he can delete the posts.

They can install, edit, and delete the plugins as well as themes by own. Admin has full control over the WordPress dashboard including the WordPress database. And they can add or remove the users from the WordPress admin panel.

Most importantly an admin can add new users to the site, and he can change information about existing users including their passwords. Admin can also delete any user from a WordPress site.

The role is basically reserved for the site owners, and it will give you the full control of your WordPress site.

If you have multiple users to maintain your website, then you should be careful about their roles because any other admin can remove you as the administrator from your site.

Admin is the most powerful WordPress user role where you have full control over other users and all the content of your website.

Super Admin Role

This is not WordPress default user role but needs to be mentioned here. The role super admin is only available on WordPress multi-site network. Users with other super admin user role can add and delete sites in the multi-site network.


They also can install plugins and themes. Super admins have the power to add users, and they can remove the users and also perform network-wide actions and a WordPress multi-site setup.

Editor Role

Users with the editor role in WordPress will have full control over the content sections of the website. Editors can Add, edit, and delete posts of a WordPress site including the posts written by others. They also have control over image upload to the sites as well as delete them.

The editors can moderate, edit, and delete the comments of any post as well. But editors do not have control over site settings, plugins, and themes. They can’t add new users also because only admins can do these things.

They can even manage categories and links which means editor can do almost everything but they can’t change the settings of the website. If you are an editor for any WordPress site, then you have the control to write and to edit the posts, and also you can publish them.

Editor is the second powerful WordPress user role after Admin yet he has limited controls over the website.

Author Role

Authors can publish, edit, delete their post but they can’t access anything created by other users like administrators and editors. They have the only authority to create posts, but they can’t edit or create the pages of a website.

They can also upload media files into the media library like images for the post, and they can delete anything they have previously uploaded.

If any Author publishes add an article on your WordPress site, then he can control the comments, or he can moderate the comments on his own posts. Even the author can write the posts, and authors cannot create categories however they can choose from existing categories.

This is the low-risk WordPress user role because Authors cannot access the settings and plugins, themes from your WordPress site. Authors can view the comments of other articles, but they can’t moderate the comments.

Author role is the best choice if you want to allow someone to guest post a blog on your site. The guest can post the articles, modify them as well as upload images to the post. Guest also can edit, answer and approve comments for his posts.

Contributor Role

Contributors can add new posts and edit their own post. But they cannot publish any post not even their own, administrator or editors have to approve the post. Like Author role, contributors cannot access to create the new category pages, but they can add tags to their posts.

The most significant disadvantage of being a contributor is they cannot add media files into Media Library which means they cannot add media to their own articles.

Contributors can view the comments which need approval, but they cannot moderate the comments. They do not have access to settings, site settings, themes, and plugins.

They cannot change the previously installed the theme, and they cannot edit the plugins.

Installing the WordPress plugins is also restricted for the role of contributors and authors.

Administrator can assign these roles to WordPress user to edit specific pages which is their own page.

WordPress Subscriber Roles

The users with the subscriber role can log in to your WordPress site, and they can update their user profiles. This is the only power a subscriber has with your WordPress website.

They can change their passwords if they want to and they cannot write or create posts, and they cannot view comments. They do not have permission to do anything inside your WordPress admin area.

If any WordPress owner wants to increase the forum subscribers, then he can allow the users to log in to view the articles.

Once a subscriber is registered with your WordPress site then he can directly comment on the articles without logging in from any other social networking sites. This is the WordPress user role with no permissions and authorization on the site settings.

Subscriber role is the lowest risk role of WordPress user.


These are the default WordPress user roles and permission; and they are designed to have capability that fits the requirement of websites.

For example, if you run a technology blog then you need multiple authors and the editors to maintain the website in order to continue the flow of success graph.

If your website is constantly getting the maximum traffic which is organic then people will ask you to publish their articles on your guest post circle.

Instead of editing and moderating every post you get, you can add them as contributor or author of your website. This will allow them to publish articles on your WordPress site without any delay.

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