When I first started with WordPress I had no idea about the user profiles and what they do. It wasn’t until I got my second guest blogger opportunity that I looked into it. The first position required me to write my posts and email them along with an image to the blog’s owner.
My second guest blogger position allowed me to log in to the blog, create my posts but I couldn’t published them on my own. As you see each site had a different process, but one used the user roles to make the process more streamlined.
As a WordPress site owner you have the ability to have others work with you to help manage and grow your site or blog. To keep everything organized, WP created user roles and you can assign these roles to different people. There are five main user profiles.
They each have their own set of permissions or what they are allowed access to. Below is a breakdown of each role and what they can and cannot do. Let start from lowest to the highest based on permissions.
As the owner of a WP site you can require visitors to be subscribers in order to leave comments. Typically people do not enforce this. A subscriber can only login to their profile on your site, update and change their password.
They do not have access to anything else. They cannot change any settings, or write/edit or publish blog posts.
If you choose to bring on a guest blogger, one of the roles you can assign them is Contributor. Contributors can only create/edit and add tags to their own posts. They cannot add images, publish their blog posts or anyone else posts.
They can only assign a category to their post from the categories already created but cannot create new ones. Someone who is an Admin or Editor will have to do this for them.
They can leave comments on posts, view the others that have been made on the site, including those waiting for approval but cannot approve or delete comments. They also do not have access to make any changes to the site’s settings. This including, adding users, adding themes, plugins, etc.
A user assigned the role of Author has all of the access and permissions of a Contributor. With the addition to having the access to published their own posts and delete them (even after being published), as well upload and delete their own images.
They do not have access to anything that another user has created. Lastly, they can moderate comments left on their own posts only. Again they do not have access to a make any changes to the site’s settings.
Editors have more access than the other user roles. They still do not have the ability to change any of the site’s settings. However, they do have permission to approve, edit and delete comments.
They can edit, published, and delete not only their own blog post but the post of the other users as well (even those private or password protected).
The Administrator is the top dog and the most powerful user, having full control over everything. As an Admin user you can make changes to the settings, including adding/removing users, creating/editing/deleting post, and more.
Can I have more then one of each user role?
Yes. You can have as many people you want helping run your site or blog, as well as tons of subscribers. It’s not uncommon to see multi-author WordPress blogs. Assigning each person to a user role can limited him or her access to only what you want them to be able to do.
A bit of advice, since Admin users have full access to your site you should be careful to who you assigned this role. Remember they have the ability to change information, add/delete users, including other Admins. Also never remove yourself as an Admin to your site.
Working with others
When I provide WordPress VA services to my clients, I required them to add me an Admin user. I provided them with details instructions on how to add me as an Admin with the username and password I want them to use.
As well as how to delete me once the working relationship is completed. I do this because it will allow us both to be login at the same time. This is great when I am video chatting and I can share my screen.
You don’t know the pain of having to explain something when one party can’t see what the other is talking about. You also have to be careful because anything that is done under a user is associated with that user.
When I am done working for a client, I make sure that my client is the author on everything – blog posts, pages, etc. You can also reassign these items to another user upon deletion of a user.
There’s one additional user role
For the most part people only run one WP site. However, there is a group of people who run multiple sites and they keep them organizes but running what is called a WordPress Multisite Install.
With a WordPress Multisite Install you get all of the five user roles mention above plus an extra one called Super Admin User. The Super Admin user looks over all of the sites with that network of WordPress sites.
They have more power then the Admin and have the permission to do the following:
- Access all the Super Admin menu items via the Network Admin dashboard
- Manage the access and level of responsibility of all users on all sites on your network
- Manage network and site features including access to plugins, themes and privacy settings
- Create new users and new sites
- Edit posts, pages, comments on any site without being added as a user to the site
- Reset passwords and change users’ profile details