TUTORIAL: WordPress User Roles Explained

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Posted 4 years ago


TUTORIAL: WordPress User Roles ExplainedThe default roles provided by WordPress include the Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor and Subscriber. Each of the roles have different and well-defined access levels for its respective users.

Let’s have a look at the different WordPress user roles:

Super Admin

Of all the roles defined by WordPress, Super Admin is the most powerful that provides maximum capability to its users. With access to this role, users can enjoy managing multiple blogs from the same domain. One of the most important functionality available with this role is to review and manage different sites. The user can also customize the themes and settings of each of those sites that are connected through the same network. The Super Admin can either activate or deactivate any of the themes of the sites in the network. This user enjoys the power of adding new sites too to the network through the Add New Sites Screen. The role of Super Admin is mostly assigned to the owners of sites, chief editors and webmasters.


This role comes after the Super Administrator, and can be ranked as the second most powerful role. The person allowed to enjoy this role may be the owner of one site, or more than one. However, if he owns one site only, then he enjoys total power and authority of managing the site. This user can edit, import or export the data from the dashboard.

Some of the additional access given the Administrator include activating plugins, deleting plugins and posts, creating users, deleting a published page, deleting others’ pages, deleting or creating users, editing the dashboard, files, pages, posts, private pages, published pages and posts. The Administrator possesses the ability to modify the comments of others on the site as well. Basically, the Administrator of a single site enjoys all these abilities which are enjoyed by the Super Admin holding multiple sites.


The role of the Editor is to publish, edit and manage any posts/pages in the sites which are either created by themselves or by any other user. Their role and ability is limited to editing the posts and comments only —  editing plugin or theme settings is not accessible to the Editor role.


The Author role can write, publish and manage posts his own posts only. He can also upload the file written by him, and other than that he cannot do anything like making any changes or deleting anybody else’s posts or pages.


This person can simply contribute his writing to the site, but he is not allowed to publish whatever he has written. The posts created or managed by him will be moderated by the Editor or Administrator first, and then only after review, his post will be allowed to go live. Features like plugins, theme settings, comments or file uploads are not accessible to this role.


Lastly, there is another role called Subscriber which can be also termed as the most basic level user of WordPress. In this role, the user is allowed to only read the pages and posts while logged in.

– Ady Sachdeva


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