WordPress User Types: Roles And Capabilities

There are five different levels of users WordPress allows and each allow different administrative capabilities and publishing rights.

From highest level of administrative access to lowest, they are:

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

Here’s a quick description of each of these user types and their administrative access abilities.

Administrator

This is the highest level of access to a WordPress site.  They have access to all the settings including your theme settings, WordPress settings, plug-ins and plug-in settings, widgets, and theme files.  An administrator is the only user that can add a new user, edit or delete an existing one.

Editor

This is the next highest level of access to a WordPress site.  An Editor may create new pages or posts, edit any page or post, create new categories and tags and administer all comments on posts and pages that have been enabled.

An Editor may also change the author of any page or post to any other user on the site.

The role of an Editor is to primarily make content changes, although they do not have access to widgets so content within widgets will have to be made by an Administrator.

Author

The role of an Author is simply to create and publish new posts and administer comments on their posts.  They also can edit posts they have authored.

Contributor

A Contributor is similar to an Author in that they can contribute content to a site… however, they can only create posts that are already saved and they must be reviewed by an Editor or Administrator prior to publishing.

Once a Contributor adds content, they will submit their post for review (instead of the “Publish” button, this user has a “Submit For Review” button).

Then an Editor or Administrator can view the list of posts that are “Pending” and can edit, publish or trash the post.

Subscriber

This is the final level of WordPress user that can be created.  A subscriber can only view content and cannot edit any pages or posts and has no administrative rights.

This role is used when an Administrator wants to limit the right to comment on posts only if a user is a subscriber and logged in to the site.

For more information, visit WordPress.org’s Roles and Capabilities page at http://codex.wordpress.org/Roles_and_Capabilities.

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