Role (in WordPress)

Role in WordPress defines what actions each user is allowed to perform. WordPress comes with a comprehensive user role management system that defines what each specific user can and cannot do on your website.

By default, WordPress provides five roles with different permission levels:

  • Administrator,
  • Editor, 
  • Author, 
  • Contributor, and
  • Subscriber. 

WordPress user roles are important because they:

  • Help secure your WordPress site by ensuring that users don’t have access to things they shouldn’t have, and
  • Help you define your workflows. For example, an author can write a post that another user, e.g. admin, will publish

Of course, some WordPress plugins extend the number of roles and change the default access rights. 

Roles description

Admin

The Administrator (Admin) is the most powerful role in WordPress install because it provides users with full hold over the website. 

You create this role during the WordPress installation process and the username and password for the admin account.

Only the Admin has permission to create new users and modify and delete existing ones. With the Admin role, you have access to all administration features, including: 

  • Adding, deleting, and editing information from all other users ,
  • Complete control over site content,
  • Adding, deleting and modifying themes, 
  • Adding, deleting, and modifying plugins and core settings at any time, and
  • Changing other settings.

Editor

The Editor role holds the highest position in overseeing a WordPress website’s content. An Editor can manage posting, for example, writing, editing, and publishing. They also have the power to delete posts and pages, includes those written by anyone else. An Editor can also view comments and moderate, alter, and delete them as they see fit.

Author

Authors have control over their content; they may add, edit, publish, and delete their posts and upload images. They can also edit and delete their WordPress profile. Authors have no access to content produced by other users. They can’t create categories or do anything to the pages on a site.

Contributor

A contributor is a restricted version of the author role. A user with this role can write new posts and edit existing posts, but can’t publish or delete them once they are published. A Contributor submits their work for review by an Editor or an Admin before it is published. Contributors can’t access the media library, so they can’t upload images to their posts without assistance.

Subscriber

Subscriber is the default role for new site users, and it has the fewest permissions. If this role stays with the default capabilities, it is the most limited WordPress user role. A Subscriber can create a profile on a WordPress website, read its content, and post comments. They have no access to any site settings and can’t make or amend any content.