Different Types of User Roles in WordPress to Create?

Last Updated on 17th March 2023 by Ajmer Singh

WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that is used to create and manage websites.

One of the key features of WordPress is the ability to assign different roles to users, which determines the level of access and permissions that each user has on the site.

In WordPress, there are six different user roles: Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, Subscriber and Guest.

Each of these roles has its own set of capabilities and permissions, which allow users to perform specific tasks on the site.

Administrator has the highest level of access and is responsible for managing the network of sites in a WordPress multisite installation.

Administrator has access to all the features and settings on a single site installation.

Editor, Author and Contributor are more restrictive roles with more focused capabilities.

What is User Role?

User roles in WordPress are like different types of jobs or positions, each with its own particular set of abilities.

Each user role has the ability to do certain things and cannot “see” other elements on the site that might be inappropriate for their permission level.

what is user role

Different types of user roles in WordPress!

1. Administrator

The user with this role can perform almost any action on your site.

They have full control over the WP backend and the ability to add, edit or delete any post or page, then lock down a post or page from further changes.

They also have access to all of the tools within WordPress so they can manage plugins and themes from their WordPress dashboard.

2. The Editor

This role can update, edit and delete posts as well as manage categories, tags and other post-related items.

They also have access to the media library.

3. Author

Authors can write, edit and publish their own posts but may not create categories or tags without permission from an editor.

If an author tries to publish a post with a category that he/she doesn’t have access to, it will automatically be assigned to the Uncategorized category.

Authors cannot upload files onto the site but they can still link to them so visitors will only see the link instead of where it’s actually located.

These links will usually direct you outside of your site domain.

The author role is slightly limited in comparison to Editor and Contributor roles in that they cannot export posts with the Press This tool.

author role

4. Contributor

Contributors can write, edit, publish and delete their own posts but not any posts by other users.

They cannot upload files to the site either, so links within their posts will direct you outside of your site domain.

5. Subscriber

A subscriber role does not have permission to create new content on your site or even view existing content except for comments posted on blog posts.

However, they still receive all email notifications that are set up on a site.

Any comment postings made by subscribers are usually hidden from public view,

because subscribers do not have sufficient permissions to modify anything beyond what’s required for them to place comments on blog entries.

Site owners sometimes choose to give subscribers commenting abilities so they can monitor community activity on their site.

6. Guest

The guest user role is automatically assigned to anyone who visits your blog who isn’t logged in or doesn’t have a WordPress account.

They cannot create posts and any attempt to do so will result in an error telling them they must sign up for an account first.

However, guests can still leave comments with appropriate contact info.

Site owners sometimes use this user role as an anonymous blogging tool that allows visitors to make public comments without revealing their identities.

How are different roles created in WordPress?

On many sites, you’ll see more than one of some roles listed because more than one role was assigned at some point during the configuration of the site.

1. Log into your site’s administration panel by entering the address for your blog followed immediately by /wp-admin into the location bar of your browser.

If you have changed the default name for your installation, then enter that instead.

2. Once the main WordPress menu appears on the screen, choose “Users” from the left-hand nav and select “Add New”.

This will present the user registration form to add a new user.

3. On this page you will see several options for assigning a role to each new user.

Select one of these from the dropdown box labelled “Role” and click on the button marked “Add New User”.

create and add user roles

4. On the next page, enter a username for the new user as well as an email address they can use to reset their password if they forget it in the future.

There are several options available for all of these fields but you can leave most of them blank for now.

5. Scroll further down the page until you see the section labelled “Role” which will contain all available roles to choose from.

Select one of these and then click on the button marked “Add User”.

You will return to the main Users screen where your newly registered user is waiting with their username and role already assigned.

6. Now that the user has been added, you can set up their additional profile options like first name and last name by clicking on their username or the “Edit” link next to it.

You can change their role any time if needed but for now, they are safe with the default Contributor role assigned to them.

7. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the button marked “Update Profile”.

FAQs about User Roles In WordPress!

faqs about user roles

What types of users can be added to a WordPress site?

WordPress allows the following users: Authors, Editors, Publishers, and Administrators.

Depending on your configuration, you may also have Subscribers as well as other user roles such as Contributors or even Guests.

In addition, you may decide to create customized user roles for your site.

What types of permissions does each user role have?

For the most part, roles do not control what a user is able to do on your site.

The permissions set for each type of user is defined by the WordPress administrator and defaults to “all” permission,

which means that any given user can perform any task on the site unless another user with a different set of permissions comes along.

What are the default user roles in WordPress?

The default user roles in WordPress are Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, Subscriber and guest.

All sites have at least one Administrator account which is created automatically when you install WordPress.

There can only ever be one Administrator account on your site.

What is the Administrator’s role?

The Administrator has complete and total access to all of the functions and features of a WordPress website and its administration interface.

They can add, edit or delete any item from your blogs such as posts, pages, comments, custom post types, categories and tags;

configure settings for plugins, widgets, comments, content and themes; modify menus, widgets, sidebars or other theme components;

install or delete plugins or update to new versions of the software.

The administrator can also update the WordPress core itself.

What is the Editor’s role?

The default Editor role allows access to all the basic settings and functions of a WordPress blog but isn’t permitted by default to make any changes,

that would affect another user’s experience such as deleting an item, modifying content or changing themes or plugins.

They also cannot make changes to the WordPress core.

What is the Author’s role?

The default Author role gives a user access to their own posts, pages and comments as well as the ability to create new content on your blog.

This is usually all that most bloggers need in order to run their sites effectively.

They are not permitted by default to make any changes to site configuration or settings.

contributor role

What is the Contributor’s role?

The default Contributor role gives users limited access to your blog and its administrative functions.

They cannot publish posts on their own and can only edit and delete their own content, comments and pages.

Site settings such as themes and plugins remain fully under the control of the site administrator.

What is the Subscriber’s role?

The default Subscriber role does not give users any access to your blog.

They can create their own login account but unless an Administrator manually assigns them a user role,

they will remain a subscriber and have no ability to publish content or manage your site in any way.

What is the Guest’s role?

Guests have the same access as Subscribers but since they are not logged in, their activity is limited to what they do on your site as a visitor.

They can view pages and posts as well as create comments but cannot edit them or publish their own content.

In this way, an anonymous viewer of your blog has some level of interaction with your site but their access is limited to what you allow them.

What are the customization options available for user roles in WordPress?

Above and beyond the default roles created by WordPress, you also have the ability to create any number of custom user roles with whatever permissions you feel are most appropriate.

For example, if you want a user role that can only publish and manage its own content,

you could create a new role called Author and edit the permissions to give them full control over their own publishing options.

The list of user roles above represents the most common ones but there is no limit to how many custom user roles you can create based on your specific needs for your site.

How to update the default user roles in WordPress?

You can update the status of any user with a single click provided you have permission to do so.

When logged into your site’s administration panel, go back to the “Users” menu and choose “All Users”.

This will list all available users in an alphabetical list where you can find the one whose role you wish to change.

Click on the username or “Edit” link next to their entry in the list which will open up a new page with several options for user management.

At the bottom of this screen is a section labelled “Role” where you can select one of them from the dropdown box.

Finally, click on the button marked “Update User”.

you can create any number of custom user roles with whatever permissions you feel are most appropriate.

For example, if you want a user role that can only publish and manage its own content,

you could create a new role called Author and edit the permissions to give them full control over their own publishing options.

If you have changed the default name for your installation, then you will see this option as “Your Site Name” in the list of users.

How to update the default user roles in WordPress

Why should I create user roles in WordPress?

WordPress does not come with any default user roles and it is up to the site administrator to choose which ones they need.

This way, you can be sure that everyone on your site has the exact level of access you feel comfortable giving them.

This lets you balance your own needs with the convenience offered by a site with a large number of users.

Why should I not create user roles in WordPress?

Creating new user roles is a critical task for any blog or website which means you should take care to get it right before publishing your article.

A single error can allow other users on your site to gain access beyond what you wanted them to have and this could damage your content or compromise the privacy of your users.


Hope you understand the different types of user roles in WordPress and how to create them.

I know it can seem a little overwhelming, but as long as you take your time and plan ahead for each type of user role that will be using your site, everything should go smoothly!

If something doesn’t make sense or if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

One last thing – check back soon because we’ll be posting additional blog posts on this topic with more tips coming up shortly!