About WordPress User “Roles”

This is a post intended for clients of ClickNathan.com. While you may find the information below useful, as it generally applies to WordPress, there may be information involving customized aspects of WordPress that aren’t out-of-the-box features. It was written for WordPress v. 3.3.1.nd

WordPress’ User system is based around Roles, and each role has a default set of capabilities, which can also be customized by a developer. Here I’ll review what each default Role is and what it can do.


Admins can do everything in the backend that anyone else can do, including creating new Posts and Pages, editing Widgets, adding Plugins, managing Settings, creating Users and seriously breaking the site if they don’t know what they’re doing. When I send you login information for your main account with the backend, this is the role you will have been assigned. Administrators can create new users, and assign them any of the Roles listed here.


This is a very basic role that is used mostly for front end users, if your site allows registration. For example, you may require people to be logged in, or give them the option to, in order to comment on blog posts on your site, or purchase items from your store. How subscribers relate to your site will be outlined in your initial How to Beta document.


A contributor can create posts (or sometimes other content) on your site, however they cannot publish the content live to the site. They basically create some content, save it, and then an Editor or Administrator must review the content and approve it before it goes live to the site. Useful for organizations that have a lot of people creating content, but who want to proofread or review the content before it’s put live.


Authors can create content on the site and publish it live to the site. They can also then go back in and edit their content and republish it with the changes made. They do not have access to other settings within the backend.


Editors are like authors in that they can create content and publish it live to the site, but they can also edit other people’s content, such as Authors and Contributors, as well as approve Contributors’ posts.

Woocommerce: Shop Manager

Only applicable if Woocommerce is installed, Shop Managers can process orders, create new products and otherwise manage your Woocommerce store.

Woocommerce: Customer

Again, only applicable if you’ve got a Woocommerce installation, this is the default role that will be given to new customers who create an account, making it easier for you as an administrator to browser customers.

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