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WordPress roles explained

WordPress has a number of built-in roles, each of which have different levels of access to the system. As an administrator you should assign your users the role most appropriate to their needs and no higher.


  • Has access to the Dashboard only to edit their own profile, which allows them to change their display name and password.
  • Cannot create or edit any content or upload any media.
  • This role is most commonly used for end users or consumers of your content, where your content is not public and requires a login to access.


  • Has all the privileges of a Subscriber, plus the ability to create content.
  • A contributor can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them. Instead, an editor will be required to review and publish the completed content.
  • A contributor cannot edit a post created by someone else.
  • Use this role where you want an editor to review all content before it goes live.


  • Has all the privileges of a Contributor, plus the ability to publish their own content.
  • An author can only edit and publish content created by themselves.
  • Use this role where you want a user to be responsible for a particular page or section only.


  • Has all the privileges of an Author, plus the ability edit or delete content created by other users.
  • Editors can effectively do anything they like with content but lack the ability to manage users and other administrative tasks.
  • Most of your users will probably require this role if you do not have any specific content creation workflow.


  • Has all the privileges of an Editor, plus access to administrative functions
  • Add and remove users from the site
  • Change the site theme
  • Edit menus and widgets
  • Customise the theme colours and layouts
  • Not everyone needs to be an administrator – assign this role wisely!
Updated on July 20, 2018

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