What are the different user roles in WordPress?

Ever wondered what the different roles mean in WordPress? Did you know that you can assign different roles with different permissions to your site? In this blog post I will explain which roles are available in WordPress and what they mean.

Different user roles in WordPress

Ever wondered what the different roles mean in WordPress? Did you know that you can assign different roles with different permissions to your site? In this blog post I will explain which roles are available in WordPress and what they mean.

Which user roles does WordPress offer by default?

WordPress offers a couple of default user roles which different access capabilities:

  • Subscriber
  • Contributor
  • Author
  • Editor
  • Administrator

WordPress user roles and permissions explained

Now you know what user roles WordPress default has in its installation. Let’s talk about the roles and what the permissions are.

  • Subscriber
    This is the default role that will be assigned to new created accounts by your users itself. With this role subscribers can only read posts and manage their profiles.
  • Contributor
    Contributors can create and edit their posts and profiles. You can apply this role when the user needs to be able to create its own blog posts.
  • Author
    Authors have full control over their own blog posts and the blog posts created by other authors in the roles contributor, editor or administrator. They can create, edit, delete and publish their own posts and manage their own profile.
  • Editor
    Editors have full control of all the site’s content such as pages, blog posts and its attributes. Also they have the same capabilities as the Author role.
  • Administrator
    Administrators have access to everything. They can manage the site’s operations and assign different user roles. Also they can create, edit, delete, review and publish plugins and themes. They can even edit the code if necessary. The administrator role also has the ability to customize the other users roles.

WooCommerce user roles and permissions explained

Besides WordPress related user roles, WooCommerce also adds a couple of extra user roles with different capabilities.

  • Customer
    Assigned to new customers when they create an account on your website. They can create an account during a purchase or just by registering an account. This role is similar to that of a normal blog subscriber, but customers can edit their own account information and view past or current orders.
  • Shop Manager
    Besides having access to all WordPress Editor role capabilities, this allows the user to run the operations side of your WooCommerce store without the ability to edit back-end functionality like files and code. They’re also granted the ability to manage all settings within WooCommerce, create/edit products, and access to all WooCommerce reports.

Sharing login credentials

Besides that visitors and customer can register for an account via your website, you can also create an account yourself from within the backend of WordPress. We have written an article how to create a new user in WordPress to explain this process.

If you are giving access to your WordPress website, you can select the checkbox to send an email to the new user. In that way, the user can set up his password on his own which is better for privacy reasons.

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