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Tips on Managing Users in WordPress

By | 11.14.12
Tips on Managing Users in WordPress

Wordpress UsersWordPress is now one of the most popular PHP and MySQL-based content management systems available. From the themes to the plugins, WordPress is easy to manage and use. One of the main administrative tasks is to manage users and the permissions they have regarding content.


Roles give the owner of a blog the ability to control and assign what users can and cannot do in the blog. Each role has a different level of access and capability on the blog.


The default capabilities assigned to each role can allow someone access to moderate comments, publish posts, or even create new users. Think of roles as defining a user’s responsibilities for the blog, instead of one role higher than another.

Note that once WordPress is installed, an administrator account is automatically created. Using the administrator account, the WordPress API allows users to add, remove or reassign capabilities within the roles. The administrator can also add more roles to the API without destroying the default setup.

Defining roles

Administrator – An administrator has full and complete access to the blog. The administrator can publish pages and posts, approve comments, change settings and themes, import and export data, update users, and even delete the blog. It is recommended that there be only one administrator account per blog. Be careful allowing administrator privileges.

Editor – An editor can view, edit, publish, and delete any posts/pages. They can also moderate comments, and manage categories, tags, links and also upload files/images.

Author – An author can view, edit, publish, and delete their posts/pages, and also upload files/images.

Contributor – A contributor can view and edit their posts, but not publish them. After a contributor creates a post, it is submitted to an administrator for review and approval. Once approved, the post can be published by an administrator. However, it may no longer be edited by the contributor. Also a contributor does not have the ability to upload files/images.

Subscriber – A subscriber can only manage their profile and comment on blog posts. They do not have any editing privileges. They receive updates each time new content is published.

Changing roles

An administrator account can change user roles by following these steps:

  1. Log into the Dashboard
  2. Click Users > All Users
  3. Check the box(es) next to the user avatar(s) to update
  4. Using the Change role to… dropdown, select the new user role(s) to assign
  5. Click Change button to the right
change wordpress role

Removing users

An administrator account can delete users by following these steps:

  1. Log into the Dashboard
  2. Click Users > All Users
  3. Move the cursor over the user name to reveal Remove
  4. Click Remove
  5. Note that if you remove a user who has written blog posts, you might want to assign those blog posts to another author. In some cases it might be preferable to just change the user password so that user no longer has access, rather than removing a user.

Bulk actions

Bulk actions can be used to remove multiple users from the blog. Select the checkbox beside each user to be removed, then from Bulk Actions dropdown, select Remove and click Apply.

The full list of roles and capabilities can be viewed at

  • Kim,

    I totally LOVE WordPress. Years ago when I first started blogging I jumped onto Google’s Blogspot. My train of thought was since the best search engine owns it, they should prioritize my content when indexing on search engines. But after a while their templates began to bore me.

    Hello, WordPress…

    The first thing that reeled me in with WP were all of the professional looking templates. Now granted, Blogger gives you more freedom with the content you place on their blogs. In contrast, WordPress seems to run a much tighter ship. In my experiences with content marketing I found that it’s best to use the WP platform only if it’s hosted elsewhere (there’s more freedom with the content).

    The features address in this post are excellent especially when you have guest bloggers (which I encourage). The leverage you’ll get by entrusting in others to provide content on your blog pays of in the long run.

    • Kim Perry

      I totally agree about guest bloggers too. Thanks for your response, Kevin!

  • Marion Jacobson

    I agree about guest bloggers as well. See my blog post about it:

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