WordPress User Roles Explained | And Change Capabilites

Apr 1, 2022 | WordPress plugins

See the difference between all roles and there capabilites. I’m also going to teach you how you can chance roles to fit your specific needs!
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0:00 Intro
0:32 All the roles
0:47 Administrator
1:57 Editor
3:09 Author
4:44 Contributor
5:51 Subscriber
6:26 WooCommerce roles
7:17 Change capabilites

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WordPress User Roles Explained | And Change Capabilites


Hey guys, welcome to another WordPress tutorial. I’m the WPress Doctor, and today I will be showing you and demonstrating and explaining to you the different roles within WordPress. We’re gonna see what each role can do within your website, why you need them, and how you can actually change the capabilities of roles if you just want to give them a little bit of more capabilities within their certain role. So before we dive in, you need to know what are the six roles within WordPress. Starting with the lowest capabilities to the highest: we have the subscriber, the contributor, the author, the editor, the admin and the super admin. So in total you have 6 roles within WordPress. Let’s start with the most used one, which is the administrator. When you first install WordPress you will be the administrator of your website.


I’m logged in as the administrator right now and as you can see I can do anything. I can create posts, I can delete them, I can change them, I can create media in the library, I can go to my forms, see all the entries, change all the settings create new forms, also with pages, comments, project appearance. I can change themes, I can add plugins, delete them, change them. I can create new users, I can go to all tools, I can change all the settings of WordPress, I can change the security,. I can go to the Divi options. As a administrator you can do everything on your website. There is only one role higher than an administrator, which is a super admin, and you will only see that role when you have a WordPress multi-site installation. Most people don’t have that, so we’re not going to cover that right now but then you will be able to change, to add different websites to your multi site.


Right now I am logged in as a editor as you can see over here. And the editor cannot change all the settings. So now you don’t see plugins, themes, forms. But what I can do is; I can go to posts, and I can edit posts that other people created. So I can edit them, I can duplicate them, I can trash them, I can do anything with posts and also with pages. You can change pages, make new pages, even if there is an other author. I can also go to comments, and moderate all the comments. I can also go to the media library, I can upload photos to the library I can delete them, I can remove them, that’s all the things I can do. Also with projects, I can create, delete. But what I cannot do is I cannot change any settings. I cannot add new users, I cannot change users, I cannot add plugins or themes or change the settings, I can’t even go to the Gravity Forms. That is the role of a editor. And this is a very useful role if you have some person who is going to help you as a administrator, to change your pages and upload new content, or change content from other people.


So right now I’m logged in as a author. A author can also not change anything on the website. As the settings. The author can’t even create pages, because that one has fallen off right here as you can see. If I go to posts, I can also not edit posts created by someone else. So this is created by the administrator, I cannot edit them, but you can duplicate it and you can create your own new posts. And this is what it looks when I create my own post, you can see now there’s a checkbox so I can edit or delete it, and I can also edit this one and edit with Divi, so the author can only change his own posts and cannot change any pages or whatever. So the author can also publish posts to make them go live instantly. And that’s different with the other roles. And if you go to the library, a author can also not change any items created by other people inside the library. For example, normally it says here remove this item, but you cannot remove anything. But you can upload new files to your media library as a author. So the author can also not moderate comments, it can see them but it cannot moderate them. And also with a project it’s the same you cannot change other projects, only add new ones yourself, and edit your own projects. And they can of course change their own profile. And I don’t know why tools is there but it’s not supposed to be there, because there is nothing here. Let’s go to the contributor.


The contributor has the same rights as the author, except it cannot of course cannot edit other ones posts, but it can also not publish post. So let’s say I’m going to create a new one. Post by the contributor, and when I press publish, this is what happens. You’ll see ‘Submit for review’ so when I press this button now it has been submitted. And only the author, the editor, and the administrator, can actually publish this post to go live on your website. ‘Post by the contributor’ is pending. They can edit their own post, they can change it, and create it, but it will always be pending until someone else publish it on your website. So this is a very useful role within the WordPress system. If you have a lot of people contributing to the content of your website. Also the contributor can see comments and can also with projects add their own projects, just like with posts and again, no pages over here. So then we have one more role to discover and it’s the subscriber role.


So I think the subscriber is the most used role apart from the administrator. Now the subscriber cannot do anything at all, but just see content on the front end of your website. They can just go their profile, change the colors of their interface. The subscriber can only see content on the front end which is available for them only. You can do this easily with plugins like; Restrict Content Pro or anything like that. I will be making new videos about that one. So now you know the normal roles, but what if you also have a webshop?

WooCommerce roles

Then you get two more roles. You have the role of customer, which is just someone who buys anything on your website and will be able to log in, see their orders placed. And you have special shop managers. A shop manager has the role of editor within WordPress, so they can change any posts and pages on your website. And they also can change every setting within WooCommerce. They can add products, change products, change the setting of WooCommerce, that’s what they all can do. So the shop manager is very useful if you have someone who is adding new products to your shop, or is talking to customers, or sending out all the products, and changing the status of your orders, so the shop manager is very useful.

Change capabilities

But what if you want some person to have a role with more capabilities than for example the editor? You want them also to see entries on the Gravity Forms for example. If you want to tweak the roles just a little bit more, then you’ll need a plugin. And the plugin we’re using for this is totally free.
So you go to ‘Plugins’ -> ‘Add new’ and then you search for: “User role editor”. The “User role editor” by Vladimir is the most popular user role editor plugin out there. So you just press ‘Install now’ and I’m going to teach you how this works. It’s pretty easy. Press ‘activate’ and when it has been activated you now can go to ‘Settings’. You go to ‘User role editor’. In the user role editor you have a couple of options. The additional modules, default roles, tools and about. But in here you cannot change actually the capabilities of the roles. To do that, you have to go to ‘Users’ and go to “User role editor”. now here we are. We have a giant list of things people can actually do. There are 161 capabilities that someone can do. And that’s very useful if you want to change it. So let’s say I want to, have the editor also to see the Gravity Forms entries. To do that we have to select the editor, and when you scroll down here you can see all your own plugins. It’s called ‘custom capabilities’.
You have the user role editor, it’s this plugin. The WooCommerce, WP Rocket, i’ve installed it right here. And you have Gravity Forms. For example it’s very useful for me if the editor can also purge the cache when editing this website. So I’m just gonna give them the permission to purge all the caches, render regenerate critical CSS, I want everything but I won’t manage the options of WP Rocket. So this is the right thing, and i’m going to press ‘Update’. Yes, and then I scroll down a bit more. Role is updated successfully, it’s there on the top. Then I go to the Gravity Forms. And what I want to with the Gravity Forms? I want the editor to have full control of Gravity Forms. And I press ‘Update’. ‘Yes’. Working… Roles updated successfully. As you can see, it’s very easy to just give someone, with some role the capabilities you want them to have. Within your WordPress website. So this plugin is very very useful. Now when I log in as a editor, Remember what the editor only could do? Well there are some new options added within, because of the user role editor. It now can go to Forms as a editor, it can add forms, change them, create new forms, see the entries. Very useful, and they can also go to WP Rocket and clear the cache. Because sometimes the editor just need to clear the caches, if the CSS is messed up, or they change stuff and it doesn’t show on the front end. That is what the editor absolutely needs.

I hope you learned something new, if you did hit that like button, so I know I was on the right track. If you have questions or comments, drop them down below this video, and I’ll always read them, and I always answer, because I love you guys. If you want to see more WordPress related videos click over there and of course subscribe to the channel. I wish you an awesome day, and i’ll see you in the next video.