If you are new to WordPress, then you probably don’t know there are five different user types you can assign to WordPress site users. We want to tell you about each one, what kind of power they have and what they aren’t able to get their hands on. If you are unsure how to add a user and assign them a role, we’ll walk you through all that as well. So without further adieu, all info you need to know about WordPress site users!

All About WordPress Site Users - Spark My Site - Lakeland, FLThe Administrator…


There is little an Administrator can’t do. They are like the Optimus Prime of WordPress users (we apologize for referencing such a terrible movie franchise and apologize again if you’re a fan). Administrators can perform every task available through the WordPress dashboard. These tasks include: installing, editing and deleting plugins and themes, adding and deleting new users, and having control over all content. A role so powerful shouldn’t be given just to anyone. This role should only be reserved to the chosen ones who truly need full access to your website.


Cure the common cold, prove if Pluto is actually a planet or not, or breathe underwater.

All About WordPress Site Users - Spark My Site - Lakeland, FLThe Editor…


The Editor is another powerful user position, but is still a step below the all mighty Administrator. Editors are able to access all content, meaning they can publish, edit and delete any page or post no matter who the author is. They are also able to approve and moderate all comments, and manage categories and links.


Despite being able to access all content, they aren’t able to have control over other WordPress tasks such as editing, adding and deleting themes and plugins or adding and deleting users.

All About WordPress Site Users - Spark My Site - Lakeland, FLThe Author…


The name is sort of a given as what they are able to do: write, edit, publish and delete their own posts. Authors can also upload and delete their own media content they add to their posts as well. Other than that, they are working under a fairly controlled environment. However if you are assigning someone the role of an Author chances are they are only needing to write blog posts anyways.


Despite being able to write, edit, publish and delete their own posts they are unable to control what categories they have to choose from. They are only able to choose from the list that an Administrator or Editor have provided for them. They also can view their own comments, but are unable to approve or delete comments that are made on their post. Authors are really only designed to write posts and that’s it, meaning they do not have access to any other WordPress settings either.

All About WordPress Site Users - Spark My Site - Lakeland, FLThe Contributor…


If someone is a Contributor, they likely aren’t part of your team meaning these people should be given very little access to the backend of your website. By assigning someone as a Contributor they are able to write, edit and delete their own unpublished posts. They can choose from a list of provided categories from the Editor or Admin and add their own tags to the post. Other than that a Contributor is rather limited.


Because a Contributor is likely only a guest writer or something of that nature, they’re restricted from being able to actually publish their own content. Like an Author they are able to view comments made on their posts, but are unable to moderate them as that is only a job for Admins or Editors. Contributors also aren’t able to access the media library, meaning if they want to add and photos or videos to their posts they must request assistance from the Admin or Editor. And of course, someone with such little access already is obviously not able to manage any of the other WordPress settings as well.

All About WordPress Site Users - Spark My Site - Lakeland, FLThe Subscriber…


And at the bottom of the totem pole we have the Subscriber. The point of a Subscriber role is to lend to the idea of a “membership” based website. Subscribers can read your content and post comments and change the different aspects of their Subscriber role (i.e. their profile picture, name, password, email, etc.) It should be noted that Subscriber is the default role for Wordpress site users and are really nothing more than your minions.


Subscribers are basically unable to access anything in the backend of your WordPress site. These limitations include, but are likely not limited to: themes, plugins, page content, post content, adding / deleting users and so on. Remember, if you’re a Subscriber, you’re just a minion, but you’re awesome and still necessary for many WordPress sites to happen.

Now that you know what the different user’s are, here are a few simple steps in how to add a new WordPress site users!


On your side menu in your dashboard go to Users > Add New.


Fill in the appropriate information! Give your user a username and make sure you enter their email. You can create a password for them as well.


Assign them a role! You can choose from any of the five we’ve discussed: Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor or Subscriber. Remember to think carefully when assigning a user a role, you don’t want them to have too much or too little access depending on their responsibilities. Again, if you don’t assign someone a role they will take on the default role of Subscriber.


Click “Add New User” and that person will receive an email about their new role to your website – hip, hip, hooray for new users!

Still don’t get the whole user thing?

No worries! Whether it’s the process of adding a new user or needing guidance on what role to assign them, we’d be glad to help you out. Contact us if you have any questions and get to assigning your new users!