How To Manage WordPress User Roles

Blogging is a social activity. We like to reach others and sometimes we love to blog with other bloggers. Guest blogging is cool, but if you are looking to build a long-term relationship and find someone who brings something extra to your blog and niche topic, then create a multi-author blog in WordPress. WordPress is set up to accept more than one user. Not only can people register with your site to comment with identification, they can register or you can register them with preassigned roles to contribute to your blog. They’ll be up and running without even installing a multi-author plugin.

To be clear, there are two ways to create a multi-author environment in WordPress. One is to add multiple users to a single-user site (one blog and many users). The other is to create a multi-user network (user can create or add a blog to a network). This article is about adding multiple users to one blog.


Understanding User Roles

User roles are member designations that can be assigned automatically when someone registers with your blog or assigned manually when you update someone’s account to provide a service to you in a new user role. There are plugins that can better automate this process if you intend someone to pay a membership fee to be allowed access to special features on your site or to create a blog on your domain if you are setting up a multi-user blog network.

Subscriber Role

The Subscriber role is the most basic WordPress designation there is. You can manage a profile that your name is linked to when you comment on any blog posts.

Contributor Role

The Contributor role allows a registered user to write and manage their blog posts on the site. They cannot automatically publish their content. Consider the content drafted and available for review by an Editor or Administrator. If you trust the user but want to schedule when the content is published, this is the role to choose as well.

Author Role

The Author role is a registered user who is able to publish their posts on demand. This is great for trusted writers, bloggers for hire, anyone who is aware of your blog content guidelines.

Editor Role

The Editor role has the most leeway outside of the Administrator. An Editor is able to publish and manage their content and the content of others. They are also able to manage pages published on the site.

Administrator Role

The Administrator has the keys to the kingdom. They are able to manage all content on the site from appearance to users. In a blog network or multi-user account where there are more than one blog, an additional role is established for a Super Admin. This is an all access pass to every blog added to the network.


How To Assign User Roles

In the left sidebar of the dashboard, find the Users panel and select Add New. Add user information and select the user role from the drop down box to the right of the Role option. If you need to change the role of an existing subscriber, select Add Users. Then, find and edit the role of the user and save.

Once their roll is assigned, any unnecessary options that they will not be required to handle will be blocked from their view or will be inactive. For new bloggers this is great because the fear is there for them as well that they could break something.

If you are allowing individuals to sign up, review the General Settings to ensure that the Membership toggle is set so anyone can register. Adjust the New User Default Role if you intend for the user roll to be other than Subscriber.

Adding multiple authors to your blog will expand content, perhaps your visitor traffic, and the knowledge of others to share about your niche. There are additional plugins allowing an Administrator to fine tune user privileges.

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