WordPress is a fantastic content management system (CMS). And because it’s capable of amazing customizations—a magnificent range of themes and optional plugins that extend functionality, for example—many people even opt to create their entire websites from WordPress. However, you may not have spent much time considering the impact of user roles in this CMS/website builder.
WordPress user roles are pre-defined by default and offer a range of benefits to your site, including organization, personalization, and security.
If you’re not assigning specific user roles to each of your WordPress blog’s contributors, you should be!
Below, we’re going to discuss the default WordPress user roles, how they differ, and the specific benefits user roles provide.
Defining the WordPress User Roles
There are six default WordPress user roles available. They break down as follows:
1. Super Admin: The super administrator is the “head honcho” of a network. Unlike regular administrators, super administrators have access to network-wide administration features—not just site or blog-wide. This is an important differentiator if you are running multiple WordPress blogs on a network via a WordPress multi-site installation.
2. Administrator: An administrator has full access to all administrative features for an individual blog/site (not across a multi-site installation a la a super admin). They can add WordPress themes, edit all posts, assign WordPress user roles, and more. You should only make your most trusted users Administrators.
3. Editor: Editors can publish and edit posts for themselves and others, but lack other administrative abilities.
4. Author: Authors can compose, edit, and publish their own articles, but cannot edit the posts of others.
5. Contributor: Contributors can edit and save their posts to your WordPress blog, but cannot publish them.
6. Subscriber: Subscribers are site members with no posting abilities. However, they can edit their profile and comment on articles.
It’s also possible to define custom WordPress user roles. Here’s an excellent option to do so if you’re interested.
How Are WordPress User Roles Beneficial?
Your site’s productivity and security efforts can be negatively impacted if you don’t carefully assign WordPress roles to your users on a case-by-case basis.
More specifically, there are three primary benefits to using user roles:
1. WordPress User Roles Help Build a Rapport With Your Audience
Because each of your users can create a specialized profile with a clear role, it allows your contributors to build a rapport with your visitors. Your audience will gain an understanding of the hierarchy that exists on your website and more closely understand the role each of your team members plays. Through this connection, viewers are likely to establish a greater understanding and appreciation of your brand.
And what happens when viewers and potential customers identify more greatly with your brand? There’s the chance for more engagement, which offers you greater opportunity to make sales conversions.
WordPress User Roles Offer Tighter Organization
Having many site contributors can lead to greater site disorganization—unless you make skillful use of user roles for your WordPress blog, of course.
WordPress user roles allow you to establish the distinct site hierarchy we’ve mentioned above. With this hierarchy comes a greater knowledge among all your contributors as to their responsibilities and the responsibilities of their colleagues. And because everyone will know what they are and aren’t accountable for, greater focus can be gained and site-wide productivity may increase as a result.
WordPress User Roles Provide Greater Security
We’d be remiss not to talk about perhaps the most important benefit of user roles for your WordPress blog: security.
Using the six default user roles enables you to hand out your site permissions with great care, limiting administrative permissions to only the individuals you most greatly trust. This will help mitigate the possibility that your site becomes the victim of intentional or unintentional adverse user actions.
Want to learn a bit more about WordPress user roles? Check out the official WordPress codex.
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