The heart of tech is coming to the heart of the Mediterranean. Join TNW in València this March 🇪🇸

This article was published on January 22, 2009

How To Manage Roles and Capabilities Effectively on WordPress

How To Manage Roles and Capabilities Effectively on WordPress
Srikanth AD
Story by

Srikanth AD

Srikanth is a Web Developer and SEO consultant. Check out his portfolio or contact him by email at [email protected] for more information Srikanth is a Web Developer and SEO consultant. Check out his portfolio or contact him by email at [email protected] for more information.


The open source blogging platform WordPress has different permissions and capabilities assigned for users on the blog to manage their roles and responsibilities.

Here is an overview of the default role management on WordPress,

  • Administrator – Somebody who has access to all the administration features
  • Editor – Somebody who can publish posts, manage posts as well as manage other people’s posts, etc.
  • Author – Somebody who can publish and manage their own posts
  • Contributor – Somebody who can write and manage their posts but not publish posts
  • Subscriber – Somebody who can read comments/comment/receive news letters, etc.

These roles are pre-defined by default and don’t include any options for changing the default permissions or capability settings.

One drawback I personally feel is that the Contributor on the blog is not given access to upload media (image, flash and video) via the WYSIWYG editor. Thus Contributors have to use other services like ‘flickr’, ‘Picassa’ etc and use the HTML mode for inserting media into a blog post.

Luckily, WordPress is  Open Source and highly customizable. Here are a couple of WordPress Plugins which provide the administrator with extensive options to alter the permission and capability settings for users on the blog for enhanced and effective role management.



The plugin alters the administration backend and gives you the  ability to assign permissions on certain components. Admins can activate/deactivate every part of the menu and even parts of the sub menu.

Features include,

  • Certain parts of the write menu can be deactivated separately for admins or non-admins.
  • Specific theme can be assigned for each user.
  • Write post activation/deactivation options for all users on the site for both blog posts and pages.
  • Extensive permission settings for managing categories, links, tags, media library and widgets.

In short, you can activate/deactivate almost every component of WordPress with this plugin.

// Download Adminzie WordPress Plugin

Role Manager

Role Manager
This plugin allows you to change existing set of roles and capabilities,  moreover  you can assign additional capabilities for each user. It allows you to define and manage multiple subscriber profiles – called Roles and their Capabilities.

You can change every role by just clicking the button adjacent to the corresponding text to turn it on or off.  At the bottom of the page you can create new roles with the set of capabilities you desire to assign the user.

// Download Role Manager WordPress Plugin

These plugins are surely worth giving a test try on your site.