I bet you log into WordPress as an Administrator, right? Yup, so do I. Nothing wrong with that – after all, most of us run single-user blogs. But did you know that WordPress has built-in support for a wide range of Roles and Capabilities?
By default there are five Roles, each of which has progressively more power:
Capabilities represent the various tasks that you can perform in WordPress, stuff like:
- publishing, editing and deleting posts and pages
- moderating comments
- managing users
- managing themes and plugins
See the WordPress codex for a full list of capabilities and how these are mapped to the default Roles.
Role Manager Plugin
If the out-the-box functionality doesn’t meet your requirements, you might like to check out Thomas Schneider’s role manager plugin, which allows you to edit the capabilities of existing roles, or even create completely new roles with arbitrary collections of capabilities!
What can you do with Roles and Capabilities?
This feature comes into play on multi-user blogs, when you want to assign greater levels of responsibility to some users than others. Generally you would not want more than one or two Administrators on a site – with great power comes great responsibility and all that.
Probably the most common use of Roles other than Administrator is when you allow (or require) members of the public to register in order to access content or post comments.
You may also wish to allow guest bloggers or members of a team to submit posts directly to the site, pending review by an Editor or Administrator before being published.
Or perhaps you want to create a community site where individual users are responsible for their own content, but cannot for example edit others’ posts, or install plugins or change themes.
All these and more are possible by assigning users appropriate Roles and Capabilities. I have a project coming up in the new year where I’ll need to approve content that’s been submitted for review before being published, so this is of particular interest to me right now. I’d be interested to hear from any of you that have experience in this area – please share your expertise in the comments below.