In WordPress, a user role is a set of permissions that determines what actions a user can perform on a website. These roles are designed to help website owners manage their site’s content and functionality by delegating specific tasks to different users.

Default User Roles in WordPress

WordPress comes with several default user roles, each with its own set of capabilities:

  1. Administrator: This role has full access to all features and settings on the website. Administrators can create new users, delete content, install plugins and themes, change the site’s settings, and more.
  2. Editor: Editors have the ability to publish and manage posts and pages created by any user on the site. They can also moderate comments, manage categories and tags, and upload media files.
  3. Author: Authors can create and publish their own posts but cannot edit or delete content created by other users. They also have limited access to media files.
  4. Contributor: Contributors can submit posts for review but cannot publish them themselves. They also have limited access to media files.
  5. Subscriber: Subscribers can only view content on the site and leave comments on published posts.

Learn More: WordPress User Roles: Everything You Need To Know

Custom User Roles in WordPress

Website owners may want to create custom user roles that fit their specific needs beyond the default ones provided by WordPress. For example, they might need an employee role that has access to certain parts of the website but not others, or a client role that allows clients to view their account information without having any editing power over the website.

To create custom user roles in WordPress, you’ll need to use a plugin like User Role Editor or Members. These plugins allow you to customize existing roles or create new ones from scratch by selecting which capabilities each role should have.


Understanding user roles is essential for managing your WordPress website effectively. By assigning appropriate roles to your team members, you can ensure that everyone has access only to the features they need while maintaining security across your site.

Whether using default or custom-defined user roles, it’s important always to assign them carefully so that every member of your team has just enough permissions needed for their responsibilities without compromising your website’s security.