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How to Edit and Customize User Roles in WordPress

WordPress is a popular content management system used by millions of people worldwide. One of the most important aspects of managing a WordPress website is user roles. By default, WordPress comes with several pre-defined user roles that provide different levels of access and permissions to website content. However, you might find that these default roles don’t always suit your needs, and you need to customize them to fit your specific requirements. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to edit and customize user roles in WordPress, step-by-step.

So, let’s first have a look at the different user roles we can apply.

Understanding User Roles in WordPress

Understanding the different user roles in WordPress is essential to effectively managing user access and permissions on your website. By assigning appropriate user roles to each user, you can ensure that they have the necessary level of access to perform their tasks without compromising your website’s security or functionality.

WordPress comes with five pre-defined user roles. Each of these user roles has a specific set of capabilities and permissions. These determine what actions they can perform on the website.

Let’s take a closer look at each user role:

1. Administrator:

This is the most powerful user role in WordPress. An administrator can perform all actions on the website, including creating and managing user accounts, installing and managing plugins and themes, editing site settings, and more. It’s important to limit the number of users with administrator roles to reduce the risk of security breaches.

2. Editor:

An editor can perform all actions that an author can, but they also have the ability to publish, edit, and delete any post on the website. This user role is typically used by content managers or editors who need to manage a large amount of content on the website.

3. Author:

An author can create, edit, and delete their own posts. They cannot edit or delete posts created by other users on the website. This user role is commonly used by writers or bloggers who contribute content to the website.

4. Contributor:

A contributor can write and edit posts, but they cannot publish them. This user role is useful for allowing guest authors to submit content to your website without giving them full access to the website’s settings and features.

5. Subscriber:

A subscriber can only view content on the website. This user role is commonly used for website visitors who want to receive updates or access restricted content on the website.

Ways to Edit and Customize User Roles in WordPress

There are 3 different ways in which you can edit and customize the user roles in WordPress. Let’s have a look at them one by one.

1. Using WordPress Dashboard

This is the first and the most simple way to Edit and Customize User Roles.

you can also edit and customize user roles in WordPress using the “Users” feature in the WordPress dashboard.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the “Users” section.
  • Click on the “Add New” button to create a new user account.
  • Enter the user’s details, including their username and email address.
  • Select a user role from the “Role” dropdown menu.
  • If you want to modify an existing user’s role, find the user in the “Users” list and click on their username to access their user profile. From there, you can select a new user role from the “Role” dropdown menu.

Once you’ve made the necessary changes to your user roles, be sure to click the “Update” button to apply the changes.

Using the “Users” feature in the WordPress dashboard is a quick and easy way to manage user roles without having to modify your site’s code. It’s also a good option if you only need to make simple changes to user roles and don’t require advanced customization options.

2. Using a WordPress Plugin 

If you need to add, remove, or modify customized user roles, you can use plugins.

Here’s how to edit user roles in WordPress:

  • Go to the “Plugins” section and navigate to “Add New”. 
  • Install and activate a user role editor plugin, such as User Role Editor or Members.
  • Navigate to Users > User Role Editor in the WordPress dashboard.
  • Choose the user role you want to edit and click on it.
  • Modify the capabilities of the user role according to your needs.
  • Click the Update Changes button.

3. Using functions.php File

Go to the Administrator files of your website and follow the process below:

  • Add the following code to your functions.php file:
    function add_theme_caps() { $role = get_role( ‘editor’ ); $role->add_cap( ‘edit_theme_options’ ); } add_action( ‘admin_init’, ‘add_theme_caps’);
  • Change the role name (‘editor’) and capability (‘edit_theme_options’) according to your requirements.
  • Save the changes to your functions.php file.

Note: Change the roles according to your need.

Best Practices for Managing User Roles in WordPress

Managing user roles in WordPress is an ongoing process that requires regular review and updates. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Limit the number of users with administrator roles to reduce the risk of security breaches.
  • Regularly review and update user roles and permissions.
  • Revoke user roles and permissions when necessary, such as when an employee leaves your organization or no longer requires access to your website.
  • Always use strong and unique passwords for all user accounts.
  • Consider implementing two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to user logins.
  • Train your team members on proper user role management practices and the importance of security.


Managing user roles in WordPress is crucial to ensuring your website’s security and functionality. Whether you need to modify existing roles or create custom roles, WordPress provides several options to customize user access and permissions. By following the best practices outlined in this blog, you can maintain a secure and efficient website that meets your specific needs.

TezHost Editorial

TezHost Editorial staff is a team of Marketing experts lead by Arif Wali


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