WordPress User Roles and Permissions

WordPress comes with a user role management system which defines what a specific user can and cannot do on your website. Knowing these user roles and permissions are essential as your WordPress site grows. What's more, Npressive CRM for WordPress utilizes and syncs with the WordPress user role management system.

Upon initial installation, WordPress includes five default user roles. In this post we compare each WordPress user roles and permissions, ordered from most to least powerful. At the bottom of the post is an easy-to-follow infographic.


  • Users with the administrator role can add new posts, edit any posts by any users on the site, and even delete those posts. They can install, edit, and delete plugins as well as themes. 

  • Most importantly, an administrator user can add new users to the site, change information about existing users including their passwords as well as delete any user (yes, other administrators too). 

  • This role is basically reserved for site owners and gives you the full control of your WordPress site—use sparingly!


  • Users with the editor role in WordPress have full control on the content sections of your website. They can add, edit, publish, and delete any posts on a WordPress site including the ones written by others. 

  • An editor can moderate, edit, and delete comments as well. 

  • Editors do not have access to change your site settings, install plugins and themes, or add new users.


  • Users with the author role can write, edit, and publish their own posts. They can also delete their own posts, even if they are published. 

  • Authors can view comments even those that are pending review, but they cannot moderate, approve, or delete any comments.

  • They do not have access to settings, plugins, or themes, so it is a fairly low-risk user role on a site.


  • Contributors can add new posts and edit their own posts, but they cannot publish any posts not even their own. When writing posts they cannot create new categories and will have to choose from existing categories. The biggest disadvantage of a contributor role is that they cannot upload files (meaning, they can’t add images on their own article).

  • Contributors can view comments even those awaiting moderation. But they cannot approve or delete comments.

  • They do not have access to settings, plugins, or themes, so they cannot change any settings on your site.


  • Users with the subscriber user role can login to your WordPress site and update their user profiles. They can change their passwords if they want to. 

  • They cannot write posts, view comments, or do anything else inside your WordPress admin area. 

  • This user role is particularly useful if you require users to login before they can read a post or leave a comment—this is the default role of an NPressive Constituent Record.

Last modified on July 14th, 2020