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Everything you need to know about users in WordPress

When you install and setup WordPress, a user is created. That’s you!

You are the administrator and you have full control over the website. You have access to all areas of the admin area of WordPress.

But did you know that it’s possible to have additional users in WordPress? And that you can give these users different roles which dictate what they can and can’t do within WordPress?

I feel like the concept of users in WordPress can be a little overwhelming to a newbie, which is why I have created this post.

In this post I’m going to explain how users work in WordPress. I’ll show you how to view users and add new ones. I’ll also talk you through all the different user roles and show you how to allow users to register on your website.


Contents

Click the links below to navigate through the post:

How to view all users

Let’s start by taking a look at all of your users in WordPress. Hover over Users in the left hand menu and click All Users.

View all users in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

This will take you to a page where you can see a list of users. Unless you have created new users you should only see one user: you!

Here you can see a users profile picture, username, actual name (if provided), email, role and number of posts published.

List of users in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

(Note: This is a local WordPress installation on my computer so that’s not the username for this website. I’m not that silly!)

How to view a user’s profile and change their settings

To view a user’s profile, click on the username of the user from the list of users (my god, that’s a lot of the word “user”!!!).

List of users in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

Then you will be taken to this user’s profile page which looks like this:

User profile in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

There are LOTS of settings on this page, but fortunately they’re quite straight forward.

Personal Options

The first option in this section allows you to disable the visual editor when editing a post or page if you wish. If you do disable this then you will have to hard code your blog post. The second option allows you to disable syntax highlighting when you are editing the website code.

Next, you can customise your admin colour scheme if you wish. I personally find this helpful if you have multiple WordPress websites or accounts as it can help you to differentiate between accounts.

The next setting is keyboard shortcuts. If you enable this I recommend clicking on the More information link next to this to learn what the shortcuts are.

Finally, you can choose whether or not you wish to show the Toolbar when viewing your website. The Toolbar is the bar at the very top of your website. By default, this will be displayed when you view your website when you are logged in to WordPress. Personally, I dislike this, and I always choose to hide the Toolbar.

Name

In the Name section you will see all the variations of your name. Firstly is your username which you chose when you installed WordPress. This can not be changed.

Then you can provide your first name, last name and a nickname if you wish. Finally, you can choose what name you want to be displayed publicly. For example, if your blog posts show the author information then this is the name that will be displayed in your author information section.

Contact Info

In the Contact Info section you can change your email address and add your website if you wish.

About Yourself

In the About Yourself section you can write a little autobiography about yourself. Again, this might be displayed if your theme is set to show author information for each blog post.

You will also be able to preview your profile picture. Your profile picture if powered by Gravatar and is linked to the email address you have provided in the Contact Info section.

If you aren’t familiar with Gravatar and would like to set up a profile picture, make sure you check out this blog post.

Account Management

The last section is Account Management which has two options. The first is the new password option which will generate a new password if required. The second is sessions, and if you click this button you will be logged out from WordPress if you are logged in in multiple locations.

How to add new users

To add a new user, hover over Users and click Add New.

Add new user in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

This will take you to the the Add New User form.

Add new user form in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

Start by inserting the new user’s username and email address. You don’t need to provide their first name, last name and website but you can if you wish.

Then you will need to choose a password by clicking on Show password. You can create your own password but one will be automatically generated if you wish to use this.

Next you can choose whether or not to email this new user once their account has been set up.

Finally, you will need to choose a role for this user. We will talk more about the different roles available in WordPress in the next section.

Once you’re done, click Add New User and they will be added to your list of users. They will then be able to log in your WordPress website.

What are the different user roles?

There are 5 different user roles within WordPress:

  • Subscriber
  • Contributor
  • Author
  • Editor
  • Administrator

Note: Certain plugins come with new user roles so you might see more roles when creating a new user.

Administrator

As previously mentioned, administrators have full control over a WordPress website. It’s the most powerful user role and it is specifically for website owners, so I don’t recommend handing this role out to anyone and everyone.

Editor

Editors can create, edit, publish and delete both their own posts and other user’s posts in WordPress. They can also create new categories and tags. In terms of comments, editors can edit, moderate and delete comments.

Unlike administrators, editors do not have access to all areas of the admin area. They do not have access to Settings, Plugins, Appearance or Users (apart from their own profile).

Author

Like editors, authors can create and publish posts, but they can only edit and delete their own posts and not posts created by others. They cannot create new categories, but they can create new tags. And in terms of comments, authors cannot edit, moderate or delete comments.

Again, as with editors, authors do not have access to Settings, Plugins, Appearance or Users (apart from their own profile).

Contributor

Contributors are similar to authors in that they can create their own posts and edit them. However, the difference is they cannot publish their posts or upload files (such as images) to their posts.

As with editors and authors, contributors do not have access to Settings, Plugins, Appearance or Users (apart from their own profile).

Subscriber

Subscriber is the most basic user role. Subscribers can only login into WordPress to edit their profile and change their password.

How do users login into WordPress?

All users login to the WordPress admin area the exact same way as you do as the administrator.

WordPress login | HollyPryce.com

You can install plugins to customise the appearance of your login if you wish. We will look at this in another post.

How to allow new users to register

So far we’ve look at creating users manually as an administrator. But it is also possible to allow to people to register as a user themselves.

To able anyone to register, hover over Settings in the left hand menu then click on General.

WordPress general settings | HollyPryce.com

Here you will see an option called Membership. Tick the box next to Anyone can register. You will also need to choose the default role for any new users who sign up. I highly recommend that you don’t selected Administrator! That’s a very powerful role to be giving away to anyone, especially someone you might not know!

Membership settings in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

Once you have enabled this feature you will see the Register link when ever you go to login to your website.

WordPress login with register link | HollyPryce.com

If you click on this Register link you will be taken to a page where you can enter a username and your email address.

WordPress register | HollyPryce.com

After registering, the new user will receive an email with a link to create their password. You as the administrator will also receive an email notifying you that someone has registered on your website.

WordPress user password email | HollyPryce.com

When the user clicks the link in the email they will be taken to a page where they can choose a password.

Set password in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

You will need to provide a link somewhere on your website so that users can login or register.

One way you can do this is by adding the Meta widget to a widgetised area of your website. This will create a set of links that looks a little something like this:

WordPress Meta widget | HollyPryce.com

Another way would be to copy the URL of the registration page and add into a menu using a Custom Link. You can find out more about adding links to menus in this post.


Want a free WordPress user roles cheat sheet?

I have created a cheat sheet for you to help you understand the different permissions that different users have in WordPress, and you can find it in my freebies library. To access my freebies library and join my community just fill in the form below. Find out more information about my community right here.


Everything you need to know about users in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

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