WordPress.com offers different user roles to control what users can and cannot do on the site. This guide defines the user roles and the tasks a user assigned the role on the site can perform.
In this guide
Here’s a quick summary of each role, with detailed descriptions further down this page:
- Administrator: The highest level of permission. Admins have the power to access almost everything.
- Editor: Has access to all posts, pages, comments, categories, and tags, and can upload to Media.
- Author: Can write, upload Media, edit, and publish their own posts.
- Contributor: Has no publishing or uploading capability but can write and edit their own posts until they are published.
- Viewer: Only available for private sites. Can read and comment on posts and pages.
- Subscriber: People who subscribe to your site using an email address. They may or may not have a WordPress.com account.
Each user role is capable of everything that a less powerful role is capable of. In other words, Editors can do everything Authors can do, Authors can do everything Contributors can do, and so on.
These user roles can see the stats: Administrators, Editors, Authors, and Contributors. On plugin-enabled sites, you will need to activate permissions for roles other than Administrators to view the stats. You can do this by going to Jetpack → Settings → Traffic → Jetpack Stats section.
When you install WooCommerce, two additional user roles are created: Customer and Shop Manager. Information about these can be found in the WooCommerce documentation.
Other plugins may also create additional user roles. Check your plugin documentation for more information.
An Administrator (or Admin for short) has full power over the site and can do everything related to site administration*. They are the only role that can see WordAds revenue and manage ad settings.
Administrators can create more Administrators, invite new users, remove users, and change user roles. They have complete control over posts, pages, uploaded files, comments, settings, themes, plugins, imports, and exports.
Nothing related to site administration is off-limits for Administrators, including deleting the entire site*.
* Some Limits on Administrators
- Only the Site Owner (the user that created the site) can transfer the site ownership to another administrator.
- While Administrators can purchase a WordPress.com plan and register a domain name, they cannot access the purchases and stored payment details added by you (the site owner) or other administrators.
- Sites with an active WordPress.com plan cannot be deleted without the plan being canceled first. Therefore, if the administrator does not own the plan on the site, they will not be able to delete the site.
An Editor can create, edit, publish, and delete any post or page (not just their own), as well as moderate comments, upload to the media library, and manage categories, tags, and links.
An Author can create, edit, publish, and delete only their own posts, as well as upload files and images. Authors do not have access to create, modify, or delete pages, nor can they modify posts by other users. Authors can edit comments made on their posts.
A Contributor can create and edit only their own posts but cannot publish them. When one of their posts is ready to be published or has been revised, the site owner or another administrator can review it. Contributors cannot upload files or images.
Once a Contributor’s post is approved and published by an Administrator, it can no longer be edited by the Contributor. However, the post author will still be the Contributor instead of the Administrator who publishes the post.
Viewers can only view private sites. Like Subscribers, Viewers do not have any editing privileges. All they can do is simply read the private site they were invited to and leave comments on it (only if you have enabled comments).
If someone is a Subscriber of your public site, and then you set that site to private, they do not automatically become a Viewer. Viewers must always be specifically invited.
When adding any of the user roles above, you can flag users who are not a part of your organization; such as users that are either a contractor, freelancer, consultant, or agency.
The checkbox does not change the user’s permissions in any way. It’s a way for you to keep track of users who are not part of your organization.
You will then see the user added with the Contractor label as in this screenshot:
Subscribers at times are also referred to as followers. Subscribers do not have editing privileges on the site; they can receive updates when a new post is published. They can only post comments if comments are enabled.
If the site is public, anyone can subscribe to it, but you can also send out invitations to specific people you’d like to share your site with.
If the site is private, nobody will be able to subscribe it unless you specifically invite them, at which point they become a Viewer.