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WordPress® All-in-One For Dummies® by Michael Torbert, Andrea Rennick, Kevin Palmer, Cory Miller, Lisa Sabin-Wilson

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Understanding User Roles and Capabilities

Before you start adding new users to your site, you need to understand the differences among the user roles because each user role is assigned a different level of access and grouping of capabilities to your blog, as follows:

  • Subscriber: The default role. Maintain this role as the one assigned to new users, particularly if you don't know who's registering. Subscribers get access to the Dashboard page, and they can view and change the options in their profiles on the Your Profile and Personal Options page. (They don't have access to your account settings, however — only to their own.) Each user can change her username, e-mail address, password, bio, and other descriptors in her user profile. The WordPress database stores subscribers' profile information, and your blog remembers them each time they visit, so they don't have to complete the profile information each time they leave comments on your blog.
  • Contributor: In addition to the access Subscribers have, Contributors can upload files and write, edit, and manage their own posts. Contributors can write posts, but they can't publish the posts; the administrator reviews all Contributor posts and decides whether to publish them. This setting is a nice way to moderate content written by new authors.
  • Author: In addition to the access Contributors have, Authors can publish and edit their own posts.
  • Editor: In addition to the access Authors have, Editors can moderate comments, manage categories, ...

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