How to add or remove user accounts from your WordPress website

As a WordPress administrator you can add or remove user accounts from your site.

In WordPress, a User Role is a combination of:

  1. Role
  2. Capabilities

A role is the name of a user group that will be displayed in your WordPress Admin Panel and capabilities are the privileges that admins can enable or disable.

By default, WordPress has 5 basic user roles.

  • Administrator – nothing is off limits* (see note below)
  • Editor – has access to all posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, and links.
  • Author – can write, upload photos to, edit, and publish theirs and other users’ posts.
  • Contributor – has no publishing or uploading capability, but can write and edit their own posts until they are published
  • Subscriber/Follower (public sites) / Viewer (private sites only) – can read and comment on posts and pages and c an only manage their own profiles.

Each WordPress user role is capable of everything that a less powerful role is capable of. (In others words, Editors can do everything Authors can do, Authors can do everything Contributors can do, and so on.)

All of your site’s user roles can see the stats: Administrators, Editors, Authors, and Contributors.

When you install WooCommerce on the WordPress.com Business plan, two additional user roles are created: Customer and Shop Manager. Information about these can be found in the WooCommerce documentation.

You can find your WordPress user right within your dashboard.

Log in to your WordPress Admin Panel, navigate to Users → All Users.

Administrator

An Administrator has full power over the site and can do everything related to site administration*. 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, imports, exports, other users – the whole shebang.

Nothing related to site-administration is off-limits for Administrators, including deleting the entire site. This is why we recommend having only one administrator per blog.

* Note: Administrators are not able to transfer site ownership if they do not own the site. Administrators are not able to revise or manage paid upgrades that are owned by a different user on the site.

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Editor

An Editor can create, edit, publish, and delete any post or page (not just their own), as well as moderate comments and manage categories, tags, and links.

Author

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.

Contributor

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 Administrator needs to be notified personally by the Contributor to review it. Furthermore, once a Contributor’s post is approved and published by an Administrator, it can no longer be edited by the Contributor.

Contributors do not have the ability to upload files or images, but they can see your site’s stats.

Add a user that is a contractor, freelancer, consultant, or agency.

When adding any of the user roles above, you can flag users who are not a part of your organization; users that are either a contractor, freelancer, consultant, or agency.

Follower

Followers do not have any editing privileges on your site whatsoever; they are simply people who have signed up to receive updates each time you publish a new post. The only thing they can do on your site is leave comments (if you have them enabled), though they do not have to be a Follower to do so.

If your blog is public, anyone can follow it, but you can also send out invitations to specific people you’d like to share your blog with.

If your blog is private, nobody will be able to follow it unless you specifically invite them, at which point they become a Viewer.

Viewer

Viewers are users who can only view private sites. Like Followers, 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 (again, only if you’ve enabled them).

Note: If someone is a Follower 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. Viewers must also sign up to follow a private site if they would like to receive updates each time you publish a new post.

Adding Users to Your Site

Self-hosted WordPress site

  1. Log in to your WordPress website.

    When you’re logged in, you will be in your ‘Dashboard’.

  2. Click on ‘Users’.

    On the left-hand side, you will see a menu. In that menu, click on ‘Users’.

  3. Click ‘Add New’.

    Across the top, click the ‘Add New’ button.

  4. Fill out the form and set the role to Administrator.

    If you’re creating the account for us, please DO NOT check ‘Send User Notification’.

  5. Click ‘Add New User’.

    At the bottom of the form, click the ‘Add New User’ button.

 

If you’re an Administrator and you’d like to make someone a Contributor, Author, or Editor on your site, please follow the directions on adding users.

Important: Be mindful of the roles that you give users on your blog. For example, if you add a user as an Editor and then they delete all the posts on your blog, they have not “hacked” your site or done anything they were not permitted to do. For this reason, we recommend only adding users whom you trust to your site.

WordPress.com site

  1. Log in to the WordPress.com website.
  2. Click on ‘Settings’.
    On the left-hand side, you will see a menu. In that menu, click on ‘Settings’.
    WordPress.com Menu
  3. Click on ‘Security’ across the top.
  4. Turn off ‘Allow sign in using WordPress.com accounts’.
    Scroll down to the ‘WordPress.com sign in’ section and turn off the ‘Allow sign in using WordPress.com accounts’.
  5. Click on ‘WP Admin’.
    You will be sent to your WordPress ‘Dashboard’.
  6. Click on ‘Users’.
    On the left-hand side, you will see a menu. In that menu, click on ‘Users’.
  7. Click ‘Add New’.
    Across the top, click the ‘Add New’ button.
    add new user
  8. Fill out the form and set the role to Administrator.
    If you’re creating the account for us, please DO NOT check ‘Send User Notification’
  9. Click ‘Add New User’.
    At the bottom of the form, click the ‘Add New User’ button.

Adding Viewers to a Private Site

If you want others to be able to view your private blog (and leave comments, if you’ve enabled them) you’ll need to invite them to be a viewer.

Changing User Roles

As an Administrator of a blog, you can change other users’ roles if they are members of the Team by following the steps below.

  1. Head to People in your dashboard.
    image of the people page
  2. Select the user whose role you would like to change or delete. This action will take you to a specific user page.
    image of user specific page
  3. Select the dropdown menu beneath Role, and select what role you want to assign.
  4. Click Save Changes.

Note that the blog owner’s role cannot be set to anything other than Administrator. If you want to set the blog owner to another role, you’ll need to transfer ownership of the blog to another user first. Also, it’s not possible to change a role to Viewer/Follower. These users have to be explicitly invited.

Modify WordPress User Roles via Plugin

Sometimes a plugin that can control user roles in WordPress offers the simplest solution. There are lots of plugins for adding, modifying and deleting user roles and capabilities. I would suggest trying out User Role Editor plugin.

Once installed and activated, from the left pane, navigate to Users → User Role Editor.

 

Deleting User Roles in the Admin Panel

One method to delete several users simultaneously is by viewing them in the admin panel and then selecting them for deletion. In this method, you don’t have to install any new plugins or make major alterations to the website. It’s perhaps one of the easiest ways to bulk delete WordPress users quickly.

  1. Log in to WordPress
  2. Click the Users link on the Admin toolbar
  3. Place a check in the box next to the user you want to delete
  4. From the Bulk Actions drop-down menu, select Delete
  5. Click the Apply button

Remember: To delete a user, click on the Delete link that appears beneath the user name when hovering your cursor over each row. The Delete link won’t appear for the user that is currently logged in.

Along with deleting the user you will be given the choice of what to do with all the content currently assigned to that User. The available choices are:

  • Delete all content – This will delete all the content which this user created
  • Attribute all content to – This will assign all the content currently linked to this User, to another User of your choosing. Simply select the User from the dropdown list

After making your selection, click the Confirm Deletion button to remove the User.

Using plugins:

You can use several plugins to remove users en masse

Bulk Delete

WP Bulk Delete
AMR Users
User Role Editor

 

 

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