Complete Guide to WordPress Permission Based Content Display

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A Complete Guide to WordPress Permission Based Content Display

What are WordPress User Roles?

In the current era, WordPress is the most widely used CMS (Content Management System). Its user-friendly interface makes it easier for anyone with a non-technical background to make a fully functional website without coding. It has thousands of templates to choose from, and you can use it for different purposes.

Whether you have an online business or you want to run a blog, WordPress is all you need to launch your first site in just a few clicks. With WordPress, you own your site, which is one of the best features. WordPress is trusted by organizations like CNN and NY Times. Many other leading organizations chose WordPress to build their websites.

A Complete Guide to WordPress Permission Based Content Display

Content gated by a user's role is something that many WordPress site owners are unaware of. Some WordPress users have no idea that there’s a feature that allows “Permission based content display.” If you’re one of those people, don’t worry! We are here to enlighten you.

User role in simple words is something that permits a set of people to view or manipulate certain aspects of a website. Different users have different roles and the roles assigned to them decide what rights and permissions will be assigned to them. For starters, WordPress assigns five default roles. Let’s explore the roles in detail and how permission-based content display is implemented by these roles.


As an admin, your account is created initially when you install WordPress. You provide the username and password and you’re introduced to a dashboard. And boom! You are the administrator now – the owner of the site.

The role of the administrator has all the right and authority over the site. As an administrator, you can:

  • Install, delete, and update all the plug-ins or even the site.
  • You have full authority over all the posts. You can delete and edit anything on the site. WordPress also has a feature to add a Super Admin, but this feature is for WordPress that’s running multiple sites. If you only have one WordPress site then the administrator has the full authority.


The editor has full authority over the content of the site. Editors can edit any work posted by different authors and take care of the quality of content. Hence, after admin, this is the most powerful user role.

An editor can:

  • Write anything without admin’s permission
  • Delete or edit any other content posted by authors.
  • They have the right to edit or delete other people’s work as well.

Usually, editors take care of the content on the site and try to maintain the quality. The role of the editor should be assigned to someone you can trust.


If you’ve read blogs, you must be aware of this role. Authors are only allowed to write, edit, manipulate, and publish their posts only – the posts that are published with their name.

The access is only limited to the author’s posts. Uploading images/files to the media library is also allowed. Deleting the uploaded files is also allowed to an author. However, they can’t access posts published by other authors.

As an author, you can always add posts but you can’t add anything to the categories section. Additionally, an author can also view the comments. They can’t do anything to the comments


If you assign the role of a contributor to a user, they can only manipulate the posts they own. However, they can’t publish the posts. The user with the role of a contributor can add and edit their own posts. However, they don’t have the authority to publish any posts, not even their own. Contributors can’t add anything to the media library. They don’t have access to the setting, plug-ins, etc.

This role is assigned to people who only want to write. They can’t do anything else on your WordPress site.


The role of the subscriber has minimum rights. The subscriber cannot do anything to your site. They can only create and maintain their profile on your WordPress site. They can’t publish anything. The subscribers are mostly seen in the comment section. Hence, they are the readers who visit your site frequently.

Subscriber User Role Permission-based Content

Creating Custom User Roles

The functionalities that the WordPress CMS has to offer are unlimited. If you’re unaware of this unique functionality, the good news is, yes, it’s possible on WordPress. You own the site and you have the full right to make any changes to it. If you are a new user you might be a little hesitant to come up with new stuff on WordPress but as an experienced user, it’s a lot easier to add custom functionalities. This functionality lets you chose what rights you want to assign to the new role. You want it to have limited content access or you want users of this role to be able to edit anything. It totally depends on you!

If you’re planning to create custom roles, we suggest that you choose the rights wisely.

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