We often talk about how your users are at the heart of your site. In some cases, this is literal. While your visitors are vital, the users – i.e. those with access to your WordPress dashboard – need management and organization. As such, you have to look at your WordPress user roles and use them in an optimal way.
To do this, WordPress provides a few native features to work with your user roles and profiles. Though, you can also install plugins to help give you more functionality. What’s more, other plugins will add its own user roles to the platform.
For this post, we’re going to look at how to add, manage, and work with WordPress user roles. First, we’re going to chat about how collaborative WordPress is as a platform.
The Collaborative Power of WordPress
It may seem a distant situation while you’re sitting at home updating your WordPress plugins and managing your spam folder, but WordPress is great for collaboration. The nature of the platform means anyone you specify can jump into the dashboard and work on content, design, or something else.
The way this happens is though dedicated user roles. Under the hood, WordPress almost ‘splits’ access to the platform, much like any other permissions-based system. Through its default installation, you can set a number of general permissions, that act as a profile for that user.
We’ll get onto what makes up a user profile in a while, but suffice to say, it’s a flexible system out of the box. In lots of cases, you won’t need to deviate from the core functionality.
Why Creating WordPress User Roles Benefits Everyone
To understand why user profiles and permissions are a key aspect of WordPress, it’s important to think about how the experience would be otherwise. In other words, consider WordPress without permissions.
The whole landscape of how we use WordPress and the web would change, for both end users and site owners. For starters, everyone given the permissions to work on the site’s content would have full reign over every aspect on the site. This could be disastrous for many reasons:
- A new team member could make a ‘mission critical’ mistake that takes content offline, or worse, the entire site.
- Old team members could deliver one last “Goodbye”, especially if they want to be malicious. This could also take down your entire site, and lead to some major ramifications.
- Visitors to your site wouldn’t have the ability to sign up for your website’s products and services without some third-party trickery. This is a big deal, because WordPress user roles affect the client-side of your site too.
On the whole, roles and permissions help ‘contain’ users to the areas they need to be. They are the velvet rope of WordPress, and in the same way, the functionality is basic in its implementation.
How to Create New WordPress Users
The primary place to work with users is within the WordPress dashboard, through the Users menu: