WordPress User Accounts – A Brief Overview
WordPress user accounts are used by site administrators, editors and subscribers. A WordPress Website can have one, ten or even thousands of User Accounts.
The site owner (Administrator) can create these accounts and assign privileges (Roles) to each user. The role permissions allow users to interact with the site within a set of restrictions.
Site visitors may also be permitted to create user accounts. The administrator sets the basic default role for these sign-ups.
The question for business website owners to ask themselves is this: Is there a reason for user (visitor) accounts? If you intend having content restricted to signed up users (e.g. a club site or site deriving income from providing paid-for content), then yes, you do.
However, if your site is primarily a showcase or shop window for your business, then the answer is more likely no. WordPress bloggers also sometimes encourage regular visitors to sign for their blog.
For site security it is better if only administrators can add new WordPress user accounts. E-commerce systems for WordPress usually have a separate sign-up process for on-line customers, that will not give them access to WordPress site functions.
Subscription plugins will allow visitors to subscribe to post updates, so unless you have a strong reason to permit visitor sign-ups, set the option to ‘Administrators Only’
Adding Users To WordPress
To add a new user, click the Add New User menu item listed under Users in the WordPress dashboard. This opens the “Add User” page.
Fill in the text fields. At the very least the USERNAME E-MAIL and PASSWORD fields must be completed. Always use a strong password, especially for users with admin or content editing permisions
WordPress CMS does not make the e-mail address public. It is required for site admin reasons; e.g. requesting a new password to replace a forgotten login password…
If you are creating a user account for some else – selecting the ‘Send Password’ option will notify the new account holder by e-mail and send the password with a login link to your website
Set the User Role
The default WordPress user account role is Administrator – with access to all the administration features. If creating an account for another person, select one of the following roles from the drop-down menu.
- Subscriber: Can only manage their profile. This role would be given to someone who wanted to follow the company’s news, blog and events, or to a customer.
- Administrator: Has full access to all WordPress functions
- Editor: Can publish and manage posts and pages as well as manage other users’ posts, etc. A person employed to write and manage site content could have this role
- Author: Can publish and manage their own posts. A sales manager could fit such a role
- Contributor: Can write and manage their posts but not publish them. Individual sales people or technical support staff could be contributors.
WordPress User Account Profile
After the WordPress user account has been created, the user (or an administrator) can add some more information to their profile, or change the profile.
Each account holder has a number of options and fields to configure based on the role assigned to each user. Some of these options will only be available to users with permissions applicable to the user role.
The sections marked (in this image only, not the user profile screen ) in blue are only seen by user roles with content creation rights, and those highlighted in pink can only be viewed and edited by site administrators.
Some extensions (plugins) will add to the the range of roles available, e.g. WordPress Multisite will add a Super-Administrator role with permissions to administer every site within the multi-site network.
Options for Content Writers
Administrators, Editors, Authors and Contributors can have more information and tools in their profile screen. As we build the site, some of these will include Writing, Language and Proofreading Tools.
Further choices will be added to the screen whenever a new plugin provides user selectable options.
The pink section is added by the User Locker Plugin, installed in a later article in this chapter.
Chapter 2: Part 2 Updated: September 16, 2012
Roles and Capabilities (WordPress.org Codex)WordPress User Accounts,