Users and Roles

This article provides a brief overview of the concepts of Users and Roles, and more complete information can be found in the Codex article entitled Roles and Capabilities.

What are Roles?

WordPress uses what are called “Roles” to determine what an account-holding user of the site can see and do. A site owner give other users the ability to create and edit posts and pages, moderate comments, manage plugins and themes, or to control other user’s accounts, to just a name a few functions.

Generally speaking, you will not need to edit roles, or even worry about them much, in order to produce your website. Instead, they work in the background to ensure that your site remains private and secure. If you have any questions about roles and permissions, please feel free to direct them to

Pre-defined Roles

There are five pre-defined roles that apply to all WordPress sites: administrator, editor, author, contributor, and subscriber, as well as two additional roles that only apply in the context of ISUComm Sites: instructor and student. Each role, along with an overview of its capabilities, is briefly outlined below. Clicking on each of the role titles below will take you to the corresponding Codex page.

These are the standard WordPress roles, from greatest privilege to least privilege. The Administrator role has the maximum permissions for a given site, while the Subscriber can only edit their own profile page. Other roles have other permissions, more about which can be found in the Codex article Roles and Capabilities.

ISUComm Sites-specific Roles

These are special roles developed specifically for ISUComm Sites. The Student is a modified version of the Administrator role, while Instructor has enough capabilities to help students do almost everything they need to do within a site, but not be able to access private locations or change important settings.

A visual reference of predefined user roles—via