WiscWeb - Understanding User Roles

When adding new users to your site, it can be confusing as to what role to assign them. This document will define what the roles are and what they can do within a UW Theme website.

Purpose and use

Users within your site are responsible for creating and editing content, and each role has differing abilities to be aware of.

Adding users to your site

Users can be added to your site by using their NetID. If you are looking to add users to your site, please refer to this document: WiscWeb - Adding a user 

Understanding the different user roles

Below are the roles available within a WordPress UW Theme site, and their abilities.

  • Administrator
    • This role gives you the most control over your site, as it allows you to make certain changes within the Appearance --> Customize section, allows you to see and manipulate plugins within your site (Gravity Forms, for example), and most importantly add or remove users to your site.

  • Primary Contact
    • The same exact abilities of an Administrator
    • Used to show who the primary contact(s) for the site should be. This is who WiscWeb staff will contact if there is a question about the site. 
    • We request you designate at least one person as the Primary Contact for the site

  • Editor
    • This role allows users to create, edit, delete, and publish content within your site. They do not have the ability to change certain site-wide settings within the Appearance --> Customize section, and have limited ability to use plugins as well. Editors cannot add or remove users from a site.

  • Author
    • This role allows users to write, edit, and publish their own posts, as well as delete their own posts, even if they are published. When writing posts, Authors cannot create categories however they can choose from existing categories. An Author cannot view or edit pages, and they have no access to plugins within a site.

  • Contributor
    • This role allows a user to create and edit their own posts, however they do not have the ability to publish. When a new post is created by a Contributor, they have an option to "Submit for Review," which will put the post in a state of Pending Review. An Administrator would then have a "Pending" option in their Posts list, and can then publish the post.
    • Contributors cannot view or edit pages, have no access to plugins within the site, and also have no access to the Media Library.

  • Subscriber
    • This role allows users to log in to a site and make updates to their own profile, but cannot access any other elements within your site.

What each access role can do

The following table breaks down the rights awarded to each role in WiscWeb. The first row is the types of roles (starting with Administrator). The first column describes the types of things that role may be able to do. The 'x' denotes actions that the specific role can do.

WordPress user role capabilities

Editor Author Contributor Subscriber
Read Site  x x x x x
Edit and Delete Posts  x x x x  
Publish Posts  x x x    
Edit and Delete Published Posts  x x x    
Publish and Delete Pages  x x      
Edit Others' Post and Pages  x x      
Delete Others' Posts and Pages  x x      
Read, Edit, & Delete Private Pages  x x      
Manage Plugins  x        
Create Users  x        
Edit Dashboard  x        
Add or Update the "Front Page" x
Update Site Title x
Update Site Tagline x
Update Site Icon x

Keywordsadd, remove, update, administrator, editor, contributor, author, subscriber, customize, NetID, Net ID, update, primary, primary contact, admin   Doc ID87347
OwnerMatt G.GroupWiscWeb
Created2018-10-30 12:55:20Updated2023-10-06 13:36:38
SitesDoIT Help Desk, WiscWeb
Feedback  1   1