People

User Roles

Your site can have multiple administrators, editors, authors and contributors, so you don’t have to manage your site on your own. It also keeps your account secure by giving you a way to allow others to edit/manage your site without using your login.

Other user roles, like “Follower”, “Subscriber”, and “Viewer” allow you to manage who can see content on your site and who receives email updates of new blog posts.

Summary

  • Administrator – nothing is off limits* (see note below)
  • Editor – has access to all posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, and links.
  • Author – can write, upload photos to, edit, and publish their own posts.
  • Contributor – has no publishing or uploading capability, but can write and edit their own posts until they are published
  • Follower (public sites) / Viewer (private sites only) – can read and comment on posts and pages
  • Subscriber (Business plan or higher with active plugins) – similar to the Follower / Viewer role; can read and comment on posts and pages.

Each user role is capable of everything that a less powerful role is capable of. (In others words, Editors can do everything Authors can do, Authors can do everything Contributors can do, and so on.)

All of your site’s user roles can see the stats: Administrators, Editors, Authors, and Contributors.

When you install WooCommerce on the WordPress.com Business plan, two additional user roles are created: Customer and Shop Manager. Information about these can be found in the WooCommerce documentation.

Other plugins may also create additional user roles. Check your plugin documentation for more information.

Administrator

An Administrator has full power over the site and can do everything related to site administration*. They are also the only role that can see WordAds revenue and manage ad settings.

Administrators can create more Administrators, invite new users,  remove users, and change user roles. They have complete control over posts, pages, uploaded files, comments, settings, themes, imports, exports, other users.

Nothing related to site-administration is off-limits for Administrators, including deleting the entire site*. This is why we recommend having only one administrator per blog.

* Some Limits on Administrators

Only the Site Owner (the user that created the site) can transfer site ownership to another administrator.

While Administrators can upgrade a site and register a domain name, they cannot access the purchases and stored payment methods created by other administrators or the site owner.

Sites with active plans cannot be deleted without the plan being canceled first. Therefore if the administrator does not own the plan on the site, they will not be able to delete the site.

For sites on the Business plan or higher, the first plugin or third-party theme must be installed by the Site Owner. After that, administrators can install plugins and themes.

Editor

An Editor can create, edit, publish, and delete any post or page (not just their own), as well as moderate comments and manage categories, tags, and links.

Author

An Author can create, edit, publish, and delete only their own posts, as well as upload files and images. Authors do not have access to create, modify, or delete pages, nor can they modify posts by other users. Authors can edit comments made on their posts.

Contributor

A Contributor can create and edit only their own posts, but cannot publish them. When one of their posts is ready to be published, or has been revised, the Administrator needs to be notified personally by the Contributor to review it. Furthermore, once a Contributor’s post is approved and published by an Administrator, it can no longer be edited by the Contributor. However, the post author will still be the Contributor instead of the Administrator who publishes the post.

Contributors do not have the ability to upload files or images, but they can see your site’s stats.

Contractor, freelancer, consultant or agency

When adding any of the user roles above, you can flag users who are not a part of your organization; users that are either a contractor, freelancer, consultant, or agency.

User Roles - Contractor Checkbox

The Contractor checkbox does not change the user’s permissions. It’s a way for you to keep track of users who are not part of your organization.

Follower

Followers do not have any editing privileges on your site whatsoever; they are simply people who have signed up to receive updates each time you publish a new post. The only thing they can do on your site is leave comments (if you have them enabled), though they do not have to be a Follower to do so.

If your blog is public, anyone can follow it, but you can also send out invitations to specific people you’d like to share your blog with.

If your blog is private, nobody will be able to follow it unless you specifically invite them, at which point they become a Viewer.

Viewer

Viewers are users who can only view private sites. Like Followers, Viewers do not have any editing privileges. All they can do is simply read the private site they were invited to and leave comments on it (again, only if you’ve enabled them).

If someone is a Follower of your public site, and then you set that site to private, they do not automatically become a Viewer.

Viewers must always be specifically invited. Viewers must also sign up with an account to follow a private site if they would like to receive updates each time you publish a new post.

Subscriber

Subscribers are the same as Followers, but this option will only show if you have a Business plan or higher, and have installed plugins.

Subscribers do not have any editing privileges on your site whatsoever; they are simply people who have signed up to receive updates each time you publish a new post. The only thing they can do on your site is leave comments (if you have them enabled), though they do not have to be a Follower to do so.

If your blog is public, anyone can follow it, but you can also send out invitations to specific people you’d like to share your blog with.

If your blog is private, nobody will be able to follow it unless you specifically invite them, at which point they become a Viewer.

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Adding Users to Your Site

On WordPress.com, you are able to add users to your website by sending invitations. If you’re an Administrator and you’d like to send an invitation, you’ll want these two pieces of information:

  • A person’s username or email address
  • The role that you’d like a person to have on your site
  1. Go to My Site → Manage → People
  2. Select the Invites tab and then click the + Invite button
  3. Enter the email address of the person you would like to invite, and select the Role you would like them to have.
  4. Optional: Create a custom message that the user will receive in the invitation.
  5. Click the Send Invitation button.
  6. After sending the invitation, the person that you invited will receive an invitation email. 
  7. If you made a mistake and wish to rescind the invite you may go to the Invites tab, select the recent invite, and click Revoke Invite.

Once the user clicks the Accept Invitation button in that email, they will now be able to access your blog by visiting the My Blogs section of their dashboard when they log in to WordPress.com.

Be mindful of the roles that you give users on your blog. For example, if you add a user as an Editor and then they delete all the posts on your blog, they have not “hacked” your site or done anything they were not permitted to do. For this reason, we recommend only adding users whom you trust to your site.

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Adding and Removing Viewers on a Private Site

If you want others to be able to view your private blog (and leave comments, if you’ve enabled them) you’ll need to invite them to be a viewer.

You can see who has accepted an invitation to view your private blog as well as remove viewers by going to your Dashboard and navigating to People, and selecting the Viewers tab at the top.

image of the viewers tab

To delete a viewer, just click the Remove User button. That user will no longer be able to see your private blog.

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Changing User Roles

As an Administrator of a blog, you can change other users’ roles if they are members of the Team by following the steps below.

  1. Go to My Site → Manage → People
  2. Select the user whose role you would like to change or delete. This action will take you to a specific user page. 
  3. Select the radio button for the new role you want the user to have.
  4. Click Save Changes.
Manage → People
Change User Role

The blog owner’s role cannot be set to anything other than Administrator. If you want to set the blog owner to another role, you’ll need to transfer ownership of the blog to another user first. Also, it’s not possible to change a role to Viewer/Follower. These users have to be explicitly invited.

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Removing Users

As an Administrator of a blog, you can remove other users from the team of your site by following these steps:

  1. Go to My Site → Manage → People
  2. Select the user who you would like to delete This action will take you to a specific user page. 

Decide whether you would prefer to have all of that users content attributed to another user on the site or removed permanently.

Delete User Options

If you would like the content to be attributed to another user follow these steps:

  1. Select the Attribute all content to option.
  2. Choose another user from the select a user dropdown provided that will show all available.
  3. Select the Delete user button that is now available.
Delete User

All content that that user created for the blog will now be attributed to the new user chosen.

If you would rather remove all of that users content permanently follow these simple steps:

  1. Select the Delete all content created by option.
  2. Select the blue Delete user button that is now available.
User Role - Delete Content

At this point all of the users content that they have created for that blog will be removed permanently.

To remove Viewers/Followers, go to the relevant tab and click on Remove.

Followers Tab
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