Trusted WordPress tutorials, when you need them most.
Beginner’s Guide to WordPress
25 Million+
Websites using our plugins
Years of WordPress experience
WordPress tutorials
by experts

What is: Contributor

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

Contributor is one of the default user roles in WordPress. Someone with the contributor role can create content, but not publish it or change your website’s settings.

The WordPress user role system defines what each user can and can’t do on your website. It’s important to become familiar with user roles as your WordPress site grows.

The contributor role is useful when you need the help of third-party writers to create your website’s content. In that case, you’ll normally want them to contribute posts, but not be able to publish them.

What Is Contributor in WordPress?

What Is a Contributor in WordPress?

In WordPress, a user is someone who is registered on your WordPress website and can log in with a username and password. You limit your users’ access to your site by giving them user roles, and there are five roles available by default.

To start with, you might be the only one writing posts on your website. But as it grows, you can allow users to submit posts to grow your content faster. The contributor role is best used for writers who are not a regular part of your team.

Contributors can add new posts and edit and delete their own posts, but they can not publish them on your website, or edit or delete posts after they have been published. This is why the contributor role is an ideal choice for WordPress site owners who want to allow other people to write on their websites.

They also can’t upload files to your website, which means they can’t add new images to their posts. And they don’t have access to website settings, plugins, or themes, so they can’t change any settings on your site.

What’s the Difference Between an Author and Contributor?

Users with the author role have more capabilities in WordPress than authors. Unlike authors, they can upload files such as new images to use in their posts, and they can also publish their own posts.

Because of that, the author role is more suited to writers who are a regular part of your team. Be cautious about assigning the author role to third-party writers, such as guest bloggers, where the contributor role is often a better fit.

Neither authors nor contributors can change your site settings, install plugins and themes, or add new users. Only administrators can do those things.

How to Attract and Manage Guest Bloggers in WordPress

Accepting guest posts on your website has lots of benefits. For example, it can grow your audience by introducing new connections, new perspectives, and more content to your WordPress site.

Guest writers can submit their posts in various ways. For example, you can have them complete a form on your website, attach the content to an email, or share a Google Doc. Alternatively, you can add them as a contributor on your website so they can add their content directly.

The simplest way to attract guest bloggers is by creating a Write for Us page on your site. It’s a good idea to make this page visible to your visitors by placing a link in the main navigation area of your WordPress website, like in the top menu or sidebar.

WPBeginner Write For Us Page

For more ideas, take a look at our guide on how to effectively attract and manage guest bloggers in WordPress.

At some stage, you’ll want to know which writer has the most popular posts. To learn how to find out, see our guide on how to enable author tracking in WordPress.

Customizing the Contributor Role in WordPress

The default WordPress user roles have capabilities that will work for most WordPress websites and blogs.

For example, if you run a magazine website, then the ‘Editor’ role can be assigned to senior staff, the ‘Author’ user role to junior staff, and the ‘Contributor’ role to guest writers.

But sometimes you might want to customize the permissions and capabilities assigned to the role for the specific needs of your website.

For example, you may wish to expand a contributor’s capabilities so they can edit their WordPress posts after being approved.

You can learn more about how to customize existing user roles and create new ones by following our guide on how to add or remove capabilities to user roles in WordPress.

We hope this article helped you learn more about contributors in WordPress. You may also want to see our Additional Reading list below for related articles on useful WordPress tips, tricks, and ideas.

If you liked this guide, then please consider subscribing to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Additional Reading

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!