Do you want to add or remove capabilities to user roles in WordPress?
WordPress comes with a simple but powerful user management system where each user has different capabilities based on their assigned role. By customizing these roles, you can control exactly what different users can do on your website.
In this article, we’ll show you how to add or remove capabilities to user roles in WordPress.
Why Add or Remove User Role Capabilities in WordPress
WordPress comes with a built-in user management system plus some ready-made user roles and permissions.
If you run a multi-author WordPress blog, then you can add other people to your site and give them roles such as Editor, Author, or Contributor. This lets them do different things on your website, but they can’t perform administrative tasks.
Some WordPress plugins add their own user roles with custom permissions. For example, eCommerce plugins often create a Customer role, or a membership plugin might add a custom Member role to your site.
But what if you want to edit the user roles in WordPress?
You may make your site more secure by removing unnecessary permissions from certain roles. For example, you might remove publishing permission from the Author user role, so Editors always have a chance to review new blogs before they go live.
That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily modify user role capabilities and even add new user roles to your WordPress website.
Add and Remove User Role Capabilities in WordPress
The easiest way to edit user permissions in WordPress is by using the free Members plugin. This plugin allows you to customize the permissions for every user role, and even create completely new roles.
The first thing you need to do is install and activate Members. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Upon activation, go to the Members » Roles page to see all the different user roles on your WordPress website.
Here, simply find the role you want to modify and click on its ‘Edit’ link.
This opens the user role editor.
Simply click on a tab and you’ll see all the permissions for that content type.
To add or remove permissions for that content type, simply check the Grant or Deny boxes.
For example, if you want to stop Authors from publishing blog posts, then you can select the ‘Posts’ tab in the left-hand column. Then, just check the ‘Deny’ box next to ‘Publish Posts.’
Similarly, you can give a role extra permissions.
For instance, let’s suppose your Authors need a way to moderate comments. To do this, simply click on the ‘General’ tab and then check the ‘Grant’ box next to the ‘Moderate Comments’ option.
You can now continue adding and removing permissions by following the same process described above.
When you’re happy with how the user role is set up, click ‘Update’ to save your changes.
You can now repeat the process to edit other roles on your WordPress blog.
Adding A New User Role with Custom Permissions
The Members plugin also lets you add new user roles to your website.
Let’s imagine you’ve created a ‘Movies’ custom post type and want to allow users to submit posts on your WordPress site, including movie reviews.
To create a custom user role, simply go to Members » Add New Role.
To start, you’ll need to type in a title for the new role.
This will appear next to each user’s name in the Users » All Users page and other areas of the WordPress dashboard, so it’s a good idea to use something that helps you clearly identify the role.
After that, you can start adding permissions to the new role by checking the different boxes.
When you’re happy with the custom role, click on the ‘Add Role’ button to save your changes. Now, you’ll be able to assign this custom role to new users.
You can also add the new role to any existing user’s account.
To do this, go to Users » All Users. Then, simply find the account that you want to modify and click on the ‘Edit’ link.
Once you’ve done that, scroll to ‘Roles’ and check the box next to the role you just created.
You can assign multiple roles to the same user, as you can see in the following image.
Once you’ve finished, don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on ‘Update User’ to save your changes.
Securely Managing User Accounts in WordPress
By adding and removing capabilities, you can control the actions users can take on your website. This helps keep your site safe, but extra users are still a vulnerability that hackers can exploit.
With that in mind, here’s some tips on how to protect your WordPress site from brute force attacks and other hacks.
1. Force Everyone to Use Strong Passwords
WordPress comes with a built-in password generator that can automatically create strong passwords for your users.
However, many people skip the password generator. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to force people to use a strong password generator.
For more information, see our guide on how to force strong passwords on users in WordPress.
2. Enforce Two-Step Authentication
Some hackers use automated scripts to try and guess the user’s name and password.
Two-step authentication can protect your site against automated attacks by asking users to enter a one-time code in addition to their password.
Users typically generate this code using an authenticator app on either their computer or phone. In order to break into their account, a hacker would need access to the user’s password plus their computer or phone. This makes your site much more secure.
For more details, see our guide on how to add two-step authentication in WordPress.
3. Install a WordPress Security Plugin
WordPress security plugins help protect your website by watching for suspicious activity and login attempts.
There are lots of security plugins to choose from, but we recommend Sucuri as it’s the best WordPress security plugin on the market. Sucuri filters out bad traffic even before it reaches your server and will scan your website for common threats.
For more information, please see our complete Sucuri review.
4. Install and Setup a WordPress Backup Plugin
If all else fails, then backups make it easy to restore your website and all your user accounts. Most WordPress hosting companies offer a basic backup option, but you often need to configure, create, and maintain those backups manually.
A good backup plugin can do all the hard work for you, including performing automated backups. This leaves you more time to concentrate on running your site.
We recommend using Duplicator as it’s the best WordPress backup plugin. It is beginner friendly and allows you to quickly setup automatic backups and store them on remote locations including Google Drive, Amazon S3, and Dropbox.
We hope this article helped you learn how to add or remove capabilities to user roles in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress, or our comparison of the best business phone services for small business.