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How to Restrict Authors to Specific Category in WordPress

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Do you want to restrict an author’s ability to post only in specific categories of your WordPress site?

If you’re running a multi-author blog, then it can be helpful to limit the author’s ability to only post to a selected category or particular sections of your website.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily restrict authors to a specific category in WordPress.

How to restrict authors to specific category in WordPress

Why Restrict Authors to a Specific Category?

If you have multiple people writing for your WordPress blog, then there is a chance that they may not select the appropriate category.

By restricting authors to specific categories, you can limit the categories they can select. You can even assign an author to post in just one category.

This not only helps them focus on their writing strengths, but it can also prevent content from being posted in the wrong category.

Overall, using categories properly can be very beneficial to your website’s SEO ranking as well.

With that being said, let’s take a look at how to restrict authors to specific categories.

Method 1: Restrict Author Categories Using PublishPress Permissions

This method is more flexible and gives you additional options to restrict authors to not just categories, but also tags and post types.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the PublishPress Permissions plugin. For more instructions, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit the Permissions » Groups page from the admin sidebar and click on the ‘Add New’ button.

Click the Add New button to create a new permission group

Next, you need to write a name and description for your new Permission Group. All of the writers in this group will have the same set of categories they can post in.

For instance, you may want to restrict certain writers to the ‘Tutorials’ category on your WordPress website. Simply name the group something you’ll remember and then click on the ‘Create Group’ button to continue.

Type a name and description for the Permissions group

Once the Permission Group has been created, you need to scroll down to the ‘Group Members’ section.

From here, you need to type the name of the author that you want to restrict to a specific category in the search box.

Type the author name in the search box

Once the search results are displayed, you need to select the author’s name and then click on the ‘Select’ button.

This will move the authors’ names to the ‘Current Selection’ column.

Author's name moved to the Current Selections option

Next, you need to scroll down a bit and switch to the ‘Set Specific Permissions’ tab.

From here, you need to select the ‘Post’ option from the ‘Post Type’ dropdown menu.

Select Post option from the dropdown menu

This will open up more settings for configuration.

Now you need to click the ‘Assign Term’ option under the ‘Operation’ column, and then choose the ‘Limit to’ option under the ‘Adjustment’ column.

After that, select the ‘Categories’ option from the ‘Qualification’ dropdown menu.

Configure settings

Selecting ‘Categories’ under Qualification will reveal the ‘Select Categories’ section.

From here, you can simply check the box next to the specific category that you want to restrict the author to. You can select multiple categories as well.

Next, click on the ‘Add Selected’ button to continue.

Choose categories for restriction

The Permission Group details will now be shown on the screen.

You can double-check the details and then click on the ‘Save Permissions’ button to store your settings.

Click the Save Permissions button

You have now successfully restricted an author to a specific category.

Upon visiting the content editor, the author will only see the selected categories under the ‘Categories’ panel in the right column.

Restricted category in the content editor

You can always make changes to your permissions group, delete it, or add/remove authors from it.

Simply go to the Permissions » Groups page from your WordPress admin sidebar and click on the Edit link below the permission group that you want to change.

Edit permissions group

Method 2: Restrict Author Categories Using a Free Plugin

If the method above is not what you’re looking for, then this method is for you.

First, you need to install and activate the Restrict Author Categories plugin. For more details, see our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Note: The Restrict Author Categories plugin hasn’t been updated for the last three versions of WordPress. However, we tested it and it works fine. If you’re still unsure, then you may want to see our guide on outdated WordPress plugins.

Upon activation, head over to the Restrict Author Categories page from the admin sidebar.

Once there, simply choose an author from the list in the ‘Users’ section.

Select a user

Once you have selected an author, all the categories on your site will be displayed to the right. Simply check the boxes next to the categories that you want the author to be restricted to.

The categories which are left unchecked won’t be shown as an option to that specific author.

Once you’ve made your choice, the toggle next to the author’s name will automatically switch to ‘Active’ and your settings will be saved.

Select categories you want to restrict the author to

Now, upon visiting the content editor, the author will only see the specific categories under the ‘Categories’ panel of the sidebar.

As you can see, they cannot select any other categories due to the plugin settings we’re using.

Restricted categories won't be shown now under the Categories section

We hope this helped you learn how you can restrict authors to a specific category in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to create a WordPress membership site, and our expert pick of the best WordPress plugins for all websites.

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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.

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Reader Interactions

20 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Misty Rudkin says

    It is useful plugin though if the category takes its children too, that’d be great.
    I am trying to edit on plugin editor and use get_term_children(), is there get_term_childrean_and_parent function in WordPress?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      For editing the plugin, you would want to reach out to the plugin’s support and they can normally assist with modifications as well as possibly integrating it into the plugin. If you only modify the plugin then you could lose customizations when the plugin updates.


    • WPBeginner Support says

      Thank you for letting us know about this, we’ll be sure to look into updating the article :)


    • WPBeginner Support says

      Thank you for letting us know about this, we will be sure to look into an alternative


  3. Umar Hashim says

    how to make published posts editable by allowed authors but need to be approved by administrator?

    Custom Post Type = Employee
    Employee A
    Employee B

    Author A assigns to Employee A Post
    Author B assigns to Employee B Post

    Both posts are already published (Employee A and Employee B)
    Author A updates Employee A Post, nothing changed with online version but post is saved as pending review, email sent to administrator, who review changes and allow publish or discard changes.

    can this be doable with Edit Flow?

      • Umar Hashim says

        i have created the custom user role and i assign him edit published posts, but questions is how to make published post enable to be edited but not published again until admin review changes and allow to publish post.

        like Employee A page already published and online for viewers.. Author A assigns to Employee A page.. Author A do changes to Employee A page, now changes don’t get publish but email sent to administrator that changes to Employee A page has been made by Author A.
        administrator either approves changes or discard changes. on approval Employee A page online version updated for visitors.

        • Umar Hashim says

          I managed to get it in working.

          i used “Capability Manager Enhanced” plugin along with “Revisionary” Plugin.

          now published posts are submitted for review before going to publish online.

          but now issue is we are using Custom Fields by using “Advance Custom Fields” plugin on Custom Post Type “Employee”, in Revisionary preview screen, we are not able to see those Custom Fields but only WordPress default Editor.

          Is it possible to get Custom Fields Updates in Preview Comparision?

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