WordPress Roles and Capabilities

Wordress has six built in roles that come with preset abilities.  If you have a website that has multiple users and you want to be able to assign different levels of capabilities, then you can use the six roles.  The predefined roles are super admin, administrator, editor, author, contributor,

Summary of Roles

Super Admin somebody with access to the site network administration features and all other features.
Administrator somebody who has access to all the administration features within a single site.
Editor somebody who can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users.
Author somebody who can publish and manage their own posts.
Contributor somebody who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.
Subscriber somebody who can only manage their profile.

A user with the administrator role is automatically created during the installation of WordPress.  The default role for new users can be set at Administration Screens > Settings > General.

Each roles has a set of task that it is allowed to complete.  Th following sections list the default task that each role can perform.

Super Admin

Multisite Super Admins have, by default, all capabilities. The following Multisite-only capabilities are therefore only available to Super Admins:

In the case of single site WordPress installation, Administrators are, in effect, Super Admins. As such, they are the only ones to have access to additional admin capabilities.


The capabilities of Administrators differs between single site and Multisite WordPress installations. All administrators have the following capabilities:

Additional Admin Capabilities

Only Administrators of single site installations have the following capabilities. In Multisite, only the Super Admin has these abilities:





These are the default roles that come with every WordPress installation.  There is the ability to create custom roles by adding new code to the function.php file.  There are plugins like Members and User Role Editor that give you the ability to create custom roles and also edit the default roles.