Have you ever needed to add a user to your website, but you weren’t sure how to do it?
Sometimes you just want to know how to do what you need to do on your site to make blog posts or new pages, and the rest of it you leave to someone else.
Sometimes you need other people to have access to certain parts of your site, but you don’t want them being able to “burn down the house from the inside” so to speak.
Adding new users to your site is super simple. I’ll show you how to add a new user to WordPress, why you would want to, and what each user role does.
What the User Roles Mean
Your WordPress site has the capability to allow you to add users to be able to log into your site for various reasons. Using this concept, you also have the ability to control what each user can and cannot do in your admin dashboard.
A site owner can manage the user access to such tasks as writing and editing posts, creating Pages, defining links, creating categories, moderating comments, managing plugins, managing themes, and managing other users, by assigning a specific role to each of the users.
- Administrator — has access to all the administration features on the site.
- Editor — can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users.
- Author — can publish and manage their own posts.
- Contributor — can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.
- Subscriber — can only manage their profile.
Why Would You Need to Add a New User
Now that you understand what each user role is capable of doing, let’s talk about a few different scenarios for why you would want to add them to your site.
Anybody that would need to make any authorized changes to your site would need Administrator privileges. Examples would be web designers who will be altering your website, ad network techs that are going to install their ad codes, and hosting companies who may be attempting to assist you in resolving a technical issue.
My advice is if the user is only going to be using their account once, you should immediately delete them when they’re done. If the user may need to access your site again in the future, demote them to subscriber when the initial task is over, and then when the time comes that you need them to make changes again, you can promote them to administrator for that period of time.
The reason for deleting and/or demoting administrators is security. Anybody that may have their account passwords compromised could cause your site to fall victim to malicious hackers. It’s just better to be safe than sorry here.
This role (as well as “Author” and “Contributor”) are for someone who is running a website where multiple users are writing articles. The editor of a newspaper or magazine is typically in charge of layout management, proofreading, and approving articles. The same can be said on your WordPress blog. The editor can manage posts the same as an administrator — editing, publishing, deleting, scheduling — anything that can be done to an article, the editor has full privilege to do so. Think of this role like an “assistant manager” position.
An author can do everything an editor can do, but they only have reign over their own articles where the editor has reign over all articles on that WordPress site. Authors are generally staff writers who have been at it a while. The site owner knows that the author understands what the expectations for an article including when it should be published, what each section of the editing screen is for, and how to properly write an article for that site within the given parameters.
I have heard this position loosely referred to as “junior author”. They’re someone that is writing for the site, but has yet to earn the full trust of the site owner and/or editor to be given enough reign to publish their own articles. Their writing must be checked by the editor before publishing, and may be revised or notes may be given to the contributor as to what needs to be changed before publishing.
On a self-hosted WordPress site, this role is pretty worthless (in my opinion). About the only thing it’s good for is if you have some loyal readers who come back and read your blog and love to comment. They can be a “subscriber” so they don’t have to enter their details every time they want to leave a comment. However, from my point of view, there would need to be a ton of articles posted each month and the used would have to comment on everything (even as far as multiple comments on the same article — or carrying on a conversation about the article in the comment section with another user) for the role to even be worth activating.
On a side note, there are some plugins that utilize the Subscriber role, so as useless as it is to some, it can have its worth.
How to Add a New User to WordPress
From the left menu in your WordPress admin area, select USERS then ADD NEW. The following screen is where all the magic happens.
- Enter the new user’s USERNAME. This can NOT be changed when it is set, so be sure to check with the user to find out what username they would like to use.
- Enter the user’s EMAIL address.
- You can enter the user’s FIRST NAME, LAST NAME, and WEBSITE if you would like, but it isn’t crucial to the process. The user can actually edit their account later and add this stuff if they want.
- In the PASSWORD area, you don’t have to do anything at all. WordPress will automatically generate a password for the new user, and as long as you have “SEND USER NOTIFICATION” checked, they’ll receive an email with their login information and the option to set their own password. If they’ve asked you to set them a password, you can click SHOW PASSWORD, and either copy/paste what’s there to give them as a password, or enter a password the user may have told you they would like to use.
- Checking SEND USER NOTIFICATION will send them an email to the email address you entered above with their username and a link to login and set their password. If you have clicked SHOW PASSWORD, they will not receive a link to set a password, so you must tell them what it is so they can login.
- Set the user’s ROLE according to why you’re adding them as discussed in the section above. (If you’re adding me to make edits or changes to your website, you’ll need to make sure you set me as ADMINISTRATOR.)
- Click ADD NEW USER! You’re all done!
If you have any further questions about how to add a new user to WordPress, please feel free to leave a comment. I’ll help you in anyway I can!