If you manage a WordPress website there are a number of reasons to add a new user. If you are working with one of our maintenance packages you’ll need to set us up as one for example. But also if you are having multiple contributors or getting an assistant to help you build or customize your site you don’t want to be giving out your credentials every time.
And getting a new user set up in WordPress is pretty simple and straight forward. So lets get started…
How to Add a New User in WordPress
1. First log in to your WordPress admin dashboard, if you are unsure of your password you can click “Lost Password” to reset it.
2. From the WordPress dashboard in the left hand menu click “Users”
3. In the User pannel click the “Add New” at the top of the screen
4. Now you should be on the “New User” page. Enter a unique User Name and email address for your new user.
It may also be helpful to enter a First name, Last Name, and a URL in the website field to help you remember where this user is connected to.
5. The passord line will have a button beside it that says “Show Password” if you click this you can enter a password of your choice.
6. Leave the “Send User Notification” check box ticked to have your new user notified of their account and get a link in their email they can log in from. If you didn’t set up a password in step 5 they will get a link emailed to them to set this up.
7. Select a Role from the dropdown list to enable various permissions based on what the new user will need access to. (See below for more details on User Permissions)
8. Click the “Add New User” button and you’re all set!
What are the User Roles?
User roles give you the ability to assign different levels of access to the users on your site. If you don’t want someone to have the ability to do all the things you do you have a number of options and permision levels based on the role you assign them.
User roles can be updated or changed at any time by an administrator so don’t worry if you select the wrong one you can go back and update it at any time.
In the WordPress Codex there is a more detailed explanation of the User Roles but here is a quick overview of what you need to know:
- Administrator – has access to everything, can update, modify and delete posts, pages, themes, plugins and much more.
- Editor – has control and access to the content sections of the website. Can add, edit, publish and delete posts including those written by other people. They also have the ability to moderate, edit and delete comments too.
- Author – I think of this role is a lot like a book author, they can write, edit, publish or delete their own posts.
- Contributor – can add or edit their own posts, but they cannot publish or upload their own files (like photos)
- Subscriber – Can update their user profile but does not have access to any other aspect of your WordPress admin area
When to use Different User Roles
When you first set up your WordPress site you will automatically be set up as the Administrator of the site, this is important because it lets you make any and all changes needed to keep your site up to date and running the way you want it to.
But after that when should you be adding new users?
Some times you’ll load a new plugin onto your site and find out it broke something, or it conflicts with your theme or another plugin. If you report it to the developer they may ask for Admin Access.
Giving someone admin access can be uncomfortable, being a plugin user I totally get that.
On the other hand I can also understand the reason a developer would ask for this because I handle maintenance packages that require this access to provide the service I’m asked to provide.
So to understand the reason why a developer would ask for admin access lets look into how a developer provides support when a bug is reported.
The first thing a good developer will try and do is re-create the issue in a test site. IF they can replicate the issue then they solve the problem and update the plugin.
However if they can’t re-create the issue it’s impossible for them to fix it. And because each site is unique in it’s mix of hosting, themes, plugin combinations etc any of these variables could be causing the bug.
When you report a bug, if the developer can not recreate it on a test site they may ask for administrator access to get access to your specific mix of site variables. Which means that if you want the bug fixed you need to give them access to your site. However, not all situations require direct access to your live site.
You can create what is called a staging area or subdomain with the same environment on your hosting either with the help of your host or on your own if you are so inclined. Make sure you transfer over all the plugin’s, themes and settings or just copy the files from your active site into the testing environment and make sure you are getting the same error then you can give them administrator access to that.
If you are on our maintenance & hosting package we can set up a subdomain for you and duplicate your current site to that as part of your maintenance package, just send in a quick email stating what you need and a screenshot of the bug so we can ensure we get the same error on the temporary site.
Website Developers and Maintaince Packages
If you pay for a maintenance package or are having some site development work done, you will likely need to give Administrator access for the work to be completed.
Especially with maintinance packages admin level access is crucial so that IF something happens and a problem crops up with an update the developer can jump in and fix it right away reducing your down time.
Some things can also ONLY be completed with Admin level access, for instance only Administrators can update or change themes and plugins. This is why Omega Assistants asks you to set us up as an Administrator if you sign up for a maintenance package.
Any other role simply won’t have the capabilities of letting us support you and your site the way you are asking us to.
As a business and/or blog owner there really is only so much you can do in a day. So you may be tempted to outsource the parts of the work that you no longer enjoy or just don’t have time for. This is a great way to get started with an assistant. And a Virtual Assistant can often provide more flexibility and growth opportunity then an onsite employee.
As such you may need to give them access to your WordPress site to complete some of the tasks assigned to them. This is where you need to double check the roles (see above) and what level they will need to do the work.
For instance on a site where I accept multiple contributors I have an “Editor” role set up so that an assistant can go in and edit my contributors posts and add graphics which takes some of the work load off my shoulders yet limits the access I’m giving out.
As an Editor can also handle comments and function as a moderator if you have comments on your site and an Assistant it’s a good idea to off load that work onto them since it can be tedious.
When we at Omega Assistants handle converting posts, for instance, we ask for Admin level access as sometimes we use plugins to help speed the process up. Other times we may only need Editor level access if we need to handle everything manually.
Guest Posts & 3rd Party Contributors
If you handle 3rd party contributors or posting on your site it’s a good idea to set them up with the right permissions. If you have never worked with the person before and don’t know them well it may be tempting to just get them to send in the article and then post it yourself and you certianly could do that.
However, in the interests of saving you time and effort you may want to have them load and format their own post in WordPress. For this I recomend assigning the “Contributor” role to the user and using a new user for each individual contributor.
The reason I would limit them this much is that they can’t upload their own images thereby bogging down your site with large or un-formated photos. In addition to that they won’t be able to edit anyone else’s posts and cannot even hit publish, all they would have access to is uploading the content into a post then submitting it for your approval. So you still have full control over what goes out when.
Conversely, you could add them as an “Author” if you trust that they will respect the publish timelines and only upload images that will work with your site. The Author only has access to their own posts so you wouldn’t have to worry about them getting into your own work.
Depending on if and how you set up your blog comments you may want to make it so people have to sign in as a subscriber in order to post a comment. This not only adds a layer of protection from spam bots, but helps you build a comunity around your site.
Paired with an automatic export via Zapier to your newsletter list and you have a great way to keep in touch with those who are reaching out to you and your tribe.
Editing User Role Capabilities
If you are an advanced user or need even more specific controls for your users (or to create custom user permissions) then you will need to install and activate the Capability Manager Enhanced plugin. I’ll post about how to utilize this plugin another day, but it is fairly user-friendly.
How you use the various roles on your site is totaly up to you and your comfort level but some of the requests may be necessary to help you run your site effectively.