How to manage user roles and Capabilities in WordPress

By on April 30th, 2021

“Roles and Capabilities” is a simple and easy-to-use WordPress Plugin. It allows us to manage custom roles and set custom permissions for all the users in our WordPress site.

By default, WordPress provides us a few roles that we can set for a specific user. However, It is not scalable by default. We have to use a plugin to manage roles and capabilities for all the users. User Roles and Capabilities plugin enable us to create new roles and capabilities of the user and also removing their existing permissions and capabilities.

For instance, Let’s say you want a specific user to create a post but you don’t want that user to delete the post. The plugin setting comes with simple check-boxes—all you need to enable the check-boxes as per your Requirement. Also, The roles can be divided into two parts. The first is Primary roles, and another one is Secondary roles.

You can assign multiple roles to one user. Also, you can set one position for various users. The user’s Roles can be Authors, Admin, editor, subscriber and custom roles. The custom roles are the roles you will create using the plugin and set permissions according to your requirements for that role.

It also allows you to manage every aspect of user capabilities from just a single screen. You can even store the logs related to the user’s tasks.

User Roles and capabilities plugin offers some set of tools. These tools give you the ability to customize site roles and capabilities as an Admin and user. Here are some of the features and options you will find when you start using the plugin.

  • Set permission and capabilities to users so that users can perform an exact task according to their role.
  • The Capabilities Feature allows you to choose who can read, edit, delete, publish or update content on your WordPress site.
  • The Permission option allows you to choose post, page, categories-sub categories, content type, and many more.
  • The tools are like themes and plugins. Only the Administrator can access the plugin feature.
  • User Roles and capabilities plugin is ready to use. Just one click, install and activate it.

I will guide you to operate the User Roles and capabilities plugin in the easy step-by-step guide given below with relevant screenshots. And I am pretty sure that this will help you to understand the process and scale the user roles and capabilities for your site.

Install the User Roles and Capabilities plugin in WordPress

Step 1: Log in to your WordPress account dashboard.

You need administrator access as we are going to install a new plugin in WordPress.

Step 2: Now, Click on the Plugin tab from the left sidebar of the admin panel, just like the following image.

How to manage user roles and capabilities in WordPress

Step 3: Click on the Add New button available on the left side sidebar as an sub-option for Plugins.

List of plugins in WordPress

Step 4: When you click on the Add New button, a new page will open to your screen. You will see the Search Box. Type the plugin name (User Roles And Capabilities) in the search box.

Search plugin in WordPress Repository

Step 5: Some similar results will pop-up on your screen. Select the correct plugin. It is available with a Blue color icon as shown below the image. When you find your valid file (User Roles And Capabilities), click on the Install Now button.

Step 6: Wait for a few moments. When the installation process is done, the Install Now button will turn into the Activate button. Now, you can click on the Activate button to activate the plugin in your WordPress. 

Install and activate User roles and capabilities plugin

Step 7: Once the Activate process is complete, a new page will show up your screen. You will see a notification with a success message.

So, this is how you can install the User roles and capabilities plugin in your WordPress site. Now, It’s time to learn How to use this plugin to manage the user permissions.

How to use the User Roles and Capabilities plugin in WordPress

Step 1: Log into your WordPress administrator dashboard. You need administrator access to work with the permissions.

Step 2: Then, click on the User icon from the left-sidebar below the plugin tab.

Manage user roles and capabilities

Step 3 – Users List: When you click on the Users tab, it will expand on your screen. This page will list all the users on your WordPress site, as shown in the following image.

List of users in WordPress

Step 4: Find the user you want to edit and hover on the user’s section in the table.

Step 5: Click on the Roles & Capabilities available in the list of options available below username of the user. 

manage capabilities of a single user

Step 6: When you click on the Roles & Capabilities, You will see a page containing all the settings to modify User’s roles and capabilities.

Step 7: Now, come to the Roles Tab and select Primary Role and Secondary Roles (see image 7).

Select a role for specific user

Step 8: The Capabilities Tab will allow you to set the Capabilities with perfection, according to your requirements for that specific user.

Manage capabilities of a specific user

Step 9: For example, We have updated the following options to allow user to activate and update plugins as well as some users and themes related permissions.


Step 10: Filter Capability will help you to filter the capabilities to easily find the capabilities you want to modify.

Filter capabilities

Step 11: After setting up the roles and capabilities by your choices, click on the  Save Roles & Capabilities to save it as shown in image 11.

Save user roles and capabilities

So, this is how you can use this plugin to provide custom roles and capabilities to a specific user. This way, you can have hundreds of users on your WordPress with different roles and capabilities.

We can also create a custom role using this plugin. We will learn about it in the next section.

How to manage Roles and it’s default Capabilities

With this plugin, you can also set default capabilities for multiple roles. We will also learn how we can create custom roles and custom capabilities. Let’s get started.

Step 1 and 2: Click on the Users -> Roles and Capabilities from the left sidebar of the admin panel.

Manage default capabilities for roles in WordPress

Step 3 – Roles: In the first row, You will see all the roles available in your WordPress site.

List of roles

Step 4 – Capabilities: The first column shows the list of all the possible capabilities in WordPress.

List of Capabilities

Step 5: You can check the different checkboxes to allow or disallow specific task or capability for the specific role by default.

Checkboxes to change capabilities

Step 6: Then, click on the Actions button available on the top of your current page beside the filter capability box.

Available actions in the plugin

Step 7: In Action Button, you will see more options like:-

  • Add New Role: The first option allows you to create a custom role. This option will help you to create a new role with your custom name and responsibilities.
  • Delete Role: Select this option if you want to delete a specific file from the site.
  • Change Default Role: If you want to change the default role, you can change it from here.
  • Add Capability: This option will help you Add New Capabilities. Just as roles, you can even have custom capabilities!
  • Remove Capability: If the capability is no longer required, you can delete it using this option.
  • Import Roles & Capabilities: You can import the Roles and Capabilities from a specific file.
  • Export Roles & Capabilities: Select this option to export the Roles and Capabilities data to a file that you can import later or on different WordPress installation.

List of available actions

Now, We will also see How to add a new role as it is the most important option in the plugin.

Step 8: Click on the Add new role. When you click to the Add new role, a pop-up will come up on your screen. You have to fill in all details as required.

Create a new role in WordPress

Now, fill the form which is shown on your screen. In that, you have to fill in details like Role ID and Role Name.

Step 9: Now come to the last option, that is Copy Capabilities From. It simply allows you to copy capabilities from some other role.

A very handy feature to create similar roles.

Copy capabilities from other Roles

Step 10: After you fill in all the details on the page, click on the Add Role button that is available at the bottom of the page as you can see in the following image.

Add new role in WordPress

Step 11: After completing all the steps, click on the Save Changes available on the title bar to save all the pending changes.

So, this is how you can use this plugins to take your user roles and capabilities to the next level. This is a free to use plugin, It simply allows you to manage users on your WordPress site. And, it is scalable.

By default, WordPress allows us to manage specific roles. And it does not allow us to work with user capabilities. However, this is how you can solve that problem. You can have multiple types of employees working on a single site without any potential security issues. We hope this tutorial/guide was helpful for you. If you have questions, please let us know in the following comment section. We are happy to help!

Leave a Reply