How to create a new WordPress user + what all those Roles mean

Need to give someone access to your WordPress website? Don’t give them your username and password; that’s an easy way to create a security breach. Instead create a new user for them.

It’s super easy to create a new WordPress user, let me show you how:

In your WordPress menu, you’ll notice a menu item called Users. When you hover on this menu item, a submenu will show up, choose Add New from that submenu:

How to get to the Add New user form in WordPress

You’ll fill out the form to create the new user. You are only required to fill out the username and email address fields, the other contact info related fields are optional; the new user can fill it out themselves when they log in, if they wish.

the Add New User form in WordPress

The new user will be sent an email once you’ve registered them, prompting them to set their own password. Make sure the Send User Notification option is checked.

Now the most important decision: What role do you give this new user? It depends on what capabilities you want them to have.

User Roles in WordPress

By default, there are 5 basic roles defined in WordPress (if you have advanced plugins installed, they might have added some extra roles to help with their functionality).


In your comment settings, if you’ve selected “Users must be registered and logged in to comment”, once they have created an account, they will be given subscriber role. Subscribers only have the ability to leave comments.


A contributor can edit their posts but cannot publish them. When a contributor creates a post, it will need to be submitted to an administrator for review. Once a contributor’s post is approved by an administrator and published, however, it may no longer be edited by the contributor.

A contributor does not have the ability to upload files/images.


An author can edit, publish and delete their posts, as well as upload files/images.


An editor can view, edit, publish, and delete any posts/pages, moderate comments, manage categories, manage tags, manage links and upload files/images.


An administrator has full and complete ownership of a website, and can do absolutely everything. This person has complete power over posts/pages, comments, settings, themes, plugins, import, users – everything. Nothing is off-limits, including deleting everything.

Choose a role and hit Add New User. Your new user is created and they’ll receive an email to finish their setup. 🙂

Need to give someone access to other online services? Learn how to do it without sharing your username/password in this handy article.