What Permissions Do Authors Have in WordPress?

The “Author” role is one of 5 key user roles in WordPress, alongside “Subscriber“, “Contributor“, “Editor” and “Administrator”.

You may see the “Author” role list in the middle of this list – it has more permissions than some roles and less than others.

But don’t be fooled. Authors have few real capabilities in a WordPress site.

Here’s a rundown of what Authors can do on a default WordPress site:

  1. Edit, delete and publish their own posts
  2. Write comments
  3. Upload files to the Media Library

This next image shows a chart taken from the WordPress Explained book which shows how Authors fit in alongside other WordPress user roles.

To be honest, the only thing that Authors can do is manage their own posts.

What Can Authors See in the WordPress Dashboard?

Unlike Subscribers, people in the Author role can access the WordPress admin area.

This next image shows what an Author sees if they log in to the WordPress admin. They can see “Posts”, “Media” and “Comments”.

If an Author visits the Posts screen, they will only see the “Edit” links for their own posts. For all other posts, they will simply see “View” link. The Title of the post is not clickable.

On the Comments screen, the Author will be able to see all the comments on the site. They will see a “Bulk Actions” dropdown, but they are not actually able to manage comments.

In the Tools screen, the Authors will see a completely blank screen. Yes, as with the “Bulk Actions” dropdown for Comments, access to this Tools is probably a bug.

Can You Change the Author Permissions?

Yes, you can give the Authors more permissions than they have with default WordPress.

The Members plugin is an excellent way to view and change the permissions for each user role. This next image shows the permissions available to Authors for Posts. Notice that Authors are not allowed to touch anyone else’s content.

This next image shows the permissions available to Authors for Pages. They can’t do anything at all with pages except for read!

How Does PublishPress Work With Authors?

PublishPress has a ton of different features available to improve the experience for Authors in WordPress.

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