Allow WordPress Authors to Update But Not Create Content

Here's an interesting question from a PublishPress user:

I want to allow the Author role to edit published posts (theirs or others) and make those changes live without approval. But I don't want those users to create new posts themselves.

Yes, this is possible using the PublishPress Capabilities plugin.

  • Install PublishPress Capabilities on your site.
  • Go to “Capabilities” in your WordPress admin menu.
  • In the top-left corner, select “Author” from the dropdown.
  • In the center of the screen, you'll now see the Editing Capabilities for the Authors on your site:
Author Capbilities
Author Capbilities

Let's see what these permissions mean in practice. Log in as the Author and go to the “Posts” screen:

  • You can edit your own posts.
  • You can add new posts.
  • You can NOT edit posts by other users.
Default post editing permissions for the Author role

To change the permissions, let's go back to the “Capabilities” screen. Make sure you have the “Authors” settings loaded.

  • In the “Unique Capabilities for Post Types” box, check “Enable the “Create” column for selected post types”.
  • Click Update”.

Now when you look back at the “Editing Capabilities” box, you'll see a new column called “Create”.

  • Uncheck the “Create” box in the “Posts” row.
  • Check the “Edit Others” box in the “Posts” row.
  • Uncheck the “Publish” box in the “Posts” row.

This image below shows the box when you're finished. Click “Save Changes”.

Author Create Row
Author Create Row

Now when you test the Author account again, you will see two key changes:

  • You will NOT see the “New Post” button.
  • You will be able to edit the posts written by any user.
Updated post editing permissions for the Author role

So thanks to these changes in PublishPress Capabilities, we've answered the original question. The Author role can edit published posts (theirs or others) and make those changes live without approval. But they can not create new posts themselves. Any approved changes will update the Last Modified Date for that post.

More PublishPress Capabilities Tutorials

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  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of PublishPress. He's been working with open source software for over 20 years. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. This profile is generated by the PublishPress Authors plugin.

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  1. Excellent post Steve. I had a somewhat similar wish which was to allow authors to post, edit their own posts, and give revisions to other authors. The idea is to allow bloggers and informative writers a way to manage their own content but allow them to contribute to others in an easy interface. Kevin emailed me the following steps (for Press Permit) to accomplish this:

    · Install and activate PressPermit Pro + Revisions Pro
    · Enable Permissions > Settings > Modules > Collaboration
    · Go to Permissions > Settings > Groups > [WP Author]
    · On the Edit Group Permissions Screen, go to the Add Exceptions tab and select as many categories as needed to
    · Click the “Add Exceptions” button, then “Save Exceptions”

    For Post Types to have exceptions assigned, they need to be enabled under Permissions > Settings > Core > Filtered Post Types.

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