The New User Testing Feature in PublishPress Capabilities

If you run a WordPress website which allows users to log in, you probably spend a lot of time answering account questions or solving website bugs for your users.

Here at PublishPress, we often have to browse our site and see exactly what the user sees. We need to test the user's account without resetting their password.

To solve this problem, we've built a new “User Testing” feature in the PublishPress Capabilities plugin. This is available in Capabilities version 2.6.

To use this feature, you must be logged in as an Administrator. On the “Users” screen, you'll see a “Test this user” link under each user. In the screenshot below, clicking the link will allow me to test the site as a user in the Author role.

Test this user feature in PublishPress Capabilities

After clicking the “Test this user” link, you will be able to browse the site as that user. In the admin area, there will be a reminder notice on the top of the site, showing you which user role you are testing. That notice has a “Return to Administrator view” link and so does the profile dropdown menu in the top-right corner.

Admin area Return to Administrator view feature in PublishPress Capabilities

On the front of the site, you'll also see a similar notice in the footer area of your site content.

Frontend area Return to Administrator view feature in PublishPress Capabilities

Both the notices and the admin bar notifications can be enabled or disabled in the “Settings” area of PublishPress Capabilities.

Summary of the User Testing Feature

Yes, this feature is available in other plugins, so here's a quick explanation of why we built it too.

Normally, we're happy to recommend other plugins for features we don't provide. However, this feature felt like it should be an integral part of a user management plugin. User management is a confusing part of WordPress, so to make it simpler, we want to deliver all the essential features in one package.

Plus, we do have some cool ideas for extending this “User Testing” feature in future releases.

  • 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.


  1. It is a helpful and sensible addition to this plugin! What are the cool ides for extending the User Testing feature? 🙂

    1. Hi Peter. It’s similar, although the code is different. We just realized that 99% of PublishPress Capabilities users needed this feature and it was better to include it in the main plugin.

        1. Thanks Stefano. It looks like that’s possible with the extra add-on called “User Switching in Admin Bar”. Sure, I think we can add that to PublishPress Capabilities.

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