What Permissions do Contributors Have in WordPress?

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

Contributors are close to the bottom of the permissions ladder in WordPress. They have very few permissions. This role is designed to allow people to write content for your site, but they do not have permission to publish without approval.

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

  1. Read posts
  2. Write comments
  3. Write, edit and delete their own unpublished posts.

That’s really about it all Contibutors can do! Contributors can log in to the admin area of a WordPress site, and this image shows what they can see.

Contributor access to WordPress dashboard

If Contributors try to access any other admin pages, they’ll see this message: “Sorry, you are now allowed to access this page.”

Contributor denied access to WordPress dashboard

Contributors Post Permissions

Contributors are able to see the “Add New” option for Posts in WordPress:

Contributor create new posts WordPress dashboard

However, quite a few things will be missing when Contributors try to write a post. As you can see in the image below, they do not have access to the “Publish” button. They can only submit posts to the “Submit for Review” status. Also, the link to “Add new Category” is missing because Contributors aren’t allowed to create categories or tags.

Contributor permissions when editing post

Contributors can edit and delete their own posts while they are in “Submit for Review” status. However (and this is important!), they lose this permissions once a post is published. After the post is published, they will not be able to edit or change the post in any way. This image below shows what a Contributor will see on the “Posts” screen:

Contributor permissions after post is published

Contributor Permissions Overview

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

Can You Change the Contributor Permissions?

Yes, you can give the Contributor more permissions than they have with a default WordPress installation.

The Capability Managers Enhanced plugin is an excellent way to view and change the permissions for each user role.

The Capability Manager Enhanced plugin for WordPress

This next image shows the permissions available to Contributors for Posts and Pages. You can change the Contributor permissions simply by placing a checkmark in these boxes:

How Does PublishPress Work With Contributors?

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

The key to everything for Contributors is the Permissions Add-on. This allows you to increase the permissions for the Contributors so they are allowed to create content.

Video Guide to the Contributor Role

More Key WordPress User Roles

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