What is the Read Permission in WordPress?

One WordPress user contacted us about a permissions problem on their WordPress site. They had installed Capability Manager Enhanced but had problems with a new user role.

The Capability Manager Enhanced plugin for WordPress

They had set up the new user role, but whenever people in that role tried to login they got this message:

“Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page.”

These users could not access any part of the WordPress admin area.

The problem turned out to be one of the confusingly named capabilities in WordPress: “read“. We’ve talked about these confusing names before: this guide to the Edit Posts permission is a great example.

To solve this problem, we asked the user to go to Users > Capabilities and make sure the “read” box was checked for their new user role:

The read permission in WordPress

“read” is an absolutely fundamental permission in WordPress. It does not do what the name implies. Instead the “read” permission controls these capabilities.

  • Access to the WordPress Dashboard.
  • Access to the “Your Profile” screen.

In other words, if a user doesn’t have the “read” permission, they won’t be able to access the /wp-admin/ area or update their user profile.

If you want to control the permissions on your WordPress site, give Capability Manager Enhanced a try.

Because the “read” permission is so important, we recently added a new feature preventing it’s removal from default WordPress roles.

More guides to key WordPress permissions

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