How to Stop WordPress Users from Editing Published Posts

Many requests from PublishPress revolve around published posts.

Some site owners want to stop their users from updating published content.

Other site owners want to go further and stop their users from editing published content at all. This is because their content often needs an approval process. And what's the point of an approval process if people can go in later and make any changes they want?

Here's an overview of the editing permissions available to default WordPress users:

  • Administrators and Editors: they can edit content in any status, written by any other user.
  • Authors and Contributors: they can edit their own posts, no matter what the status.
  • Subscribers: they can't edit any posts.

Looking at this list, you'll notice that almost all WordPress can users can edit published posts. You may have approved the content on your site, but most of your site's users can login to edit and update.

If you want to prevent users from editing published content, we recommend the PublishPress Capabilities plugin.

After installing the PublishPress Capabilities plugin, go to “Capabilities” in your WordPress admin.

Look up in the top-left corner and you can choose which user role to edit.

In the main part of the screen, you can now enable or disable the “Edit published” permission for this particular user role:

PublishPress Capabilities option for Edit Published permission

Hopefully, that's a straight-forward solution for you. If you want to take care of the existing content on your site, use PublishPress Capabilities to stop users from editing anything that's already published.

More PublishPress Capabilities tutorials

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