Sites@Duke: Understanding user roles

In a typical Sites@Duke site, faculty who create the site become the ‘administrators’ and students get added to the site as ‘authors’.  Roles can be modified for different users, and roles have to be selected for each new user added by an administrator. Here’s a quick summary of the different roles available in WordPress. Read a more detailed explanation from

Role Capability Use
Administrator Can edit site appearance, manage users and privacy settings, and write posts and pages Faculty who create sites automatically become administrators of those sites. Students who create subsites will automatically become administrators of that site.
Editors Can create, edit and publish pages and posts Students who need to be able to edit WordPress Pages (in addition to Posts) can be made Editors of sites by changing their roles using Toolkits.
Authors Can create and publish posts, but not access or edit pages Students are automatically added to sites as Authors – allowing them to write and publish posts as well as comment on other posts. They also have access to pages created by the instructor – but cannot edit those pages.
Contributors Can create and edit posts, but not publish them For those contributing to the site that might need proofreading or approval. Requires an admin or editor to publish.
Subscribers Can access a private blog and write comments If the site is private, non-Duke guests will need to be subscribers to see any of the content. Also a useful role for commentors and other site guests.
Article Number: KB0025633