Within a default WordPress installation, there are only a few user roles for which you would not be able to customize the capabilities. This is normally fine for most users, but some others may need additional user roles or to customize existing roles. Thankfully, the User Role Editor plugin may be used to add new roles and adjust existing roles to better suit your needs.

Installing the User Role Editor plugin

  1. First, ensure that you are logged into the WordPress admin dashboard.

  2. From within your WordPress admin dashboard, hover over Plugins, and click on Add New.

  3. On this page, you will see a search box that will search for plugins within the WordPress plugin directory. Within the search box, enter User Role Editor and click Search Plugins.

  4. You will then be prompted with your search results. As we searched for the exact name of the plugin, the first result should be the one you are looking for. Next to your search result, click on Install Now.

  5. WordPress will now handle the download and installation of the User Role Editor plugin. Once complete, click Activate Plugin. The User Role Editor plugin is now installed and activated.

Editing WordPress user roles

To access the User Role Editor plugin, hover over Users, then click on User Role Editor.

At the top of the page, you can select the role that you want to edit in the dropdown.

On this page, you will see various capabilities for the user selected in the dropdown. Here, you can select the checkbox next to the capability that you want to enable. For example, if you want to allow a user role to activate plugins, select the checkbox next to activate_plugins.

If you want more information on a specific capability, you may click on the "?" icon to the right of the capability listed.

After you have selected your desired capabilities, be sure to click the Update button.

Adding new user roles

The User Role Editor plugin also allows you to create new user roles as well. To do so, click on Add Role to the right side of the capabilities list. Within the box that pops up, enter a unique role name and display name. If you want to make a copy of an existing role, select the role that you want to make a copy of within the dropdown. Once complete, click Add Role.

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