5 Best User Permissions Plugins for WordPress

5 Best User Permissions Plugins for WordPress

WordPress is a great platform and has surprisingly flexible permissions. However, by default, the permissions system keeps to the WordPress philosophy of “Decisions, not options”. This means that there are 5 user roles by default: Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber. But you’re not able to edit these roles without installing a plugin.

In this guide, I’ll introduce 5 of the best plugins for customizing the permissions on your WordPress site. These plugins will allow you to customize the 5 default roles, and also create your own rules and permissions.

Plugin #1. PublishPress Capabilities

PublishPress Capabilities is probably my favorite user permissions plugin for WordPress users. It really can do everything from the basics to the more advanced features.

With PublishPress Capabilities, you can customize the permissions of all the existing roles. You can also create new roles and control their permissions.

PublishPress Capabilities has you covered with custom post types too. Any post type on your site (plus the Media Library) gets custom settings for Editing, Deleting and Reading.

To control the settings of PublishPress Capabilities, install the plugin, and go to “Capabilities” in the WordPress dashboard. This screenshot below shows the options for an Administrator user.

All-in-all, PublishPress Capabilities is highly recommended. It’s free to download from WordPress.org:

Download the PublishPress Capabilities plugin or view the PublishPress Capabilities documentation.

Plugin #2. PublishPress Permissions

PublishPress Permissions is a really interesting choice for me because it allows you to add far more advanced and sophisticated permissions.

This image below is a good example of how PublishPress Permissions is different from the other plugins on this list. I mentioned before that WordPress has 5 default roles. In contrast, PublishPress Permissions allows you to go far beyond those 5 roles. For example, you can have a group that contains all the users on your site, no matter what role they’re in. Or you can have a group that contains all your visitors who don’t have user accounts.

press permit and roles

With PublishPress Permissions, you can also drill down to control permissions for specific Posts, Pages or other content items. Here’s a screenshot showing how you can select which user roles can access this post:

Permissions to read a WordPress post

PublishPress Permissions takes some time to learn, and it’s not necessary for basic options. But, if you really need powerful permissions, then Press Permit is the place to look.

Download the free PublishPress Permissions plugin or view the PublishPress Permissions documentation.

3. Members

I enjoy the Members plugin. It’s doesn’t have a fancy name or a fancy logo, but it is well designed. The user interface is easy-to-navigate and it has a similar set of permissions to Capability Manager Enhanced. The only noticeable downside is that it hasn’t been updated in over a year.

members banner

4. User Role Editor

User Role Editor is similar to Capability Manager Enhanced and Members. It is the most popular plugin on this list although the interface isn’t quite as good as Members, and the features aren’t quite as good as Capability Manager Enhanced.

user role editor banner

5. WPFront User Role Editor

WPFront User Role Editor is another nicely done plugin with similar options to the others on this list. WPFront has some nice extra features such as ability to redirect users to a particular URL after they login.

wp front banner


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3 years ago

Thank you for this article. The link for WPFront User is incorrect. It looks like a simple copy and paste error. I believe this is the link you meant https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/wpfront-user-role-editor/

3 years ago
Reply to  Lauren

Thank you for bringing this to our attention! I have corrected the link.

Dev Fname
Dev Fname
3 years ago

I’ve always enjoyed Adminimize. 

OSO Advanced Modules
OSO Advanced Modules
2 years ago

It really interests me to read such articles, thanks for sharing. Blogs like yours really helps me learn more day by day.

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