WordPress Capabilities allows you to set personalized access levels for users

This is a screenshot of the capabilities screen with a few notes embedded
Click on the image to get a large view of the Capabilities screen.

I posted a week or so ago a handout that explained the different User levels (Administrator, Contributor, Author, etc.) on WordPress. If you find that those preset user roles aren’t exactly what you want, no worries, Capabilities allows you to set whatever permissions you want.

You can find Capabilities under the Users menu. There, you can make changes to the preset roles, or even create your own unique user level, name it what you want, and give it the specific permissions you want it to have.

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 868 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

9 thoughts on “WordPress Capabilities allows you to set personalized access levels for users

  • July 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Very useful. Last year, I had to bump all my staff to Editor level versus contributor level because contributors weren’t allowed to upload images. I like this.

  • July 15, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Capabilities are actually built in to WordPress 3.2 update. You should see them in the User menu.

  • July 27, 2011 at 8:48 am

    We’re running 3.2 but I don’t see Capabilities under the Users menu. It doesn’t appear that anything has changed. Advice?

  • July 27, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Jill – have you upgraded to 3.2.1? If you have the most recent version of WordPress it should be the fourth item under the “User” drop-down menu. If you have still can’t find it, let me know.

  • July 17, 2012 at 2:46 am

    great issues altogether, you just won a new reader.
    What could you suggest in regards to your post that you simply made a few days ago?
    Any positive?

  • July 21, 2012 at 7:17 am


    I have wordpress 3.4.1

    I do not see the list of capabilities under my user tab.

    Was this feature removed in more recent versions of wordpress?


  • July 21, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Go ahead and install the plugin “User Role Editor” and that should allow you to do the same thing. Things have changed since that post was made. Let me know if this.

  • July 21, 2012 at 8:07 am

    thx… I was looking at this plugin earlier and found it to be comprehensive.

    I will download it and give it a try.

    Thanks for the wonderful advice and helpful tips on your site.


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