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User Levels

This article, written to accord with WordPress 1.5, is now obsolete. Please take caution when following its contents, as many things may have changed.

Note: User Levels were introduced in WordPress 1.5, they were replaced by Roles and Capabilities in WordPress 2.0, and were finaly deprecated in WordPress 3.0.

The WordPress User Level system is designed to give the blog owner the ability to control and assign what users can and cannot do in the blog. A blog owner must manage and allow access to such functions as writing and editing Posts, creating Pages, defining Links, creating Categories, moderating Comments, managing Plugins, managing Themes, and managing other users. The tool that gives the blog owner that control is the User Level; and, this article provides the details on those User Levels.

Contents

Levels and Users for WordPress 1.5 - 2.0

The WordPress User Levels range from 0 to 10. A User Level 0 (zero) is the lowest possible Level and User Level 10 is the highest Level--meaning User Level 10 has absolute authority (highest permission level). Generally, a given User Level allows the user to edit or modify postings for users that are at a "lower" User Level than themselves. Some User Levels can also add, delete, edit, and change the User Levels of other "lower" Level users. For discussion purposes, all visitors who register and login to a WordPress blog are called users.

The user assigned User Level 10 is the administrative user and is referred to as the admin user in this article. During the WordPress installation process, the install script automatically creates the admin user and assigns User Level 10. Normally, only one user should be permitted the User Level 10 privilege since that Level grants absolute power to control all others.

Managing Users

A word of caution -- Raising User Levels gives that user increased access and capability. So, one should proceed with caution when promoting users and be aware of their increased privileges.

Managing Users as the "admin user"

The admin user (User Level 10) will see every user in a WordPress blog listed in the Authors and Registered Users sections of Administration > Users >Authors and Users Panel. The admin user can add, edit, delete, promote, and demote any user.

In the Authors section, each user has a value in the Level column ranging from 1 to 10. Except for users with User Levels 9 or 10, each user will have a minus sign (-) in front of their User Level and a plus sign (+) after their User Level. A user is demoted one User Level when the minus sign (-) is clicked; and, they are promoted one User Level when the plus sign (+) is clicked.

A user with User Level 9 will not display a plus sign (+) because one cannot promote a user beyond User Level 9. The User Level 10 user shows neither a minus nor a plus sign; that user cannot be promoted or demoted!

When a user with a User Level 1 is demoted, that user is moved from the Authors section down to the Registered Users section. Note: If you wish to delete a user listed in the Authors section, you must demote them to User Level 0 so they get moved down to the Registered Users section where they can be deleted.

Below the Authors section is the Registered Users section. All the users listed in the Registered Users section are User Level 0. Visitors to a blog that choose to register are automatically assigned User Level 0. Each user listed in this section has a Promote choice under the Level column. When Registered Users are Promoted, their User Levels are increased to User Level 1; and, they are moved up to the Authors section. Also, only User Level 0 users can be deleted. So, if a Level 5 user needs to be deleted, that user needs to be demoted down to User Level 0 before they can be deleted.

Managing as User Level 6 to 9

A user possessing User Level 6 to 9 can promote, demote, and edit both Authors and Registered Users as long as the other users are at least one User Level lower than the user doing the promoting or demoting. User Level 7 allows a user to promote or demote users with a User Level of 6 or below; but, User Level 7 cannot change users possessing a User Level 8 or higher. Also, User Levels 6 to 9 are granted the ability to add and delete users.

Managing as User Level 5

User Level 5 authority can promote, demote, and edit only Authors of a lower User Level. A User Level 5 can add a new user but cannot promote, edit, or delete Registered Users (those users with User Level 0).

User Level 0 to 4 cannot Manage other users

User Levels 0 to 4 have no ability to manage others since the Authors and Users Panel is not available to them.

User Level Capabilities

In the following sections, the Administration Panels and SubPanels accessible to a user of a given User Level are shown. New capabilities available starting at a specific User Level are highlighted in green and are detailed at the end of each User Level section.

Again, the general principle is that a given User Level allows the user to edit or modify postings for users that are at a "lower" User Level than themselves. Visitors that elect to register are automatically assigned User Level 0, 1, or 2, based on how the Administration > Settings > Writing Newly registered members field is set.

Note about Upload

The Upload option is not listed until User Level 6, but that option could be available beginning at User Level 1 depending on the Administration > Settings > Miscellaneous Panel setting in the Minimum level to upload field.

User Level 0

  • Dashboard
  • Users
    • Your Profile

New capabilities allowed at this Level:

The lowest User Level is simply allowed to login, view the Dashboard, and edit their own profile. That's it!

User Level 1

  • Dashboard
  • Write
  • Manage
    • Posts - Can edit and delete only their own Drafts and view other posts.
    • Categories - View only
    • Comments - View only including commentor's IP addresses
    • Awaiting Moderation - Can only see the number of comments awaiting moderation. Cannot moderate.
  • Users
    • Your Profile

New capabilities allowed at this Level:

Users can submit Draft Posts for approval, as well as edit and delete their Drafts. Once a post is published by higher Level user, that post is not available for editing by the original User Level 1 author. In addition, this level is allowed to view other posts, Categories, and comments (including the commentor's IP address).

User Level 2

  • Dashboard
  • Write
    • Write Post
  • Manage
    • Posts
    • Categories - View only
    • Comments - View only including commentor's IP addresses
    • Awaiting Moderation - Can only see the number of comments awaiting moderation.
  • Users
    • Your Profile

New capabilities allowed at this level:

At this Level, users can write Posts (Publish/Draft/Private) as well as edit, delete, and publish drafts from User Level 1 writers.

User Level 3

  • Dashboard
  • Write
    • Write Post
  • Manage
    • Posts
    • Categories - View only
    • Comments - View only including commentor's IP addresses
    • Awaiting Moderation - Can only see the number of comments awaiting moderation.
  • Users
    • Your Profile

New capabilities allowed at this level:

The list of capabilities for User Level 3 is similar to User Level 2 except that User Level 3 is allowed to edit and delete posts written by both lower level users.

User Level 4

  • Dashboard
  • Write
    • Write Post
  • Manage
    • Posts
    • Categories - Can add, edit, and delete.
    • Comments
    • Awaiting Moderation - Can moderate
  • Users
    • Your Profile

New capabilities allowed at this level:

A User Level 4 user is allowed to add, edit, and delete Categories, as well as moderate comments.

User Level 5

  • Dashboard
  • Write
    • Write Post
    • Write Page
  • Manage
    • Posts - Can edit timestamps
    • Pages - Only those Pages written by the user
    • Categories
    • Comments
    • Awaiting Moderation
  • Links
    • Manage Links - Can only edit and delete the user's own links
    • Add Links
    • Link Categories - Can add, edit, and delete any Link Category
    • Import Links
  • Users
    • Your Profile
    • Authors & Users - Can see basic information on all Authors & Users; and, can edit, promote, and demote, users of lower Levels except User Level 0.

New capabilities allowed at this level:

Beginning with this Level, the timestamp on posts eligible for editing is visible and changeable. A number of other abilities are allowed for the User Level 5 user, including being able to add, edit, and delete Pages and Links they've created. Also, this User Level can add, change, and delete any Link Category and can Import Links. Finally, User Level 5 allows the user to see the basic information on all Authors & Users, edit the information on users of a lower User Levels except User Level 0, and promote and demote users in lower User Levels, except User Level 0.

User Level 6

  • Dashboard
  • Write
    • Write Post
    • Write Page
  • Manage
    • Posts
    • Pages - Can edit and delete those Pages written by the user and those of lower level (User Level 5) authors
    • Categories
    • Comments
    • Awaiting Moderation
  • Links
    • Manage Links - Can edit or delete the user's own Links and those of lower level (User Level 5) users
    • Add Links
    • Link Categories
    • Import Links
  • Users
    • Your Profile
    • Authors & Users - Can see basic information on all Authors & Users; and, can edit, promote, and demote, users of lower Levels. Can also delete User Level 0 users.
  • Options
    • General
    • Writing
    • Reading
    • Discussion
    • Permalinks
    • Miscellaneous
  • Upload - Assumes Administration > Settings > Miscellaneous Panel Minimum level to upload is set at Level 6.

New capabilities allowed at this level:

User Level 6 is allowed to edit or delete the Pages and Links created by User Level 5 authors, and can delete User Level 0 users. At this Level, all Settings Panels can be viewed and changed, plus, files can be uploaded if the Administration > Settings > Miscellaneous Panel Minimum level to upload field is set at 6.

User Level 7

  • Dashboard
  • Write
    • Write Post
    • Write Page
  • Manage
    • Posts
    • Pages - Can edit and delete those Pages written by the user and those of lower levels
    • Categories.
    • Comments
    • Awaiting Moderation
  • Links
    • Manage Links - Can edit or delete the user's own Links and those of lower level users
    • Add Links
    • Link Categories
    • Import Links
  • Presentation
    • Themes
    • Theme Editor
  • Plugins
    • Plugins
    • Plugin Editor
  • Users
    • Your Profile
    • Authors & Users - Can see basic information on all Authors & Users; and, can edit, promote, and demote, users of lower Levels.
  • Options
    • General
    • Writing
    • Reading
    • Discussion
    • Permalinks
    • Miscellaneous
  • Upload (see Note about Upload)

New capabilities allowed at this level:

The list of capabilities for User Level 7 match those of User Level 6 but of course this level allows editing and deleting of Posts, Pages, and Links of users at or below User Level 6. Also, Authors & Users at or below User Level 6 can be edited, deleted, promoted, and demoted.

User Level 8

  • Write
    • Write Post Can change Post Author
    • Write Page
  • Manage
    • Posts
    • Pages - Can edit and delete those Pages written by the user and those of lower levels
    • Categories.
    • Comments
    • Awaiting Moderation
  • Links
    • Manage Links - Can edit or delete the user's own Links and those of lower level users
    • Add Links
    • Link Categories
    • Import Links
  • Presentation
    • Themes
    • Theme Editor
  • Plugins
    • Plugins
    • Plugin Editor
  • Users
    • Your Profile
    • Authors & Users - Can see basic information on all Users. Can see and edit all information on Users of lower User Level.
  • Options
    • General
    • Writing
    • Reading
    • Discussion
    • Permalinks
    • Miscellaneous
  • Upload (see Note about Upload)

New capabilities allowed at this level:

User Level 8 is allowed to activate Themes, use the Theme Editor to edit Templates, activate or deactive Plugins, use the Plugin Editor to edit Plugin files, and can change a Post's Author.

User Levels 9 and 10

The list of capabilities for User Levels 9 and 10 match those of User Level 8 but as usual, these levels can only edit and delete Posts, Pages, and Links of lower level authors. Also, Authors & Users at a lower User Level can be edited, deleted, promoted, and demoted. And, of course, the admin user is the only account with User Level 10.

User Level Capability Table

User Level Capabilites in WordPress 1.5 and higher
  • A blank cell means the capabilitiy is not even available to a particular User Level.
  • A "-" means the User Level has the capability, but only part of the functionality.
  • A "+" means the User Level has the capability, but can only affect their own objects (such as Posts) or objects of lower User Levels.
  • A "x" means that the user has full functionality available for that menu item.
User Level:
0 1 2 3 45678910
Dashboard
-----xxxxxxxxxxx
Write
-----Write Post -xxxxxxxxx
-----Write Page     xxxxxx
Manage
-----Posts -++++++++x
-----Pages     +++++x
-----Categories ---xxxxxxx
-----Comments xxxxxxxxxx
-----Awaiting Moderation ---xxxxxxx
Links
-----Manage Links      +++++x
-----Add Links     xxxxxx
-----Link Categories     xxxxxx
-----Import Links     xxxxxx
Presentation
-----Themes        xxx
-----Theme Editor         xxx
Plugins
-----Plugins         xxx
-----Plugin Editor         xxx
Users
-----Your Profile xxxxxxxxxxx
-----Authors and Users      -++++x
Options
-----General       xxxxx
-----Writing       xxxxx
-----Reading       xxxxx
-----Discussion       xxxxx
-----Permalinks       xxxxx
-----Miscellaneous        xxxxx
Upload
-----(only if enabled)  xxxxxxxxxx
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

User Level Capabilities for WordPress 1.2

Note: The following are the user levels for WordPress versions prior to 1.5. They may vary with the version.

User Level 0

  • menu = * My Profile * View site * Logout
  • Can login
  • Can see existing posts.
  • Own posts have (non-functioning) edit/delete buttons
  • Can edit own profile.

User Level 1

  • menu = * Post / Edit * My Profile * View site * Logout
  • Can post.
  • Can edit/delete own posts.
  • Can edit/delete comments on own posts

User Level 2

  • menu = * Post / Edit * My Profile * View site * Logout
  • can promote/demote/delete lesser team member in the range 0 - (your level - 1)

User Level 3

  • menu = * Post / Edit * Team * Options * Categories * Template * My Profile * View site * Logout
  • cannot edit the template
  • can add/edit/delete categories
  • cannot edit options
  • cannot see team members login name!

User Level 4

  • menu = * Post / Edit * Team * Options * Categories * Template * My Profile * View site * Logout
  • can see team members login name!
  • can edit options
  • can edit template

User Level 5

  • menu = * Post / Edit * Team * Options * Categories * Template * Manage Links * My Profile * View site * Logout
  • Can edit timestamps
  • can edit links (default value)

Return to: Registered User Features