I always talk about my love for WordPress and what using WordPress has allowed me to achieve. Mostly it’s about running a single author blog, but one of the things that is so great about WordPress but not so often mentioned is the capability of running a multi-author blog. Most blogs are single-author blogs but if you do want to blog in a team or even have regular contributors like guest bloggers, WordPress has such a great interface for you to do this. No other blogging platforms come near this. It is all about the different user levels, roles and capabilities. Let’s take a look at how this this works.
First WordPress allow people to register as users of your blog. Most blogs would not have this option enabled and accessible to their visitors. See “Settings” and “General” for the option to enable/disable membership and new user default roles.
Being a registered user doesn’t really mean much, it all depends on the role the user is assigned. Here’s a summary of the different roles you will find in your default WordPress install – click on “Users” in your navigation menu.
- Admin – somebody who has access to all the administration features within a single site.
- Editor – somebody who can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users.
- Author – somebody who can publish and manage their own posts.
- Contributor – somebody who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.
- Subscriber – somebody who can only manage their profile.
You will be surprised how deep these roles go and how much flexibility there is. Take a look at the capabilities below.
This is the key area. Each user role is given different permissions and capabilities with the WordPress interface on what they can/cannot do or even see and access. If you are a part of a multi-author blog you may be able to login to the WordPress admin but you would not be able to see the Appearance or the Plugins area at all. Your admin navigation will make it seem like they don’t exist at all – this happens because you were not assigned the capability to edit the design or add the plugins.
The roles above have descriptions on what they allow users to do, and on top of this plugins like Members, Advanced Access Manager and User Role Editor allow you to do more than a default WordPress install does. They allow you to manually select what capabilities each individual role has. You may want to add or remove specific capabilities from each individual role. You could for example add the capability to install plugins to the Editor, or you could remove the capability to upload pictures to the Author. This all can be done through a simple interface.
So all in all this allows you to create a perfect users, role and capability structure for your blog and for the people you will be working with, be it designers, codes, writers or editors. Everyone would have all the necessary capabilities they need to do their part of the job and there would be no security issues or risks that someone touches something they are not experts at or something they are not supposed to touch. This makes it easier for everyone to focus on what they do the best and work together to get the most out of the blog.