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11 Best WordPress User Plugins in 2023: Get Enhanced Roles and Permissions Capabilities

Last Updated on July 28th, 2023


Today, I’m going to tell you all about WordPress user plugins. I’ll be explaining what user roles are in WordPress, the user management functionality that the platform already has, and how using a user plugin can extend that functionality.

Ready? Let’s begin.

How to Know What is the Best User Management WordPress Plugin?

If you are a lone blogger who is the only person needing access to your site, then this article may not have been a great deal of use to you. However, if you have a membership-type website or a team of people working for you, it is essential to have proper control over users and the permissions granted to them.

I’d love to know which WordPress user plugin you are using on your site. Is it one from the above list, and if so, how has it performed? As always, your comments are highly appreciated.

Today, I’m going to tell you all about WordPress user plugins. I’ll be explaining what user roles are in WordPress, the user management functionality that the platform already has, and how using a user plugin can extend that functionality.

Ready? Let’s begin.

What are WordPress User Roles and Permissions?

User roles are a collection of permissions that are assignable to specific users.

WordPress has five pre-defined user roles, each with specific permissions (i.e., what the roles can and cannot do) by default. These roles and permissions are in the following hierarchy:

  • Administrators have the most powerful user role on single WordPress installs. They have complete control of the entire site, meaning they can configure site settings, add or remove themes and plugins, access and amend all content regardless of who wrote it, etc. Furthermore, they can add, edit, and delete users, including other administrators.
  • Editors are next in the pecking order. They have complete control over all content-related sections of the website. They can upload files, create posts, pages, and categories. Furthermore, they can also publish, edit and delete posts written by others. However, they have no access to themes, plugins, or site-wide settings.
  • Authors can write, edit, publish, and delete their own posts, including those already published. However, they have no jurisdiction whatsoever over themes, plugins, or site settings.
  • Contributors can add, delete, and edit their own posts. However, they are not permitted to upload media files or publish posts. Guest writers are commonly Contributors.
  • Subscribers are at the bottom of the pile, having the least amount of freedom in WordPress. They are only able to read content and edit their personal profiles.

A sixth role exists for Multisite WordPress installs – the Super Admin. These have the same powers as Administrators, plus they also have full access to the site network administration features. For more details on networks, check out the article ‘Create a Network‘ published by WordPress themselves.

Importance of User Roles

If you are the only person contributing to your site, user roles probably won’t be an issue to you. However, the moment you have other people accessing the WordPress backend, you must ensure it is done in a controlled manner.

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For example, as the site owner, you would need to keep full access over everything, in which case, you would be an Administrator. You may have a staff writer you trust enough to write content that needs no extra checking before publishing, in which case Author would be the most appropriate role. Guest bloggers should be designated as Contributors, as you would want to check and edit their articles before publishing. Moreover, those edits could be done by an editor, who will have the power to change anything written for the site – of course, you’d assign them the role of Editor. I think you now get the picture

If you’re building a membership site, you will be allowing visitors to sign up to your site, either for free or for a fee. Once signed up, they will be assigned the role of Subscriber. That will allow them to create and edit their own personal profile (which is an excellent source of data on your audience,) plus it will grant them access to whatever content their subscription permits.

Why Do You Need a WordPress User Management Plugin?

As mentioned earlier, WordPress already includes a set of user roles with pre-defined permissions. However, as they stand, those roles and permissions cannot be customized, which is not ideal. For example, Contributors cannot upload media files, although you may want your guest writers to be able to do that.

However, there is a way of customizing the roles and permissions, and that is by using a third-party WordPress user management plugin. These allow you to tailor the integrated WordPress roles and permissions to suit your needs better.

Which WordPress User Plugin Should You Choose?

Unfortunately, there is no single definitive answer to that question, as there are so many WordPress user plugins available. However, the following are some suggested ones you might want to look at first.

1. User Role Editor

user role editor plugin for wordpress

User Role Editor is a freemium WordPress user plugin that allows you to change the default user roles and capabilities and add new ones, even in its free guise. That makes it a great plugin for beginners, especially given how easy it is to set up and use.

Of course, the Pro version comes with considerably more functionality, offering you much greater flexibility with how you configure users and permissions.


  • A role editor allows you to customize individual users
  • The Pro version offers lots more functionality at a reasonable price
  • The Pro version also comes with a 30-day moneyback guarantee, so trying it is risk-free


  • The free version is basic, although it is still a good starting point


  • User Role Editor Pro costs from $29 per year for a single site, with the most expensive plan being $318 for lifetime coverage of unlimited domains.

Get User Role Editor

2. WPFront User Role Editor

wpfront user role editor plugin for wordpress

WPFront User Role Editor is another freemium plugin for managing user roles. The free version is understandably basic, but it allows you to create and edit roles, manage capabilities, assign multiple roles, etc.

Upgrading to the Pro version adds plenty of extra features that allow you to display menu items based on user role, control precisely who can view menus inside the dashboard, import and export roles, and much more.

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  • User-friendly interface
  • Feature to clone existing roles which can then be edited to create new roles
  • Premium offers lots more functionality and is reasonably priced
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee on the Pro versions


  • Not possible to edit the capabilities for specific users.
  • Multisite requires the most expensive plan


  • WPFront User Role Editor Pro costs from $89 per year for a single site, rising to $179 for fifty domains. If you need Multisite capability, those prices increase to $99 and $199, respectively.

Get WPFront User Role Editor

3. Remove Dashboard Access

Remove Dashboard Access

Remove Dashboard Access is a handy plugin that gives you complete control over who can access the WordPress dashboard. For example, you can grant access to administrators only, editors and above, or administrators and above. Furthermore, it is possible to limit by specific capability, plus unauthorized users can be redirected to a particular URL or see a message on the login screen.


  • Great functionality for a freebie (no premium option)


  • None found


  • Remove Dashboard Access is completely free, with no premium upgrade available.

Get Remove Dashboard Access

4. Members

Members wordpress user plugin

Members is a WordPress user plugin that offers tons of great functionality for free.

Not only is Members easy to configure and use, but it also has extensive role and permission management features. As the name suggests, it is geared mainly towards membership sites, allowing you to set custom permissions to restrict content through a simple user interface.


  • Completely free
  • Straightforward user interface
  • Ability to clone existing roles and create custom permissions based on user roles
  • It is possible to restrict access to your entire site only to specific groups
  • Individual users can be assigned multiple roles
  • Includes shortcodes and several add-ons for things like WooCommerce and Meta Box integrations, etc.


  • It is not possible to edit the capabilities for given users


  • Members is completely free, with no premium upgrade available.

Get Members

5. WP User Manager

WP User Manager - wordpress user plugin

WP User Manager is a freemium user registration and profile builder plugin that offers excellent features, even in its free version. It is ideally suited to community-based websites with many subscribers and other roles to manage.

The core plugin includes things like custom user registration forms and customizable user profiles, a login form, password recovery features, etc. It even has an extension that subscribes new members to your newsletter. Upgrading to a premium plan adds much more flexibility and functionality, such as custom fields, one-click content restrictions, integrations, and more.


  • Highly customizable
  • Create customizable email notifications
  • Developer friendly
  • Translation ready
  • Well documented
  • Premium plans have a 30-day moneyback guarantee


  • Premium plans are a bit pricey in comparison to some of the competition


Premium plans for WP User Manager start from $149, rising to $599 per year. Features and the number of domains covered vary with each plan, so check the plugin website to see which is most suited to your needs.

Get WP User Manager

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6. Comment Moderation Role

remove dashboard access user management plugin wordpress

Comment Moderation Role is somewhat different from the other WordPress user plugins in this list in that it serves one narrow purpose – to create a comment moderator role. That does not seem much, but given the limitations of the default WordPress settings, it is a real boon if you only need to give users access to the comment moderation screen.

Once assigned as Comment Moderators, users are permitted to approve, decline, or edit any comments on any of their posts. As a result, your guest authors can still interact with their readers, but they won’t have access to other people’s articles or comments.


  • It’s basic, but it does exactly what it says on the tin, i.e., creates a role specifically for comment moderation
  • Completely free


  • None found


  • Comment Moderation Role is completely free.

Get Comment Moderation Role

7. Simple History

Simple History wordpress user plugin

Simple History is not actually a WordPress plugin for managing user roles and permissions. Instead, it is an auditing and tracking tool that can help you quickly identify errors and security issues.

The plugin provides a list of recent changes made in your WordPress, allowing you to see precisely what each of your users has been doing and when. For example, it will provide activity on posts, pages, attachments, comments, taxonomies, widgets, plugins, etc. Therefore, if someone deletes or edits something they shouldn’t have, you can easily pinpoint the perpetrator. What’s more, it will also record logins/logout, plus it will inform you of failed login attempts and record the IP address of potential hackers.


  • Great for monitoring user activity on your site
  • It helps identify security issues such as brute force attacks
  • It can help identify users who are maliciously interfering with things
  • An RSS feed of changes allows you to keep track of changes in real-time
  • Completely free


  • None found


  • Simple History is an entirely free WordPress user plugin.

Get Simple History

8. PublishPress Capabilities

Publish Press Capabilities wordpress user plugin

PublishPress Capabilities is a freemium WordPress user plugin for controlling all permissions on your website.

The plugin is feature-rich, and even in its free form, it allows you to customize all user roles and maintain precise control over permissions. One particularly cool feature is the ability to remove features from the WordPress toolbar, dashboard, and post editing screen, so users get access only to the parts they need and nothing else.

Key additional features added by the Pro version include restrictions for the navigation and admin menus and more custom permissions.


  • The free version has some convenient features, particularly the ability to block certain WordPress features from non-authorized users
  • Ability to clone existing roles
  • The plugin automatically makes a backup whenever permissions are changed, allowing for recovery if something goes wrong
  • You can control access to WooCommerce products, orders, coupons, etc. also


  • Not possible to edit the capabilities for specific users
  • No lifetime subscriptions are available


  • PublishPress Capabilities costs $129 per year for one site, $249 for five, and $399 for unlimited domains.

Get PublishPress Capabilities

9. PublishPress Permissions

PublishPress Permissions wordpress user plugin

PublishPress Permissions – in common with its sibling, PublishPress Capabilities – is a freemium plugin. However, rather than controlling permissions, this one allows you to manage user access to posts, pages, categories, and tags on your WordPress site. Even the free version allows you to police who can and cannot view or edit your site’s content.

Upgrading to PublishPress Permissions Pro extends functionality further to include things like teaser previews of restricted content, individualized post for each user, and much more.


  • The free version allows you to control user access for posts, pages, categories, tags, and also the media library
  • The Pro version adds some nice extras, including additional restrictions, teaser previews, etc.


  • Some people find it a little complicated to use
  • No lifetime subscriptions are available


PublishPress Permissions costs $129 per year for one site, $249 for five, and $399 for unlimited domains.

Get PublishPress Permissions

10. Advanced Access Manager

advanced access manager wordpress users plugin

Adding a versatile plugin like Advanced Access Manager (ACM) to a WordPress website can improve its security and simplify the process of assigning roles. 

This plugin is an excellent fit for sites managed by large teams because it allows the admin to specify the level of access each team member can have. 

Moreover, ACM lets users create access and security policies that state the conditions under which a certain role can gain access to the site content. The plugin also offers the option to deny access to the site’s backend for all roles or use the JWT authentication. 

Besides allowing users to manage roles, the plugin also lets them control how and when website visitors can access posts, media files, or entire content categories. In addition, you can use the ACM plugin to create temporary user accounts or add secure login widgets to different pages. 


  • The plugin can restrict access to an unlimited number of pages 
  • It offers a Login with a URL feature 
  • 404 and Access Denied redirects 
  • Users can filter meta boxes with this plugin


  • Customer support isn’t on a high level 


The plugin is free. The Complete Package add-on is available for $99. 

Get Advanced Access Manager

11. Adminize

adminize wordpress users plugin

This clean and lightweight plugin enables you to define the level of access each member of your team can have to your website’s backend. Put simply, Adminize gives you control over what editors, authors, contributors, and other roles can see. 

You can use the plugin to restrict access to regular or custom post types and declutter the site’s backend by removing items you don’t need. Hence, the admin can decide which options will be displayed for each role. In addition, you can customize the plugin’s options with the ‘Your Own’ feature. 

The developer tests and updates the plugin regularly, so there’s no need to worry about compatibility. 

Adminize works with WordPress 4.0 or more recent versions of the CMS. It currently has over 200,000 active installations and a respectable user rating in the WordPress plugin repository.


  • Adminize is available in eleven languages
  • It helps users delete unused menu links and meta boxes
  • The plugin allows admins to control what site contributors can see
  • It doesn’t contain unnecessary code


  • Novice admins might experience a steep learning curve when they start using this plugin


Adminize doesn’t have a Premium version.

Get Adminize

Frequently Asked Questions about User Management WordPress Plugins

What are the User Roles in the WordPress Plugin?

Your WordPress website has six user roles by default. Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber are the basic user roles in WordPress. 

User management plugins add additional roles to the CMS, so website owners can assign roles like SEO manager or Shop Manager to the members of their team. 

Each role has its field, so an author doesn’t need access to the tools an accountant is using to calculate an eStore’s monthly tax. Hence, these plugins restrict access to the tools different members of the team don’t need to do their part of the job. 

Does WordPress Have User Management?

Yes, it does. You don’t need a plugin to create a role for a content editor or subscriber as you can do this from your site’s dashboard. 

The Users menu lets you add as many new users to a site as you want. You can specify a role for each one and choose which segments of your site they can access. 

Editors can edit, delete or publish pages and posts, while authors only have permission to perform these actions on posts. 

Contributors and subscribers cannot have permission to publish a post. However, an admin can allow a contributor to edit or delete a post.

Which Plugins are Best for Managing User Roles?

User Role Editor, WP User Manager, and Advanced Access Manager have thousands of active installations. These plugins are stacked with features that make assigning and managing user roles easier. 

However, you should consider installing the Members plugin if you’re running a membership website with a hierarchical role structure. Most importantly, none of these plugins are bulky so it’s unlikely they’ll slow down your website. 

However, free versions of these plugins may not be powerful enough to manage a website with thousands of roles.

Choosing the Best User Management WordPress Plugin

Don’t focus too much on the features a plugin offers, and try to determine which user management options your website needs instead. 

Installing a plugin that lets you restrict content access might be unnecessary if you don’t have thousands of subscribers or a large content team. 

User Role Editor is a reliable option for webmasters that work with multiple authors and editors because the plugin lets them assign roles in a few clicks. 

On the other hand, WP User Manager might the best solution for you if you’re managing a large community website and need tools that enable you to create forms or user profiles and assign roles. 

A team of WordPress experts that love to test out new WordPress related software, WordPress plugins and WordPress themes.