WordPress allows you to assign different user roles to the many members of your team. These roles include administrator, author, contributor, subscriber and the regular user. Each role comes with its own capabilities and restrictions. WordPress, by default includes an in-built user management system, though it may not allow you full control over your users. To be able to have a higher degree of control, you can take help from the many WordPress User Management plugins. These plugins can help you modify the roles and capabilities for each user on your website.
Multi-author blogs in particular may benefit from these plugins. On these blogs, each author has his or her own registered account through which he or she can submit posts on the back-end of your site. Or, on the website of a huge corporate, you may want to establish different levels of access to different users. Managing different user roles on such blogs or websites can take up a good chunk of your time.
This article, is a compilation of a list of WordPress user management plugins which help in managing user roles effectively.
On to the list,
Free WordPress User Management plugins
When it comes to user management, the WordPress plugin repository has a number of quality plugins that you should try. They can take a lot of hard work away from you, and allow all users to access and work within your website within the limits of their roles.
User Role Editor
Not only does the User Role Editor plugin fix the capability for each role, it also allows you to create totally new roles and assign them any function you wish. You’ll see the list of capabilities attached to each role and you can enable / disable capabilities for specific roles. Update any changes you make to the settings.
If it happens that there’s any role that’s not in use simply delete it. You can also assign multiple roles to a single user, and change the roles assigned by default to new users. Besides, you can create new capabilities and assign them on a per user basis, and remove unused capabilities that remain from deactivated plugins. The plugin supports multisites.
In case you wish to hide branding or to hide specific frontend items from some users, you’ll need to upgrade to User Editor Pro. This version will also allow you to block / show select widgets, metaboxes and user access to plugins on a per plugin basis. Shortcodes will not only help you to allow access to select content only to some users, they also help restrict post and page views for some roles.More info / Download
To present a clean admin area to your users, you can try Adminimize. It helps hide all the unnecessary items that users don’t need to deal with. It removes items from view, depending on the user’s role. This way, you can clean up the Admin area for your users. You can even create different admin interfaces for different users and adjust almost every item on the menu in the settings page of the plugin.
Each part of the admin backend area can be configured for each user role. The metadata for each page or post can be set separately. If, for any reason, you no longer want to use the plugin, take care to de-install options first to reset your database safely.More info / Download
When you activate Members on your website, you gain more control over the way in which different users interact with it. It allows you to edit users, roles and capabilities to put the control firmly in your hands. On the settings page of the plugin you can configure options to grant multiple roles to one user or to deny a specific capability to a single user or group of users.
Moreover, shortcodes are available to restrict users’ access to content and even turn your site into a completely private one. You have the option to display a login form widget and a users widget in your theme’s sidebars. The plugin integrates well with most standard WordPress plugins. Though the plugin is easy to use, it comes with an in-depth user guide.More info / Download
The User Switching plugin can be a real time saver when you’re testing out something on WordPress. Often, you may need to login and out of different accounts, or move between two or more user accounts. Or as site admin, you may have to move between multiple accounts. This plugin helps you log out from the present account and into a new account with a single click.
The plugin adds two new links, ‘Switch to’ and Switch back’ on your dashboard in the Users screen. Simply by clicking on these links, you can switch back and forth between accounts. You can also switch accounts from your profile menu. Further, you can log out of your account, yet be able to get back in instantly. It’s totally secure and compatible with multisites, BuddyPress and bbPress. Only users with the ability to edit another user can switch into that user’s account. This prevents unauthorized users from accessing accounts for which they do not have the privilege to edit.More info / Download
Peter’s Login redirect
Once users complete the registration formalities on your website, you’ll need to direct them to the next page.Peter’s Login Redirect plugin is the plugin for this function. Once you activate the plugin, you can configure the pages that users should go to by making changes in the settings page.
You can set the pages that users must visit after registration and also redirect users based on username, roles or capabilities.More info / Download
Advanced Access Manager
As the name suggests, Advanced Access Manager is a powerful plugin. It helps you control access to specific areas of your site like posts, pages, or custom post types. This control can be effected for a specific user, role or visitor. Moreover, it allows you create, alter or delete any user role or capability, and to manage them.
The free plugin comes with 100+ features, and if that’s not sufficient you can check out the premium extensions. They allow you to restrict access to categories, widgets and metaboxes and specify the default access for all posts and categories. Other features include protection from brute force attacks, double authentication, controlling access to media files, tracking logged-in users, and the capability to filter backend menu and content.More info / Download
WP Members is a good fit for newsletters, clubs, associations and any website that looks to monetize content. This plugin restricts content to registered users or to a certain class of users. It’s highly customizable and provides various options in the settings page. It’s also developer friendly with a 100+ filter and action hooks.
The plugin uses the ‘Read More’ or ‘Continue Reading’ to provide teaser content that can persuade readers to sign up for premium content. When the reader clicks on this Read More link, he’ll find the option to login or register, depending on whether he’s an existing member or new member. A sidebar widget indicates the login / logout status of the user, and provides a link to change this status.
The default setting in WordPress allows free access to all users for all posts. On the contrary, this plugin has a default setting of restricted content. It allows admin to unblock content to selected or registered users. Site Admin will be notified of any new registrations. For specific situations such as a marketing campaign, shortcodes will help create a registration page.
Paying customers have access to plugin extensions and a snippet library.More info / Download
User Submitted Posts
Accepting user submissions from your readers is a great way to add value to your website. User Submitted Posts uses a shortcode to add a form in the frontend. Visitors to your site can submit posts and add images using this form. On your part, you simply have to add the shortcode to any page, post or widget.
The frontend form has about nine fields such as name, URL, image upload, post title, tags, categories and content. From the settings page of the plugin, you can customize any of these fields. You can also limit the number of images that can be submitted by a user. Depending on your requirement, the post status can be set to Draft or Publish Immediately.
This plugin is useful if you do not want other users to access your admin area. At the same time, you desire to accept content from others. There are also options to allow only logged in users to submit content, for Google reCaptcha and for inclusion of post author. Template tags can be used to display and customize posts. Besides, there are a 35+ action and filter hooks for advanced customization.
Pro version offers a number of additional features like unlimited custom forms, infinite custom fields, multimedia file uploads, and much more.More info / Download
Capability Manager Enhanced
As you know, WordPress comes with a limited number of user roles. As admins, we may require a larger number of roles or may want to enhance the capability of existing roles. That’s where a plugin like Capability Manager Enhanced can lend a hand. It allows you to edit the capabilities attached to user roles and to create customized user roles for your website.
This plugin allows you to create totally new roles, and choose options for each capability from granted, not granted or blocked. Any role that you create can be copied to all other sites on the network. You can back up, restore and revert to any role or capability. Moreover, admins need not always be hands on to manage roles, they can delegate it to other users. The only rider here is that users can manage roles or users with the same or lesser capabilities.More info / Download
New User Approve
When you enable new user registrations on your site, WordPress allows anyone who fills out the details correctly to become a member. An email with login credentials is sent to the new user. But with New User Approve on your site, you’ll be able to moderate the registration of new users.
When a new user registers on the site, an email is sent to the site admin. The site admin may choose to approve the registration or not. If approved, an email with login credentials goes out to the user. If denied, he will receive an intimation to that effect. In this way, the plugin regulates registration and allows only approved users to log into the site.
If you happen to install the plugin sometime later, all existing users will be treated as approved users. It’s also possible to change a user’s status from approved to denied and vice versa. A premium add-on gives you scope to customize this plugin.More info / Download
Cimy User Extra Fields
The default user Profiles setting in WordPress allows you to fill in only basic details. User profiles need to get more interesting in some sites like social networking sites. The Cimy User Extra Fields plugin adds extra fields to the user profile pages, thereby allowing you to extend the profiles. Users can choose to fill in the fields at the time of registration, or can come back to it later and edit.
Many hidden WordPress fields can be enabled during registration. Other features include image upload and resize, custom welcome email and registration logo, email and form confirmation.More info / Download
User Registration and User Profile
User registration and User profile adds a front end menu for all your users from where they can register or modify their user profiles. Site admins can customize the basic user fields and add new fields as well.
Creating the frontend menu is a breeze with this plugin. Simply create a new page, add a shortcode, publish the page, and you’ll have your form. A pro version with additional features is also available.More info / Download
With so many highly rated plugins to help with user management, you really should not have a need for premium plugins. If you’re looking to restrict content on a membership website, these WordPress Membership themes or content protection plugins may help you.
Anyway, let’s take the time to look closer at one premium plugin,
PHP login and User Management
PHP Login and User Management helps create a private user area that only logged in users can access. Via the control panel, you can change user levels, add new users manually and view the list of users at any level. The control panel is also the place to customize outgoing mails, customize denial of access messages or reset a user’s password. Using AJAX, Admins can search the list of users.
That’s not the entire list of features. The plugin also allows you to customize the sign up fields, login using social media accounts and enforce logout after a set time. It’s possible to have multiple user levels per user, page group level security for users and ‘Are You Human’ signup validation.
Users get to login from a My Account page and upload their own custom avatar.More info / Purchase
Some More Plugins
If your’re looking for more functions in the plugins to manage user accounts, these plugins may be of help to you:
- Simple Local Avatars: If the user has media permissions, this plugin will add a field in the user profile to upload the avatar. You can pick a size, and the plugin will even crop and resize the image for you.
- User Access Manager: This one is a useful plugin if you want to create member areas or private sections of a blog. Only Members of that user group will have access and privileges to this area, while non members cannot access it.
- WP User Online: To know how many users are active on your site, their location and other related stats, this is the plugin to use.
This way you can tell the number of guests, bots and members on your site.
- Force Strong Passwords: The user profile editor includes a password strength indicator. This plugin makes sure that users make up and use strong passwords.
- Idle User Logout: Often, users forget to log out of their accounts or leave the screen unattended for long periods of time. This plugin gives site admins the option to specify an action that should be executed in such cases. The limits of idle time can be changed, and the action to be executed can change with user role.
- Delete Me: Users with specific user roles can delete themselves and exit your website when this plugin is active.
- Prevent Concurrent logins: This plugin is suitable for membership sites and web applications where it discourages users from sharing their accounts. It logs out of old sessions automatically and prompts old sessions to login again.
User management can eat into the productive time of site admins. The plugins in this list can take away the most routine tasks and automate them, leaving a lighter load on administrators. With just a few clicks, these plugins can assign or restrict roles, delete user accounts without deleting the posts and do a lot of other similar things.