Author and Administrator Levels

All accounts on have a “level” of 0 to 9. The level determines the account’s ability to add content to the site as well as its ability to modify content that other accounts have created. At higher levels, an account can even add and modify other accounts. Viewers browsing the site without an account, or who are not logged in, do not have a level. In some areas, such as the category visibility settings, these viewers are designed as “-1”, or negative 1.

For a detailed and precise description of account levels, [read about user levels on the WordPress Codex->User Levels].

Registered Users

When an account is first created, it has a level of 0 and is a registered user. A registered user cannot create stories or any other content. A registered user can leave comments if comments are enabled for a story, and they can view any categories that have been limited to level 0. They may also edit their own profiles. Other than that, there isn’t any difference between a level 0 registered user and an unregistered viewer.


To turn a registered user into an author, “promote” them on the [Authors & Users page->/wp-admin/users.php]. When you first promote a registered user to an author, that account will be at level 1. A level 1 author can write articles, but not make public what they’ve written. Another moderator will need to approve their articles for public consumption.

Each level of author above level 1 can approve their own articles, and can approve, edit, or delete articles written by lower level accounts.

Level 4 accounts can moderate comments, and can create new categories or delete old ones.


Administrators, accounts of level 5 or higher, can add and promote other accounts. An administrator can only promote another user to levels below their own level. A level 5 administrator can promote other users to level 4.

At level 5, an administrator can create new pages and can add links to the list of links. Level 5 accounts can also change the timestamp of articles.

A level 5 administrator cannot promote a registered user to an author.

By default, level 6 accounts are the minimum level that can upload files, but you can change this in the [miscelleneous options section->/wp-admin/options-misc.php]. Depending on how you want people making articles, it might make sense to drop this down and let higher level authors upload files, such as at level three, four, or five.

Level 6 accounts can see all options panels.

Level 8 accounts can activate themes and plug-ins.

There is one level 10 user, which you should almost never use. Level 10 is reserved for serious system-level changes. Injudicious use of level 10 can result in irreversible changes. Level 10 is required to create a level 9 administrator, but level 9 accounts gain no special privileges other than editing level 8 posts, pages, links, and accounts.

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