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The Importance of WordPress User Roles in E-commerce Store Management

Introduction to WordPress User Roles

WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) worldwide, powering over a third of all websites. It’s an excellent choice for eCommerce store owners because of its ease of use, flexibility, and scalability. One essential feature of WordPress is its user roles and capabilities system, which allows you to manage who can access and modify your site. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of WordPress user roles in eCommerce store management and how to set them up effectively.

Understanding WordPress User Roles and Capabilities

WordPress uses a system called “Roles and Capabilities” to manage user access and permissions. This system allows you to define what specific actions each user can perform on your site, such as creating or editing posts, managing plugins, or changing site settings.

By default, WordPress has five predefined user roles: Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber. Each role comes with a set of capabilities that determine what the user can and cannot do:

1. Administrator: This is the most powerful user role, giving the user full control over the website, including managing themes, plugins, users, and site settings. Administrators can also create, edit, and delete any content on the site.
2. Editor: Editors can create, edit, and delete posts and pages, as well as manage categories and tags. They can also moderate comments and upload files, but they do not have access to site settings or plugin management.
3. Author: Authors can create, edit, and delete their own posts, but they cannot edit or delete other users’ posts or manage site settings.
4. Contributor: Contributors can create and edit their own posts but cannot publish or delete them. They also cannot upload files or manage site settings.
5. Subscriber: This role has the least amount of capabilities, allowing users only to read content on the site and manage their own user profile.

In an eCommerce setting, you might have additional roles, such as Store Manager, Customer, or Vendor, depending on your eCommerce plugin.

Why User Roles Are Important in E-commerce Store Management

User roles play a crucial part in eCommerce store management for several reasons:

1. Enhanced Security

By assigning specific user roles to your team members, you can limit the access and capabilities of each user. This helps prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information and reduces the risk of accidental or malicious changes to your site. For example, you can restrict access to payment gateways, customer data, and order management to trusted team members.

2. Efficient Workflow Management

User roles also help you establish an efficient workflow for your store management. By assigning specific tasks to different team members based on their roles, you can ensure that everyone knows their responsibilities, and tasks are completed efficiently. For example, an Editor can be responsible for creating and updating product descriptions, while a Store Manager can handle order processing and customer support.

3. Improved Accountability

By using user roles, you can track the actions of each team member, making it easier to identify and resolve any issues. For example, if an order is mishandled or a product listing contains incorrect information, you can review the user activity logs to determine who made the changes and address the issue accordingly.

4. Scalability

As your eCommerce store grows, you may need to onboard new team members to help manage the increased workload. User roles make it easy to assign responsibilities to new employees without giving them complete access to your site. This allows you to scale your team without compromising security or workflow efficiency.

Setting Up User Roles for Your E-commerce Store

To set up user roles for your eCommerce store, you can either use the default WordPress roles or create custom roles tailored to your needs. Here’s how to set up each option:

1. Using Default WordPress User Roles

To assign a default WordPress user role to a team member, follow these steps:

1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard as an Administrator.
2. Go to “Users” > “Add New.”
3. Fill in the required fields, including the user’s email address and username.
4. Under “Role,” select the appropriate user role for the team member (e.g., Editor or Author).
5. Click “Add New User” to save the changes.

The new user will receive an email with a link to set their password and log in to the site with the assigned role.

2. Creating Custom User Roles

If the default WordPress user roles do not meet your requirements, you can create custom roles using a plugin like User Role Editor or Members. These plugins allow you to create new roles with custom capabilities tailored to your eCommerce store’s needs.

To create a custom user role using the User Role Editor plugin, follow these steps:

1. Install and activate the User Role Editor plugin.
2. Go to “Users” > “User Role Editor” in your WordPress dashboard.
3. Click “Add Role” and enter a name and display name for the new role.
4. Select the capabilities you want to assign to the role by checking the appropriate boxes.
5. Click “Update” to save the new role.

You can now assign the custom role to team members by following the same steps as assigning a default WordPress role.


WordPress user roles are an essential aspect of eCommerce store management, helping to enhance security, streamline workflows, improve accountability, and scale your team efficiently. By understanding the importance of user roles and how to set them up effectively, you can create a more secure and efficient eCommerce store that’s primed for success.

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