How to Add WordPress Users – the Right Way

Adding Users in WordPress

Need to allow someone access to your WordPress dashboard? Always create a new user login for them, assigning the appropriate role to them as described below. You may either delete or downgrade their role when they are finished with what they need to do.

Adding a new user:

In the WordPress dashboard:
Go to Users -> Add New.

Enter a Username (this is what the user will use when logging in and cannot be changed).

Enter the user’s email address. This can be used to reset their password, if necessary, and is also used to bring up their profile image if they have a gravatar set up at

Enter their First and Last Names Not necessary, but good for keeping track of people, especially when you have a lot of users on your website.

Enter a SECURE password This is extremely important! WordPress now automatically assigns a strong password for you, which I suggest you keep. If you decide to choose your own, WordPress will let you know if the password you have entered is too weak.

*Side tip: Use a service such as LastPass to keep all of your logins secure. Check out my post on security here.


You may choose to check off the “Send the new user an email about their account.” box – double check that you have entered the user’s email correctly before you check this. If you do use this option, please check with the user to make sure they have received the email. Also, people lose passwords all the time and will use the “lost password” option on the login screen. There are security measures you can take to ensure that the password they change it to is as secure as the one you originally gave them. I use Wordfence on all of my websites, which has an option to enforce secure passwords.


Finally, you will choose the user’s role, which I have outlined below.

Assigning Roles:

Administrator: Has access to ALL administrative options & features (be very careful who you assign this to)
Editor: Can manage and publish posts created by anyone
Author: Can publish their own posts
Contributor: Can write posts but cannot publish them. All of their posts must be approved and published by and Editor or Administrator.
Subscriber: May manage their profile and leave comments

All done! Click the “Add User” button.

You can now add another user, following the above steps or edit a user’s information:

Editing an existing user:

In the WordPress dashboard:
Go to Users -> Edit User
You may change any of the information listed here with the exception of the username. If you do need to change a username (as in the instance that someone had created a user named “admin”) you may do so following these steps:

If you are logged in as the user whose name needs to be changed:
BACKUP! Sorry, I know I’m shouting but it’s really that important!
Create a new user with Administrator privileges (this will be your new user account) Note: you will need to use an email address that is not being used by a current user
Log out and then log back in using the new user id you have just set up.
Delete the old account (we will use the example of username “admin” here). You will be asked what to do with “admin”‘s content. Choose – apply all posts to user – choose the new user you have just created.

In this example I am logged in as “admin”. I create a new user with Administrator privileges and name the user “Marilyn”. I now log out of the admin account and log back in with the new “Marilyn” account. I delete the user “admin” and attribute all of “admin”‘s posts to “Marilyn”.

PLEASE! If you do not feel comfortable doing this, ask for help from someone who is.



18 thoughts on “How to Add WordPress Users – the Right Way”

  1. Your last line was spoken directly to me. I am not comfortable doing any technical steps, so I do ask my coach. I was smart enough to hire a webmaster who teaches, guides & is willing to do those things I don’t need to do more than once.

  2. Love the “to the point” detail and easy for me to understand as frankly wordpress terrifies me! I never realised you could actually do this so very handy!

    1. Melanie, I’m thrilled that it was easy for you to follow! I try very hard to keep things simple and to the point so thank you very much for letting me know that, at least on this post, I managed it! 😉 Please don’t let it terrify you! Baby steps…it’s such a wonderful tool! Reach out if you need guidance.

  3. Love your new website, Mindy! This is a helpful, easy-to-understand tutorial for managing WordPress users. In fact, it inspired me to take action immediately! I love Wordfence and use it too, but I haven’t upgraded to the Pro version yet. You made me laugh with your Marilyn Monroe example. 🙂

    1. Hey, thanks, Meghan! It’s definitely a work of love – still in progress, but got ‘er out there! You follow me, you’ll get a lot more of Marilyn! 😉

  4. Oh yes.. too often I ask clients for admin to their websites, their Google analytics, Google + … etc etc.. and they give me THEIR password. While I am humbled to know that they trust me that much.. it’s just better this way!

    1. Yes, it is so much better this way! If someone can not manage to figure out how to add me as a user and they give me their login, I create a user for myself and use that. I then make sure they know it is totally fine for them to change their own password and make sure they are the only ones with that.

  5. Thanks for sharing. This is something I am needing to learn as I am just setting up my own site now. No more blogging in rented property.

    1. That’s great, Christy! It’s so important to own your own “home on the net”. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

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