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WordPress Multisite User Management

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When installing WordPress Multisite, only one super admin account is created automatically.

Multisite Super Admins have, by default, all capabilities. The following Multisite-only capabilities are therefore only available to Super Admins:

  • manage network sites
  • manage network users
  • manage network plugins
  • manage network themes
  • manage network settings

In Wordpress users article we discuss in detail the individual user roles, the associated capabilities and the management of user accounts.

In this article, we will show you only those functionalities that are specific to WordPress Multisite, and in particular, how you can manage multisite users from the super admin account.

We start from a WPMS (abbreviation for WordPress Multisite) network with four sites and only one Super Admin user.

Click on My Sites > Network Admin > Users:

wordPress multisite users

to open the main users screen:

wordPress multisite users

First we must add few users in order to manage their roles and capabilities later.

Click on Add New button and fill in username and email.

wordPress multisite users

Click Add User button and click Edit user link on the next screen:

wordPress multisite users

Now we are on the profile page of the newly created user and here we can edit most of its settings.

One interesting option is to grant super admin privileges – you must be very careful to whom you are going to give full access to the entire WordPress network.

wordPress multisite users

You can replace the username with a nickname and make it publicly visible:

wordPress multisite users

Actually creating a strong user password is the most important thing to do:

wordPress multisite users

We can log out from the super admin account, log in with the new user account and you'll notice that it has no access to any site because it needs to be assigned to one or more sites from the network.

wordPress multisite users wordPress multisite users

So, let's log out from newadmin account and log in with the super admin (multiadmin) account.

We are going to create one more user – newauthor with password following the same above steps:

Click on My Sites > Network Admin > Users to see all network users:

wordPress multisite users

Adding users is done on per site basis – you must log in a site's dashboard and from Users > Add New screen to add new user.

Click on site Two > Dashboard:

wordPress multisite users

Click on Users link and Add New button on the next screen:

wordPress multisite users

On this screen you have two options:

  1. to add existing user (registered on the network)
  2. to add new user

The difference between these types of users is that we can add existing users to any network site and assign them any site specific role while the created user is limited to this particular site only.

WordPress is helping us to choose between existing users:

wordPress multisite users

wordPress multisite users

We can create new user even with no existing email account if checking the box Skip Confirmation Email. It is not a recommended practice but is technically possible.

wordPress multisite users

We created two users using both available screen options and after clicking Users link we see all users:

wordPress multisite users

You can easily change any user's role by selecting from the dropdown menu new role and clicking on Change button:

wordPress multisite users

wordPress multisite users

Following the same steps you can add the existing users newadmin and newauthor to site Three:

wordPress multisite users

Click on My Sites > Network Admin > Users to see all users and the sites they are added to:

wordPress multisite users

Log out from super admin account and log in with newadmin account.

Hover the mouse over My Sites icon and you will notice in the dropdown menu both sites Two and Three to which this user has access to.

wordPress multisite users

Because newadmin user was assigned editor role it has access only to publishing capabilities:

wordPress multisite users

Log out newadmin and log in with super admin (multiadmin) account.

Add newadmin to site Four but this time with administrator role.

Log out super admin and log in with newadmin account.

Click My Sites > Four > Dashboard:

wordPress multisite users

Now our user has access to Appearance and User menus:

wordPress multisite users

Click Users link:

wordPress multisite users

Regardless of the administrator's privileges, this user is not allowed to create new users but only to add existing ones.

Only the super admin is allowed to add new users across the network.

In WordPress Multisite administrator's role is supervised from the super admin capabilities.

#wordpress #multisite #users

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