Many blogs are always written by the same person, but there are a lot of reasons why people need to add a second user to their WordPress blogs. If you’ve not done it before, it can be intimidating. Here’s how.
You might need to add a user to WordPress for any number of reasons. Perhaps you want to feature another writer once in a while, if only to give yourself a break. Or maybe you’ve decided that a group blog with like-minded people is the way to go. On the security and user rights side, it might be handy if the new people were not all admins, but you might want some of them to be more than just authors. By the time you’re done reading this column, you should know how to handle all of these situations. If not, leave a comment telling us what we missed or telling users how to do things easier or better.
Not knowing what version you’re using, or whether you’re running WordPress on your own server or at the WordPress.com site, we’re not going to be extra-specific. But these instructions should be easy enough to follow regardless of version or location. The basic menus have been the same for a long time, and there is very little difference in this regard between hosting your own or being hosted by WordPress.
You first step will be to click on “Users” in the main left-hand WordPress administrative menu. If you have the text menus hidden, you would click on the main icon menu icon that looks like little people, or maybe bowling pins. From the fly-out menu that results from that click, select and click on “Add New User.”
This will result in a screen that that has 8 input items and one informational line. The first is Username, which is what the new user will enter, along with a password, when they want to log in. The next two are the actual First and Last names of the new user. This can be important when you decide how the user will be identified to the reading public, so it’s best to play it straight. The next field is the user’s E-mail address, which is a required field. This field is used to communicate with the new user, so it’s best to play that once straight, too. If the user has a Web site that you want to promote, enter it in the next field, “Website.”
Next is the “Password,” which will be entered twice to make sure you got it right. If the two password fields do not match, you’ll be prompted to enter them again. The use of the password fields trigger changes in the “Strength indicator” informational field. This indicator will give you an idea of how secure the chosen password is. Strive for a balance between how easy the password is to remember and how hard it is to guess by an a intruder. The next to last data field lets you decide whether or not to send the user an email containing his or her password. This is less safe than giving it to them in person or over the phone.
The last field let’s you decide which role the user will play on your blog site. “Subscriber” is not useful for much and thus is rarely used. The others are more meaningful. An “Administrator” will be allowed to have access to all site functions, including adding and editing users. Use caution when giving this one out; an Admin can take over your blog.
An “Editor” will be able to write and publish articles of their own, edit all posts, and approve posts written by contributors. An “Author” will be able to edit and publish only their own posts. A “Contributor” will be able to write their own posts, but not publish them. They will need to be looked at by an editor or admin, who will then have to approve and post them, or return them to the contributor for changes.
Those are the basics of adding a WordPress user. There are more functions that have to do users of your blog, and we’ll get into those in another column.