Ok so you are the sole creator of your own website. Perhaps someone helped you but they have moved on to other projects. You are the only user and you are an administrator. Readers can add comments but you are in charge of starting all conversations.
You can add more conversation-starters to your site. They will be able to log in to the site and perform certain tasks, but you will be the only one who can do anything at all on the site. These different levels of privileges are called roles. In WordPress lingo all five roles are called users. A user is an person who has an account on your site
Five User Roles
- Can do absolutely everything
- Full control over all posts and pages (CRUD) including tags and categories and upload files and moderate comments, change site settings, change the theme and layout and manage users
- Have control of their own posts only; they can upload pictures
- Can create draft posts but they can’t publish them; a higher role need to review and publish it before it goes live on the site
- Follower or Subscriber
- Can read posts and add comments
- Private Site
- With a private site, every reader needs an account to view anything on the site
- Restrict Comments
- If you have employed “Users must be registered and logged in to comment” and you don’t allow Facebook or Twitter logins, only subscribers can leave comments. This severe restriction is rarely used.
- Social Plugin (like BuddyPress)
- You want to give accounts to as many people as possible. These plugins help to create a community of users that share content and chat in discussion groups
A visitor can go to your site and read posts and pages and add comments if the post or page allows. They are not users. They do not have an account on your site. They are anonymous.
Why add subscribers? Can’t everyone read the posts and make comments? By default, everyone can read posts and write comments, resulting in no difference between subscribers and unregistered guests. There are however three situations where there is a difference.
WordPress uses the term author to mean more than one thing. WordPress has a specific type of user role called Author, WordPress leaders and luminaries often will use author to mean anyone who writes a post on a WordPress site, meaning Administrators, Authors, Editors and Contributors.