What is a Subscriber User Role in WordPress?
Users subscribing to your content may follow you on various channels—RSS feed, email newsletter, YouTube, or social media. However, the WordPress subscriber role holds a different connotation altogether.
In the WordPress universe, a user is an entity registered on your website who can access the site with their unique username and password.
User roles define the access limits for these users. WordPress offers five roles by default, and the subscriber role is among them.
The subscriber role essentially allows users to log into your website, though it doesn’t grant them permission to make any alterations.
The subscribers can update their profiles and change their passwords, but creating content or changing settings is beyond their purview. They won’t be able to view comments or interact with your WordPress admin area.
This user role finds its true potential in websites that operate on a membership model, online stores, or any site that requires user registration and login.
Allowing Subscribers on Your WordPress Site
WordPress, by default, does not allow user registrations, but it has built-in functionality to manage it if you wish to enable it.
Enabling User Registration
To permit users to register on your WordPress site, visit the Settings » General page. Scroll down to the ‘Membership’ section and check the box against ‘Anyone can register’.
Following that, select the default user role, which is assigned to each user registering on your website. Ensure that you leave the default user role as ‘Subscriber’ before saving the changes.
WordPress user roles come with a set of permissions and capabilities. Refer to a comprehensive guide on WordPress user roles and permissions to learn more about these roles.
Adding a Login Link
To allow your readers to register and log in, add login links. One simple method to add a login link is by adding the meta widget to your sidebar.
To do this, navigate to the Appearance » Widgets page and add the ‘Meta’ widget to a sidebar.
The meta widget includes links for user registration, login, RSS feed subscription, comments feed subscription, and a link to visit the WordPress.org website.
Creating a Custom Login Page
While the Meta widget performs its job efficiently, it might not always align with your professional outlook. In such a scenario, creating a custom WordPress login page can help.
This can be achieved using WPForms, a renowned WordPress contact form plugin. It has a user registration add-on to create login and registration forms.
For further details, you can look up a guide on how to create a custom WordPress login page.
Viewing Subscribers on Your WordPress Site
Once you have enabled user registration on your WordPress website, keeping an eye on registered users becomes paramount.
You can easily view all users registered as subscribers by logging into your WordPress website and navigating to the User » All Users page. From there, click on the ‘Subscriber’ link at the top of the page.
Sending a Newsletter to Your Subscriber List
The term ‘subscriber’ is also used for users signing up for an email newsletter. Sending newsletters can effectively increase your blog traffic and build a loyal follower base.
However, it is crucial to remember that the subscriber user role in WordPress is not synonymous with an email subscriber. Users with the subscriber role will not automatically receive your new articles by email.
A common practice is to add a newsletter signup form to the blog’s sidebar. However, this could lead to potential subscribers overlooking the form.
Managing Subscribers on Your WordPress Site
Once you have subscribers, effective management is crucial. WordPress provides user management features, allowing you to keep track of user activity, edit profiles, and even delete users if necessary.
For instance, you might need to promote a subscriber to a contributor or an author if they’re taking on new responsibilities. The Users » All Users page is your go-to dashboard for managing subscribers and other user roles.
Security Implications for Subscribers
Subscribers have limited capabilities, reducing the risk of accidental site changes. However, allowing user registrations can potentially expose your site to spam or unwanted users.
To counter this, WordPress offers several plugins and tools to manage security issues. Plugins like Akismet, for instance, can help reduce spam registrations, and security plugins like Wordfence provide broader site protection.