How to Change Usernames & Roles in WordPress

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Hey there, Vaughn Bullard here! In every WordPress installation, you’re gonna need to change a username & role a time or two. Why? Because you might have people who want to change their username or you might want to change their role on your WordPress installation. We’re going to delve into that in this demonstration video.

We’re gonna go to the WordPress administration pages. This is done by typing in the url of your blog followed by forward slash wp-admin. You will be prompted for your administrative username and password. Type that in and press the “Login” button.

So we’re gonna go all the way to the down to the bottom of our administrative menu. We’re gonna hover over the “Users” menu and up will pop the hover menu and we’re gonna choose “All Users”. This will bring up the “Users” administrative page.

Here’s one thing to note! You cannot change your usernames once you create them. You can however change what name is publicly displayed. So if you want to change a username in WordPress you’ll have to a) either go in to the database and change it (which is inherently more complex) OR b) create a new user with the username you want and then migrate content to that new user.

If what you’re really looking to do is change the name publicly displayed on WordPress; then click the user you want to modify on the list. This will bring you to a Profile editing page. Here you will go down to the “Name” section. You will see Username, First Name, Last Name and Nickname. Enter values for those fields.

Once they are entered, you can now select the ‘Display name publicly as’ drop down selection box. You will have different variations of nickname, first name, last name and usernames.

Pick one of these, click ‘Update Profile’ and any content associated with this user will be now publicly displayed as the option that you selected. So we’ll go back to some posts by this user to see how it is displayed.

There you go, here’s our username change!

OK, now we’re gonna get more complex! But don’t fret! We’re gonna talk about changing roles of users. Roles are basically what sort of permissions that a user has in a system. In a default WordPress installation, you will have 5 roles that a user can have from a basic subscriber all the way up to a full-fledged administrator. You can think of these as going up a ladder of permissions with each step you have more privleges. They are a Subscriber, Contributor, Author, Editor and finally Administrator. Subscriber is the most basic of permissions, with only the ability to subscribe to your posts. Contributor is someone that the ability to comment. Authors are just that, they have the ability to create posts on your WordPress site. Editors have the ability to edit content from multiple authors as well as create content themselves. And Administrators, think of them as the super users on your system. They have the ability to do everything on the system, so be careful whom you assign an administrator role. Don’t want to end up setting off a nuclear war if they pushed that wrong button somewhere!

So how we do change a user’s role? Well, that is also done on the Users page. Say for example, my user here Jethro Mull. Well, I want to promote him up to an Author. So what I’ll do is go to this drop down box called “Change role to”. I’m then going to select the user ‘Jethro Mull’. Now I’m going to click the ‘Change’ button. Voila, Jethro Mull is ready to start authoring content on my WordPress site!

TIP: When developing your WordPress site, make sure that you plan out the roles of your users. This helps in the long run when you decide to bring on additional authors or contributors to help publish on your site.

That’s how easy it is folks! For more info on doing other cool things with WordPress, check out my other WordPress Lessons on and check out Build.Automate’s innovative WordPress plugins at

The following services are out of scope for our managed WP Pro Support plans. If you don’t see it, call us, we offer a ton of services that can be done once or on a regular schedule.



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