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What's the difference between an editor, author, and contributor on Blog Overflow?

Bonus points if you also include the other two (subscriber and administrator).

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2 Answers

up vote 18 down vote accepted

BlogOverflow uses Wordpress, so capabilities are the same as those outlined in WordPress Codex's Roles and Capabilities Table:

Contributors can:

  • Write/edit their own posts
  • Delete their own unpublished posts

Authors can do everything contributors can, and:

  • Edit their own published posts
  • Delete their own published posts
  • Upload media (pictures, etc.)
  • Publish posts

Editors can do everything authors can, and:

  • Manage categories
  • Moderate comments
  • Manage links
  • Edit, publish, and delete other users' posts
  • Create, Edit, and publish pages
  • Read all private posts/pages

Administrators have full control over the blog, including:

  • Edit anything
  • Update Wordpress
  • Install plugins and themes
  • Configure widgets and plugins
  • Create and manage users
  • Perform other administrative tasks

Subscribers are not used on Blog Overflow. They can only log in to read the blog, thus serving no purpose to us.

The recommended practice on Blog Overflow is for regular writers to be Contributors, for specifically appointed writers to be editors, and for moderators and SE staff to be Admins. The main difference between Contributors and Authors is that Contributors' posts must be approved by an editor before they are published live. This prevents posts from accidentally being published early if your blog has a schedule, and ensures some oversight of content.

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BlogOverflow runs on WordPress, and all the roles are explained in the Roles and Capabilities page of the WordPress wiki:

  • Administrator - Somebody who has access to all the administration features
  • Editor - Somebody who can publish and manage posts and pages as well as manage other users' posts, etc.
  • Author - Somebody who can publish and manage their own posts
  • Contributor - Somebody who can write and manage their posts but not publish them
  • Subscriber - Somebody who can only manage their profile
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