When onboarding clients to their websites, a common question is what permissions the different user roles have inside of their WordPress CMS.  Here is a good reference chart and the specific definitions from WordPress.

User Roles in WordPress

Chart via BobWP


 

via WordPress Roles and Capabilities « WordPress Codex

WordPress has six pre-defined roles: Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, Author,Contributor and Subscriber. Each role is allowed to perform a set of tasks called Capabilities.

The Super Admin role allows a user to perform all possible capabilities. Each of the other roles has a decreasing number of allowed capabilities.

  • Super Admin – somebody with access to the site network administration features and all other features. See the Create a Network article.
  • Administrator – somebody who has access to all the administration features within a single site.
  • Editor – somebody who can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users.
  • Author – somebody who can publish and manage their own posts.
  • Contributor – somebody who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.
  • Subscriber – somebody who can only manage their profile.

Upon installing WordPress, an Administrator account is automatically created.