Explanation of managing member roles and permissions in WooCommerce and using them securely

Explanation of managing member roles and permissions

Many website owners and entrepreneurs on the Internet seek to achieve effective and correct management of the websites that they manage by forming a team for the website or online store that they own.

For proper and effective management of the website or online store, people must be given roles that enable them to access the website and perform their task, along with full control of the website by the owner. It is worth noting that there are some practical steps that must be taken to achieve this.

In this article, we will shed light on the roles that you can give people to access the control panel of your WordPress site, which depends on the WooCommerce plugin, and what are the permissions for WooCommerce?

Finally, other practical steps to keep your website secure.

What are user roles and permissions?

WordPress user management system is based on two aspects: roles and permissions. So it is important to know how to use each aspect to effectively manage your online store. Now we will define both the role and the permission (ability):


It is a specific category on WordPress that gives a group of users the ability to perform a specific task on the site. Each role differs from the other in the set of permissions or capabilities that it is given to perform the task. For example: The role of a writer or editor is completely different from that of a web developer in terms of its permissions. Where the editor’s work is limited to writing articles about some products on the store or reviewing comments. But the web developer’s permissions allow him to access the WordPress control panel and modify the code of the online store and more. So the roles are different with different permissions.

permission (ability)

It is a specific action or action that the user is allowed to complete, but with some conditions and limits that limit its use of the WordPress control interface.

For example, the permission given to the editor is the ability to edit a post or article on the site.

While the permission given to the web developer is the ability to customize a template or modify the code and so on.

WordPress roles compared to WooCommerce

After we know that each role has its own permissions and capabilities to perform some tasks. We will now talk about the six roles of WordPress, namely:

  1. Super Admin: This is a rank that you will only find in multisite WordPress . This rank gives its owner the ability to manage the settings of all sites on the network.
    For example, if you own more than one online store designed by adding WooCommerce on the versatile WordPress; The rank of top manager enables the user to modify and manage the settings of all stores or websites on the network.
  2. Admin: It is the highest rank in WordPress sites, which enables its owner to access and modify all the settings of the online store. Also, its owner has all the permissions to perform any task, and it also enables its owner to control other roles. And you must make sure that this is your rank as the owner of the online store.
  3. Editor: It is the rank responsible for managing the content of the online store. So that the editor can add publications related to the store’s products and services with the ability to modify, delete or publish those publications, and this includes the publications of writers or other users of the store. The editor can also add categories and tags for the store, moderate user comments, and other permissions.
  4. Author: He is responsible for managing the written content of product publications, various articles, and others. The permissions allow him to create, edit and publish his own posts and articles. You also allow him to delete those posts even after they are posted on the site, but he is not allowed to delete or modify third party articles.
  5. Contributor: Similar to author, but with fewer permissions. Where his task is limited to creating, modifying and deleting publications. With reading the posts of others, but he is not allowed to modify or delete them. It is worth noting that the contributor’s publications are not published directly on the site, as they are subject to review before publication.
  6. Subscriber: This role is given to users who register on your site. Of course, we find that it has fewer permissions, such as modifying the profile, reading posts, or writing comments.

WooCommerce roles

Now we have presented the most important roles for WordPress, but it is worth noting that there are two roles that are added when installing the WooCommerce plugin:

1. Customer role: It is the role that is given to visitors when registering in the store or ordering a product. Their permissions are limited to the following:

  • Reading and browsing all the products or services offered by the store, as in blog visitors when reading and browsing articles.
  • The customer can edit the information related to his account, such as name, address, payment information, and other sensitive data, and he can also reformat his password.
  • Finally, the customer can browse his requests and dealings with the store, whether current or previous.

2. The role of the store manager: It is a role that is more capable of disposing of the store’s affairs, and the store owner often gives it to the person to manage the store, but without being in charge. This role has all the permissions of the client as well as the following:

  • The store manager can modify all the WooCommerce options of the store, such as making some customizations in the store template, or modifying some options. In this role, the web designer or developer does the modification on the site, so he has access to all WooCommerce add-on options.
  • He can create and edit products or services on the store. The editor also edits articles for any website or blog by writing content, keywords, choosing images, etc., while reviewing customer comments.
  • He also has the right to access all WooCommerce reports of the store, review the progress of the store, and the amount of sales it achieves.
  • Finally, it can solve customer problems, review their requests, send messages to track the purchase process of the product, and other routine steps of the buying and selling process.

It can be said that the role of the customer corresponds to the role of the subscriber, and the role of the store manager corresponds to the role of the editor in WordPress.

When can you assign your Store Manager role?

After knowing the permissions of the WooCommerce store manager role, you can now give this role to someone to manage your online store. You can assign the Store Manager role to:

  • Effective management of the store: You want someone to effectively manage the store, such as managing orders, producing reports, and issuing refunds, provided that there are limits that prevent the owner of the role from modifying the additions, settings, or features of the online store.
  • Updating products and reviewing orders: The store manager role will enable its owner to view orders and products with the ability to update them, but he will not be able to control the settings of the store on WordPress or change the roles and permissions of other users. It can be said that the role is limited to the effective management of the store without interfering with its settings.

It should be noted that Store Manager is the highest role in your online store for WooCommerce. Therefore, care must be taken when assigning this role to a store employee. But in some cases you may need to give a user the admin role on your store but when?

In the following cases:

  • Store designer: He is the person responsible for the initial design of the WooCommerce store, creating pages, choosing the design for the store, and other necessary procedures for designing and launching an online store through search engines.
  • Store developer: He is the programmer responsible for developing the store and solving problems related to it, such as security, design, and others. He is the person responsible for making adjustments to the store to make improvements and solve problems.
  • Store marketer: It is the agency or person responsible for marketing your online store on search engines by analyzing the status of the store, studying the market and competitors, and then developing an effective marketing plan to target more customers.

These tasks will require access to the role of your store manager to carry out its work effectively and complete the task by accessing the WooCommerce control panel and settings, but this role is not allowed to enter the WordPress settings of the general manager and does not have the same powers as changing roles and controlling them.

Note, despite the danger of assigning the store manager role to a person for your online store, there are some effective steps to maintain your control over the store, which is by owning the hosting and domain for your site on WordPress, and we have explained these effective steps in an article: How to build trust between you and your site developer to maintain protect your data from loss

How do you properly control user permissions?

Here are some practical steps to fully control user permissions:

  • Granting the appropriate role to a person based on his task: The correct control of user permissions is by giving the user access to the online store according to the task he performs and not giving him more powers than his task. This is important for the security of your store and for you to have full control over the store and prevent users from making any unintentional act or change that is bad for the safety of the store, such as deleting content by mistake or other errors.
  • Avoid giving a role with all permissions: Before giving the role to someone, you should carefully review the task they are going to perform. This is in order to avoid the mistake of giving him a role that has many permissions, which ultimately negatively affects you when this person messes with the settings or makes unintended mistakes. For example, many sellers in your online store may require the admin role, but the truth of the matter is that few of them need that much permission.

It is worth noting that there are many good add-ons that can help you control permissions and user roles, as follows:

  • User Role Editor plugin : It is the most popular and used plugin by website owners that enables you to manage user roles and fully control your website or online store.
  • Add Publish press : It is a good addition that enables you to create the role according to the permissions that you want the person to enjoy based on the task assigned to him.

Increase the security of your WooCommerce store

We can say that an online store sometimes requires you to hire people to help you manage the store effectively. The concern increases as the number of people responsible for managing the store increases, and this requires you to take some security measures to increase your control over your online store. We can say that among the safety measures:

Secure access to the control panel

Here are some measures that increase security during the entry of all members of the e-shop team:

  • You must make sure that the team members working on your online store have a strong username and password.
  • WordPress will generate a password for everyone who logs into the dashboard, and here it is recommended that you let each team member choose their own strong password.
  • Confirm the use of a strong password, which must be more complex in order to increase the degree of security. It must contain a capital letter, a small letter, a number and a symbol, and its length must not be less than 12 characters.

Review roles regularly

Reviewing user roles regularly is an important procedure that you must take to have complete control over your online store.

Through this procedure, you will be able to remove or add new roles to your online store. For example, if you finish working with a web developer that you set as an administrator to do his work, make sure that you remove him from this role after he finishes his work because this action will prevent him from accessing the WordPress control panel, and this action must be taken with other roles such as author and store manager And others after he finishes the task.

In short: You must make sure that no one can access your WordPress online store settings unless they are doing a specific job or task and you need it.

Important note: Make sure you have the hosting accounts and the domain for WordPress, because this makes you the first controller of your store. And be sure to change the password for these accounts in the event that you terminate the contract with someone to whom you gave access to these accounts. Remember that as long as the web developer or designer has the hosting account data or the domain, he will be able to access the WordPress control panel.

Create backup copies of your store files

Backing up your online store data is crucial for the security and maintenance of your WooCommerce store.

A backup, if done regularly, will allow you to restore your site in the event that a member of staff makes an unauthorized change to the store or if your store is hacked.

It is worth noting that there are some tools that enable you to back up the site , and you can refer to the article “ The 6 best plugins for taking backups of your site ” to learn more.

Note: It is recommended that you take effective control of your online store backup with some free add-ons or paid plans for some add-ons. And not relying only on the free backups that some hosting providers contain for the site. 

In the end, responsibility is the basis for the success of any entrepreneurial project on the Internet, such as websites or online stores. It is worth noting that WordPress and Commerce work in harmony with each other in order to provide an efficient and easy user experience for users.

And the main important role for you as an online store owner remains to assign appropriate roles to the work team through the correct management of permissions, with full control over the store to preserve your data and customer data.

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