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Unveiling the Powers of a WordPress Administrator: What They Can and Can’t Do

As the gatekeepers of a WordPress website, administrators wield significant power and responsibility. With the ability to manage every aspect of the site, administrators play a crucial role in its maintenance, security, and growth. In this article, we’ll explore the extensive list of things a WordPress administrator can and can’t do, shedding light on their capabilities and limitations.

What a WordPress Administrator Can Do:

  1. Manage Content: Administrators have full control over the content on the website. They can create, edit, delete, and publish posts, pages, and custom post types.
  2. Install Themes and Plugins: Administrators can install, activate, deactivate, and delete themes and plugins. They can also customize themes and configure plugin settings.
  3. Customize Settings: Administrators have access to all settings and configurations in the WordPress dashboard. They can customize site settings, permalinks, reading and writing settings, and more.
  4. Manage Users: Administrators can add, edit, delete, and manage user accounts. They can assign roles and permissions to users and change their passwords or email addresses.
  5. Manage Media: Administrators can upload, edit, delete, and organize media files such as images, videos, and audio files. They can also embed media into posts and pages.
  6. Manage Comments: Administrators can moderate comments, approve, disapprove, or delete them, and reply to comments if necessary.
  7. Access Theme and Plugin Files: Administrators have access to the theme and plugin files via the WordPress dashboard or FTP. They can edit theme files, create child themes, and modify plugin code if needed.
  8. Perform Maintenance Tasks: Administrators can perform essential maintenance tasks such as updating WordPress core, themes, and plugins, as well as backing up the site and optimizing database tables.
  9. Install and Configure Widgets: Administrators can add, remove, and configure widgets in widget-ready areas such as sidebars and footers.
  10. Manage Navigation Menus: Administrators can create, edit, and delete navigation menus and customize their locations and contents.

What a WordPress Administrator Can’t Do:

  1. Access Server-Level Settings: Administrators do not have access to server-level settings such as server configurations, PHP settings, or server logs. These tasks typically require access to the hosting control panel or server administration tools.
  2. Override File Permissions: Administrators cannot override file permissions set by the server. They must abide by the file permissions set by the server administrator or hosting provider.
  3. Access Restricted Areas: Administrators cannot access restricted areas of the website that require additional authentication, such as password-protected pages or posts.
  4. Modify User Roles and Capabilities: While administrators can assign roles and permissions to users, they cannot modify the capabilities of built-in roles such as Editor, Author, or Contributor.
  5. Edit Core Files: Administrators should avoid editing WordPress core files directly, as this can lead to security vulnerabilities and compatibility issues. Instead, they should use child themes or custom plugins for modifications.
  6. Grant Super Admin Access (in Multisite): Administrators of individual sites in a WordPress Multisite network cannot grant super admin access to other users. Super admin privileges are granted at the network level by the network administrator.


WordPress administrators wield considerable power over their websites, enabling them to manage content, customize settings, and maintain site functionality. However, it’s essential to recognize the limitations of administrator roles and exercise caution when performing tasks that may impact site security or stability. By understanding the capabilities and constraints of WordPress administrators, site owners can effectively manage their websites and collaborate with users in a secure and efficient manner.

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