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Archive for December, 2008|Monthly archive page

How to use Role Scoper plugin for WordPress

In howto on December 31, 2008 at 4:03 pm

The Task at Hand:

I want to restrict and allow various people to do various things with my WordPress blog. To do this I want to use the existing WordPress roles and supplement it with Role Scoper, a WordPress plugin.

A Little Background:

WordPress.com allows you to have a blog for free, hosted by them.
WordPress.org allows you to have a blog for free, hosted on your own servers (or other desired host).

WordPress has five roles in their codex.

Administrator – Somebody who has access to all the administration features
Editor – Somebody who can publish posts, manage posts as well as manage other people’s posts, etc.
Author – Somebody who can publish and manage their own posts
Contributor – Somebody who can write and manage their posts but not publish posts
Subscriber – Somebody who can read comments/comment/receive news letters, etc.

Now what happens if you want to add more people to your publishing process, while maintaining control over what goes out the door? It’s actually pretty easy if you do it right.

Doing It Right:

The first step to do it right is to host your WordPress files yourself by going to WordPress.org and following their instructions.

After that you can start using plugins. Plugins? Yeah, plugins. These are applications people have written for everyone to use. Usually they are available for free and you can donate to the programmer as you wish.

So what plugins will we need? I am going to use Role Scoper, by Kevin Behrens.

Role Scoper supplements the existing WordPress roles by including the following:
Post Reader
Private Post Reader
Post Contributor
Post Author
Post Editor
Category Manager

And once you’ve figured what each role is you can start learning about how to restrict people from doing things. Here’s the helpful guide from Role Scoper for your reading and learning enjoyment.

The Ins and Outs:

Role Scoper uses two main menu items to control things – Restrictions, and Roles. Firstly, you’ll want to click on Restrictions to select which categories, posts, and pages that you want to restrict. Each of your existing categories, posts and pages can be restricted by role. Secondly, you’ll want to click on Roles to select which roles and which people to give specific access to.

Huh?
Yeah, it takes a little while to figure out.

As an example. I have two accounts set up for my WordPress blog. One is for me, and one is for my freelance writer. By default I will be using a WordPress administrator account. This gives me superpowers to do everything. I will give my freelance writer less power. They will have author level status.

I’ll first use my admin powers and set my freelancer’s status using WordPress’ existing account types. Then I’ll use Role Scoper.

So far so good. Now how do I use Role Scoper?

Well you’ll need to click on Restrictions > Categories.
Select the category you want to restrict. I have one called “Other News”.
I want to prevent my freelancer from posting their blog posts without my review. So I restrict Author, Editor and Category Manager for the “Other News” category.

Good times.

Now I want to give my freelancer specific privileges with Role Scoper.
Click on Roles > Categories.
Select the person or group that you want to give privileges.
Then select the role you want that person to have.
In this case I want my freelancer to have contributor status. This will allow her to write blog posts.
When she clicks on Publish it will end up Pending Review by someone with Author, Editor, Admin or Category Manager status.
As an admin I will review it and publish it to the live blog.

Yessah!

You can go to Restrictions and restrict access for as many Categories, Posts and Pages as you have.
Then you can go to Roles and give as many users or groups whatever access you want for each specific Category, Post or Page.

Conclusion:

Use WordPress roles if it serves your purposes.
Use Role Scoper to add additional restrictions and roles to Categories, Posts and Pages.

-walter[at]bottledwalter[.]com

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