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I'm perplexed; I can't see where I'm going wrong with this code. It should redirect any subscriber-level users back to the site home page if they try to access anything within /wp-admin - but not if they try to go to /wp-login.php :

add_action( 'init', 'blockusers_init' );
function blockusers_init() {
    if ( !current_user_can( 'edit' ) && is_admin() ) {
        wp_redirect( home_url() );

I tried using the role instead of capability ('subscriber' instead of 'edit'), and that worked when I was on a single-site installation of WordPress - but this theme is now being used in a multisite/subfolder installation and for some reason the role doesn't work. Using the code above, anytime a subscriber goes to either /wp-admin or /wp-login.php they get redirected to the home page.

Any ideas? Thanks for your help!

share|improve this question
I added this my functions file in a vanilla WP install, and it doesn't redirect me when I hit wp-login. Have you tried disabling all plugins? Also, "edit" isn't a capability, unless it's custom to your install: codex.wordpress.org/Roles_and_Capabilities – MathSmath May 10 '12 at 23:52
thank you! I must be going blind. Sadly it still doesn't work in multisite, but at least that's one potential issue eliminated. I did try disabling all plugins and that didn't have any effect. – Michelle May 11 '12 at 15:50
My bad--I didn't try it on a multisite install. – MathSmath May 14 '12 at 16:26

So, first off, if you want to block access to wp-admin, why hook into something that fires on every page load? Hook into admin_init instead.

And, as @MattSmath mentioned, edit isn't a capability. edit_posts is. Also, admin_init only fires on admin pages, so you can remove is_admin() from your check.

Your revised function:

add_action('admin_init', 'wpse51831_init');
function wpse51831_init()

Bonus: You're probably not going to want to show your subscriber level users the WordPress admin bar (which links them back to wp-admin). This will hide it:

add_filter('show_admin_bar', 'wpse51831_hide_admin_bar');
 * hide the admin bar for `subscribers`
 * @uses current_user_can
 * @return boolean
function wpse51831_hide_admin_bar($bool)
        $bool = false;
    return $bool;
share|improve this answer
The "admin" bar is not an admin bar in 3.4, it's a generic toolbar that, in many cases, is integrated into the theme. +1 for the code to fix the admin, -1 for hiding a somewhat essential core feature. – EAMann May 11 '12 at 4:30
Thank you for both these! Man do I feel dumb for not seeing the edit_posts thing. Unfortunately though even with the new code, it's still not working. /wp-admin redirects correctly, but wp-login.php also redirects. Maybe it's a multisite thing? Because it does work on a single-install of WP with the same plugins enabled. – Michelle May 11 '12 at 15:47
Also thanks for the hiding admin bar filter, I actually already had that working. @EAMann, in my case I am using the login system only to show/hide certain content, and I really don't want any subscribers to see any part of the dashboard or WP functionality. So hiding the bar seems appropriate. – Michelle May 11 '12 at 15:49

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