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I have a a business directory using premium press theme ----

I want all registered users -- to be able to edit and publish, upload images to any listing that has not been secured by payment. I do not want them to be able to delete and I do not want them to be able to access that dashboard.

I have front end edit and update api -- but WP expects them to be the owner of the post to actually update.

I have tried using different plugins -- but I just do not have enough experience with WP internals to get this accomplished -- can any one assist me please..

I have tried using role scoper, user role etc

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A combination of the S2 Member Plugin along with something like Advanced Access Manager would probably work best for you. You can set up subscriptions and pages access in S2 Member, and use Advance Access Manager to adjust roles/access or create new roles. (AAM is perhaps less functional than the ones you mentioned, but WAY easier to use, and will do what you describe)

S2 Member - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/s2member/

AAM - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/advanced-access-manager/

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