I've just setup a new Blog for a friend and thought it's better to not give him Administrator Access right away as a precaution.

I created a new user as Editor therefore.

But then I saw that this user can not change the Theme Settings like Background and Header.

Is there an easy way to allow the Editor Role to edit any theme settings in Twenty Ten or a Child of it? He should basically be able to do anything an Administrator can do reg. the Theme, probably even changing themes.


5 Answers 5


you can add capabilities to the editor role using the role object and add_cap from you functions.php

   // get the the role object
   $editor = get_role('editor');
   // add $cap capability to this role object

you can also remove capabilities:


just take a look at the list of capabilities and what each one means.

  • 3
    Cool, that did work! For the shorties: get_role('editor')->add_cap('edit_theme_options'); :)
    – hakre
    Mar 25, 2011 at 0:55
  • 1
    @hakre FYI Direct variable assignments like that a()->b() will not work in PHP versions prior to 5. Apr 10, 2013 at 8:40
  • 1
    As roles are typically stored in database, updating roles should be done in a plugin and there within a activation/deactivation hook. It just is not necessary to run this code on every WordPress process.
    – David
    Mar 14, 2016 at 8:35

Since this is the 1st hit on google for this question, I feel this is the right place for an update:

For me, I couldn't get it to work via edit_theme_options. Then I read the plugin source and found out that it's actually manage_options. And it worked.


$role_object = get_role( 'editor' );
$role_object->add_cap( 'manage_options' );

works for me (in the year 2014)

  • Great stuffs dude...
    – Abbas
    Dec 30, 2015 at 5:59
  • Needed to add one more line for WP > 4.0 $role_object->add_cap('customize');
    – Alex
    Mar 6, 2017 at 3:33

Don't they need the "edit_themes" capability? You can use Justin Tadlocks plugin http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/members/ to edit the capabilities associated with each role.


Another great plugin is User Role Editor (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/user-role-editor/). It is similar to Members, but much more basic and simple to use. Plus, the developers are always around to listen to feedback and offer assistance, if needed.


This is old, but here's a newer way you could achieve this:

add_filter( 'user_has_cap',
function( $caps ) {
    if ( ! empty( $caps['edit_pages'] ) )
        $caps['edit_theme_options'] = true;
    return $caps;
} );

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