I was wondering if it's possible to set up user roles in a way that means that users in certain groups can ONLY edit posts that have a specific taxonomy assigned to them e.g:

Properties (Post Type)
    Taxonomy One
    Taxonomy Two
    Taxonomy Three

User Roles
    Group One - Can only edit properties with 'Taxonomy One' assigned.
    Group Two - Can only edit properties with 'Taxonomy Two' assigned.
    Group Three - Can only edit properties with 'Taxonomy Three' assigned.

I'm using the Members plugin for role management at the moment, and I'm using custom post types/taxonomies.

From what I've seen so far it doesn't look as though you can restrict access to POSTS based on TAXONOMIES.


I've now got permissions working for post types using the following code:

register_post_type( 'properties',
        'labels' => array(
            'name' => __( 'Properties' ),
            'singular_name' => __( 'Property' )
        'public' => true,
        'capability_type' => 'property',
        'map_meta_cap' => true,
        'capabilities' => array(
            'publish_posts' => 'publish_properties', // This allows a user to publish a property.
            'edit_posts' => 'edit_properties', // Allows editing of the user’s own properties but does not grant publishing permission.
            'edit_others_posts' => 'edit_others_properties', // Allows the user to edit everyone else’s properties but not publish.
            'delete_posts' => 'delete_properties', // Grants the ability to delete properties written by that user but not others’ properties.
            'delete_others_posts' => 'delete_others_properties', // Capability to edit properties written by other users.
            'read_private_posts' => 'read_private_properties', // Allows users to read private properties.
            'edit_post' => 'edit_property', // Meta capability assigned by WordPress. Do not give to any role.
            'delete_post' => 'delete_property', // Meta capability assigned by WordPress. Do not give to any role.
            'read_post' => 'read_property', // Meta capability assigned by WordPress. Do not give to any role.

A 'Properties' section has now appeared when editing roles in the 'Members' plugin which lets me restrict/allow access. Just need to figure out if this is do-able for each taxonomy now :)

2 Answers 2


You might be able to use the filter user_has_cap which is used when checking for a particular capability (found in /wp-includes/class-wp-user.php in has_cap):

     * Dynamically filter a user's capabilities.
     * @since 2.0.0
     * @since 3.7.0 Added the user object.
     * @param array   $allcaps An array of all the user's capabilities.
     * @param array   $caps    Actual capabilities for meta capability.
     * @param array   $args    Optional parameters passed to has_cap(), typically object ID.
     * @param WP_User $user    The user object.
    $capabilities = apply_filters( 'user_has_cap', $this->allcaps, $caps, $args, $this );

So it would be something like:

function check_post_taxonomy($allcaps,$caps,$args,$user) {
    global $post; if (!isset($post)) {return $allcaps;}

    $group = get_user_meta($user->ID,'special_edit_group',true);
    $taxonomy = 'taxonomy_'.$group; // maybe set to a, b or c?
    $terms = get_the_terms($post->ID,$taxonomy);

    // if there are no terms, remove the user capability(s) for this check
    // you may have to experiment to remove all the ones you want to
    if (!$terms) {

    return $allcaps;

I have done it this way because I realized the logic of the question is not quite right. If a post type has taxonomy A, B and C assigned to it, even if you set these capability filters for the role groups as you say, all three role groups would be able to edit anything in this post type anyway. In other words, there is no case where taxonomy A, B or C is "not" actually assigned.

Instead, I think you are really meaning "check whether this particular post has any terms assigned to it in taxonomy A"... and if so along group A to edit it, and so on. (Note: I have no idea if the above code will actually work for this case, it might need some more work. For example, currently this is checking for a user meta key for the group rather than an actual role/group.)


I actually dug up that plugin developers blog and this is what he offers as insight.

Meta capabilities are capabilities a user is granted on a per-post basis. The three we’re dealing with here are:

edit_post delete_post read_post

For regular blog posts, WordPress “maps” these to specific capabilities granted to user roles. For example, a user might be given the edit_post capability for post 100 if they are the post author or have the edit_others_posts capability.

When using custom post types, this mapping doesn’t happen automatically if you’re setting up custom capabilities. We have to come up with our own solution.

In this tutorial...


*I can't comment yet so I posted as an answer.

  • Cheers @Jarmerson. I found that guide before but couldn't get it working. Turns out I needed to add 'map_meta_cap' => true, for some reason. So, this has now got permissions working nicely for post types - any idea if this will work for taxonomies if I set it up the same for them - i.e. it will only show/allow them to edit posts with certain capabilities?
    – Lighty_46
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 14:35
  • (Original post has been updated to reflect this by the way)
    – Lighty_46
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 14:41
  • It should work with any taxonomy including post format. That might actually be a good approach. codex.wordpress.org/Taxonomies#Custom_Taxonomies Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 15:41
  • @Lighty_46 - did this answer your question? If so, - please mark it as the answer. If not, then please comment why not.
    – Zeth
    Commented Nov 3, 2018 at 11:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.