After reviewing plugins that deal with user roles and capabilities I concluded that I might be better off just hardcoding my settings into my functions.php file. This actually worked out well for me in end effect but I kept running into an issues while I was finalizing the code.

As I am sure many of you know (and I ended up finding out the hard way) any new capabilities added through code to an existing role which has been assigned to a user won't work. Rather it seems the role and associating capabilities are written into the database the first time the new role is assigned to a user. If I am incorrect with this assumption please let me know.

In any case... I have been getting frustrated with dealing with things manually and although I don't like the idea of plugins, this specific situations has be believing a GUI might actually work very well.

What I am looking for is a plugin or some non bloated code which essentially is just capable of reading the roles and their associating capabilities from the default wordpress database and outputs these values into a checkbox list.

So, basically the ability to just select a role which in turn displays every default capability from wordpress as well as any custom capability which is assigned to any user... Then just a checkbox next to every capability assigned to that role.

The admin could update the values by checking/unchecking applicable capabilities and one should have the ability to just enter a new capability by pasting the capabilities name into a text field.

My logic here is that if this existed then your NOT adding ANY additional custom code to the database or anything that requires more resources.

The key benefit here is that you finally have a simple way to deal with updating roles.

What I am not sure about is if this same logic would apply to being able to manually change the capabilities for individual users... If anyone also knows the answer to this question pleaseclet me know.

  • Would have said the same as Frank. It's written by the core developer Justin Tadlock, so its like a core function ;-)
    – Horttcore
    Nov 30, 2010 at 7:58

1 Answer 1


The plugin Members is your solution, clean code for read, change and create roles and capabilities; easy and fast. No custom tables and normaly WordPress standard.

  • this plugin does not seem to work with wordpress 3... have you tested it and are you sure it does not modify the database? Dec 2, 2010 at 11:48
  • 2
    The plugin writes options in the database for the objects and capabilities on the roles. but it write not tables or fields, changes not the tables or fields of the table.
    – bueltge
    Dec 2, 2010 at 14:57

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