I have a pretty specific requirement to show different text in a field label on the user profile page based on the current user's role. I can't seem to figure out how to check whether the current use is an "author".

I am looking for a function like:

is_user_in_role($user, "author");

I imagine this is pretty simple, but I have searched for too long without an answer so I thought I would post it here.

7 Answers 7


If you only need this for current user current_user_can() accepts both roles and capabilities.

UPDATE: Passing a role name to current_user_can() is no longer guaranteed to work correctly (see #22624). Instead, you may wish to check user role:

$user = wp_get_current_user();
if ( in_array( 'author', (array) $user->roles ) ) {
    //The user has the "author" role
  • 13
    I know this post is answered a long time ago but if someone happens to get here... look at the documentation once more for current_user_can() -> "Do not pass a role name to current_user_can(), as this is not guaranteed to work correctly (see #22624). Instead, you may wish to try the check user role function put together by AppThemes." (codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/current_user_can) Jan 28, 2014 at 7:04
  • 1
    ^ There is a bracket missing in the if statement
    – Aajahid
    Jun 4, 2015 at 6:44
  • 1
    @Aajahid edited :)
    – Rarst
    Jun 4, 2015 at 7:52
  • 1
    If not using multisite, I still prefer the simplicity of current_user_can('editor')
    – Jules
    Jan 25, 2020 at 19:37

I was looking for a way to get a user's role using the user's id. Here is what I came up with:

function get_user_roles_by_user_id( $user_id ) {
    $user = get_userdata( $user_id );
    return empty( $user ) ? array() : $user->roles;

Then, an is_user_in_role() function could be implemented like so:

function is_user_in_role( $user_id, $role  ) {
    return in_array( $role, get_user_roles_by_user_id( $user_id ) );
  • 1
    works fine for me to get the first role assigned to a user.
    – Q Studio
    Oct 10, 2012 at 19:07
  • What about all the roles assigned to the user? Apr 10, 2017 at 7:14
  • 1
    @Vishal Kumar this will check against all roles assigned to the user. Apr 10, 2017 at 17:34
  • This function does not exist, not sure if it was just old or what, but you should use the answer above or the one I posted below
    – sMyles
    Nov 16, 2017 at 0:41

You can also just create a new user object:

$user = new WP_User( $user_id );

if ( ! empty( $user->roles ) && is_array( $user->roles ) && in_array( 'Some_role', $user->roles ) ) {
    return true;

Not sure what version get_user_roles_by_user_id was removed in, but it's no longer an available function.

  • This is handy when I have to call other methods of the WP_User class. Sep 25, 2019 at 23:18

Calling roles on User Object $user->roles do not return all the roles. The correct way to find if the user has a role or capability is following. (This works in wp version 2.0.0 and greater.) The following function works with user id you can get the current user id by $current_user_id = get_current_user_id();

 * Returns true if a user_id has a given role or capability
 * @param int $user_id
 * @param string $role_or_cap Role or Capability
 * @return boolean
function my_has_role($user_id, $role_or_cap) {

    $u = new \WP_User( $user_id );
    //$u->roles Wrong way to do it as in the accepted answer.
    $roles_and_caps = $u->get_role_caps(); //Correct way to do it as wp do multiple checks to fetch all roles

    if( isset ( $roles_and_caps[$role_or_cap] ) and $roles_and_caps[$role_or_cap] === true ) 
           return true;
  • probably the best idea, but might be nice to expend it to any user not just the current one Apr 15, 2022 at 5:56

Here is a function that accepts a user and role for greater flexibility:

function my_has_role($user, $role) {
  $roles = $user->roles; 
  return in_array($role, (array) $user->roles);

if(my_has_role($user, 'some_role')) {
  //do stuff

This is old post but here is one universal function what working on the all WordPress versions.

    function is_user ($role=NULL, $user_id=NULL)
            $user = wp_get_current_user();
        } else {
            if(is_numeric($user_id) && $user_id == (int)$user_id) {
                $user = get_user_by('id', (int)$user_id);
            } else if(is_string($user_id) && $email = sanitize_email($user_id)) {
                $user = get_user_by('email', $email);
            } else {
                return false;
        if(!$user) return false;
        return in_array( $role, (array)$user->roles, true ) !== false;

With this function you can search logged in user by role or by user ID/email. Also accept user roles array.

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