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.


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
|improve this answer|||||
  • 10
    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) – bestprogrammerintheworld Jan 28 '14 at 7:04
  • 1
    ^ There is a bracket missing in the if statement – Aajahid Jun 4 '15 at 6:44
  • 1
    @Aajahid edited :) – Rarst Jun 4 '15 at 7:52
  • If not using multisite, I still prefer the simplicity of current_user_can('editor') – Jules Jan 25 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 ) );
|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    works fine for me to get the first role assigned to a user. – Q Studio Oct 10 '12 at 19:07
  • What about all the roles assigned to the user? – Vishal Kumar Sahu Apr 10 '17 at 7:14
  • 1
    @Vishal Kumar this will check against all roles assigned to the user. – Stephen M. Harris Apr 10 '17 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 '17 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.

|improve this answer|||||
  • This is handy when I have to call other methods of the WP_User class. – Justin Waulters Sep 25 '19 at 23:18

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
|improve this answer|||||

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;
|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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