I was looking at the user table and noticed for a super admin ( have access to network admin panel ) and an admin to a network site have same wp_capabilities which is a:1:{s:13:"administrator";b:1;} and also the wp_user_level is 10 for both.

So, I was wondering what is the database value that differentiate between a super admin and an admin? I don't see any more usermeta that relates to network admin level.

What is the proper way to assign super admin capability to a admin via:

  1. Database Edit.
  2. Via Code.

2 Answers 2


An administrator is a user on the current site with the role administrator.

Super admins/Site admins however are stored in a site option as an array of usernames.

For example, using SQL in MySQLWorkbench you can do a query such as this:

SELECT * FROM wp_sitemeta where meta_key='site_admins';

To get back a serialised PHP array. Modifying this value by adding your username and user ID will make you a site admin.

If you're just looking to see who is a site admin, you have these functions:


If on a single site rather than a multisite, any user with the delete_users capability will be regarded as a super admin.

Note that a user who is a site/super-admin does not need to have a role on a site to perform administrator actions. This can lead to oddness since a super admin can author a post on a blog they are not technically a part of, which can be confusing when they don't show in that blogs user list as they don't have a role on that blog.


I checked the MultiSite Database and found following two entries in wp_sitemeta table which differentiate between a super admin and an admin.

admin_user_id and site_admins

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