Super Admin (Role)

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A Super Admin is a type of user role that has complete access to all administrative features of a WordPress Multisite network. They only exist in a Multisite installation; the role cannot be applied in a typical WordPress setup.

What is a WordPress Super Admin?

A WordPress Super Admin is a user role with full capabilities to manage all sites on a Multisite network. For Multisite users, it is the highest level of access that you can provide to your WordPress installation.

Super Admins can create new websites, completely manage all themes & plugins, add/remove users, and have full access to add, manage and delete all content across all of the sites in your network. Essentially, they can do everything.

Reminder: Super Admins only exist in Multisite installations. A typical WordPress setup does not have a Super Admin role.

Who should be a WordPress Super Admin?

Super Admins can perform every task possible with WordPress, so be careful when assigning anyone this role. You should have as few Super Admins as possible (ideally, just one).

If you’re an agency or freelance web developer who manages a network of sites for a client, you should be the sole Super Admin. You could then make your client an Administrator or Editor for just a specific site within the network.

If you manage a network of sites, each with a different website manager, again, you would be the sole Super Admin, and each individual site owner would be given the Administrator role.

Tips

  • Never useĀ admin as the username for a Super Admin account (or any other user role, for that matter)
  • Create as few Super Admins as possible
  • Always use a secure password for all users that have the Super Admin role

WordPress Super Admin’s Capabilities

Here is a list of a Super Admin’s capabilities that are exclusive to WordPress Multisite installs.

Multisite-only

  • Add, Delete, Archive, Activate & Edit sites on the network
  • Upgrade WordPress Core for the entire network
  • Manage all Users across the entire network
  • Control which Plugins & Themes network sites can use
  • Control network-wide settings, such as new user registration, banned domains, welcome emails, default content for new sites, upload settings, default language, and more
Extra settings menu for Super Admins in WordPress Multisite
Additional menus for Super Admins of a Multisite network

Super Admins also possess the same set of capabilities as a typical WordPress Administrator, which include:

Site-wide

  • Update WordPress Core
  • Edit Dashboard
  • Manage Settings: General, Writing, Reading, Discussion, Permalinks
  • Import & export content from the Tools menu
  • Use HTML & JavaScript code in posts, pages, comments & widgets

Plugins

  • Install, Activate, Update, Edit & Delete plugins

Themes

  • Install, Switch, Update, Edit & Delete themes
  • Edit Widgets, Menus, Custom Background & Custom Header
  • Access the Customizer

Users

  • Create, Edit, Promote & Remove users

Posts & Pages

  • Add New, Publish, Edit & Delete your own posts/pages
  • Publish, Edit & Delete other’s posts/pages (essentially, completely manage all site content)
  • Manage all taxonomies (categories, tags, etc.)

Media & Files

  • Upload & Edit all media files

Comments

  • Add, Edit, Delete & Moderate all comments