How to Automate Author Registration with WordPress

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Are you spending a lot of time manually adding new authors to your site? Follow this tutorial to learn how to automate the process with WordPress.

How to Let New Authors Signup Automatically

The first step is to let WordPress know that visitors are allowed to register on your site. You can do this by visiting the General Settings page, and turning on the Membership setting like this:

how to allow new user registration with wordpress

Then, change the New User Default Role setting to Contributor.

Once you save your changes, visitors will be able to register automatically on your site as contributors.

What’s a Contributor?

Contributor is one of six user roles in WordPress. It’s the perfect role for letting people signup and submit content to your site.

These are the things a Contributor can do:

  • Add new posts
  • Edit their own post
  • View published posts
  • Fill out their profile (name, bio, website, etc.)

These are a few things Contributors can’t do:

  • Publish or schedule posts
  • Edit other author’s posts
  • View anyone else’s drafts

This what they’ll see when they log in:

screenshot of wordpress dashboard when logged in as contributor

The contributor role gives guest authors enough capabilities to submit their own work, without providing them access to any private information on your site. You should only allow people you trust to join at a higher user role than Contributor.

Now that you’re allowing visitors to signup on their own and you understand the contributor role, let’s cover how you can direct people to signup on their own.

How to Let Authors Signup on Their Own

You probably have a contact form or email address listed somewhere on your site where people can contact you to join as an author. Now that visitors can register on their own, link them to the following URL instead:

Replace “” with your own domain, and then visit that page to check it out. Here’s how it should look:

screenshot of the wordpress registration page

Once a visitor submits their username and email, they’ll receive an email with a link to another page where they can set their password:

screenshot of the wordpress password registration page

After they’ve created their password, they can login and start adding their own posts.


You learned how to allow registration at the contributor level, what the contributor role means for your site, and how to direct people to the registration form.

Now you can begin promoting authorship on your site, and building your audience through guest submissions.

As mentioned earlier, there are five other user roles you can utilize on your site. If you want to learn more about user roles, check out the overview on the codex.

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
This article was written by Ben Sibley. He is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.