I’ll tell you a secret: up until a few months ago, user roles and permissions in WordPress were a vast, unexplored land of confusing terms (capabilities and — gasp — meta capabilities) and complex relationships. I didn’t know much, but I did know that if you were playing with new user roles or capabilities and messed up how you handled things, you could seriously break stuff for yourself or your site’s (or plugin’s) users. As a former Mirosoft Windows geek — who did support for Windows and applications running on Windows — it was a lot like the registry; sure, you can do some amazing stuff by hacking the registry, but if you break it, you’re screwed.
I also knew they could be incredibly powerful, especially if you wanted to create an environment where everyone isn’t an admin. Which, you know, should be like every site. Ever.
So, when I sat down to start writing my Book Review Library plugin, I was thinking about my target audience — two librarians who I worked with to hash out the specific features that they wanted for this new addition to a school website. They wouldn’t want — and shouldn’t have — admin access to everything. But if I didn’t make them admins, they wouldn’t be able to create book reviews, which were the thing they were asking for. Which is when I started looking at creating new user roles that would only be able to access those reviews and other areas that I thought they should be able to access.
And that’s the crux behind my new Pluralsight course — Master Your Domain: User Roles and Capabilities in WordPress. I wanted to go through the existing user roles system in WordPress, how you can leverage those existing roles to give site users access to only those parts of the site that they are going to be using, and how to extend those existing roles by adding new permissions (capabilities) to them or by creating new user roles. And here’s another secret: it’s really not that scary. If you get custom post types, you’ll get custom user roles and user meta, trust me.
Okay, so to commemorate the new course, I’m doing another giveaway for 1 month trial codes for Pluralsight. This time around, I’m limiting them to 5. Once I’ve given away 5, there will be no more (until I do another giveaway). Want a month of free Pluralsight so you can check out my new course? Sure you do. This time I’m using Rafflecopter and letting it deal with all the details and stuff. It’s pretty easy — follow me on Twitter, tweet about the course, then post a comment back here about what other WordPress-related topics you’d like me to cover. You can also follow Pluralsight on Twitter so you know about new courses and stuff.