Skip to main content

Don’t Settle for Less Than Full Access to Your WordPress Website

May 31st, 2024

When working with WordPress, the system provides different user roles with varying capabilities. Not every user has access to all things. Often, this is enormously helpful as you can do things like restrict a user to only editing their own posts vs. all posts or similar limitations that serve a purpose.

However, there’s also a trend of WordPress builders providing only a restricted user account to their clients, one that does not have full access to the site. If you’ve found yourself on the receiving end of a restricted user account to a website that you own, I do not think you should accept that and you should instead advocate for full access.

Why Client WordPress Access Gets Limited

Let’s look at why this practice is done to begin with. Usually, if a client’s access is limited, it’s said to be done for their own benefit. By limiting an account, it allows control over what a user sees or has access to. This can be beneficial as there are areas inside of WordPress, like the theme editor, which if accessed by someone who does not understand what it’s for can often lead to issues. So instead of educating on what it’s for and if it should be used, it’s just removed from being accessible.

I understand these limitations often have good intentions at their core. If a limited account reduces opportunity for error or improves a client’s user experience of working with the site, I get the appeal of doing so.

However, at bare minimum, you should also have an “emergency use” full admin access log in to a website that you own. If this limited access account is the only access you have, I do not think that you should find this acceptable.

Don’t worry about needing a key for this mysterious locked area, it’s locked for your benefit!

Imagine you’re going to buy a house and you come across some doors in the house that are locked. When asking about them, you’re told they’re locked for your own benefit and, no, if/when you buy the house, they’d stay locked. Would you find this remotely acceptable? It would be your house, after all, if you buy it. Shouldn’t you have access to all the rooms?

Why do you settle for a similar situation with your website?

Full WordPress Admin Access and Nothing Less

As a developer, I’ve never been a fan of setting up a hostage situation with clients where I play king of the castle over elements of their web presence. I don’t want to own your domain. I don’t want to be your host. I don’t want to be the only full admin user on your website. I don’t want to own any of your accounts that manage your online presence. It’s your website. I want to help you, not control you.

Make sure you understand who holds the cards with your WordPress presence. Do you know all of your website’s key information? If all of this is routed through one person, what would happen if that person goes MIA? You can’t move a website because you know in your heart it’s yours. You need the appropriate access.

There are certain tasks on a WordPress website that cannot be done with less than full admin access. It is an enormously unfortunate conversation when a potential client has to be told they can’t be helped because they do not have the level of access required to their own website.

If you do not currently have this, please advocate that you receive it. If the person you are working with objects, at minimum, request a separate full access account that would only be used in emergencies so at least you know you do have it, if it’s needed.

MORE: WordPress Development

Related Articles