How to Restrict a WordPress Author to Posting in One Category

photo credit: Nic's events - cc
photo credit: Nic’s eventscc

Multi-author WordPress blogs often have many authors working together to push out content, but not every author needs access to post to all categories on the site. In fact, there may be times when you want to limit an author to posting in just one assigned category for contributions.

Restrict Author Posting is a new plugin that allows administrators to restrict authors, on an individual basis, to post in only one category. This is a lightweight, specific-use plugin that doesn’t alter any other capabilities or permissions.

Once you install it, administrators can navigate to each user that they want to restrict and assign a category.

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When the author goes to create a new post, the meta box listing all of the categories will not be available. Instead, the author will see a notice of which category the post will fall under.

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Restrict Author Posting is a plugin that you might never think of until you have a situation where you need it. Put it in place to streamline contributions on a multi-author site by herding authors into their assigned categories. This saves you the trouble of having to double check posts to make sure they fall under the correct category. It also helps to ensure that authors don’t go crazy creating new categories for every post. Download Restrict Author Posting from WordPress.org.

2 Comments


  1. I can definitely see how you might need this… yet it one sense, you could think of it as redundant. If you restrict all of author “Vanessa Blaylock’s” posts to the “Vanessa’s World” category, then that category is self-similar to the Vanessa Author Archive. I guess you could restrict both Sarah & Vanessa to the “smart people who are not men” category… so that could be useful.

    In my own case, I run a few multi-author sites where all authors are free to post in any category. The issue I have is that I prefer posts to have 1 category and any number of tags. I always feel that checking 6 different categories isn’t helpful because then all the same posts come up regardless of what category archive you look at. I think of categories as overarching theme and tags as any items touched on in the post.

    The problem is that when an author looks at the backend they see a blank box for tags, so many of them just leave that blank, and they see all sorts of choices for categories to check off, so they check a bunch. I realize that technically checkboxes for categories and a text box for tags makes sense, yet functionally it seems to often encourage authors to do the opposite of what I had in mind. I’ve tried explaining this to authors and that often doesn’t work. If these were paid authors that message might be easier to transmit, but these are art & culture sites where everyone is freely sharing their projects and ideas and sometimes that degree of communication is hard. I’ve mostly stopped trying to explain it and I do just “clean up” the categories in the backend manually. It only takes a minute per post, so it’s easy.

    What I personally wouldn’t mind is the option to change categories from Check Boxes, to Radio Buttons. Then authors could choose any category, but they’d be forced to pick the (hopefully) most relevant category and not just click 6 of them.

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  2. And maybe, ‘How to Restrict Yourself to Posting in a Prescribed Category’ could be handy, too.

    While it’s not hard to see that a multi-author web-shop may choose to herd writers into specific categories, the ideas & tools described in this article sound like they can be adapted & deployed to provide important values for solo authors & webmasters, too.

    Categories in WordPress are flexible, but they can seem uncooperative at times, too. Though making the category-system flexible is a good thing, it may not offer the structure we’d like to have, for some roles.

    Navigation of extensive and/or complex content was identified as a big challenge, early in the Personal Computer era. The arrival of the Internet, and websites, exacerbated rather than resolved this challenge. Categories, and enlightened use of them, can/could help a lot.

    For example, right here on WPTavern, one of the leading guides in the WordPress firmament, the main way to navigate is the same way they did it in Pharaonic Egyptian, the early Roman & Greek civilizations, and the Shang Dynasty of China.

    It’s sobering, that with all our resources, we have devolved to mainly scrolling & pagination. WPTavern could be printed out on bound sheets of dead-animal parchment (by enslaved scribes, using goose-feather quills and compost-tea ink), and access to the content (navigation) would be virtually identical to the digital-electronic website.

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