In most cases, you’ll only experience your WordPress website from an administrator’s perspective. With that role, you’ll have access to tweak your site in any way you want. However, sometimes you’ll need to view your site from a different perspective for testing or troubleshooting. The easiest way to do this is to switch between WordPress users with different roles.
As you might imagine, this is something you can do manually at any time. However, keeping track of multiple usernames and passwords is a massive pain, so finding a more efficient way to switch between WordPress users can save you a ton of time. Fortunately, you can use a plugin to switch between different WordPress user accounts without leaving your dashboard.
In this article, we’ll talk more about why you’d want to jump between WordPress accounts and then we’ll teach you how to do it with the free User Switching plugin. Let’s jump right in!
- 1 Why you might need to switch between WordPress users
- 2 Introducing the User Switching Plugin
- 3 How to switch between user accounts in WordPress
- 4 How to switch between user accounts from your dashboard navigation bar
- 5 Conclusion
Why you might need to switch between WordPress users
If you’re running a WordPress site, chances are that you’re doing it from an administrator account. This is the top role in the WordPress hierarchy, and it grants you access to all of WordPress’ features. In some cases, however, you might need to resort to using an account with a different role. Instead of changing your account’s privileges, the easiest route is to simply log into a different one.
Accessing a different user account can be necessary for a variety of reasons, most of which will fall within these two categories:
- Troubleshooting errors. WordPress is an excellent platform, but it’s not without the occasional bug (especially if you’re running a lot of plugins). In some cases, your users may experience errors differently than you do because of your account’s privileges. You may need to check out what they see firsthand by switching accounts.
- Testing specific features. Some themes and plugins will enable features only for specific account roles. In those cases, you might not be able to test if they’re working properly as an administrator, so you’ll have to use a different type of account.
Specific examples of when switching user accounts is helpful
Let’s say, for example, that you’re working on implementing a job board on your WordPress website. A lot of job sites enable users to submit their own listings. You’d want to double-check that this feature works for anyone, which you can do by learning how to switch between WordPress users.
Or, perhaps you need to enable a maintenance page for your WordPress site. In this scenario, you’d want to retain full access to your entire website, while displaying only your maintenance page to other users. If you wanted to check whether your maintenance page was working properly, you could switch accounts and do it in a minute or two.
Additionally, switching between WordPress users is especially helpful for WordPress Multisite networks. After you’ve installed WordPress Multisite, you’ll almost always need to jump between different user accounts to see how everything is working.
In these scenarios and more, having quick access to a variety of account roles is crucial. Now, let’s find out how to make that possible.
Introducing the User Switching Plugin
Instead of keeping track of multiple login details, User Switching lets you seamlessly switch between different user accounts right from your WordPress dashboard.
This tool enables you to jump between user accounts with the press of a button, and return to your main account just as easily. The feature is only available to administrators, of course, and it doesn’t reveal any personal information about the user accounts you’re ‘borrowing’ (such as their passwords).
Keep in mind that this plugin will provide you with limited access to any user account on your website. If you find yourself using it regularly, however, it might be simpler to set up dummy accounts with different roles.
- Lets you switch between user accounts on your website
- Makes this feature only available to administrators
- Protects your users’ privacy by hiding their passwords
- Enables you to jump back to your primary account at any time
User Switching is 100% free to use, so there’s no reason not to give it a try!
How to switch between user accounts in WordPress
If you decide to pick up the User Switching plugin, the first thing you’ll want to do is install and activate it. When you’re done, make your way to the Users → All Users tab on your dashboard. You’ll see that there’s a new option next to each of the names on your list of users:
Clicking on Switch To enables you to jump between WordPress users. All you need to do is click it for the account you want to use:
You’ll find yourself on a very different dashboard with fewer options and see a message alerting you that you’re now viewing your site as a different user. In fact, if you switch to a regular subscriber account, the only option you’ll see is to edit your profile.
You can also make your way to the front end of your site by clicking on your site’s title on your dashboard’s navigation bar, as usual. When you’re ready to return to your primary account, go back to your dashboard and click on the Switch back to… option at the top. It’s that simple.
If you want to make the process even easier, however, you can set up an additional plugin on top of User Switching. The plugin is called Admin Bar User Switching. This tool enables you to jump between accounts right from your dashboard’s navigation bar.
Once you’ve set it up, you’ll see a new Switch User option on your navigation bar. If you click on it, you’ll be able to search through your existing users and pick an account to jump to from anywhere on your site.
Aside from that, this plugin doesn’t change anything on your site. Keep in mind that it won’t work properly unless you set up the User Switching plugin first. Also, it only makes sense to install both plugins if you intend to use this feature frequently.
Learning how to switch between WordPress users seamlessly is a simple trick that can enable you to troubleshoot your site more efficiently. Plus, it will enable you to test specific features more thoroughly, and ensure that your site is displaying well for everyone.
What’s more, the process is simple. All you have to do is install and activate the User Switching plugin and head to the profile of any user whose account you want to test. Click a button to put yourself in their shoes, and you’ll be able to switch back to your main account at any time.
Do you have any questions about how to switch between WordPress users on your site? Ask away in the comments section below!