Some WordPress websites benefit from an active user community of people that are commenting and providing content.
But many sites don’t want or need that type of interaction, and it can invite more spam than anything.
Managing spam on a site that is susceptible to it can be very time-consuming, so you may be looking for a way to manage that.
Our tutorial below will show you how to disable WordPress new user registration so that people can’t create accounts on your site.
How to Turn WordPress User Registration Off or On
- Sign in to your admin dashboard.
- Select Settings.
- Uncheck the Anyone can register box.
- Click Save changes.
Our guide continues below with additional information on disabling WordPress user registration, including pictures of these steps.
Depending on the type of site you are creating in WordPress, there are certain settings that you will need to have enabled to achieve the functionality you want.
For example, if you are creating an ecommerce store, then you probably want to let customers create user accounts so that they can generate orders, view order histories, and generally use your ecommerce site in the manner to which they have become accustomed with other sites.
But if your site is purely informational, and you don’t really have a need for people to register, then disabling user registration might be the right choice.
Mainly it will prevent spam bots from generating user accounts so that they can try and add comments to your posts.
How to Allow or Block People from Creating User Accounts on Your WordPress Site (Guide with Pictures)
The steps in this article were performed in the 5.2 version of WordPress.
Note that disabling registration will not entirely prevent the creation of new accounts. Administrators on the site will still be able to create new accounts by following the steps in this article.
Disabling registration will simply prevent the creation of new accounts from the public-facing part of your site.
These steps will show you how to prevent new user registration on your WordPress website.
Step 1: Sign into the admin section of your WordPress site at (yourdomain.com)/wp-admin.
Go to your WordPress dashboard.
Step 2: Hover over Settings in the left column, then choose the General option.
Mouse over Settings and select General.
Step 3: Check, or clear the check mark from, the box to the left of Anyone can register.
Enable or disable the Anyone can register option.
In the image above I have blocked users from registering on my site.
If you are allowing registration, then you may wish to change the setting next to New User Default Role depending on the type of account you wish to give to new users.
Step 4: Scroll to the bottom of the window and click the Save Changes button.
Scroll down and save your changes.
If you are blocking user registration on your site, then you can add this to the end of your site address – /wp-login.php?action=register – and you should be able to confirm that user registration is disabled on your site.
If you see the “User registration is currently not allowed” notification then you will know that it is set up properly.
Now that you know how to enable or disable user registration in WordPress you will be able to set up your site and make it so that you aren’t flooded with a ton of spam accounts that want to add links to comments.
Frequently Asked Questions About the WordPress Disable User Registration Process
How do I delete a user in WordPress?
if you already have a bunch of user accounts on your WordPress site that you don’t want, then you can delete them.
Navigate to the WordPress dashboard, then select Users in the left column.
You can then hover over the user that you want to remove from your site and click the Delete option.
If you need to get rid of a lot of users then you can check the box next to each one that you want to delete, then click the Bulk Actions dropdown menu at the top of the window and choose the Delete option there instead.
Note that if you had a register link and the default WordPress registration page was active for a while, then you will probably need to remove a bunch of spam user registrations.
it’s also likely that many of these spam registrations will have added some comments after their account creation, so you may also want to check any feedback forms and delete unwanted comments.
How do I turn off comments in WordPress?
If you have comments enabled on your WordPress site and you either don’t want or need them, then you can save yourself some hassle by turning them off.
Sign into your dashboard, hover over Settings in the left column, then choose Discussion.
Here you can turn off this setting:
– Allow people to submit comments on new posts
Then you can enable these options:
– Comment author must fill out name and email
– Users must be registered and logged in to comment (if you’ve turned off user registration with the steps above then these work really well together)
– Automatically close comments on posts older than 1 day
– Comment must be manually approved
– Comment author must have a previously approved comment
I will also usually put the maximum number of links allowed at “1”.
This combination of settings will pretty much stop all comments on your site, but you can also try some plugins which can take care of this for you.
Where can I confirm that user registrations are blocked on my WordPress site?
Once you have followed the steps above you can go to the registration page by adding this registration link –
to the end of your site’s URL.
You will still see a registration form on that page, but there will be a banner at the top of the page to indicate that the user registration feature is no longer active.
Note that this will not affect your regular login page, and anyone that has previously completed WordPress registration on your site will still be able to access their dashboard.
Is there a way to manage spam user registration without choosing to disable user registrations?
If you want to let users register on your site, then there isn’t a great way to disable WP registration for some types of things but still allow new user registration for real users.
You can try setting up a Captcha for new user registrations, which can be somewhat helpful in keeping new user accounts active but limited to real people, but it’s not completely effective at stopping spammers from creating a user account on your WordPress website.
How can I change the default user role on my site?
if you aren’t going to disable registration, then you might decide to adjust the membership setting for people that create accounts.
You can do this by going to the General Settings page in your dashboard, then clicking the New User Default Role dropdown menu and choosing from these options:
The default membership option you choose will depend on the types of user roles you are expecting on your site, but each of these different roles has different permissions and will be able to adjust varying levels of content and settings on your site, so it’s important to be careful when making a selection here.
Looking for ways to improve the SEO performance of your WordPress site? A good place to start is the Yoast SEO plugin. It manages many of the important SEO elements of your site, and is one of the most popular SEO plugins out there.
Matt has been working with WordPress and creating content using this powerful content management system for years. While he has written about many other tech topics, WordPress is one of his favorites.
You can read his full bio here.