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I am creating a new WordPress user on my website who can write and publish content. There are two roles: Author and Contributor. What is the difference between these two roles?

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According to the WordPress documentation, 

Author: somebody who can publish and manage their own posts.

Contributor: somebody who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.

So, if you assign your new users the Author role, they can write and publish their posts. On the other hand, if you assign them the Contributor role, they will be able to write their posts, and then the admin needs to publish those posts.