Function and usage of is_site_admin() in wordpress


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    The is_site_admin() function in WordPress is a specific function used to determine if a user is a site administrator. This function is particularly relevant in the context of a WordPress Multisite installation. Here's a detailed explanation:

    Function Signature

    is_site_admin( string $user_login = '' )


    • Primary Function: To check if a specified user is a site administrator in a WordPress Multisite environment.
    • Usage Context: It is primarily used within plugins and themes to make decisions based on the user's administrative privileges.


    • Multisite Context: is_site_admin() is specifically relevant in a WordPress Multisite setup. In a regular WordPress installation, this function might not be applicable.
    • Use with is_multisite(): Instead of directly checking for the existence of is_site_admin(), plugins should use is_multisite() to determine if they are operating in a multisite environment. This approach is more robust and future-proof.
    • File Inclusion: This function should be located in a file that is included only if is_multisite() is true. This is due to legacy practices where the existence of certain functions was used to check for multisite capabilities.
    • Relation to is_super_admin(): It's important to differentiate is_site_admin() from is_super_admin(). While is_site_admin() checks for site-level admin capabilities, is_super_admin() checks for network-wide admin capabilities in a multisite setup.


    • $user_login (string, optional): The username of the user to check for site admin status.
      • Default: An empty string (''), which typically implies the current logged-in user.

    Sample Usage

    Here's an example of how is_site_admin() might be used in a WordPress plugin or theme:

    if ( is_multisite() && is_site_admin( 'john_doe' ) ) {
        // Perform actions specific to site admins
        // For example, displaying a special admin-only menu

    In this example, the code checks first if the WordPress installation is a multisite. If it is, it then checks if the user with the username 'john_doe' is a site admin. If both conditions are met, it performs specific actions designated for site admins.

    Important Notes

    • Legacy Function: Be aware that is_site_admin() might be considered a legacy function in newer versions of WordPress. Always check the latest WordPress documentation for the most up-to-date practices.
    • Alternatives: For more modern approaches or for functions that offer similar but more updated functionality, refer to the WordPress Codex or Developer Resources.


    The is_site_admin() function is a specific tool in the WordPress toolkit, primarily for use in multisite environments. Its proper use involves understanding its relationship with other WordPress functions and the context of multisite installations.

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