How to Change WordPress Admin Username and Why

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

I’m reblogging this from our business site for any WordPress Multisite Network Admins looking for an easy way to change their username in the wake of recent brute force login attacks, or wondering what happened to their Super Admin menu items after they did so.

What does this means to Tripawds members? Only that we are on top of things wen it comes to maintaining and securing this community. Thank you for your support.

From the Team Agreda News Blog…

WordPress BadgeFair Warning: This is a bit more technical than our usual home based business tips.

With all the news about recent brute force bot attacks on WordPress sites, however, and considering the number of WordPress sites out there, this is vital information for anyone with a WordPress Admin account.

There are plenty of articles about the WordPress Admin Botnet, so I’ll get straight to dealing with it. In short, hackers are breaking into WordPress sites using brute force login attempts on any “Admin” accounts, the default username for site administrators.

The first line of defense is to ensure you have a strong password. Change yours now, I’ll wait. that’s the first thing I did a few days ago as news of the attacks surfaced. As reports increased, more drastic steps were clearly necessary to protect all our websites.

The second (and most effective) step in thwarting these particular attacks is to change your default Admin username. You can’t just do that from your user profile, but there are various methods. One easy way to change the Admin username is to create a new user account with Admin permissions, then delete the original Admin account and transfer all posts to the new user. That’s great for the basic WP install, but it doesn’t help those of us running SimplePress Forums or multisite communities.

NOTE: Deleting an account and transferring the user’s blog posts will not reassign that user’s forum posts, permissions, subscriptions, etc. when running SimplePress.

How to Change WordPress Admin Username via PHP MyAdmin

The following are steps to quickly and easily change the default WordPress “Admin” account username in your database using PHP MyAdmin. This is less daunting than it sounds, but it does assume you have cPanel access and are familiar launching PHP MyAdmin. If not, review these simple steps with screenshots for doing so.

SIDENOTE: What that article does not address, however, is how doing so will affect your Super Admin capabilities if you are a multisite network administrator. I found out the hard way. Read on for details.

1. Log into your cPanel account, launch PHP MyAdmin and open the database for your WordPress installation.

2. Select your wp_users table and edit the row for your Admin account, usually the first, with ID 1.

edit wordpress admin username

3. Enter your new desired username in the user_login data field.

4. Click Go. That’s it! Log in with your new username and existing password.

That’s it? Well not quite if you are a multisite Super Admin. Stop here and you will discover the Super Admin menu items have disappeared once you log back in. Don’t panic.

How To Change Default User Name For Network Super Admin Account

WordPress keeps track of Super Admin users in the wp_sitemeta table. Follow a couple more steps to ensure you retain Super Admin powers when changing your Admin username.

1. Change Admin username as described above.

2. Browse your database for the wp_sitemeta table and edit the site_admins row.

wp_sitemeta site admins 3. Note the meta value for existing Super Admins. It will look something like this:

a:1:{i:0;s:5:”admin”;}

In this case, the 5 indicates the username has five characters, and the username is admin. Other variables may be included in this array if you have more than one Super Admin, but you get the point, right?

wp_sitemeta site admins

4. Edit the meta value for site_admins to include the new user name you changed in the first steps above. For example:

a:1:{i:0;s:9:”mynewname”;}

Note that the integer must change in relation to the number of characters in the username.

5. Click Go. That’s it, really!

Follow the simple steps above and log back into your site with your new user name and existing password. If you’re a Super Admin, you will still have your magic menus for doing all your network related stuff. And if you’re a SimplePress Forums Admin, you will still have all your posts and the permissions you need to keep managing your forums. you can even keep your display name as Admin and nobody will be the wiser.

How To Prevent Users from Creating Admin Accounts

If you’re running your own WordPress multisite network, you may want to consider this one extra step to ensure nobody creates another account with the Admin username. Not that they would actually have administrator capabilities, but better safe than sorry…

banned wordpress account user names

While logged in as Super Admin visit your Network Settings page and ensure that your list of banned usernames includes “Admin” and your site will never have another Admin user account.

Any questions?


To remove ads from your site and others, upgrade to a Tripawds Supporter blog!

Big News for Tripawds Bloggers!

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

Basic Tripawds Blogs will always be free. Jerry wouldn’t have it any other way.

In order to do this, however, we have updated our Supporter framework to offer three levels of support with even more enhanced features to those who wish to help keep this community online with an ongoing PayPal subscription. Please review the updated Tripawds Supporter account feature comparison for complete details or consider upgrading your blog now.

Act Now to Save on Supporter Upgrades

We are offering a discount to the first five lucky Tripawds Bloggers who upgrade their account! Use coupon code TRISUPP25OFF to receive 25% off your first payment of any Tripawds Supporter level! This coupon code can only be used five times so upgrade your blog now and save!

A Few Things All Tripawd Bloggers Should Know

Tripawds Supporter BadgeIf you have not yet upgraded your blog, you may notice some new content being inserted into your posts and pages. (See links at the top and bottom of this post.) Consider upgrading your blog to immediately remove these ads and Support links.

Supporters can remove ads from other favorite Tripawds blogs from their Dashboard -> Supporter Status -> Disable Ads.

There are now three Supporter levels to choose from for showing your appreciation of this community and enabling enhanced features on your blog.

Certain plugins are now only available for Supporter II blogs. If you are a current Supporter, do not deactivate these plugins or you may need to upgrade to get them back.

Premium Themes are now only activated for Supporter III blogs. If you had previously activated a premium theme, do not change it or you will need to upgrade to switch back.

If you are a subscriber and had the Supporter Badge displaying in your blog, you will need to replace it with your current level badge by dragging the Supporter Widget back to your sidebar from the Appearance -> Widgets tab in your dashboard.

You can upgrade, modify or view the current status of your Tripawds subscription anytime from the Supporter tab in your dashboard.

What do you get for your money?

Most importantly, Tripawds Supporters gain the satisfaction of knowing that they help us maintain the largest online community for three legged dogs and their people. Below is a comparison of all account features. Please visit the Supporter Upgrade page and select your site to see additional monthly or quarterly payment options and pricing.

Tripawds Blogs Free Supporter Supporter II Supporter III
Banner Ads on Blog included not included not included not included
Disable Ads on Other Tripawds Blogs
included not included (5) not included (10) not included (25)
Basic Comment Spam Protection included included included included
Subscriptions to Blog Comments
not included included included included
Enhanced Spam Protection not included included included included
Simple Contact Form Creation not included included included included
Enhanced Video Embedding not included not included included included
Search Engine Optimization not included not included included included
Blog Statistics & Shortlinks not included not included not included included
Premium Blog Theme Selection not included not included not included included
Personal Tech Support not included not included not included included
Upload Space 25 MB 100 MB
250 MB 1 GB
Cost FREE $25 / year $49 / year $129 / year

Did we mention the coupon? Act now to save 25% off your first payment of any Tripawds Supporter level with code:  TRISUPP25OFF (Only 5 coupons available!)

How did we do it?

The Tripawds Supporter framework is powered by the simple to use yet massively configurable Pro Sites plugin from WPMU Dev. After network-activating this multisite plugin, we were able to easily create the Supporter options and associated account features above by enabling different modules and assigning certain plugins and themes to each Pro Site level.

We created these Supporter levels to automatically remove ads and enable enhanced blogging features for sites with recurring PayPal subscription plans. Many other payment gateways are also available. A few options we chose not to apply include the ability to:

  • Prohibit or limit publishing of posts and/or pages for selected Pro Site levels.
  • Provide “unfiltered_html” permission to specific user types for selected levels.
  • Restrict XML-RPC and Atom Publishing to selected Pro Sites.
  • Only allow blog access for paid sites.
  • Limit BuddyPress group creation and messaging to users of a Pro Site.

Pro Sites includes far too many features for me to list here. The multiple Supporter levels, ease of use, coupon codes and robust statistics were reason enough for us to upgrade. Check out the Pro Sites plugin in action to see how you might use it for your multisite network!


WPMU DEV - The WordPress Experts

My Latest WordPress Multisite Community

Allow me to brag for just a moment…

team agreda free wellness business marketing blogsMore than four years since we sold our graphics business, I am happy to announce that I finally updated our company website. And in doing so, I have launched my latest WordPress multisite community. I’ll provide details about any hacks I make, and review multisite plugins I deploy in the future. For now I thought I would just share the content focus, for anyone not interested in the technical side of things.

Since we hit the road after Jerry lost his leg, there really hasn’t been any reason exciting enough to update our Agreda Communications site. I basically put up some links to Tripawds and our LiveWorkDream blog and left it alone. After traveling the country for three years in search of the next big thing, however, we found it.

The new and improved Team Agreda portal provides information about the new home-based wellness business we have launched, and how we help others do the same with:

  • No startup costs & no inventory to stock
  • No selling or sales quotas whatsoever
  • No shipping products or billing customers
  • Free lead generation websites
  • And absolutely no risk!

Interested? Contact us for complete details!

At first glance agreda.com doesn’t look like any sort of multi-user blogs community. That’s because I’ve made it private. We will be creating free lead generation sites for business partners and making certain value added content visible only to them using the Membership plugin from WPMU Dev. This will allow us to hide specific pages and other content we only want team members to see from the general public. Anyone who visits the site will still be able to read our biography, review the FAQs and contact us.

wordpress multisite network login widgetI would like to give one shout out to Josh Parker for his WPMS Sidebar Login Widget. After spending hours trying to hard-code a login/profile panel into the sidebar like we have on Tripawds, this plugin did the trick in minutes.

Now our partners can log into their dashboards from the main site to reveal members-only content. Thanks Josh!

New Custom Admin Bar Menu Improves Navigation

Within minutes of announcing the new Tripawds admin bar menu in the tech support forum, one member replied…

Very nice…much easier to navigate!

wordpress multisite custom admin bar menuThanks Meghan! That was our goal with implementing this new custom admin bar menu – to help users navigate the site, whether they are searching the forums, watching videos, chatting or browsing blogs.

The WordPress Admin Bar is the grey stripe visible to logged in members which includes menus with links to various user account and blog administrative tools. Now users will notice a new menu to the far left of the bar, no matter which blog they’re viewing.

Hover your mouse over “tripawds” at far left to expand the menu for easy access to some of the most popular resources this community have to offer. Don’t see the Admin Bar? Register today to take full advantage of this network!

How To Add Custom WordPress Admin Bar Menu

For WordPress multisite network administrators interested in how we did this, it’s simple with the free Custom Admin Bar Menu plugin from WPMU Dev. Sure, you could hack functions to remove or add links to the admin bar, but why bother? If you’re looking to add a whole new menu, this plugin makes it easy.

As usual, the team at WPMU Dev has created a sleek interface which allows for easy set-up and configuration. The plugin works with single WordPress sites and any multisite network.

configure wordpress multisite custom admin bar menu

Adding and sorting links is easy sort with the drag and drop interface. And you can even use a small image for the menu title (no more than 28px high). Make it transparent for best results.

TIP: Select the “External Page” URL type and include the whole address if you want to link to a certain page on a specific blog within your multisite network.

Select “Administrative Page” if you want to direct users to one of their admin tabs. And select “Site Page” if you want to include the domain.tld of the site being viewed.

WPMU DEV - The WordPress ExpertsLooking for more awesome WordPress multisite plugins? Checkout our list of all the plugins we use to power the Tripawds community or check out everything WPMU Dev has to offer!

And don’t miss my recent guest posts on ProBlogger about building an online community:

Best Multisite Plugins Build Tripawds Community

My recent ProBlogger guest post about building a successful online community received such positive feedback that I followed it up with more details about tactics we use to keep the Tripawds network feature rich and running smoothly.

WordPress Multisite Network Problogger Guest Post

For those who asked – and for any WordPress multisite admins interested in making the most of their network – the following is an overview of the specific plugins we use to create the Tripawds Community. I’ve included brief descriptions about what each plugin does with links for download info and to see the plugin in use.

Best WordPress Multisite Plugins to Build Online Community

Simple:Press Forums – This community simply would not be what it has become without the Tripawds Discussion Forums, powered by SimplePress, and we have nothing but good things to say about this easy to use yet robust plugin. While SPF can be network activated, we choose to host one main group of forums on the main News blog only.

Anti-Splog – A must have for any multisite admin! Prior to installing this robust plugin, stopping spam blog registrations was a terribly frustrating time-consuming task. Now they are easily and automatically blocked, with various methods and many configuration options.

Stop Spam! – We use Akismet and TypePad Anti-Spam to stop comment spam on all Tripawds blogs. Supporter Blogs get enhanced spam protection and a spam-free contact form with WP SpamFree.

phpFreeChat – I implemented the Tripawds Live Chat using this code long before PHP Free Chat became available as a plugin for WordPress. Recently, I’ve been testing the sleek new chat plugin from WPMU Dev and may be migrating to that soon.

Avatars – This plugin enables global avatars for all users and blogs, allowing members to upload an avatar and have it displayed wherever they comment, and in the recent posts widgets throughout the main site.

Supporter – This premium account framework allows us to automatically remove ads from Supporter Blogs, increase their upload space and enable enhanced features with an easily implemented PayPal subscription model.

Members Directory – This plugin allows us to easily create a searchable directory of all Tripawds members.

Blogs Directory – Like the above, this plugin creates a searchable directory of all Tripawds blogs.

Global Site Search – With the WordPress admin bar only providing a search field for the blog being viewed, we use this plugin to create a page for searching all blogs across the Tripawds network.

Personal Welcomes – We personally welcome all new members and send Supporters thank yous for upgrading their account with the email functionality and message templates this plugin provides.

Global Header & Footer – I used some legacy code I found long ago and wrote about how to create the blog ring style header and footer that appears on all Tripawds blogs. Now I’m considering using the WPMS Global Content plugin.

recent global wordpress network posts widgetRecent Global Posts Widget – We show the most recent posts from all Tripawds blogs in this widget displayed throughout the News blog. We’re able to hard code this widget into our Chat and Forums page templates using the Recent Posts plugin. We use another widget plugin to show Recent Global Comments.

Recent Global Posts Feed – This plugin generates an RSS feed for all blog posts across the network and comes complete with a widget for displaying the feed link.

Blogs Widget – Using this plugin a widget showing recent (or random) blogs can be seen throughout the Tripawds News blog.

WPMU DEV - The WordPress Experts

New Blog Templates – I recently activated this plugin to easily create a template for all new Tripawds blogs so they use the specific theme, widgets, blogroll links and settings that I specify.

Multisite Dashboard Feed – I wrote in detail about how we now show recent posts from all blogs in every user dashboard using the Multisite Dashboard Feed Widget.

WordPress CMS Theme – The Tripawds News blog uses the WPMU Nelo Custom CMS Homepage Theme which supports a custom navigation menu so we can facilitate network navigation.

133+ Theme Pack – We offer Tripawds bloggers more than 140 themes to choose from with this pack of thoroughly tested templates including custom headers, threaded comments, and more features guaranteed to work by WPMU Dev. Supporter blogs have access to additional premium themes.

Friends Plugin Widget Admin ScreenshotFriends – With this plugin network-activated, Tripawds bloggers can “friend” each other and display widgets with all their friends on their blogs.

Invites – This simple plugin lets members send friends, family and colleagues invitations to register for their blog directly from an admin tab.

Simple Sitemaps – In addition to activating the All In One SEO plugin on Supporter blogs, we automatically generate Google-friendly sitemaps for all blogs with this plugin.

Admin Ads– Instead of using this plugin to show ads, we created a list of “quick links” to helpful content in all user dashboards. It is also helpful for announcing special events and site maintenance.

Admin Help Content – This plugin changes the WordPress help content that slides down when users click on the “Help” drop-down in their dashboard. We use it to direct members to our own Tech Support Forum and Help videos.

Subscribe to Comments – We auto-activate this plugin on Tripawds Supporter blogs so readers can subscribe to receive notification of comments on individual posts.

Viper’s Video QuickTags – This plugin also gets auto-activated for Tripawds Supporters to allow easy embedding of movies in their blogs from various video sharing sites. I wrote more details here.

Terms of Service – This plugin places your usage terms in a box on the signup form with the option of forcing new users to check a box stating they read it in order to continue

Support System – I use this comprehensive tech support ticket and FAQ system over at RVblogz.com, where we don’t have any discussion forums.

WordPress Pop Up! – Thanks to this plugin, visitors to the Tripawds News blog (who come from an external domain and have never seen the ad) will be shown a discreet pop-up directing them to the best advice the site has to offer. It is massively configurable and easy to use.

Help Videos – We provide numerous WordPress dashboard tutorial videos to help members make the most of their blogs.

BlogTalkRadio – We use these free internet radio broadcasting tools to produce Tripawd Talk Radio.

More Plugins Make Tripawds Blogs Even Better

Phew! As if that’s not enough, we also make various importer plugins available to all Tripawds bloggers so they can easily migrate their existing posts from Blogger, LiveJournal, Moveable Type and other platforms to our free blogs network. NextGen Gallery is the powerful plugin we use to manage the Tripawds Photo Galleries. And cformsII is the comprehensive contact form plugin we use on our primary contact page and for our two-part 2010 Tripawds survey. Finally, we have used the WPAudio MP3 Player plugin to stream mp3 files in the Tripawds Downloads blog.

WPMU DEV - The WordPress ExpertsReaders may notice that many of the plugins I describe above come from the fine folks at WPMU Dev. Lots of them are free, but some cost will cost you.

Like all good things, you get what you pay for. That’s why I recommend registering for a premium account to access all their plugins, every theme, and the awesome support they have to offer.

I hope this has been helpful. If you manage a multisite network, what plugins do you use to help build your community?