Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content guy, bestselling author

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In software terms, nothing says, “We didn’t think this through” more than “Super Admin”

Geeks only: Whenever you stumble upon the use of “Super Admin,” you can be sure of one thing: the software designer didn’t properly plan for multi-user access.

I saw this most recently today when considering the use of WordPress Network for an upcoming project. I’ve seen the term numerous times before, but always get a chuckle when seeing. In WordPress’ case, the creators originally designed the software to run only one website. When they decided to add functionality to manage multiple websites, they needed to add another administration layer on top. Hence the double use of admin.

Admittedly, I’ve designed short-sighted software before. But I’ve also done everything in my power to avoid using the age-old “super admin” naming convention. For WordPress, why not rename single-level administrators to “operator,” “manager,” or something less authoritative? If dead set on sticking with administrator, why not rename your top administrator to “master,” “commander,” “overlord” or something?

I realize “super admin” is universally understood by software geeks, myself included. But it sounds ridiculous, not to mention ad-hoc.