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A Role is collection of rights given to a user to perform a set of tasks. Within Contensive there are several hard-coded roles, and the ability to create custom roles are needed.

When you are logged in to a people record that is marked as developer, you have the developer role.There are no limitations to the developer role.
When you are logged in to a people record that is marked as administrator, you have the administrator role. Administrators can edit any content on the site as well as people records. The primary limitation to Administrators is they cannot access or modify data that is marked "developer only", and is typically reserved for security or high risk data.
Content Manager 
A content manager can edit selected content on the site, like just pages under the about us section, or just file uploads, etc. To be a content manager, you have to be logged in and added to a group which has been configured to manager the content.
A user is a person who has logged into a people record which has no other special roles assigned.
A guest is a person who has not logged in.
Group Permissions 
Typically, special permissions in the application can be easily created and managed with groups. When you create a group and add people to the group, you can assign permissions to group, like access to member pages.