Publishing user submitted content is an excellent way to encourage engagement and build loyalty with your audience, but managing the inflow of new posts and articles is often a challenge for busy digital publishers.
What’s the solution?
It’s not uncommon for publishers to look for portal setups, where potential writers could create accounts, submit their own writing, and then track the status of their submitted work. Some publishers will try to build these portals from the ground up, but we believe that’s the wrong approach.
For publishers who run their websites on WordPress, a number of plugins can deliver similar results with much less effort. These plugins are made for managing user submitted content, like articles, photos, and blog posts. With the right plugins in place, publishers can actually allow readers to login and submit their own articles without accessing admin panels or being able to publish content on their own. Users can be automatically notified as their content makes its way through the editing process, all the way up to publication.
If you’re interested in learning more about managing user submitted content on your own website, keep reading. We’ll dig in and talk about five different solutions for publishers running their websites on the WordPress platform.
Top Plugins for Managing User Submitted Content
1. WordPress – Roles & Capabilities
The simplest way to start managing user submitted content on any website on the WordPress platform is by using WordPress’ own tools. WordPress has developed Roles to give publishers a way to control what users can’t and can’t do within their websites. Publishers have the ability to give individual users control over things like writing and editing posts, creating pages, creating categories, and moderating comments. Pre-defined roles include Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber. Each role is allowed to perform a set of tasks, called Capabilities. Common capabilities include publishing posts and moderating comments. The Roles & Capabilities feature in WordPress works best for publications with freelance writers and editors, as opposed to individual user submissions. However, it can be adapted to meet a variety of needs.
2. User Submitted Posts
With the User Submitted Posts plugin, readers can submit their own posts from the frontend of your website. The plugin adds a frontend form that readers can use to submit blog posts, articles, and upload images. As the publisher, you have the flexibility to add the provided shortcode to individual posts, pages, or widgets. Your forms can be setup to require that users include their names, email addresses, or post headlines (titles) before submitting their content. Or, you can setup forms so that only registered users (or subscribers) can submit their own content. The User Submitted Posts plugin is free.
3. AccessPress Anonymous Post
Depending on the type of news your website publishes, you might be looking for a way for readers to anonymously submit their own tips and other content. This WordPress plugin does just that. AccessPress Anonymous Post gives publishers a way to accept guest posts, front-end posting, and posting without logging in. Using a responsive HTML5 form, readers can submit standard WordPress posts and images. They can do this whether they are logged in or not. Email notifications let admins know when a successful post submission has been made. Premium upgrades are available.
4. Guest Author
The Guest Author plugin by WebFactory Ltd solves one of the most common challenges for publishers who are interested in accepting and managing user submitted content. With this plugin, publishers can add guest authors to posts without needing to register those guest authors as users on their websites. Guest authors are treated as regular authors, with their own avatar images and links to custom author pages. This plugin works best for publishers who regularly run guest posts. It’s less useful for publishers who are looking to accept anonymous posts or tips from readers.
The WPForms plugin may work for publishers who are looking for a streamlined way to allow users to submit posts on their websites. With the Pro version of this plugin, publishers gain access to the post submissions add-on. Front-end post submission forms can then be added to allow users to submit blog posts without logging into the admin area. Once a user submits a post or articles using the form, WPForms automatically creates a blog post in the back-end of WordPress and marks it as “pending.” Publishers can then review the article or post for editing and clarification before it goes live. For publishers who are looking for a way to allow non-registered users to submit content without creating an account or accessing the full admin area, this plugin could be the ideal solution.
To learn more about why we recommend running your website on the WordPress platform, click here.