Best Back-End WordPress Plugins for News Publishers

We’ve rounded up the best back-end WordPress plugins for news publishers.

When most people think of setting up and maintaining a news website, they focus on the front-end. How does the website look? How is the navigation setup? How are the ads displaying? But the truth is, what’s happening on the back-end carries a lot more weight over how the news organization actually runs.

Back-end WordPress plugins include everything that relates to the publishing, maintenance, and functionality of a news website. Back-end WordPress plugins add valuable functionality, making them some of the most useful plugins that publishers can integrate into their websites. These plugins can help improve website speeds, improve search engine visibility, and more effectively manage editorial workflows.

Let’s take a look at some of the top back-end WordPress plugins that news publishers are using right now.

Top 5 Back-End WordPress Plugins for News Publishers

1. Edit Flow
Unlike personal blogs, large news websites and online magazines often have multiple people working to write and edit the content that’s published online each day. With the Edit Flow plugin, editors and publishers can collaborate with their teams from inside the WordPress platform. Edit Flow decreases managers’ reliance on email and outside platforms like Slack. Editors can look at site content in a calendar format, and they can setup custom statuses to define the key stages of the editorial workflow. Edit Flow gives editors and writers a way to have private discussions through the CMS. Users Groups are also useful for larger news organizations, when publishers need to keep track of users in multiple departments or functions.

2. Editorial Calendar
One of the downsides of the WordPress content management system is that it isn’t always easy to tell when future posts are scheduled to be published. The Editorial Calendar plugin gives publishers an overview of the articles they have in the queue and when each article will be published. Drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to move articles, so they’re published at different times or different days. Editors can also edit posts from multiple authors from inside the main calendar. Although Editorial Calendar currently only supports “posts,” the plugin’s creators say they are considering adding support for “pages” in the future.

3. Yoast SEO
Yoast serves a much different role than other plugins on this list, in terms of back-end functionality, but its ubiquity within the online publishing world makes it a clear fit as one of the best back-end WordPress plugins for news publishers. The Yoast SEO plugin gives users a feature-rich toolset designed to improve search engine rankings. Writers and editors can review and optimize articles for their intended keywords before they click “publish,” with features like title and meta description templating and the ability to set canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content. Premium users also get access to a Yoast Insight tool, which shows what each article focuses on and helps to keep articles in line with the desired keyphrases.

4. AMP
As the official plugin for the AMP Project, AMP is designed to enable online experiences that are as fast and high-performing as possible. The plugin does this without straying away from the standard WordPress workflow, so site editors don’t have to worry about clicking back-and-forth between multiple platforms as they work to make their content AMP compatible. A compatibility tool debugs AMP validation errors whenever automatic conversion of markup to AMP is not possible. CSS Tree Shaking automatically removes unused CSS to bring the total AMP for each article under the 50KB limit.

5. Smush Image Compression and Optimization
If large file sizes are dragging your website down, then the Smush Image Compression and Optimization plugin is what you need. The Smush plugin gives publishers a straightforward way to resize, optimize, and compress the images on their websites. It does this by stripping bulky information from images to reduce file size, without destroying image quality in the process. The plugin’s Lazy Loader feature defers offscreen images with the flip of a switch, and the Bulk Smush feature optimizes up to 50 images with one click. Publishers can setup max widths and heights for automated image resizing. This plugin does not have any monthly or annual caps on the number of images publishers can compress.

Have you tried any of these back-end WordPress plugins? If you’re interested in adding one or more of these plugins to your WordPress website, we can help.