WordPress is the world's number one blogging platform and CMS. As such it's the platform of choice for most of the world's largest and most popular blogs and content websites. Including breaking news sites like TechCrunch, Mashable, GigaOM and many more. But those sites didn't start out as giants, they grew there over time - albeit a fairly short amount of time compared to the growth of most blogs.
A big part of coping with their growth and meeting the challenges of high traffic, a 24/7 audience/readership, multiple authors, multiple teams and even multiple sites these blogs had to develop custom tools for managing their newsrooms. I'm unsure what those particular sites have used but the good news is that as rapid growth and large group collaboration becomes more and more normal on the WordPress platform, third parties are developing some really exciting tools and plugins to help meet those same challenges.
Which is why in today's post I'm going to highlight four of the best tools available for a growing multi-author blog.
If you're just starting out and putting your first team of writers together then plugins 1-3 are free and they're going to be exactly what you need. If you're running or starting a much bigger project with not only multiple authors but multiple teams of authors and various workflows then I'd suggest looking into plugin number four.
But enough with the introductions, let's get into the plugins!
1. Edit Flow
Edit Flow is one of those plugins that makes you wonder why it's not just part of the WordPress core, it's that useful. Even on the blogs I create where I'm the only writer, I'm not sure how I would get by without it. The calendar view and custom post status features alone make it almost indispensable. But for a multi-author site, it's an absolute must.
Here's what it can do:
- Calendar - A convenient month-by-month look at your content.
- Custom Statuses - Define the key stages to your workflow.
- Editorial Comments - Threaded commenting in the admin for private discussion between writers and editors.
- Editorial Metadata - Keep track of the important details.
- Notifications - Receive timely updates on the content you're following.
- Story Budget - View your upcoming content budget.
- User Groups - Keep your users organized by department or function.
2. Approval Workflow
Approval workflow solves an issue many multi-author blogs (and multi-site blogs for that matter) have. Efficiently moving content along a workflow from one person to the next.
For instance, a contributor may write up a post but not have permission to publish. So they'll save that post and leave it for someone else to edit and publish when ready. Unfortunately that post might sit around in draft mode for quite some time before the editor and/or publisher knows what to do with it.
Approval workflow adds a small checkbox to the publish section for users without permission to publish so that they can submit the post to the next person in the workflow.
3. Role Scooper
Role Scooper takes a more in-depth approach to assigning and restricting roles within WordPress. This allows administrators to be extremely specific (down to pages, posts, and categories) where certain users can read or edit. In short, it makes WordPress a more thorough and more powerful CMS.
And finally we come to ContentCloud by Betaout. It's a single dashboard interface that syncs all of your WordPress websites and all of the contributors across those websites in one central location designed for managing content and content teams extremely efficiently.
You'll be able to:
- Design a smarter editorial workflow that's right for you.
- Collaborate in real time.
- Jump in immediately as the interface is intuitive and easy to learn.
- Manage and unlimited amount of freelancers.
- Take WordPress to places you never thought possible...and more!
This really is an all-in-one solution for large and very active teams. Probably overkill for your smaller to medium sized blogs, but a great investment for high volume projects with big teams.
WordPress has always been about removing barriers for content producers. It started out with a simple goal: to make having a great blog extremely easy, even for non-technical users. And in my opinion this group of tools/plugins continues that legacy in an exciting way. Who's ready to create the next Mashable or TechCrunch?!