Top Tools to Effectively Manage WordPress Multi-Author Blogs

Do you have a multi-author site built on the WordPress platform? That’s great, but running such a website is nothing short of a nightmare. It becomes difficult if the site doesn’t have a dedicated content manager. It’s not only you who would be facing issues and finding it really hard to make decisions. In fact, there are many people out there experiencing the same.

If you are handling a multi-author site, you may have asked many questions to yourself like — is it secure to give WordPress dashboard access to a co-writer? How to monitor co-writers’ activities on the site? How to improve the workflow?

Well, we have created a list of the best tools to help you manage your multi-author WordPress site with great ease. Let’s see what those tools are and how do they work.

1. User Role Editor

The User Role Editor helps you to change or adjust co-author’s roles easily. WordPress’ core version has five user groups — Administrator, Author, Editor, Subscriber, and Contributor. However, it doesn’t have any tool to change the users’ permissions. It also doesn’t have any facility to create more user groups.

But the User Role Editor tool lets you define or revoke specific roles to and from any user or group. Suppose you don’t want to upload a logo design or picture for every author’s specific post as it’s a hectic task. Please give each one of them the permission to upload the image(s) on their own.

As it’s a WordPress plugin, you need to download and install it. Once activated, there will be the latest addition to your dashboard. Go at the top of the page and choose the user role that you want to edit. The list features all the default and custom user roles.

Load a user profile and see a list of the roles assigned. Check or uncheck the “Capability” box to change the user permissions. You can enable or disable all capabilities by using “Select All” or “Unselect All” buttons. You will find these buttons positioned at the right side or your page.

User Role Editor

Don’t worry if you want to define capabilities on a one-and-one level. You can define roles and permissions to a specific co-author using this feature.

User Role Editor

It’s ideal in the condition when your WordPress site has many co-authors. All the authors follow your guidelines for scheduling a post except one who keeps publishing every alternate day. In such a case, you can create a new user role for that particular author. And that’s by removing the publishing capability.

Here is a snapshot of the same.

User Role Editor

2. Edit Flow

In a set-up where multiple authors work, editing becomes a tough task. There is always a communication gap between authors and editors, which makes collaboration a little messy. Edit Flow, however, makes collaboration between them simple. The multi-author tool comes with a calendar and custom status features for scheduling and posts, respectively. It also has an option of comments which allows editors to comment at any stage of editing.

Like earlier multi-author tool, you need to download, install, and activate Edit Flow too.

Once done, the first feature that you may like to get familiar with is the calendar. Go to the Calendar module and select “Customizable Calendar” option.

Edit Flow

To add a new post, double-click a suitable dated box and hit the “+” symbol. Once finished, add a title for the new post and choose either “Edit Post” or “Create Post” option. While create post takes you to the post added in your dashboard’s Post section, the Edit Post takes you to the one that’s recently created.

Edit Flow

Edit Flow

Create, manage user groups

Edit Flow lets you create and manage your group of editors. Launch the Edit flow homepage in your dashboard. Select User Groups; hit the “Manage User Groups” button.

Edit Flow

Create new groups or add individual users to other groups.

Edit Flow

The next option allows you to assign a new post to any particular editor or group. Open a suitable post and go to the bottom of the page. You will find a notification box.

Edit Flow

The notification option allows a particular user or user group to receive updates related to a post through email notifications. When a post’s status is changed, or an editorial comment is posted, the users get a notification of the same.

Create custom post status

In WordPress, you get ‘Draft’ and ‘Pending’ — two statuses by default. However, Edit Flow allows you to create custom statuses.

To enable this feature, select ‘Custom Statuses’ and choose ‘Edit Statuses’ option. It lets you see what statuses Edit Flow already provides. Based on your needs, you can add any custom status you want.

Edit Flow

Edit Flow

Once done, open any post and pick any status under Publish -> Status option.

Edit Flow

3. Co-Authors Plus

Want to add multiple authors for your WordPress site? Co-Authors Plus could be the plugin you need. It comes with a search-as-you-type box which helps you to assign bylines (multiple) to pages, posts, and custom posts. Posts that are written by many co-authors appear in authors’ feed and their archive page. The plugin lets you add writers without creating a full-fledged WordPress user account. All you need to do is to make author profiles and assign the bylines.

Yes, you need to download, install, and activate the Co-Authors Plus plugin to get started.

Go to the pages or posts where you want to credit multiple authors. Choose the Authors section.

Co-Authors Plus

By default, the interface shows the main author associated with the post. But you can add multiple authors by typing their names in the type-as-you-search box.

As you type, you will see authors. Select the author you want to add by choosing the name.

Co-Authors Plus

Once done, save and publish your post.

Add guest authors

Choose the option Users -> Guest Authors and hit the Add New button.

Co-Authors Plus

Provide common author details, including the name, email address, website, and social media account info and more. Once finished click “Add New Guest Author” button to apply the changes.

That’s how Co-Authors Plus helps you add and manage authors on your multi-author site.

Co-Authors Plus

4. Adminimize

The principal role of Adminimize is to hide unwanted items from your admin area. It simplifies the task of removing items from the view area as per the role of a user. It modifies the administration and enables you to assign specific rights to specific sections.

Even, it lets you create a different admin interface for users having different roles as well as capabilities.

Once you have installed and activated this plugin, go to settings and choose Adminimize to configure its settings.

Adminimize

Under the plugin, you see a Mini Menu which splits the settings into different sections for different admin screens. Clicking every link of the MiniMenu option redirects you to its specific section. Every section has several items which can be changed or modified. It comes with a check-box option to do the changes.

Adminimize

Once the changes are made, hit the Update Options button to apply the changes.

Note: The changes you made aren’t visible don’t appear on the settings page of the plugin. To see it, you need to open an admin page in another tab.

Different options of MiniMenu

Admin Bar Options — once you move down About the Plugin option, you see Admin Bar Options. It’s a toolbar which is visible on the top of your dashboard.

You can turn on or off every item in the admin bar for every user role.

Adminimize

The first option is to hide the menu and its items appearing on the top right corner. The main menus are highlighted with pink shade. If you deactivate the main menu, then its submenus will be hidden as well. For example, if you deactivate Edit My Profile option, then all the links under this menu will be hidden.

Moreover, you can hide a particular submenu item. Suppose you want to keep the +New menu in your admin bar, but you want to hide its pages. All you need to do is to check the pages. It will deactivate the pages from the chosen user roles.

Backend Options — every section in the Adminimize settings doesn’t have checkboxes. As compared to admin bar options, the backend options have a different appearance. You can set global options for your users in the WordPress admin area using this section.

Adminimize

The very first option is to configure user info. This menu appears at the top right corner of your admin screen. It has a user avatar. Based on your preferences, you can hide the avatar, show user, and log out link or log out.

In the next option, you can decide where to redirect your users if they click the user- info link. You need first to adjust the user-info menu other than hiding it or using its default behavior only then you will be able to change the redirection option.

Once you have changed the user-info, set the redirection option to your site’s front page. Move to the next option, which is a footer. It allows you to make the footer invisible from each admin page.

When you work on a post, the timestamp option remains hidden behind “edit” link. It is adjacent to the “publish” section. If you want to schedule posts, you have to unhide the timestamp option by clicking the edit link.

Adminimize

Global Options — this section lets you activate or deactivate specific settings for particular user roles. Here you can enable or disable admin bar, screen options, screen meta along with contextual help.

Similarly, you can hide your dashboard widget, show or hide menu items and modify write options, widget options, set themes and more.

5. Dashboard Notepad

This multi-author tool allows you to add a quick note to your WordPress site for other authors. First of all, you have to download, install, and activate the Dashboard Notepad plugin. Once it’s been activated, go to your dashboard. You will find the notepad at the footer section of your screen.

Dashboard Notepad

What all you need to do is to write the notes and save it.

As the tool comes with a single window, your latest notes will appear just below the older ones.

Configuration

To configure this widget, hit the configure link given at the top right corner of the widget. You need to hover your mouse to see it.

When clicked, the configuration screen will appear. Define the user roles for editing and reading.

Dashboard Notepad

Showing notes on front-end

All the authors who have logged into their account on your WordPress site and have the permission will be able to see the notes. It will appear on the admin dashboard. But you can show it on the front-end of your site too.

Here is the shortcode— [dashboard_notes] that you can use into the page, post or text widget. In case it doesn’t work, add the below code to the functions.php file of your site’s theme.

add_filter('widget_text', 'do_shortcode');

You can add the code to a site-specific plugin too.

Note: Make sure to check the compatibility of this plugin in case your site is based on the recent version of WordPress.

Conclusion

This information on multi-author tools for your WordPress site isn’t all-inclusive. There are many other tools out there.

We hope the information shared over here will help you find the right tool for your multi-author platform.

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