These are the list of plugins I use for DragonBlogger.com to help manage this multi author site. These aren’t specifically designed for WordPress MU, but specifically for sites where you have an open guest posting policy or maybe even dedicated writers who you hired or are part of your writing staff as I have here.
I needed plugins that allowed for maximum efficiency that helped me do things easier, notify and assist new writing staff as well as make coordination and notifications automatic.
So after almost a year of testing plugins for multi author WordPress blogs, I have whittled my list down to the following favorites:
Admin Author Filter
I need a modification to my WordPress edit post screen that would allow me to only list posts by a specific author for a month, and Admin Author Filter works perfectly. Need to know how many posts “PERSON A” wrote in June 2011? This is the easiest way to find out.
Samir contributed a lot of posts to DragonBlogger.com July?
I have a peeve about writers who forget tags, descriptions and categories. This is partially solved by Category reminder by Rob Felty is perfect and simply pops up an alert telling guest bloggers they need to select a category. This simple plugin even catches myself when I write and try to schedule too quickly without selecting a category.
Dashboard: Pending Review
When you have contributor accounts you will want to have Dashboard: Pending Review which will show you right from your Dashboard which posts need to be reviewed and scheduled for publication. You can either do it yourself, or have one of your editor’s do it, but either way it is good to see if there is a pending review queue right from the dashboard.
Dashboard: Scheduled Posts
Not only do you need to easily see which posts need to be reviewed on your WordPress dashboard, but if you are a blog which has articles scheduled days in advance like mine you want to see what posts are coming up soon. Dashboard: Scheduled posts shows you what posts are going to be published and what days right from your dashboard.
- Download Dashboard Scheduled Posts now!
On my site I have a team of dedicate writers who I want to separate out from normal guest bloggers, I needed to give them enhanced permissions like the ability to upload images into articles and use iframe code…etc. This required setting custom roles and permissions for my writers. The Members plugins lets you create or modify WordPress roles so that you can broaden or restrict permissions for various account types. This is essential for tweaking and making a role that you want to be more than a contributor but less than an author for example, or maybe a partial admin but without full admin rights.
Members is easy to use and simply using check boxes to control what permissions your custom WordPress roles have makes it a breeze.
Download Members now!
Peter’s Collaboration E-mails
This plugin is one of my all time favorite because it emails the post author whenever there is a status change on a post. So if you schedule a post the author will be notified when it is scheduled for and again when the post actually published. This is the best plugin so every one of your writers know exactly when their articles are set for and when they are published.
This plugin also notifies administrators and defined editors when a post is submitted for review. This allows you to always get an email when someone submits a post for review which is a great reminder.
It also will notify them if you put an article back into draft for re-edit.
No doubt about it, Peter’s Collaboration E-mails keeps people notified about post status and is essential for multi-author blogs.
Peter’s Post Notes
There is also a companion plugin called Peter’s Post Notes which allows you to put notes in the sidebar of posts and it will automatically include those notes when it emails the post author status updates, as well as they can read the notes in the sidebar.
Revision Control isn’t specifically for Multi Author purposes but it definitely helps when you can restrict the number of previous versions of an article. When having multiple authors you can have auto-saves and post versions add up fast and making sure there are only a set # of previous versions can help keep your database trim. The only disadvantage is if someone works on posts for very long or needs to do many re-edits before publication, they may not be able to restore back to a version old enough so find a good balance of say 5 previous versions maximum.
Viper’s Video Quicktags
Some writers don’t know HTML or WordPress very well and you want to make it quick and easy for them to insert a video into their article if they have something on YouTube, Vimeo or some other media site they want to share. Viper’s Video Quicktags will let them click 1 button, simply paste the URL of the video and it is embedded. It can also be expanded to customize width/height but this is optional.
I also liked this plugin so much I did a video review showcasing it:
[youtube width=”550″ height=”343″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1iHRo8laf8[/youtube]
This was my top list of WordPress plugins for guest blogging or multi author WordPress blogs. There are some extra plugins that help with post authoring in general but weren’t specific to multi user which can include WP-Syntax to help with writers who sometimes need to add code to posts, as well as ReplyMe WordPress plugin which will email readers and authors whenever someone replies to any comments which helps facilitate two way communication.
If you use any plugins not mentioned here to help manage a multi author blog, feel free to share it in the comments as I am always looking for ways to improve productivity and efficiency.
If you have any other questions on WordPress plugins or would like me to try a plugin and provide feedback let me know as well. I am always experimenting with WordPress plugins.