How to Manage Multi-Author WordPress Blogs

How to Manage Multi-Author WordPress Blogs

At present, there are a large number of webmasters deciding to run the multi-author WordPress blogs. After all, this is a great choice to expand the whole site easily and effectively. Especially, if your site contains various content types, you can invite multiple writers who specialize in one or two niches for coming out the professional web contents. This way, you can satiate the hungry readership. However, the problem of this kind of site is management and author communication. To deal with this fact, we’d like to list some useful tips of how to manage multi-author WordPress blogs in the following.

Frankly speaking, setting up a multi-author WordPress website is pretty easy. You simply need to create multiple accounts for your writers and give them the permissions to submit the content to your website. However, the hard part is that how to handle and control them effectively. Luckily, nothing seems impossible with WordPress. The following introduced plugins and tips can deal with your concern effectively.

Set Up the Permissions and Capabilities for Each Author Strictly

The standard WordPress installation gives you 3 main user roles that are related to the content creation and publishing. These include the Editor role, the Author role and the Contributor role.

  • Editor – Users can edit and publish all the blog posts on your site.
  • Author – Users can only publish, edit and manage the blog posts they have submitted.
  • Contributor – Users cannot publish the blog posts, but can only create and edit their submitted articles.

You need to assign different editing related user roles to different writers. For instance, the Contributor user role is proper to some new authors while the Editor role can give some experienced authors who you trust.

In addition to the basic user role permissions, we also highly recommend you to enhance the capability management. Here, you can make use of the Capability Manager Enhanced plugin. With it, you can easily manage all your WordPress roles and capabilities.

With this plugin, you simply need to click the Users > Capabilities button to decide the extra permissions for your user roles.

Role Permissions and Capabilities

Here, you can choose the user role you are looking to set up from the right-hand column. And then, you can decide its capabilities for editing, deletion and reading as you like. For instance, you can provide your author who has the Editor role with the permissions to edit the blog posts only, but not your pages.

Limit An Author to Just One Or A Few Categories

It is possible that your authors only have the expertise to some certain fields. If so, you’d better restrict them to some specific content categories that they are good at. For instance, you can assign the SEO category to your SEO writers only. This can benefit the whole management of your multi-author blog a lot.

To achieve this, we highly recommend the Author Category plugin. This is a lightweight tool that allows you to limit your authors to write for just a single content category. After the plugin installation, you firstly have to enable this feature by clicking the Users > Author Category button. Here, you can tick the checkbox so as to activate the limitation function.

Author Category Function

Next, you can click the All Users button to find the target editor you are looking to limit. From the profile page, there is an Author Category section. Here, you can select a specific category to limit your chosen author. Thus, this user can only post for that content category. If you want to clear the limitation, you can tick the checkbox of Clear Category.

Choose Author Category

Allow the Bylines for the Single Post or Page

For some complicated or in-depth article, only a single author may not be enough. In this case, some of your authors may decide to collaborate with each other. If so, you have to showcase the fact that this blog post is contributed by multiple authors.

To credit multiple writers, you can consider the Co-Author Plus plugin. This tool offers a special search-when-you-type box in the editing screen of your posts and pages. Here, you can assign multiple authors to the web content easily.

Co-Author Plus

Strengthen the Collaboration with the Proper Editorial Workflow

The biggest problem for the multi-author blog is the communication among each user. After all, you have to tell your authors when they need to come out the new content, which topic is allowed, which article needs the further improvement and many more.

Surely, you can send them the email messages or you can communicate with each other via some chatting tools. However, for the better effectiveness, we highly recommend you to make use of the Edit Flow plugin. With it, you can achieve the following things.

Give Authors the Month-by-Month Impression of Your Website Content

Firstly, you can tell your authors which blog post or webpage is under which situation at which day. Both you and your authors can click the Dashboard > Calendar button to check the editorial calendar. From it, you can know who have created, edited or finished which blog post in each day. This is great for the content scheduling.

Editorial Calendar

Note that you can choose to show the post type on the calendar from the plugin settings page. Also, you can enable the feature of direct post creation on the calendar.

Add the Advanced Structure for the Publishing Workflow

The general workflow for each blog post includes edit, submit, review and publish. If you want, you can also add some other steps. For instance, you can add the process of idea proposal. Only when the topic is accepted by you, your authors can write down the content for it. Also, you can require the steps of topic assignment and publish checking.

Custom Status

Showcase the Dashboard Widgets and Editorial Comments

Each time your authors access the admin panel of your website, they need to know what happened. To achieve this, you can display some special dashboard widgets.

  • Post at a glance – This widget displays the number of posts coming with different status.
  • Notepad – This widget showcases the importance notices.
  • Posts I’m following – If your authors follow some posts, they can know the latest updates and changes for the followed content.

Dashboard Widgets

In addition, you can allow the display of the editorial comments in the post editing page. This way, when reviewing the content submitted by your authors, you can give them some suggestions for the further improvement easily.

Display the Check List for Your Writing Principle

If your authors have already worked for you for a long time, they must know what kind of contents you expect. And then, they will abide by your writing principles to satisfy you ultimately. However, for some new authors, things can be different. You have to tell them the rules one by one. For instance, you may require the high definition images along with the proper image alt tag.

Here, to save your time and efforts, we highly recommend you to make use of the Good Writer Checkify plugin. This is an easy checklist tool that acts as the in-your-face reminder, informing your writers of what can be done and what cannot.

Note that that are 25 tips you can showcase on the post editing screen by default.

Reminders and Tips

Tell People the Content Progress

Both you and your authors have to get the clear content progress. In this way, you can figure out which post is finished and is waiting for review, which post is under creation and needs the faster writing speed, which idea is composed and needs to be passed and many more.

For this, you can make use of the Content Progress plugin. With it, both you and your site authors can mark the posts and pages with proper status.

When editing the post, authors can choose the related status to indicate the content progress clearly.

Content Progress