Creating and publishing website content is still one of the best ways to engage and build your audience. Depending on the size of your organization, various people are creating, reviewing, and publishing that content. Having this type of robust content team makes it imperative to understand how to manage users and multiple authors in WordPress.
Why manage users and multiple authors in WordPress?
From media companies to big CPG brands, many of our clients have an entire department of content creators. This content can include regular page content, specific landing pages, blog posts, press releases, and more.
Often, our clients’ teams will already have a editorial workflow that looks something like this:
- Revise and edit
Normally, each task is completed by a different person. Therefore, each task requires a different level of access to the platform.
This type of editorial workflow keeps users from accidentally publishing unfinished content. Proper management of users and multiple authors in WordPress helps to maintain an easily sustainable editorial workflow.
Imagine you are a reporter for one of the largest news networks on the planet. You accidentally publish a story before editing and approval. What kind of impact would that have? You can see why it’s beneficial to keep certain users from accessing editorial functions for the good of the company and the process.
How does WordPress handle this?
WordPress, at its core, is designed to democratize publishing. The idea is to make publishing content accessible to everyone everywhere.
Because WordPress is a content management system, it comes with some basic functionality for managing said content. For example, out of the box, you can have multiple users. Each user can be assigned a separate role that only allows them to do certain things.
Here are the default user roles:
- Administrator – somebody who has access to all the administration features within a single site
- Editor – somebody who can publish and manage posts, including the posts of other users
- Author – somebody who can publish and manage their own posts
- Contributor – somebody who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them
- Subscriber – somebody who can only manage their profile
As you can see, you’re already set up for success. If you need to break out access for different users, everyone gets their own secure login. Additionally, everyone is limited to designated access to specific functions that you assign.
This gives you flexibility to allow your team to focus on their part of the content process as needed. What’s more, if you need flexibility or control over your user roles or editorial workflow, there are plugin solutions for that.
What tools are available to help manage users and multiple authors in WordPress?
Let’s take a look at two different types of plugins. First, there’s PublishPress.
For teams that need to manage multiple user accounts, different types of authors and editors, and an authentic editorial workflow, PublishPress is the perfect WordPress plugin solution. Here are some of its features:
- Editorial Calendar: Calendar view for planning and scheduling content
- Content Notifications: Triggered by many different activities to keep your team alerted
- Content Overview: A more thorough look at the existing planned content from the calendar
- Custom Statuses for Posts: Status labels include pitch, assigned, in progress, or create your own
- Editorial Comments: A super powerful option for internal comments on each post
- Editorial Meta Data: Use meta labels like First Draft Date, Assignment, Needs Photo, Word Count, or create your own
- User Roles: An easy way to allow individual users access to multiple user roles (not to be confused with User Role Editor, that we’ll discuss later)
Using PublishPress can seriously increase communication and productivity from your team. For teams that relied on email, Google Documents, Slack, phone calls, and in-person notes, we found that implementing this type of workflow improved efficiency.
User Role Editor
User Role Editor is one of the more powerful plugins for managing users and multiple authors in WordPress. It is especially useful for a team that needs to specify capabilities.
WordPress allows users access to specific functionality from WordPress core, plugins, and themes through capabilities. When you need to limit those capabilities, User Role Editor helps. Having the power to allow users specific access (or no access) keeps your team focused and the wrong people out of places they shouldn’t access.
The best part about the User Role Editor plugin is the power it gives you to build a custom user role. While this is certainly possible by manually writing some code, having a GUI interface inside your WordPress dashboard makes this a simple step that most users can manage.
In other words, you don’t have to bother your developer every time you need to create or update a user role for your organization.
Now that you have seen what opportunities are available for managing users and multiple authors, how should you get started? Here are a few simple tips to get you going.
Write out your ideal workflow.
Consider this workflow outlined on WordPress.com as a starting point. It’s very generic and covers most bases.
- Pick a topic.
- Create a content brief.
- Assign a writer.
- Write the first draft.
- Edit, refine, and review the draft.
- Schedule, publish, and share the content.
Assign specific users to the steps.
Using the steps above, assign specific people and their user accounts to those steps.
Next, outline what types of functionality requirements (i.e., drafting, editing and commenting, scheduling and publishing) that user needs. Then, assign that user account a role that includes those.
Most of the time, the default user roles will be enough. If not, you can always create your own.
Outline a content schedule.
Maintaining a content schedule not only keeps your team organized, but you can also assign authors and editors to the specific content pieces at the same time. Visibility of the content schedule will help keep everyone focused on their parts and not overwhelmed thinking about everything at once.
When it comes to managing users and multiple authors, WordPress takes the cake. Furthermore, it’s extremely flexible with the default user roles and the ability to create your own from scratch. You can customize as much as needed.
Clearly outline your desired workflow upfront. By doing so, you save a ton of time in the long term.
The more people required for managing content, the more efficient you’ll need to be. Let the tools work for you so that you and your team can focus on what’s important—the content!
Contact WebDevStudios and allow our team to set you up with a platform that makes it easy to manage users and multiple authors in WordPress.