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Great Plugins For Multi-Author WordPress Blogs & Websites

Posted on March 20 by in Tips & Tricks | 39 comments

Great Plugins For Multi-Author WordPress Blogs & Websites

It is no surprise that the vast majority of high traffic blogs have multiple authors. One person can only do so much themselves, so there comes a point where a blog needs to hire other writers in order to expand.

I started my first multi-author blog in 2007 with a blog called Blogging Tips. At one point I had over a dozen bloggers writing for me. This helped me increase the posting frequency on the blog and allowed me to take a step back and focus on managing the blog instead.

Hiring other people is usually the right thing to do when you have taken a blog to a certain level; however multi-author website owners face a unique set of problems. They need to ensure that all authors maintain the high standard that the owner did in their articles. They also need to ensure that all authors adhere to the website’s formatting guidelines.

Collaboration is vital too; whether it is between owner and author, or an author with other authors. Everyone needs to ensure that they work together and ensure they work towards a common goal.

In this article, I would like to share with you fifteen great WordPress plugins that will help those of you who work with many authors. Each plugin can be downloaded free from the official WordPress plugin directory.

1. User Role Editor

The core version of WordPress comes with five different user groups: Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor and Subscriber. Unfortunately, there is no way to change the permissions of users or any way of adding additional user groups. This is why plugins such as User Role Editor are so important to multi-author website owners.

The plugin allows you to add or remove permissions to any user or user group. New user groups can be added too. I use this plugin on most of my WordPress powered websites in order to control permissions of writers better. For example, I always add the ability to upload images to the contributor user role. For more information, please read my recent article about User Role Editor.

User Role Editor

User Role Editor allows you to easily customize what users can see and do.

2. Members

A great alternative to User Role Editor is Members. Developed by Justin Tadlock, the plugin features a role manager that allows you to change the capabilities of any user.

The plugin also features membership functionality such as sidebar login widgets and the ability to block logged out users. Posts and pages can also be restricted to certain user groups. This allows you to add a private area with content that is only visible by staff.

Members

Members offers a lot more than user role management.

3. Adminimize

The best way to test the permissions of a user group, or user, is to login yourself and test whether permissions are correct. This lets you see what a user group can do, but it also lets you see what they see. When doing this, you may find that users can see menu items, settings and options, that should not be shown to them.

Adminimize helps resolve this by allowing you to enable or disable options for every single user group. It is the most comprehensive solution for removing unnecessary items from the admin area of WordPress.

Adminimize

Adminimize is the easiest way of defining what users can and cannot see and do.

4. WP-CMS Post Control

Another plugin that lets you control what authors can see is WP-CMS Post Control. In comparison to Adminimize, it is a more simplified solution; however it allows you to enable and disable all features from the post and page editor screens.

WP-CMS Post Control

A user-friendly solution to changing what users can see and do in the write screens.

5. Edit Flow

Edit Flow is a featured packed editorial plugin that makes collaboration between authors and editors much simpler. It includes a calendar for scheduling, custom statuses for posts (e.g. “Posts to Be Proofread”), and the option for editors to add comments at any stage.

A notification system is built-in to allow everyone to stay up to date with the current stage of articles. Users can also be allocated to user groups. It is the perfect plugin for blogs that have an editorial process where articles are reviewed by one or more people.

Edit Flow

Edit Flow offers features that large websites will love.

6. Co-Authors Plus

The core version of WordPress only allows one user to be attached to a post or page as the author. Co-Authors Plus addresses this issue by allowing multiple users to be credited for writing an article.

Writers who have co-authored an article will have the articles listed in their profile and feed as normal. The plugin is also set set up so that contributors can help write an article, but not edit the article after it has been published.

Co-Authors Plus

Co-Authors Plus is the best way to give credit to everyone who contributed to an article.

7. Dashboard Notepad

Dashboard Notepad is a basic WordPress plugin that I have used many times in the past. It lets you quickly add notes to a widget that is displayed in the dashboard area. You can then define who can edit those notes and who can read them. The plugin was also designed to integrate with the Members plugin I mentioned earlier.

Dashboard Notepad

Dashboard Notepad is a simple yet practical way of sharing notes with other staff.

8. Good Writer Checkify

Authors frequently forget formatting rules and post guidelines. Rather than being frustrated by this, you can help authors out by posting a checklist underneath the post editor using Good Writer Checkify. Authors can then check each list item to remind them that the guideline has been followed.

Good Writer Checkify

A great way of encouraging authors to follow your post guidelines.

9. Genki Pre-Publish Reminder

Another option for displaying important notes to authors is Genki Pre-Publish Reminder. It lets you display notes at the top of the post sidebar or below the main post editor. A simple solution that you will find very useful.

Genki Pre-Publish Reminder

Genki Pre-Publish Reminder is an effective way of reminding authors of important rules and guidelines.

10. Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar is such a useful plugin that I use it on all of my websites (even when I am the only author). It allows you to schedule posts for the coming week in seconds via a drag and drop visual calendar.

Post titles, content, publication time and post status, can all be edited quickly using the “Quick Edit” feature. It is perfect for planning your posting schedule for the coming days or weeks.

Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar makes scheduling posts a breeze.

11. Drafts Scheduler

Drafts Scheduler is a useful plugin if you stick to a specific posting schedule and/or publish a lot of articles every day. I use it for a video website of mine to schedule draft posts to publish in random order over the following month.

Drafts Scheduler

Drafts Scheduler allows you to schedule a large number of articles for your website in just a few seconds.

12. cbnet Multi Author Comment Notification

WordPress will automatically send updates about new comments to the author of a post. cbnet improves this by allowing anyone to be updated about new comments. You can specify that all people from a user group have to be emailed and enter specific email addresses for those that do not belong to the specified groups. The plugin can also be configured to email people when a comment is held for moderation.

cbnet Multi Author Comment Notification

A great plugin for encouraging other authors to comment on new posts.

13. Audit Trail

Audit Trail is a useful plugin for monitoring what staff are doing (or not doing). It will track any action such as a post or page being saved, a theme being changed or an option being updated.

Audit Trail

Audit Trail lets you know exactly what users are doing.

14. Top Authors

A simple author widget that displays the authors with the most posts. Top Authors can be configured to display Gravatar profile images and administrators can be excluded from the list. The plugin also lets you modify the list template directly from the widget area.

Top Authors

A simple plugin that displays the most prolific authors on your website.

15. Fancier Author Box by ThematoSoup

It is customary to display a biography of authors after their post. This helps readers connect with authors and reminds people that there is a real person at the other side.

Unfortunately, the bio area is sometimes quite basic. Fancier Author Box is a quick and easy way of enhancing the bio section with more information. It can display profile links from ten social media services, the author’s URL, and a latest posts tab that displays all the author’s recent articles. The settings area allows you to change the colors of the tabs and the color of the content area.

Fancier Author Box by ThematoSoup

Fancier Author Box is a great way of enhancing the bio area.

I hope you have enjoyed this list of plugins for multi-author plugins. If I missed any good multi-author plugins that you think other Elegant Themes readers would enjoy, please feel free to share it in the comment area.

Article thumbnail image by dotshock / shutterstock.com

39 Comments

  1. Another useful post from the elegant themes team. I really look forward to reading your posts on an almost daily basis.

    When will divi 2 be ready? I want to update my site http://www.creativeclickmedia.com already. the new modules look amazing!

  2. Thanks for your post, Kevin.

    I am working on a plan to have a multi-author Elegant Themes, WordPress website. Not having heard about some of the plugin you mention, I really appreciate your sharing this.

    QUESTION: HOW many of these should any one website have. Will the load times be slowed when using a handful of them? I can see the usefulness of all of these, so steer me in the right direction, will you?

    Thanks,

    Charlie Seymour Jr

    • As long as they don’t interfere with each other, there is no concrete number that constitutes too many. What you may find useful is to use the P3 performance profiler plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/p3-profiler/ . This will show you how much each plugin is adding to your load time among other things.

      You may be surprised by how much one specific plugin may slow you down. Jetpack is a great example of this. Hope this helps!

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Yes Charlie.

      Anything that affects something on the front end of your website can slow your website down.

      Admin plugins may slow down the loading of your admin area a little, though this isn’t something I think anyone should be concerned about.

      If you are unsure, I recommend testing the speed of your website before and after activating the plugin :)

      Kevin

  3. Very usefull information. The best recopilation I ever know about this topic. Thanks

  4. Awesome post Kevin. So helpful. Will be using it with co fly fishing buddies who want to blog for me. As future post would be useful to know how to blog post on the move from a mobile. We’re often on the water and love to send vids of flyfishing techniques and catches. Something for your schedule. Much appreciated!

  5. Thank you very much, i guess this is an answer to the question that i made on the Divi 2.0 post.
    It is by far more than i’ll was expecting, again thank you so much

    • Kevin Muldoon

      It probably was. I take a note of any suggestions made here and then make sure I pitch them to Nick and then we take it from there.

      Though I don’t usually write the person who suggested it. I probably should do that from now on. :)

  6. As always, you guys just made my life a lot easier by rounding up what looks like everything I’d ever need to make managing a multi-author blog a lot easier…. I can already imagine the time saved and it makes me very happy.

  7. Nice compilation of mutli author blog plugin.

    Thanks for sharing the great information.

  8. Nice compilation plugin, very usefull information.
    Tanks :)

  9. Take a look at Bylines as a simple and better alternative to Co-Authors when you just need a quick author alias for one or more writers. it is also useful if you never want to connect a writer to a user account but still have to option to have author pages and archives. Bylines basically substitutes the author name as a taxonomy term for a taxonomy called authors.

  10. MulDOOOOOON!!!!

    Thanks for another great article!

    I would love to know your thoughts on the different paid membership/club plugins.

    -Kraymer

    • Kevin Muldoon

      haha I had this vision of you standing on top of a mountain shouting out my name like I’m the bad guy in a Marvel movie.

      Good suggestion about membership plugins. I have taken a note of it and will see what we can do :)

  11. I was looking for something like this…in fact, found some plugins that I like but this article saved me a lot of time. Thanks for sharing your research, Kevin.

  12. Which ones does elegant theme use?

    • We use User Role Editor. Our blog workflow is fairly simple, so we do not need too many plugins.

  13. Kevin,
    I’m currently in the beginning stages of developing a website that would allow members to edit their personal profile, post pictures, articles, music, short stories and so on. I’m using a word press theme and I need to know what is the best plugin to use to let members/subscribers post material fast and easily?

    RW

    • Kevin Muldoon

      It would probably be best to just use the existing WordPress user groups and upgrade those people to authors so that they can post articles without approval.

  14. Before that I was too a bit skeptical at first, but everything has worked out with no problems. I use same last 3 years on my website http://dailynewscompany.com I always go with same, and i suggest this to all WordPress user.

  15. This is soooo useful for a project I’m starting. I found this article because I was looking for a plugin where where the authors can each have their own followers. A member could choose to follow individual authors, or groups… Do you know of something like that?

    • Kevin Muldoon

      I don’t know of any plugins that do this. You might have to get a custom script developed for this.

    • Any issues running Draft Scheduler and Editorial Calendar together? I run an adult website that gets a fair amount of new posts every day, but a lot of them I run through draft scheduler still, and I’d like a more visual look if possible.

      Thanks for the article and heads up about the plugin, either way!

      Thomas

      • Kevin Muldoon

        I haven’t seen any problems myself and I have both installed on one or two websites.

  16. It is great information about plugins and I was looking some admin making submissions related wordpress plugins

  17. I’m really enjoying all of your posts Kevin! Do you take requests?

    If so, how about a post concerning tinymce and how to add other functions, specifically the function.

    I purchased wp edit for that but I’d have to purchase the Developer version simply for the one thing I want to use on all dev sites.

    Thanks!

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Are you referring to a tinymce plugin, are you referring to the default tinymce editor?

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