Working with Authors

The most common reason to add new users to your WordPress site is to get more
content from more people. After all, new and interesting content is the lifeblood
of any site, and by recruiting others to help you write it, you increase the odds that
your site will grow and flourish.
As you already learned, all but one type of WordPress user (followers for Word-
Press.com sites, subscribers for self-hosted sites) can write posts. Whether you’re
an administrator, editor, author, or contributor, the first step is the same: To write a
post, you have to log in to the dashboard

If you run a self-hosted site, every type of user can log in to the dashboard, although
subscribers get just one option—the Profile command that lets them change their
preferences and personal information.
the only type of user who can see the full, unrestricted version of the
dashboard is an administrator—and, ideally, that’s just you.

The Post Approval Process for Contributors

Administrators, editors, and authors can add posts and pages to your site in the usual
way. When they finish writing, they simply click Publish to make their content go live.
As you know, contributors have more limited powers. They can create posts but
not publish them, which gives you a broad safety net—there’s no chance that bad
content can get on your site, because you get to review it first. When contributors
create posts, they have two options: They can save the post as a draft so they can
return to it and edit it later, or they can submit it for review

When a contributor submits a post this way, WordPress assigns it a special status,
called pending. A pending post won’t appear on your site until an editor or administrator
approves it. Here’s how you do that:
1. In the dashboard, choose Posts→All Posts.
2. Click the Pending link
3. If you see a pending post you want to review, click its title.
WordPress opens the post in the Edit Post window. Make any changes you want,
from minor corrections to adding completely new content.
4. If the post is ready for prime time, click Publish.
This is the same way you publish your own posts. In this case, however, the newly
published post will have the original author’s byline, even if you edited the post.
If you make changes to a post but you’re not quite ready to publish it, click “Save
as Pending” to store the edited version. You might do this to add questions or comments
to the author’s work, for example. You can wrap your comments in square
brackets [like this]. Then the post author can make changes and re-submit the post.

NOTE Don’t be confused by the way WordPress uses the term “author.” Even though WordPress has a
specific type of user called author, WordPress experts often use the same term to refer to anyone who writes a
post on a WordPress site. Thus, administrators, authors, editors, and contributors can all act as post authors.

PLUG-IN POWER

Better Workflow for Reviewing Posts

WordPress gives you the basic procedures you need to get
multiple contributors working together on the same site, but
the process has a few rough edges.
The problem is the workflow—the way a task passes from one
person to another. Right now, it’s up to editors or administrators
to go looking for pending posts. WordPress makes no
effort to notify you that there’s content waiting for review.
Similarly, if an administrator edits a post but decides it needs
more work, there’s no easy way to let the contributor know
that you need a rewrite. And when you do publish a pending
post, WordPress once again fails to notify the original author.
WordPress’s creators are aware of these gaps, and they may
fix them in future versions of the program. But because the
contributor feature is a bit of a specialized tool, those fixes are
low on the list of WordPress priorities.
However, if you run a self-hosted site and want to implement
a better system, there’s a plug-in that can change everything.
It’s called Edit Flow (http://tinyurl.com/editflow) and it adds
the structure you need to manage a multistage review process,
including:
• Custom status notices. Instead of designating a post
as Pending or Published, you can give it a status that
reflects its stage in your organization’s workflow. For
example, if you run a news site, you might want posts to
go from “Pitched” to “Assigned” to “Pending Review” to
“Published.” Edit Flow can help manage that sequence.
• Editorial comments. Edit Flow lets people attach brief
notes to a post as it whizzes back and forth between
them (as in “I love your post, but can you expand on
paragraph 3?”)
• Email notifications. Edit Flow can send notifications at key
points in the review process—when authors submit new
posts for review, when an editor publishes a post, when
an editor places a comment on a post asking for changes,
and so on. On a bustling site, these emails keep the post
review process running quickly and efficiently.
• Calendar. If you want to make long-term content plans
to ensure that there’s always something new on your
site, the Edit Flow calendar can help you plan authors’
contributions.
Although Edit Flow is stuffed full of features, they’re arranged
in a logical way, and you can find helpful information at http://
editflow.org. If you need to coordinate the publishing efforts
of a small or midsized group of people, don’t be afraid to give
it a whirl..

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Working with Authors

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