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November 7, 2012

Get A Real Digital Newsroom for Your Multi-Author WordPress Sites

There are very few good blogs that are single-writer based. Almost all such blogs have multiple writers and bloggers working on different segments or niches of the blog. Such blogs are not only more likely to have quality content, but are more likely to generate traffic and develop a brand. The main problem arises in the effective management of these multiple authors, often a chaotic and hectic process. Effective team management helps the team to efficiently produce much higher volumes of content to feed the Web’s 24/7 news cycle.

Gone are the days of using spreadsheets and e-mails to manage the multiple authors, to keep the co-authors in check, line up and distribute assignments and maintain records of payments to freelancers. All of this can now be handled by the many WordPress plugins available. These plugins not only help publishers to manage freelancers across different locations easily and efficiently, they also help facilitate the management of administrative tasks and enable the publisher to focus on producing top-notch content.

Below is a list of five WordPress Plugins for multi-author blogs that will digitize your newsroom. Check them out and pick the ones that suit your needs the best.

1. ContentCloud

The BetaOut ContentCloud is a hosted plug and play newsroom platform for all publishers running their content portals on WordPress. By making use of ContentCloud, publishers can manage a large number of contributors for content production.

ContentCloud offers a highly-intuitive, well-structured and user-friendly interface. It offers two interfaces for editors and other team members. One is the newsroom app and second is the workbench app. ContentCloud looks very minimalistic at first glance, especially the workbench app, but it is quite powerful and can be customized once you gain access to your settings panel in ContentCloud.

ContentCloud empowers you to create multiple workflows for a single publication and can share a desk across these workflows. The assignments are routed through these workflows and you can either define the contributors for every stage of the assignment or make it available to any user on that desk. Editors can keep an eye on the progress of the assignment through their newsroom app. ContentCloud is an amazing solution for WordPress publishers looking for an efficient newsroom.

2. Edit Flow

The Edit Flow plugin is a highly rated WordPress plugin that improves collaboration between the editorial and publishing teams. The plugin is a highly useful tool for teams with editors working on different timings because its calendar feature helps synchronize the mutual content in an effective manner. The plugin also allows automatic notifications for each post submission, making sure the communication channel between different members is not subjected to any delays.

The Edit Flow plugin helps redefine the editorial workflow by allowing mutual collaboration of the editorial team within the WordPress platform. The editorial comments feature of the edit flow plugin allows for in-house discussions between various writers and editors through threaded comments in the administration section. The users group feature improves workflow by allowing organization between various users according to their functioning or handling of various departments like editing and publishing.

Edit Flow, with all its features, is a completely customized plugin allowing administrators the power to pick and choose and enable the desired functionality options available within the plugin according to the needs of the website and the editorial team.

3. Editorial Guidelines

The Editorial Guidelines plugin, as the name suggests, is one of the most useful plugins for multiple authored websites based on the WordPress platform. It allows writers to understand the exact guidelines required for the content acceptable to the admin team. No other plugin acts in such a simple and serene manner helping editors, managers and administrators have a one-on-one briefing of sorts with those adding content to the website.

Editorial Guidelines may look like a simple plugin but it is one of the most important plugins, enabling smooth workflow between users and editorial teams, especially for large websites with a listing of multiple users. Editorial Guidelines allows the option of a small box in the edit screen containing a list of the various editorial guidelines of the respective content as desired by editors and publishers. The biggest advantage of the plugin, apart from being able to send individual guidelines to different writers, is the guideline section is editable and can be used for a broader author base in the future.

Editorial Guidelines allows for a smoother workflow within the system as it allows clear communication between users and the administration team, cutting out time discrepancies in editing the content or sending it back for approval.

4. Approval Workflow

The’Approval Workflow plugin highlights the ease of the workflow mechanism process in WordPress-enabled websites with a multiple user base and editors. Approval Workflow eases the structuring of the workflow process by automatically verifying users for administrative and publishing rights for their articles or posts.

Approval Workflow is not a standalone plugin – it can also remove time discrepancies by sending out ‘mailers’ to authors with publishing rights after each successful submission. This mailer feature is a boon for websites with different users working in different time zones. While one user with publishing rights may not be available, another active user gets the update of the successful submission and can proceed to publish the content, increasing overall productivity. The plugin, that works just as well on multiple websites over a network, uses a small notification box at the post edit screen if the user has no publishing rights for the respective submission. If the user does not have publication rights, the plugin switches on its intelligence mode and looks for active users with publishing roles while sending mailers to all users with publishing roles.

5. Simple History

Simple History is another WordPress plugin that gives ample freedom for keeping the history of users on a WordPress blog or website. Users can also clear the history database after the update and take the advantage of the log item deletion from the database as well. Moreover, the working interface of this plugin is more flexible, so you can work with it ceaselessly. Through this plugin, you can get the benefits of pagination in your WordPress website, allowing for more information about the history items. This plugin is useful when several people are involved in editing the contents. The latest version of this plugin has an updated POT-file for the translators.

Claudia is a writer/blogger. She is a big fan of WordPress CMS, and advises different client with WordPress themes.