How to Manage a Multiauthor Site with WordPress - dummies

How to Manage a Multiauthor Site with WordPress

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

You may love running a multiauthor site, but it has its challenges. The minute you become the owner of a multiauthor site, you immediately assume the role of manager for the authors you invited into your space. At times, those authors look to you for support and guidance, not only on their content management, but also for tips and advice about how to use the WordPress interface. It’s a good thing you have this book at the ready so that you can offer up the gems of information you’re finding within these pages!

You can find many tools to assist you in managing a multiauthor site, as well as making your site more interactive by adding some features, which can make it a more rewarding and satisfying experience not only for you and your readers, but for your authors as well.

The tools you find here come by way of plugins, which are add-ons that extend the scope of WordPress by adding different functionality and features.

Tools that help authors communicate

When you’re running a multiauthor site, communication is crucial for sharing information, giving and receiving inspiration, and making certain that no two authors are writing the same article (or similar articles) on your site. Use the following tools to manage the flow of communication among everyone involved:

  • Post Status Notifications: The role of Contributor can write and save posts to your site, but those posts don’t get published to the site until an Administrator approves them. This plugin notifies the Administrator, via email, when a new post is submitted for review. Additionally, the contributing author gets an email notification when an Administrator has published the post to the site.
  • Editorial Calendar: This plugin gives you an overview of scheduled posts, post authors, and the dates when you scheduled the posts to publish to your site. This plugin can help you prevent multiple author posts from publishing too close together or, in some cases, right on top of one another; you simply reschedule posts by using a drag-and-drop interface.
  • Email Users: This plugin allows you to send emails to all registered users of your site, and users can send emails back and forth to one another by using the plugin interface of the Dashboard. This tool enables the authors and users on your multiauthor site to keep in touch and communicate with one another.
  • Author Customization: This plugin expands author management with features such as per-post author information and rich user-biography editing.
  • Dashboard Notepad: This plugin gives you a widget that appears on your main Dashboard page and allows you and other users (depending on the user roles that you set in the plugin options) to leave notes for one another. You can use this plugin to ask and answer questions and to create to-do lists for your authors.

Tools to promote author profiles

One way to operate a successful multiauthor site involves taking every opportunity to promote your authors and their information. Authors often get involved in posting content on other websites, in addition to yours, for exposure. The plugins in this list give you tools to promote authors bios, links, social network feeds, and more:

  • Authors Widget: This plugin gives you a widget you can place on your site that displays a list of authors along with the number of posts they’ve published, a link to the RSS feeds for their posts, and their names and photos.
  • NS Author Widget: This plugin provides a widget you can use to display a single author’s information on the page that displays a post he has written. The widget displays the author’s name, photo, and description, as well as links to all his posts. The widget also allows the author to include links to his various social media profiles (such as Twitter, Facebook, and so on).
  • Author Spotlight: This plugin provides a widget that you can place in your sidebar, displaying the profile of the author of the post being viewed. The author information automatically appears on a single post page and displays the profile of the author of the post.
  • Author Recent Posts: This plugin gives you a widget that allows an author to display a listing of her recent posts in the sidebar of posts she’s published on your site.
wordpress authors widget
The Authors Widget options.

Tools to manage multiauthor blog posts

The plugins listed here can help you, the site Administrator, manage your group of authors and registered users by giving you some tools to track users’ activity, list their posts, and stay up to date and notified when your authors publish new content:

  • Co-Authors Plus: This plugin allows you to assign multiple authors to one post, which you may find especially helpful when you have several authors collaborating on one article, allowing those authors to share the byline and credit.
  • Authors Post Widget: This plugin provides a very easy way to show a list of authors on a site with a count of the number of posts each author has published.
  • Co-Authors Plus: This plugin provides you with a handy tool that allows you to assign multiple author bylines per post. It also allows you to create guest author bylines without having to create a full user profile for guest authors.
  • Audit Trail: This plugin records the actions of the registered users on your site, such as when they log in or log out, when they publish posts and pages, and when they visit pages within your site. As the site Administrator, you can keep track of the actions your authors and users take on your website.