25 Useful Free WordPress Plugins For Multi-Author Blogs
There are successful bloggers who exclusively write all of the content on their blogs however the vast majority of the top blogs on the web have a number of writers producing content for them on a regular basis. When you manage a multi author blog you spend less of your time writing articles and more time reviewing articles, scheduling articles and managing authors.
Today we would like to show you 25 WordPress plugins that will help you run a multi-author site quicker and more efficiently. The list includes plugins that help you manage your staff and plugins that make the posting process better for you and for your authors. It’s important for authors to get credit for the work that they do therefore several author profile plugins that let you increase an authors presence on your articles have also been included in the list.
*As always, all plugins have been tested for the purpose of this article.
The following plugins will help you manage and communicate with your staff more efficiently.
Adminimize is a powerful free plugin that lets you control who has power over every aspect of your website. You can deactivate every possible option you can think of and control what admin, editors, authors, contributors and subscribers can do. The plugin automatically recognises any new user groups you have created too.
In short, it gives you complete control over what every user on your site can and cannot do. It works well with a number of other popular plugins too and is updated fairly regularly.
A large percentage of blog owners won’t need the extended functionality that Adminimize provides. WordPress does not allow contributors to upload images so it’s a useful way of adding this functionality easily (if not, it’s a pain for guest posters to add images to posts).
In short, User Role Editor allows you to control exactly what each user group can and cannot do.
Like User Role Editor, the Members WordPress plugin features a useful role manager that allows you to modify what certain user groups can and cannot do.
The plugin lets you control who can see content using shortcodes. By using this feature you can post secret messages to authors and staff or create private informational pages for them (everyone else will see a blank page).
What sets Dashboard Notepad apart from other notepad plugins is the ability to configure who can read the notes and who can edit them. It’s a useful way of communicating with your staff and leaving notes for yourself for future articles.
If you are looking for a more direct way of liaising with your staff, you may want to consider Private Messages For WordPress. The plugin allows user groups the ability of messaging each other. You can set the number of messages each user group is allowed in their inbox. By setting the number of messages for a given user group to -1 you can remove their ability to send messages. Therefore, to create a private messaging option for editors only, you just have to remove the option for authors, contributors and subscribers.
Adds a private discussion area that all admins can view and add to. For some strange reason the plugin mimics Twitter and restricts messages to 140 characters or less.
A useful plugin that lets you add notes for authors on the sidebar or below the post area. For example, you could remind them of formatting rules or remind them to always add a featured image. Handy if you have staff members who keep forgetting important elements of your posting rules.
8. Blog Metrics
Yoasts Blog Metrics makes it easy to monitor exactly what sort of contribution each author is making to your website. The plugins shows the average number of posts per month, average number of words per post, average number of comments and average number of words in the comments. It’s a useful way of gauging the value of each of your authors.
The following plugins improve the procedure of posting in some way for you and/or your staff.
A simple yet useful little plugin that lets you assign more than one author to a post or page. Handy for blog owners who publish a lot of collaborative posts.
Lets you remove certain controls of the post editor area from certain user groups. For example, for contributors you can remove the ability to set the post slug or featured image for any articles they submit.
A collaborative document and file system that multi-author blogs should find useful. Users can create and modify documents through the admin area and leave notes for others to advise them what they have updated in the article.
This could be particularly useful if you are working on an eBook or preparing fresh content for a new area of your site. Could also be used as a FAQ or Wiki system for staff.
12. Audit Trail
Audit Trail allows you to track the actions of your all users (including admin). It shows you when a user last logged in, their IP address and the article they were working on. The ‘Trail’ allows you to see who has been working online via your site on a given day and see exactly what they did.
Editorial Calendar makes scheduling articles a breeze with its easy to use drag and drop interface. The plugin creates a new calendar page therefore you can still use the traditional posts index page when you want.
Adds a simple calendar into the top of your post editor sidebar that shows dates of upcoming articles. You can also add the calendar to your WordPress admin dashboard.
If the publication date of your articles isn’t that important for your website (e.g. a dating website may not be concerned about whether an article publishes today or three weeks from now), then you should find Auto Schedule Posts incredibly useful.
The plugin lets you set certain parameters about when you want your articles to publish every week. It will then schedule articles for any days that don’t already have a post scheduled.
Adds a productive box underneath your post editor that allows you to search the web for blogs, images, videos, news, Wikipedia articles and more. Authors can then insert or link to the items they find. If your authors are writing articles for you every day they should find the plugin saves them a lot of time.
Authors are a vital part of every blogs success, therefore it’s only fair that they get some credit for their work. Noupe, for example, clearly displays the authors name at the top of an article and includes a bio box at the bottom of every article too.
The following plugins will give your authors more exposure and let your readers get to know them better.
17. WP Biographia
Arguably the best looking author bio plugin available for WordPress, WP Biographia gives you complete control over what is shown in the bio area and adds Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ profile fields to every users profile. You can choose whether the box is shown on posts, pages, archives and/or the home page and you can customise the colour scheme and border too.
Without a doubt the plugins best feature is the ability to display author bios in the RSS feed. 99% of blogs don’t include a link to the authors posts or website through their RSS feed therefore the guest poster loses a lot of potential traffic from RSS readers. WP Biographia corrects this by displaying a beautiful looking bio at the end of every post in the RSS feed.
18. Top Authors
A highly configurable top authors widget that lets you list your most frequent authors using their username, avatar or both. You can exclude admin and authors without posts if required.
19. Post Avatar
Let authors choose from a pre-defined list of images for their profile avatar. Images can be inserted automatically or manually into posts.
20. User Photo
Allow a user to assign a photo to their profile for use in posts and comments. You can set the dimensions for the photo and the JPEG compression level via the admin area.
21. Post Author
Adds an author information box above or below your content. Post revisions can be shown and an avatar can be added to the bio box too.
22. Cool Author Box
A simple plugin that automatically adds a cool looking author bio box underneath your posts and pages.
23. Author Exposed
Once installed an author box will appear when someone clicks on the link of an author. The box shows the authors name, email address and website. It also links to their Gravatar image, and shows a short bio for the author with links to the author’s other posts.
Two WordPress plugins for those of you who want to share advertising revenue with your authors:
Lets you set aside a percentage of advertising space to be shared amongst authors on your website. It supports any advertising program such as Google Adsense, Yahoo Publisher etc. Authors need to input their publisher ID in order to take part in the program (you can determine what user groups can take part in the program).
In order to install the plugin properly you will need to create the table manually via phpMyAdmin (the code is provided via the admin area).
Allows authors to have control over the advertisements that are displayed on their own posts. Custom banners, text links, PayPal donations and Google Adsense are all supported.
If you don’t set things up correctly for your authors, you may find yourself in a position where you are spending more time managing authors and correcting their mistakes than you would if you wrote the articles yourself. By automating as many aspects of the moderating process and making things easier for your staff you can save both you and them a lot of time.