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How to Improve your Editorial Workflow in Multi-Author WordPress Blogs

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How to Improve your Editorial Workflow in Multi-Author WordPress Blogs

Managing multiple authors in a WordPress blog can be hectic. A good editorial workflow is essential for a multi-author blog to function smoothly. Recently, one of our users asked for tips on how to improve their editorial workflow. In this article, we will share a plugin that we have been using for quite sometime called Edit Flow. It empowers you to collaborate with your editorial team inside WordPress, create an organized editorial workflow, and increase productivity.

First thing you need to do is install and activate Edit Flow. It is one of the best free plugins for WordPress. Once you have activated the plugin, an Edit Flow menu should be added. Here is how we use it:

Define the stages of your workflow

Edit flow comes with a feature called Custom Statuses which lets you define the stages of your workflow. Our workflow on List25 and WPBeginner looks like this:

  • Draft – Default auto-saves or any un-assigned posts.
  • Pitch – Author pitches an idea.
  • Assigned – Editor or Admin assigns a post idea to an author.
  • In Progress – Author puts it in this mode, so we know that someone is working on it.
  • Pending Review – Once author finishes, they submit it for an editorial review.
  • Ready to Publish – Editor reviews it and put it in the ready to publish category for Syed to take a look.

This makes it really easy specially when we have summer interns. To create custom statuses, all you have to do is go to Edit Flow » Custom Statuses.

Edit Flow Custom Statuses

You can sort posts by custom statuses on your posts screen, you have a drop down for each post where you can specify the status. Also you can see in the calendar for the progress. Check out the screenshot below:

Edit Flow Assigning Custom Statuses

Editorial Comments and Notification

Communication among the team is crucial for all multi-author blogs. Edit Flow has the option for editorial comments as well as notifications. Editorial comments basically allows for threaded commenting in the WordPress admin for private discussion between writers and editors. Notifications allows you to receive timely updates on the content you’re following (such as post status being changed, new comment etc).

Edit Flow comments and notifications

You can choose which users should receive notifications. Mainly the author and editor for that specific post makes sense. These features really helps the communication which ensures that the article gets done right.

Editorial Metadata

There is a neat little feature called Editorial Metadata which keeps track of important details. This can be very very powerful for some blogs. For us, we only use it generally to communicate the deadlines such as first draft date, due date etc.

Editorial Metadata in Edit Flow

You can add as many fields to editorial meta data as you want by going to Edit Flow » Editorial Meta Data.

Calendar

Calendar gives you a convenient month-by-month look at your content. Unfortunately, to keep our future content private, we will not be able to share our future calendar screenshot. However, here is a screenshot of our already published content from List25.

Edit Flow Calendar

Basically, the calendar view shows you which posts are scheduled for what day and the progress of your team.

Other Features

There are other features such as Story Budget and User groups which we do not use. You have the option to only use the features that you need. This plugin also has hooks to extend all of the functionalities however we haven’t had a need to do that.

We can guarantee you that this plugin will certainly improve your editorial workflow in multi-author WordPress blogs. Get Edit Flow plugin.


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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Comments

  1. GNFB says:

    floundering! Searching for the abilty to either a. have all posts created default to draft. or B Control posts publish/draft option controlled by category sent to any help welcome as you guys seem to have most of the answers

  2. WPBeginner Staff says:

    Set the post status to Assigned under the Publish meta box on the post editor screen. Then click on the screen options on the top right corner of screen an check the box next to author. Scroll down and you will see authors meta box below the post editor. Select the author you want the post assigned to and update the post.

  3. Dok Simon says:

    About the Editorial Metadata can I use it to assign post to a specific Author…… ??

    If yes , how do I do that ??

  4. Karma Bennett says:

    This looks like an almost ideal solution, as we now juggle three plugins to do what this one plugin does. The only thing is that if our editor is going to switch again, the plugin will need to replace Google Doc’s commenting. That is, I’m looking for a solution that allows one to post comments within the text, not beneath it.

    I’ve found a post it notes plugin that does that, but it does so on the front end, such that the notes show up in the preview window. That seems counter-intuitive to me, since I’m rarely looking at the preview while editing.

    If anyone could shed some light on this, I’d appreciate it.

  5. Jess says:

    Any other plugins similar to EditFlow? It breaks both MailPoet and WP Editorial Calendar. Both of which I love.

  6. Syed Balkhi says:

    Yes, if you have notifications turned on, then the moment you assign to the writer or change status, the writer will be notified.

  7. Mike M says:

    Hi, I am the adviser of my school’s online newspaper, and I am using EditFlow on my Word Press site. Is it possible for writers to access the notifications part of this plugin after they save a story? I would like for them to be able to click on the section editor’s name so that editor will receive an e-mail notifying him or her that a story is ready for editing. Thanks!

  8. WPBeginner Staff says:

    We use EditFlow and we don’t think it slows down our site. Besides EditFlow mostly works on the backend so it should not have any effect on the frontend of your site.

  9. Hilary Rowland says:

    I found that EditFlow slows my site down considerably. I used a P3 plugin speed tester and it’s the one plugin that slows my site down by several seconds of loading. Hopefully they’ll fix this because it’s great otherwise. Does anyone know an alternative that’s fast loading??

  10. Joe says:

    Thank you for the quick outline. I was scratching my head on how to use edit flow. Upon first glance after install, it does not flow :)

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