Some websites allow users to post articles, blog posts or other types of content. With WordPress, you can enable users to post on your website as well.
The users don’t need access to the backend or admin area. If required, you can restrict the submission of posts to registered users only. Moreover, as the administrator of the website, you can moderate the content including comments and either approve it to be published or reject it.
You will need frontend publishing if you want users to submit posts, include images to your gallery, or even build new business listing in your directory. There are three ways in which users can submit posts on your WordPress site. None of these methods require any coding skills.
I) Front-end Post Submissions using WPForms
With this method, users can submit posts from the front-end of your website. They need no access to the admin area nor do they need to be registered. WPForms Pro plugin is needed to access the post submissions addon.
Please follow these steps:
1. Install and activate the Pro version of the WPForms plugin. This plugin is a premium WordPress forms plugin.
2. Upon activation, go to the admin area and click on WPForms and Settings.
3. Enter your license key. You can get it from your account on the WPForms website.
4. Go to WPForms→Addons page. Scroll down to Post submissions addon and click on the Install Addon.
5. The Post submission addon will be installed. Click Activate to start using the addon.
6. Go to WPForms and click on Add New page.
7. Enter a form name and select Blog Post Submission Form or just select it without a name.
8. You will see a form template created by WPForms with the typical fields used for a blog post submission form. WPForms will display a template with all the fields you might need for a blog post submission form.
9. Click on the form fields to edit them. Or you can choose new fields from the panel on the left.
10. Users can select post categories, add featured images, post excerpts, and add custom fields too.
11. Once you finalize the form, click on the Settings tab and then click on Post Submissions tab.
12. Here you can map the fields with the corresponding post field in WordPress.
13. User submitted posts will be saved as ‘Drafts’, for you to review them. You can change the post type and let users submit content to your custom post types.
14. Click Save at the top right corner of the screen. Then, exit the form builder by clicking Close.
15. Create a new page by clicking on Add New button or edit an existing one.
16. You will notice Add Form button on the post edit screen.
17. Click on ‘Add Form’. You will see a popup where you can select the option ‘Blog Post Submission Form’ from the dropdown – the form you just created.
18. Click on Add Form, you will see the WPForms shortcode appear in the post editor.
19. Save or publish the page.
20. Visit your website to see what the form looks like live. The image below is an example of what you might see, but will differ depending on your website design.
21. Users can now submit their content to your website.
II) Accept User-Generated Content via User Submitted Posts Plugin
You can accept user-generated content on your website through the User Submitted Posts plugin. Follow these steps:
1. Install and activate the User Submitted Post plugin.
2. Go to Settings→User Submitted Posts.
3. Configure the plugin by setting up the following:
- Fields you want to display or hide
- Default author details for submitted content
- Settings for submitted images
4. Click on Save.
5. Go to Pages and add a new page or edit an existing one where you would like to add the form.
6. In the post editor, add this shortcode:
7. Save or publish the page.
8. Visit the website to see how it looks live.
User will be able to see a form like the sample above to contribute content.
III) Permitting Users to Register and Submit Content
Multiple authors with different publication rights can be added in WordPress. Thus, you can ask users to register on your site and allow them to create content using WordPress admin interface with restricted access.
Follow these steps:
1. Go to Settings→General page and check ‘Anyone can register’ option next to Membership option. Choose ‘Author’ or ‘Contributor’ as the default user role.
2. Click Save Changes.
3. Users will now have to register on your website in order to submit content.
Potential issues with this method:
- If your admin directory is password protected, you will need to share the password with registered users.
- If you use two step authentication, it can be problematic for some users to login.
- Registered users will be able to see other posts in the backend that have not been published yet.
If you do not want to deal with these issues due to multiple users access to the admin area, the best option is to go for either of the first two methods.
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