In this article, you will learn how to allow user-submitted posts on the WordPress website. User-submitted post is a great way of getting content for your website and increasing its knowledge base. WordPress, being the most widely used content management system (CMS), allows a variety of ways to incorporate user-submitted posts into your website. In this article, we will discuss some of those methods. You will learn how to successfully provide a way for your subscribers to submit posts to your website. This feature will help you increase user engagement on your website besides getting fresh content for your website. We will recommend some of the most widely used plugins for this task along with their settings, moderation options, etc.
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Advantages of allowing user-submitted posts on WordPress
If you allow user-submitted posts on your WordPress website, you get the following benefits without investing a penny:
User engagement: User-submitted posts increase engagement on your website. This turns your website into a collaborative platform where everyone can contribute. This provides a sense of ownership to your website subscribers.
Fresh and diverse content: Perhaps the biggest advantage of allowing users to submit posts to your website is that you get fresh and diverse content for your website. Your website will be providing information about a diversity of topics.
Increased community interaction: It is yet another big advantage of user submission. You encourage interaction among the visitors to your website by enabling this feature. This leads to discussions and feedback and a sense of community is observed on your website.
Save time and cost: This is a monetary advantage for your website. A content writer charges you a huge amount for providing content to your website and you get it free of cost by enabling this feature. Your own content creation also takes a lot of your time. You can now invest your saved time in other activities of your business.
How to Enable User-Submitted Posts in WordPress
Before everything else, you will first have to enable the user submission from your WP dashboard. Follow the following steps to enable this feature.
Step 1: Adjusting General Settings
- Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard.
- Go to Settings>General
- Locate the Membership option and ensure the “Anyone can register” box is checked.
- Set the New User Default Role to Contributor.
Step 2: Installing and Configuring a User Submission Plugin
There are plenty of plugins for allowing users to submit posts to your WP website. We will discuss the most common and widely used plugins.
This WordPress plugin is the most widely used and free option for enabling the post submission feature on WordPress blogs. It is a reliable choice for those seeking a user-friendly interface. As of the time of writing this post, it has been installed by over twenty thousand users. Now, let’s delve into the process of installing and configuring this plugin.
- Install and activate the plugin. Click here to learn about how to install a plugin if you don’t know how to do it.
- Go to Plugins>Installed Plugins
- Locate the “User Submitted Posts” plugin and click on Settings.
- Select Plugins Settings now to see all the options
- You will see many options for different settings. There are settings for users, categories and tags, email alerts, and a lot more.
- Click on the arrow down symbol before each “Settings” to see sub-fields. Adjust each of them to your own requirements.
- Similarly, expand other settings and fill out the desired fields according to your need.
This is basically for creating a contact form. You can safely use this plugin for post-submission as well. This is a beautiful plugin by WPForms that allows you to create custom submission forms effortlessly. Follow these steps to set it up:
- Install and activate the Contact Form by the WPForms plugin.
- Navigate to WPForms in your WordPress dashboard and click Add New to create a form.
- There are plenty of templates available. You can use any of these templates if they match your requirements or you can click on the “Blank Form” option to start designing your own custom form.
- You can use any of the fields on WPForms. You just name a field and that will be available here.
- Customize the form fields according to your needs, ensuring you include fields for the post title, content, category, and any other desired information.
- Some of the fields are available to free users and some of them are available to pro users only.
- After finalizing the form, click Save and copy the form’s shortcode.
- After getting the shortcode, create a new page or post and copy the shortcode on it.
- Publish the page or post and the form will be available to your visitors.
Step 3: Moderating User-Submitted Posts
After a user submits a post, the next crucial stage is its moderation, where it can either be accepted or rejected. This step holds significant importance as it enables the maintenance of the quality and integrity of the posts contributed by users. The following are several moderation options that are accessible:
Manual Approval: The most effective way to moderate user-submitted posts is by involving humans throughout the entire review process. This method guarantees natural and authentic results, ensuring that only high-quality content is displayed on your website. You can easily accomplish this by accessing the post section in your WordPress admin dashboard
Automated Filters: This method utilizes WordPress plugins to filter out automated submissions. One such helpful plugin is Akismet, which assists in identifying spammy content and preventing it from being published on your website.
User Ratings and Reviews: In this approach, the moderation process involves engaging other users of your website. They manually review each submission and provide ratings, allowing the website community to actively participate in the moderation process. This not only ensures thorough evaluation but also empowers the community to have a voice in maintaining content quality.
Step 4: Promoting User-Submitted Content
Now that you have user-submitted posts on your WordPress site, it’s essential to promote and showcase this valuable content. Here are some effective strategies:
- Featured Posts: This will give a sort of encouragement to the contributors of your website. Specify a location on your website, maybe a home page or dedicated page like contributor’s content, etc., and place all the posts submitted by contributors or some of them that you deem exceptional to be highlighted on this lactation.
- Social Media Sharing: This is also a very good step for giving value to the content of your contributors. You might be having a Facebook Page, Instagram Page, or Twitter account, and share user-submitted posts on your social media channels. This will expand the reach of the content.
- Email Newsletters: This will keep your audience informed about new user submissions you’re your website. This is very good if you include user-submitted posts in your regular newsletters. This can also drive traffic back to your site and encourage further engagement.
- Content Competitions: Organize contests or challenges where users can submit their posts on a specific topic or theme. Offer incentives like prizes, recognition, or opportunities for collaboration to motivate participation.
That was all about how to allow user-submitted posts on WordPress website. Allowing visitors to post to your WordPress site can improve interactivity, variety, and engagement significantly. You may easily integrate user-submitted content into your platform by following the instructions provided in this article. Don’t forget to configure the necessary settings, pick an appropriate plugin, moderate the material, and effectively advertise it. Create a collaborative atmosphere that encourages participation from and engagement with your audience to fully reap the rewards of user submissions.
You invite new ideas, a variety of content, and more interaction by allowing users to submit posts. Encourage your website’s viewers to actively participate in creating the content.
Set clear parameters, filter entries to uphold standards of quality, and advertise user-generated material via a variety of platforms.
The following are some often-asked queries regarding enabling user submissions to your WordPress website:
- Is it possible to accept user submissions without jeopardizing site security?
Absolutely! You may preserve the integrity and security of your site while allowing user submissions by utilizing plugins with strong security features like form validation, spam protection, and user authentication.
- How can I persuade users to provide excellent material?
Clear standards and instructions for content production should be provided to promote submissions of the highest caliber. To motivate people and establish expectations for the kind of content you’re searching for, provide advice, illustrations, and prompts.
- What if I get offensive or spammy submissions?
Inappropriate or spammy entries are less likely to be received when moderation and spam detection methods, such as manual approval and automatic filters, are in place. To ensure the integrity of the submissions, periodically check and evaluate them.
- Can I modify posts submitted by users before they are published?
You can edit user-submitted content for grammar, formatting, or clarity as the website administrator. However, it’s crucial to preserve the original meaning and make sure that any alterations comply with the rules of your website and the user’s permission.
- Should I credit the authors of user-submitted posts?
Absolutely! Author attribution not only shows appreciation for their work but also fosters community interaction by fostering a sense of confidence in the authors. A link to the author’s website or social media accounts is optional. Include the author’s name, bio, and contact information.
• How do I deal with a lot of user submissions?
If you have a lot of submissions, you might want to install a content management system or use plugins with sophisticated organization and filtering features. This makes it simpler to efficiently organize, categorize, and manage the content.