Yesterday a client asked me this question about WordPress guest editing and publishing (a.k.a. community blogging):


Hi, Jim. Wondering if you had any knowledge or ideas on the following.

I’m interested to find out whether there exists some sort of WordPress plug-in that would allow our readers to input a story and art directly into our site, and submit it to be published on our site. Once we got an email notification, we could edit it and publish it.

My thinking is that our readers could do some of the work for us, thus improving our coverage AND making our news more timely and relevant. My cursory Google search didn’t really turn up anything.

Any thoughts or direction on that?


So today I put my thinking cap on. And wrote this article to better answer his question on how to handle guest or community publishing:

WordPress is nicely suited to allowing readers the ability to post new content and media. And like any publishing platform, your prospective writer must first have an account on your website in order to post or edit articles respectively.



First, let’s add an “Author” to WordPress

Out of the box, WordPress allows you to add potential authors to your website. See the “Add New User” area within your WordPress Dashboard. Once you set your writer up with the role of “Author” that person will be able to add or edit his or her media and articles.
Quick Edit Link

Maybe you have an article written and like to have a guest “Author” take over the editing of an article?
That’s easy! Within your list of “Posts”, use the Quick Edit option to assign the new “Author” to your article (picture at right).

About the “Author” role

An assigned “Author” will only be able to edit his or her articles and media.

  1. The good.
    An “Author” may only add or edit his or her article.
  2. The not so good.
    An “Author” may publish articles as he or she see’s fit, without restriction or editorial review.

In the example at right, I’ve set my “Author”, as username “archereditor1” to a single article. While the “Author” “archereditor1” may be able to view all posts or pages, he cannot edit any articles but his own.



But what if you would like to have finer control of the editorial process or simply prevent an “Author” from publishing?

There are a number of plugins available to do just that. Edit Flow, User Access Manager or Capability Manager Enhanced are solid options.

These WordPress plugins will help to ensure “Authors” are limited in regard to what they can do within your WordPress Dashboard.

* If you have some ambitious editor article writing goals, then I recommend checking out the Edit Flow plugin.

* If you wish to set up groups of writers and limit access to specific articles then User Access Manager should do the trick.

* If your goal is to allow a single “Author” the ability to write articles as he or she wishes, while retaining control of publishing, then Capability Manager Enhanced may work just fine.


Capability Manager Enhanced pluginWith Capability Manager Enhanced, first set up your “Author” as described above (#1).

After installing the plugin, click the “Users” link within your WordPress dashboard, and you’ll see below that a new link option, “Capabilities“.


At first, you may be overwhelmed by all of the boxes; reminiscent of the days when Mom forced you to go to Bingo! with her and your baby brother on Friday nights (such simpler times…). But I digress. It’s a lot less complicated than it looks at first glance.

Just follow the numbers:

Setting roles and capabilities

In #1 above, be sure to select “Author” then the Load button to start. Set other editing options as needed, then scroll down and click the Save button near the bottom of the page.


Submit for review onlyOnce saved, your budding “Author” may write to his or hers heart’s content but will not be able to publish!

Oh, and the bonus feature:
Recall the note above on using Quick Edit to assign a given “Author” to an article?

Well, once Capability Manager Enhanced is installed, you may likewise assign your post or page “Author” via an option drop-down menu near the bottom of the page or post. The option setting appears like the picture at right.Assign an Author



All done!

I do hope you’ve found this article describing how to limit WordPress “Author” article writing and publishing helpful.

If you have suggestions or additions to this WordPress publishing related article please be sure to email me anytime, jim at



Pro tip.
Like to further reduce your guess Author’s dashboard options, check out the Remove Dashboard Access plugin.

Editorial reviewers – Thank you! Elizabeth PampaloneChristina Hills, Joyce Walker

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