Managing Your Blog With the Edit Flow Plugin
How big is your blogging team? Do you need a group calendar, budgeting tools and additional post status types to help you to deal with the task of managing article development?
Perhaps you need to incorporate review tools into WordPress, enabling you to add your comments to an article for the writer to take on board and revise, or organize your team into groups.
Whichever your management quandary, the Edit Flow plugin can prove extremely useful in helping you to organize and distribute work, adhere to a calendar and generally get things done.
I’ve had the advantage of working with this plugin both as an admin and as a contributor, and I’m happy to tell you that if you feel your blog needs more organization and coordination, this is the plugin you should be looking at.
Edit Flow Features
Available from the WordPress plugins page, Edit Flow comes with eight extremely useful modules which can be enabled and disabled as required, making it extremely versatile.
The full list of features is as follows:
- Custom Statuses
- Dashboard Widgets
- Editorial Comments
- Editorial Metadata
- Story Budget
- User Groups
There are various ways in which you can use these tools. The beauty of this plugin is that you are not bound to use everything on offer, just what you need.
Using Edit Flow: The Feature Breakdown
Edit Flow’s various features can be used in a variety of ways. The flexibility of this plugin goes beyond enabling and disabling modules – it’s limited only by your requirements.
Calendar: available via the Dashboard menu, this displays all current posts and their dates and statuses. Posts that have been scheduled for future dates are listed, and you can drag and drop posts into new slots.
Custom Status: once enabled, this feature enables you to set a custom status. This might be one provided by the plugin such as Pitch or Assigned, or one of your own devising. These statuses sit alongside the native Draft and Pending Review in WordPress.
Dashboard Widgets: these appear on the WordPress Dashboard, and take the form of a Post Status Widget and list of Posts I’m Following (either can be disabled independent of the module).
Displayed on the Dashboard home screen, these two widgets will give you an overview of editorial process when you first log in.
Editorial Comments: this is arguably the most powerful element of Edit Flow, bringing collaboration and threaded comments to the process of writing, developing and editing posts. It’s extremely useful, and is worth taking a look at and trying out even if you don’t plan on using it.
Editorial Metadata: kept purely within your WordPress admin screen, this enables you to add fields to your posts for your contributors. For instance, it might be details of the assignment and due date, possibly whether an image is needed, and a word count. These can all be easily setup with a small form provided by this module.
Notifications: my favourite module, this enables you to see (via email) when posts are being edited and when they have been submitted or published (depending on your team’s permissions).
Story Budget: if you have a budget to spend on your articles – perhaps expenses for your contributors – then this can be outlined and displayed using this module. Most blogs probably won’t have a budget, but this feature’s presence means that should you be able to provide such funding, you will be able to quickly configure it on your blog.
Use Groups: finally, if your default WordPress roles aren’t descriptive enough you can create groups on which to organize your team. This might prove useful if you have a team of contributors working on a particular topic or type of content, and allows you to maintain the native WordPress permissions.
Conclusion – A Plugin to Seriously Consider for Any Multi-Author Blog
We previously mentioned Edit Flow when discussing ways of managing a multi-author blog. As you can see, the available features go far beyond getting updates when posts are submitted, however, and if used correctly this can prove a vital addition to any blog that has two or more regular contributors.