Creating content collaboratively

I’ve been aware of the ‘Users’ option in the WordPress settings for many years. I looked into the facility when setting up the Multiphasic Phylarological University (a site that, unfortunately, I’ve never been able to find enough other interested parties to actually get off the ground). But, although I’ve added other users as ‘Contributors’ to Wibble in the past — and have even hosted a guest post by Patricia — I’ve never been given such access to another’s site so I could see it from that side.

Until recently, that is, when Bella of thoughtsnlifeblog invited me to be interviewed for her own blog. We discussed how to allow me to proofread the post prior to it being published (I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to eliminating typos; it’s the pendant in me, you see). And I realised that the ideal way to do this would be for her to add me, temporarily, as a ‘Contributor’ to her site so that I could check through the post. And so, that’s what we did. And it worked (almost) flawlessly. Bella added me (via Users > Add New > Contributor); I got an email inviting me to accept, and, once I did, I could then visit§ and create draft posts on her site.

So, naturally, being a blogger and all, it occurred to me to create a blog post about my experience, in the hope that it might be of interest to those who aren’t familiar with the WordPress ‘Users’ facility. It’s my impression that there are a great many of folk in that situation. Although, of course, there are those who already use it to create content collaboratively, the vast majority of WordPress blogs I’ve visited over the years have each clearly been created by just one person.

There’s a wonderful community here, and the ‘Users’ feature enables us to work together. I suspect that the only thing stopping us may simply be an unfamiliarity with this useful feature.

More information

All WordPress bloggers already have experience of the ‘Administrator’ user role (that’s what we all have by default), and almost certainly the ‘Follower’ role, too. But the other three (‘Editor’, ‘Author’ and ‘Contributor’) are, I suspect, pretty much unknown territory for many of us.

  • Administrator:
    There Can Should Be Only One
  • Editor:
    Has access to all posts and pages
  • Author:
    Can write, edit, and publish their own posts, and can upload media
  • Contributor:
    Can create and edit their own posts but can’t publish them, nor upload media
  • Follower:
    Can read and comment on posts and pages

For more details on user roles, visit ‘Invite People to Your Site‘.

Would You Like to Play a Game?

If you would like to have a play with this feature yourself, just let me know using the form below, and I’ll set you up as a ‘Contributor’ here on Wibble. And who knows; maybe you’ll create a post that I’ll beg you to let me publish!

§ If you follow this link you’ll almost certainly see a page that tells you “User [your username] Cannot Access the Dashboard Requested” (unless of course you do happen to be a user on Bella’s site!) — I left that link in there to let you see what happens when you try to access the admin section of a site you don’t have permission to use, just in case you might be interested.

About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in ... wait, what?, Communication, Computers and Internet, Education, Strategy, Tech tips and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Creating content collaboratively

  1. I would be interested to know what people see with that link too?. I hope it is not what I can see as that would worry me some what.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I should actually add my experience of the contributer user role. It is pretty easy to set up. Both author and contributer can work on one post but not at the same time. In terms of the WP admin setup. On the posts tab I see me, everyone. Where everyone will then show my one contributer. I made a mistake when I scheduled part one of the interview and left Pendantry as the author. Not used to collaboration on WP. I enjoyed the learning something new ( well new to me). I wasn’t even aware WP allows us to this. It is one for future use for sure. I feel there maybe more hidden gems that WP offer, that I probably don’t know exist.

    Thanks Colin .😊

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Herb says:

    My son has used collaborative authors quite a few times on his blog but I am not sure how I feel about doing it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This is so cool to know!!! Had no idea of this feature :)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve done that a while back (be a contributor, or maybe it was even an author position) and it was quite easy to navigate. I think it’s a really cool feature, but one that I didn’t find much use for on my blog. Like Herb, I think that I’m just protective about my own space. It’s not that I don’t trust others (as you can limit their abilities), it just would feel like a violation of intimacy… somehow. But, if I had an idea for a blog post and someone would be eager to write, it’s a good feature to keep in mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    • pendantry says:

      it just would feel like a violation of intimacy… somehow

      That’s interesting. Could you expand on that?

      As a ‘Contributor’ user on Bella’s site, I have (very limited) access to her administration dashboard:

      • Naturally, I have access to the ‘Posts’ area. I can see all the ‘Published’ posts — but then I can do that anyway just by visiting the site proper :) In ‘Drafts’, ‘Scheduled’ and ‘Trash’, all posts but my own are hidden from me, which is as it should be. (It does reveal the site totals for each category, and perhaps there’s no need for that.)
      • I can view the ‘Stats’ area, which does let me see all the stats. I suppose that, arguably, it should only show me stats relevant to my own contributions. On the other hand, were it not for the fact that I’m just reporting on what I can see, I wouldn’t be looking at the stats page at all; stats don’t interest me much. After all, there’s lies, damn lies, and statistics.
      • I can see the ‘Comments’ area; I’m not sure why, since it does show all the comments. It would be better if it only showed comments related to my content contributions. Again, I wouldn’t be looking at this at all were I not feeding back to you what I can see… which does include the totals of, as well as the items in, ‘Pending’, ‘Spam’ and ‘Trash’ — and I don’t think it ought to do that.

      So aside from a couple of trivial bits of information (that I wouldn’t have even looked at but for this comment here) there’s really nothing that I can see that matters. There’s certainly nothing personal in there at all.

      Liked by 2 people

      • My blog is my blog. SOme people refer to them as their “babies.” While I don’t think it’s like that, I am very protective of my space. I feel as if I was to share it with others, it would no longer really be mine…

        Liked by 2 people

  6. leavergirl says:

    I heard there was another way to collaborate on WP without letting the person into the admin space. Have never used it though so I have no other info.

    Liked by 2 people

    • pendantry says:

      Interesting, I’ve not heard about that (I assume you are referring to, not ‘WordPress’ of the .org variety). It’s a pity that you have no more info… I’ll do some digging, and see what I can find out ;)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ll play anyones gameI’m only here for the fun
    Spread Laughter Today

    Liked by 2 people

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