If you run a website that puts out a steady stream of content, you may benefit from allowing users to submit content to your site. By allowing users to publish content, it gives them a platform to showcase writing or photography and allows you to keep your site fresh and relevant in search rankings.
In this tutorial, we will show you how to allow users submitted content with and without registration.
Submitting Content as a Registered User
By default, WordPress allows you to run your site as a multi-author set up, with people able to register and submit content without full access to the WP dashboard. To ensure anyone is able to register to your site, go to Settings > General and check the Anyone can register box next to Membership.
Next to New User Default Role, set the option to Author or Contributor and click on Save to confirm the changes.
In Appearance > Widgets, place a Meta widget in your sidebar and title it so that users are aware that they are able to register and log in to your site. Registered users will now be able enter the dashboard and access features allowed within the role of Author or Contributor. They will not be able to access other areas of your admin panel or configure aspects of the theme.
Submitting Content without Registering
Asking that users register before they submit content will give you more control over what is published on your website and you will be able to moderate, edit and approve posts before they go live. However, you might wish to keep things simple by allowing content to be submitted without having people sign up. To do this, you will need to use a plugin called ‘User Submitted Posts.’
Go to Plugins > Add New and enter ‘User Submitted Posts’ into the search field. Click on Install and then Activate once the installation is complete. When the plugin has been successfully installed, a menu will be created in your settings. Go to Settings > User Submitted Posts to begin configuring the plugin to suit your requirements. Here you can also choose whether to allow users to submit full articles or simply links. If you prefer the latter, set Post URL to Show and the rest of the fields to Hide.
Select the fields that you want to appear on the content submission form and create a new Guest User with all user submitted posts assigned to them.
Next, go to dashboard and create a new Post or Page – this will be used to display the submission form. When you have decided where to place your form, paste in the following shortcode:
If you wish to display the form anywhere in your theme, use the following template tag:
<?php if (function_exists('user_submitted_posts')) user_submitted_posts(); ?>