Collaborative websites have changed the way we use the internet today. Facebook and Reddit are just a couple of examples of websites that have shaped how we share ideas with each other across the web. If you are creating a site to curate viral content, communicate an idea, or share opinions, collaborative sites can be effective as they help you source interesting content from your users.
Take for example the Reddit Gamestop stock saga that gained traction online in the first quarter of 2021. While it can be debated whether that situation was right or wrong, it’s hard to deny the volume of attention it brought to the way the stock market operates. Without the collaborative forum Reddit — which allows users to post to the front end of the site — rallying a large group so quickly around a goal would have been much more difficult.
Luckily, just about anyone can create a collaborative WordPress website to organize a group around a common goal and communicate an idea to the masses. If you want to solicit other points of view, you can simply ask users to post their own content to your website and contribute to the conversation.
There are two ways to accomplish this: with a WordPress theme or with a WordPress plugin.
You can use these themes to allow users to submit content from the front end of the site. But in order to use this method, users need to access your WordPress dashboard. Though you can allow users to submit content by making anyone an author or a contributor, it is not a good idea to provide everyone access to the dashboard. Mistakes happen — passwords could be discovered, important content could be changed, and critical code could be altered intentionally or unintentionally.
With the plugin method, those security issues won’t be a concern. Users can post to your site on the front end without accessing your WordPress dashboard and risking the security of your site.
In this post, we will have a look at the safer method: WordPress frontend posting plugins. This option allows you to give posting permissions to anyone you choose. You’ll be able to moderate, edit, approve, and remove anything that is shared on your site — all without sharing access to your WordPress dashboard.
Let’s dive in.
Top Frontend Post WordPress Plugins
- Frontend Publishing Pro
- WP User Frontend
- User Submitted Posts
- AccessPress Anonymous Post Pro
- Helpie WP
- Prometheus User Submitted Content Plugin for WordPress
Top Frontend Publishing Plugins
Frontend Publishing Pro is a premium WordPress plugin that will help your users publish content from the front end of your site. It is a comprehensive solution to create a submission form and make the process easy for your users to follow.
To get started, you’ll have access to a drag-and-drop builder that will get the plugin up and running in no time. Then, your users will be able to create, edit and delete the content they’ve published.
As the admin, you can create an unlimited number of forms, each with its own settings and restrictions. You can also add custom fields to the forms to fit your purposes.
WP User Frontend is a free plugin that lets users submit content safely and easily. If you use this plugin, users will be able to create new posts and edit their profiles all from the site's front end. Most importantly, they won’t have to have access to the main dashboard.
As an admin, you can set the status of the submitted content — make it go live to the site directly, or set it as a draft which will go live once you approve it. You also have the option to set user levels in the dashboard.
The overall system comes with custom features such as allowing users to submit attachments and featured images with posts. Overall, it offers you all the options to create a great-looking post.
User Submitted Posts is a free plugin option for frontend posting. With a simple shortcode, your users will be able to post content and organize it using predetermined fields like post tag, post category, and URL.
As the admin of the site, you can manage all user submissions, permissions, publishing, and more with a simple one-click filter. The User Submitted Posts plugin is ideal if you have a moderately active website that doesn't need detailed moderation and maintenance.
This user-friendly posting plugin gives you the flexibility to incorporate user-published content with few parameters. Like the name suggests, AccessPress Anonymous Post Pro allows users to post anonymously, but there’s also the option to attribute name and URL to their content. There’s freedom in anonymity. If you value that on your site, this plugin will meet your needs
For fast-paced sites that simply want to publish user content quickly, you won’t have much red tape to work around with this plugin. Anyone can post from anywhere on the site. But to prevent spam from taking over, there is a CAPTCHA that can be enabled from the plugin settings page.
5. Helpie WP
For niche industry thought leaders who want to collaborate with others, Helpie WP has all the frontend posting features you’ll need. This plugin makes wiki pages, knowledge bases, and product documentation come to life for your visitors who choose to publish their own knowledge onto your site. As the site owner, you control who can view, edit, publish, and approve posts at three different levels: global, topic, and article.
What makes this plugin worth downloading is its organizational capabilities. Helpie WP isn’t just a place for users to post — it creates a hierarchy of content so that other users can easily find the information they want to see. The best part? Published content is easy to revise as your product changes.
Allowing users to post directly to your website from the front end can be scary — you don’t know exactly what they’ll share and by the time you see, it could be too late. Prometheus User Submitted Content Plugin takes the guesswork out of user-submitted content. Users must follow the submission rules you set. For added moderation, you’ll get an email for each new post that’s submitted by a user.
This plugin works for websites that don’t have several user posts added to the site in a given period — you don’t want to be overwhelmed with submission notifications!
A Frontend Posting Plugin That Delivers Results
Now that you’ve chosen the perfect frontend post WordPress plugin for your website, the next step to getting that content seen is to grow your traffic. You can manage the users who publish posts to your site, live chat with visitors, and monitor your website analytics all with the HubSpot WordPress plugin.
Stop sacrificing power for ease of use, and start using a plugin that helps you grow — and grows right along with you.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in January 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.