Top 10 WordPress Plugins For Front-End Posting, Editing and Uploading

With the help of a few plugins, it’s entirely possible to keep WordPress users out of the dashboard and put everything they need on the front-end. Today we’re going to focus on the most requested front-end features: posting, editing and uploading. These features are especially important for sites that depend on user-submitted content and news. The plugins below are some of the most high quality solutions available for adding content on the front-end.

Front-End Editor

The Front-End Editor plugin was created several years ago by the talented Scribu. It is one of the most well-known and widely used plugins for editing inline.

With this plugin installed you can edit posts, pages, custom post types, comments, widgets and many more elements on the front-end.

Raptor Editor

The Raptor Editor is a newer plugin that we recently reviewed on WPMU.org. It has a beautiful interface that is very approachable and user-friendly for beginners. The Raptor Editor seamlessly integrates the WordPress media library as well for ease of uploading files. If you want to try it live before installing it, check out the demo.

Front End Upload

The Front End Upload plugin, created by developer Jonathan Christopher, gets very high ratings in the WordPress plugin repository. It’s very easy to implement- simply place the shortcode on a page where you want to include the upload form. The plugin also includes settings for restricting the form to those who have a passcode, maximum file size, success message and customization of the automatic email.

Div Layer Editor


The Div layer Editor plugin is a little different in that it allows you to Edit any WordPress theme from the front of your website. It makes it surprisingly easy for anyone to make theme changes, even if you’re not a master at CSS. Simply click on a part of your website to edit it. You’ll be able to save different versions of your themes as child themes, without having to use FTP or the dashboard theme editor.

Gravity Forms

Of course, the ever popular Gravity Forms plugin makes this list! Gravity Forms is always on the cutting edge and continues to innovate with WordPress in each new release. Among its many features is the ability to configure forms that create WordPress posts from the front-end, allowing you to collect user-generated content.

WP Client File Share

This is very cool plugin that allows you to share files between administrators and users. When WP Client File Share is installed, users will get a “private” page to upload files. The admin can also post files for that user. All of this happens on the front end.

Profile Builder

The Profile Builder Plugin lets you add front-end registration, profile and login forms. These pages are easy to create with the use of the plugin’s shortcodes. The admin has a great deal of flexibility in modifying and adding to the forms with a nice interface in the dashboard. The Pro-version includes avatar uploads, custom redirects, additional styles and more.

Nmedia Users File Uploader Plugin

This plugin has a great interface for letting users upload files from the front-end. Uploaded files are saved in private directories so each user can download and delete their own files after logging in. Features include:

  • Flash Uploader
  • Ajax based validation
  • File DetailDownload Files
  • Delete File
  • Customized Upload Message, Delete Message

The Pro-version gives you more control over the shortcodes and file meta. Check out a live demo on the plugin’s homepage.

Ninja Forms

Ninja Forms is a fairly new plugin that allows users to easily create their own forms for WordPress and attach them to posts and pages. The Pro-version allows for front-end post submission, as demonstrated in the video below. It lets you create forms with fields linked to your title, content, categories, tags, and custom fields. It works with posts, pages, or custom post types and even includes the WYSIWYG editor for the content.

FV Community News

The FV Community News plugin was created to allow users to contribute content easily from the front-end, while the admin maintains full control of the articles that are being posted. It includes support for custom post types with featured images and tags, as well as widgets, shortcodes, AJAX form handling, customizable post form, and a nicely styled feed for community news.

All of the plugins above have been tested to work smoothly with the latest version of WordPress. Bookmark this post for the next time you need to implement front-end capabilities and make sure to share with your friends.

Comments (14)

  1. Thank you for this great summary. I am forever in search of good frontend plugins. I know many of these, but Raptor Editor and Ninja Forms are new to me. I will check them both out. I would LOVE to find a replacement for Gravity Forms which is way over my head(as a non-programmer). Gravity Forms has the worst documentation I’ve ever encountered in a technical product. It add nothing to my ability to make use of their product. It’s written for people who already know how to use their product– hardly the point of documentation.

    • Marcia,

      You may want to spend time researching FormidablePro. It’s a team of two and do not have the GF budget yet they have produced and continue to improve an incredibly powerful and flexible form creation plugin. The support is outstanding as well. You will not find pre-packaged documentation there either (for the more complicated implementations, search the knowledge-base or pose your question at the Help Desk forum). Btw, I am not connected with that company other than being one of their customers. Good luck.

  2. Hi. I am searching for a complex front end editing platform to edit custom fields. My goal is to build a wordpress site similar to imdb. An suggestions on how to do this?

    Been at this for 2years now. Got some progress but key core plugins need extension/customization.

    • Hi Ian, the front-end editor from Scribu mentioned above does include custom fields editing, but this does require a little php coding in the template.

      If you are building a company website (instead of a blog site), and create your own templates you might also check my plugin. I posted it below. This is not free however, I am sorry )

  3. This is a great set of resources for those looking to add front-end posting to their sites. It’s amazing what a search by different keywords will bring up. I was looking for “user generated content wordpress” and not finding much I hadn’t seen before. Changed to “user submitted content wordpress” and voila! I didn’t realize there were so many solutions beyond Gravity Forms. Really, really cool (and helpful)! TX!

    BTW (unsolicited testimonial here), I’m a WPMU customer, and I’m very, very impressed with the help and support. Short of having a WP guru on call, I can’t imagine getting much better help than with what WPMU provides.

    TX for the info, Sarah! :-D

  4. I have written a WP plugin that handles all editing in the frontend. To build such a frontend CMS all you need to is add code snippets in the templates where you want to have editable parts. Please have a look at frontendcms.com.

  5. When it comes to front-end editors non of them offer the option to edit the SEO portions of your website, which is why I developed Front-end SEO Editor. I have tried at least 3 of these front-end plugins but no of them had what I was looking for in terms of editing the meta data. If you’re looking for a front-end SEO editor plugin check out mine and download a copy for yourself. The plugin will save you so much time when editing your meta data and is defaulted to work directly with Yoast SEO out of the box. Just follow the link to grab your copy and feel free to leave a donation :)

    Front-end SEO Editor for WP
    http://www.doawebdesigns.com/front-end-wordpress-seo-plugin-for-meta-titles-descriptions/

  6. This is a cool list Sarah, I’ve used most of these and I’d say that gravity forms is my favourite for full flexibility.

    For quick posting though – I’ve moved on to using an extension to Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/post-to-wordpress/hhmhfcfbheceghfbfjgkjnlhooadpnej

    Where I can write quick simple posts while on a page, saves me having to flip back and forth between admin page and website (if for example I’m writing about a particular news article).

    Thumbs up from me though :) some good things on the list.

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