7 WordPress Plugins to Let Users Submit Content from the Front-end
For some sites, their visitors are not only important as readers, they’re important as contributors too.
Whether they’re submitting a funny picture of their dog or a well thought out blog post, you may want an easy way to capture such submitted content on the front end of your site.
Below we go over 7 plugins that will let you do that.
Be sure to let us know in the comments if you know of another solution that’s worked well for you.
The WordPress Wiki plugin allows you to create a fully functional wiki, without leaving WordPress, so users can easily contribute and edit posts and pages… and you don’t even have to moderate them (unless you choose to).
Menus can be automatically created, your visitors get access to a full text editor and you can even make the site appear to be completely different to a wiki.
Our top pick for user collaboration and community, also available entirely for free on a WPMU DEV free trial.
Status was inspired by Facebook and allows your users to post simple and quick updates to any page you want to allow them to do so on.
Perhaps the coolest feature of Status is that unlike older front end posting plugins, it automatically pulls in the content of links that you paste into the ‘status’ box, so if you are looking for an automatic feature image, to import a youtube video or for that cat gif to just appear… this is the plugin for you.
The User Submitted Posts plugin is simple and intuitive.
It lets visitors to your site (even non logged in visitors) submit text and photos via a public form.
The submitted material goes into your post queue as a Pending post. You can then do anything you like with it – publish it, edit it, delete it, etc.
The settings in the backend give you a number of different options, such as assigning submitted content to a specific category, allowing posts to be automatically published, controlling the options on the submission form, and more.
The one thing that it doesn’t seem to do is provide an easy option for requiring users to be logged in. However, the plugin author does cover how to do that in the FAQ on the WordPress directory page.
The Frontend Publishing plugin lets you accept posts from registered visitors. (Visitors must be logged in to submit.)
It comes with a number of helpful controls. For example, you can set minimum and maximum words counts on titles, body content, words in bio, and number of tags. You can also set the maximum number of links in the body content and the in the bio section.
This plugin also lets you bypass posts submitted by users with a certain user level.
In addition, it provides a frontend page where users can access the posts they’ve submitted.
Unlike many plugins of this nature, it offers a full visual editor to the poster. But it should be noted that users are not given access to the media library unless they are at least at the Author level.
The WP User Frontend plugin gives you a number of nice options for letting users post on the front end. You can easily control what they’re allowed to input – i.e. images, titles, body copy, tags, attachments.
The plugin also lets you charge for uploading content. And it also makes it easy for you to let your users change their profiles on the front end as well.
One thing it seems to require, however, is that the user be registered and logged in. There is a pro version that seems to allow you to skirt this requirement.
As its name indicates, this is a pretty simple user submission plugin. It lets visitors submit a post on your site’s front end. Even non registered visitors can submit posts. I did not see an option to require submitters to be logged in.
Post submitted via the form become Pending posts in your admin area.
While it does allow the submitter choose a category, it doesn’t appear to allow image uploading. So that may be a large drawback for some.
The Frontend Uploader plugin will allow you to accept submissions from non-registered users. It works with shortcodes, and there are quite a number of parameters that can be applied, some seeming to double up on others. And so it takes some focus to get everything right.
It’s also a little difficult to find where the submitted content has gone to once it’s submitted. As the admin, you have the choice to determine this to a degree (through the shortcodes). And so you’ll also need to pay close attention to the instructions about this element as well.
The good news is that the developer seems active in the WordPress.org forums, and so if you run into problems, you can likely get an answer there. Quite frankly, however, there are less confusing options on the market.
We’re definitely keenest on WordPress Wiki and Status, they are continually updated, provide you and your users with excellent front end posting (and, in the case of Wiki, editing and collaborative editing) facilities and, of course, come with the WPMU DEV quality guarantee and free trial.
Both the User Submitted Posts and Frontend Publishing seemed to be pretty easy to work with and intuitive.
The User Submitted Post plugin didn’t include an option to make users register, but the plugin author did go over how to do that manually on the plugin page. It would have been nice to have it included. Still, it can be said that you can have it both ways with this plugin, so for that reason, we’re putting it as one of the top two.
The Frontend Publishing plugin, on the other hand, didn’t have an option to let non-logged in users submit posts. However, it had a number of other nice features, and if you aren’t looking for that function, then this looks like a very good plugin.
The WP User Frontend plugin didn’t seem to allow non-logged in users to submit content in the free version, but it did in the paid version. One thing it did have that others didn’t was a bio section that users could edit on the front end.