[wp-edu] Great Frontend Posting Solution for Wordpress

Spake, George P gspake1 at uthsc.edu
Wed Mar 27 17:10:59 UTC 2013

Hi everyone,

One seemingly essential feature that Wordpress doesn't have out-of-the box is a robust front-end posting solution for user generated content.
We want users to be able to login and submit posts, categorize and tag them, add meta data and upload images. Users need to be able to edit and delete their posts (Prior to being published by someone with the appropriate capabilities).
We wanted this all to be handled on the front end partly to avoid the need for users to interact with the Wordpress backend interface but also because restricting backend access alleviates a lot of security concerns.

Surprisingly, there aren't a lot of plugins that fulfil this need. We looked at Gravity Forms, which is a great plugin, but it is not made to handle frontend posting and lacks a lot of features that would make it a viable solution.
Perhaps the reason that there aren't a lot of plugins for this is because the best one has pretty much covered everything.
Enter WP User Frontend.
While the free version of WPUF<http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-user-frontend/> is great, a completely revised premium version<http://wedevs.com/plugin/wp-user-frontend-pro/> was released in the past week or so that adds many of the critical features that aren't available in the free version.
WPUF is a full frontend posting solution complete with a frontend dashboard, frontend posting and editing interfaces with support for multiple forms for custom post types and more.
It  also handles capability settings like backend restriction and works well with the User Role Editor plugin and the Active Directory plugin we are using. Users must be logged in to submit posts and posts are automatically attributed to the user.
We are currently working with the free version with some minor modifications; the developer has provided plenty of hooks with documentations to allow the plugin to be extended to do just about anything. The most noticeable difference in the pro version is the essential ability to create multiple forms, which allows users to submit different types of posts.

Our ultimate goal is to launch a news site that allows faculty, staff, and students to login and contribute news stories with images, categorize and tag them, indicate whether they should appear on listservs and whether they should be featured. The posts are submitted, by default, as pending review and are not published until they are edited by users with backend access. Once the story is submitted, the user can edit or delete it via a front-end dashboard, but once the post is published, they are no longer able to modify it.

Hope this helps; we're very happy with the plugin so I thought I'd share...

George Spake
UTHSC ITS Web Services
(901) 448-1888

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