Have you ever visited a website that allows users to submit blog posts, without them having to log in? Do you want to have user-submitted content on the front end of your site?
In this article, we’ll show you how to allow users to submit blog posts on your WordPress site without requiring a user to log in.
Keep in mind, how you accept post submissions on your WordPress blog is completely up to you.
For instance, you can automatically publish anything that’s submitted to your site, or you can require user registration and approve or reject the content before it gets published.
That said, this method is useful for sites that accept guest blog posts, and is a good way to gather content for developing clients websites, all without having users log in before submitting their blog posts.
If you don’t like the video, or need more instructions, we’ve written everything out for you below.
Why Allow Users to Submit Blog Posts on Your WordPress Site?
Allowing users to submit blog posts on your WordPress site is a great way to take advantage of the power that content marketing has over your lead generation efforts.
Take a look at what we mean:
- Blog content on your WordPress website helps establish you as an authority in your industry
- High quality content published on a regular basis adds value to your eCommerce shop’s products and services
- 47% of people read 3-5 pieces of site content before talking with a sales rep
- Consistent content gives marketers something to promote across social media platforms and in email campaigns
The problem is, 51% of content marketers say that they lack the time to create the amount of content they know their website’s need.
So, what better way than to allow those that are already interested in what you have to offer help you out by submitting their own ideas straight to your WordPress website?
Let’s take a look at how you can take advantage of your target audience’s desire to submit blog posts on your WordPress website.
Step 1: Get and Install WPForms
Next, you’ll need to install and activate the Post Submissions addon.
To do this, go to WPForms » Addon and find the addon labeled Post Submissions.
Click Install Addon and then Activate.
Now you’ll need to create a new form.
To do this, go to WPForms » Add New, name your form, and choose the Blog Post Submission Form template.
WPForms will create a form for you.
You’ll notice your blog post submissions form has the following form fields:
- Author Details. This includes name, email, and author bio form fields.
- Create a Blog Post. This includes post title, post content, featured image, post excerpt, and category form fields.
You can add additional fields by dragging them from the left hand panel to the right hand panel.
Then, click on the field to make any changes. You can also click on a form field and drag it to rearrange the order on your user registration form.
When it comes to the featured image form field, you might want to store any featured images your users upload to your Media Library.
To do this, click on the Featured Image form field, click on the Advanced Options dropdown menu, and make sure the checkbox labeled Store file in WordPress Media Library is checked.
Once you’re done customizing your form, click Save.
Step 2: Customize the Category Form Field
By default the blog post submissions form template will show the list of Post Categories you currently have on your website as a dropdown menu so users can select which category their blog post falls under.
If you want users to be able to choose the category for their blog post using the Checkboxes or Multiple Choice form fields, first delete the default Category form field. Then, add the type of form field you’d like use on your form.
For our example, we’ll use a Checkboxes form field.
Don’t make any changes to the form field, just click on it to access the editing section.
Next, go to Advanced Options and look for the dropdown menu labeled Dynamic Choices. Set this to Taxonomy. Then, under Dynamic Taxonomy Source, select Categories.
When you do this, all of your website’s categories will display for users as a list of checkboxes.
Step 3: Configure Your Blog Post Submission Form’s General Settings
To start, go to Settings » General.
Here you can configure the following:
- Form Name. Rename your form here if you want to.
- Form Description. Give your form a description.
- Submit Button Text. Customize the copy on the submit button.
- Spam Prevention. Enable the anti-spam honeypot feature to prevent spam submissions and keep your website secure. This feature is automatically enabled on all WordPress forms. You can also use Google’s free reCAPTCHA service if you want. If you decide to use another form of spam prevention, unclick these options.
- GDPR Enhancements. You can disable the storing of entry information and user details, such as IP addresses and user agents, in an effort to comply with GDPR requirements. In addition, check out our step by step instructions on how to add a GDPR agreement field to your simple contact form.
When you’re done, click Save.
Step 4: Configure Your Blog Post Submission Form’s Notifications
Notifications are a great way to send an email whenever an application is submitted on your website.
In fact, unless you disable this feature, whenever someone submits a blog post on your WordPress website, you’ll get a notification about it.
If you use smart tags, you can also send a notification to the user when they submit their blog post, letting them know you received submission and will be in contact shortly. This assures people their blog post submission has been received.
For help with this step, check out our documentation on how to set up form notifications in WordPress.
Adding to this, if you want to keep branding across your emails consistent, you can check out this guide on adding a custom header to your email template.
Note: Since file attachments can often hurt email deliverability, currently we don’t attach files in emails. For example, if an email provider only allows a maximum of 10MB attachment but the user uploads a file size higher than 10MB, the email won’t be delivered. Instead, we send the file uploads via email as links.
Step 5: Configure Your Blog Post Submission Form’s Confirmations
Form confirmations are messages that display to site visitors once they submit a blog post on your website. They let people know that their blog post has been received and offer you the chance to let them know what the next steps are.
WPForms has three confirmation types to choose from:
- Message. This is the default confirmation type in WPForms. When a site visitor submits a blog post submission form, a simple message confirmation will appear letting them know their form was processed. Look here for some great success messages to help boost customer happiness.
- Show Page. This confirmation type will take site visitors to a specific web page on your site thanking them for their blog post submission. For help doing this, check out our tutorial on redirecting customers to a thank you page. In addition, be sure to check out our article on creating effective Thank You pages for boosting customer loyalty.
- Go to URL (Redirect). This option is used when you want to send site visitors to a different website.
For help with the different confirmation types, see out documentation on setting up form confirmations.
Step 6: Configure Your Post Submissions Settings
To start, go to Settings » Post Submissions.
To make sure users can submit blog posts on your WordPress website, make sure the Post Submissions dropdown is set to On.
Next, make sure all the dropdown menu items match up to the form field title found above each dropdown menu.
If you changed or added any new form fields, you’ll need to match them up with the corresponding custom fields for your posts.
- Post Title: the title of the blog post
- Post Content: the main body of the blog post
- Post Excerpt: a short summary of the blog post
- Post Featured Image: the image added to the beginning of the blog post
- Post Type: options include Posts or Pages, but can include custom post types as well
- Post Status: the status of each blog post when submitted. You can automatically publish all post submissions or require approval.
- Post Author: choose an author of the blog post. If you require users to login before submitting blog post submission forms, the signed in user will be assigned as the author.
Step 7: Add Your Blog Post Submissions Form to Your Website
After you’ve created your blog post submissions form, you need to add it to your WordPress website.
WPForms allows you to add your forms to many locations on your website, including your blog posts, pages, and even sidebar widgets.
Let’s take a look at the most common post/page embed option.
To start, create a new post or page in WordPress and then click on the Add Form button.
Next, select your blog post submissions form in the modal popup and click Add Form.
Then, publish your post or page so your form will appear on your website.
To view post submission form entries after they’ve been submitted, check out this complete guide to form entries. You can view, search for, filter, print, and delete any form entries users submit to your website.
And there you have it! You now know how to allow users to submit blog posts on your WordPress site.
Do you want your site visitors to be able to upload files to your site, without having to submit a whole blog post? Check out our guide on how to create a file upload form in WordPress.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started with the most powerful WordPress forms plugin today.