William Davis and Lauren Rabaino’s posts about how Bangor Daily News adopted WordPress (and indeed Google Docs*) as part of their publishing workflow (it even feeds InDesign) has inspired me to revisit my own post about using WordPress as a news website. That was a slightly crude list of plugins that might be useful in adding functionality to WordPress required to implement important features for journalism and effective newsroom routines.
We are currently embarking on a redevelopment of a news website for our postgraduate journalism programmes at Bournemouth University, so I welcome any thoughts and suggestions on experiences with the below plugins – or indeed how you have implemented WordPress as a news website in your organisation.
* I remain unconvinced by using Google Docs as part of an online news workflow since it removes the writing process from the hypertext environment of the story (read: digital storytelling). There are other benefits, for sure, including better ability for real-time collaboration and subediting, but I’m not certain those outweigh the negatives.
Note: I have listed both active and inactive plugins that I felt might be of interest.
Writing, audio/visual content and linking
“Contextual spelling, style, and grammar check for WordPress. Write better and spend less time editing.”
“Apture makes it easy to add contextual images, videos, reference guides, links, maps, music, news, documents and books to your blog to create a connected media experience that keeps readers engaged on your site.”
“Contextual suggestions of links, pictures, related content and SEO tags that makes your blogging fun and efficient.”
“Enables advanced features and plugins in TinyMCE.”
“Podcasting enhances WordPress’ existing podcast support by adding multiple iTunes-compatible feeds, media players, and an easy to use interface.”
“A plugin that allows you to create post templates in order to save time writing posts having the same structure.”
“The Events Calendar plugin enables you to rapidly create and manage events using the post editor. Features include Google Maps integration as well as default templates such as a calendar grid and event list for streamlined one click installation.”
“Fully featured event registration management including recurring events, locations management, calendar, Google map integration, booking management”
“1. Custom Statuses: Define custom statuses that are specific to your newsroom and your workflow.
2. Editorial Comments: Leave comments within WordPress to give feedback on articles. Bring conversation into your editorial workflow.
3. Email Notifications & User Groups: Keep track of activity via email updates. Create user groups to better manage alerts.”
“Allows multiple authors to be assigned to a post. Co-authored posts appear on a co-author’s posts page and feed. New template tags allow listing of co-authors. Editors may assign co-authors to a post via the ‘Post Author’ box.”
Co-Authors Plus – rewrite of above plugin
“Allows multiple authors to be assigned to a Post, Pages, or Custom Post Types via the search-as-you-type inputs. Co-authored posts appear on a co-author’s posts page and feed. New template tags allow listing of co-authors. Editors and Administrators may assign co-authors to a post. Additionally, co-authors may edit the posts they are associated with, and co-authors who are contributors may only edit posts if they have not been published (as is usual).”
“Allows the site editors to send an e-mail to the blog users”
“Enhance the “Submit for Review” feature for Contributor users. This plugin enables automatic e-mails to the relevant users when posts are pending, when they are approved, and when their statuses are changed from “pending” back to “draft”.”
“Add notes on the “edit post” and “edit page” screens’ sidebars, as well as general notes on the dashboard, in WordPress 2.7 and up. When used with Peter’s Collaboration E-mails 1.2 and up, the notes are sent along with the e-mails in the collaboration workflow.”
“Role Management for WordPress”
“Allows WordPress to authenticate users through Active Directory”
“Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not.”
“Allows visitors to notify the administrator about inappropriate comments.”
“Add Report Post to End of Contents. useful when you want user to Report Broken Links on your Posts!”
“Adds a “Credit” field when uploading media to posts and displays it under the images on your blog to properly credit the artist.”
“This plugin is designed to help you curate your content. Assign and order stories within zones that you create, edit, and delete. Then use the handy API functions to retrieve and display your content in your theme. Or for those who are a bit code-averse, try the handy widget.”
“The Category Order plugin allows you to easily reorder your categories the way you want via drag and drop.”
“Allows you to brand your wordpress install for clients. Display custom images for the login screen, admin header and footer”
“A widget that displays an archive for the current selected category. On non-category pages a standard archive is displayed.”
“Place widgets into tabbed and accordion type interface blocks.”
“Adds search functionality without modifying any template pages: Activate, Configure and Search. Options Include: search highlight, search pages, excerpts, attachments, drafts, comments, tags and custom fields (metadata). Also offers the ability to exclude specific pages and posts. Does not search password-protected content.”
“Automatically add links on your posts, pages and RSS feed to your favorite social bookmarking sites.”
“Allows users to associate photos with their accounts by accessing their “Your Profile” page.”
“Generate a related posts list via tags of WordPress”
“Allows users to dynamically change the font size.”
“Post Control hides unwanted items on the write page and write post pages, and other post related controls.”
“Adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog.”