Say Hello to PublishPress

We’ve just released a new plugin called PublishPress.

The goal of PublishPress is to become an essential plugin for any WordPress site with multiple writers.

PublishPress gives you the tools to set up a custom publishing workflow. Here are just a few of the key features:

  • You can see all your scheduled posts in a single calendar view.
  • Inside WordPress, you can have collaborative discussions about each post.
  • Your team can choose custom post statuses, and get beyond simply “Draft” and “Pending Review”.
  • You can set requirements that must be met for content to published.

Why PublishPress?

Good question. The simple answer is, “busy sites need these features“.

There are many WordPress sites with a single author who is happy to click “Publish” whenever they’re ready. But, teams need a more collaborative process.

In addition to writing software, we run a training company: OSTraining. That work enables us to sit down with teams from a lot of large organizations.

Those teams all had custom requirements, but they also all had two fundamental needs:

  1. A smooth development / testing / live workflow.
  2. A publishing workflow to handle multiple users.

Many of those teams chose Drupal for their sites, simply because it offers a powerful set of publishing tools. Led by a team at Pfizer, Drupal is adding even better workflows in their next release.

We started to look around the WordPress world, to see what options were available. There are some great hosting companies that provide development workflows, but there were very limited choices to publishing workflows. If WordPress wants to be adopted by these organizations, it’s vital to have team publishing tools.

So, we decided to build our own, based on everything we’d learned. We choose the EditFlow plugin as a base for PublishPress. It’s a remarkably solid plugin, but we wanted to take development in a very different direction. So, the PublishPress Github repo is now public, and PublishPress is on WordPress.org. We’ve been through a few versions already, so this is definitely not a 1.0 release.

What’s new in PublishPress?

EditFlow had a ton of features. Our first step has been to overhaul the user interface to make them more easily visible. If you’re an EditFlow user, all the familiar features are here, but in a different layout. One major change is all the settings are now gathered together, in a more traditional WordPress-style tabbed interface:

PublishPress settings

In addition to simplifying the interface, we’ve also tried to simplify the language. For example, “Story Budget” is now “Overview”, and much of the text is shorter and simpler.

We also worked to expose some important features in the Calendar screen:

  • You can click anywhere on a date to add content.
  • The iCal or Google Calendar feed is easily visible.
  • Instead of text statuses, we use icons to show whether content is “Published”, “Scheduled” and “Not yet ready”. This allows more room on the calendar for other information.

The PublishPress calendar screen

Where is PublishPress going?

  • Documentation. It’s not bad so far, but we’re aiming to make it a lot better.
  • Multi-site and multiple site support. Imagine allowing your content creators to log in to just one site, but publish to many sites.
  • Pre-publishing checklists. Imagine creating a checklist for your posts: featured image? Green stamp of approval from Yoast.
  • User group permissions. Imagine creating a group of users called “Writers” and allowing them to submit content. The “Editors” group gets an email notification. When the editorial process is complete, the “Publishers” group gets a notification and can then schedule the post.
  • Focused on more than media sites. At the moment, the terminology is entirely focused on magazine-style sites with user groups such as “Reporters” and “Photographers”. We believe PublishPress can be useful for any post type, from WooCommerce products and EDD downloads, to BBPress topics and The Events Calendar listings.

Over to you

We’d love you to take PublishPress for a test drive and send some suggested improvements. Drop a comment below, or contact our support.

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