Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Streamlining Blog Post Submissions with TDO Forms on WordPress

For the past couple years, I’ve been working with the scoutmaster of our Boy Scout troop in Oklahoma to get our website updated so it uses WordPress as a “content management system” instead of just using static webpages created with software like Frontpage or Dreamweaver. At long last, this afternoon, we had a meeting with our newly elected scout webmasters to explain their new options for posting content to the site. My son and I created a short, two page “Scout Webmaster’s Handbook” (PDF) which outlines these options. These include:

  1. Posting to the blog via email, using a free Posterous site we configured to “cross-post” directly to our WordPress site
  2. Using a “contribute” form we created on our main website, using the free WordPress plugin TDO Mini Forms
  3. Posting via the blog dashboard, using instructions from the WordPress Codex on writing posts.

When I was showing my son how to install and configure TDO Mini Forms to create this contribute form, I recorded an eight minute screencast describing these steps. If you need or want to configure a WordPress site to accept contributions from other people whose “draft posts” you want to moderate, these techniques and instructions may be helpful to you.

I created this screencast using ScreenFlow software.

Our website is far from perfect and we’ve got a lot of additional work to do, but at least the framework has been created now for the boys to regulary post new content online. They’ve set a goal of asking each scout serving as a troop webmaster (there are about five, I think) to post at least one new article to the blog each month. Our site is currently using the free WordPress theme Suffusion.

Do you have other ideas, techniques, or WordPress plugins you use to solicit contributor posts on a blog? I like the options to post via email or post via a web form because they are less complicated than posting via a unique userid and password on the site itself. Hopefully we’ll see lots of new content posted by our scouts in the weeks and months ahead!


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