Running a personal blog on your own can be a relatively simple affair. There’s just you, so you’re the one who “pitches” the ideas, you’re the one who writes the posts, you’re the one who edits them, and you’re the one who hits the “publish” button. Suddenly, the situation can become far more complex when you introduce multiple authors and multiple editors.
When you have several post drafts sitting in your WordPress back-end with several more “pending review,” it can become unclear who is responsible for what and when these posts need to be published. You need to better organize your workflow and that’s where the Oasis Workflow plugin for WordPress can completely streamline your editorial process.
A Better Workflow for Blogging Teams
Helping to automate the WordPress publication process, Oasis Workflow allows administrators and editors to create a visualized workflow through a simple drag-and-drop interface. At each step along the way, contributors and editors can “sign off” on their work before passing it off to a colleague for the next step in the workflow.
The WordPress plugin is flexible and scalable enough to suit teams of just about any size. If you have a smaller site with about a half dozen writers, it can become much clearer to editors when a post is ready to be edited and published. Editors can also reject a submission, marking it as a “failure” and sending it back to the original contributor, complete with comments on what needs to be changed.
And just as WordPress has a built-in revision history for individual blog posts, allowing you to revert back to previous versions or look at what changes have been made, Oasis Workflow also comes with a process history for each post. This way, you’ll know exactly who has done what with a post (and when) as it makes its way through a workflow process.
A System That Works for You
Every site is different and every team is different, so the exact parameters of the best workflow for that team on that site will vary. It wouldn’t make much sense if Oasis Workflow forced your team into a configuration that doesn’t work for you.
Creating your own custom workflows through the Oasis Workflow system is really easy to understand. After the plugin has been installed and activated, you access everything you need through your own WordPress dashboard. There’s a section in there for all your Oasis settings.
New workflows are created through a simple drag-and-drop interface. The different nodes can be created for each step of your workflow, like idea submission, drafting, editing, and publication. You then connect these nodes by clicking and dragging on the squares within each node. Blue arrows designate a “success” path, whereas red arrows designate a “failure” path, allowing you to move a post in either direction as needed.
In effect, nodes can be broken down into one of three types: assignment, review, and publish. However, you can have multiple nodes of each type depending on the workflow that you need. The example above is one of the simplest, but Oasis supports more complex workflows too.
With this example, you have multiple levels of review that involve proofreading and a project manager, as well as database and cataloging, before finally getting to final approval and publication. There are other commonly used workflows that might involve a two-level review process or steps that involve a graphics team, a fact verification team and more. It’s entirely up to you.
Assignments, Responsibilities and Due Dates
The actual day-to-day use of Oasis Workflow is similarly easy to understand and easy to scale to suit your team’s needs. A team member drafts up a blog post as normal, but instead of hitting the “save draft” or “publish” button like how she would normally in WordPress, she can click the new “Submit to Workflow” button instead.
This prompts a new pop-up window where the specifics of this post, as it pertains to the workflow, can be defined. Oasis Workflow supports multiple workflows — since you may have a different process for different types of content — so the first step is to choose which workflow is applicable to this post.
After that, you indicate the current step and assign the next step to another team member. It’s clear here which team members are available for assignment. This allows for clear accountability as to who should be picking up the torch next. The window also allows for due dates, future publish dates, and any comments the contributor may have.
One other feature that is positively invaluable with Oasis Workflow is the inbox. Once a new task has been assigned to a team member, that task will show up in that member’s inbox after he or she logs into WordPress. The inbox has the hybrid appearance of a list of WordPress drafts and an email inbox. Users can then make their way through their inbox, signing off on tasks as they complete them. This is far more efficient and effective than fishing through an exhausting list of all the current posts saved in WordPress.
Revise Your Published Posts Too
Going through one of your custom workflows makes perfect sense when you have brand new content to be published on your site, but what if you have existing content that needs to be revised or updated? Oasis Workflow works there too.
Rather than having to pull your existing content offline so that it can be edited and revised, Oasis can create a copy of the article that can then be put through your workflow. It can proceed through the steps as if it were a new post, going through the success and failure paths as needed.
When the post is once again ready for publication, the revised copy can replace the existing version on the site in a completely seamless fashion. This way, your older content doesn’t have to disappear from your site while you make changes.
How Much Does Oasis Cost?
If your needs are on the more basic end of the scale, Oasis Workflow can be downloaded and used for free from the WordPress Plugin Directory. However, you will need to upgrade to one of the paid licenses in order to unlock all of the features.
The free, basic license limits you to just one workflow, for example. It also does not have the auto submit to workflow feature, downloadable history reports, advanced reporting, the ability to copy steps or workflows, and so on. The $49 Pro license provides two licenses and allows for unlimited workflows. The Developer and Corporate licenses are virtually identical, except they allow for a greater number of licenses.
If you’re looking for a way to automate the editorial workflow on your WordPress site and you’re tired of sifting through too many drafts to figure out what needs to be done next, Oasis Workflow could be for you. The full integration with WordPress makes it so easy to use.