As a content marketer, you definitely know the benefits of guest post submissions. Having a blog lived on a guest website proves a great chance for writers to build author profiles and spread their knowledge to more users. For site owners, guest posts help gain referral links and increase brand awareness.
Still, accepting post submissions from others is also worth your consideration. You can publish quality content without having to take the time to write it. This way frees up your precious time for other marketing campaigns.
In this article, we’ll show you how to allow post submission from the front end of your WordPress website using contact form plugins. This post also includes a solution to protect the uploaded files from these submission forms.
Let’s get started with some reasons why you should enable frontend post submission in WordPress.
Why Allow Submitting Guest Posts from the Frontend
Site owners choose frontend post submission forms for several purposes. They help automate the process and free you from receiving and sending emails back and forth. After getting an email, you need to craft a reply email for confirmation. Then, check emails daily to discuss topics, get the content URL, and tons more.
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Tired of users sending irrelevant emails? Post submission forms can become your lifesaver by filtering spam emails automatically. Submitted emails identified as spam will be thrashed to the spam section right away.
Plus, you can create required fields forcing them to enter enough information such as the author bio, previous work, website URL, etc. Entries not containing enough important information will be rejected. You don’t need to read and check them one by one.
What’s more, you’re able to protect submitted files from authorized access via form submission. Once people submit the content and images, these files may get indexed by Google and appear on search engines.
Some sites let guest authors register and create posts from the backend. This method may ruin your website’s security. Although they don’t have access to the entire admin dashboard, making the login link available creates an open gate for them to hack your site.
The process of permitting a guest blog goes through 2 main steps, create a form for users to submit their content, then, protect submitted files from unauthorized access.
You can take the first step with various contact form plugins. Our guide today will mention 2 popular ones, including Ninja Form and Contact Form 7. The PDA Gold plugin will solve the other step easily.
How to Create a Post Submission Form in WordPress
Use Ninja Forms Plugin
Trusted by over one million users from all over the world, Ninja Form appears as one of the most common contact form plugins. This free plugin gives you a helping hand in building custom gorgeous forms in a beginner-friendly way.
With more than 27+ field types, you can design any form for your site, from Contact us to Collect feedback or even Event registration. It’s possible for you to build a submission form using the Create a Post template.
Follow the guide below to create a post submission with Ninja Forms.
First, have the plugin ready on your site by going to Plugins → Add New in the admin dashboard. After that, search for the plugin in the keyword box, install and activate it.
Next, download the Front-End Posting extension and add it to your site. Once done, head to Add New under the Ninja Forms section in your admin navigation menu. Now, select ‘Create a Post’ from Additional Templates.
It now shows you a standard post-submission form with three main fields: Title, Content, and Description. You can edit the form and require other details from guest bloggers as well.
Open the Emails and Actions tab to set the post type of the submission. You can choose from ‘Pages,’ ‘Posts,’ and ‘Custom Post Types.’ It should be ‘Posts’ in most cases.
You also need to configure other settings. Apart from categories, setting the post status as ‘Draft,’ ‘Pending,’ ‘Private,’ and ‘Published’ is available. It gives you the right to leave the author name as the admin name or the real writer.
Publish the form, copy its ID, and paste the form ID into your ‘Write for Use’ or ‘Guest Posts’ page. Anytime a guest blogger submits their content, your site will automatically create a new post for it.
Use Contact Form 7
If you’re looking for a free contact form plugin to design a guest post submission form, Contact Form 7 would be a smart choice. While Ninja Forms forces you to buy the Front-End Posting extension, this plugin doesn’t cost you anything. However, the UI is not user-friendly.
To install the plugin, you can follow the same process as you do for the Ninja Forms plugin. Upon activation, go to Contact → Add New and build your form.
Contact Form 7 already provides you with standard fields, including ‘Name,’ ‘Email,’ ‘Subject,’ ‘Message,’ and a ‘Submit’ button. In the Form section, add the necessary fields for your post submission form. We recommend the URL, Dropdown (for selecting post categories), and File.
Once you click on the buttons to add a new field, a Form Tag popup will appear for you to configure the form tag’s settings.
Copy the form shortcode and paste it into your ‘Write for us’ or ‘Guest Post’ page. In order to submit their content, users must provide the content document in the URL field and the article images via the File field.
Step 2: Protect Uploaded Files via Forms
It’s of significance to protect file uploads from the frontend in some cases. For example, the post may be used as premium content in membership areas. At that point, unauthorized users shouldn’t have access to these content and media files.
The PDA Gold plugin and its Contact Forms Integration extension come as an ideal solution in securing media files uploaded via your forms. They assist you in auto-protecting any of the file types submitted via contact forms, i.e. PNG, PDF, and ZIP, etc.
Following is how to use them to protect file submissions automatically.
- Install and activate PDA Gold and Contact Forms Integration plugins
- Head to Prevent Direct Access Gold → Settings
- Open the Forms & ACF tab
- Enable the contact form plugin that you’ve used to create a post submission
That’s it! At the moment, the plugins support several popular contact forms plugins, such as Ninja Forms, Contact Form 7, Custom Contact Forms, and Gravity Forms. Once done, any media files uploaded by guest authors from the post submission form will be protected automatically.
WordPress Frontend Post Submission Made Simple
Allowing guest blogs from your WordPress site front end benefits your business in numerous ways. You can reduce manual work of creating posts, checking emails back and forth, and tons more.
Ninja Forms and Contact Form 7 plugins make it easy to create a post submission form on your site. While Ninja Forms offers the premium Front-End Posting extension, Contact Form 7 doesn’t cost you anything to start creating a post submission form.
It’s essential to auto-protect file uploads from the frontend too. You can easily achieve that with the PDA Gold plugin.
Do you have any trouble creating a post submission form on your WordPress site? Share with us your experience in the comment section below.