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Lee Odden

How Companies Can Control Their Blog Content & Comments

By Lee Odden     Blogging

When thinking about a blog, one big thing that a lot of companies are concerned with is control. They are worried about what may get posted on their blog, and are concerned with people saying negative things about them in their comments. Companies get scared that it’s going to be mass chaos.  The good news is content can be easily controlled by properly setting up user rolls and comment moderation.

When a WordPress blog is stet up properly, some users can be free to create content, but not able to push it live. Other users can be given the power to publish, but only after they approve the post.  When it comes to comments, turning on the moderation feature will ensure that no comment makes it on the site without internal approval.  This allows a company to weed out comments that are not appropriate, or formulate responses to negative comments so the comment and company response both go live at the same time.

So how do you set this up?  Lets start with users.

Blog UsersUsers

Within WordPress, there are five different user rolls and each roll has different capabilities.

Subscriber
A user setup as a subscriber doesn’t have the ability to do anything. It’s just like any other visitor to your site except they have a login and password.  This is useful when creating a community around your blog where you can invite people to sign-up for an account and capture names and emails. You can then leverage other plug-ins to expand community features.

Contributor
A user setup as a contributor has the ability to create posts along with editing and deleting their own posts, however they don’t have edit access to any other users posts. This user level is good for controlling what goes live and when.  A contributor can create all the posts they want, and the posts wait for someone else to approve them and push them live.

Author
At the author level, the user starts getting a lot more capabilities.  They can create, edit and delete their own posts, upload media and publish their own posts.  This is a good roll for users that have been posting to the blog for a while and the company is confident in what kind of posts they will create and don’t feel they need to be approved anymore.

Editor
The next user step up is editor.  Editors can do anything the previous user rolls can do but they also get to manage the blog by creating, editing and deleting any content.   Editors can do things like approving or editing comments, managing posts, managing categories, managing pages, adding or removing users, and managing links.  They have full access to all posts created by any user and can control any content that displays on the blog.

This is the highest user level for an average user.  Editors have the power to control every aspect of content on a blog, without having to worry about any blog settings, themes or plug-ins.

Administrator

At the top of the user rolls is the administrator user. The administrator can do everything that’s noted above plus they can control the blog settings. They are able to switch and edit themes, activate and de-active plugins, change the core blog settings and edit the layout of the blog dashboard.  Administrators limits are only met when they want to do something that WordPress, or WordPress plugins, can’t do.

By setting rolls for each of a blog’s users, companies can easily control what makes it to the live site and what doesn’t in regards to actual posts.

Comments

Now when it comes to comments, it’s even easier to manage. Built into WordPress is the ability to moderate all comments.  This means that when a comment is left on the blog, a blog editor or administrator must approve it before it shows on the live site.

To set this up, go to the “Settings” screen on the admin side of your WordPress blog and click on “Discussion.”

WordPress Comment Moderation

Next click on the box that says “An administrator must always approve the comment ” then hit “Save Changes” and you’re done.

Each comment will now wait for someone at the company to approve it before it shows up on the live site.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

Another item to consider is disabling trackbacks & pingbacks.  Trackbacks & pingbacks are a great way to see who else is talking about your company on their blogs.  If another blog links to one of your blog posts, an automatic link/comment is created.  Where as these are a great idea, they are quite often spammed.  Instead of turning them off completely, it would be better to get a good spam plug-in installed on the blog and let it filter out most of the unwanted content.

Summary

Control is something every company wants over their blog and is something that can be a deal breaker if it can’t be obtained.  By setting up proper user rolls, and ensuring that comments are all moderated, a company can control all content that gets posted on their blog.


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