2023 Guide to WordPress Approval Workflow for Content

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Key Takeaways
  • A WordPress approval workflow for content is a predefined publication process that regulates the creation, review, and publishing of content on a WordPress website.
  • It ensures that content goes through multiple stages of approval, such as initial review, editing, and final review, before being published.
  • This workflow helps maintain content quality, consistency, and accuracy, avoiding mistakes and ensuring compliance with guidelines.
  • It enables collaboration between content creators, editors, and administrators, streamlining the content creation process.
  • The workflow can be customized to match specific needs, and plugins are available to enhance and track the progress of content through the approval process.
  • A good editorial workflow can assist with content marketing strategy and search engine optimization (SEO).
Everything You Need To Know About Content Approval Workflow

What Exactly is a Content Approval Workflow?

With teamwork, it is essential to develop a workflow. Workflows improve productivity, and creativity, and enhance seamless communication between all team members. If you run a WordPress site and work with a team of content developers to write and submit content (post) for approval, you will need a WordPress editorial workflow process to bring the team effort into perfect sync.

A WordPress editorial process lets you automate where your editors can assign jobs to your writers (authors and contributors), and the writers, in turn, can submit work to your editors for approval. With this type of workflow in place, you can always monitor work progress and tweak the parameters you have set to fit your current needs. The process of creating a WordPress content approval workflow can be divided into three steps:

  • Determine the users you need (contributor, author, and editor)
  • Set parameters for automating content approval and content workflow
  • Test your workflow process

These three simple steps will enable you to have an unlimited workflow with other people.

Responsible for over 58.6 percent of the sites. It has incredible support and offers unique themes to help make your work simple. The system will deal with practically any sort of content you toss at it.

Understanding User Roles

When you install WordPress, your site is immediately assigned five levels of users. Each level has its restriction and functionalities. The user levels include administrator, editor, author, contributor, and subscriber. For a WordPress editorial workflow, you will most likely need an editor, authors, and contributors. It's essential for you to understand the powers each role has over your site.

Administrator Role

The WordPress administrator controls every other user on a regular WordPress site. You become a WordPress administrator when you install WordPress, and then you have full access to all WordPress functionalities. A WordPress administrator can assign administrative functions to another user. The administrator can also assign other roles to users.


The editor oversees all WordPress website content. Usually, an editor can moderate posts and comments, edit, delete, and publish all posts (including posts created by all authors) within a WordPress site. An editor’s role is only subject to the administrator. Since the editor controls the content, you should be careful who you assign this role. You can also always edit the privileges of any editor and limit the powers that come with the position.


A WordPress author is like a super contributor. They have power over all their posts. They can edit, publish, and delete their posts. They, however, do not have any control over other authors' posts. The author's role is also delicate because an author can delete all the content they published on your site: Imagine an author deleting 100 posts. It's a lot of power for a contributor, which is why you should probably assign WordPress authorship to the next WordPress user role (contributor).


A contributor is a WordPress author without the power that comes with an author role. A contributor can write posts and edit posts, but cannot edit or delete posts once they get published. A contributor cannot access your media library, so they cannot add images to a post without permission or help; however, they can add existing categories and tags to posts. They cannot create new categories or tags, and they cannot access plugins. They can view moderated comments but cannot delete or edit comments.


A subscriber is the most limited user role, and it is automatically assigned to your users. A subscriber's role includes creating a WordPress profile on your site, reading site content, and posting comments on posts or pages. They, however, cannot edit comments or posts. An administrator can change a subscriber's default setting. A subscriber can be allowed to drop comments without filling in their email and name: this is especially good if the subscriber frequently comments or visits your site. A subscriber also receives your newsletters and updates about your site.


Workflow Automation for Content Approval

WordPress content approval workflow works precisely like real-world corporate workflows. When a task needs to be completed, there is a transparent chain of command. First, we have the creatives; second, supervisors oversee the work of a group of creatives; third, a project manager oversees the supervisors; fourth, the executive who the project managers report to, directly. In WordPress, the authors and contributors answer to an editor, and the editor is under the administrator.

Note: There is another level of user. If you are running a multi-site network, there is a role for the super admin who oversees all network activities.

Install a Workflow Plugin (or two or three)

  • Install the following plugins: Publish Press, Publish Press Capabilities Pro, and Publish Press Checklist, and Oasis Workflow. Each Plugin performs a unique and essential role in your WordPress editorial workflow.
  • To install a plugin, click on Plugin> Add New> Search for your desired Plugin> install and activate.
  • Assign WordPress Roles: Go to Users> Add New> Author. Create Users who will be authors and repeat the same process (Users>Add New>Editors) for editors.
  • Set author permission: With PublishPress Capabilities Pro, you can assign author permissions. Author permissions give the Author access to move work from one place to another as the work progresses. Ensure that you have installed Publish Press Capabilities Pro>> Go to the admin menu on your dashboard and click on 'Capabilities.' Set 'Control Custom Statuses' on. Second, in the center of your screen, you can choose the statuses available for your authors and your own post statuses. The statuses are: “Pitch, Assigned, In Progress, Pending Review.” Assigned refers to content that an editor has assigned to the author to write. In Progress refers to content that an author is working on at the moment. Pending Review refers to content completed by the author and is pending approval from the editor. Tick Pitch, In Progress, and Pending Review for your Author. Assigned must be left out as only an editor should be allowed to assign content or tasks.

Setting Editor Notifications for Editorial Workflow

Visit your dashboard. Click Publish Press> Notification>Add New. You will be taken to a Publish Press Notification setting page. Follow the instructions below to fill the ‘Notification Form':

  • Title:
  • Tick “Notify my editors when there is a new content from authors.”
  • When to Notify:
  • You can use this feature to notify your editor, yourself (admin), and authors when content has been assigned. You can also set a notification for your editor when an author puts content in ‘In Progress’ or moves it from draft to ‘Pending Review.’
  • Subject:
  • This defines the subject of the notification. Make the subject short and simple; for example: “An author submitted a post for review.”

Publish Posts With Checklists or Parameters

With the Publish Press checklist, you can set automated checklists that an author's content must pass before it can even be sent to an editor. This process makes the job easier for your editor, as works submitted to him would have passed through an automated checklist. Checklists include Categories, Tag, Featured Image, and Word Count.


Testing and Optimizing Your Workflow

At this point, you have successfully created a WordPress editorial workflow. To test your parameters, assign work from the editor user role to the author role, and confirm with your Author if a message was received. Send content from the author's role to pending review and confirm with your editor if a message was received regarding the post pending review.

The setting for the default WordPress roles allows authors to publish posts, edit, and even delete posts they have published (they cannot delete posts of other authors). The default jurisdiction gives an author a lot of power as he/she can wipe out all his posts from your site's front end and database anytime he/she so wishes. To limit an author's jurisdiction on a post:

  • Install and activate the Capability Manager Enhanced Plugin
  • Go to Users>>Capabilities
  • You will be directed to the capabilities page
  • Click “Select Role to View/Edit”
  • Select Author and click on Load to get ‘Author WordPress Roles’
  • Default setting allows the Author to be able to delete posts they write; however, to change this, uncheck the box next to 'delete published options' and 'delete.'
  • Save

If you want to remove the restriction, repeat the steps you did above, and save. WordPress is versatile, and with it, you can always achieve a seamless workflow with innumerable numbers of contributors, authors, and editors. Always remember that as admin, you can control WordPress roles and reduce the functionalities of any user—regardless of the user role.



An approval workflow is crucial for content on WordPress because it ensures content quality, consistency, and accuracy. It helps prevent errors, maintain brand voice, and adhere to guidelines. By implementing a defined process, the workflow facilitates collaboration between content creators, editors, and administrators, streamlining content creation and publication.

It provides a systematic approach to reviewing, revising, and approving content before it is published on the website, ensuring that only high-quality and appropriate content reaches the audience. Overall, an approval workflow enhances content management, maintains professionalism, and improves the user experience on WordPress websites.


Yes, you can customize the approval workflow on WordPress to align with your specific needs. WordPress offers flexibility in defining the number of approval stages, assigning user roles for each stage, and setting permissions for content submission, editing, and publishing. This allows you to create a workflow that caters to the complexity and requirements of your content creation process.

Whether you need additional stages, specific roles, or unique permissions, WordPress provides the necessary tools and options to customize the approval workflow and tailor it to suit your organization's specific needs.


The typical stages in a WordPress review process include content creation, initial review, editing, final review, and publishing. Content creators generate the initial content, which then undergoes an initial review by editors or designated reviewers. After that, the content enters the editing stage, where revisions, proofreading, and improvements are made.

The content then proceeds to the final review stage, where it undergoes a thorough evaluation and any necessary adjustments are made. Finally, upon approval, the content is published on the WordPress website. These stages ensure a systematic and controlled process for content creation, review, and publication, maintaining quality and consistency.


In the approval workflow of WordPress, you can assign roles and permissions using the built-in user role management system. WordPress provides default roles such as "Author," "Editor," and "Administrator," each with different levels of access and capabilities. You can assign these roles to users based on their responsibilities in the approval process.

For example, content creators can be assigned the "Author" role, while editors and administrators can have the "Editor" or "Administrator" roles, respectively. Additionally, WordPress allows you to create custom roles and define specific permissions for each role, giving you control over who can submit, edit, review, or publish content within the workflow.


Yes, there are several plugins available in the WordPress plugin repository that can help you enhance and streamline your approval workflow. Some popular options include "PublishPress," "Edit Flow," and "Content Approval." These plugins provide additional features such as notifications, content calendar views, and advanced approval management.


Yes, it is possible to create multiple workflows for WordPress content. While WordPress itself does not provide native support for multiple flows, there are plugins available, such as "PublishPress" and "Edit Flow," that allow you to create and manage workflows with different stages, roles, and permissions.

These plugins enable you to define distinct workflows for different types of content or departments within your organization. By having workflows, you can tailor the approval process to the specific needs and requirements of various content types or teams, ensuring efficient content management and collaboration on your WordPress website.

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