Guest author is a type of account designed for visitors to register and submit posts without any admin permission. This helps you have more rich content for your site. Today, I'll show you how to allow users to sign up for a guest author account and submit guest posts using Meta Box.

Here is my example.

Create a page to allow users to sign up for a guest author account and submit guest posts using Meta Box.

Video Version

Before Getting Started

Specifically, in this case, users will be able to register an account, log in, and then access a management page similar to the above demo. On this page, they will have the ability to edit their account information and also submit posts.

Moreover, they’ll have a section where they can manage the posts that they submitted as well as edit the posts.

A section where they can manage the posts that they submitted as well as edit the posts

To solve all the above requirements, we should use Meta Box and its following three extensions:

  • Meta Box Builder: provides a UI in the back end to create custom fields for the guest author’s information as well as the extra information of the post if any;
  • MB User Profile: allows you to create registration forms and manage the guest author accounts;
  • MB Frontend Submission: helps create a form to submit posts on the frontend.

Allow Guest Users to Register an Account

First, we should create a registration form for guest users to register a new account.

Simply head over to the Settings menu > General, then check the box Anyone can register in the Membership item.

In the Settings menu > General, then check the box Anyone can register in the Membership item.

Furthermore, in the New User Default Role section, you can choose to set the default role when they register. I set it as Subscriber, which provides enough privileges for them to submit posts.

In the New User Default Role section, you can choose to set the default role when they register.

Typically, when a user registers an account, it only includes some default fields. However, if you want them to provide some additional information, you can create custom fields and allow them to fill in those fields.

Create Custom Fields

Just go to the Meta Box > Custom Fields > Add New to create some fields for guest author information.

Create some fields for guest author information.

Actually, the user’s account already has the default fields.

The user’s account already has the default fields.

However, they won’t be displayed on the register page as well as the profile page on frontend. So, I’ll use a trick. Create some custom fields to be the alternative of those fields, and then display the custom fields on those pages.

Make sure to set the ID of the fields to be the same as the one of corresponding default fields that WordPress uses. By doing so, when users fill in the custom fields, the data will be automatically transferred into the corresponding WordPress field.

Set the ID of the fields to be the same as the one of corresponding default fields that WordPress uses.

I just created some typical fields, like in the image above. The First Name and Last Name fields are alternatives for the two default fields, which have the same name. And the Biography field is an extra one that I added. There is no requirement on the ID of this kind of field. If you want more extra information from the guest author, just add fields as usual.

After creating all the fields, move to the Settings tab and remember to set Location as User.

Move to the Settings tab and remember to set Location as User.

Once you have published, the field group ID will be generated automatically. We’ll use it in the next step.

The field group ID

Create the Registration Page

Let’s create a new page for registration.

As usual, users need to set an username and a password for the account on the registration page. Since we have the MB User Profile extension from Meta Box, we just need to add a block provided by it to have the fields for username and password. It is the Registration Form block.

The Registration Form block

It should be a form with the username and password fields. But, I logged in an admin account to do this practice, so there will be a message.

A message replaces a form which has the username and password fields.

The form will display when you go to the page without any login, as you can see here.

The form will display when you go to the page without any login

But, that’s not all the things I want for this page. As I said before, if you want users to provide more information, you can put other custom fields onto this page. I created a field group for example, so I will put it in this place.

The place where we put a field group.

Go back to edit the registration page. In the settings of the Registration Form block that we’ve just added, fill in the ID of the field group that we created into this box.

Fill in the ID of the field group that we created

Now, back to the registration page on the frontend, you will see the form will be like this.

A form in the registration page on the frontend

Just create a new account for testing then move to the admin dashboard, you’ll see the new account. And, the provided information also is saved in both the default and custom fields.

A new account

Create the My Account Page

After registering for an account, users will need a page where they can log in and manage their account information. I’ll create one as the My Account page.

On this page, I’ll display the custom fields that were used to register accounts like in the image below. It allows users to modify their personal information.

The My Account page

Just go to Pages > Add New to create a new page as usual.

Add a block named Edit Profile Form. It’s provided by the MB User Profile extension as well.

Edit Profile Form

Look for the settings of this block. Fill in the ID of the created field group into the box below. By doing this, the custom fields will be displayed immediately.

Fill in the ID of the created field group

At this right sidebar, you also can customize this form by changing some settings.

For example, change the label of the button.

Change the label of the button

To access the My Account page, users must log in to their account first. Then, you can see the My Account page that I’ve just created with the user's information submitted since they registered.

The My Account page

Create the Post Submission Page

Now, I will create a page to allow guest authors to submit their own posts directly from the frontend without accessing the backend.

Go to Pages and create a new one again. Then, look for a block named Submission Form. It is available when the MB Frontend Submission extension is enabled.

Submission Form

This block will display a Title field and a Content field of a post by default.

The block will display a Title field and a Content field of a post by default.

You absolutely can customize this form in the settings on the right sidebar.

Next, choose the Post Type to be the post option, and then the submitted data will be saved as a post. Or, you can choose any other custom post type as you want the guest post to be.

Choose the Post Type to be the post option, and then the submitted data will be saved as a post.

I highly recommend setting the post status be “draft” or “pending”. This will help you to avoid displaying some unexpected spam content without control.

Set the post status be “draft” or “pending”

In the Post Fields section, in addition to the title and content of the article, you can also allow the guest author to enter more information about the post.

In the Post Fields section, you can also allow the guest author to enter more information about the post.

In the event that you want to add other information for the post, you can create custom fields and insert the ID of the field group in the box as seen in this picture. It is similar to the Register page that I’ve just created.

To add other information for the post, you can create custom fields and insert the ID of the field group

Now, any account can go to this page to submit a post.

Allow Guest Authors to Manage Posts

Since the guest author has already submitted the posts to the website, we should allow them to manage all the posts they submitted. To do this, I will insert a table onto the My Account page that displays all those posts.

Go to edit the page once again, add the User Dashboard block. This block is available when you enable the MB Frontend Submission extension.

MB Frontend Submission

When you select this block, you will see the table appear immediately.

The table shows how many post provided.

There will be a list of posts in the table since I’m using an admin account that submitted a bunch of posts.

Choose the Submit A Post option to stipulate that the table will show posts which have been submitted from the Submit A Post page only.

Choose the Submit A Post option to stipulate that the table will show posts which have been submitted from this page only.

There’re also some other settings on the right sidebar that you can use to customize the table.

Pay attention to the Add New button. It will appear at the same time as the table. When the user clicks on this button, they will automatically be directed to the Submit A Post page.

Now, let’s login to the testing account that we use as a guest author. On the My Account page, there’s no post on the list because this account is totally new.

There’s no post on the list

Let’s add a new post by clicking on the Add New button to submit the post, or you can go directly to the Submit A Post page.

Add a new post by clicking on the Add New button, or you can go directly to the Submit A Post page.

Back to My Account page you will see a post you’ve just submitted is listed in this table. The status of this post is pending, exactly as which I set earlier.

There is a submitted post with pending status.

If the author wants to edit this post, they can click the button below.

If the author click the button to edit this post.

After changing the title of the post, you will see the post title has been changed.

The post title has been changed.

So, everything worked well.

Last Words

We have gone through some steps to add guest authors and guest posts to your site. It is very convenient to use all three extensions from Meta Box to do the above execution without touching any code. Thanks for reading!

  • How to Add Guest Authors and Guest Posts - Using Meta Box

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2 thoughts on “How to Add Guest Authors and Guest Posts - Using Meta Box

  1. Hi there!
    Are all these blocks (such as the “Edit Profile Form” one) available for Bricks Builder?
    Thanks in advance.

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