Oasis Workflow Plugin Review – Manage Editorial Review Processes
The plugins that are being developed for WordPress these days are nothing short of amazing. Today, we’re going to take a look at the Oasis Workflow plugin, which has been specifically designed to automate and manage the internal content submission process within your WordPress setup.
This plugin would be a recommendation for any company that publishes a high amount of posts and needs a way to ensure the content is reviewed by different people/organizations within the company prior to going live.
The Oasis Workflow plugin features a visual workflow designer that allows you to drag and drop the different stages of your processes into place. Once you have your stages outlined, you can connect them using arrows.
Once a post (or custom post type) is submitted, it can be configured to automatically move into the workflow. Once in the workflow, the post will move forwards or backwards based on acceptance or rejection until it reaches it’s last step, which is typically a published status.
First, this plugin is really well thought-out. While there is a bit of an initial learning curve to understand the terminology, once you get it down you can have your workflows setup within a few minutes and be accepting/rejecting posts within an hour. For my testing, I created an example workflow:
This workflow has four potential steps and each step is connected by arrows to indicate where the post moves if it is accepted or rejected. The blue arrows indicate acceptance on that stage of the workflow and the red arrows indicate rejection.
When an author begins to write a new post, the default Publish button on the right is substituted by a Submit To Workflow button:
This will send the post into the workflow process and our editors will be informed that a new post is in their queue for review. The Oasis Workflow plugin has capabilities to send emails directly to the editors (or any specific user, user role, or group of users) when a new post is assigned to their workflow step. These emails can be customized and merge tags can be used to input specific information into the emails:
When the editor signs into WordPress, they can visit their workflows and see the pending assignment. The editor can approve or reject the post and the workflow corresponds based on their actions. In this example if the editor accepts, the post moves on to a published status and is live on the site. If they reject it, the post moves back to the author.
If the post is rejected, the author has the ability to revise the post and send it back to the editor for further review. If the author determines that there is nothing they can do to revise the post for acceptance, they can also “backlog” the post to move it to a draft status for safe-keeping or future use.
This workflow can continue it’s process indefinitely until the post is either published or deleted.
Overall this is a pretty basic workflow but they can get much more advanced. Another more complex workflow may be:
- Submission to copy editor
- Submission to visual editor
- Webmaster assistance with SEO
- Submission to editor in chief
- Published status.
Each of the above steps would have acceptance/rejection tied to it where the post would be returned to the appropriate person or group based on the decision made by the assignee.
An add-on to the Oasis Workflow plugin that I found especially useful was the Groups feature. This allows us to assign workflow steps to custom created groups rather than individual users or user roles. As an example, I can create a new group and assign users to it:
Now when I go and edit a step of the workflow, I can assign this newly created group to the specific task rather than a user role:
But there’s more! This plugin is packed with features and it really does take a bit of time to explore them all. Other awesome functionality that comes packaged right out of the box includes:
- Custom Post Statuses – Create custom post statuses that can then be assigned to workflow steps based on acceptance or rejection.
- Due Dates & Reminders – Set due dates during each submission step. Automatic email reminders alert assigned users asking them to complete their acceptance or rejection.
- Process History – Tracks user and system actions on all the posts within the workflow. Download this history for audit purposes if needed.
- Additional Add-ons – Oasis Workflow is continuing to come out with additional functionality including the ability to compare revisions with ACF, implement the plugin on the frontend of WordPress, and more.
As already mentioned, I am thoroughly impressed by the functionality and features built into Oasis Workflow. I am going to be showcasing the plugin to several of my own clients over the next couple months, as I believe they could benefit from a content workflow submission process just like this.
The customized email notifications are nice features and ensure that the workflow is always moving forward. The additional add-ons that can accompany the plugin allow the functionality to be expanded upon.
They offer a lite version of the plugin that is free and can be downloaded from the WordPress repository. When you’re ready to break out the full plugin, they offer three pricing models that all include the same features but are restricted to a certain amount of sites:
- Up To 2 Sites – $79
- Up To 6 Sites – $199
- Unlimited Sites – $599
Find pricing info here.
I look forward to using the plugin more in live environments and I would encourage anybody else in need of post submission management to give Oasis Workflow a try!