Announcing Community Submitted News

Update 8/10/09 – There is a new version as of 8/10/09. If you are having problems please redownload the plugin. A link is at the bottom of this page. If that doesn’t fix a problem you are having leave a comment.

Update 8/6/09 – There is a new version as of 8/6/09. If you are having problems please redownload the plugin. A link is at the bottom of this page.

Well, after a couple of weeks of learning the Wordpress plugin architecture and a few weeks of neglect I have finally released my first Wordpress plugin, Community Submitted News. The purpose of this plugin is to let readers submit articles to a blog/website and create new content. This plugin comes with a full moderation panel and nothing is published to the blog/website until it is approved by an administrator for the site.

It was fun to get into the Wordpress plugin architecture and that was the primary reason for doing this. For the most part is was a pretty easy to use. There are some things about the plugin systems that I wasn’t a big fan of but I guess that’ll happen with any external system that you use. Especially when it has to be flexible enough to deal with so many different possiblities in the plugins and the people programming them.

You can get the plugin here

Links for the Community Submitted News plugin.

Wordpress Plugins page

Studioslice.com Plugin page

91 Responses to “Announcing Community Submitted News”

  1. Shabu | WordPress Daddy Says:

    Any demo will be great to understand how it looks.

    This plugin has been added @ http://www.wordpressdaddy.com :)

  2. Valentin Says:

    Hey, great plugin !
    But, is not work with “Swedmedia Backtweets Monitor” (plugins)–> Fatal error: Cannot redeclare my_plugin_menu()

  3. David Harvey Says:

    I already allow people to register on my website and post whatever they like, as long as it isn’t too spammy. Maybe your plugin can make the process easier… (I haven’t installed or tried it yet).

    One feature I would love to see is the ability for me, the admin/sysop/owner, to send emails to all of the people who have written content on my blog, http://www.locki.biz

  4. greg Says:

    @Valentin

    Thanks for the feedback Valentin. If you redownload the plugin that issue should be fixed

    @Shabu

    Thanks for adding the plugin. I’ll try and get a demo up soon.

  5. vegas Says:

    Great plugin!
    I’ll try it out and see how it goes!

  6. Indexnet Says:

    Very great plugin, thanks for this works ! I will try on my production website today !

  7. Rick Says:

    OK, I am just a dumb realtor, but I installed the plugin at ricksrealestateblog.com. How are readers supposed to submit articles for me to approve? I don’t see any way to put a button or anything on my page. Again, I am missing something stupidly obvious, but the only dumb question is one you don’t ask. Please let me know if I am missing something.

  8. greg Says:

    @Rick

    Once you install the plugin you need to add some code to your current template in order for the form to show up. The code you need to add is this:

    < ?php echo csn_show_form(); ?>

    You can also read the installation directions here

  9. Danish Says:

    Hello,
    Nice plugin i was looking for this just found it:)just one question i have where should i add in template? which template file will be best?
    thanks

  10. Rick Says:

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function csn_show_form() in /home4/ricksrea/public_html/wp-content/themes/the-beach-house/single.php on line 54

    I get the above error? i have tried in numerous locations, but keep getting similar errors.

  11. greg Says:

    @Danish

    I would suggest either sidebar.php or index.php

    @Rick

    You have the very first version of the plugin that uses the function show_form() instead of csn_show_form(). The name change was made just after the plugin was published. You can do one of two things.

    1. Use show_form() instead of csn_show_form()
    2. Go to the plugin site, download a new copy of the plugin and use csn_show_form()

  12. wiziwig Says:

    Hi, I tried this on 2.8.3. It activated alright, but when I click on the “community” in wp-admin, it gives this error.

    Warning: call_user_func_array() [function.call-user-func-array]: First argument is expected to be a valid callback, ‘read_news’ was given in /home/[----]/public_html/[----]/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 339

  13. greg Says:

    @wiziwig

    Thanks for letting me know about that. If you redownload the plugin that issue should be fixed

  14. wiziwig Says:

    Greg, its all good, thanks for the quick update.

  15. FrankPereiro Says:

    For some reason the CATCHA image won’t load on the page…

  16. Alex Says:

    Hi Greg, Great plugin

    I install you plugin but I can’t see the captcha image…Help me

    Thanks

  17. greg Says:

    @FrankPereiro and @Alex

    Edit 8/10/09 – I think I found the issues you two are having. If you redownload the plugin it should all be fixed. Thanks for the info folks!

    Are the form fields showing up or is it just the CAPTCHA image? Is there a publicly viewable page where this is happening? What version of Wordpress are you running? Are there any errors showing at all?

  18. Mark Says:

    Hmm getting all kinds of errors when the form is trying to be submitted. Also the CAPTCHA isn’t working. We are running CAPTCHA’s on our other domains so I know it’s not a PHP version issue. I double checked the permissions and that should be fine too :/

  19. Mark Says:

    I realized that the ’securiimage’ files were not included. So I downloaded those and uploaded. The only thing to change was that the securiimage background image would show up, but none of the words or fonts would display. I did run the SecuriImage testing script and it shows that it will run fine (http://www.usfamilyguide.com/community/test.php) but not having any luck with this.

    So I think I may just be about done with this plugin unfortunately, as it seemed quite promising. As a last ditch effort I commented out all of the captcha elements and the form shows that it goes through, but nothing gets posted to the WP-ADMIN section. So I guess it’s back to the drawing board unfortunately :///

  20. greg Says:

    @Mark

    What version of the plugin do you have now? Is there a publicly viewable page where I can see that the words or fonts are not displaying? Where did you download the securimage files from? If you downloaded them separately from the plugin I would suggest redownloading the whole plugin and seeing what happens.

  21. Mark Says:

    I tried redownloading the plugin and still had the same issues. I was using the most recent version from that link you provided for the plugin. There was a public page but I have since removed it since the plugin was not working.

  22. greg Says:

    @Mark

    Thanks for the info. I did find an issue with the captcha image in some environments and have fixed that in a new release(1.0.5). That may fix your issue but I can’t be certain since I haven’t been able to reproduce exactly the issue you say your having. Sorry I can’t be of more help. If the new release does fix your issue please let me know.

  23. mantra Says:

    the captcha does’t work for my blog. Please see here http://saifulizwan.com/kisahcinta/?page_id=2

    Any solution? Thanks :)

  24. Danny Says:

    I’m having the same issue (can’t see captcha image). I just did a fresh install of the latest wordpress and I have version 1.0.5 of your plugin installed:
    http://suckstobestupid.com/

    (I figured I’d call it a night and leave it online for you to see)

  25. greg Says:

    @mantra and @danny and everyone else too.

    Thanks for the heads up guys. It seems that some of the securimage files never got put into the last two releases, 1.0.4 and 1.0.5, a stupid oversight by myself. If you redownload the 1.0.5 release, it’s the current one at the Wordpress plugin site, all the files should be there now and you should be able to see the captcha.

    Sorry for the trouble.

  26. Elena Says:

    A super plugin – thanks for your work …

  27. Mark Says:

    It’s still not working for me mate: http://www.usfamilyguide.com/community/add-a-review-2

    The fonts or words or something is not being loaded properly. I have used CAPTCHA’s before on this server but it’s not working with your plugin :’(

  28. Jimmy Says:

    Hi, just what I have been in search of, can you by chance tell me how I can add it so it is on a page, versus in the templates. Thanks for the plug in

  29. greg Says:

    @mark

    I don’t really know what to say man. I’ve tested on a few different environments and everything is fine and can’t find anybody else that has had your problem with securimage. The only advice I can give is that my plugin and another plugin is interfering with each other and is causing the problem. Sorry man, I wish I had a solution for you.

  30. greg Says:

    @jimmy

    I don’t have a built in way to do that becuase you would have to insert the php code through the Wordpress wysiwyg editor and it doesn’t inherently allow that. However, I do believe there are plugins that allow you to execute php code in your single posts and pages. If you get one of those plugins and just use < ?php echo csn_show_form(); ?> as the php code you add that may do it but I can’t be sure. Sorry I couldn’t help more.

  31. pixelerator Says:

    hi thanks for the ,This is exactly what i want :)
    is there is any way to put the code on new page so that i have new page only assign for submit news.
    i tried it on new page but it doesnt work :(
    so i added it under snigle post.php
    http://iujjain.co.cc/2009/08/old-names-of-ujjain/

  32. Danny Says:

    got latest and it works now. thanks!

  33. greg Says:

    @pixelerator

    See my response just above your comment to jimmy. At this point in time there really isn’t but I will work on it for whenever I do my next feature upgrade release.

    @Danny

    Good deal. Thanks for letting me know.

  34. Eric Says:

    Great plugin.. I only have 1 problem, when a user submits something it doesn’t tell them they have submited.. all it does is refresh the page with a blank form again… I looked at the code and it is suppose to tell them thank you for submitting.. but I don’t see it when I submit… Is there a way to fix this?

  35. greg Says:

    @Eric

    Yeah it is supposed to echo out test telling the user the form has been submitted. I’m not sure why this is happening but I will take a look at it and see if I can reproduce the error.

  36. Eric Says:

    Thanks… I hope to hear from you soon…

  37. jane Says:

    Nice plugin, great job.
    Just one question. Is there a way to add it to a page by itself? For instance. I wanna add a link (page) on the menu that says “Add your Article” then user is taken to a page that he will see only the form and some description.
    Please let me know, and steps for dumbies please cos I’m new to wordpress and don’t know the codes that much. Thank you in advance.

  38. Jonathan Says:

    I am experiencing the same issue on WP 2.8.4. When I submit a story, I get the form again and no confirmation that the form was submitted.

    Also, is there any way for the form to automatically contain the registered user’s information? That way I don’t have to worry about matching the name on the submitted news to a user in the system.

    Thanks.

  39. Steve Says:

    I’m a programmer/designer I just run my company website, this seems very complicated install and fixes and tempted to just delete the plugin.

    When I activate (using yahoositebuilder wordpress blog) the plugin, I stick the code where?!

  40. greg Says:

    @jane
    There really isn’t any easy way at this point in time, but it is something that I am looking to add to the next major release but I’m not sure when that will be.

    @Jonathan
    Thanks for the info. I haven’t gotten a chance to test on 2.8.4 yet but will and see if I can replicate and fix the problem. Remembering a registered users info is definitely something that I can add to the next feature release. Thanks for the comments.

    @Steve
    Pick one of the .php files for the theme you are using. I suggest index.php or sidebar.php and add the code < ?php echo csn_show_form(); ?> to it

  41. Travis Says:

    Hello – I am having the same problem with the lack of confirmation when the form is submitted. “I am experiencing the same issue on WP 2.8.4. When I submit a story, I get the form again and no confirmation that the form was submitted.”

    Any idea what might be causing this?

    Other than this problem – it’s great. Thanks so much for authoring it and sharing…

  42. Mike Says:

    Like the plugin so far, going to be implementing it into my site soon. My only question is whether or not there is the ability to send an email to the administrator when a news item is submitted? Not sure if this feature is included and not working for me, or if the plugin is not setup to do this. Thanks.

  43. greg Says:

    @Mike

    Right now that feature is not included. I may include it in the next feature release which I don’t have a time table for right now

  44. Sal Says:

    Love the plugin, but I can’t get it to work.

    Upon submit it keeps telling me that the captcha text doesn’t match the captcha image, when it does!

    Thanks, in anticipation.
    ;-)

  45. roger Says:

    hello greg,

    can you update this plugin by adding image tag([img][/img]) function in the form, and other standard tag like bold [b], italic[i], code[code] and etc.

    thanks you and I'll say "great job for this plugin" ^^

  46. Vizou Says:

    Hi : I’m getting this error message on submitting the form. I re-downloaded the newest version from WP plugins page and still get the error… ideas? My installation is in a subdirectory (domain.com/subdirectory) with htaccess at root. Could this be the issue? I’ve verified that all the files to be included are there.

    Warning: include_once(wp-content/plugins/community-submitted-news/securimage/securimage.php) [function.include-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/user/domain.com/subdirectory/wp-content/plugins/community-submitted-news/community-submitted-news.php on line 181

    Warning: include_once() [function.include]: Failed opening ‘wp-content/plugins/community-submitted-news/securimage/securimage.php’ for inclusion (include_path=’.:/usr/local/php5/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php’) in /home/user/domain.com/subdirectory/wp-content/plugins/community-submitted-news/community-submitted-news.php on line 181

    Fatal error: Class ‘Securimage’ not found in /home/user/domain.com/subdirectory/wp-content/plugins/community-submitted-news/community-submitted-news.php on line 182

  47. Vizou Says:

    Sorry for double post, but YES, this is the issue. Line 181 in community-submitted-news needs the subdirectory (or maybe you could add some means of doing this for WP in subdirectory setup, very common). Thanks anyway!

  48. Battlefield 3 Says:

    Great plugin !! Thanks, i will use ths for my article submission website, Cheers

  49. Oconnors Says:

    I installed it, but I can’t figure out how to put the submit form onto the page. Suggestion anyone?

  50. mished Says:

    I consider myself fairly advanced in using WP but I’m really stumped here …

    1 – I install and activate the plugin — NO PROBLEM

    2 – I add in EITHER sidebar.php or index.php — NO PROBLEM, I think (where exactly within either file? anywhere? or any specific place?)

    The instructions stop here, so I don’t know what to do next.

    At this point I see “Community Submitted News” as a menu item on my admin panel (and there are no entries there) and I also see a category called the same name.

    3 – So what do I do next?

    Sorry, but it’s not obvious to me how to proceed from here. I’ve tried using both Chrome and FF and waited for some divine revelation after #1 and #2. But nothing.

    Is it because I’m agnostic :)

    Or really I just need the helping hand of a believer ….

    Any believer out there? Please …. I need your help! :)

  51. Beth Says:

    Hi -

    I’ve installed the plugin, and had the code in the sidebar so I could get submissions from readers. What happens is, I get an error:

    Are you sure you want to do this?

    Please try again. (which links to the home page)

    I’m not sure what to look for to correct it.

    Thanks!
    Beth

  52. greg Says:

    @beth

    The ‘Please try again’ error means that the code entered for the captcha is wrong. As for the ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ I have no idea where that error is coming from since that phrase is not in the plugin anywhere. At what point does that phrase show up?

    greg

  53. Shona Says:

    Plugin seems to work fine for me – my only quibble is that it would be nice to have some sort of explanatory heading if you’re putting this in the sidebar, e.g. ‘Got a story? Submit it below’. Otherwise it kinda just looks like a random form. It should be fairly self-explanatory but, y’know, people on the webz is stupid.

    Otherwise, fab plugin!

  54. James Says:

    I thought this would be what I was looking for, but while it is a neat plugin, unfortunately it doesn’t quite meet my needs.

    What would be ideal, is if the form could be integrated to a post or page, rather than having to add it in the template :)

  55. Arek Says:

    Having the same problem as Beth – after submiting the form I get:

    “Are you sure you want to do this?

    Please try again. ”

    It’s not a captcha mistake, it’s something else, dunno what…
    Too bad I can’t use this plugin :/
    Any suggestions?

  56. Arek Says:

    forgot to mention I’m using WP2.9.1
    same error messages appear for other plugins incompatible with the latest WP – maybe that’s it? take a look: http://codex.wordpress.org/Plugins/Plugin_Compatibility/2.5

  57. Arek Says:

    me again…
    it’s a default error message from wordpress – see here: http://michaeldaw.org/papers/securing_wp_plugins

  58. Stefan Says:

    Hi Greg, this sounds exactly like what I am looking for. Any word on WP 2.9.1 compatibility? Thanks. :)

  59. greg Says:

    @Stefan

    From the basic testing that I have done it does work with 2.9.1. If you have tried and have any problems let me know. I am working on a new version that has some new features and tested with 2.9.1

  60. Stefan Says:

    Thanks Greg. I will give it a try and let know, if I run into any problems. :)

  61. Stefan Says:

    I think I figured out why some people are having trouble getting this to run with WP 2.9.1. In addition to the installation instructions I had to go in and update line 181 with the absolute file path (i.e. /home/user/www/wp-content/plugins/community-submitted-news/securimage/securimage.php) in order for it work. Without this minor edit, the plugin throws a number of php-debug warnings and a fatal error as it is unable to find the secureimage.php file. Other than that everything is working perfectly. I do have a couple of suggestions for the new version though. For instance, why not save the Authors name in a custom field upon publishing the article. Or alternative give the admin the option to require users to be logged in to submit an article and match the author field that way. Just my .02 cents. :)

    Any ways, thanks for this great plugin!

  62. Stefan Says:

    Just another thought. Would it be possible to add the ability to approve an article without it being published straight away. That way the admin could make changes, such as applying the correct categories and so forth using WP’s full set of features, prior to the article being live on the site.

  63. greg Says:

    @Stefan

    Thanks for the info Stefan. It will definitely help in my final testing. You can already make edits to an article by going clicking view story instead of publish story. You can’t add categories but you do have access to the wordpress editor. Thanks for the suggestions

  64. Stefan Says:

    Yes, I noticed that. It isn’t just about setting categories though. I for one use a number of custom fields for my articles in my theme. Also, I don’t believe the basic editor has the ability to upload pictures. If I am not totally mistaken, it only gives the option to insert a image URL. Any ways, it’s not a big deal – something I can work around. Thanks again for the great plugin! :)

  65. ivelin Says:

    Hello,Thanks for the plugin!

    i need to intergrate it in a specific page?
    I tried to add a short code to the function :

    add_shortcode(‘csn_form’, ‘csn_show_form’);

    and then placed [csn_form] in my page
    but still not working.

    Any suggestions ?

  66. Kenoma Agbamu Says:

    Dear all, please is it possible to integrate the submission form into a eperate new page.. rather than in the theme template?

  67. Scot Says:

    Great plugin, but I noticed when the plugin first accepts a submitted story it creates a new category “Community Submitted News”. However, I notice the spelling of the newly created category is wrong, creating “Commuity Submitted News” instead.

    Since I had only found this after going into community-submitted-news.php file to change the name of this newly created category, my questions:

    If I edit the word ‘Community’ on line 243 (‘cat_name’ => ‘Commuity Submitted News’,) are there any other instances this should be done? If I change the name of that new category to “MyCategory” are there any other isntances where I need to duplicate it?

    Thanks

  68. Stefan Says:

    QKenoma Agbamu: It is possible to have the submission form on a new page. WP allows you to add pages much like any CMS straight out of the box. It also allows you to specify which template file to use for any given page. What I did is created a blank page to which I applied a custom template file. The template file is near identical to the one used for all pages, but I added the template tag for the submission form to it. A quick search in Google will bring up multiple tutorials on how to do this. Feel free to have a look at my blog as an example (www.trackdevil.com). Hope this helps you out a little.

    @Scot: I reassign all articles to more specific categories, so I did not notice the spelling error as I really wasn’t paying attention to it. However, as you have already suggested, editing line 243 should resolve the problem. I have a bit of work to do on my site this week and will double check it on my dev server and post back with the results here.

  69. Sunil Jain Says:

    Hi Greg :) :)
    Could you please help me in making this plugin use for specific page where in the links submission and moderation should be done in that page only ans also it should display in that page only ?? :) :)

    Please let me know how to do it ?? Waiting for your reply ?? :) :)

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    [...] Community Submitted News lets any visitor to your blog submit content. All content is sent to a moderation panel and nothing is made public until it has been approved by an administrator (which prevents spam postings from being made live). It’s a great idea if you have an active community surrounding your blog but don’t always have time to write original content. It also gives your blog’s readers a more active role in content creation. [...]

  71. Stefan Says:

    Since people keep asking, here is a quick article on creating custom page templates. http://www.wordpressmax.com/customize-wordpress/custom-page

    This is what you need to do in order to have the submission form on it’s own page. However, some knowledge of the Wordpress template engine may be required. For a complete write up of all aspects of the template engine, please refer to the Wordpress Codex on wordpress.org or check out the ultimate wordpress theme tutorial here: http://themeshaper.com/wordpress-themes-templates-tutorial/

  72. Mits Says:

    work great.. funtion well..

    can check it here.. Bulletinsite.info

    i need help somebody to post/submit the article to make sure it running good with different PC or IPs.

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  74. Ben Miller Says:

    OK, here’s a really dumb question. I’ve gotten the plugin to work in a page (able to submit) but when I approve the submission, I don’t see an option to post it. Am I missing something?

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  81. Frank Waive Says:

    you’re plugin is great! am trying to use it in a site am working on, but what the user’s would be submitting ain’t news or stories, so how do i edit the form input titles to reflect what i want it to show?

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  90. melanie Says:

    i am interested, do you have a demo site? thank you. :)

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