If you really care about your WordPress content, you know that it's a constant struggle to maintain high standards.
It's not easy to create consistent, high-quality posts.
Without a careful approach, you'll find your site has a different approach from post to post, and you'll soon end up with lots of messy content.
One solution is a checklist plugin. These plugins enable you to decide the requirement for each post before you publish.
We downloaded and tested all the checklist plugins for WordPress. Here's our review of all four checklist plugins ...
Best Plugin: Content Checklist for PublishPress
Here's how to use the Content Checklist plugin:
- Install both the PublishPress and the Content Checklist addon. You need a subscription to the PublishPress site to access the addon.
- Go to PublishPress > Settings > Requirements.
By default, you'll see 5 different requirements:
- Number of categories (minimum and maximum)
- Number of tags (minimum and maximum)
- Featured image
- Excerpt has text
- Number of words (maximum and minimum)
Notice a couple of things in the image above:
- You can have a different checklist for different post types.
- You can decide how strict to make each requirement.
Let's take a look at the second of those features. In the center column, you can choose from these settings:
- Show a sidebar message: This allows users to publish products, but the requirement is marked in red with an X in the sidebar.
- Show a pop-up message: This also allows users to publish products, but they will see a pop-up with a warning message.
- Prevent publishing: This forces users to complete a requirement before publishing. These items are represented by a “*”.
There's also the option to add your own custom requirements to the checklist. Click "Add custom item" at the bottom of the list.
When you go to edit a post, the Checklist box will be in the right sidebar. Incomplete requirements are in red, and completed tasks are in green. Content Checklist is smart enough to check the default requirements automatically. For the custom requirements, you'll need to manually click on the red text to turn it green.
In an earlier image, you saw several different options for each requirement. If you chose "Show a pop-up message", this is what you'll see:
Overall, Content Checklist is the most flexible on this option and has the easiest interface. We've started to use it on all our sites.
Plugin #2. Requirements Checklist
The Requirements Checklist plugin allows admins to require content to be entered before a page and post can be published.
- After installing the plugin, go to Settings > Requirements Checklist.
You'll notice that you can have different requirements for Posts and Pages, which is a nice touch. There are no configurable options - you'll need to use the default requirements:
- WYSIWYG Editor
- Featured Image
You can also choose requirements for Tags, Categories and up to 5 custom taxonomies per post type.
One upside to the Requirements Checklist is that it comes with support for Yoast SEO and All In One SEO Pack. In the case of Yoast SEO, you can require users to enter a focus keyword and meta description.
This next image shows the Requirements Checklist box while editing a post. Requirements Checklist is smart enough to automatically detect whether you've met the requirements. Until you've done so, the "Publish" button is hidden.
I liked Requirements Checklist and it certainly is the "best of the rest". It's not as good as the Content Checklist, but it has some nice features.
One more important downside to the Requirements Checklist is there hasn't been an update in over 3 years. The plugin carries this warning: "It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress."
Plugin #3. Pre-Publish Post Checklist
The Pre-Publish Post Checklist plugin lets you create to-do lists for your WordPress posts.
- After installing, go to Settings > Pre-Publish Post Checklist.
- There are no default options, but you can type your own post suggestions into a text box.
Notice those options at the bottom of the setting? You can decide how strict to make your requirements.
- Prevent Publishing: Prevent the author from publishing the post.
- Warn User: Warn the author about incomplete checklist items. They can still publish if they want.
- Do Nothing: Let the author publish without any warnings.
When you go to write a post, this next image shows what you'll see. The checklist is in the right sidebar. There is no automatic detection - users will need to manually check the box to show they've met your requirements.
If you try to publish the post without checking all the boxes, you'll see this pop-up message:
Sadly, Pre-Publish Post Checklist is another plugin that also has had zero updates in 3 years.
Plugin #4. Good Writer Checkify
The Good Writer Checkify plugin describes itself as "A Checklist tool that serves as your own "Blog Entry Coach". It's been available on WordPress.org for nearly 6 years now and unlike some others on this list, it has been updated recently.
- After installation, go to Settings > Good Writer Checkify.
- The plugin doesn't have any preset suggestions. You can enter your own reminders into the text boxes, as in the image below:
The checklist itself will appear directly under your WordPress posts. These items are indeed Reminders / Tips rather than actual reminders. There's no way to force people to follow these suggestions before they can publish.
All-in-all, Good Writer Checkify is a plugin that has some use but is showing its age. We've been using PluginTests.com to check plugins code and a check of the Good Writer Checkify code on it produced a high number of errors.
WordPress Checklist Summary
The Content Checklist plugin is the best option on this list by some distance:
- It automatically detects whether writers have met your requirements.
- It has preset options and also allows you to create your own requirements.
- It's been updated recently and regularly.
- Visually, it's presented in a very appealing way.
If you're looking for a blogging checklist, we recommend Content Checklist.