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Create and edit a wordpress post from front-end (with PHP)

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Piblished the June 3, 2020

I recently opened my wordpress blog to contributors. So I wanted to let anybody create a profile and write new posts easily. I don’t want to let new users go to the admin part of my wordpress website for security reasons. So I decided to create a front-end page to let them edit their new posts.

To archieve that, I will create a new template on my wordpress theme, and attribute it to the page “Add a tutorial”.

On this template, I will let users prite and post new articles :

  • First, I create a simple form to let them write their article.
  • Secondly, I register the new post in my database, thanks to the function wp_insert_post().

create a form to let users post articles.

It will be a very basic form to get the title and the content of each new post. I will use the function wp_editor() to use the content editor TinyMCE.

Once the article is published, I want to keep retrieve the content on my form, to let the user edit his post. I use the variables e $_POST['postTitle'] and $_POST['postContent'] to reload the content of the actual post.

Create a simple form to edit a new post

<form action="" id="primaryPostForm" method="POST">
   // field used for the title of my post
   <label for="postTitle">Title of your post</label>
   <input type="text" name="postTitle" id="postTitle" class="required" 
         value="<?php if(isset($_POST['postTitle'])){ $_POST['postTitle']; } ?> " />

   // Field used for the content of my post (I will load the editor TinyMCE here.
   <label for="postContent">Your post</label>
      $content = stripslashes( if(isset($_POST['postContent'])) { $_POST['postContent']; }
      $settings  = array( 'editor_height' => '350', 'media_buttons' => false );
      wp_editor( $content, 'postContent', $settings); 
   // Security field
   <?php wp_nonce_field( 'post_nonce', 'post_nonce_field' ); ?>
   <input type="submit" name="submit_post" id="submit_post" value="Post my article" />

Save the new article in your wordpress database

To save this new page ,post or custom_post in my database, I am going to use the function wp_insert_post().

Here, I decide to save the post as “pending”. Thus, I will be able to con trol the content of the post, before it is listed on my blog. You will find other settings for the function wp_insert_post() in the official wordpress documentation.

<?php if(isset($_POST['submit_post'] && isset($_POST['post_nonce_field']) && wp_verify_nonce($_POST['post_nonce_field'], 'post_nonce'))){

   // I check if the title is not empty before saving the post.
   if ( trim( $_POST['postTitle'] ) === '' ) {
      $postTitleError = 'Veuillez renseigner le titre de votre article';
   } else {
      // Informations to save for this post
      $post_information = array(
         'post_title' => wp_strip_all_tags( $_POST['postTitle'] ),
         'post_content' => $_POST['postContent'],
         'post_type' => 'post',
         'post_status' => 'pending',
      wp_insert_post( $post_information, $wp_error );

Edit an existing post from the front-end of your website

Once the user created a post, you need to let him edit this post. For that, you will just need to pass the ID of the current post in  wp_insert_post().

First, I retrieve the ID of the created post. We will get it when the post is published for the first time with wp_insert_post() :

$the_post_id = wp_insert_post( $post_information, $wp_error );

Then, I will pass this post ID on my form.

<input type="hidden" name="postId" id="postId" value="<?php echo $the_post_id; ?>" />

With these two informations, I can update an existing post, instead of creating a new one :

// I check if I am editing an existing post or if I am creating a new one ($the_post_id sera NULL).
$post_exist_id = $_POST['postId'];

// Post to save
$post_information = array(
   // Je passe l'ID du post à updater.
   'ID' => $post_exist_id,
   'post_title' => wp_strip_all_tags( $_POST['postTitle'] ),
   'post_content' => $_POST['postContent'],
   'post_type' => 'post',
   'post_status' => 'pending',

// Here I save my post, and I get the url of the post
$the_post_id = wp_insert_post( $post_information, $wp_error );

Some useful tips

If you want to give your users a preview of their new post, you can give them a preview link, that is something like:<?php echo $the_post_id; ?>&preview=true

On an other hand, you also can redirect the user  to it new post, just after you have saved the post.

wp_redirect( site_url()."?post=".$the_post_id);

Now, our article has been published from the front-end. If you have questions, let me know in the comments.

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