Exporting the Collaboration Gap Away by Merging Confluence with WordPress

6 min read /

Do you use WordPress to run your blog or website? If so, you'll wish you had known about this years ago... I certainly did.

As a content marketer I have come to know WordPress very well. One might even say that I have a personal relationship with this CMS (including the ups and downs of course). There is good reason why 27% of websites are run on WordPress, and I have certainly contributed to that number by using it to run blogs, websites and even online shops. That is probably why I was asked to write this blog post. As soon as I realized what Scroll WP Publisher could do, I knew how much easier it could have made my life as a blogger and content marketer. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

WordPress dominates online publishing

Some of the largest blogs and websites with dynamic content (the New YorkerStar Wars blog, TechCrunch just to name a few) use WordPress, and the reasons are readily apparent. WordPress offers almost limitless customization options. There are so many themes, plug-ins and services built around WordPress that content creators can achieve almost anything their hearts might desire. It can grow with your needs – when you start your own blog you need a simple and cheap CMS, but after a while you may need it to support an editorial staff of 10, a custom web design and an online shop. WordPress can adapt to those needs.

It does however have a weak spot, in my humble blogger opinion: collaborative writing. As soon as your blog or site becomes more popular you need to start working with others to keep on publishing quality content. You might even start reaching out to experts to ask them to write for you. This is the point at which you want to:

  • Work together
  • Give feedback
  • Review and approve changes
  • Have discussions

The WordPress editor really doesn't cater to these collaborative writing needs. I started working in MS Word (sigh) to send drafts to co-authors, using the dreaded "track changes" function – resulting in confusing file naming, accidental elimination of paragraphs (copy-paste trolls) and lots of frustration.

And then along came Confluence.

Confluence is collaboration king

As I have only recently started working at K15t Software I have also just recently started using Atlassian's Confluence platform. I'm still wrapping my head around what a crazy collaborative powerhouse Confluence actually is. You can write something as well as: 

  • Ask others for immediate feedback
  • Collaboratively edit in real-time (Confluence 6.0)
  • Comment and review changes
  • Easily involve an external expert with restricted permissions

I wish I had known about Confluence long ago. It would have eliminated the need for emailing hundreds of drafts, spending hours trying to figure out which version is the most current (final_FINAL.doc anyone?) and why oh why parts of my blog posts don't appear when I copy text from Word (or Pages for that matter) into the WordPress editor. I think every editorial team out there would find that Confluence can really improve their editorial process. However, Confluence doesn't natively offer all of the great publishing customization options and theme variety that makes WordPress so popular. And if I had to start copy pasting from Confluence to WordPress I would end up with same problems as before (especially if I am updating existing content).

And then along came Scroll WP Publisher.

Scroll WP Publisher is the bridge over troubled content creation

I didn't know about Scroll WP Publisher until I gave a morning talk about WordPress. I was talking about the difficulties of using WordPress for collaborative writing processes when my colleague Davin mentioned the Scroll WP Publisher add-on. It's a Confluence add-on which allows you to publish page content directly to a WordPress.com site. That means no more content migration, no more copy-pasting... let that sink in for a moment.

When I realized what this meant I felt... cheated out of hours of my life. Why had no one told me that I could use a collaborative writing tool and then export my content to an infinitely customizable publishing platform? It felt like K15t Software had developed Scroll WP Publisher for me, personally, and yet I received no memo. Well, those dark days are over. You do not have to suffer as I have suffered. If you are not yet using Confluence for your collaborative writing needs, you should look into it. And if you do already use Confluence, then use Scroll WP Publisher to export the results to your WordPress.com site. The free beta version is live now.

Being in beta, Scroll WP Publisher still has room to grow. At the moment you can only use it to export Confluence content to sites published on WordPress.com. The Scroll WP Publisher page provides more information on the add-on's functionality and limitations. We're looking for feedback on Scroll WP Publisher, you can join the beta program below.

Scroll WP is a free beta add-on for Confluence.