Google Docs to WordPress workflow for small newsrooms
These are my recommended services to automate your Google Docs to WordPress workflow.
Google Docs is a great way to collaborate on the editorial process but the production workflow to publish in WordPress is a tedious and time-consuming process. Automating this workflow will save time and sanity.
$49/month for 50 exports and $99 for 110 exports
The best overall automation system for newsrooms is Wordable.io. All of the automation takes place in a Trello-like dashboard with an easy-to-use interface. It accurately maintained text styling and links and out of all tools tested, it automated the most processes by far, including:
- Assigning author
- Optimizing and moving images into the media library
- Creating image alt tags
- Assigning featured images
- Image alignment
- Make all links open in new tab
- Apply "nofollow: attribute to all links
- Replace embeddable links (change a YouTube link to a YouTube video embed)
Oddly, Wordable does not handle tags. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The second big timesaver is that you can save your export settings in multiple templates. You can create templates for featured stories, each category, and each author. This means you can export most stories in about two steps.
The official Wordpress.com Add-on
The official wordpress.com add-on for Google Docs is a good alternative for outlets that cannot pay the Wordable price tag. The add-on is simple to install though it had trouble connecting to WordPress on Firefox. It worked fine on Chrome.
Once installed, you can move any doc from Google to WordPress through the Extensions menu.
The add-on provides a simple UI to add Tags and Categories and the option to publish, publish as a private post, or save as a draft.
The add-on saves text styling, and links, and moves images to the media library. The first real issue I ran into was that every image block threw Invalid or Unexpected Content errors. Clicking the Attempt Block Recovery button fixes the issue.
The second issue I ran into is that the transferred document had extra empty blocks between each paragraph. I realized that this was because of the way I was writing in Google Docs.
I like visual space between my paragraphs so I hit return twice in Google Docs and the add-on faithfully reproduced those extra returns which explain those extra empty blocks.
An easy work-around for this issue is to set the default body style to add space after a paragraph and only hit return once.
Other tools that I tried but do not recommend using are IFTTT.com, Zapier.com, and Cloudpress.
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