WordPress Collaborative Editing

I’m really excited about the new Google Docs integration that just launched — basically it builds a beautiful bridge between what is probably the best collaborative document editor on the planet right now, Google’s, and let’s you one-click bring a document there into a WordPress draft with all the formatting, links, and everything brought over. There’s even a clever feature that if you are copying and pasting from Docs it’ll tell you about the integration.

I think this is highly complementary to the work we’re doing with the new Editor in core WordPress. Why? Google Docs represents the web pinnacle of the WordPerfect / Word legacy of editing “pages”, what I’ll call a document editor. It runs on the web, but it’s not native to the web in that its fundamental paradigm is still about the document itself. With the new WordPress Editor the blocks will be all about bringing together building blocks from all over — maps, videos, galleries, forms, images — and making them like Legos you can use to build a rich, web-native post or page.

We’re going to look into some collaborative features, but Google’s annotations, comments, and real-time co-editing are years ahead there. So if you’re drafting something that looks closer to something in the 90s you could print out, Docs will be the best place to start and collaborate (and better than Medium). If you want to built a richer experience, something that really only makes sense on an interactive screen, that’s what the new WordPress editor will be for.

One final note, the Docs web store makes it tricky to use different Google accounts to add integrations like this one. To make it easy, open up a Google Doc under the account you want to use, then go to Add-ons -> Get add-ons… -> search for “Automattic” and you’ll be all set.

11 thoughts on “WordPress Collaborative Editing

  1. Better than Medium, indeed! I just tried this out and, aside from having to go back an turn on the Jetpack JSON API for the site I tested, I had no problem.

    This is a huge upgrade to our experience as WordPress users. Thank you!!

  2. My team’s process is 1) ideate a post topic in Trello, 2) use Google Docs to write the post and collaboratively edit, and 3) paste into WordPress and redo all the formatting, 4) configure important settings and publish. This is going to save a ton of time and effort. Thanks, Matt!

  3. Seems like it a very handy way to add content into a WordPress site, quite a lot of content editors use Google Docs, as well as it ends up being an easier UI.