Duplicate and Merge Posts: A New Editorial Plugin for WordPress Publishers

duplicate-merge

WordPress sites with multiple users often run into challenges when attempting to work on the same content. Larger publications require more robust editorial tools for efficient collaboration between administrators, editors, contributors, and authors, who often need to jump in on the same post.

Duplicate and Merge Posts is a plugin that offers a new take on WordPress drafts. This editorial tool makes it possible to clone a live post, edit it, and then merge back the updated copy into the original post. It’s a essentially a far more simplified version of the Post Forking plugin in that it offers fewer capabilities. Duplicate and Merge Posts is intended for the following workflow:

Original Post -> Clone -> Edit -> Merge back to Original Post

The plugin was created by WordPress developer David Wells as part of a client project with Exygy. “We built it for a ‘Fortune 10’ company for them to manage an internal documentation platform they have running on WordPress and figured the rest of the WordPress community would benefit from the plugin as well,” he said.

Duplicate and Merge Posts works with both posts and pages. When activated, you’ll find a new “Duplicate and Edit” button at the top of the post on the front end, as well as in the post edit screen.

The plugin’s settings screen allows you to set different editorial capabilities based on user role. For example, you might only allow administrators and editors to merge changes back into posts. The buttons shown in the post editor are limited to the user’s capabilities and allow for the following:

  • View side-by-side differences
  • Submit update for review
  • Merge back into the original post
  • Save as a new post

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Users with merge capabilities will receive an email notification when a post has edits ready for review. The plugin allows you to see all of the changes side-by-side for quick comparison.

duplicate-merge-side-by-side

The primary use case for the Duplicate and Merge plugin is likely to be multi-author publications. However, it’s flexible enough to enable more creative uses, such as turning your site into a wiki or allowing visitors to submit fixes for typos. The basic ability to clone posts can also be useful for sites using WordPress as a CMS with many pages that are similar in content.

After testing Duplicate and Merge, I found that it works as advertised. This tool has the potential to improve your editorial workflow without creating additional confusion for contributors. It has a natural workflow that allows a publication team to get more eyes on the content before pushing edits live.

You can download Duplicate and Merge from WordPress.org. It’s also available for contributions on GitHub. If you want to see the plugin in action before installing it, check out the video below to tour its features.

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12 Comments


  1. This looks like a great plugin and a potential alternative to Edit Flow. I’m a big fan of Edit Flow but the lack of development scares me. Perhaps we should give this plugin a try on the Tavern to see how it compares?

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    1. You could probably use this in conjunction with Edit Flow.

      I built it as a lightweight plugin that clones and merges posts as quickly as possible.

      If you have a post/page template you want to duplicate and edit. BAM. Done.

      Or, if you have an existing post/page/custom post that needs updating. Clone, edit, view cloned copy, all good(?), merge into original. BAM. Done.

      Feature requests welcome. Would love to here your thoughts.

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      1. Hi…

        Nice to read your openness “Feature requests welcome.”

        I use “Duplicate Post” and “Duplicate Title Validate” plugin together. It would be great if a single plugin can perform this two functions together.

        Cheers!
        Joseph

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  2. Maybe I’m missing something, but if a person can edit a post or page, why do you need this plugin?

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    1. You will keep your original version alive while editing. You can practically have two versions of your blog posts also and decide which one to publish. And I understood that it was created for multiple authors who can review and publish posts.

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      1. Thank you for your reply. I think this plug-in is not something that I need at this time, but I’ll store the fact that it exists in the back of my mind, in case I ever do need/want something like this :)

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  3. I have just installed the plugin here, but it seems there is an issue, when i’m going to posts list through the dashboard.

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      1. On post list… excerpt has been replaced by a php error… a string seems to be passed as argument to in_array function… even on the publish metabox… before the submit buton… there are also a php error. Tell me were i can send you screenshots

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  4. I’ve been wishing for something like this for a long time, and expect it to be hugely valuable.

    Feature requests:
    Ability to swap versions rather than merge or create a new one. For example, we might want one version of a page when an item is in stock and a different one when it is out of stock. (Without testing, I’m thinking maybe you can do this in effect by creating two clones, editing and merging one while keeping the other to reverse the change later?)
    Ability to have merge (or swap) occur at a specified time. For example, new version takes over after the April 15 tax deadline passes.

    Meanwhile, I’d like to know what it takes to have all those settings boxes available for constructing a page. Is that all custom, or is there a plugin that makes it easy? Talking about where the video shows “Call to Action,” “Page Settings – Featured Posts,” “Content Sections.”

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