How To Implement Customizable Publishing Workflow Management For Media Websites


An international multilateral development financing institution needed a digital platform to share its dynamic contents. Being a global entity they needed to distribute content in multiple languages.


The financial institution needed an editorial content workflow customized to each department. The system needed department based content type permissions.

For Instance:

  • Department 1 has Article and News
  • Department 2 has Article, Blog and Events

Content workflow will vary for each department and each content type.


  • Article workflow for Department 1 is Draft -> Needs Review -> Published
  • Article workflow for Department 2 is Daft -> Needs Review -> Needs Approval -> Published

Most media websites use editorial workflows for publishing their contents. Different review processes are conducted to publish a content onto the website.

The most common editorial workflow is

Draft -> Needs Review -> Published

We can add or modify the workflow. For example

Daft -> Needs Review -> Needs Approval -> Published

Common editorial website features are:



    Drag and Drop Layouts

    Configure page layouts and digital experiences with drag and drop tools that anyone can use.

  2. Media Management

    Embed images, videos, social media and more from Drupal or other sources into content and pages.

  3. Flexible Workflows

    Configure workflows that keep content moving through review and approval stages, easily.



    Experience Preview

    See how content and experiences look to visitors before you publish.

  5. Empower Self-sufficient Content Authors

    We can make it easy for business users to create and manage content with enterprise authoring tools.


We decided on Acquia Lightning, a popular Drupal distribution. Acquia Lightning is a great Open Source solution to build website for an editorial team. Lightning distribution provides a starter kit to build sites and digital experiences more quickly.

Lightning provides some default workflow like Draft -> Needs Review -> Published. We can also, add or modify the workflow.

We added Group module to accomplish the departmental content workflow. Group module allows you to create groups. Users of the system can add/join members of a Group. You can then decide the membership of the group they are entitled to since access to content is restricted to the members of that group. There can also be different levels of membership to a group: for example, you can have administrative members who can create content and basic members who can only view content within the Group. Here we have treated groups as departments.

Installed Workbench Moderation Group module in order to integrate the Group module with Workbench moderation module. This way you can add content workflow for each of the content types for each department.


Created group type and named it as Content Department.


Installed and configured necessary content types to department via group type configuration page.


Then created departments. For customizable workflow, go to group role permission page and set content moderation transition permissions as needed.


See the below workflow configuration for Article creator


Created a dashboard page for editorial team to show a unified and simplified user interface for users who ONLY have to work with content. Created custom views for each editors such as Creator, Reviewer, Approver and Publisher. We can create multiple blocks in dashboard such as

  1. My Assigned Tasks
  2. Contents I’ve Edited
  3. Recent Contents etc.


Thus the entire editorial workflow was customized for each department easing the whole process of publishing.