For many years, people have referred to WordPress as a “blogging platform”. This is meant to be criticism. This implies that WordPress was built for one-person websites and didn’t handle large websites with more complicated needs.
However, we know what WordPress is capable of matching the most complex sites around. Sometimes you can do advanced things with the WordPress core, and other times you will need a plugin.
One example of needing a plugin is coauthors / multiple authors. By default, WordPress does only allow you to have a single author for each blog post.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to safely set up more than one author for each post or page. This solution will also enable you to add guest authors who don’t need to have a real account on your WordPress site.
The best way to add multiple authors is with the PublishPress Authors plugin. This plugin will replace your default author profiles with a more flexible way of handling authors.
Here’s how to get started:
- In your WordPress admin area, go to “Plugins”.
- Click “Add New”.
- Search for “PublishPress Authors”.
- Install and activate the plugin.
- Go to the new “Authors” link in your WordPress admin menu.
- You should see at least one author account already set up for you, as in the image below:
This “Authors” screen allows you to add new authors for your content. You can create two kinds of Authors here:
- Mapped Authors: These are connected to regular WordPress users and share their details.
- Guest Authors: These are for authors who don’t need an account on your site.
If you choose the first “Mapped User” option, you will then be promoted to connect the Author to a WordPress user. Alternatively, the “Mapped User” fields empty and create a Guest Author.
This next image shows what your screen looks like when you create a Guest Author:. PublishPress treats WordPress Guest Authors identically to Authors who are mapped to users. You will be able to select and display Guest Authors in exactly the same way as for mapped users.
For this tutorial, it doesn’t matter if you choose to create a Mapped User or a Guest Author.
- Make your choice, and click the “New author” button.
- You will now see the author profile on the right side of the screen:
By default, the email field is blank for Guest Authors. In contract, Mapped Users will automatically get the email from their user account.
By default, every author can have this information:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Biographical Info
You can set up this information by clicking on the author’s profile:
You can also give the authors their own avatar. You can choose to enter the email address connected to their Gravatar account, or can you upload an image to the Media Library:
Next, let’s see how to set up multiple authors for our posts.
- Go to the “Posts” screen in your WordPress admin area.
- Edit any post.
- You will see a new box on the right sidebar. You can use this box to add and remove authors:
One of the advantages to PublishPress Authors, compared to older multiple authors solutions, is that you will not need to manually edit any files. However, the option is there if you are technically-minded. ,The plugin also gives you several different options to display the authors’ box including a widget, a shortcode, and template code.
However, PublishPress Authors works great even if you choose the simplest possible set up. PublishPress Authors will automatically show your authors under this post. One quick caveat: this applies for most themes, except those that try and add their own author profiles.
In the image below, you can see that PublishPress Authors has replaced the main author output, and also added author profiles below the post.
Yes, there’s also a PublishPress Authors widget available. Particularly if you want to add a lot of information about each author, the widget is a good display option. Here’s how it works:
- Go to “Appearance” in your WordPress admin menu, then “Widgets”.
- Find the “PublishPress Authors” widget.
- Place your PublishPress Authors widget in any sidebar or widget area. This next image shows the widget in a sidebar.
- Inline with avatar
- Simple list
This next image shows the Boxed layout. This is particularly useful for placing Author profiles in the sidebar of your theme:
Advanced PublishPress Authors Features
In the PublishPress Authors settings, you’ll find some advanced options. One setting you will probably use is adding the authors features to Posts, Pages or other content types.
One big timesaver is that you can automatically create new author profiles for people who are added to some user roles. In the next image, everyone who becomes an Editor or Author will get their own profile in PublishPress Authors.
You can also run this in the opposite direction. This is useful if you have an established site with many users.
- Click the “Maintenance” tab.
- Click “Create missed authors from role”. If you chose “Editor” and “Author” in the settings shown above, you will now get profiles for all existing users in those roles.
The Pro version of PublishPress Authors
For more advanced users, there’s a Pro version of PublishPress Authors. This Pro version has two key extra features: Custom fields and Custom layouts.
PublishPress Authors Free allows you to enter data into six fields for each author:
- First Name
- Last Name
When you’re using PublishPress Authors Pro, you can add your own fields to author profiles. The five extra field types are:
- Multiline Text
- WYSIWYG Editor
Click here to see full details for custom fields. In this short guide, let me walk you through an example of how to add custom fields:
- Go to “Authors”, then “Fields” in your WordPress admin menu.
- Click the “New Author Field” button.
- Choose a title, which in the image below is “Personal Website”.
- Choose a “Field Type”.
- Go to “Layouts” in your WordPress admin menu.
- You will see that all five layouts are available for editing. These are Boxed, Centered, Inline, Inline with avatar, Simple list.
- Edit one layout.
- You will see a code box. Here you can add your custom field.
- The available fields are displayed in the sidebar.
- In the image shown below, I’ve added an arrow connecting the field documentation and the code for that field.
The PublishPress Authors Pro layout feature allows you to combine all your author information and custom fields, Every layout is editable using Twig which is a popular PHP layout language. Click here to see more on customizing author layouts.
PublishPress Authors Summary
Hopefully this tutorial has shown you that it’s quick and easy to add multiple authors to your WordPress posts. WordPress can be much more than a simple blogging platform!
PublishPress Authors is a reliable plugin for adding co-authors. As an extra bonus, it also enables you to add guest authors to WordPress posts. Neither of these things are normally possible in WordPress.
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