Why is it important to list authors in WordPress?
Creating a website with great content that your users will trust is essential. It may even be the most important aspect of your site! But to keep all of this content fresh and accurate, you may use several authors or guest bloggers to help out. When your users click on their name to learn more, they want more than just the boring default settings that WordPress uses to list articles written by that author.
Many sites will ignore this aspect because they may be focused on getting traffic to their site instead of making the experience memorable to ensure future visits. If users come to your site and don’t trust your authors as knowledgeable experts, another visit is unlikely.
To proudly display the credentials of you and your contributors, follow these tips on how to list authors in WordPress. And if you're not using it already, switching over to WordPress isn't as hard as you think!
1. Create a Page for Your WordPress List Authors
Unfortunately, WordPress does not automatically create an author page for you. There are many plugins that will allow you to do so (which we will get to later), but if you have a DIY mindset, there is a remedy.
This is something you'll have to log directly into WordPress for. Using the WordPress desktop app won't fly here.
First, open Notepad (PC), Text Edit (Mac), or similar and add this:
Template Name: Display All Authors
This will publish all of your authors on one page. If you have no need to do anything else, simply name the file and upload it to your site alongside your other templates. You should then be able to find the file with a url like yoursite.com/yourfilename.php.
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2. Know the WordPress List Authors Default
Anticipating the need for this, WordPress lists authors in most themes and has a certain default setting. These defaults will include:
- Display in name (the display name your user has chosen) in ascending order
- Unlimited number of users displayed
- Hidden number of posts by author
- Admin author is excluded from the list
- Authors with no posts are excluded
- No authors or admin level are excluded
3. How to Customize the List of Authors
As shown in the WordPress list authors codex, this list can be customized with various commands, such as the “wp_list_authors” command. If you wanted to show an author’s full name, you would use the “show_fullname” command. If you wanted to show the number of published posts by each author, you would use the “optioncount” command. If you wanted to put the authors who contributed the most at the top, you would use the “post_count” command.
NOTE: These options may not work in all scenarios or with all themes.
4. Display Even More Info on a WordPress Authors List Page
When an author creates a profile on your site, they will be prompted to share a little biographical information. They can also upload a profile picture, via Gravatar. These two pieces of information can also be shown.
To display the profile picture, aka Avatar, use this code snippet:
<>: --?php echo get_avatar( $user->user_email, '128' ); ?--
To display the authors bio, aka author description, use this code snippet:
<>: --?php echo get_user_meta($user->ID, 'description', true); ?--
You can also use div, p, and h tags to arrange these in any way you like.
5. How to List Authors in WordPress
If you just want to skip all of this coding and have the heavy lifting done for you, there are options. Many free WordPress plugins will do just that.
One of our favorites is Author Avatar by Paul Bearne. It allows you to display your authors avatar and name in your authors page. You can also use it to show or hide all of the users by their roles from Administrator to Subscriber. The plugin also lets you link the avatar to the author’s page, choose your sorting order, and set a maximum for users shown.
6. How to Easily Link To Your Authors
If you really want to link to your list of authors with style, try a free plugin like Author Bio Box. It will give you a customizable author box that allows your contributors to share social icons and more. Then you can easily link to your author page where people expect to see more information about them; at the bottom of their articles.
7. How to Custom List Authors in WordPress
You invest a lot of time into your website, why not a little money as well? For only $31 (as of now), you can get the UserPro plugin. It allows you to showcase amazing user profiles by creating a custom profile card, post author card, and even featured author option.
Even better, you can create an amazing author page with all of your contributors. New users can choose by the simple method of name or picture only. Experienced users can create custom columns by which to list your authors.
Another great feature of the plugin is the ability for users to login with their social media profile via Facebook, Twitter, or Google. This comes in handy for those who are wary of using the standard WordPress login page and for encouraging contributors. Other great features include:
- Creation of a member directory that is as large or small as you like
- Members can earn badges for reaching a predetermined goal. A great one includes a set amount of published posts, comments, shares, etc.
- Custom login forms for new and returning users so you may collect all the required and optional info you need
- The ability to restrict content to certain users and redirect them to the proper page
- and much more!
BONUS: How to Manage Authors in WordPress
Now that you have all your authors in a row, what to do with them? Those with a tight schedule with no room for manually setting tasks should look into a tool like Edit Flow. It allows you to create an editorial calendar, notify users if and when a post needs editing, and allows budgets to be set for the site’s content. Notifications can be set by either individual posts or selecting user groups. You can even add comments to a post before it is published, with the option for the contributor to reply. Notifications can also be emailed if someone posts such an editorial comment.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you pay your contributors, they do it for free, or they pay you to post on your site, they deserve credit. By using the steps above you can reward them properly, as well as allow them to promote their own works – should you choose. Another benefit of getting WordPress to list authors this way is to add credibility to your site. In a world where everyone and literally even dogs have a site, credibility is key to a lasting success.
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