How to Make Custom Author Pages

WordPress author pages: they’re essential for website contributors to get credit for work, and publications use them to add a smiling face to their content. Author pages link from author bios (at the end/beginning of blog posts) and often display information about the contributor, their photo, and which articles they’ve written on the website.

In this article, we break down the true definition of an author page, clear up 🧹 some confusion on what some people think are author pages, and walk you through steps 👣 on how to add WordPress author pages.

What’s an author page?

In contrast to an author website, author pages are not full websites for novelists and writers, but rather, simple informational segments of any website that has a blog.

Author pages are:

  • Individual pages that display information about the author of a post.
  • Often linked to from author bios in blog posts:
This is an author bio box, which opens an author page when the writer's name is clicked.
This is an author bio box, which opens an author page when the writer’s name is clicked.
  • Filled with some background about the author, maybe a photo, and a list of articles for which they contributed:
An example of an author page with the author's photo, name, description, total posts, and list of contributions
An example of an author page with the author’s photo, name, description, total posts, and list of contributions

Here are some of the benefits of WordPress author pages:

  • Contributors can quickly find their past work and put it in a portfolio.
  • Articles appear more credible and from a real person, seeing as how author pages can showcase a photo and description of the author.
  • Brands seeking writers can find posts they like, then click through to the author page to find background and contact information on that contributor.
  • Site visitors can feel more confident in what they’re reading, seeing that it’s from a writer with industry experience.

Author pages vs. author galleries

Many people confuse author pages with author galleries.

An author page, at least in terms of how WordPress defines it, is a single page meant for one author’s information and blog archives. You can set global styling so that every author on your website has a place to list their recent blog posts, author information, and even social media links:

an example of WordPress author pages

An author gallery (or listing) page, features multiple contributors from one website, as a sort of showcase of all writers and content creators for visitors to click on and view more information about:

author collection or list

Theoretically, an author gallery would lead to author pages after visitors click on the author links.

Overall, WordPress author pages help all parties, making them ideal for improving the credibility and humanization of blog posts. And they’re easy to implement! So, keep reading to learn all about how to make WordPress author pages.

How to make WordPress author pages

By default, WordPress provides author pages, but they’re limited to whatever design was included with your current theme.

For instance, you may have something simple like this, where you see an author name, bio, and list of articles:

built in WordPress author pages

Or you may see nothing at all, as many theme developers leave out author pages altogether.

So, there’s a good chance you want at least some creative control over the author page, or you want to add one since your theme doesn’t have any.

You can use one of these methods to add/customize a WordPress author page:

Before anything

Before attempting any of these methods, make sure the user information for at least one author is filled in. This way, you can test to see if elements like photos and descriptions appear correctly when customizing the author page.

To complete user information, go to the Users tab on WordPress. Select a user, then fill in important fields like:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Display Name Publicly As
  • Website (some themes show this in the author page):
name and website for WordPress author pages

Also add:

  • Biographical Info
  • A Profile Picture:
profile picture and bio

Finally, click the Update Profile button.

Note: If you have multiple contributors to a blog, you must have each of them complete their own User profile information; only then will the content show on their author page.

Method 1: Use a plugin (easy)

One way to customize elements of your WordPress author page is with a plugin. There’s no specific author page plugin, but several membership plugins allow you to create rich profiles for each of your contributors.

Install the plugin

For this method, we’ll use the Ultimate Member plugin. To begin, download and install the plugin to your WordPress site:

Create core pages

After activation, Ultimate Member displays a button at the top of the dashboard to Create Pages. Click on that to generate user profile pages (so you don’t have to do it manually):

create pages button

This brings you to the automatically generated pages, which you can leave as they are.

The User page (with the User selection) is designated as the author page, so all of your WordPress author pages will now look a little different:

user page setting

Access author page

To view the changes, go check one of your current author pages (by clinking through the author’s name on a blog post). You’ll now see a module from the Ultimate Members plugin with author information:

results

It may show up in a slightly different area depending on your theme:

here's the WordPress author pages without much content

Customize author page content

Some of the information typed into the WordPress User page may appear, but you can better customize the author page by clicking on the Gear icon. After that, choose Edit Profile:

edit profile

Here, we recommend that you:

  1. Upload a profile photo
  2. Add a cover photo
  3. Customize the author bio

Click Update Profile when you’re done:

adjusting the profile

The results are instantaneous, but you may notice that there’s an empty space below the bio and author menu, where it says, “Your profile is looking empty.” To add content to that section, move to the next step:

inserting images for WordPress author pages

Add content to author page

Go to Ultimate Member > Forms in WordPress, then select the Profile Form button.

This is where you add extra fields that authors can fill out to complete their author pages.

Click the + box underneath the first tab:

add to the profile form for WordPress author pages

Decide from whichever fields you want to add. Some ideas include:

field options

Once you’ve inserted the new fields, you’ll see them in the form builder.

Click Update to proceed:

add more fields for WordPress author pages

Now, when an author navigates to their author page, they can click on the Gear icon and choose Edit Profile to fill in the new fields:

settings button

As you can see, each author page is now customizable with Website URL, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn fields:

website URL and more

After clicking Update Profile, the author page shows links to the fields:

the result for a WordPress author pages

Finally, to view posts from that author, the user simply has to click on the Posts tab (pencil icon) for a list of post archives:

Method 2: Use a page builder (easy)

Many page builders plugins, like Elementor, Divi, and Brizy, let you fully customize every detail of your WordPress author pages by using Blog Archive templates. The Blog Archive templates are simply lists of past blog posts under a certain author. You can then add more details with the drag and drop editor.

👉 For this tutorial, we’ll use Elementor. Keep in mind, however, that you must have the Pro version of Elementor for this to work.

With Elementor Pro installed, go to Templates > Theme Builder in the WordPress dashboard.

The Theme Builder shows several templates to choose from. Pick the Archive tab, and click on one of the Add New icons:

archive template

Elementor offers a large collection of pre-made templates for archive pages. If you’d rather start from scratch, simply click on the X-out button to get rid of the template library.

Otherwise, select a layout that’s suitable for your author pages:

pick a template

To start building the WordPress Author page, search for the Author Box module in the Elements section of Elementor. Drag and drop the Author Box module wherever you want it to appear on your author page:

author box in elementor

Make sure you set the Source as Current Author.

Other than that, you can customize the Author Box however you please.

Consider including:

  • Profile pictures
  • Names
  • Links to websites
  • Biographies:
content for author box

If you selected an archive template, you should already see the list of this author’s blog posts underneath the Author Box. If not, search for the Archive Posts element and drag it onto the page:

add archive posts element

Click the Publish button when you’ve finalized the design of your author page.

Before the author page gets published, Elementor displays a popup window to specify where you want to display the template.

Click Add Condition, then select Author Archive. To activate this template as the Author Archive page for every author on your site, pick the All option.

Finally, click Save and Close to finish the process:

add WordPress author pages to all archives

Now go and check one of your author pages to see the results! 🤩 You may have to go back and edit some of the design to get it just right. Otherwise, your author pages are ready to go, as long as every author completes their User page on WordPress:

final WordPress author pages

Method 3: Manually create an author page in your theme files (hard)

This method offers complete control over the styling of the WordPress author page, but it’s limited to those who can handle editing theme or child theme files.

👉 To use this method, follow these steps:

  1. You must first connect to your website’s server with an FTP Client like FileZilla.
  2. Once connected, use the FTP Client to navigate to /wp-content/themes/(thenameofyourcurrenttheme)/.
  3. Create a file called author.php in the current theme folder. (Use the current one if there’s already an author.php file):
ftp connection to for WordPress author pages

Here’s some code you can paste into the new author.php file, which adds a nice author box and the author’s written posts to the page:

<?php
// Set the Current Author Variable $curauth
$curauth = (isset($_GET['author_name'])) ? get_user_by('slug', $author_name) : get_userdata(intval($author));
?>
     
<div class="author-profile-card">
    <h2>About: <?php echo $curauth->nickname; ?></h2>
    <div class="author-photo">
    <?php echo get_avatar( $curauth->user_email , '90 '); ?>
    </div>
    <p><strong>Website:</strong> <a href="https://themeisle.com/blog/custom-wordpress-author-pages/<?php echo $curauth->user_url; ?>"><?php echo $curauth->user_url; ?></a><br />
    <strong>Bio:</strong> <?php echo $curauth->user_description; ?></p>
</div>
     
<h2>Posts by <?php echo $curauth->nickname; ?>:</h2>
 
 
         <?php if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?>
<h3>
<a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link: <?php the_title(); ?>">
<?php the_title(); ?></a>
</h3>
<p class="posted-on">Posted on: <?php the_time('d M Y'); ?></p>
 
<?php the_excerpt(); ?>
 
<?php endwhile; 
 
// Previous/next page navigation.
the_posts_pagination();
 
 
else: ?>
<p><?php _e('No posts by this author.'); ?></p>
 
<?php endif; ?>  
author card with code

The main reason for using this method is to have full control over the styling. So, you can go to Appearance > Customize > Additional CSS to add CSS code for the Author page.

Here’s some example CSS you can try (feel free to customize it):

.author-profile-card 
    background: #EBE9E8;
    border: 2px solid #ccc;
    padding: 25px;
    margin-bottom: 25px;

.author-photo 
    float: left;
    text-align: left;
    padding: 6px;

Create your WordPress author pages today 🚀

In this article, we explained:

  • What a WordPress author page is, and why it’s so important for contributors, site owners, and site visitors.
  • That WordPress automatically comes with built-in author pages, but there’s limited customization, and many themes change their display.
  • How to use a plugin to customize the WordPress author page.
  • Using a page builder (like Elementor) to customize the WordPress Author page.
  • Manually creating and editing an author page with custom code in the theme files.

Do you have any questions about any of these methods on how to make a WordPress author page? If so, share your thoughts in the comments!

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