Managing a multi-author blog presents many challenges. It is harder to maintain consistent quality content, coordination of topics and publication plans can be confusing and remember to mention costs. In addition, anyone who runs a blog with multiple authors knows that WordPress is missing when it comes to certain features.
One of the specific features that website owners should not keep in mind is the ability to attribute multiple authors to a single WordPress post.
Sometimes multiple authors can collaborate on a single article on your site. The problem is that ready-to-use WordPress doesn’t allow you to credit multiple authors for a single contribution, even if they worked together to publish it.
Today I’m going to give you two very different options for crediting multiple authors to one WordPress post, so the stress of allocating credit where credit is due disappears and everyone involved is happy.
I have to admit, Co-authors Plus is a bit outdated. For more than 2 years, there has been no update that makes this plugin ancient in the WordPress world.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many options available for crediting multiple authors to a single post that I find. In addition, this plugin is still installed and activated on the WordPress website every day. In fact, Co-Authors Plus was recorded 16 times today. And last week? 580 recordings. I think it can be said with certainty that this plugin is still quite popular (although only because there are not many other options).
Well, since it’s no longer in the way, let’s see what this plugin offers to your multi-author site.
This free WordPress plugin allows you to assign multiple herbs to individual posts, pages, and custom post types through the type search input box. Better yet, you can add bylines writers without creating WordPress user accounts for them. Instead, you create a guest author profile for them and assign a side row as usual. This feature is useful because often the authors who publish on your site are not regular contributors and do not require login access.
Creating guest author profiles
After installing and activating Co-Authors Plus on your WordPress site, you will notice new menu items added to your WordPress Dashboard under Users marked Guest authors.
Then click on Add a new one and fill in the information about your author.
You can enter information such as display name, author’s full name, and contact information such as email address and website. You also have a section for adding an excerpt about the author and the option to show share buttons or not.
Assigning authors to WordPress posts
Once you’ve filled in the profile information for all your guest authors, you’ll need to assign them as a contributor to the posts they helped create.
To do this, you must go to the post editing screen and find the metabox highlighted Authors.
Note that you can search for more authors in the metabox, drag and drop authors, and even remove an author if necessary. It’s also important to note that if you’re a logged-in user editing a post, your author profile will automatically be added to posts. This can be easily fixed by deleting yourself if you did not contribute to the post.
Add template tags
By default, all WordPress themes are used author() a template tag to display author information below each post. If you are using Co-Authors Plus, your template files will need to be updated to use Co-Authors Plus template tags instead. author() tag template.
First, it’s always best to back up your site before making any significant changes to the file, in case something goes wrong. Next, you will want to open the single.php file and look for the code author() or other related copyright marks used in WordPress themes.
You will then need to replace these author tags with Co-Authors Plus template tags. Here are some brands of Plus co-author templates you might want to use:
- co-authors () – Displays the name and surname of each author without any links.
- coauthors_posts_links () – Displays the name and surname of each author with links to his profile page.
- coauthors_firstnames () – Displays the first name of the authors.
- coauthors_lastnames () – Displays the authors’ surnames.
Here’s an example of what your new code might look like after replacing the original theme copyright tags:
if(function_exists('coauthors_posts_links')) coauthors_posts_links(); else the_author_posts_link();
The above code checks to see if the Co-Authors Plus plugin is being used. If so, then the names of the authors and links to the profiles are displayed. If not, it returns to the default WordPress hooks.
Keep in mind that depending on your WordPress theme and the location where you want your herbs to appear, you may need to make changes to the index.php, archive.php, category.php, or page.php file. Additionally, if you are using a stand-alone framework, such as Genesis or a child theme, you will need to use the appropriate hooks to add the above code.
By Spotlight (Widget)
Another (more updated) option that you have to attribute to multiple authors for one WordPress post is to use it Author Spotlight. This plugin is designed as a widget, so you can view author profiles with social links and a profile picture or Gravatar on any post or page contributed by the author.
Using the author’s spotlight
Like any other WordPress plugin, Author Spotlight is downloaded, installed and activated via your WordPress Dashboard. You can then access your themes Widget section where you can drag the Spotlight Author widget to the desired sidebar.
Here you can decide which social media accounts you want to view (see instructions for installing the code and add social URLs to the theme features file), link to other posts written by a specific author, customize Read the full profile text so that website visitors can get more information about their favorite authors and even set a limit on the number of characters in the profile.
It’s not uncommon to come across plugins that rely so heavily on other WordPress plugins to achieve the desired result, yet Spotlight does it.
If you look at the bottom of the configuration area of the widget, you will see that you need to use it to view your own photo for your authors Photos by engage. Otherwise, an image of any gravatar that is associated with the author’s profile will be displayed. While this may work for some authors, it may not be ideal to say that the author is using an image that is not himself.
Another major downside I noticed once I got into this plugin was that you also need to use the Co-Authors Plus plugin, which is explained in detail above, to display more authors on any post or page. This also applies to the fact that you want to display a short description of the author’s profile for more contributors.
It is worth noting that the developer Author Spotlight mentioned that the use of these other plugins is not mandatory for the plugin to work. However, for our purposes, you must incorporate Co-Authors Plus to achieve the ultimate goal of crediting multiple authors to a single WordPress post.
However, I must say that Author Spotlight shows off more authors in a unique and great way if you are willing to add another plugin to the mix. Look at it:
I must admit that I personally do not say a blog with multiple authors. I also obviously don’t know how common it is for multiple authors to work on one post together.
However, WordPress plugin authors don’t seem to make it easy to add multiple authors to a single WordPress post. Although the two methods mentioned above are useful, after examining both of them, I feel that multi-author blogs are being cheated on. Given that one plugin is seriously outdated and the other has severe limitations, I’m not sure if this will really solve the problem of crediting more authors for their collaborative efforts.
Have you used any of the above plugins on your multi-author site? I missed a major solution that you would like to share? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!