Custom author page in WordPress

Giving your WordPress blog authors a great looking author page can really help to boost credibility. Rather than just a few words and then a long list of blog posts, the author page can build up the reputation of your contributor. It can also help build the reputation and authority of your blog.

Custom author pages in WordPress can build up the reputation and credibility of your web site. People like to know the background of who is writing the post. Readers like to know the experience and interests of blog authors. 

You can boost the impact of your author page very quickly and easily with the Big Bio Box plugin. This plugin adds an additional editor box to the author profile page. It is fully shortcode compliant. Your author can build up a full background and profile of themselves. 

Also in the plugin is an example author.php template that can be used in your theme folder to provide an interactive author page. The page has three tabbed areas which display;

  • the full author profile
  • the posts published by the author
  • any comments left by the author.

Simple to install custom author page plugin

The Big Bio Box plugin is the perfect way to customise your author profile pages. It allows your author page to have formatting, images, videos and a range of other items to increase the user experience. But it also keeps the normal small description area.

On the normal author profile edit page, there is a small text box for contributors to add a snippet of information to. The contents of this box are what is shown at the bottom of a blog post if the theme allows an author box. some theme will display the information in the sidebar.  Whichever way your theme displays the author information there is little formating available.

This plugin will add an additional text box on the author profile edit page. This box has a normal text editor and acts like a normal blog post content area. You contributors can put together a comprehensive and rich formatted description of themselves.

This new feature is not restricted to just authors but any level of contributor or membership that uses the user profile page in WordPress. It can be a great way to enhance any membership site or forum site. Your site members can have highly descriptive pages of themselves.

The way the plugin operates is it checks what page is being served. If the page is a user profile page then the large bio box content is delivered for the author description field. If it is another type of page then the default small description is served for the author description field.  This ensures that the larger description only appears on profile pages and not at the bottom of posts or in the sidebar etc.

Example custom WordPress author page

To help you to bring your user profile pages to life the plugin includes an example author.php file. This file sets up the author page to have 3 different tabbed areas. The first tab displays the full description of the user or author. The second tab displays the latest posts of the author in a grid formation. The final tab displays the latest comments that the author has made.

This helps to build the reputation and credibility of all your authors. Your readers can quickly go an authors page to see what type of posts they write and how much they interact with other commenters. This is a great user experience for your blog visitors. It also helps to keep people on your site for longer as they interact with your authors.

The example archive.php has minimal styling and css calls to try and make it suitable for most themes. But it is likely that you will need to make some css adjustments and tweaks to get the author theme to look good in your own theme. Despite this, the example php file is a good starting point or author template for developing your own custom author page.

Improve the WordPress user profile page

User bio pages can be really useful on WordPress web sites, and not just normal blogs. If you have a community or forum based web site then improving your user profile page is a must. This can be done easily with the Big Bio Box author page plugin. 

For multi-author news or magazine type web site having a larger and more informative author page is useful for your readers. Readers like to know the background and experience of those writing about a subject. It also helps with building authority sitewide. People have more confidence in what they are being told if they know the professional and technical background of an article author.

It can also help with general SEO for the web site. A contributor who supplies articles and posts to a lot of web sites or publications can become well known. There may be cases when people will actively search for the name of the author. If your author page carries a comprehensive bio of the person you are more likely to appear in the search results. There will be a good chance that your author page will be higher than author profiles with just a few lines of bio.

wordpress custom author page pluginWordPress custom author page without coding

Using a plugin is going to be the best option for customising your author page if you don’t know how to code. The benefit with Big Bio Box is that it includes a skeleton author.php page that you can just upload to your theme directory. This will then be called whenever someone clicks on the author link of a blog post.

It’s a stripped-down version of author.php so it should work as a template with most themes. Just tweak the css to blend it into your own web site colour scheme and font style.

Having a customised user profile page need not be difficult or technical. But it can bring so much more to your web site. Building a reputation for your readers and giving a big thanks to your authors. It gives your authors a chance to explain themselves a little and share their social media channels as well.

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Posted in Blog.

Blog postings from the developer of Y Praise Digital. some thoughts and wonderings of a web developer of over 25 years experience.

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