These days, it’s nearly impossible for a single-person operation to keep up with the pace that users expect from authoritative blogs. The best way to stay competitive is to set up a multi-author WordPress blog of your own.
A multi-author WordPress blog enables you to add more writers to your ranks, and upgrade your editorial calendar. Depending on how many authors you have, you could even publish content daily.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of setting up a multi-author WordPress blog, including defining roles, creating author biographies, and even adding multi-author widgets. We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started!
Set up a multi-author WordPress blog in 4 steps:
Step 1: Add new authors to your WordPress site
The first step in our quest to create a multi-author WordPress blog is the simplest – WordPress enables you to add new users in a matter of minutes through your dashboard. All you have to do is go to Users > Add New and fill the form that appears there:
Most of the fields are straightforward. Choose a username, enter your author’s email, first name, last name, and create a secure password for them.
Speaking of passwords; consider enabling two-factor authentication on your blog. This will improve its security, and especially when dealing with multiple people logging in to do their work.
Step 2: Define your authors’ WordPress roles
At the end of the user creation screen, there’s a drop-down list where you can choose their WordPress roles:
WordPress ships with several user roles, which most people never use. As far as adding new authors goes, we only care about two:
- Author: As its name implies, users with this role have permission to write, edit, publish, and even delete their own articles (but not others’). They can also upload accompanying media files.
- Contributor: The contributor role is very similar to that of an author, but with fewer powers. They can write and publish their own posts, but can’t delete or edit them once they go live.
While the distinction above may seem unimportant, it can make all the difference when it comes to a multi-author WordPress blog.
It boils down to a matter of permissions. Authors have the potential to mess with your published content, by removing or editing their own posts without your permission. Contributors, on the other hand, can’t edit or delete posts once they’re live. For this reason, we recommend that instead of choosing the Author role, you stick with the Contributor status for your new writers.
That suggestion assumes that you want to maintain editorial control over your site. If you’re happy to give your writers permission to edit or delete their own posts after they are published, then feel free to add them as Authors.
Step 3: Create stylish author biographies
At this point, you should’ve already added multiple authors to your site and defined their roles according to our suggestions. As things stand, you’ve already set up a multi-author WordPress blog; all that’s left to do is to add some bells and whistles.
Biographies usually appear as small sections at the beginning or end of each article and show a few lines of information about their respective authors.
Biographies can also include links to the author’s social media accounts. To achieve this, we’ll use the Starbox plugin:
Head to your WordPress dashboard, install the plugin, activate it, and then head to Settings > Starbox. We can leave all the settings as they are, since the most important option – Visible in posts – is already on by default. That option, as you’ve likely guessed, determines whether author boxes appear or not in regular posts. Depending on your needs, you may choose to hide the author box from custom post types.
Below, you’ll find some settings to configure the look and feel of your author boxes. Those include where they appear (we recommend the Down option) and which theme they use. The choice of theme is entirely up to you; we recommend you pick one that meshes well with your WordPress theme.
To change the content of our author boxes, we must go to Users > Your Profile. At the bottom of that page, you’ll find a section called Starbox Settings for this Author. There you can upload a custom image (preferably a headshot), change your own theme (although we recommend using the same for all of them), and type in your biography.
Further down, you can also enter links to your Twitter and Facebook profiles so that they will appear in your author box. Those are the only two social media integration options included with Starbox’s free version.
Remember that each of your authors must customize the contents of their own biography.
Finally, if you’re not a fan of Starbox, we recommend that you check out the WP Author Box Lite plugin, which fulfills a similar function but is simpler to set up.
Step 4: Display a list of your authors
This last step will enable you to display a list of your entire roster of writers using a simple WordPress widget. That way, visitors can easily move between the posts written by each one of them.
For this case, we’ll be using the Author Avatar Lists plugin, which enables you to insert a widget displaying your author’s avatars and names.
Install and activate the plugin, then go to Appearance > Widgets. Inside, you’ll find a new Author Avatars widget. Drag it to your preferred location and then open it.
All we need to do is configure three main settings, the title of your widget, which roles will appear, and what information to display aside from avatars. Select either Author or Contributor (depending on the choice you made during step number two), then tick the Show name option on the right side:
You may also choose to display additional information besides names on your widget, but we recommend against it to keep things lean.
If you don’t find the Authors Avatar Lists plugin to your liking, give Meks Smart Author Widgets a shot.
Setting up a multi-author WordPress blog is remarkably simple. Adding more writers to your roster will enable you to increase your editorial pace far more that you could accomplish alone.
Before we wrap things up, here are the four steps you need to follow to set up a multi-author WordPress blog, once more:
- Add as many authors as necessary to your WordPress site.
- Define the user roles of your authors.
- Create individual bios for each member of your staff.
- Display your writer’s roster using a widget.
Do you have any questions concerning how to set up a multi-author WordPress blog? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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High traffic blogs often publish content regularly – at least once per day. To maximize on content production and produce a wide variety of content, such blogs often have multiple authors contributing posts. Unfortunately for those authors, they are often hidden from the readers, with nothing more than a name displayed on a post.
Displaying the name of the post author is default WordPress behavior, but there are WordPress themes designed with multiple author sites in mind that provide authors with further exposure through author bio boxes and author pages, for example.
This article will look at how WordPress can help to showcase authors on your multiple author blog, then highlight several WordPress themes that do a good job of featuring the authors without distracting from the content.
The Best Free Multiple Author Blog Themes
1. WP Fan Zone
The clean style of WP Fan Zone displays an author’s posts nicely.
WP Fan Zone started as a design for sports blogs, but it can be used for any subject matter. It has a magazine style with featured posts and a masonry layout.
Each post includes the author’s name at the top which links to a page listing all of their posts. Below each post, you’ll find an author box with a brief bio and an author profile picture. The author box can be customized with options available in the Customizer.
The theme is available for free from the WordPress repository, and the author provides a full demo site.
2. Accesspress Mag
Accesspress provides a custom styled author box below posts.
This powerful magazine theme has a clean and modern design. It features two homepage layouts and beautiful article pages.
Each post includes the author’s name at the top, linked to the page with all their posts. Additionally, Accesspress features a standard author box below each post, which has custom styling to match the theme.
The free version is available in the WordPress repository, and a pro version of the theme is available ($57), which provides access to additional layout options for the homepage and other pages of the site.
Author bios are given greater prominence in the Gazette theme.
Gazette is a theme originally created for WordPress.com, where you can see a full demo. It has been made available in the WordPress repository so that self-hosted blogs can make use of its clean design. The homepage makes great use of featured images on both the highlighted posts and the regular content.
Each post has an author bio as with our previous themes, but Gazette gives it more prominence by placing it at the top of the side bar. This is a different approach that definitely improves the exposure for the author. Below the bio is a link to a page with all of the author’s posts.
A clean and simple author box provided by the ColorMag theme.
The final free theme on our list is the responsive ColorMag theme, which is available in the WordPress repository. The widgetized homepage includes a categorized post layout common to magazine sites.
Each post on the index and archive pages includes the author’s name linked to a page with all their posts. At the bottom of each individual post page, below the content, there is an author box which includes an image and a short bio.
The Best Premium Multiple Author Blog Themes
Grateful is easy to read and provides index pages for each author.
The Grateful theme is incredibly enjoyable to read. The typography choices make it great for bloggers. Additionally, authors get their due with this theme with attractive author boxes and linked names that allow people to quickly view all posts by any author.
The more conventional features people tend to look for in quality WordPress themes are also there with Grateful: Responsive design, powerful theme options, advanced typography options, unlimited color options, well documented code, and more.
The Grateful theme is available through Themeforest for $44.
6. Extra from ElegantThemes
Extra brings the Divi Builder to Categories for amazing blog post index pages.
Take the power of the Divi Builder and combine it with a magazine theme and you get our Extra theme. The beautiful design includes not only homepage layouts but fully customizable categories. The featured post sliders on the homepage all include the author’s name, linked to their post listing, as do most of the post listings.
Each individual post has a beautiful author box below the content, which includes an image, a bio and social links. The Extra theme goes a step further and provides an authors page template where you can introduce your authors, show their images and bios along with a count of the number of posts they have contributed.
Like Divi, the Extra theme is available with the Elegant Themes membership.
7. Hub from WooThemes
Your readers cannot miss the prominent author profile.
Hub is a theme for content writers, and as such, authors are a big part of the concept of this theme. The distinctive minimalist style of Hub enables the content to be the focus.
Author profiles are displayed right beside the post content on the individual post pages. The default position is on the left, making the author profile the first thing most people will notice on the page. Hub’s demo makes use of the freely available Our Team plugin from WooThemes, to show the site’s writers on the homepage – a great way to showcase your authors.
The Hub theme is available by itself starting at $79 or as part of the WooThemes All Themes package ($399).
8. Metro Pro from StudioPress
The author box is displayed above their post listing in Metro Pro.
Metro is a modern magazine-style theme based on the popular Genesis framework. The responsive design is spacious and accommodates wide screens.
Like some of the other themes we have looked at, the author name is presented at the top of individual posts, and you’ll find an author box below the content. The author box can include an image along with the bio. The author’s name is linked to a page with all the posts written by that author. One nice feature is that an author box is displayed at the top of this page. This makes it easy for readers checking out the author to know more about them.
The Metro theme is available for $99.95, which includes the Genesis framework itself.
Authors take a featured role in the Convac theme.
Convac is a purpose-built multiple author blog theme available from Sketch Themes ($49). Its beautiful responsive design is highly customizable and comes with various layout options.
The demo site for the Convac theme immediately shows you a slider featuring the site’s authors, including their image, bio and social links – an excellent way to showcase your authors.
In the author’s post listing, Convac makes an interesting choice to not show the author’s name, but instead their avatar. This is also done at the top of individual post pages, but it is not linked to their post listing. The author box displayed at the bottom of the post does link to the author’s post listing as expected.
The Multinews author page stands out with posts in a timeline layout.
Multinews is a premium magazine theme ($59) which aims to be a full magazine solution, including a flip page magazine, an advertising system, and user reviews. The design is very flexible, and using the Visual Composer plugin, you can create any layout you imagine.
As with the other themes on our list, the author’s name is listed on posts, linked to their post listing. The author box sits below the post content and includes an image, a bio and social links.
Where this theme stands out for showcasing authors is on the author post listing page. A large header image sits behind the author box at the top of the page, and the posts are listed in a very creative timeline layout.
The Newsstand comes with a customizable authors page.
Newsstand is a beautiful premium magazine theme ($49). The responsive design makes great use of images and is very flexible using the Customizer and the included page builder.
For showcasing authors, this theme includes the standard author name at the top of posts, and an author box below posts. Both link through to an author post listing page, and the latter includes an image, a bio and social links. Newsstand also comes with an authors page which you can create or modify using the included page builder.
An authors shortcode makes creating an authors page easy in SimpleMag
Billed as a premium magazine theme for creative stuff ($59), SimpleMag is beautiful and flexible. The responsive design includes a drag-and-drop page builder for creating practically endless layout variations.
This theme takes a similar approach to the hub theme mentioned before, placing the author profile at the top on the left side of the post content. The author profile actually remains static as you scroll down the post, keeping it visible. The author page that lists all their posts takes a similar layout, with the author box on the left which remains static as you scroll through the posts on the right. This theme, like a few others, includes a page for the site’s authors, created using an authors shortcode.
Although blogging originally began as an individual pursuit, multiple author blogs have become very common, especially with high traffic blogs or magazine-style sites that need lots of content on a regular schedule.
In this article we have shared with you a selection of WordPress themes that work well to showcase multiple author blogs. If you have a multiple author blog or are planning to start one, you should be able to get going with one of these themes today and transform your site to give your authors more exposure.
Do you have a multiple author blog, and if so, do you have any tips for others? We would love to hear your ideas below – subscribe to the comments section below and get involved!
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