If you have multiple authors writing for your blog, creating an author listings page is a great way to showcase them and their work.
Readers will appreciate being able to see who writes for the blog and easily find the posts each author has published. Your authors will also appreciate such a page as it’s an effective way to showcase their profile and contributions to the blog.
Last year we covered how to manually create an author listing for your WordPress site. Today however, we are going to look at a selection of plugins that give you a few different options for showing your authors on one page, for those without the time or inclination to delve into the WordPress code.
Authors Page & WP Biographia
This is a combination to two free plugins that allow you to output the contributors to your site on a page or post. To get the best out of the Authors Page plugin you also need to have the WP Biographia plugin installed.
Once installed the, Authors Page creates a page on your site that features the shortcodes that display your list of users. The basic shortcode will show all the users on your site. However, you can customise it to only show authors with a particular role. The shortcode parameters include:
- [authors_page role=administrator]
- [authors_page role=editor]
- [authors_page role=author]
- [authors_page role=contributor]
- [authors_page role=subscriber]
Users with roles associated with other plugins you might have installed such as bbPress and WooCommerce can also be displayed.
If you’ve installed and setup the WP Biographia plugin then when someone clicks on the avatar of a user, they will get taken to their biography page.
With the Authors Page plugin, users are displayed by order of posts, from highest to lowest. This is a nice idea but there isn’t a way to change this. There doesn’t seem to be a way of easily aligning the images. This means that if you just have one user in a particular role, they will be displayed in the middle of the page.
Overall this combination of plugins works well to get the desired effect, even if it is lacking the finer controls and flexibility that would help it to fit in better with a range of site designs and themes.
Author Avatar List
This plugin works very similar to the above combination and might be a better solution for displaying all the users of your blog on one page. The plugin creates a new button on the WordPress visual post editor from where you can insert the shortcodes this plugin users.
Clicking on the button allows you to choose which users to insert. You can insert a list of users by role or just insert a single user. There are a number of options which govern how the image is displayed such as alignment, whether to show their name and where to link their avatar to.
You can also choose how to sort the authors and in which direction. For example you could sort the users from most posts to least or in chronological order by name. The maximum number of avatars to show per page can also be set allowing you to easily create a top 10 of contributors. You can also use this plugin in the sidebar by inserting the shortcode into a widget.
This is a much neater and feature rich plugin compared to using the Authors Page & WP Biographia combo. Although it doesn’t give as much scope to creating author biographies as the WP Biographia plugin gives. With this plugin, clicking on an avatar takes you to a list of that user’s posts.
More options for displaying users on a WordPress site:
This free plugin gives you some additional options for displaying your authors and their content in your sidebar.
You can display the names of your team in a list, with links to their profiles. Alternatively you can display them in a cloud, similar to the WordPress tags cloud widget, showing their names as links and the number of posts they’ve contributed. There is also an option to list them as a drop down menu, saving you precious space on your sidebar.
Display Authors Widget
This free plugin fulfils a similar role to the above Authors Widget but with a few less display options. However the output is a lot more attractive. For those that don’t need a author cloud or dropdown menu, this is a great choice for displaying authors in the sidebar of your WordPress blog.
WP User Avatar
If your users don’t have a Gravatar account, this free plugin makes it very easy to upload an image for a user. Photos can be uploaded from the users profile screen. Simply create a new user. Then edit their profile and upload an image using the familiar WordPress media uploader, or select an existing image from the media library. You can also set this plugin to overwrite the uploaded image with a Gravatar image should the user signup with Gravatar at a later date.
There are lots of options where for displaying the contributors to your site in WordPress. Author Avatar List is my pick of the bunch for the ease of use and great set of features. It makes displaying all the contributors to your blog on one page very easy and does so in an attractive way. Being able to group them or only show those with certain roles are great features to have.
The combination of Authors Page & WP Biographia is also worthy or a recommendation simply for the additional features the latter plugin provides. If you want to list more information about your registered users then it’s a good choice.
Overall though, there is now no excuse not to setup an authors page on your blog for showcasing your team and providing another way for your readers to find their way around your site.