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How to Run a Multi-Author WordPress Blog

Over the web, it is common for some websites to have a couple of writers working on a single post. If this is exactly your case, then, you will probably distress yourself about how to give credits where credits are due.

As a matter of fact, this task is not difficult to accomplish. In this beginners’ guide, we will take advantage of a lightweight plugin to help you credit multiple authors for WordPress posts. Now, scroll down to get a brief understanding of the plugin and check its usage in a step-by-step manner.

Brief Introduction to the Plugin

As known to all, WordPress comes with a tremendous number of free plugins for users and developers to extend the functionality. Nevertheless, there is indeed few options available for crediting multiple authors on a WordPress post, among which we have finally picked out the one named as Co-Authors Plus.

Despite not being updated for two years, the plugin is still popular, receiving an average of 16 uploads a day and 580 uploads a week according to a rough estimation. By our testing, it is indeed one of the best choices designed for the work we are going to fulfill.

Besides allowing you to assign multiple bylines to posts, pages, and custom post types, the plugin also makes it possible to add guest authors without creating some user accounts for them. Move to the sections below to see how we will use this plugin here.

Initialize the Co-Authors Plus Plugin

Before using the Co-Authors Plus plugin, you need to download, install, and activate it in the same process as adding any other WordPress plugins via your dashboard.

Install the Co-Authors Plus Plugin

Create Guest Author Profiles

Once the plugin is initialized, it will add a “Guest Authors” item to the “Users” menu in your admin area. Click on this item and you will see the following page, where you can create profiles for your guest authors.

Add New Guest Authors

Hit the “Add New” button to continue. As the following screen capture shows, you can selectively provide multiple information about the guest author, such as the name, email, website, and so on. Also, you can choose to add a unique slug or featured image for the guest author according to your needs.

Create Guest Author Profiles

In the last, click on the “Add New Guest Author” button to save changes when you are done with the creation process. And repeat the operations above if you want to create multiple guest author profiles.

Assign Guest Authors to WordPress Posts

After creating profiles for the guest authors, the next thing to do is assigning those guest authors to your WordPress posts. Simply enter the editing page of a post via the “Posts” > “All Posts” item in the sidebar menu of your dashboard.

In the next, you will see a new meta box labeled as “Authors”. Here, you need to select the authors who have contributed to the writing and publication of the post. Additionally, you can search for more authors as well as drag and drop their profiles to change the displaying order.

What also worth mentioning is that the plugin will automatically add your profile to the post credits if you are editing the post as a logged in user. Therefore, you can choose to delete the profile on the basis of your actual situation.

Integrate Co-Author Template Tags Into Your Theme

In WordPress, all themes utilize the_author() template tag to show the byline information about each post by default. In this case, you need to update the template files to use Co-Authors Plus template tags instead.

Before moving to more detailed operations, we suggest you make a full backup of your website in case something goes wrong. If you are not familiar with this process, read our tutorial about how to backup a WordPress website for some in-depth guidance.

Then, you need to open the single.php file in your WordPress theme and locate the_author() tag or any other related author tags that you can check on this page.

After locating those default template tags, you can now replace them with Co-Authors Plus template tags. Check the list below for some commonly-used tags and follow this page for more template tags available with Co-Authors Plus.

  • coauthors()
  • coauthors_posts_links()
  • coauthors_firstnames()
  • coauthors_lastnames()

For example, if you have replaced the_author_posts_link() tag with coauthors_posts_links(), then, you will get a new code as below that can check if the Co-Authors Plus plugin is functioning on your WordPress website.

New Code

Besides, there remain some matters that you should pay attention to. Firstly, if you are using a separate framework or a child theme, you need to add the code above using appropriate WordPress hooks. Secondly, you may need to make changes to the index.php, categories.php, archive.php, and pages.php files depending on the structure of your WordPress theme and the location that you want to display bylines.


From the analysis above, the Co-Authors Plus plugin indeed performs well in crediting multiple authors on a WordPress post. With the help of it, you do not need to create actual accounts for these authors yet can recognize their collaboration efforts in a fast and convenient manner.

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