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How to Change Post Author in WordPress
You’ve decided to begin a WordPress blog, and have also made the decision that you’re not going to do this alone. It may be too much work for you to achieve independently, so you’ve collaborated with friends or a similarly minded partner.
So, with two or more of you working on this site together, you’ll want your individual names on the separate articles that you publish. This is certainly achievable but you’ll need to set up your website users correctly.
Although easy enough, beginners my find this tutorial helpful with user permissions, and adding outside authors such as a guest blogger. So pay attention and I’ll explain how to change post author in WordPress websites.
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Adding a New User to Your WordPress Website
Adding a new user to WordPress is fairly straightforward but before you do this, know what role this user is going to play. Are they going to be able to modify key settings and have administrator rights, or are they just going to be an author for some written articles.
When you click on ‘Add User’ under the ‘Users’ menu item on the WordPress dashboard, you’ll be presented with a form to fill in with the user details. The form looks like the one below, and offers a user ‘role type‘ at the bottom.
You can see that I’ve highlighted the need for a unique email address. You cannot use the same email for multiple users. The email address will be used to receive notifications and if needed, to reset the login password for that user.
Setup WordPress User Permissions
There’s 5 role options available to allocate to each user. Here’s the choices with a description of each.
By default, the initial user that sets up the website is given administrator access. This will give full rights to the user to modify the website in any way. As the administrator, you can add a new user and give them administrator rights also.
Be aware that if you do this, that person also has full access, including the ability to delete content. As an administrator, rights include modifying files, adding content, changing themes and installing or deleting new plugins.
The next role level down is the Editor which is not too far off being an administrator. The only limitations that an Editor has, is they cannot add or remove plugins, change themes or modify general settings.
Someone assigned Editor rights can modify posts (even other contributor’s posts), delete or publish posts, approve and modify comments and also upload files.
This is a common assignment for someone that consistently writes for the site. Although you may think that an ‘Author’ is more commonly used, it depends on the trust level.
Contributors can modify and delete their own posts. However, once their posts are published, they no longer have the ability to edit or delete the articles. This is why it’s an ideal solution for additional writers on your website.
As explained above, giving a user Author rights, gives the user more control. Not only can an Author edit and delete their own posts, they can also delete their posts should the administrator no longer require their services. Although unlikely, it is possible. Which is why many admins offer Contributor roles before Author roles.
Authors can also modify their profile, change their password and even upload files.
A Subscriber is not really a contributor to the website as far as content goes. Nor can they design or modify the site in any way. In fact they have the least amount of control with very minimal limitations.
Subscribers can only login to make comments, which is only if they are a constant reader of the website. As the Subscriber can login to make comments, they can also edit their own profile.
Once you’ve filled out the information in the new user form, at the base you’ll have an option for which name you’d prefer to display publicly. In my case, I like to use my nickname which is Nudge.
If you’re interested, my real name is Nigel. When I was younger, a chocolate bar came out called a Nudge bar. My Primary school classmates just transferred Nige to Nudge, and that was that! Just like chocolate, nicknames stick.
Switching Between Users
Now, once you’ve set permissions for any new users, most will have the ability to write posts. Anyone with this capability of post writing, will appear on the dropdown list of authors.
So, whoever the author is, just choose their name from the dropdown list.
If you don’t see the option to choose an Author, you may need to select this from the screen options. This can be accessed from the top of any post.
Once this has been ticked, you should see the option to edit the author approximately two-thirds down the page.
What About Guest Bloggers
When you finally start getting a decent amount of website traffic, you may be asked to become a guest blogger. On the other hand, you may receive offers to have others guest blog on your website.
If you do get an email from a fellow blogger, asking if you can post their blog on your website, consider it for sure. Check out their website first, and find out how authoritative it is. See how many posts they’ve published and how many comments they engage in.
If you decide to go ahead with approving a guest blogger, you’ll want to give credit to them as the author. Currently, you’ll only have the list of authors that you’ve added as a user. This new guest blogger won’t be on this list.
You could add this person as a user on your website, using their email address. But, is this really practical if they only ever write one blog for you. Probably not. I wouldn’t want someone else I didn’t really know, having permission to enter my website just for one post.
Luckily, there are alternative options. I’ve found a plugin that I’ve used called ‘(Simply) Guest Author Name’. Once installed, you’ll notice a new section called ‘Guest Author’.
If a name is entered into the field labelled Guest Author Name(s), this name will override the default author name from the author dropdown list. If left empty, the author name from the dropdown list will be used.
First off, before I wrap things up, I’d like to state the obvious. Do not leave your default username as ‘admin’. If you do, this will appear as the author in all your posts. This is very unprofessional and you’ll appear as an amateur.
Displaying authors give credibility and authority to any website. In my opinion, every post should have the author displayed proudly. Many themes will have the option to disable this feature, which you can do if you don’t feel comfortable displaying who you are.
However, I believe Google places more authority on posts that have the author (and date) displayed, and for good reason. If you create content behind a hidden profile, chances are you’re not confident in what you are expressing.
Make sure you understand and set the correct privileges for each user you set up. These 5 user roles, administrator, editor, contributor, author and subscriber all have their place, mostly in more active websites that require many users.
I hope this post has helped out anyone that has multiple authors to set up.
Hi, I'm Nudge
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