WordPress is the only CMS to handle numerous authors together. It is the author profile page that WordPress establishes connect between administrators and authors and readers through. Most default WordPress themes do not integrate this feature. However, WordPress has an integrated system of author profile pages. The profile pages can be designed uniquely and uniformly. It helps readers know about the authors who they admire and whose writing style they find appealing. More, an author’s profile lists his articles in an order. The readers who are followers of the author can view his articles together at a place.
There is no alternative to built-in profile pages, if WordPress website owners want to tie their authors, their articles and readers in a string.
Maintaining the author profile hierarchy
Maintaining the hierarchy of articles in an author’s profile page to display specific content is one of the tasks that WordPress performs efficiently. Thus WordPress decides on how to display content – a single post with comments, a single post without comments, an archive page or category etc. The author profile display type and style varies with the themes available in WordPress’s home directory.
In the absence of an author.php file, every author’s post is displayed on an archive.php file. It will appear like regular entry in the archive and can not be differentiated from other pages of the website devolpoment. The base index.php theme can be used to display an author’s profile. This method is not without disadvantages. An author profile page needs to be developed completely, or else it is difficult to know the author whose articles they are going through.
If authors require a profile page with different design just like profile pages of editors and admins, the author profile pages can be set up in two ways. WordPress first looks for an author-name.php template featuring the first name of the author. If such templates are not found, WordPress will look out for an author-ID.php template in which a numerical number is the author ID. Customizing author template for every user is optional. The author.php file is all that is required to create a WordPress profile page for authors.
Displaying content on author.php file is necessary
It is possible to customize the author.php file like other files in the theme directory by applying relevant WordPress variables, among which WordPress loop is the most useful. The Loop is one of the things to add to the profile page in order to display the author’s entries. There is option to customize the display of titles and content in excerpts or titles. Reading content is why readers visit a website. Connecting with the author of an article is their secondary objective. So content is the very first thing that an author profile should display.
Customizing variables like Loops to show author info
Besides WordPress variables like Loop, other ways are there to show author information which helps readers connect with the author. The details of an author in the WordPress database can separately be called from the Loop displaying the entries. A second loop needs to be implemented in the template. In WordPress only one loop is supported per template. Database queries should be used in the other loops to call variables.
Customizing author profile pages
WordPress devolpoment follows a strict hierarchy of users and administrators allowing them to design different templates for specific authors. It is either an author’s username or a numerical number that the templates are based on. These pieces of information for naming PHP template files are available in WordPress Dashboard.
In Dashboard sidebar, there is the ‘Users’ tab, a click on which leads to ‘Al Users’ option. In this section, both user ID numbers and user nicknames are placed. In the same section, users can edit the information in their profile.