Add an Author Box to Your WordPress Site with the Author Box Advanced Plugin
A blogger’s about page is often the most visited page on her site, especially a popular and well trafficked site. Curious readers want to know all about the author; her inspiration for starting the blog, what her background might be, and sometimes just to get a glimpse behind the curtain to see if the blog is run by a real person or a team of incognitos. With the About the Author Advanced Plugin, any blog author can have his or her own author badge and display it in any widgetized area on the site, letting readers know the person behind the content.
The About the Author Advanced Plugin allows you to add an “Author Box” on your website which displays your picture or Gravatar, basic bio information, and customized social media contacts. It’s a lean plugin with some great features and an easy-to-use admin interface.
The Author Box Advanced Plugin is unique because you can select whether you want it to appear just on posts, on pages, or both posts and pages. This is a departure from other Author plugins which stick your face pic up on every page of the site including the home page, where it might not fit with your design, or the overall feel of the site.
How it Works
The plugin adds a few custom fields to the user profile area of the WordPress admin panel, and allows users to add things like twitter and Facebook profiles, and even gchat im screen names. It pulls from your nickname or username and also adds your Gravatar automatically.
You can see in the picture above the additional field options added by the plugin, including the easy links to social media networks.
The backend settings of the plugin are extremely easy to use. It’s basically just a few options with check boxes, and takes less than 30 seconds to configure and have your author box up and running on your site.
Here you choose whether you want the widget to display for the admin and whether or not you want the plugin to load its own CSS. Of course you can toggle both, and choose not to display for users who are admins, and to load your own CSS. The advantage to turning off CSS is that the plugin will just deliver the stock items that you can style with your own custom CSS and make to better fit your own custom site.
Customize User Contact Fields
In this area you can choose which custom fields the plugin will create inside the user profile area of the admin panel. These are additional custom items you can collect and display from site users and authors. You can choose from several popular social media profiles, and additional contact information like email, phone, and extended bio.
The widget options settings allow you to change how the widget looks and what will display inside of it. You can choose whether to show links for social media or actual button icons. This saves a ton of time trying to upload sharing icons and pasting them into text widgets. It also looks cleaner and saves you time with custom programming.
What you end up getting is something that looks like the image to the right.
The Gravatar size is customizable up to 80 px square, and the social icons are customizable up to 64 px square.
I installed the plugin on a clean installation of WordPress and had a custom author box configured and displayed in less than five minutes.
The plugin works with all authors on your site. It taps into the WordPress settings and recognizes the author of each post and page, and displays the correct author box associated with that post and page. This is a particularly handy feature for blogs with multiple authors, and newspaper or magazine style websites with teams of contributors.