It’s becoming increasingly common to see author bios on blogging sites. It helps introduce the reader to the person creating the content and personalizes the information and opinions presented. It also increases trust and respect in the validity of the knowledge being shared and helps increase the page ranking of the site in the eyes of Google.
Depending on your level of skill and experience, you can either choose to use a plugin where all you need to do is add information and customize the look. Or–if you have the necessary skills–you can add this feature yourself.
Adding Bios with Plugins
While this option often leaves out customization options, it does mean that adding an author bio is a quick and easy task to carry out.
With a plugin, you can usually change just about any aspect of how the bio looks on screen: text, background colours, the design of the border and which pages of the site you would like to see in the author bio box.
With sharing to social media being one of the main thrusts of a blogging strategy, many of the popular plugins include links or icons to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
A few popular examples include:
Creating the Bios Yourself
Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to do:
- Adding authors
- Editing profiles
- Adding social media information to a profile
- Creating author profiles
To create and edit this content, it all comes down to using the WordPress Dashboard and then the User’s menu.
New author bios
For new authors, it’s simply a case of clicking on ‘Add New’ and then completing the ‘New User’ form. Fill in as many of the fields as possible as it always gives a more professional feel to a bio if it is filled out completely. Once the user logs in, they can fill in any blank fields with their personal information to display to visitors.
Editing an author bio
Editing an existing profile is also straightforward. Admins or users only need to click on Users/Your Profile and the data can be edited. Without the use of a plugin however, there is no one single way for users to link to their social media pages or their own sites. It’s an area WordPress doesn’t offer as a default but can be included into the code.
Adding social media information to a profile
This really is a job for someone who is confident enough to be able to add code to a WordPress theme. It requires adding a code snippet to functions.php. You should check out the full tutorial offered up by CodeinWP for the details.
The result is that input boxes can be created and added to a profile. If this isn’t an area you’re happy tackling, perhaps look at a relevant author bio plugin.
Creating an author bio
Once all the data fields on the user profile are complete, the author bio can be created. It will be displayed under each post and so a file known as a single.php will need to be added. Again, it’s a job for those happy to be working with code; the information needed to combine with the code is:
- Author name
- Author image
- Author bio
- Author website (if relevant)
- Author social media pages
Then, add one more bit of code to single.php as per CodeinWP’s instructions and the outcome will be a completed author bio area. Nifty!