There are many circumstances in which you might find yourself needing to change the author of a post in WordPress. However, the platform doesn’t make it immediately clear how to accomplish this task.

Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to change, update, and edit the author of a WordPress post. All you need to know is where to look and which strategy is best suited to your particular situation and needs.

In this post, we’ll discuss some of the circumstances that might lead you to attribute a post to someone other than the original author. Then we’ll walk you through five different ways to do so, and explain when to use each method. Let’s get started!

Why You Might Need to Change a Post’s Author in WordPress

While this may seem like a rarely-needed task, changing a post’s author in WordPress may be necessary in a variety of different situations. This is especially true if you run a large, multi-author content hub.

Many content-heavy sites with more than one author consider posts the property of the publication, rather than individuals. If a writer chooses to leave your site for any reason, you may want to change their posts’ author to the name of a content creator who is still associated with your site.

Similarly, a change in user status may warrant updates to a post’s author. If your screening process involves initially publishing posts under an editor’s name, but you eventually decide to bring the writer on board, you might want to attribute the posts to their creator after the fact.

In other cases, you may want to remove or hide author names altogether. This can give your site a more cohesive identity, as your posts will appear to come from a single source. Plus, single-author sites can benefit from less-cluttered looking posts when the author names are invisible.

Finally, there may be times when you need to change an author’s display name in WordPress. Whether they have undergone a name change, wish to publish their posts under a pen name, or something else entirely, this is a courteous way to respect your authors’ preferences regarding how they’re presented online.

As you can see, the need to change a post’s author in WordPress comes up more frequently than you might expect. Learning how to address all of these situations will help your site run smoothly, and better equip you to maintain its identity and presentation.

How to Change the Author of a Post in WordPress (5 Methods)

Just as there are many reasons you may need to change a post’s author in WordPress, there are also many ways to accomplish the task. Below we’ll cover five methods and discuss the situations they’re each best suited to.

If you like, you can use the following links to jump directly to the section you’re most interested in:

  1. Change a post’s author to another existing user
  2. Add a new author and assign existing posts to them
  3. Remove or hide the author name on your WordPress posts
  4. Update an author’s display name in WordPress
  5. Bulk change post authors on your site

1. Change a Post’s Author to Another Existing User

If you’re using the new WordPress Block Editor, changing a published post’s author couldn’t be easier. First, access the post by navigating to Posts > All Posts and clicking on the relevant title.

In the post editor, select the Document tab in the sidebar. Under the Status & Visibility heading, you should see Author followed by a drop-down menu:

Change author in Blok Editor

Change author in Blok Editor

From here, you can select the name of any author with an existing account on your WordPress site. It’s important to note that you cannot create a new author from this screen – we’ll cover how to do that later in this post.

Once you’ve selected the new author’s name from the drop-down menu, select Update to make the change live:

Update author in Block Editor

Update author in Block Editor

If you’re still using the Classic Editor, the process will look a little different. First, you’ll need to expand the Screen Options menu above the editor:

Screen options in Classic Editor

Screen options in Classic Editor

Under Boxes, select the checkbox next to Author:

Author checkbox

Author checkbox

Then scroll down to the bottom of the editor. Here, you’ll see that there’s now a drop-down menu similar to the one in the Block Editor:

Author dropdown menu

Author drop-down menu

Select the name of the post’s new author, and then click on the Update button to make it official:

Update author in Classic Editor

Update author in Classic Editor

Regardless of which editor you use, you can also change a post’s author using the Quick Edit function in the Posts list. Simply select the Quick Edit option under the post’s title, and then choose the new author from the relevant drop-down menu and click on the Update button:

Change author through quick edit option

Change author through quick edit option

This method works well if you have a single post you need to reattribute because the original author left your site, or you otherwise have reason to credit a different existing user for the post. Changing a post’s author to a new user, on the other hand, will require a few extra steps.

2. Add a New Author and Assign Existing Posts to Them

In WordPress, you can only attribute a post to an existing author. In other words, there’s no way to create a new author for a post from either of the content editors.

So, let’s say you’re bringing in a new Contributor or Author, and you wish to more accurately attribute posts they’ve written that were published under the name of an Editor or Administrator. You’ll first need to create a user account for the new writer.

It’s worth noting that if you allow frontend user account creation, the post’s new author may already have an account. However, you’ll still need to follow these steps to give them the proper permissions, in order to credit them on their posts.

To handle this task, you’ll need Administrator status on your website. If you’re not a site Administrator, you’ll need to contact one to carry out these steps for you.

Then, navigate to the Users area of your WordPress dashboard. If you’re creating a new user, click on the Add New button at the top of the screen. If you’re editing a user’s permissions, you can simply select Edit beneath their username:

Users page

Users page

For new users, fill out the required fields and any others you wish to include. Make sure their role is set to Author or Contributor, depending on which is more appropriate:

Adding a new user

Adding a new user

To edit a user account created on the frontend, you can simply change their role by scrolling down to the relevant drop-down menu on the Edit User screen:

Changing user role

Changing user role

In either case, make sure to save your changes. Once the user has been added and has the proper role, you can attribute posts to them as described in the first method above.

3. Remove or Hide the Author Name on Your WordPress Posts

In some cases, it makes more sense to leave the authors’ names off of your WordPress posts. If you are the only author, removing the name eliminates redundancy and makes your posts less cluttered.

As for multi-author sites, leaving out authors’ names minimizes individuality on your site. You’ll present a more cohesive identity for your site and brand, which could be beneficial in business blogs where you want readers to see your content as originating from the company rather than specific writers.

There are two ways to go about hiding author names. To manually remove author information from your posts, you’ll need to edit your site’s theme. Navigate to Appearance > Customize in your dashboard, and then scroll down to the Additional CSS area of the Customizer:

Hiding an author's name

Hiding an author’s name

In the field provided, you can add the following code:


/* Remove meta data */
.entry-meta .byline, .entry-meta .cat-links { display: none; }
.entry-meta .posted-on { display: none; }

If that doesn’t do the trick, you can also delete your theme’s metadata code. However, the location of this information varies from theme to theme. You may need to contact the theme’s creator in order to find it. Even then, editing theme files directly is always risky.

Instead, you might want to consider using a plugin that can remove metadata such as author names from your blog posts without touching a line of code. WP Meta and Date Remover is a sound option if you choose to take this route:

WP Meta and Date Remove plugin

WP Meta and Date Remover plugin

Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, all you have to do is choose whether to hide meta information from the frontend, the back end, or both. Save the settings, and you’ll have a site that appears to be crafted by a single author, even if it isn’t.

4. Update an Author’s Display Name in WordPress

In some cases, what you really need is not to change a post’s author name. Rather, the user who wrote the post in question may simply wish for the posts attributed to them to display a different name than the one that’s currently listed.

This may occur in a variety of situations, including:

  • If you want to display a full name instead of a username, to make your posts look more professional.
  • When an author has legally changed their name and wants to update their posts to reflect that.
  • Instances where an author has decided to use a new name for their posts on your site, in order to maintain consistency across content platforms or to differentiate between them.
  • Cases in which you or an author wishes to use a pen name for their posts.

These scenarios warrant a change to the user’s account, rather than to the posts themselves. You can provide the instructions below to any user wishing to make a change to their name or follow these steps yourself for any other user’s account if you have Administrator status.

Access the user’s account settings, by navigating to Users in your WordPress dashboard. Under Name, you’ll see the author’s username as well as fields for their first, last, and nickname:

A user’s account settings page

A user’s account settings page

Fill in or change whichever of these fields you like (although you can’t change your username from this page. Here’s how you can change username.). Then, use the drop-down menu beside Display name publicly to select either the username, nickname, first, last, or full name.

Don’t forget to save your changes afterward. This will automatically change the author’s name on all of their posts, using the new display name instead. Often, updating the user’s profile can be the most efficient way to change a post’s author.

5. Bulk Change Post Authors on Your Site

Let’s say you have a situation similar to the one we described in Method #1, i.e. an author has left your site and you wish to reassign their posts to someone who still writes for you. However, instead of a single post, the ex-user has several.

While you could change the author for each individual post your previous contributor left behind, it’s much more efficient to use WordPress’ bulk editing capabilities. This way, you can change the name across all relevant posts with the click of a button.

To do this, navigate to your Posts list in WordPress and select the checkbox next to each of the posts you need to attribute to a new author. Then select Edit from the Bulk Actions drop-down menu:

Bulk editing authors

Bulk editing authors

This will open a window much like the one you see when using the Quick Edit function:

Bulk editing option

Bulk editing option

Select the appropriate name from the Author drop-down menu, and then click on the Update button. This will update the name of the author on all the posts you selected and make the changes live on your site:

How to change author's name in bulk

How to change author’s name in bulk

As with the first method, this will only work if you’re attempting to attribute the posts to an existing author. If you want to add a new user to take over the former user’s posts, you’ll first need to follow the steps in Method #2 to create a new user account with the appropriate role.

Additionally, you can’t select multiple authors for the posts you’re bulk editing. So if you want to divide a former contributor’s posts among more than one user, you’ll need to bulk edit the relevant posts for each new author.

How to Change the Author Archive Slug in WordPress

Before we wrap things up, let’s talk about one more tangential aspect of changing authors in WordPress. Sometimes, instead of switching the actual author name, you might just want to change the author ‘slug’ that shows up in the URL for their archive page:

Archive page

Archive page

To do this, you can use a free plugin called Edit Author Slug. After installing and activating the plugin, head over to Users > All Users and open up the editing interface for the user you want to work with. Then, scroll to the bottom and find the Author Slug options:

Author slug settings page

Author slug settings page

Enter your desired author slug into the Custom box, and then click on Update User. The plugin will automatically update all links pointing to that author’s archive page, using the new slug.

You can also change the default base for your site’s author slug by going to Settings > Edit Author Slug. Enter your desired base into the Author Base box, and select Save Changes at the bottom of the page:

Editing the author slug

Editing the author slug

Just be aware that doing this will change every single author URL on your site. This could affect your Search Engine Optimization. As with any time you change your WordPress site’s URL structure, it’s a good idea to implement redirect rules if you change the default base author slug.

Need to reassign content to new users? Learn how to effectively change the authors of your blog posts, pages, and author slugs! 👨‍🏫🔜👩‍💻 Click to Tweet

Summary

There are a variety of reasons why you may find yourself needing to change the author of a post in WordPress. There are also many ways to do so, which can present its own challenges. You’ll need to determine which method is the best choice for your situation.

To help you decide, we’ve looked at five different routes you can take to update an author’s name for one or more posts in WordPress:

  1. Change a post’s author to another existing user.
  2. Add a new author and assign existing posts to them.
  3. Remove or hide the author name from your WordPress posts.
  4. Update an author’s display name in WordPress.
  5. Bulk change post authors on your site.
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