Struggling with how to change the author of a WordPress post? By default, WordPress assigns authorship to the user who first created the post. But there are plenty of times you might need to go back in and change the author at a later date. Don’t worry – you won’t need to copy the content over and redo the post’s formatting. In fact, you can change the author of a WordPress post (or posts) without even needing to install a plugin. And in this post, we’re going to show you exactly how to do it.
Here’s everything we’ll cover in this entry. You’ll learn how to:
- Change the author of a single WordPress post
- Bulk change authors for multiple WordPress posts at the same time
- Change the URL of an author’s archive page
Let’s start with how to change the author of a single WordPress post. It’s easy to do and you won’t need any plugins. Here’s the only thing you will need:
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A WordPress account with the user role of Editor or above. If you’re the site owner, there’s a 99% chance that you have a suitable account already. The default WordPress user role for the account you created when you launched your site is Admin, which has the required permissions already. This caveat only really applies to someone who is not the site owner.
As long as you have all the required permissions, all you need to do is find and edit the WordPress post for which you need to change the author. In the WordPress Editor, click on Screen Options in the top right:
Then, in the screen that appears, check the box next to Author:
Once you check that box, you should see a new Author box appear below the WordPress Editor box:
The exact location of this Author box might vary depending on the plugins that you have installed – but it will be somewhere below the normal WordPress text editor. To change the author of the post, all you need to do is select a new author from the drop-down:
Make sure to Update your post. And that’s all you need to do! Now, the authorship will be assigned to the account that you selected from the drop-down.
Note – In the drop-down, WordPress will only display user accounts with the role of Author and above. So if the WordPress account you’d like to transfer authorship to isn’t in the list, the most common culprit is insufficient user roles.
To change a user’s role, you can go to Users → All Users to see each user’s current role:
To edit the user’s role, click the Edit button that appears when hovering over the Username. Then, select a new role from the Role drop-down and make sure to click the Update User button at the bottom of the screen:
Once you update the user role to Author, you should see the account in the Author drop-down.
The above method works great for changing the author of a single WordPress post, but what if you need to change the author for multiple posts? Going through each post’s Editor interface over and over would quickly get tedious. Thankfully, there’s a better way!
Like with the single post method outlined above, you’ll need a WordPress account with a user role of Editor or above to bulk change authorship. Once you have that, head to Posts → All Posts. Like before, click the Screen Options in the top right and make sure that the Author box is checked:
Then, check all of the posts for which you’d like to change the author:
Once you’ve checked all the posts you’d like to edit, select Edit from the Bulk Actions drop-down and click Apply:
A new interface will appear where, just like before, you can choose a new author for all of the selected posts. Then hit the Update button to apply the changes:
Again, only accounts with the role of Author or above will appear in the drop-down.
Just be aware – the author that you choose from this drop-down will apply to every single post that you selected, no matter who the original author was.
If you have hundreds or thousands of posts that you need to change the author for, you can make things easier on yourself by displaying more posts per page (that is, eliminating the need to click to a new page to continue editing). To do that, go back to the Screen Options settings and increase the value for Number of items per page:
Before we round things up, let’s dig into one more tangential aspect of changing up authors in WordPress. Sometimes, instead of changing the actual author, you might just want to change the author slug that shows up in the URL of the author archive. To make things more clear, here’s what we’re talking about:
To change the author slug, you can use a free plugin called Edit Author Slug. Get started by installing and activating the plugin. Then, go to Users → All Users and edit the user for which you want to change the author slug. In the Edit User interface, scroll to the bottom and find the Edit Author Slug options. Enter your desired author slug in the Custom box and then click Update User:
The plugin will automatically update all links pointing to that author’s archive page with the new slug:
You can also change the base for the author slug by going to Settings → Author Slug. Enter your desired base in the Author Base box and click Save Changes at the bottom:
Just be aware that doing so will change every single author URL on your site. This could affect your SEO. 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 base author URL slug.
And that wraps up our guide for how to change a variety of author options on your WordPress site. If you just want to change the author account for one or more posts, you can use core WordPress functions as we demonstrated above.
The only time you need a third-party plugin is if you’d like to change the WordPress author URL slug.
Recommended tutorial for further reading: A Deep Dive Into WordPress User Roles and Capabilities