How To Change Post Authors In WordPress
In this tutorial, you will learn how posts are assigned to users in WordPress, how to change post authorship, the reasons why you may need to do this, and various methods for reassigning posts to other authors on your site.
Why Change Post Authors?
In the course of managing your website or blog, there may be instances where you may need to reassign one or more posts to different authors.
- The name associated with published posts changes. This commonly happens where the assigned author’s name is something like admin, guest author, editor, etc.
- Your business employs content writers to publish posts and reply to users’ comments on behalf of your company or department. A staff writer leaves and is no longer available to reply to comments, etc. so you decide to reassign their posts to another team member or staff writer.
- You import posts written by ghostwriters, freelancers, or outsourced article writers into your site to be published under your name or another user’s name.
- You remove or delete an author from your site and need to transfer their content and its authorship to another user.
Whatever your reasons are for reassigning posts on your site from one author to another, the tutorial below will show you how to easily do this.
How Posts Are Assigned To Users
WordPress comes with a number of default user roles. Some user roles do not have the capabilities of authoring posts on your site.
For a user to be able to create and publish their own posts, the minimum user level they should be given is the role of Author.
You can add new authors to WordPress in the Users screen (Users > Add New).
To learn more about user roles and capabilities, see this tutorial: How To Manage WordPress Users
When a user with post creating and publishing capabilities logs into your WordPress site and creates a new post, they are automatically assigned the authorship of that post.
If you need help creating posts in WordPress, see this tutorial: How To Create A Post In WordPress
Changing Post Authors In WordPress – Different Methods
As explained earlier, there may be reasons for reassigning a post created by one user to another author.
In this section, you will learn how to change post authors in WordPress using the following methods:
- Keep the same post author but change the ‘published by’ display name.
- Change authorship of single posts using the Post Editor screen.
- Change authorship of single posts using the Quick Edit feature.
- Change authorship of multiple posts using the Bulk Editor feature.
- Assign posts to authors when importing content.
- Transfer posts from deleted users to another author.
Let’s go through each of these methods.
How To Keep The Same Post Author But Change The ‘Published By’ Display Name
Note: this method will change the author name displayed on all of your posts.
Let’s say that you’ve authored a number of posts on your site and decide to change the name displayed on your site for your user account. You may want to do this because:
- You were initially set up with a display name like admin or editor, and you want your published posts to display your real name.
- You want to publish posts under an alias (i.e. a pen name).
- You decide to change your display name.
So, for example, let’s say that all of your published posts look like the screenshot below, where the author is assigned as admin…
Now, let’s say that you would like to change your post author name to reflect your position or job title, e.g. Business Editor…
Or maybe you just want all of your published posts to display under your real name or an alias, like this…
To change how the author name displays on all the posts you have authored, all you have to do is change your nickname (your public display name) in your User Profile.
You can access your Profile screen in a number of ways:
#1 – You can log into your WordPress Admin section and click on Users > All Users.
Next, hover over your username and click Edit.
#2 – You can also click on Users > Profile in your WordPress Admin area.
#3 – You can also click on the ‘Howdy, Your Site Name’ tab on the top right-hand corner of your administration screen and select Edit Profile from the dropdown menu
All of the above methods will bring you to the Profile screen.
In the Profile screen,change the name in the Nickname field to whatever name you would like to display as your new post author name (1) and select the new nickname you’ve just created from the drop-down menu in the Display name publicly as field (2).
Remember to click the ‘Update Profile’ button to save your new settings.
Your profile will update with your new nickname.
To learn more about editing your user profile, see this tutorial: How To Edit Your WordPress User Profile
Once you have updated the nickname in your profile, go back to the Table of Posts and you should see that all of the posts you have authored are now listed under your new nickname.
Tip: Usernames cannot be easily changed in WordPress, so we recommend using this method to change the name associated with your posts if you were originally assigned a username like admin.
To learn how to change your username in WordPress, go here: How To Change The Admin Username In WordPress
How To Change Authorship Of Single Posts Using The Post Editor Screen
If you plan to allow multiple users to publish content on your WordPress site, then you can assign post authorship to other users as follows:
First, make sure that whoever you intend to assign posts to as the new author:
- Is a registered site user,
- Has a User Profile already set up, and
- Has been assigned a role higher than Subscriber (e.g. Contributor, Author, Editor, Administrator, etc).
How To Make Bulk Changes To Post Authors
In your Posts screen, locate the author name of the posts you plan to make changes to and click on it.
This will bring up a filtered list of all the posts assigned to that author.
Select all the posts you would like to assign to a different author from the Table of Posts, either by ticking the checkbox next to individual post entries or by clicking the main checkbox on the column header to select all items at once.
Select ‘Edit’ from the Bulk Actions dropdown menu (1) and click the ‘Apply’ button (2).
The Bulk Edit feature will expand and display various inline post editing options.
Locate the Author section.
Next, select the author you would like to assign the selected posts to (1), then click the ‘Update’ button to save your new settings (2).
If you cannot find the user that you want to assign as the new post author in the dropdown menu, then make sure that you have assigned a user role for that person higher than Subscriber.
The new post author’s name should now display for all the posts you have selected and edited.
How To Change Authors On Single Posts In WordPress
To change post authorship for a single post, select the entry from your Table of Posts and click on Quick Edit.
The inline editor expands to display all of the options for editing your post. Select a new post author from the Author dropdown menu and click the ‘Update’ button to save your new settings.
The new post author’s name should display for the post you have selected and edited.
You can also change post authors in WordPress while creating or editing posts by scrolling down to the bottom of your Post editor screen and selecting a different author from the users listed in the Author dropdown menu.
Your selected user will be assigned authorship of this post. Remember to save or publish to update your settings.
Tip: If you cannot see the Author box below your post editor area, click on the Screen Options tab in the top right-hand corner of the “Edit Post” screen.
Check the Boxes > Author checkbox to enable the Author Box.
The Author box should now display below the content area.
If you need help with this section, see the following tutorials:
- How To Use The WordPress Quick Edit Feature
- How To Create A Post In WordPress
- How To Edit and Delete Posts In WordPress
- How To Use The WordPress Screen Options Tab
How To Assign Posts To Another User When Importing Content From An XML File
WordPress has a built-in import/export feature in the Tools menu section that lets you import posts exported from another WordPress site, or from a special content file (called a WordPress XML file).
This is useful if you plan to employ content writers (e.g. freelance article writers) but don’t want to give them access to your site.
Writers can create content on a WordPress site of their own, then export an XML file with the content already formatted for WordPress.
You then simply import this file into your own WordPress site, assign it to one of your users, and publish the post as your own.
WordPress gives you a couple of options when importing a WordPress XML file:
- Import the content and assign it to a new user (you will create the new users on the spot)
- Import the content and assign it to an existing user.
For more details on how to import and export content from WordPress, see this tutorial: How To Use The WordPress Tools Menu
How To Assign Posts From A Deleted User To Another User
If you delete users from your site (e.g. ex-staff members who no longer work in your business), what happens to their posts?
WordPress asks you what to do with the content owned by the user. You can delete the content or attribute (assign) it to another user.
To assign all content from the user you are about to delete from your site to another user, select the Attribute all content to: radio button and choose a new author from the dropdown menu.
Click the Confirm Deletion button.
All post content from the deleted user will be transferred to the selected user. They will now be assigned as that content’s author.
Congratulations! Now you know how to change post authors in WordPress.
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)
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