You’ve probably seen those neat little author bio boxes that appear at the end of many blog posts, especially on sites with multiple authors. Furthermore, you may have wondered how you get those author boxes in WordPress. Back in the olden days, it was necessary to tamper with the code in your theme to do it. However, WordPress has evolved to make the lives of bloggers and website creators easier, and it is now possible to show a page author’s bio on the page itself using author box plugins.
What Is an Author Box?
An author box is a designated area (usually the end) of a post in WordPress to provide readers with information about the post’s author, i.e., their bio.
The author bio usually contains something about the author’s experience in their field, along with their picture or Gravatar. So, for example, below is my author box that appears at the end of all my posts on WPLift (except the ones I ghostwrote – boo!), including this one:
As well as help add credibility to articles (and site overall) and gain the readers’ trust, author boxes also benefit the writers through links to their websites and social profiles.
What Is the Best Author Box Plugin for WordPress?
Author box plugins make adding your writer’s bio very simple. What’s more, many also allow you to manage several guest authors too.
In order to help you find the right author box plugin for your site, I have done all the donkey work and sifted out eight of the best available right now. Interestingly, the list includes plenty of free options, so you can still add author boxes to your site even if you have no budget to spare.
So, let’s jump straight in.
Given that Elementor Pro is a page builder, you’re probably wondering why the heck I have included it in this list. However, please stay with me, as there is a method in my madness.
As you may know, Elementor Pro contains numerous useful elements and widgets that can be dragged and dropped into posts and pages. However, one of those is the author box widget, which you can place wherever you need it, plus you can customize it to match your site.
Other features of the author box widget included with Elementor Pro are:
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- Current (using user’s dynamic WordPress info) or custom (uses static info) authors
- Add name, HTML tag, link, and bio information
- Optional archive button to display all posts by an author
- Wide range of customization options
- All the other features of Elementor Pro
- Updates and support
Possibly, you are using Elementor Pro already, in which case you have this widget available to you. If not, the prices of this popular page builder plugin start as low as $49 per year. That’s excellent value for all the extra functionality it provides.
Simple Author Box
Simple Author Box is a hugely popular author bio plugin, boasting an impressive 50k+ active downloads from WordPress alone and a 4.4/5.0 user score. The plugin adds an author box containing the writer’s name, Gravatar, bio, and social icons to the end of posts.
In its free guise, this freemium plugin includes features like:
- Style, color, size, and text customization options
- Responsive author box for different device types
- The author box is inserted automatically at the end of posts
- Ability to manually insert the author box into a template file (single.php or author.php)
- AMP (accelerated mobile pages) and RTL (right to left) support
- It is ideal for guest posts and guest authors
While those features alone may be sufficient for many bloggers and site owners, upgrading to a Pro plan does bring quite a lot more functionality, including goodies like:
- Adjust the position of the author box to either before or after the post
- An option to link the author’s name to their website in the existing or a new tab (with an optional ‘nofollow’ attribute)
- Select where the author box is and is not to be displayed
- Avatar rotate effect on hover
- More configuration options, e.g., color palette, fonts, font sizes, etc.
- Social icon customizations
- Enable guest authors and co-authors, including using guest authors as co-authors
- Widget to display most popular authors
- Gutenberg block
- Updates and support
- Seven-day moneyback guarantee
A single-site Pro license costs $39 per year, while a three-site lifetime license is $89.
The free version of Simple Author Box is an excellent option for adding basic author bio information to your site, while the Pro version allows you to jazz it up nicely.
Meks Smart Author Widget
Meks Smart Author Widget is a great free option for adding simple but attractive author bio boxes. As the name implies, the author boxes display in WordPress widget areas (usually the sidebars) instead of at the end of the content. Personally, I prefer that, as the author is visible upfront rather than hidden off-screen right at the bottom.
One handy feature of this plugin is it can automatically identify the correct author for a post and display the corresponding bio. Other features you get with it are:
- Customizable avatar size
- Link avatar image and user display name to author archive
- Option to replace the widget title with a user display name
- Flexible display options
Please note that this plugin uses data from the author’s WordPress profile. As such, it is essential that those profiles and complete and up to date. This can also apply to other plugins that use WordPress profiles to populate author boxes dynamically.
As well as getting my thumbs up for its refreshing simplicity, Meks Smart Author Widget has a 4.4./5.0 rating in the WordPress plugin directory. More than 30k active downloads are in operation.
Starbox offers a simple, easy-to-use way of adding author boxes to your posts. The primary focus of this plugin is giving authors the recognition they deserve – kudos to Starbox, I say! Therefore, plenty of flexibility on box aesthetics and location is available.
Key features you will find with the free version of Starbox include:
- Built-in pre-made themes
- Easy customization for each author, including theme and social media icons
- Authors can be allowed to customize their own author boxes
- Boxes can appear only on blog posts, only on pages, or both
- Bios can include author name, job title, company (with weblink)
- Option not to display the author box for specific authors (e.g., staff or ghostwriters, AI content, etc.)
- Substitute Gravatars with images
- Special author profile pages
- Compatible with eCommerce sites
- Shortcodes to add author boxes to posts or widget areas
- Display latest posts for selected authors
- HTML 5
- Display rich Snippets in Google searches using Google Microformats (vCard)
- Link all articles written by that author from the author box
That is an excellent feature list for a free plugin. A Pro version is available for $35.99, but I struggled to find information about its extra functions. However, after some digging and delving, I did find clarification from the developer in a forum which states:
“The PRO version of Starbox has some extra features:
- The custom user image is showing globally on your website (comments, admin, etc.)
- You can add more social references to an author
- You can select to show/hide author box for some post types
- Email support from our staff.”
In all honesty, that does not seem to be much more than you get with the free version, which is pretty impressive already, but $35.99 isn’t a king’s ransom either.
Starbox is very popular indeed, with over 50k active downloads in operation and an excellent 4.5/5.0 average user score.
WP Post Author
WP Post Author is another free offering that allows you to add relatively simple but nonetheless attractive author boxes to your posts. Compared to Starbox, it is rather basic and thin on features, which may suit people looking for simplicity.
The features of WP Post Author include:
- Box content can be aligned left, right, or centered
- Customizable profile image shapes
- Posts author widget – fetches author data from their WordPress profile
- Widgets for specific post author (i.e., enter a user id to fetch the selected author data from their WordPress profile) and custom post author (i.e., create custom author boxes)
- Shortcodes, e.g., title, align, show role, etc.
- Social icons and links
WP Post Author has been downloaded over 20k times from WordPress, and users have given it a full 5.0/5.0 star rating. Overall, if you want a clean, simple way of adding author info to your site, it’s certainly one to try.
Author Bio Box
Author Bio Box is very similar to WP Post Author in that they are free author box plugins, both have a 5.0/5.0 star user rating, plus each adds basic but usable author bio boxes to your WordPress site. One real advantage of simple plugins like these is they are lightweight on code and won’t significantly impact site performance.
The features you get with Author Bio Box are:
- Right to left (RTL) support
- Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) support
- Compatible with all device types
- Author Gravatars
- Links to author’s website (opens in a new tab)
- Customizable colors, fonts, etc.
Yes, it’s basic, and no, it does not have all the bells and whistles. But Author Bio Box does exactly what it says on the tin – adds neat author bio boxes to posts.
Staying with the super-basic, free theme for the moment, Guest Author is another no-frills plugin that enables you to add a simple guest author bio to any post without registering them as a user.
The features list of Guest Author is spartan:
- Guest authors are treated as if they are regular ones
- Upload an avatar image instead of using Gravatar
- It is possible to link to a custom page for the guest author
However, despite its minimalist features, Guest Post is ideal if you only occasionally have guest authors writing for you.
More than 6k active downloads of Guest Author exist, and users rate it 4.4/5.0 stars.
I’m concluding this list with a freemium plugin that offers great free features that you can enhance with a paid subscription.
As with the other plugins I have listed, PublishPress Authors embeds an author box at the end of your posts. However, you aren’t restricted to just one author (the WordPress default) – you can also include co-authors, multiple, or guest authors.
Other features of the free version of PublishPress Authors include:
- Place boxes in widgets, shortcodes, or Gutenberg blocks
- Add author name, email, bio, and avatar
- Custom post types support
- Guest authors do not need to be registered users
- Multiple layout options, i.e., simple list, boxed, centered, inline, and inline with avatars
If you wish to upgrade to the Pro version of PublishPress Authors, it will cost $69 per year for a single domain, $129 for five, or $199 if you need to cover a large number of sites. Those prices add the following to the free plugin:
- Custom author profile fields and layouts
- Admin area access control
- White label, i.e., no PublishPress ads or branding
- Updates and support
I like the fact that PublishPress Authors allows you to add more than one bio to posts. For example, you may want to attribute the writing in a post to an author and the images to a photographer – this plugin can do that.
PublishPress Authors has a solid 5.0/5.0 star rating with users, and over 4k active downloads of the free version alone are in operation.
What’s your favorite Author Box plugin?
In conclusion, being a content writer myself, I advocate having author attribution against my posts because displaying my bio helps raise my profile and adds credibility to my articles and the sites that publish them.
Are you authoring your own posts, or do you use external writers to do them for you? Do you place author bio boxes anywhere on your site, and if so, are you using one of the plugins in this article? Please do drop a comment below, as I love to hear about what you are doing with your sites.