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Multiple bylines and Guest Authors for WordPress

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Statistics on Co-Authors-Plus

Number of watchers on Github 167
Number of open issues 103
Average time to close an issue 2 months
Main language PHP
Average time to merge a PR about 1 month
Open pull requests 58+
Closed pull requests 13+
Last commit over 1 year ago
Repo Created over 7 years ago
Repo Last Updated over 1 year ago
Size 1.66 MB
Homepage http://vip.wordpr...
Organization / Authorautomattic
Latest Release3.2.2
Page Updated
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Co-Authors Plus

  • Contributors: batmoo, danielbachhuber, automattic
  • Tags: authors, users, multiple authors, coauthors, multi-author, publishing
  • Tested up to: 4.8
  • Requires at least: 4.1
  • Stable tag: 3.2.2

Assign multiple bylines to posts, pages, and custom post types via a search-as-you-type input box


Assign multiple bylines to posts, pages, and custom post types via a search-as-you-type input box. Co-authored posts appear on a co-author's archive page and in their feed. Co-authors may edit the posts they are associated with, and co-authors who are contributors may only edit posts if they have not been published (as is core behavior).

Add writers as bylines without creating WordPress user accounts. Simply create a guest author profile for the writer and assign the byline as you normally would.

On the frontend, use the Co-Authors Plus template tags to list co-authors anywhere you'd normally list the author.

This plugin is an almost complete rewrite of the Co-Authors plugin originally developed at Shepherd Interactive (2007). The original plugin was inspired by the 'Multiple Authors' plugin by Mark Jaquith (2005).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I add Co-Authors Plus support to my theme?

If you've just installed Co-Authors Plus, you might notice that the bylines are being added in the backend but aren't appearing on the frontend. You'll need to add the template tags to your theme before the bylines will appear.

  • What happens to posts and pages when I delete a user assigned to a post or page as a coauthor?

When a user is deleted from WordPress, they will be removed from all posts for which they are co-authors. If you chose to reassign their posts to another user, that user will be set as the coauthor instead.

  • Can I use Co-Authors Plus with WordPress multisite?

Yep! Co-Authors Plus can be activated on a site-by-site basis, or network-activated. If you create guest authors, however, those guest authors will exist on a site-by-site basis.

  • Who needs permission to do what?

To assign co-authors to posts, a WordPress user will need the edit_others_posts capability. This is typically granted to the Editor role, but can be altered with the coauthors_plus_edit_authors filter.

To create new guest author profiles, a WordPress will need the list_users capability. This is typically granted to the Administrator role, but can be altered with the coauthors_guest_author_manage_cap filter.

  • Can I easily create a list of all co-authors?

Yep! There's a template tag called coauthors_wp_list_authors() that accepts many of the same arguments as wp_list_authors(). Look in template-tags.php for more details.

  • I have a large database, will this make it slow?

If the site has a large database, you may run into issues with heavier than usual queries. You can work around this by disabling compat mode and force it to use simpler, tax-only queries by adding the following to your theme:

// Use simple tax queries for CAP to improve performance
add_filter( 'coauthors_plus_should_query_post_author', '__return_false' );

Note that this requires the site(s) to have proper terms set up for all users. You can do this with the following wp-cli command:

# This is pretty long-running and can be expensive; be careful!
$ wp co-authors-plus create-terms-for-posts



  • Fix broken author ordering in 4.7+ (props mslinnea)
  • Fix no moderation e-mail bug (props RobjS)
  • Cached functions in CLI commands (props jasonbahl)
  • Fix missing echos (props trepmal)
  • Add coauthors_guest_author_query_args filter (props trepmal)

3.2.1 (May 16, 2016)

  • Hotfix for broken Guest Author bio metabox (props JS Morisset)

3.2 (May 12, 2016)

  • Various minor bug and security fixes

3.1.2 (Aug. 31, 2015)

  • Minor bug fixes and coding standards changes.
  • The author's display name is now filtered through the_author in coauthors_posts_links_single()
  • New Russian and Ukrainian translations, courtesy of Jurko Chervony.

3.1.1 (Mar. 20, 2014)

  • Bug fix: Co-authors selection UI should appear when creating a new post too.

3.1 (Mar. 17, 2014)

  • Manage co-authors from Quick Edit. Props mpatek.
  • Updated Spanish translation, courtesy of sergiomajluf.
  • Now matches core behavior when displaying author archive on multisite: user of the blog, or previously published author on the blog.
  • Breaking change: Create Profile link is no longer shown by default on the Manage Users screen. Instead, it can be enabled with the coauthors_show_create_profile_user_link filter.
  • Guest authors work properly with Jetpack Open Graph tags. Props hibernation.
  • Guest author profile editor now supports a few different fields. Props alpha1.
  • New coauthors_count_published_post_types filter for specifying the post type(s) used when calculating the user's number of published posts.
  • Bug fix: Ensure post_author is set to one of the co-authors assigned to a post.
  • Bug fix: Filter author feed link for guest authors on the author page. Props hibernation.
  • Packages a composer.json file for those using Composer.
  • Beginnings of unit test coverage for core features. Increased minimum required WordPress version to 3.7 because unit testing framework doesn't work reliabilty below that.

3.0.7 (Jan. 27, 2014)

  • Better support for installing Co-Authors Plus as a symlinked directory. Follow these instructions to filter plugins_url.
  • Links to authors' posts pages to comply to hCard microformat, which Google depends on.
  • New coauthors_emails() template tag to list email addresses of the co-authors. Props benlk.
  • Bug fix: Remove extraneous space between last two co-authors output. Props johnciacia.
  • Updated French translation, courtesy of Jojaba (via email).

3.0.6 (Dec. 9, 2013)

  • New Swedish translation, courtesy of alundstroem
  • Updated German translation, courtesy of krafit.
  • New Dutch translation, courtesy of kardotim
  • New filter for specifying the default author assigned to a post. Props tannerm
  • Bug fix: When filtering a user's published post count, use the value of their guest author profile if one is mapped.
  • Added support for checkboxes in Guest Author profiles
  • Fix Strict warnings from CPT's that don't define all capabilities
  • New swap-coauthors CLI command for replacing one co-author with another

3.0.5 (Feb. 18, 2013)

  • New filter coauthors_search_authors_get_terms_args allows you to increase the number of matches returned with AJAX co-author selection
  • Bug fix: If there isn't an author term yet for a co-author, avoid an erronous join that caused duplicate posts to appear.

3.0.4 (Jan. 6, 2013) =

  • Support for automatically adding co-authors to your feeds. Props cfg.
  • Bug fix: No Co-Authors Plus on attachments. For now.
  • Bug fix: Better support for co-authors with non-standard user_nicenames. Props STRML.

3.0.3 (Dec. 3, 2012)

  • Bug fix: The default order for the 'author' taxonomy should be term_order, in order for the author positions to stick. Props lgedeon

3.0.2 (Nov. 23, 2012)

  • Bug fix: Fall back to non-pretty permalinks when the author permastruct is empty, so that coauthors_posts_links() doesn't link to the homepage

3.0.1 (Nov. 21, 2012)

  • Add your own custom columns to the guest authors table using filters. Props cfg
  • A new wp-cli subcommand for renaming co-authors and another for removing author terms mistakenly assigned to revisions
  • Bug fix: Using a featured image for a guest author avatar didn't work. Now it does.
  • Bug fix: Don't assign author terms to revisions to avoid unnecessary database bloat
  • Bug fix: Make the coauthors_wp_list_authors() template tag work again
  • Bug fix: Improve capability filtering by properly handling super admin access and situations where user_id = 0
  • Minor UI enhancements for guest authors

3.0 (Nov. 12, 2012)

  • Create guest author profiles for bylines you'd like to assign without creating WordPress user accounts. Guest authors can have all of the same fields as normal users including display name, biography, and avatars.
  • Support for non-Latin characters in usernames and guest author names
  • wp-cli subcommands for creating, assigning, and reassigning co-authors
  • For themes using core template tags like the_author() or the_author_posts_link(), you enable Co-Authors Plus support with a simple filter
  • New author terms are now prefixed with cap- to avoid collisions with global scope
  • Bug fix: Apply query filters to only post_types registered with the taxonomy. Props Tom Ransom
  • Filter coauthors_posts_link_single() with coauthors_posts_link. Also adds rel="author". Props Amit Sannad and Gabriel Koen
  • Filter for the context and priorities of the Co-Authors meta boxes. Props Tom Kapler
  • Renamed the post meta box for selecting authors so it applies to many post types. Props John Blackbourn

2.6.4 (May 7, 2012)

  • Bug fix: Properly filter the user query so users can AJAX search against the display name field again
  • If https is used for the admin, also use the secure Gravatar URL. Props rmcfrazier

2.6.3 (Apr. 30, 2012)

  • AJAX user search is back to searching against user login, display name, email address and user ID. The method introduced in v2.6.2 didn't scale well
  • French translation courtesy of Sylvain Brub
  • Spanish translation courtesy of Alejandro Arcos
  • Bug fix: Resolved incorrect caps check against user editing an already published post. See forum thread

2.6.2 (Mar. 6, 2012)

  • AJAX user search matches against first name, last name, and nickname fields too, in addition to display name, user login, and email address
  • Comment moderation and approved notifications are properly sent to all co-authors with the correct caps
  • Filter required capability for user to be returned in an AJAX search with coauthors_edit_author_cap
  • Filter out administrators and other non-authors from AJAX search with coauthors_edit_ignored_authors
  • Automatically adds co-authors to Edit Flow's story budget and calendar views
  • Bug fix: Don't set post_author value to current user when quick editing a post. This doesn't appear in the UI anywhere, but adds the post to the current user's list of posts
  • Bug fix: Properly cc other co-authors on new comment email notifications
  • Bug fix: If a user has already been added as an author to a post, don't show them in the AJAX search again
  • Bug fix: Allow output constants to be defined in a theme's functions.php file and include filters you can use instead

2.6.1 (Dec. 30, 2011)

  • Fix mangled usernames because of sanitize_key

2.6 (Dec. 22, 2011)

  • Sortable authors: Drag and drop the order of the authors as you'd like them to appear (props kingkool68)
  • Search for authors by display name (instead of nicename which was essentially the same as user_login)
  • Option to remove the first author when there are two or more so it's less confusing
  • Bumped requirements to WordPress 3.1
  • Bug fix: Update the published post count for each user more reliably

2.5.3 (Aug. 14, 2011)

  • Bug fix: Removed extra comma when only two authors were listed. If you used the COAUTHORS_DEFAULT_BETWEEN_LAST constant, double-check what you have

2.5.2 (Apr. 23, 2011)

  • Bug: Couldn't query terms and authors at the same time (props nbaxley)
  • Bug: Authors with empty fields (e.g. first name) were displaying blank in some cases
  • Bug: authors with spaces in usernames not getting saved (props MLmsw, Ruben S. and others!)
  • Bug: revisions getting wrong user attached (props cliquenoir!)

2.5.1 (Mar. 26, 2011)

  • Fix with author post count (throwing errors)

2.5 (Mar. 26, 2011)

  • Custom Post Type Support
  • Compatibility with WP 3.0 and 3.1
  • Gravatars
  • Lots and lots and lots of bug fixes
  • Thanks to everyone who submitted bugs, fixes, and suggestions! And for your patience!

2.1.1 (Oct. 16, 2009)

  • Fix for coauthors not being added if their username is different from display name
  • Fixes to readme.txt (fixes for textual and punctuation errors, language clarification, minor formatting changes) courtesy of Waldo Jaquith

2.1 (Oct. 11, 2009)

  • Fixed issues related to localization. Thanks to Jan Zombik for the fixes.
  • Added set_time_limit to update function to get around timeout issues when upgrading plugin

2.0 (Oct. 11, 2009)

  • Plugin mostly rewritten to make use of taxonomy instead of post_meta
  • Can now see all authors of a post under the author column from Edit Posts page
  • All authors of a post are now notified on a new comment
  • Various javascript enhancements
  • New option to allow subscribers to be added as authors
  • All Authors can edit they posts of which they are coauthors
  • FIX: Issues with wp_coauthors_list function
  • FIX: Issues with coauthored posts not showing up on author archives

1.2.0 (Jun. 16, 2012)

  • FIX: Added compatibility for WordPress 2.8
  • FIX: Added new template tags (get_the_coauthor_meta & the_coauthor_meta) to fix issues related to displaying author info on author archive pages. See Other Notes for details.
  • FIX: Plugin should now work for plugins not using the wp_ DB prefix
  • FIX: Coauthors should no longer be alphabetically reordered when the post is updated
  • FIX: Plugin now used WordPress native AJAX calls to tighten security
  • DOCS: Added details about the new template tags

1.1.5 (Apr. 26, 2009)

  • FIX: Not searching Updated SQL query for autosuggest to search through first name, last name, and nickname
  • FIX: When editing an author, and clicking on a suggested author, the original author was not be removed
  • DOCS: Added code comments to javascript; more still to be added
  • DOCS: Updated readme information

1.1.4 (Apr. 25, 2009)

  • Disabled New Author output in suggest box, for now
  • Hopefully fixed SVN issue (if you're having trouble with the plugin, please delete the plugin and reinstall)

1.1.3 (Apr. 23, 2009)

  • Add blur event to disable input box
  • Limit only one edit at a time.
  • Checked basic cross-browser compatibility (Firefox 3 OS X, Safari 3 OS X, IE7 Vista).
  • Add suggest javascript plugin to Edit Page.

1.1.2 (Apr. 19, 2009)

  • Disabled form submit when enter pressed.

1.1.1 (Apr. 15, 2009)

  • Changed SQL query to return only contributor-level and above users.

1.1.0 (Apr. 14, 2009)

  • Initial beta release.


  1. IMPORTANT: Please disable the original Co-Authors plugin (if you are using it) before installing Co-Authors Plus
  2. Extract the file and upload its contents to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory. Alternately, you can install directly from the Plugin directory within your WordPress Install.
  3. Activate the plugin through the Plugins menu in WordPress.
  4. Place the appropriate co-authors template tags in your template.
  5. Add co-authors to your posts and pages.


  1. Multiple authors can be added to a Post, Page, or Custom Post Type using an auto-complete interface.
  2. The order of your co-authors can be changed by drag and drop.
  3. Guest authors allow you to assign bylines without creating WordPress user accounts. You can also override existing WordPress account meta by mapping a guest author to a WordPress user.
Co-Authors-Plus open issues Ask a question     (View All Issues)
  • almost 3 years Author search for new posts not active
  • almost 3 years Problem with query on wordpress 4.6.1
  • about 3 years preg_replace all in posts_where_filter
  • about 3 years CoAuthors Plus potential incompatibility with WordPress 4.6
  • about 3 years 'Click on an author to change them...' text in authors box disappeared after last update
  • about 3 years Changes to guest author meta not immediately reflected in autocomplete dropdown
  • about 3 years Change sort order of view-guest-authors page
  • about 3 years Pipe character in user meta prevents adding as coauthor
  • over 3 years Co-Authors-Plus Plugin Frontend/Theme Integration to twentysixteen
  • over 3 years AMP author template overriding the theme
  • over 3 years Pending: Flag reassignment on delete for non-primary coauthors (not the post_authors)
  • over 3 years Patch for coauthors_plus->fix_author_page() _doing_it_wrong() error
  • over 3 years Biographical Info field on contributors profile is double-encoded
  • over 3 years "Author Archives" Name Incorrect
  • over 3 years trying to get property on non-bject
  • over 3 years Adding coauthors via database entry
  • over 3 years Appending ACF to an author's name in the byline
  • over 3 years get_the_coauthor_meta does not always return successfully
  • over 3 years function 'the_coauthor_meta' parameter issue
  • over 3 years Assigning authors to a post using the CLI
  • almost 4 years Imported guest-author posts differing only in post_date should not be duplicated
  • almost 4 years Performance
  • almost 4 years WP-API Endpoints
  • almost 4 years show multiple author by role and with avatars
  • almost 4 years Document coauthors_plus_should_query_post_author filter
  • almost 4 years Add twitter field to be compatible with Yoast seo fields added to User admin pages
  • about 4 years Replace abbreviated block style PHP
  • about 4 years Hardcoded 'author' taxonomy in filter_wp_get_object_terms method
  • about 4 years coauthors_ajax_suggest runs out of memory
  • about 4 years Incompatibility when `coauthors_auto_apply_template_tags` set to true
Co-Authors-Plus open pull requests (View All Pulls)
  • [issue-186] adding unit tests for template-tags
  • fix autocomplete for multibyte characters
  • improved search results for backend suggestion
  • Updated delete_user_action function to fix issues #268 and #312
  • add wp_unslash() and sanitize_text_field() calls to inputs
  • Revert "Revert "Introduce template tag tests""
  • 296
  • Better Readme for Github
  • MP6ify
  • Guest author links should be filterable
  • Fix #215 "Cannot remove the last author once post is saved"
  • fixed broken author+term query
  • Guest authors with special characters
  • Add basic support for the AMP plugin
  • Add filter for meta box title
  • REST API Support
  • Fix for get_coauthor_meta function
  • Added Brazilian Portuguese Translation
  • don't silence errors
  • use underscores in class names for consistency
  • Better formatting for metabox_manage_guest_author_bio()
  • prevent | in author display name from breaking author assigning
  • Mark methods as static
  • Add offset and number to create-guest-authors
  • Improve DUX for `create-guest-authors` command
  • User nicename and user login can be different
  • Update to use cached functions
  • Add filter to get_coauthors
  • Join term_relationships with alias
  • Fix private post viewing on front-end
  • Ensure $wp_query is as expected
  • Bug Fix: Co-Author Order Not Retained in WordPress 4.7
  • Bug Fix: Co-Author Order Not Retained in WordPress 4.7
  • Author search UX issues
  • Reduce amount of sleep
  • Removed duplicate left join and kept alias
  • fixed hardcoded taxonomy name issue
  • Fixed double-encoded HTML.
  • Remove associated guest user when mapped user id deleted.
  • Added enhancement to create user instantly if not exists.
  • It should be 'continue' instead of return false at some situation.
  • Update .travis.yml file for PHPUnit tests
  • Review and improve test coverage
  • Unit tests/Fix warnings for template tags
  • Fix the issue where incompatibility when `coauthors_auto_apply_template_tags` set to true
  • Fix the issue where guest authors with non-ASCII characters can't be used as co-authors
  • Delete is_array() condition
  • Resolving issue related to guest author's avatar
  • Fixed missing guest-author avatar in select co-author widget
  • Remove redundant test for 404 on Author Archive
  • Fix author response in REST API
  • Prevent doubling up on filters which breaks the the_author_posts_link…
  • Use PHPCS 2.9 for compat with WordPress Coding Standards
  • Replaced with cap_notify_coauthors
  • Verify a user is reassigning posts during user delete
  • Changes to resolve issue #332 about missing coauthor meta
  • Update .travis.yml file for PHPUnit tests
  • Skip irrelevant caps in filter_user_has_cap()
Co-Authors-Plus questions on Stackoverflow (View All Questions)
  • Co-Authors Plus Wordpress Plugin - List all the authors for same post
  • Co-Authors Plus - Wordpress Plugin
  • Sorting output of coauthors_wp_list_authors function - Co-Authors Plus plugin Wordpress
  • Displaying Co-authors Plus Wordpress Plugin
  • How to mapping Co-Authors Plus author to post while migrate db
  • Editing Theme to apply Co-Authors Plus
Co-Authors-Plus list of languages used
Co-Authors-Plus latest release notes
3.2.2 3.2.2
  • Fix broken author ordering in 4.7+ (props mslinnea)
  • Fix no moderation e-mail bug (props RobjS)
  • Cached functions in CLI commands (props jasonbahl)
  • Fix missing echos (props trepmal)
  • Add coauthors_guest_author_query_args filter (props trepmal)
3.2 3.2

Maintenance release

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