If you're managing a blog with multiple authors, you're probably looking to attribute authors properly.…
No matter what type of website you have currently running, you will most likely have an author box; that is just how it is. All sites, ranging from sports magazines all the way to food and fashion review sites, have an author box.
The author box is one of the many ways how you can further promote yourself, your authors, and your site. The reason being is that people will go and visit the author’s social media accounts and perhaps get subscribed to them on said sites.
This will, in turn, generate more visitors to your site because the author can then post and share all of his or her new blog posts on social media. People then click on those posts and get redirected to your site, which then generates a higher volume of visitors every day! They can write about anything – from technology to golf news. Now the only question remaining to be answered is which plugin to download and use?
I have been searching for a middle ground plugin – a plugin that has a lot of features in its free state and also overfull worthwhile features in the Pro version without breaking the bank.
I have been using a couple of different author box plugins on various sites (depending on what the client wants), but most of the time, I just simply download and install the “Simple Author Box” plugin. I have had a pleasant experience with this plugin, and all of my questions have been answered by the development team behind the plugin.
So, what is “Simple Author Box” anyway?
Simple Author Box is a plugin that allows you to create a simple author box (thank you, captain obvious). With it, you can create an author box in a couple of minutes with all of the functionalities that you would see being used on other high-end sites.
In its free version, you can add the bio, change the author’s gravatar, add social links, and all of that. Also, you can change up the color scheme and make it so that the author box blends in a way better with your site’s theme.
I also like how, when you create the author box, it retains its size and design in all devices (mobile phones, desktops, and tablets). This is also crucial because there are more people visiting my site via mobile devices than their desktops.
I would also like to add that it does not mess with any other plugins that I have installed so far, and it also does not bug out by changing its place on the screen (yes, I have had this problem with another similar plugin). Once it has been showing two author boxes, but that was my fault because I did not disable my themes author box (oops).
What makes it stand out from the rest of them is the number of features that you get in the free version. So, without paying, you get the best thing out there, and the best part is that it is very compatible with all WordPress versions, and it is very responsive and polished out.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I like it so much and have it installed on most of the sites that I am working on! I’m impressed by this whole responsiveness, lack of bugs, and whatnot. The best plugins for me are the ones that are polished out and have little to no issues (like conflicts with other plugins) and are compatible with all aspects of WordPress. There is nothing worse than trying to figure out what the problem is with some plugin and why it is not working. It is just a waste of time.
That is why I like it so much.
It is perfect for someone who is just starting out on WordPress and wants to create an author box in record time without any fuss.
Then again, if you are an established site that has a lot of visitors on a daily basis, I would recommend that you check out the Pro features of this plugin. I’m not promoting it or anything; it is just that it has more features that will benefit you in the long run if article and blog writing is the main focus on your site.
It is also updated on a regular basis, and the support team is out there trying to help people out with all of their issues that they might be having with the plugin (these are mostly minor things that can be fixed up in a jiffy).
Simple Author Box Pro
Yes, this plugin has a Pro version. I will be discussing later on the pricing and so on (it is dirt cheap all things considered), but for now, I would like to just quickly discuss some of its features.
You, of course, get a whole slew of new features in the Pro version for you to play with. You get the ability to add different effects to the author’s gravatar (rotate effect) and also new effects for social media icons. These effects are important because they make the icons more highlighted and increase the chances of people clicking on them. The effects of social media icons range from shadow effects, different styles, colors, and a thin border around the social media icon itself.
Not only do you get additional gadgets to make the author box look even cooler, but you want it for the ability to add guest posts. Guest posts are really helpful. They will be playing an important part in the future of your site because guest posts will attract more writers from outside your company to write for you. They get a free promotion (shutout), and you add a couple of links that lead to their site while you get a free post (it is a win-win situation).
And, of course, you can also add multiple authors to a single post so that everybody who has contributed to the writing of a single post gets the necessary recognition and credit.
I also like how you can pick and choose which post types the author box will appear. If it were a review post, then the readers would like to have a look-see who is doing the review. However, on some other post types, you would not want the author box to even appear.
In the Pro version, you can also add a “top authors” widget, which allows you to add a widget to any page that shows the top authors based on comments. It is kind of handy because it will catch people’s eyes, and in turn, they might go ahead and check out some of these authors and, in the process, read some additional blog posts or articles. It will increase your authors’ popularity, and it also might get more people to follow the authors on social media.
Main features of the free version
I shall be compiling a mini list of features that you get with the free version of this plugin. I will once again point out that you could say that other plugins have more features in their free versions, but the ones that this plugin has are refined and work perfectly:
- Show the author’s gravatar, the author’s name, website, decryption and social media icons
- Good looking and compatible on all devices like desktop, tablet, laptop and mobile phones (hell, I think it would look nice even if you load it up with a toaster)
- Customizability that gives you the opportunity to match up your theme design (things like the color, style, and general text options)
- You can set it so that it automatically inserts the author box at the end of each of your posts
- You can also manually insert the author box into your template file (author.php or single.php)
- It also comes with RTL and AMP support.
Main features of the pro version
Now, let us discuss some of the pro features that I have been talking about. As I have already stated, if you have a site that revolves around article and blog writing, then the pro version of this plugin is a must! Here is the list of main features of the pro version:
- The ability to add co-authors to any of your posts
- Enable guest authors
- You can choose where you want the author box to appear (if you want it to be before or after the content of the post)
- You can change up the color palette
- Adding rotation effects to your author’s gravatar when someone hovers over it
- Choose whether the author’s name should link to its website/page/none
- The option to open the author’s website link in a new tab
- All kinds of additional effects for social icons. Things like the type of icon, the style, rotate effect, shadow effects and a thin border around the social icons
- Choose the font and font sizes for the author’s job title, name, website, and description
- Top author’s widget (it will display the most popular authors on the site based on comments)
- Simple author box widget (it will display the users that are selected).
How to install and use “Simple Author Box”
Well, this should be easy enough. Just download the zip file, and then proceed to install it and finally go under your “Plugins” menu and enable “Simple Author Box”. That’s it; now you should be able to add an author box to the end of each of your posts.
Now it all comes to taste and how you want it to look and feel like. You can change the placement of the author’s gravatar, the color scheme, or which social media icons you want to be using.
The last thing to do is actually writing the bio. In this regard, I cannot help you, but I can only tell you to watch out that the information that you are writing there is not irrelevant.
Costs, caveats, etc.
All in all, it is a great plugin to have and play around with. You just simply need that additional customizability that this amazing plugin can provide. I am quite pleased with “Simple Author Box” and I have seen it on other sites as well.
Some people are annoyed that some features are locked behind the Pro version of this plugin. That’s kind of understandable but, this is a very clean, compatible, and polished out plugin. It is the best choice if your site depends and revolves around writing posts (articles and blogs).
As for the pricing, it costs $29 a year, which comes down to $2.4 per month, which is pocket change if you are an already established site with annual visitors.