Most of us know that WordPress comes with great built-in support for SEO and user-friendly URL structure. These are known as “pretty permalinks” and this feature allows you to change a WordPress URL slug for posts, pages, and categories.
That being said, WordPress does not allow us to choose an author URL slug. In this article, I will show you how you can get around this and change a WordPress author URL slug.
What is a WordPress URL Slug and Base?
Simply put, a slug is a URL friendly title of a publicly viewable page in WordPress. Also known as permalinks (which can be customized), WordPress allows us to change what these URLs look like and make them more appealing to the public eye. Here are a few examples:
https:// greengeeks.com /category/wordpress-hosting
https:// greengeeks.com /tags/wordpress
You can see that in these examples, this-is-a-wordpress-sample, wordpress-hosting, and wordpress are slugs for a post, category, and a tag.
You can change the post slug when you are writing a post. Slugs for categories and tags can be changed by editing an individual category and tag within WordPress.
Finally, if you look at the category URL in the example above, then you will notice that it uses the /category/ prefix for category URLs. This prefix is called a base.
You can change a category base by clicking on Settings > Permalinks and heading over to the permalinks page within your WordPress admin dashboard.
By default, WordPress will use your username as the author URL slug and will use /author/ as the base. For example, if your username is JohnDoe your author URL will look like this:
You can’t change this URL slug and base without the use of a plugin. Let’s take a look at how we can change the WordPress author URL slug.
Change WordPress Author URL Slug
First, you want to install and activate the Edit Author Slug plugin.
This plugin allows full control of your user permalinks, allowing you to change both the author base (the ‘/author/’ portion of the author URLs) and the author slug (defaults to the username of the author).
Once you have installed and activated the plugin click on Users > All Users.
When the username list pops up click on the Edit link below the username you want to edit and that will take you to the Edit User screen. Simply scroll down to Edit Author Slug section that is now there, and you will see a number of choices that you can use as author slug. You can even enter a custom slug.
Once you have made the selection changes you prefer click on the “Update Profile” button and preview your site. You will now see that when you click on the author name in a post to view author archives, it is using the author slug you have chosen.
Changing WordPress Author Base
If you want to change the author base from /author/ to something else, then you can do that as well with this plugin. Click on Settings > Edit Author Slug and you will be taken to a compact and small settings page for the plugin.
Here you can change the WordPress author base if you want to. You will also be able to change the author base and even choose a different author base for users with different user roles.
There are also options for automatic author slug creation and bulk update author slug selections. Be cautious when using these options, as this could have SEO repercussions on your website.
Once you are finished with selecting your settings click on the “Save Changes” button and you will be able to view everything working on the front end of your website. Just click on an author link to see it all in action.
WordPress has a lot of great defaults and a ton of functionality. I hope this article showed you an easy way to change WordPress author URL slugs, as well as the base when needed.
Do you have a preferred method of doing this? Are you content to leave the default author URL structure in place?
Author: Jeremy Holcombe
Growing up in Hawaii, Jeremy started his freelance writing career doing resumes, business plans, article writing, and everything in between. He now specializes in online marketing and content writing and is part of the Content Marketing Team at GreenGeeks.