Have you ever noticed that WordPress allows you to change permalink structure for just about everything? This, in turn, creates SEO friendly URLs that are easier on the eyes and of course, great for search engines. These can be broken down further into shortlinks as well. That being said, for one reason or another, you can’t customize a WordPress author URL within the main admin dashboard.
That is, until now. You can choose URLs by editing the slugs of posts, pages, and categories directly from the dashboard.
However, the author slug, URL, and base, cannot be edited without the use of an additional tool. In this tutorial, I will show you how you can easily customize the WordPress author URL slug and base with the use of a great plugin.
What Are URL Slugs and URL Bases
Simply put, a slug is a title of a publicly viewable page in WordPress formatted to be used in URLs. However, let’s go a little further and show you a visible example.
I will use my own name for this example.
In this example, jeremy-holcombe is the author slug, while the author base is simply, “author.” Together, they all work to create the full author URL.
Now, you might want to change the author slug and/or base for one reason or another. Let’s go over how to do that now.
Customize Author URL Slug and Base
In order to pull this off, we need to find a plugin that gives us this option. For the example below, I have found a great plugin called Edit Author Slug.
Basically, this plugin gives you 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). So with this plugin installed, you will be able to customize your WordPress author URL however you would like.
Install and Activate Edit Author Slug
Once the plugin has been installed and activated, head over to Users > All Users, and then click the “Edit” button below any user name.
Customize Author Slug
Scroll down some and you will see that the activation of the plugin has added an “Edit Author Slug” section to the user setting’s page. You will see a number of choices, including the option to set a custom author slug.
From here, you can select any of the options you want or create your own custom slug. Once you have made your choice, click the “Update User” button at the bottom of the page to apply changes.
Customize Author Base
As stated above, the default author base is “author” in WordPress. However, if you want to change that to something else for one reason or another, then this plugin has you covered.
Click on Settings > Edit Author Slug, to access the correct area of the plugin.
Once on this page, you will see a few different options, including the option to customize the author base to whatever you want. You can also click on the “Set user’s Author Base according to their role” checkbox and choose a different base for each author role available.
Finally, the “Automatic Author Slug Creation” option is available for you if you would like to use it.
Note: Be sure you are aware of the SEO implications this can have if used.
SEO Issues and Redirects
When you customize a WordPress author URL like this, you have to take into consideration the SEO issues that may come along with it. This is the case as well when you do any type of permalink changes.
With that being said, you may want to consider performing some redirects for the WordPress author URLs that have been changed by customizing the slug and base.
To do this, simply use the Redirection plugin and perform the simple steps needed. This will ensure that your SEO stays intact after all the URL changes.
When customizing and WordPress URL, you want to make sure you have all your steps in place. The author slug and base in WordPress can now be easily customized using the steps above.
Simply do that and then redirect properly, and your new WordPress author URLs will be in place for everyone to enjoy.
What are some reasons you wanted to customize the author slug and base on your site? Did you find that using this plugin made the process simple and easy?
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.