Get Your WordPress
Author Box Stylin’!
An “Author Box” is a small information box, at the header or footer of a blog post, that tells you about the author.
Many print newspapers use a version of an author box to showcase their featured writers’ columns.
Who needs an author box?
While essential for multi-author blogs (and blogs accepting guest authors), author boxes can also be powerful for building face-recognition on a single author blog when used at the end of the post (away from the header which may contain a similar image).
Who should not use an author box on their blog?
Any author that has their face-image in either the header or sidebar and creates short content that may not push that image off screen before displaying the author box.
(Seeing someone’s image twice is a very jarring experience.)
What Do I Use?
While here on Just-Ask-Kim.com I use a custom coded author box that is courtesy of a fourbloggers.com thesis tutorial… it is limited in functionality and not compatible with multi-author blogging.
So that left me on the hunt for a useful author box for our community blog at TSA (undergoing a community restructure and soon to be known as B3) which has just begun accepting guest blog post from its members.
The B3 blog had a built-in author box, courtesy of the Canvas theme (which I love), but I wanted something with more functionality to give my writers a lot of flexibility. (The integrated author box in Canvas does work well however, I just wanted more!)
What I Found!
The problem was that I’d been through a large number of author boxes about a year and a half back and had been disappointed.
This meant that when Dragan Nikolic from Thematosoup.com suggested I review their new plugins, I didn’t initially get excited.
However, needs to say, this turned out to be my original mistake, and something you gotta have a look at!
Introducing Fancier Author Box & Fanciest Author Box!
Working on the freemium model, the team at Thematosoup has released a fully functional plugin free to the WordPress repository, known as….
Fancier Author Box
And a seriously upgraded version is available very affordably from here.
Fanciest Author Box
If you’ve been looking for the right author box plugin… you’ll kick yourself if you don’t take a look at this!
The Coolest Feature!
Do you see that “gap” at the end of tabs on the Fanciest Author Box?
They have just added the ability for you to not only create a custom tab in that location… but for your guests/authors to be able to customize the contents of that tab.
I haven’t exactly decided what I want to do with it on the B3 site yet, but its way powerful!
In theory you could even put a optin form in there!
How cool is that?
If I could change one thing about the plugin it would be for more granular control of the title vs content of this tab, but heck, that’s splitting hairs on a new feature!
Is it worth it?
I’m sure that was the point of releasing the free one … but this plugin hits the mark!
(As you can see, I didn’t even want to uninstall the premium long enough to reactivate the free for my screenshots… so I had to use a stock image!)
A very cool plugin and you can see by the change log notes in both locations that it’s being actively supported and developed.
Want to win a copy?
Congrats to Jens for winning a copy of Fanciest Author Box!
I feel really good about being able to use this plugin on the B3 blog. It’s saved me a lot of time and hassle. The WPMU.org blog calls it “The Only Author Box Plugin You’ll Ever Need” and for good reason!
Do you use an author box plugin on your blog? Have you ever followed links from an author box to learn more about a writer?
Share your thoughts below (and if you have a WP.org blog you’ll be entered to win a copy!)
~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing
PS: If there is a plugin/theme you would like to see me review, let me know!