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How to Allow Visitors to Subscribe to Authors of Your WordPress Site

updated on Dec 13, 2016
How to Allow Visitors to Subscribe to Authors of Your WordPress Site If you are running a multi-author WordPress blog, it's probable that some of your readers may want to subscribe to their favorite writers to read more posts.

By default, each author on your WordPress site comes with an RSS feed which is generated by WordPress automatically. However, most normal users, especially WordPress beginners, don't know the exact way to access the feeds.

Therefore, in below we will show three simple ways that you can use to allow your visitors to subscribe to individual authors on your site. Just read them and make a choice based on your preference.

Add a Feed URL in the Author's Bio

As an award-winning content management system, WordPress generates different RSS feeds for all the authors, tags, categories, comments and custom post types, and each RSS feed comes with its own URL.

For authors, the feed URL is like this: http://www.yourdomain.com/author/ariel/feed. "ariel" refers to the name of an individual author.

If you are using a theme that allows you to display authors' bio below the post content, you can easily add a subscription link to the bio section, so that your visitors can subscribe to the author by clicking the link.

To do this, you need to go to Users > All Users, find the author that you want your visitors to be able to follow, edit the profile, and then add the RSS feed URL in the bio info. You can customize the anchor text as you like.

Add Feed URL in Bio

After updating the profile, you can read a post written by the author and check the feed URL in the bio section. If there is no problem, repeat the steps to add the feed URL of more authors.

Manually Insert Feed URLs in Posts

The method introduced above is simple. However, what if your theme doesn't display the bio section by default? One effective solution is to enable the feature by using a plugin like Guerrilla's Author Box, of course. But as an alternative, you can manually insert the authors' feed URLs in each single post. This sounds frustrating, but in fact, you can simplify the task a lot by creating a shortcode. Below is the code you need to add to the functions.php file of your active theme.

Create Shortcode

The code above creates a shortcode [authorfeed]. When you use it in any post, it fetches the author's information and displays the feed URL automatically, so you, and your authors, don't have to bother about finding and adding each feed URL.

With such a shortcode, your authors can easily add a simple sentence at the end of their posts to enable readers to subscribe to them. Doing so is quite effective and time-saving.

Subscribe to Author

Display a Subscription Link in the Sidebar

Besides the bio section and the post content, you can also display a feed URL in the sidebar by using the shortcode created before. For this method, you need to create a text widget and enter the shortcode in the content. As WordPress doesn't support shortcode in text widget by default, you must add the support by following this simple tutorial to make sure the feed URLs can show correctly.

Display Feed URL in Sidebar

Now the problem is, the widget will be displayed on every page of your WordPress site, including the homepage. To resolve this issue, you can install the Display Widgets plugin which enables you to control where to display the widget exactly. Simply select to show the text widget in single posts.

Display Widget in Single Post