Getting Started with Author

Not sure where to start? Follow this guide to discover Author's features and how to use each of them on your site.

If you need help installing Author, please follow this tutorial first: How to Install & Activate Author.

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide will teach you how to customize your site with Author. Starting from the top, you’ll work your way down your site, customizing and tweaking as you go. The tutorials are newbie-friendly, so every step is explained in detail.

It's recommended that you follow along with your site as you read.

By default, the menu will contain all of the published Pages on your site, listed in alphabetical order.

As you publish new Pages, they will simply be added to the menu. You can create a custom menu to change this.

With a custom menu, you get full control over which Pages are included, and in what order. In fact, you can even add links to Categories, Posts, or anything else you'd like.

The tutorial below will show you how to:

  • create a custom menu
  • reorder menu items
  • add submenus
  • and more...

Tutorial: How to Customize Your Menu

Add Your Avatar

Author displays an avatar image at the top of the sidebar:

This is a great place to add a picture of yourself to personalize the site. If you have a logo, there is a separate Logo option that will work better for that.

To learn how to add your own avatar to Author (or remove it completely), follow this tutorial:

Tutorial: How to Add Your Avatar

When you installed WordPress, you were asked to provide a "site title". That same site title is displayed at the top of your site, in the header.

With Author, you can replace the site title with your logo instead. If you don't have a logo, you can skip to the next section. Otherwise, follow this tutorial to learn how to upload, position, and resize your logo:

Tutorial: How to Add Your Logo

Note: You can edit your site title any time from the General Settings menu, or in the "Site Identity" section in the Customizer

Add Your Social Icons

There are two types of social icons:

  1. Icons that link to your profile
  2. Icons/buttons that share your content

Most themes, including Author, have a way to add social icons that link to your social profiles. This provides a stylish way to link to your profiles, so your visitors can find and follow you on your social networks. These icons are usually included in the header or in a widget.

Social sharing icons/buttons are added to make it easier to share your content. They are typically added with plugins, like Simple Share Buttons Adder . These icons are usually included before and/or after Post content.

As mentioned, Author provides a simple way to display icons linking to your social profiles. Follow this tutorial to add yours:

Tutorial: How to Add Your Social Icons

Add Widgets to the Sidebar

Widgets can be used to add any type of content you want to your site. WordPress includes a handful of default widgets, such as categories, most recent posts, and tags. However, there are thousands of other widgets available.

You can add any type of content imaginable with widgets, like Youtube videos, weather forecasts, product reviews, tweets, and more.

Note: widgets are added to your site as "plugins". You can add new widgets through the Plugins menu in your dashboard.

In order to add a widget to your site, it has to be placed into a "widgetized" area. That's exactly what Author's sidebar is - a widgetized area. You can add any widgets you want to the sidebar below the menu and social icons.

Follow this tutorial to learn how to add widgets to the primary sidebar in Author:

Tutorial: How to Customize Your Sidebar

In WordPress, every Post and Page can have a Featured Image. It's simply a way of assigning one image as the primary image for the Post/Page.

Author places Featured Images neatly above the Post titles on the Blog and Post pages.

If you'd like to add Featured Images to your Posts, follow this tutorial:

Tutorial: How to Add Featured Images

Customize Your Post Excerpts

When you first install WordPress, all of your Posts will show on the homepage. The page with your Posts can also be referred to as the Blog or Posts Page.

With Author, each Post on the Blog will include a 25 word excerpt using the first 25 words in the Post.

Author gives you a lot of control over what text you want shown in the excerpts. To learn how to fully customize your Post excerpts, check out this tutorial:

Tutorial: How to Customize Post Excerpts

Change the Comment Display

Comments are shown on Posts, Pages, and Attachments (image pages) after the content.

The trouble is, the comment section is really tough to hide with WordPress' default options. This is why a feature was added to Author to hide comments by page type.

With Author's comment control feature, you can hide comments on all Posts, Pages, and/or Attachments. If you'd like to hide comments on one of those page types, follow this tutorial:

Tutorial: Change the Comment Display

Conclusion

You're finished customizing Author!

If there's anything else you want to change about your site that wasn't covered, check for an article about it in the sidebar to the left. Otherwise, there's probably a free plugin available for it on wordpress.org .

Check out our WordPress Resources page to find awesome plugins and tools we recommend, and if you want to try using CSS to customize Author, we've got some pre-written snippets for you to get started with in the Author CSS Snippets Collection.

Upgrade Today: Want even more features and flexibility for your site? Upgrade instantly with Author Pro.

Additional Resources

  • Author WordPress Theme

    Download a copy of the latest version of Author.

  • Support forum

    Ask questions and find existing solutions in the support forum.

  • Changelog

    Review recent and past updates to Author.

  • Author on Github

    Review Author's commit history and project files on Github.

  • WordPress Resources

    Check our recommended resources to find great plugins and solutions for your site.

  • Codeable.io

    We can help you with minor changes on your site, but if you need a highly customized version of Author, we recommend finding help through Codeable.

  • WordPress Tutorials

    We've published nearly 100 tutorials for using WordPress. Head over to the blog and search for any WP-related topic you need help with.

  • Create Your Site

    If you've never made a WordPress site before, follow along with our step-by-step guide for creating, customizing, and launching your first website.