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How to Rewrite Guest Author Name with Custom Fields in WordPress

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How to Rewrite Guest Author Name with Custom Fields in WordPress

Have you ever had a guest post on your blog? How do you go about giving the author full credit? We have seen many sites where they add an author profile box either above the post or below the post. But even with the guest author box, the author name field would still show the site author. Some bloggers create entire new author profiles for their guest authors in order to display the right name. We think that it is pointless to create extra user profiles if you know that this guest author will only post once.

The trick we are sharing in this article will allow you to show guest author’s name by simply entering a custom field in your post.

Open your functions.php file and paste the codes below:

    add_filter( 'the_author', 'guest_author_name' );
    add_filter( 'get_the_author_display_name', 'guest_author_name' );

    function guest_author_name( $name ) {
    global $post;

    $author = get_post_meta( $post->ID, 'guest-author', true );

    if ( $author )
    $name = $author;

    return $name;

Now every time that you are posting a guest post, just make sure that you add a custom field called guest-author and it will replace the author’s name with the text that you put in that custom field.


Rewrite Guest Author's Name using Custom Fields in WordPress

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  1. Jiten says:


    Its fulfill my guest author’s needs. Thank You so much :)

    I want to know is it possible to sort guest author’s post on one page. Suppose If I clicked on guest author’s name and than it display all that posts which are published by that guest author?


  2. Victor S. says:

    Wanted to write this piece of code myself. Went to check online first.. Found your simple and clean piece of code. As usual, you guys make it so easy! Thank you!

  3. Scotty says:

    Can you help me link to the posts by the guest author? In other words, I’ve spent hours trying to create a link to a custom field archive page? After successfully implementing the above tutorial, I then added the following to my post. I hoped to link to an archive page of all these author’s guests post. But it defaults to the websites main author page:

    More posts by

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      If you would like Guest author to have an archive page, then instead of using a custom field you can simply create an account for that author.

      • Scotty says:

        Thanks for your reply. That works. But I was trying to avoid creating dozens of author profiles. I could achieve the same thing tagging the guest authors, but again that junks up the tags.

      • The Berry says:

        Thanks for this pointer you guys are the best. In my admin I have added guest authors and in my post-loop code, I have a custom block of code where I show that author and the user can click to see links to all the authors previous posts as such:

        <span class="vw-post-author" >
        <a class="author-name" href="” title=” ” rel=”author” >
        More on the author:

        Without implementing the custom field code in your example, the problem is that when I post the story, it doesn’t show the guest author instead it shows as me (the admin) who posted the story.

        The custom fields code from above works but since I can’t get the guest Author to show, can you tell me how or hint to how I can to link to all the authors previous posts using a similar code from your example?

        • WPBeginner Support says:

          On the post editor screen, click on the Screen Options button at the top right corner of the screen. This will bring down a menu with a bunch of checkboxes. You need to make sure that the box next to Author is checked. Then scroll down and you will see an Author box below the post editor. Using it, you can change the author.

  4. Mike says:

    I saw a lot of commenters ask the same question I have – is there a way to de-link the post author’s name on the front end? In other words, the code works correctly. It shows the name that you write in the custom field, however, I don’t want that name to be clickable, just want it to be plain text. How can we de-link the author’s name?

  5. Matheus Baumgart says:

    To add Guest Description here is my full implementation:

    // Change Guest Author Name, Link and Description
    add_filter( 'get_the_author_user_url', 'guest_author_url' ); 
    add_filter( 'the_author', 'guest_author_name' ); 
    add_filter( 'get_the_author_description', 'guest_author_description' ); 
    function guest_author_url($url) {
      global $post;
      $guest_url = get_post_meta( $post-&gt;ID, 'guest-url', true );
      if ( filter_var($guest_url, FILTER_VALIDATE_URL) ) {
        return $guest_url;
      } elseif ( get_post_meta( $post-&gt;ID, 'guest-author', true ) ) {
        return '';
      return $url;
    function guest_author_name($name) {
      global $post;
      $guest_url = get_post_meta( $post-&gt;ID, 'guest-url', true );
      $guest_name = get_post_meta( $post-&gt;ID, 'guest-author', true );
      if ( $guest_name &amp;&amp; filter_var($guest_url, FILTER_VALIDATE_URL) ) {
        return '<a href="' . esc_url( $guest_url ) . '" rel="nofollow">' . $guest_name . '</a>';
      } elseif( $guest_name ) {
        return '<a href="" rel="nofollow">' . $guest_name . '</a>';
      return $name;
    function guest_author_description($description) {
      global $post;
      $guest_description = get_post_meta( $post-&gt;ID, 'guest-description', true );
      if ( $guest_description ) return $guest_description;
      elseif ( get_post_meta( $post-&gt;ID, 'guest-author', true ) ) {
        return '';
      return $description;
    • Neka says:

      Hi Matheus,
      Thanks for sharing your code with us. I tied to implement the code you have posted on my site and it displays an error that says that there is an unexpected ‘&’ in there and therefore it cause the site to stop working. I am very new to PHP and I haven’t seen the ‘&’ character used in this manner yet. I was wondering if that’s a character change due to the copy and paste process!

      Can you please let me know how were you able to get this to work?

      Thank’s in advance,

    • Neka says:

      Hi Matheus,
      I tied to implement the code you have posted on my site and it displays an error that says that there is an unexpected ‘&’ in there and therefore it cause the site to stop working. I am very new to PHP and I haven’t seen the ‘&’ character used in this manner yet. I was wondering if that’s a character change due to the copy and paste process! Any ideas?

      Thank’s in advance,

      • Ayman says:

        Just replace all instances of > with >
        and all instances of & with &

        • Ayman says:

          whoops, whatever I typed changed. I’ll put spaces in between:

          Replace & g t ; with >
          and & a m p ; with &

    • Omdeep says:

      How to implement this code? It does not work… Original post’s code works though.

  6. Bina says:

    Great solution, thanks! However, when I click on the “new” author link, it shows me a page with all the articles written by the person who’s actually logged in… (which is the admin and not the guest author). Is there a solution for that too?

  7. Roy says:

    Thanks for the snippet. It works like a charm!

  8. Lana says:

    Hey! this is great, thanks for the code here – I think I did something wrong?? or maybe you can help me – I put the code in – added the custom field.. did one entry – … all great..

    but now.. when I go to my author page for admin – it has the guest author name for that one article at the top ??!

    so let’s say my default posting name is “The Administrator”.. but for one of those posts, I used the above magic to change the name to “Some Guest” – .. well.. if I click on another post where it says “by: the administrator” – it takes me to a page . but at the top of that page.. even though I came from another post it says “About Some Guest” ..

    any ideas?

  9. Manuela says:

    I’m doing something wrong here…
    Using WP 4.4.
    If I paste the code in functions.php from the directory wp-includes… and I’ll open All Posts in WP I only see a blanc page, there is nothing there anymore. If I delete the code and upload functions.php in the right directory… it all comes back. So what am I doing wrong?

    Is there a specific place in the functions.php or is it because everything is different now with WP since the last update…


    • Lana says:

      that happened to me first off too – double check your code and make sure there are no rogue curly ‘ s or that you’re not missing a , or a ;

      I’d accidentally added a s when I clicked s to save it

  10. Colin Worf says:

    Hello, unfortunately my wordpress theme uses timber for theming. and they pointed me towards this codex to modify the code . would it be possible for you to help me make sense of this, I am a novice at coding, but I feel all we would need to do is change things around ever so slightly to work with timber, im just not confident enough to do so myself.

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      What are you trying to do, exactly?

      • Colin Worf says:

        sorry I was not super clear haha. I’m just trying to use this on my website ( but it is not working, I found it is because my theme doesnt use the “the_author” and
        “get_the_author_display_name” hooks. I tried to switch things around by looking at the timber documentation (see link above), but still cant get it to work, was hoping you might be able to point me in the right direction on which hooks to use?

  11. Darren says:

    This works great but Im trying now to display a list of posts with the current posts’ author, any ideas?

  12. John says:

    This works great! Question… is there a way to help speed up the guest author post to be posted onto the blog?

    Thanks ~ john

  13. Cory W. says:

    Works beautifully with WP 3.9, thank you!!

  14. says:

    This is simply Brilliant. It works 100% on my client site.

  15. Mayur says:


    How can add custom field for Author Bio [ the_author_meta(‘description’)] …Plz Help me

  16. Aaron Silver says:

    This is exactly what I was looking for: an example of using a filter on the_author. Thanks!

  17. Hardeep Asrani says:

    It’s exactly what I need, but the guest author’s name is linking it to my profile? Any want to disable this?

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Unfortunately there is no way to do that. Posts will be associated with your profile. The best thing to do is create a new profile called Guest Blogger.

    • N Atta Kusi Adusei says:


      if( !is_admin() ) {
      add_filter( ‘author_link’, ‘my_author_url’ );
      function my_author_url( $url ) {

      global $post;

      if( get_post_meta($post->ID, ‘guest-author’, true) ) {
      if( get_post_meta($post->ID, ‘guest_author_url’, true) ) {
      return esc_url( get_post_meta($post->ID, ‘guest_author_url’, true) );
      } else {
      return ‘#’;

      return $url;
      // Just add a custom field with key ‘guest_author_url’ for guest bloggers

  18. Katelyn says:

    @Editorial Staff – Thank you for the tip. Here is the code in pastebin:

    • Editorial Staff says:

      You are trying to use this on BuddyPress, when this code is meant for WordPress. We are not very familiar with the default codes of BP, so would not be able to help with that. But the code in the functions.php file only works for the following hooks:


      From the looks of your code, it seems that you are using: bp_core_get_userlink

      That could be where the problem lies.

  19. Katelyn says:

    I am having trouble getting this to work. I have added the above code in my functions.php file and added the custom field guest-author, but after I publish a post the author does not change. It still displays as me.

    I’m sure I am doing something wrong, but can’t seem to figure out what it is. Does anyone have any ideas?


  20. Mirco says:

    Fantastic idea, works well in WordPress 3.5

  21. Sam says:

    I saw you answer to someone else further up that to solve this issue of having the guest’s archive show the original author’s posts rather than the guests posts (say they have two or three) that we could just not have their byline link to the archive page. But you didn’t explain how to do that. I’m not really well versed in PHP, but I toyed around with this code for a while trying to make it not link to the author’s archive and i couldn’t get it. What do I delete/add to have it just show the author name with no link?

  22. larsbachmann says:

    Great article. I’m using the author fields to show my avatar, name and author description. Is there an easy way to customize this code to also rewrite gravatar and author description? Thx.

  23. AndreaAlden says:

    Would be so nice if I knew WHERE on the functions.php page to paste this code…Do I need to add <?php> tags around it to make it work? Tried <?php> tags and pasting under “/** * Prints HTML with meta information for the current post-date/time and author. * * @since Twenty Ten 1.0 */” in functions.php file. Neither produced results when I refreshed the edit page in wordpress…Where is the guest author supposed to show up on the page?

  24. jeffshinn says:

    I tested this in WordPress 3.2.1 with a custom template built off twentyten and it works flawlessly!

    Thanks for your contribution!

  25. Athif says:

    @wpbeginner :


    Is it compatible with wp Version 3.2.1? I added the code to my thesis 1.8.2 but it does not work. I cannot see the field in new posts draft though custom fields is selected in screen options

  26. Athif says:


    Is it compatible with wp Version 3.2.1? I added the code to my thesis 1.8.2 but it does not work. I cannot see the new field in new posts draft though custom fields is selected in screen options

  27. wpbeginner says:

    @MilindGupta In your post write panel … on the top right panel look at Screens Option … then check custom fields there.

  28. MilindGupta says:

    I tried placing up the ! did it well no errors nothing but where is the custom field menu!??

    where i’ll put the name and stuff?

    please reply its kinda urgent!

  29. Gwynne says:

    How do you get the guest-author Custom Field to appear in RSS? It shows me as the author now since I created and published the post. The website shows the correct author, thanks to guest-author, but RSS still shows me. Is there a way to change that?

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Yes, please look at our post about manipulating RSS. You can use one of the techniques mentioned in that article for this.

  30. Anne says:

    I’m overlooking something very obvious I guess.

    The custom field has to be named guest-author

    How whould the guest-author user be named? is that guest_author_name or something else? (I guess something else because that is not working for me)
    (I’m creating a new website, for the moment you can find it on

    • Editorial Staff says:

      If you look at the image in the article: It shows that the custom-field’s name is guest-author and value: is Syed Balkhi. In the value area, you will add the guest-author’s name.

  31. NicOnlyOne says:

    ouch….i’ve jsut found the solucion
    Note: In WordPress 3.1 – the core team wanted to make the Write Panel cleaner, so they unchecked the view button for Custom Fields. If you don’t see them, then click on the Screen Options Tab (in the top right hand corner), and check Custom Fields.

    thank you

  32. NicOnlyOne says:

    It looks like th 3.1 version does not allow this function anymore!

  33. Christian Sisson says:

    Great function!! Thanks for sharing :)

    Maybe you guys can help me on one thing. I have 2 “official” authors on a blog and now I’m adding a guest author (not a new user, just a name on a custom field). The problem is that the guest author link is returning the official author’s URL and consequently his posts. I need it to return all the guest author posts. How can I accomplish that??? (hope I made myself clear enough!).


    • Editorial Staff says:

      The best way to create author archives when you are in that condition … is create a new account called Guest Authors, and then just post everything under there.

      • SRoberts says:

        Unfortunately, with the filter above applied, the title for that will have the custom guest author’s name appear, but all posts from all guest authors will appear in the archive list. In other words, the title on the archive page will say “displaying all posts by (name of guest author)” rather than “displaying all posts by guest authors”

        • Rob says:

          @SRoberts, that actually doesn’t seem to be the case. I just implemented this fine function as well and I also have a Guest account created. On a post by Guest, I also added the guest-author custom field with a value of Rumplestiltskin.

          The author for this post is now listed as “Rumplestiltskin”, but the author link points (for me) to /author/guest.

          Clicking that takes me to the author archives, which is titled “Guest” at the top of the page, not “Rumplestiltskin”. Seems to work well together.

      • Crpk says:

        Is there a way to just overwrite the link to author’s posts with a link from another custom field and do the same with avatar (email)?

  34. Klaus says:

    Great snippet, but with one fault though (which I hope you have a fix for). The snippet *does* replace my Guest Author user account with whatever name I define as a custom field, but when I click on that author name inside the post, I end up at an URL such as “/author/guestauthor”, but the name displayed at the top of that page is not “Guest Author”, as is the name of that user account, but instead the name I defined as a custom field for one of the posts.

    I thought it would be solved by simple wrapping (is_single) around the snippet, so that it would only execute when viewing a post, but that doesn’t work at all.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks :)

    • Editorial Staff says:

      The whole idea behind this method is that you do not want to create a new profile for the user. Because a lot of guest posters are one-time posters. So you can just credit them with their name, and author signature at the bottom of the post. If they are regular posters, then this method is not for you.

      • Christopher Wulff says:

        I think the concern is that if you’re using get_the_author in your template to link the author names to the author post archive, this links to whatever author is registered as the author of the post.

        This technique, as posted, makes sense when you’re running a single author blog and want to have guest authors, but when it’s a multi-author site to begin with this doesn’t work out quite as well.

        Any thoughts on how that could be corrected so that it doesn’t change the author’s name on the archive page?

        • Editorial Staff says:

          You can simply not link to the author archive page if it is Guest Post….

  35. Riki says:

    Is it possible to include a field for the author’s description as well? I already have a plugin (wp-gravatar) that posts the author’s description at the end of a post. However, I want to be able to post the guest author’s description without having to create new accounts everytime. Is it possible to combine the method you described above to make it do this?

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Yes, it is possible to do the guest author description via custom field. You can set a conditional statement if there is x custom field, then display the custom field text, if not then display wp-gravatar.

      • Nate says:

        i’m going to jump in on this, since the custom field author hack has helped considerably …

        i’d like to populate the ‘about the author’ page as well, using the same method (custom field). i’m also not a coder; would i use a similar code as to the one used above?


        • Editorial Staff says:

          If you mean specific author profile pages, then no this cannot be used for that. If you mean a little box below the guest posts as a custom field, then sure a similar function could be used :)

        • Nate says:

          i remain lost on how to do this (basically, do exactly what riki asked. i’ve fiddled with the code about a dozen or so times with no result. eeeeh.

  36. ChaCha Fance says:

    I was really hoping this would work for me but hmmm didn’t work :(

    • Editorial Staff says:

      What is not working? We have this running on WPBeginner site and it works just fine. We are just calling a simple custom field.

      • rikkit says:

        I tried this too, pasting the code into the top of my includes/functions.php file. I got a php error, saying that something was an invalid filter. Does this work with WordPress 3.0?

        I hope I can get it to work, I’m porting a site to WordPress form Joomla and this is the only thing I’m missing.

  37. Hannelore says:

    Exactly what I needed! Thank you very much :-)

  38. Scott says:

    Thanks so much for this post – this was exactly what I’ve been looking for. Brought up my issue here and used a modified version of your code to fix it. Thanks again!

  39. John Hewitt says:

    Thank you so much for this article; I was going nuts trying to get various writers sorted out for my website and now I can add author names so easily. I use custom fields for all my requirements which affected ‘the_author()’ and stopped author names being shown at all. The above has allowed me to have the authors appear and highlight different authors as they write.

    Sorry for rambling! You have saved me a lot of work…thanks!
    I’ll also tweet it for you!

  40. Carl says:

    I’d like to try this suggestion but it would be helpful for this beginner to know where the “functions.php” file is located and then, exactly where to insert the code. I tried to edit the Theme Functions file (it said “functions.php in parentheses) but got a warning that this file cannot be edited. Is the file I want on the server?


  41. Konstantin says:

    Even though, I’m not a huge fan of custom fields period, I like the idea behind your snippet.
    I was actually thinking about exactly this issue (adding a user for every guest author) just the other day.

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