plugins WordPress

Cool Author Box: Free WordPress Plugin

After designing and building the Fancy Profile Box for the Pink & Yellow Media site I published an article on how to recreate it as a cool author box in your WordPress blog. This tutorial spurred a lot of interest and I got several emails and tweets asking me to convert it to a plugin. So I did.

As of right now the virst version (0.0.1) of the Cool Author Box plugin is available for download from the WordPress plugin directory. It is pre-beta and comes without any warranty or guarantees, but I’ve tested it on 4 very different blogs and it works fine on all of those.

The Cool Author Box WordPress plugin has been submitted to the WordPress Plugin Directory and I’ll announce it once it is accepted.

Click here to download the Cool Author Box WordPress plugin

Here’s the full rundown

The Cool Author Box plugin adds a stylish author box after the content in posts and/or pages. The box displays author name, author bio, author gravatar and a link to other articles by the author.

The Cool Author Box plugin adds information about the author to the bottom of the content of posts and/or pages. The information is gathered from the profile info set inside WordPress.

Items displayed are:

  • Display name of the author of the post or page
  • Gravatar of the author (set at
  • Link to other posts by the same author
  • Link to author’s website

To make the author box appear you need to activa the plugin and go to the Cool Author Box settings under Settings and select if the box should appear under posts, pages or both.

By Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Morten Rand-Hendriksen is a staff author at LinkedIn Learning and specializing in WordPress and web design and development and an instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He is a popular speaker and educator on all things design, web standards and open source. As the owner and Web Head at Pink & Yellow Media, a boutique style digital media company in Burnaby, BC, Canada, he has created WordPress-based web solutions for multi-national companies, political parties, banks, and small businesses and bloggers alike. He also contributes to the local WordPress community by organizing Meetups and WordCamps.

101 replies on “Cool Author Box: Free WordPress Plugin”

Hi, it looks great and I have put it on my site.

Any way I can make it appear AFTER the Share buttons and BEFORE Related Posts?

Also it would be nice if you cold add an option for the size (length) small and default, as i would have liked it to be smaller in length.

Otherwise almost what I was lloking for ๐Ÿ™‚

@Andy: This is the first version. I have a long list of options and functions I want to add down the road – just wanted to roll this basic one out first.

In the meantime you can set the width of the box manually by changing the width attribute of the .profile style in cool-author-box.php.

Hi Morten,

I’ve tried all of the author plugins and yours is by far the best.

The only problem I have though is that I run a multi author blog site, all of the authors do not have a account and therefore can not have a gravatar linked to their log in on my website.

Is there any chance that in the future you can allow the plug in to display the author bio picture instead of a gravatar?

@Yasin: The Gravatar is linked to whatever email address you use to set it up. As long as the email address in the user profile in your WordPress blog matches the one registered with Gravatar the image will show up.

I’d really like to know why this isn’t working for me! The gravatar email is the same email as the WordPress user email. What am I doing wrong? Or is there a known conflict with another plugin, or…?

This is a great plugin, Morten, just what I’ve been looking for. It really stands out. I have one request, since you said you were still working on future versions: can you make it so that we can manually enter the code where we want the author box to show up in the post? Thanks, man, and it’s a great plugin.

I love the plugin, but can I replace the gravatar image with a custom image?

Thanks again Morten

I’ve got gravatars for authors, same email as the user emails in my WordPress site, but no pics show up โ€” what do I need to do to get this to work?

Thanks Morten, it worked just fine. I could reduce the width by changing it to as follows: “margin: 50px” ๐Ÿ™‚

I look forward to your next release, where you give a few more options!

Thanks so much for developing this plugin! In the php file, the comment says that the box can be added to the top or bottom of a post, but the readme says it can only be added to the bottom. What can i modify to make it appear at the top?

Thanks again!

– Ryan

I have problem to activate this plugin on WordPress 3.0.1:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_CONSTANT_ENCAPSED_STRING, expecting T_STRING in D:\xampplite\htdocs\wp-content\plugins\cool-author-box\cool-author-box.php on line 50

I think this plugin is great, thank you. My only bugbear (I’m a writer) is in the section at the bottom where it gives the website, it doesn’t have an apostrophe, so where it should say Michelle’s website, it says Michelles website. Nails down a chalkboard to a grammar stickler like me :). Is there anyway you could get that apostrophe in there?

One thing I’ve been looking for either a plugin for, or for code to add myself, is to have an author box that includes the line “Copyright (year changes) by (post author).” Any possibility of that?

Thank you so much for this!!! I don’t feel like someone is running their fingernails down a chalkboard every time I look at that misplaced apostrophe anymore. ๐Ÿ™‚

We run a formula one site for Journalists
Great plugin

Just one question
is it possible to have all authors showing on our about page

Eg we have 5 F1planet authors

Can we list each bio down the page with there Gravatar?


@F1planet You can’t make the plugin do that for you, but you can borrow the style code from the plugin and do it manually. It’s just a matter of opening a page that has the author box in it in code view, copy the code for the author box area, change the text and paste it into the HTML view for the post in question. I’ve done something similar on the testimonials page on my company site.

Hi there — I was just going through some of your new tutorial videos (fantastic job BTW!) and when I attempt to install I encounter the following error message, this happens whether I install from a download or directly from WordPress:

Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error.
Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_CONSTANT_ENCAPSED_STRING, expecting T_STRING in /Users/digiboy/Sites/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/cool-author-box/cool-author-box.php on line 50

Could you offer any insight as to what might be happening in this instance. Thanks!

Love your plugin! I have used it on almost all of my sites. However, my new site has multiple authors (using co-author plugin). When I add an author only the first author has their cool author box show up at the bottom. Is there any way to tweak the code to show two boxes? One for each author?

Thanks in advance!

Morten, this is such a great plugin. I just wanted to know something: how do I exclude “admin” posts (or any user’s for that matter) from showing? I suppose it is through the PHP in the plugin editor, but I don’t know exactly where. Could you tell me?

Thanks in advance!

Hello! Thank you for creating this awesome, easy to use plug-in and sharing it with us!

As it seems that not every visitor is keen to the right-click, I was wondering what to change in the code in order to allow the link to the author’s website to open in a new window? I have tried target_blank but it doesn’t seem to work. Maybe I am putting it in the wrong place?

Your help would be greatly appreciated!

PS Where can I find you on twitter? I would love to add you to our Smarty Pants Daily!!!

Thanks so much

Great work Morten!

We are currently using your code for our authors page, it looks very clean and professional.

Thank you!


Hi Morten, I’ve got one small concern, if you check our authors page @
it seems the alignment of that colour bar on the bottom of the author box has somehow shifted as I copy and pasted it from HTML source as you directed above. So instead of aligning to the bottom of the box, it seems to be hovering somewhere near the top of the gravatars and looks considerably less boss.

Any suggestions on how to fix this?

Hi Morten,

can you help? I get an Error:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_CONSTANT_ENCAPSED_STRING, expecting T_STRING in /webspace/12/47029/ on line 50

Nice plugin! I love how it blends in with the native CSS of the site!

But I guess you have to hard code the Twitter link into the box, right? The default user settings for WordPress don’t have a Twitter username field ๐Ÿ™

Hello Morton, I see that you have not been on here in months. I hope that you are still monitoring this site. I reall need your help. I utilized the plugin, however, when it sends out the automatic email regarding the guest posts, it included my guest bloggers email address instead of the one I have for the site.

My guest blogger was pretty upset since it was her personal email address that she does not want everyone to have. I would just try changing the code, but if I am not mistaken once I do that it will change from her gravatar photo, which is needed in the cool author box.

I know you have not been on here in a very long time, but if you would, please assist ASAP. Thanks so much in advance!

I’m not sure I understand what you mean. The plugin shouldn’t send anything to anyone, and even if it does, it should never contain an email address for someone else. That makes no sense. The plugin uses the same gravatar generation code as the comments section in your site.

Can you send me a message through the contact form with a text example of the output so I can see what you’re talking about?

I also receive this error:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_CONSTANT_ENCAPSED_STRING, expecting T_STRING in /wp-content/plugins/cool-author-box/cool-author-box.php on line 50

im inserting the code in the ‘Biographical Info’ section in the wordpress ‘User’ page.

I get the same:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_CONSTANT_ENCAPSED_STRING, expecting T_STRING in C:\Users\Home\Documents\BitNami\apps\wordpress\htdocs\wp-content\plugins\cool-author-box\cool-author-box.php on line 50

Is there going to be any support for this? I dig the widget. I learned about it from you watching your course.

Comments are closed.