Bloggers who are using WordPress as platform for their websites often encounter the problem of author page not found (the standard “Page Not Found” 404 error). The theme they are using creates a link on the author’s name associated with every post but when this author link is clicked author page with 404 (Not Found) error code appears. And the bloggers feel totally confused about why this problem is happening and how to solve it. This is exactly what I am going to tell you in this article.
Ideally, author’s page should come up when you use a WordPress URL in the format as given below:
Before I proceed any further, let me tell you that you should not use any of the following methods to solve the problem of 404 (not found) or missing author page, because these are wrong methods:
- Do not create a directory named “author” and then a page inside it with author’s name
- Do not create a page with author’s name in title (the way you create posts)
Now let’s go further to better examine and understand the 404 author page not found problem.
As you might know, author’s page gets automatically created as soon as you add a new user in WordPress (through Dashboard > Users > Add New)
Once the user has been created, you can create a profile for her. The profile data you enter will get displayed on her author’s page.
But WordPress has a little flaw. It allows a space in the Nick Name field of the user profile. And that is the cause of the whole issue. Let’s understand it using an example.
My nick name in WP profile is Lalit Kumar –and that is what is shown as author’s name for the posts written by me. Accordingly, WP creates my author’s page at:
This space between Lalit and Kumar is what makes the page unavailable and throws 404 error. Valid URLs can not contain a space. Although some browsers will try to fill this space with %20 encoded character but still the URL will remain invalid.
You can easily solve this issue of author’s page not found 404 error by carefully editing WP mysql database.
Please remember, you need to be very careful in doing this (if you don’t feel confident in editing the database directly -I would suggest that you don’t do it yourself and find someone who knows the stuff.)
Go to cPanel of your WP website and then go to phpMyAdmin. This is a tool that allows you to interact with the mysql database of WordPress.
Once you’re inside phpMyAdmin, select your WP database from sidebar. Then select the user table.
Browse this table and click on the user for which you’ve the problem of 404 error, missing authors page.
On clicking, selected user’s details will open in edit mode. In the user_nickname field –rewrite the nickname –make sure you’re using no space this time around. For example, I edited this field and wrote lalitkumar instead of Lalit Kumar
Save the changes and that’s it! Now your author’s page will be accessible at:
Once you’ve solved the 404 error –you may notice that when you go to author’s page –all you see is a list of post written by that author. But you were expecting to see your Author Profile details on the page –weren’t you?!
The reason behind this is that your WP theme doesn’t have an Author Template (author.php) –so WordPress does not know what to show on your author page. As a result, it simply shows post written by the author.
You can create a file named author.php and upload it in wp-content/themes/your-theme directory. Content of this file will be used to render the author’s page in future.
I hope this information was useful for you and saved you some time. For keep on receiving great tips on WordPress, Blogging and making money from blogging, do subscribe to my newsletter. Happy blogging!