When everyone asks us to do something a bit different with our blog, we never respond with “I can't do that.”. We do a ton of WordPress development and are consistently impressed with the number of tools available to get the job done. Yesterday, it was a guest post on promoting events with social media… the sticker was that it was a co-authored blog post!
And we were able to do it!
It wasn't that easy, though! We first installed a great plugin called Co-Authors Plus which appears to be a current plugin that has some really nice features and solid integration. You're not up and running as soon as the plugin is active, though. Wherever you want multiple authors to show up in the template, you need to modify your code to handle looping through any additional authors.
For us, that meant updating the functions.php that provided our author information on our excerpts on the home and category pages – as well as the single blog post page which displays a custom author section below the blog post.
When you write your co-authored post, you can begin typing an additional name to add a second author (or more). The autocomplete functionality is quite a lifesaver. We have about 60 registered authors on this blog so it's much better than sorting through a huge list. You can even drag and drop the order of the authors if you'd like.
To our delight, the post also automatically showed up on both author pages… so it appears that the developers are exploiting some good back-end code that may already exist in WordPress. I have seen some core code within WordPress which may allow for this feature to be built in in the future… but for right now the plugin works quite well. In case you're still concerned about it, the authors include folks from Automattic (WordPress' parent company).
We do have a couple of exceptions where it's not displaying – the mobile theme (which we will update later), the RSS feed and the iPhone App. For the time being, though, we've got everything we need!