Multiple Author Blog: How Do You Do It?

from Lynette Chandler 

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of helping several people establish multiple author blogs. One of the more unique ones is the Internet Based Moms Expert Blog. Since helping Mila build the blog I’ve had many people ask me how I did it. Here’s one sent in by Amber Miller.

Q: I am really impressed with your expert blogs. I love technology and wondered if you wouldn’t mind sharing with me how you set up your experts page so that it pulls an excerpt of each experts latest blog posting?  This is great stuff!

A: First things first, apologies to Amber for taking a while to respond. I’ve had a heavy client workload all of November and December. It is such a great question and I so very glad to have yet another ‘geeky’ girlfriend around here.

*Warning: The following explanation can get technical. So proceed if you have the stomach for it. I wouldn’t recommend it if you are new to HTML or PHP. 

This blog uses WordPress as it’s engine. On its own, WordPress cannot do this as you well know. So I had to improvise. The first instinct is to use a plugin but at that time, there is no such plugin (or not that I was aware of). But this is what is so very good about WordPress. If you know how to code in PHP and willing to spend some time searching, delving into the engine, it’s like Putty in your hands.

The first order of business is to make the home page static. But I didn’t want to use the built in static page feature in WordPress because that requires me to use Pages and Pages have lots of limitations. Without yet another plugin, I can’t put PHP code in Pages. So I went the old way which is to create a copy of the theme’s index.php and change it to home.php. This takes advantage of WordPress’s built in feature that automatically makes the home.php it’s homepage.

Then, I made changed in home.php and the style sheet so each Author will have a ‘box’ to contain their pictures and latest post.

From here I had several options. Use the example code as outlined in the Codex to fill each box with the author’s latest post, or use something else. I ran into several problems using the above method and unfortunately, I can’t recall the exact problem.

To work around that, I used CaRP instead. I installed CaRP and use that to pull each author’s latest posts. Voila!

CaRP is an excellent, versatile little script that has helped me out in many, many projects. Highly recommended.

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