First of all, I have a custom function in functions.php that gets some author information. This works on great on single posts with a single author.

<?php function the_author_box() { ?>
<div class="widget about-the-author-widget">        
    <h3 class="widget-title">Over de auteur</h3>
    <div class="author-header clear">
        <div class="author-avatar-wrap"><?php echo get_avatar(get_the_author_meta( 'ID' )); ?></div>
        <h4 class="author-name"><?php the_author_meta('display_name'); ?></h4>
    <div class="author-description"><p><?php the_author_meta('description'); ?></p></div>
    <ul class="author-meta">
        <?php if ( get_the_author_meta( 'url' ) ) { ?>
            <li class="url">
                <a href="<?php the_author_meta( 'url' ); ?>" title="De website van <?php the_author_meta( 'display_name' ); ?>">Website</a>
            <?php // a lot more metas ?>
} ?>

But now I'm designing a custom page template to display the 'the_author_box' for every user who is either a contributor or an administrator. All on the same page.

I figured I could get the users by doing so (borrowed from stackexchange). Build a new function:

function get_clients() { 

    $users = array();
    $roles = array('author', 'contributor', 'administrator');

    foreach ($roles as $role) :
        $users_query = new WP_User_Query( array( 
            'fields' => 'all_with_meta', 
            'role' => $role, 
            'orderby' => 'display_name'
            ) );
        $results = $users_query->get_results();
        if ($results) $users = array_merge($users, $results);

    return $users;

Call the users, and execute the function for every user:

$users_array = get_clients();
foreach ($users_array as $user) {

But that doesn't work. I am guessing because it's still 'the author meta' that's called, and not the user's meta.

How can I call a function for $user->function(). In other words, how can I get meta information from that user?

1 Answer 1


First, always var_dump() something if you aren't sure what exactly you got. If you ain't got XDebug installed and configured, just use

printf( '<pre>%s</pre>', htmlspecialchars( var_export( $dumpMe, true ) ) );

which will bring up an equally informative response.

About the WP_User_Query) IIRC it returns objects which are instances of WP_User. You can test that with

$user instanceof WP_User AND print 'Yes, I am a WP_User object';

If that is the case, simply use

var_dump( get_user_meta( $user->user_id ) );

and you should be fine. Btw, there's no real Author Meta.

  • Could you elaborate a little on what this var_dump does? And how would I implement this? Sep 17, 2013 at 14:11
  • 1
    Search Google for XDebug and var_dump, as well as print_r and var_export.
    – kaiser
    Sep 17, 2013 at 14:11
  • Well that's a disappointing answer. Sep 17, 2013 at 14:44
  • 1
    @BramVanroy How would one comment explain such broad (and basic PHP) topics better than extensive search results from Google? Answers here serve a purpose of helping you further, not answering each and every question you got in mind. Especially if it barely touches the WordPress-topic.
    – kaiser
    Sep 17, 2013 at 14:52
  • True, and I definitely will Google all those terms, but it doesn't answer my original question. "I have tried this, but it doesn't work. Maybe this is the problem. How do I make this work?" So, an answer would also cover how I should implement this. I don't need the explanation of everyting (it's useful though, but I can google one thing and another) but I need to know how to implement it. Sep 17, 2013 at 16:07

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