I added the possibility to register on my site (with the role of subscriber), however each registration creates an author page for the user, but I do not want these pages to be indexed, only the pages of authors with roles above.

Something like the code below, but theres no get_user_role function, so i do not know how to get to that result. I would be grateful if anyone could help.

<meta name="robots" content="<?php if( is_page('author') ) && get_user_role('subscriber'); {  
    echo "noindex, nofollow";
    echo "index, follow";
  } ?>" />


This is the code of @belinos answer. I put it inside header.php, the problem is that an error appears on the online site, on localhost it does not appear.

<?php $curauth = ( isset( $_GET[ 'author_name' ] ) ) ? get_user_by( 'slug', $author_name ) : get_userdata( intval ($author ) ); 

$auth_data = get_userdata( $curauth->ID ); 

if ( in_array( 'subscriber', $auth_data->roles )) { ?>
    <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow"/> 
<?php } else { ?>
    <meta name="robots" content="index, follow"/>
<?php } ?>

This is the error:

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, null given in /home/u836053643/public_html/wp-content/themes/gamersaction/header.php on line 35

And that is the line 35:

if ( in_array( 'subscriber', $auth_data->roles )) { ?>

The code works perfectly but is showing this error.

2 Answers 2


The function you want is get_userdata(). Since you need to do this outside the loop, the process is a little less straight-forward.

The first thing you need to do is set up a variable called $curauth which is an object that you create by accessing the database by using the $_GET[] superglobal.

$curauth = ( isset( $_GET[ 'author_name' ] ) ) ? get_user_by( 'slug', $author_name ) : get_userdata( intval ($author ) );

This assigning of $curauth must be in your author.php file.

After that, we can then use the get_userdata() function and feed it the ID from $curauth.

$auth_data = get_userdata( $curauth->ID );

And from there your conditional becomes:

if ( in_array( 'subscriber', $auth_data->roles ) ) {
    // No Follow Code
} else {
    // Follow Code

My advice would be to make this all a function in your functions.php file:

function author_nofollow( $author ) {

    $auth_id = $author->ID;
    $auth_data = get_userdata( $auth_id );

    if ( in_array( 'subscriber', $auth_data->roles ) ) {
        echo 'noindex, nofollow';
    } else {
        echo 'index, follow';

Then you would just call it like this:

<meta name="robots" content="<?php author_nofollow( $curauth ); ?>">
  • This is appearing on the online site, in localhost does not appear. Do you know what it can be? Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, null given in /home/u836053643/public_html/wp-content/themes/gamersaction/header.php on line 35. You can see this here gamersaction.pe.hu . Line 35 is this if ( in_array( 'subscriber', $auth_data->roles )) { Mar 27, 2017 at 21:36
  • You're going to have to edit your original post with the code from that page since I cannot see the PHP in context. Or provide a link to pastebin or something. It looks like $auth_data or $curauth is not being defined properly.
    – Cedon
    Mar 27, 2017 at 22:48
  • Edited, please take a look Mar 27, 2017 at 23:16
  • $curauth needs to be defined in author.php.
    – Cedon
    Mar 28, 2017 at 1:30
  • I already had it set there, now I removed it from the header and kept only in the author.php and now the subscriber is indexing. What am I doing wrong? Mar 28, 2017 at 1:42

The easiest way to accomplish this is to conditionally call wp_no_robots() (or echo your custom <meta> element) in a wp_head action hook. This has the added benefit of being modular - you could throw it in a plugin instead of performing theme modifications, if desired.

In the instance of an author archive, get_queried_object() will (usually - setting other query vars can throw this off) return an instance of WP_User - the same type of object that get_userdata() returns.

function wpse261293_noindex_subscriber_profiles() {
  // Ignore non-author-archive content
  if( !is_author() )

  // Get a WP_User object for the author
  $author = get_queried_object();

  // If 'subscriber' is the author's only role, print a nofollow robots meta element
  if( count( $author->roles ) === 1 && in_array( 'subscriber', $author->roles ) )
    wp_no_robots(); // Alternately, replace this with echo( 'your_custom_meta_element' )

add_action( 'wp_head', 'wpse261293_noindex_subscriber_profiles' );

If you or another plugin have custom user roles which could be granted to subscribers, you may need to alter the logic to account for them - potentially by checking if the author simply does not have administrator, editor, contributor, etc. roles.

  • The function is echoing in all author pages, not just in the subscribers Mar 28, 2017 at 15:08
  • Well that's weird - did you remove the meta-element you were working on from header.php before-hand? You could try replacing wp_no_robots() with echo( '<!-- wpse261293 TEST -->' ); to make sure that the robots tag you're seeing is actually coming from the hook in my answer.
    – bosco
    Mar 28, 2017 at 23:13
  • That works for me, nice one Mar 13, 2023 at 13:54

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