I have both regular blog posts and a custom post type in a blog. The page template shows the author posts link. If you click on that link for an author that has authored some posts, that page (blog/authors/mr-author) shows the expected bio information and a list of the author's posts.

However, if you create a user that is an author, but who has only authored the custom post type, and no regular posts, the link generated by the_author_posts_link() (which is still the correct link: blog/authors/mr-author) shows an unpopulated page (ie: the fields are all empty, and the posts listing is the full list of all posts for all authors).

Clearly, we're not getting the right data inside the $authordata global. But why? author.php is using standard template tags like get_the_author_meta('display_name') to display author information, but this is all showing blank results for an author that has no posts.

I'm currently digging through core to figure out where and when $authordata gets populated to see if it's linked to a specific post type being present, but so far have yielded nothing useful. Anyone run into this before?


add_action('pre_get_posts', 'hdb_add_custom_type_to_query');

function hdb_add_custom_type_to_query( $notused ){
     if (! is_admin() ){
        global $wp_query;
        if ( is_author() || is_home() ){
            $wp_query->set( 'post_type',  array( 'post', CUSTOM_TYPE ) );

Assumes you've defined CUSTOM_TYPE constant at some point, probably when you declare the custom post type.

5 Answers 5


I believe the issue is that the default query only queries for post post-type. (See related WPSE question here.)

So, you probably need to modify the query in your author.php template file, so that all relevant post-types are included in the query.

  • Right on the money. Adding a pre_get_posts filter and updating $wp_query to include the post type does the trick.
    – Tom Auger
    Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 13:34

This workaround solved the problem for me, but I feel a little dirty. I think Chip's on the money with the fact that when we populate the post globals with the_post(), it's only taking into consideration actual 'posts', hence the $authordata global is not getting populated (heck, NOTHING is getting populated).

Strangely (or not, I suppose if you truly grock the deep internals, which I do not yet) get_queried_object() returns the exact same structure as $authordata. So the following snippet, inserted in authors.php accomplishes what I hoped for. Obviously this only works as expected on an authors archive template page, otherwise get_queried_object() will return some other structure.

  the_post(); // Attempt to populate post globals (works if this author has regular posts)

  global $authordata;
  if ( !is_object( $authordata ) ) $authordata = get_queried_object(); 

As I think about this more, it seems that the default method for populating the author data is actually flawed. It gets a list of the authors' posts and based on the first post in the list, (re)populates the author data. I'm not going to say that my approach is better, or even good, but I like the idea of treating the author object as the primary queried object on this page, rather than just an adjunct to a post that happens to surface on this page because of a circular relationship with the queried term.

  • This solution addresses the author information not being populated, but not the post type listing of author's articles.
    – Tom Auger
    Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 13:33

Easier way to do that is simply adding support of author to your custom post type while registering the new post

'supports' => array(
  • Haha, are you kidding me? Well THAT definitely would be the way to go, but I would definitely need to verify that. If so, then I will humbly thank you for taking me to school.
    – Tom Auger
    Commented Dec 7, 2013 at 3:33
  • Sorry for taking you back to school, but that worked for me and let-me easily call the get_the_author_meta('display_name', the_author_meta('ID')) into the desired template; and without breaking my nerves :)
    – c24b
    Commented Dec 20, 2013 at 13:35

If any user has not any post, it shows 404 by default. You can get the user_id of that user from $author variable. Then you can populate the users post and other type of things as you wanted.


I had to do this recently on a site without "posts", that still needed author pages.

Basically you catch author pages at the template_redirect hook, make sure to unset the 404 flag, and include the author template. You can extend the logic within the template redirect test as necessary. What you then do in the author.php template is up to you.

/* Force author views to use author.php, rather than default to 404 pages 
    if there are no posts to show. */
add_action( 'template_redirect', 'author_page_template' );

function author_page_template() {

    // Note: you probably also want to check if the author exists...
    if ( is_author() ) {
        global $wp_query;
        $wp_query->set( 'is_404', false );
        include( get_stylesheet_directory().'/author.php' );

  • That's an interesting approach. It won't work in my case because a) I'm not getting a 404 error page, just an unpopulated authors.php page and b) that method still won't populate the query with custom post-type listings. But a really cool solution nonetheless!
    – Tom Auger
    Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 12:45

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