By Irene Morente in Guides & Tutorials

Hugo tips: How to create author pages

Ever wondered how to create an author page in Hugo that displays the author’s name, their bio, and a list of their articles, like Wordpress does? It can be done 🙌

Create authors taxonomy

Hugo includes support for user-defined groupings of content called taxonomies.

To create our authors taxonomy, add the following block to your Hugo site config.toml:

[taxonomies]
  author = "authors"

If you’re already using tags or categories as taxonomies, make sure to add them to the config as well. Hugo creates tags and categories taxonomies by default, but they’ll stop working once you define any custom taxonomies unless you include them too.

[taxonomies]
  author = "authors"
  tag = "tags"
  category = "categories"

Add author metadata

Now that we have the authors taxonomy, we need a place to store information about each author:

  1. Create an authors directory under content.

  2. Create a subdirectory for each author. The name of the subdirectory should be the slugified version of the author’s name; for example, if the author’s name is Ursula K. Le Guin, the folder will be ursula-k-le-guin.

  3. Add an _index.md (note the underscore is important!) with information about the author in each subdirectory.

└── content/
    └── authors/
        ├── author-1/
        │   └── _index.md
        ├── author-2/
        │   └── _index.md
        └── author-3/
            └── _index.md

_index.md example for an author:

---
name: Ursula K. Le Guin
photo: 'https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6d/Ursula_K_Le_Guin.JPG'
twitter: @ursulaleguin
---
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018) was an American
novelist. The New York Times described her as “America’s greatest  science fiction writer”, although she said that she would prefer to be known as an “American novelist”.

Create author templates

Hugo searches for the layout to use for a given page in a well defined order, starting from the most specific.

To create a specific author template:

  1. Create an authors folder under layouts.
  2. Add a list.html template to display information about the author and list their posts.
└── layouts/
    └── authors/
        └── list.html

layouts/authors/list.html

<h1>{{ .Params.name }}</h1>
<img src="{{ .Params.photo }}" alt=""/>

<h2>Bio</h2>
{{ .Content }}
{{ with .Params.twitter }}
  <p>
    <a href="https://twitter.com/{{ substr . 1 }}">
      Follow {{ $.Params.name }} on Twitter
    </a>
  </p>
{{ end }}

<h2>Articles</h2>
<ul>
{{ range .Data.Pages }}
    <li><a href="{{ .Permalink }}">{{ .Title }}</a></li>
{{ end }}
</ul>

By default, Hugo will also use the list.html template to render a list of all existing authors. Using the same template to display different things can get messy quickly 🙈

Instead of adding extra logic to our list.html, we can take advantage of Hugo’s template lookup order for taxonomy terms, and add a template called terms.html to render the list of authors:

└── layouts/
    └── authors/
        └── list.html
        └── terms.html

layouts/authors/terms.html

<h1>Authors</h1>
<ul>
{{ range .Data.Pages }}
  <li><a href="{{ .Permalink }}">{{ .Params.name }}</a></li>
{{ end }}
</ul>

To disable listing authors all together, add taxonomyTerm to the list of disableKinds in your config.toml

disableKinds = ["taxonomyTerm"]

Add authors to posts

We can now add a list of one or more authors to the front matter of our posts.

---
title: "Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing"
authors:
  - Ursula K. Le Guin
  - David Naimon
---
In a series of interviews with David Naimon (Between the Covers), Le Guin
discusses craft, aesthetics, and philosophy in her fiction, poetry, and
nonfiction respectively.

In the template that renders your post, you can show additional information about the author(s), like an avatar and a link to their page, with the following snippet:

{{- range .Params.authors }}
  {{- with $.Site.GetPage "taxonomyTerm" (printf "authors/%s" (urlize .)) }}
    <figure>
      <img src="{{ .Params.photo }}" alt=""/>
      <figcaption>
        <a href="{{ .Permalink }}">{{ .Params.name }}</a>
      </figcaption>
    </figure>
  {{ end }}
{{ end }}

Example site

Want to see an example in action? Take a look at this example GitHub repository for a Hugo site using this technique.