Weighted Random Authors is a WordPress plug-in that allows you to easily feature a random set of post authors, weighted toward authors with more published posts.

Version 1.1.1 update released December 9, 2009!

Download version 1.1.1 now from official repository »


This widget selects a limited list of random post authors, weighted towards authors with more published posts. Give all of your post authors a chance to be featured in the sidebar, while encouraging more posting and rewarding authors who post most frequently.

Easily configure numer of authors (or list all), widget title, display of post count, and display of author gravatar.


  1. Install easily with the WordPress plugin control panel or manually download the plugin and upload the extracted folder to the `/wp-content/plugins/` directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
  3. Add the “Weighted Random Authors” widget by going to the “Widgets” menu under appearance.

Planned Enhancements

  • Call output by function (no widget support required).
  • More display configuration options.


  • 1.0.1 – Fix author links.
  • 1.0.2 – Better weighting algorithm.
  • 1.1 – Expand / collapse list feature
  • 1.1.1 – Fix hardcoded table name

As always, feedback and suggestions are welcome!

4 Responses to “Weighted Random Authors (WordPress widget)”

  1. Metin2Blog says:

    i have the Error:

    WordPress database error: [Unbekanntes Tabellenfeld 'wp_posts.post_author' in where clause]

    (undefined tablefield)

    it seems you have no Accept for Blogs with a induvidual DB string (Prefix) for the Table.

    I have helped me if i correct the Substring before posts with my induvidual DB Prefix.

    Please correct it if you can for the next Version.

  2. Jake Goldman says:

    Hey Metin2Blog – good catch. Accidentally hardcoded wp_posts instead of using the WordPress variable in the inner SQL query. It’s been fixed and uploaded to the repository.

  3. Jethro says:

    Hey There,

    The plugin works, however, what it actually does is not that useful. The author hyperlinks to their profile – in a new page as opposed to a popup or some small dialogue box. I was under the impression the link would display a page listing all posts from that author.

    Am I missing something?

  4. Jake Goldman says:

    Jethro – the author links hyperlink to the built in “author archive” in WordPress, which can be customized with the template to do a number of things, including showing an archive of their posts, their profile, etc. I think it best to let the site owner customize the built in template, rather than introducing a new method for displaying author information.

    As to its usefulness, it provides a solution to a niche problem. Some blogs have over a dozen authors; one of our clients didn’t want to show all of their authors, but wanted to feature a random set of 5 authors with an ability to “show more.” The client also wanted to create incentives for writers to generate more content.

    This plug-in solves the “show more” problem, and solves the incentive problem by giving all authors a “chance” to show up, but weighting that chance toward the authors with the most posts.