WordPress has a comprehensive system for editing the metadata of a post. For an individual article, you can most likely find a way to change it from within the “Edit” screen itself. For example, changing the author requires you to enable the appropriate option in the “Screen Options” drop-down at the top of the screen of the WordPress visual editor and select “Author”. This will create the appropriate field for selection to appear at the bottom as shown below:
So changing the author of a single post is trivial. But what if you suddenly find yourself in the position of requiring a mass change? Say for example you want to re-attribute all of the articles belonging to a specific author to someone else, or if you want to claim all articles on the site under your own name as the administrator? Luckily for us, the “Bulk” actions in the WordPress “Posts” screen can be used to achieve this. Let’s see how to go about it.
Isolating the Posts That we Want
In this example, let’s assume I want to change all of the posts attribute it to me – Bhagwad – to someone else. For this, I go to my WordPress administration dashboard and click “Posts” on the left-hand side. In the following list of entries, I first need to isolate all articles belonging to me. To do this, I simply click on my name for any article that is attributed to Bhagwad. This will immediately create a filter and only show articles that I have written. You can see below that this is reflected in the URL as well:
Now if you’ve only written a tiny handful of posts or if you’ve just started out blogging, all your posts might fit into a single page. But most likely it’s going to spill into several of them. To utilize the “Bulk” feature efficiently, we need to find a way to expand the list of entries so that it shows more than the default number. To do this, hit “Screen Options” at the top of the screen and in the text box provided as per the screenshot below, enter the number of posts you actually have.
This will increase the number of entries in the page to match what you entered in the previous step. Keep in mind that it may take a little while for the page to resolve and render if it’s a very large number. Once you have everything laid out in front of you, you need to do three things:
- Enable checkbox next to “Title”
- Select “Edit” from the drop down box
- Click “Apply”
As shown here:
This will bring up the “Bulk Edit” interface allowing you to change the metadata for all of the “ticked” items at once. You can modify categories, tags, and even comment statuses at once. And of course, the author as well. You can find the relevant drop-down box on the right-hand side of the interface as shown below.
Simply select the new author of your posts and click “Update” on the bottom right. That’s it! The posts that you selected will immediately disappear from your current view since we’ve created a filter to only display those belonging to the original author. To check and see whether or not the changes we have made have actually been carried out, go to the “Posts” screen as in the first step and select the new author name instead.
In the screenshot above, you can see that the author has indeed been changed for all of the marked posts. Over the years, I found the “Bulk Edit” feature to be extremely useful as it quickly allows you to make changes to a number of important post variables all at once.