Something that is generally well known in marketing circles, is that people tend to buy from businesses they already know, like and trust.
If you are looking for inexpensive ways to sell more products or services online, then help visitors get to know you, your team and your organization better.
Adding a directory to your site can help increase your credibility online and get interested prospects buying from your site.
In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to add a directory of employees to WordPress using a free plugin.
Tutorial: How To Add An Employee Directory
In this tutorial, you will learn how to install, activate and configure a free plugin called Simple Staff List.
Simple Staff List – WordPress Plugin
(Simple Staff List WordPress Plugin)
Simple Staff List is free and lets you staff (you could also use it to display board of directors, etc.).
The first step is to install and activate this plugin.
Log into your dashboard and in your admin menu section, choose Plugins > Add New …
(WordPress Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins panel, search for “simple staff plugin”. This will bring up the Simple Staff Plugin in your plugin search results.
Click on the Install Now button …
(WordPress Plugins – Add Plugins screen)
Click on the Activate Plugin link …
After the plugin has been installed and activated, you will see that a new entry will appear on the main WP menu section called Staff Members …
(Staff Members menu)
The Staff Members menu is where you will manage and configure all of the options and settings for this plugin are configured and managed from the Staff Members menu.
Configuring The Simple Staff List Plugin
Depending on how many people are employed in your business and how you want to structure your directory, you could just start to add new staff entries at this at this stage, or create different groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to your staff.
Staff Members – Groups
To configure your directory categories go to your dashboard menu and choose Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members Menu – Groups)
This brings up the Groups screen …
(Groups settings area)
Note: Adding groups is just like configuring categories in WordPress …
(Groups work just like categories)
Add a new group by typing in the following information:
- Group Name – Type in your group name
- Slug – Type in the URL-friendly version of your group category name. Note: make sure that all letters are in lower case and use hyphens instead of spaces.
- Parent – Use this section if you plan to set up a directory hierarchy
- Description – Type in a category description in this field (optional)
- Click the Add New Group button when done to create a new group …
If you work with a larger organization, the ability to set up different categories can be very useful. For example, you can create a category for investors, developers, faculties, etc.
Create as many categories and nested categories as you need by adding new Groups and then using the Parent drop-down menu to organize these into a hierarchical structure …
Remember to click the Add New Group button after entering new items …
To change Groups for an individual item, hover over a category title and select the Edit link …
The selected category will open in the Edit Group screen. Select a new parent group from the Parent dropdown menu …
(Edit Group settings)
Click Update when done …
To change the Group name or slug, hover over the group name and select the Quick Edit menu feature …
Click Update Group when done …
Continue adding groups to this section until you are done creating your directory structure …
Add as many nested groups as you like …
Once you have finished setting up your groups, the next step is to begin to add names to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
In your admin menu, click on Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members Menu – Add New)
This loads the Add New Staff Member settings area …
(Add New Staff Member area)
This area provides an easy-to-use interface for adding your staff member profile and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: Your staff member’s name
- Permalink: Edit your staff members’ slug (this section appears after your first save).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Add a photo in this section
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: Add the employee’s position
- Email: Type the person’s email
- Phone Number: Enter the person’s phone number here
- Facebook URL: Type in the person’s Facebook URL (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Type in the staff member’s Twitter username into this field (note: only enter the username, not the full twitter URL)
Staff Member Bio Section (4)
- Staff Member Bio: Type a profile description for your staff or team member here. As this uses the built-in WordPress Text Editor, you can add formatting to the content entered into this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: Assign your staff member to a group (see the previous section to learn how to set up groups).
Click on the Screen Options tab …
You will see options to enable additional page settings …
(Enable additional fields in screen options)
Now that you know what each section does, enter each of your staff member’s details …
(Add Staff Member settings)
After you have finished inputting each of you staff member’s details, assign your item to a directory group in the Groups box located in the sidebar …
Note: If you have not set up groups before adding staff member details, you can add a new group by clicking on Groups > + Add New Group …
(Groups - + Add New Group)
A field will appear allowing you to create a new group name, with a drop-down menu that lets you assign your new entry to a parent group. Enter your new directory category and click on the Add New Group button …
Your new group will be created. Make sure that the check box is ticked …
Note: You cannot edit groups when adding or making changes to new employee details. To edit an item, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section above for details).
After entering your employee’s details, click the Publish button …
Click View Post …
To modify the employee’s profile, click on the Edit Staff Member link in the WordPress admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)
We have written a detailed tutorial on using the admin toolbar here:
Note: If a ‘page not found’ error shows up like the one shown in the screenshot below, check that your site’s permalinks have been set up correctly …
(Page error? Check your permalinks)
For a detailed tutorial on setting up permalinks in WordPress, go here:
Keep adding new entries to your directory directory as shown above until done.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
Once you are done adding employee or faculty members to your directory, you can view and edit details by selecting Staff Members > All Staff Members in your WordPress admin menu …
(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table listing all your employees and their details …
(Staff Members details)
If you need to make changes to individual entries, just hover your mouse over their name, and a menu will appear.
Click on Edit if you want to update the item’s Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to change details like name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also remove an entry from your employee directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by clicking View …
(Editing Staff Members profile info)
If you have many names to add, your list can grow quite large.
You can use the Search Staff Members search box to find listing items …
You can specify which fields to display in this screen. To show or hide fields on your screen, click the Screen Options tab …
(Screen Options tab)
Tick or untick the checkboxes to show or hide fields. You can also select how many staff members are shown per page. Click Apply when finished to update your screen options …
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you arrange the order that your staff members show on your directory pages.
Choose Staff Members > Order on the dashboard menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To rearrange the order of your listings, click and drag the entry to its desired position …
(Rearrange staff listings using drag and drop)
Your staff list will be automatically reordered …
Once you have added all of your staff listing details to your directory, the next step is to display the directory to your visitors.
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface allowing you to specify the order that listings display on your directory page.
Choose Staff Members > Order on the dashboard menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To reorder your listings, click and drag the item to a desired location …
(Rearrange items using drag and drop)
Your directory will be automatically reordered …
Once you are done adding member listing details to the directory, the next step is to make your directory show on your site.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The Simple Staff List plugin lets you create the layout and style of your employee directory entries using template tags and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
To customize the style and layout of your staff list, select Staff Members > Templates from your main menu …
(Staff Members – Templates)
This opens the Templates page …
(Customize your directory template)
To customize your directory, insert any of the allowed template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, below is the Default Template …
(Default Simple Staff List Staff Loop Template)
The above code displays the listing shown below …
(Default Plugin Template Listing)
Notice that no Facebook or Twitter URLs are showing in the above listing. To display these fields, you will need to include the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags in the template, as shown in the example below …
(Template tags can be added to Staff Loop Template)
Here is what your directory will now look like …
(Directory listings with social media URLs)
Note: If you want to customize your directory listings but don’t want to mess around with editing code or are not sure how to edit the template as shown above, please contact us for help.
As well as allowing you to customize your listing templates, the Simple Staff List plugin allows you to display your listings differently using modified shortcodes.
In your main menu, click on Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members Menu – Usage)
This brings up the Usage screen …
This screen lists all different shortcode variations allowed by the Simple Staff List plugin.
For example, a useful variation you can insert in your page to display only members of a specific group is the shortcode [simple-staff-list group=”group name”], (e.g.:[simple-staff-list group=”technical engineers”])
Or, you can display listings in ascending or descending order by inserting the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”DESC”] (descending).
Choose Staff Members >Options on your dashboard menu …
(Staff Members – Options)
This brings up the Options page …
(Simple Staff List – Options settings screen)
This section lets you edit some of the labels used in the plugin
You can also export your staff members details from the Tools > Export menu …
(Export Staff Members plugin information)
If you need plugin help or support, go to the plugin support page and request help from the plugin author.
Additional WordPress Plugins For Creating Staff Directories
Simple Staff List isn’t the only plugin you can use to build a faculty directory in WordPress. Here are other free WordPress plugins you can check out to add a directory on your website:
Modern Team Staff Directory
(Modern Team Staff Directory – WordPress Staff Directory Plugin)
The Modern Team Staff Directory plugin helps you collect your team information and showcase it anywhere on your site in beautiful grids, columns and tables. This premium plugin features over a dozen presets and provides editors that make it easy to edit and update your directory.
(Modern Team Staff Directory – Responsive Templates)
Go here to learn more:
(Staff Directory – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
With Staff Directory, you can easily create a directory of staff/team/faculty members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, schools, etc.
The plugin also lets you set up custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields Screen. Screenshot sourced from plugin website)
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
Faculty And Staff Directory
(Faculty And Staff Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
Faculty And Staff Directory provides a simple and flexible faculty and staff directory for a small college or university.
The plugin also includes a widget that allows you to feature profiles in a widget area.
To learn more about this plugin go here:
(Company Directory – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
With the Company Directory plugin, you can easily add your staff to your website. Different layouts are available, including grid and customizable single views, as well as fields like title, email address, phone, photo and staff bio, allowing you to present your company and capabilities.
Visitors can click through from your list, grid, and table views to learn more about each employee in a customizable single view …
(Display your staff and faculty members in an easy to view format. Screenshot source: Company Directory plugin website)
This plugin also uses simple shortcodes.
Employee Spotlight displays team members, founders or just a single person in a 4-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant on plugin activation.
Employee Spotlight includes two sidebar widgets which display featured and recent employees, and two responsive views which adjust to the screen in the viewer’s device.
Detailed information about each staff member can be displayed in their own page, as well as in summary …
(Responsive layout with employee circle grid. Screenshot source: Employee Spotlight website)
To learn more about this plugin go here:
(Staffer – WordPress Plugin)
The Staffer plugin uses custom post types for employee management and supports the display of staff members via a shortcode, allowing you to easily create and manage an online staff directory …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot sourced from plugin website)
Staffer works immediately with many popular WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
If the directory plugins listed above aren’t what you’re looking for, just go online or visit the WordPress plugin directory and search for:
- Add Staff Directory To WordPress
- WordPress Staff Directory Plugin
- Staff Directory WordPress Plugin
- Staff Directory Plugin WordPress
Congratulations! Now you know how to add a simple staff directory to your WordPress site, so your site visitors can get to know your business better.
Models used to depict fictitious staff members in this tutorial were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com
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