Something that’s been proven to work in business, is that people often tend to buy from those they already know, like and trust.
If you are looking for quicker and simpler ideas to sell more products online, then something you can do, is make it easier for your prospects to get to know you and your business better.
If you use WordPress, one way to easily help people get to know you better is to display information about your key partners, your business team, or your employees using a WordPress directory plugin.
This tutorial explains how to add an easy-to-update staff directory to your website.
Adding A Staff Directory To Your Site: Plugin Tutorial
In this tutorial, we will install, activate and configure a no cost WordPress plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List Plugin For WordPress)
Simple Staff List lets you easily display basic information about your staff members on your website.
The first step is to install and activate the Simple Staff List plugin.
Log into the admin and go to Plugins > Add New …
(WordPress Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins screen, search for “simple staff plugin”. This will bring up the Simple Staff Plugin in your plugin search results.
Click on the Install Now button …
(Plugins – plugin search results)
Click the Activate Plugin link …
After installing and activating the plugin, a new menu entry will display on your main WordPress menu bar called Staff Members …
All of the options and settings for this plugin are configured and managed in this menu.
Depending on the size of your business and how you want to structure your staff directory, you can just begin adding new entries after installing the plugin, or create several groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to your staff members.
Staff Members – Groups
To configure your groups go to your dashboard menu and choose Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members Menu – Groups)
This loads the Groups screen in your web browser …
Note: Adding directory groups is just like configuring categories in WordPress …
(Groups are like categories)
Create a new group by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Type in your group name
- Slug – Enter the slug of your group. Note: make sure that all letters are in lower case and use hyphens instead of spaces.
- Parent – Use this drop-down menu if you plan to set up a directory hierarchy
- Description – Enter a category description in this field (optional)
- Click the Add New Group button when finished to set up the new category …
If you are a larger organization, having the ability to create groups can be very useful. For example, you can create groups for partners, developers, faculties, etc.
Create as many categories and nested categories as you want by adding new Groups and then using the Parent drop-down menu to assign these to a hierarchical structure …
Remember to click the Add New Group button after entering each new item …
To edit Groups for specific items, hover your mouse button over a category title and select the Edit link …
Your selected category will display in the Edit Group screen. Select a new group category from the Parent drop-down menu …
(Edit Group settings)
Click Update when done …
To edit the Group name or slug, hover over the group name and select Quick Edit …
Click on Update Group when done to save your changes …
Add as many group names as you need to until you have created your directory structure …
You can add as many nested categories as you like …
Once you are done setting up your groups, the next step is to begin to add staff details to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
In your WordPress admin menu, click on Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
This brings you to the Add New Staff Member area …
(Add New Staff Member area)
This section provides you with an easy-to-use interface for adding and editing your staff member profile and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: Add your staff member’s name
- Permalink: Change each staff members’ permalink URL (this section appears after saving your details).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Upload a photo here
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: Your employee’s role
- Email: The employee’s email
- Phone Number: Type in the person’s phone number here
- Facebook URL: Type the staff member’s Facebook address (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Enter the employee’s Twitter username (note: only enter the username, not the full twitter URL)
Staff Member Bio Section (4)
- Staff Member Bio: Enter a profile description for your employee here. This uses the WordPress Text Editor, so you can add formatted content into this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: Assign the person to a group (see the previous section to learn how to set up your groups).
Click on the Screen Options tab …
(Screen options tab)
You will see options to enable additional page settings …
(Enable additional fields in screen options tab)
Now that you know what each section does, enter each of your employee’s details …
(Staff directory fields)
After you are done entering details, assign your new entry to a directory group in the Groups box located in your sidebar …
Note: If you did not set up categories before adding staff member details, you can add a new group in this screen by clicking on Groups > + Add New Group …
(Add a new group inside your Groups box)
A field will appear allowing you to enter 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 Add New Group …
Your new directory category will be added. Make sure that the checkbox is ticked …
(New group added)
Note: Groups cannot be edited when a staff member’s details are being added or edited. To edit an item, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section above for details).
After entering the person’s details, click the Publish button to add them to the employee directory …
Click View Post …
You can modify the person’s profile by clicking the Edit Staff Member link in your WordPress admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)
If you need help using the dashboard admin toolbar, refer to this tutorial:
Note: If ’page not found’ errors shows up like the one shown in the example below, check that you have set up your permalinks correctly …
(Not found error? Check your permalinks)
For a detailed step-by-step tutorial about setting up WP permalinks, go here:
Repeat the above process to continue adding new members to your employee directory directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
After entering employee details into your directory, you can view and edit details by clicking Staff Members > All Staff Members on the menu …
(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table displaying all the directory entries and any details you have added related to each entry …
(Staff Members details)
If you need to change individual entries, hover your mouse over their name, and a menu will appear.
Click on Edit if you want to make changes to the item’s Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to update details like name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also remove someone from the employee directory by clicking on Trash, or view the entry on your site by clicking on View …
(Editing Staff Members profile)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your table can grow quite large.
Use the Search Staff Members search box to locate items …
(Search Staff Members search feature)
The plugin also allows you to specify which fields to display in this screen. To hide or hide fields on your screen, click the Screen Options tab …
(Staff Members Screen Options tab)
Tick or untick the checkboxes to display or hide specific fields. You can also select how many staff members are shown per page. Click Apply when finished to update your settings …
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to set the order in which entries display on your directory pages.
Choose Staff Members > Order in the menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To reorder your entries, click and drag the entry to its desired position …
(Reorder items using drag and drop)
Your directory will be automatically reorganized …
Once you have added members’ details to the directory, the next step is to display the directory on your site.
Staff Members – Order
The plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to set the order that entries appear on your directory pages.
Click Staff Members > Order on the menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To reorder your listings, click and drag the entry to its desired position …
(Rearrange listings using drag and drop)
Your directory will automatically be rearranged …
(Reordered list items)
Once you are done adding member details to your directory, the next step is to display the directory on your site.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The Simple Staff List plugin lets you customize the layout and style of your directory entries using template tags and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
To customize the layout and style of your directory, select Staff Members > Templates from the menu …
(Staff Members – Templates)
This opens the Templates page …
(Customize your directory template)
To customize your directory listings, insert any of the permitted template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, here is the default template used for displaying directory listings …
(Default Plugin Staff Loop Template)
The This code displays your listing as shown below …
(Default Template Listing)
Notice that there are no Facebook or Twitter addresses 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 below …
(Template tags can be added to the Staff Loop Template to customize your directory page)
Your staff entries will now appear with Facebook and Twitter links as shown in the screenshot below …
(Directory listings with social media links added)
Note: If you want to customize your directory but don’t want to mess with editing code or are not sure how to edit the template as shown above, please contact us for help.
In addition to being able to customize your directory templates, the Simple Staff List plugin lets you display your staff profiles differently using modified shortcodes.
In your menu, click on Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members – Usage)
This brings up the Usage page …
This screen displays all different shortcode variations you can use with this 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=”senior staff”])
You can also make your listings display in ascending or descending order by adding the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”ASC”] (ascending).
In the main admin menu, select Staff Members >Options …
(Staff Members – Options)
This opens the Options page …
(Options settings screen)
This section lets you edit labels like Staff Members URL Slug and Staff Member title
You can also export your staff members details from the Tools > Export section …
(Export Staff Members plugin info)
If you need any help with the plugin, visit the Simple Staff List support page and request help from the plugin developer.
Additional Staff Directory Plugins For WordPress
Simple Staff List isn’t the only plugin you can use to build a listing of your staff in WordPress. For example, here are other free plugins you can check out to create a staff directory on your website:
(Modern Team Staff Directory – WP 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)
For more details go here:
Staff Directory lets you easily display a list of faculty/team/staff members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, teams, etc.
You can also create custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields Screen. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory website)
Go here to learn more:
(Faculty And Staff Directory – WP Plugin)
Faculty And Staff Directory was developed to provide a simple and flexible faculty and staff directory for a small college, school or university.
The plugin also installs a widget that allows you to feature profiles in a widget area.
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
(Company Directory – WordPress Plugin)
With Company Directory, you can easily add your employees to your site. Different layouts are included, including grid and table views, plus as fields like job title, email, phone, image and bio, allowing you to present your company and capabilities.
Visitors will be able to 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 sourced from Company Directory plugin website)
This plugin uses a simple shortcode system.
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
(Employee Spotlight – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
Employee Spotlight displays team members, founders or just one single member of your team in a four-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant upon plugin activation.
Employee Spotlight includes two sidebar widgets that let you display featured and recent employees, plus two responsive views which adjust to the viewer’s screen.
Detailed information about each staff member can be displayed in their own page, as well as in summary …
(Responsive layout with circle grid. Screenshot sourced from Employee Spotlight website)
For more details go here:
This 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 onsite employee directory …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot sourced from Staffer plugin website)
Staffer works immediately with almost all WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
For more details go here:
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 Plugin
- Staff Directory WordPress Plugin
- Employee Directory WordPress
Hopefully, this step-by-step tutorial has explained how to create and add an easy-to-update employee directory to your WordPress site.
Images used to display staff members in this tutorial were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com
"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum