Consumer behaviour studies show that people generally tend to buy from those they know, like and trust.
If you are looking for simple ideas to grow your business online, then something you can do, is help your visitors get to know you, your team and your organization better.
If your online business is powered by the WordPress Content Management System, one way to easily help people get to know you better is to use a WordPress directory plugin that lets you add information about your key partners, your team, or your staff.
In this tutorial, we show you how to easily create and add a simple and easy-to-manage directory of staff members to your site with no coding skills required.
How To Easily Add An Employee 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 WordPress Plugin)
Simple Staff List is free and lets you easily staff.
The first step is to install and activate this plugin.
Log into your WP dashboard and from the admin menu section, select Plugins > Add New …
(WP Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins screen, search for “simple staff plugin”. This should bring up the Simple Staff Plugin in your search results area.
Click on Install Now …
(WordPress Plugins – Add Plugins screen)
Click on the Activate Plugin link …
After installing and activating the plugin, you will notice that new menu will appear in your WordPress menu section called Staff Members …
(Staff Members menu)
Here is where you will manage and configure all of the settings and options for this plugin are configured and managed in this menu.
Configuring Simple Staff List
Depending on the size of your business and how you want to structure your staff directory, you could just start adding new entries after installing the plugin, or create various groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to your employees.
Staff Members – Groups
To configure your groups go to your dashboard menu and select Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members – Groups)
This opens up the Groups settings area …
Note: Adding directory groups is just like adding categories …
(Groups work like WordPress categories)
Create new groups by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Enter your group name here
- Slug – Enter the slug of your category name. 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 nested categories
- Description – Type in a group description here
- Click Add New Group when done to set up a new category …
If you work with a medium to large organization, the ability to set up different categories can be very useful. For example, you can create groups for founders, project teams, departments, etc.
Create as many categories and nested groups as you need by adding new Groups and then using the Parent drop-down menu to assign these to a directory hierarchy …
Remember to click the Add New Group button after creating new items …
To change Groups for individual items, hover over a category title and click on the Edit link …
The item open in the Edit Group screen. Select a new group category from the Parent drop-down menu …
(Edit Group screen)
Click the Update button when done …
To edit your Group name or slug, hover your mouse over the group name and choose Quick Edit …
Click Update Group after making changes …
Add as many group names as you need to until you are done creating your directory structure …
You can add as many nested categories as you like …
After 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 WP admin menu, select Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
This brings you to the Add New Staff Member screen …
(Add New Staff Member settings area)
This area provides an easy-to-use interface for adding your staff member profile and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: Add your employee’s name
- Permalink: Here you can modify the slug for your staff member if you want (you will see this section after your first save).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Upload a photo in this section
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: Your staff member’s role
- Email: Enter your employee’s email address here
- Phone Number: Add your staff member’s phone number here
- Facebook URL: Add the person’s Facebook address (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Add your company’s Twitter username here (note: only enter the username, not the full twitter URL)
Staff Member Bio Section (4)
- Staff Member Bio: Enter a profile description for your staff or team member here. This uses the WordPress Text Editor, so you can use HTML in this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: This section lets you assign an employee or team member to a group (see the previous section of this tutorial to learn how to set up your groups).
Click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your screen …
(Screen options tab)
You can enable additional features …
(Enable additional fields in screen options)
Now that you know what each section does, enter each staff member’s details …
(Add New Staff Member settings)
Once you have entered your staff member’s details, assign your new item to a directory group in the Groups feature located in the sidebar …
Note: If you have not set up categories before starting to add new staff members, you can create a new group by selecting Groups > + Add New Group …
(Add a new group inside your Groups box)
A field for creating a group name will appear, with a drop-down menu that lets you assign your new entry to a parent group. Type in the name of your new group and click on Add New Group …
The new category will be created. Remember to tick the checkbox to assign your staff member to the group …
Note: Groups cannot be edited when a staff member’s details are being added or edited. To edit a group entry, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section of the tutorial above for details).
After filling in your employee’s details, click the Publish button …
Click View Post …
To make changes to the employee’s profile, click on the Edit Staff Member link in your admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – WordPress admin toolbar)
To learn more about using the WP admin toolbar , go here:
Note: If errors like the one shown in the example below shows up, check that your site permalinks have been set up correctly …
(Not found error? Check your permalinks)
If you need help setting up permalinks in WordPress, see this step-by-step tutorial:
Repeat the above process to add new members to your employee directory directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
After entering staff details into your directory, you can view and edit their details by clicking Staff Members > All Staff Members on the dashboard menu …
(Staff Members – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table displaying all the staff profiles and the details you have added for each entry …
(Staff Members table)
If you need to modify individual details, simply hover over their name, and a menu will appear.
Click on Edit if you want to edit the item’s Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to change details such as their name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also remove someone from the directory by clicking on Trash, or view the entry on your site by clicking View …
(Edit Staff Members profile info)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your list can get quite long.
Use the Search Staff Members search field to locate entries …
(Search Staff Members search box)
The plugin also lets you specify which fields to display in this screen. To hide or hide fields on your screen, click on Screen Options …
(Staff Members Screen Options tab)
Placing a tick in the item’s checkbox displays the field and unchecking a box hides the field. You can also specify how many staff members are shown per page. Click Apply when finished to update your screen options …
Staff Members – Order
The Simple Staff List plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to set the order that listings appear on your directory pages.
Click Staff Members > Order on your menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To reorder your listings, click and drag the entry to its new position …
(Reorder items using drag and drop)
Your directory will be automatically rearranged …
(Reordered list entries)
Once you have added staff 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 set the order in which entries display on your directory page.
Select Staff Members > Order in the menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To rearrange the order of your entries, click and drag the entry to the new location …
(Reorder listings using drag and drop)
Your directory will be automatically reorganized …
(Reordered list items)
Once you have added all of your members’ listing details to the directory, the next step is to make your directory display to your visitors.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The Simple Staff List plugin also lets you create the layout and style of your employee directory listings 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 admin menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Templates)
This opens the Templates page …
(Customize your directory template)
To customize your directory listings, reorganize any of the allowable template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, below is a screenshot of the Default Staff Loop Template …
(Default Simple Staff List Staff Loop Template)
The above code displays the listing shown below …
(Default Plugin Staff Loop Template Listing)
Notice that no Facebook or Twitter URLs are showing in the above example. To make these fields appear in your directory, we will need to include the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags in the template, as shown below …
(Template tags can be added to Staff Loop Template)
Here is what your directory should now look like …
(Directory listings with social media links added)
Note: If you want to customize how your directory looks but don’t want to mess around with template tags or are unsure of what to do, please contact us for help.
As well as being able to customize your listing templates, the Simple Staff List plugin allows you to display your listings differently using modified shortcodes.
In your menu, click on Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members – Usage)
This opens the Usage screen …
(Simple Staff List plugin shortcodes)
This screen provides a list of all the shortcode variations allowed by the Simple Staff List plugin.
A useful variation you can add, for example, to display only members of a specific group is the shortcode [simple-staff-list group=”group name”], (e.g.:[simple-staff-list group=”partners”])
You can also display listings in ascending or descending order by using the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”ASC”] (ascending).
In the dashboard menu, select Staff Members >Options …
(Staff Members Menu – Options)
This opens the Options screen …
(Simple Staff List – Options screen)
Here you can change labels like Staff Members URL Slug and Staff Member title
You can also export your staff members details by going to your WordPress admin menu and clicking Tools > Export …
(Export Staff Members information)
If you need plugin support, visit the Simple Staff List support page and contact the plugin developer.
Other Staff Directory Plugins For WordPress
Simple Staff List is not the only WordPress staff directory plugin you can use. For example, here are some other free WordPress plugins you can check out for adding a staff directory on your site:
(Modern Team Staff Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
Modern Team Staff Directory 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, visit the plugin site here:
The Staff Directory plugin lets you easily create a directory of faculty/staff/team members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for churches, teams, etc.
You can also create custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields. Screenshot source: Staff Directory plugin website)
Learn more here:
(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.
Go here to learn more:
(Company Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
With Company Directory, you can easily add your staff to your site. Different layouts are included, including list and customizable single views, plus as fields like position title, email address, phone number, photo and 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 staff member in a customizable single view …
(Display your staff and faculty in an easy to view format. Screenshot source: Company Directory website)
This plugin uses shortcodes.
(Employee Spotlight – Plugin For WordPress)
Employee Spotlight displays employees, founders or just an individual member of your team in a 4-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant upon plugin activation.
This plugin includes two sidebar widgets which display featured and recent employees selected in the editor, plus two responsive views which adjust to the viewer’s screen.
Detailed information about each team member can be displayed in their own page, as well as in summary …
(Responsive layout with employee circle grid. Screenshot sourced from Employee Spotlight plugin website)
Learn more about this plugin here:
(Staffer – WordPress Plugin)
This plugin uses custom post types for staff/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 Staffer plugin website)
Staffer works with almost all WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
If the above plugins 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
- Staff Directory Plugin WordPress
Hopefully, now you know how to add an easy-to-manage simple employee directory to in WordPress using free plugins.
Images of persons used to depict fictitious staff members were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum