Something that is often quoted in business and marketing circles, is that people tend to buy from people they know, like and trust.
If you are looking for cost-effective ways to sell more products online, then make it easier for prospects to get to know you, your team and your organization better.
Adding an employee directory to your website is a great way to let visitors learn more about the people working behind the scenes in your organization.
This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to create and add a simple and easy-to-maintain staff directory in WordPress.
Tutorial: Adding A Staff List Directory
In this tutorial, you will learn how to install, activate and configure a no cost WordPress plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List WordPress Plugin)
The Simple Staff List plugin is a no cost plugin that lets you easily staff members.
The first step is to install and activate the plugin.
Log into your WP administration and from the admin menu section, choose Plugins > Add New …
(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 …
(Plugins – plugin search results)
Activate the plugin …
After your plugin has been installed and activated, a new menu will appear on the main WP admin menu section called Staff Members …
(Staff Members menu)
All of the settings and options for your plugin are configured and managed in the Staff Members menu.
Simple Staff List – Plugin Configuration
Depending on how many people are in your team and how you want to structure your employee directory, you can begin adding new staff entries at this at this stage, or create different groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to individual members.
Staff Members – Groups
To configure your directory categories go to your WP dashboard menu and select Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members Menu – Groups)
This takes you to the Groups screen …
(Groups settings screen)
Note: Setting up directory groups works in the same way as configuring WordPress categories …
(Groups work just like WordPress categories)
Add new groups by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Enter your group category name here
- Slug – Type in the URL-friendly version of your group. Note: make sure that all letters are in lower case and use hyphens instead of spaces.
- Parent – This section lets you set up nested groups
- Description – Type in your category description here (optional)
- Click Add New Group when finished to set up a new group …
If you run a medium to large organization, having the ability to assign people to different groups can be very useful. For example, you can create categories for founders, project teams, departments, 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 creating each new item …
To edit or reassign Groups for a specific item, hover over a category title and click on the Edit link …
Your selected item’s details open in the Edit Group screen. Select a new parent group from the Parent drop-down menu …
(Edit Group settings)
Click Update when done …
To edit your Group name or slug, hover your mouse over the group name and choose the Quick Edit menu feature …
Click on Update Group after making changes …
Continue adding groups to this section until you are done creating your directory structure …
You can add as many nested categories as you like …
After you are done setting up your hierarchical structure, the next step is to begin adding staff details to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
From your admin menu, select Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
The Add New Staff Member settings …
(Add New Staff Member area)
This page provides you with an easy-to-use interface for adding and editing your staff member details and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: Add the employee’s name
- Permalink: You can change the permalink URL for each employee if you want (you will see this section after your first save).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Add a photo in this section
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: The staff member’s role
- Email: Your employee’s email address
- Phone Number: Add the person’s phone number into this field
- Facebook URL: Add the staff member’s Facebook address into this field (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Type in your company’s Twitter username here (note: only enter the username, not the full twitter URL)
Staff Member Bio Section (4)
- Staff Member Bio: Add a profile description for your employee or team member here. Since this uses the WordPress Text Editor, you can format content into this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: You can assign an employee or team member to a specific group (see the previous section of this tutorial to learn how to set up groups).
Click on the Screen Options tab …
You can 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 fields)
Once you are done inputting your staff member’s details, assign your new entry to a directory group in the Groups box in your sidebar …
Note: If you have not set up groups before adding new staff members, 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 for entering your group name will display, with a dropdown menu that lets you assign your new entry to a parent group. Type in the name of your new category and click on Add New Group …
The new category will be added. Make sure that the checkbox is ticked …
(New group added in Groups section)
Note: Groups cannot be edited when new employee 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 typing in the person’s details, click the Publish button to add them to your directory …
Click View Post …
To modify the person’s profile, click on the Edit Staff Member link in the WordPress admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – WP admin toolbar)
To learn more about using the admin toolbar , go here:
Note: If you see ’not found’ page errors like the one shown below, check that you have set up your site’s permalinks correctly …
(Check your permalinks if you get ’not found’ page errors)
To learn more about setting up WP permalinks, see this step-by-step tutorial:
Repeat the above process to add more details to your directory directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
After you are done adding employee or faculty members into your directory, you can view and edit their details by clicking Staff Members > All Staff Members in the menu …
(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table of all the listing entries and their details …
(Staff Members table)
If you need to modify individual entries, hover your mouse over their list name, and a submenu will appear.
Click on Edit to make changes to the item’s Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to update details such as their name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also delete a list item from the directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by clicking View …
(Editing Staff Members profile info)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your list can become unwieldy.
Use the Search Staff Members search field to find items if required …
(Search Staff Members search box)
You can specify which fields to display in this section. To hide or hide fields on your screen, click on Screen Options …
Selecting a check box displays the field and unchecking a box hides the field. You can also specify how many staff members are shown per page. Click the Apply button 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 arrange the order that listings appear on your directory page.
Choose Staff Members > Order on the menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To rearrange the order of your listings, click and drag the item to the new location …
(Reorder staff listings using drag and drop)
Your staff list will be automatically rearranged …
Once you are done adding all of your member details to the directory, the next step is to make the directory display to your site users.
Staff Members – Order
The plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you arrange the order in which entries show on your directory page.
Select Staff Members > Order on your menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To reorder your entries, click and drag the item to a desired position …
(Rearrange items using drag and drop)
Your staff list will automatically be reorganized …
(Reordered list entries)
After adding your member listing details to your directory, the next step is to make the directory display to your visitors.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The Simple Staff List plugin lets you create the style and layout of your staff directory entries using template tags and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
To customize the layout and style of your staff list, select Staff Members > Templates from your menu …
(Staff Members – Templates)
This opens the Templates page …
(Customize your directory template)
To customize your directory, reorganize any of the allowed template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, below is the Default Staff Loop Template …
(Default Staff Loop Template)
The This code will display your listing as shown below …
(Default Template Listing)
Notice that there are no Facebook or Twitter addresses showing in the above listing. To make these fields show in your directory, 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 the Staff Loop Template to customize your directory page)
Your employee listings will now display Facebook and Twitter links as as the example below shows …
(Directory with social media URLs)
Note: If you want to customize how your directory looks but don’t want to mess with 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 directory templates, the Simple Staff List plugin lets you display your listings differently using modified shortcodes.
In your menu, choose Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members – Usage)
This brings up the Usage page …
(Simple Staff List shortcodes)
This screen provides a list of all the shortcode variations allowed by the plugin.
A useful variation you can decide to use, for example, to display only members belonging a specific group is the shortcode [simple-staff-list group=”group name”], (e.g.:[simple-staff-list group=”Gold Level associates”])
You can also make your listings display in ascending or descending order by adding the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”ASC”] (ascending).
In the menu, select Staff Members >Options …
(Staff Members Menu – Options)
This opens the Options page …
(Options settings 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 the main menu and choosing Tools > Export …
(Export Staff Members information)
If you need plugin help or support, visit the plugin support page.
Other WordPress Plugins For Creating Employee Directories
Simple Staff List isn’t the only adding a listing of your faculty members in WordPress. Here are other free plugins you can use for creating a directory on your website:
(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)
Learn more about this plugin here:
(Staff Directory – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
Staff Directory lets you easily create a directory of faculty/team/staff members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, teams, etc.
The plugin lets you create custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields Screen. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory website)
Go here to learn more:
(Faculty And Staff Directory – WordPress Plugin)
The Faculty And Staff Directory plugin provides a simple and flexible faculty and staff directory for a small college, school or university.
The plugin also includes a widget that allows you to feature a profile in a widget area.
Go here to learn more about the plugin:
(Company Directory – WordPress Plugin)
The Company Directory plugin lets you add your staff to your site. Different layouts are available, including list and customizable single views, plus as fields like position title, email address, phone number, photo and staff bio, allowing visitors to get to know your company and capabilities.
Visitors will be able to 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: plugin website)
This plugin uses a simple shortcode system.
For more details go here:
(Employee Spotlight – Plugin For WordPress)
Employee Spotlight displays staff members, founders or just an individual person in a 4-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant upon plugin activation.
With Employee Spotlight, you also get two sidebar widgets that let you display featured and recent employees, plus two responsive views which adjust to the screen size of the viewer’s device.
Detailed information about each employee can be displayed in their own page, as well as in summary …
(Responsive layout with circle grid. Screenshot source: plugin website)
Learn more about this plugin 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 online staff directory …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot source: Staffer website)
Staffer works with almost all WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
For more details go here:
If the above plugins aren’t what you’re looking for, search the WordPress plugin directory or go online and search for:
- Add Staff Directory To WordPress
- WordPress Staff Plugin
- WordPress Plugin Staff Directory
- Simple Staff List Template WordPress
Hopefully, this tutorial has helped you learn how to add a simple and easy-to-manage employee directory to your website.
Images of models used in this tutorial to depict sample staff members were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com