No doubt you’ve already heard that people will mostly buy from people they already know, like and trust.
If you are looking for simple ideas to grow your business online, then make it easier for your visitors to get to know, like and trust you and your organization better.
If you have a WordPress-driven site, a simple way to help people get to know you better is to use a staff list plugin that will let you display information about your key people, your business team, or your staff.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to easily create and add an easy-to-manage list directory of staff or team members to WordPress using free WordPress plugins.
WordPress Plugin Tutorial: How To Easily Add An Employee List Directory To WordPress
In this tutorial, we will install, activate and configure a plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List Plugin For WordPress)
The Simple Staff List plugin is free and lets you easily staff members (you could also use it to display board of directors, etc.).
The first step is to install and activate the plugin.
Log into the WP dashboard and from the admin menu, click on Plugins > Add New …
(WordPress Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins panel, search for “simple staff plugin”. This should 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, you will see that a new menu entry will show up in your WordPress admin menu section called Staff Members …
This menu is where you will configure and manage all of the settings and options for this plugin are configured and managed from the Staff Members menu.
Configuring The Plugin
Depending on how many people are in your organization and how you want to structure your staff directory, you can begin to add new entries at this point, or create various groups (i.e. categories) to assign your individualstaff into.
Staff Members – Groups
Let’s start by configuring your directory groups. From your WordPress dashboard menu, choose Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members – Groups)
This opens up the Groups area …
(Groups settings area)
Note: Configuring groups works in the same way as adding categories …
(Groups work just like categories)
Create a new group by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Enter your group name here
- Slug – Type in the URL-friendly version of your category name. Note: make sure that all letters are in lower case and use hyphens instead of spaces.
- Parent – Use this section to set up nested groups
- Description – Type in the group description (optional)
- Click Add New Group when done to set up your new directory group …
If you work with a business that employs many people, the ability to assign people to different categories can be very useful. For example, you can create a category for investors, project teams, faculties, etc.
Create as many groups and nested categories as you want by adding new Groups and then using the Parent drop-down menu to assign these to a directory hierarchy …
Remember to click on the Add New Group button after creating each new item …
To change Groups for an individual item, hover over a category title and click on the Edit link …
The group details will open in the Edit Group screen. Select a new group category from the Parent drop-down menu …
(Edit Group settings)
Click the Update button when done …
To change your Group name or slug, hover over the group name and choose Quick Edit …
Click the Update Group button after making changes …
Continue adding group names to this section until you have created your directory structure …
You can add as many nested groups as you like …
(Add nested groups to your staff directory)
After you are done setting up your groups, the next step is to begin adding names to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
In your WP admin menu, select Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
This loads the Add New Staff Member settings …
(Add New Staff Member screen)
This area provides you with an easy-to-use interface for adding your staff member details and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: Your employee’s name
- Slug: You can edit the permalink URL for each employee if required (this section appears 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 position
- Email: Type the staff member’s email address into this field
- Phone Number: Type in your employee’s phone number
- Facebook URL: Enter your employee’s Facebook URL (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Type your employee’s Twitter username (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 here. Since this uses the WordPress Text Editor, you can add formatted content into this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: This section lets you assign the person to a group (see the previous section to learn how to set up your groups).
Click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your screen …
(Screen options tab)
You will see options to enable additional features …
(Enable additional fields in screen options tab)
Now that you know what each section does, enter each of your employee’s details …
(Add New Staff Member settings)
Once you have finished entering details, assign your entry to a directory group in the Groups feature in your sidebar …
Note: If you did not set up your directory groups before adding new staff members, you can add a new group in this screen by clicking on Groups > + Add New Group …
(Groups > + Add New Group feature)
A field for entering your new group name will appear, with a dropdown menu that lets you assign your new entry to a parent group. Type in the name of your new group and click on the Add New Group button …
The new directory category will be created. Remember to tick the checkbox to assign the person’s entry to the group …
(New group added via Groups feature)
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 of the tutorial above for details).
After entering the person’s details, click the Publish button …
Click View Post …
To make changes to your staff member’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, refer to this tutorial:
Note: If you get ’not found’ page errors like the one shown below, check that you have correctly configured your permalinks …
(Page error? Check your permalinks)
For a detailed tutorial on setting up permalinks in WordPress, go here:
Repeat the above process to add new members to your directory directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
After you have finished entering employee details to your directory, you can view and edit details by clicking Staff Members > All Staff Members in the main admin menu …
(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table displaying all the directory entries and their details …
(Staff Members list)
If you need to modify individual entries, hover your mouse over their list name, and a submenu will appear.
Click on Edit to update their Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to edit details like name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also delete an entry from the employee directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by clicking View …
(Editing Staff Members details)
If you have many entries, your list can become unwieldy.
Use the Search Staff Members search feature to find member details …
You can specify which fields to display in this screen. To hide or hide fields on your screen, click on Screen Options …
(Screen Options tab)
Selecting a checkbox displays the field and unselecting it hides the field. You can also select how many staff members are shown per page. Click the Apply button when finished to save your screen options …
Staff Members – Order
The Simple Staff List plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you arrange the order in which listings show on your directory pages.
Select Staff Members > Order in your menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To reorder your listings, click and drag the item to the desired position …
(Reorder listings using drag and drop)
Your directory will automatically be reordered …
Once you have added members’ details to your directory, the next step is to make your directory display to your site users.
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you set the order in which your employee listings appear on your directory page.
Choose Staff Members > Order on the menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To rearrange the order of your items, click and drag the item to the new location …
(Reorder staff listings using drag and drop)
Your staff list will automatically be reorganized …
After adding all members’ listing details to your directory, the next step is to add your directory to your site users.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The Simple Staff List plugin also lets you edit the layout and style of your employee directory entries using template tags and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
To customize the layout and style of your employee directory, select Staff Members > Templates from your WP admin menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Templates)
This opens the Templates screen …
(Customize your directory template)
To customize your directory listings, reorganize any of the allowed 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 Template Listing)
Notice that there are no Facebook or Twitter addresses showing in the above example. To make these fields appear in your directory, you will need to include the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] template tags, as shown in the screenshot below …
(Template tags can be added to Staff Loop Template)
Here is what your staff list should now look like …
(Directory with social media links)
Note: If you want to customize your directory but don’t want to mess around with CSS styles and template tags or are not sure what to do, please contact us for assistance.
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 menu, choose Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members Menu – Usage)
This brings up the Usage screen …
(Usage Shortcode screen)
This screen lists all different shortcode variations allowed by the plugin.
For example, a useful shortcode variation you can select to display only members of a specific group is the shortcode [simple-staff-list group=”group name”], (e.g.:[simple-staff-list group=”Asia Pacific Region”])
You can also make your listings display in ascending or descending order by inserting the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”ASC”] (ascending).
Click Staff Members >Options on the main admin menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Options)
This opens the Options screen …
(Simple Staff List – customizable fields)
Here you can modify some of the labels used in the plugin
You can also export your staff members info from the Tools > Export screen …
(Export Staff Members plugin information)
If you need plugin support, go to the plugin site.
Other Employee Directory Plugins
Simple Staff List isn’t the only adding a directory of your staff. For example, here are some other plugins you can look at:
(Modern Team Staff Directory – WordPress Staff Directory Plugin)
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)
(Staff Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
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.
You can also set up custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory plugin website)
(Faculty And Staff Directory)
The Faculty And Staff Directory plugin 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.
(Company Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
With the Company Directory plugin, you can add your employees, team or faculty to your website. Different layouts are available, including grid and table views, as well as fields like job title, email, phone number, pic and staff bio, allowing you to present your company and capabilities.
Visitors will be able to click through from your list, grid, and table views to read more about each staff member in a customizable single view …
(Display your staff and faculty members in an easy-to-view format. Screenshot source: Company Directory website)
This plugin also uses shortcodes.
Go here to learn more about the plugin:
Employee Spotlight displays team members, partners or just one single member of your team in a 4-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant upon plugin activation.
The Employee Spotlight pluginincludes two sidebar widgets which display featured and recent employees selected in the editor, plus two responsive views which adjust to the screen in the viewer’s device.
Detailed information about each employee 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)
To learn more about the plugin go here:
(Staffer – Plugin For WordPress)
Staffer 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 employee directory on your site …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot source: Staffer website)
Staffer works with many popular WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
For more details, visit the plugin site 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
- Staff Plugin WordPress
Hopefully, this tutorial has helped you learn how to create and add an easy-to-update staff directory in WordPress.
Images used in this tutorial to display staff members were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)