Consumer behavior studies show that people tend to buy from those they know, like and trust.
If you are searching for quicker and easier ways to sell more products online or get people to interact more on your site, then something you can do, is make it easier for visitors to get to know, like and trust your business better.
Adding a faculty member directory to your website can help to generate greater trust, increase your online credibility and get more prospects to get in touch with you.
This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to create a simple and easy-to-manage employee directory in your website.
WordPress Plugin Tutorial: Adding A Staff Directory In WordPress
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 is a free plugin that lets you staff members (you could also use it to display board of directors, etc.).
First, let’s install and activate the Simple Staff List plugin.
Log into your WP administration and in your admin menu section, choose Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins area, 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)
Click on Activate Plugin …
After the plugin has been installed and activated, you will notice that new menu will appear on your main WordPress menu bar called Staff Members …
(Staff Members menu)
All of the settings and options for your plugin are configured and managed in this menu.
How To Configure The Plugin
Depending on the size of your organization and how you want to structure your directory, you can just start to add new entries at this at this stage, or create several groups (i.e. categories) to assign yourstaff into.
Staff Members – Groups
To configure your categories go to your WP dashboard menu and select Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members Menu – Groups)
The Groups settings …
Note: Setting up directory groups works in the same way as adding WordPress categories …
(Groups work like WordPress categories)
Add new groups by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Type in your group category name
- Slug – Enter 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 a category description in this field
- Click the Add New Group button when done to create a new group name …
(Groups settings area)
If you work with a larger organization, being able to assign people to different groups can be very useful. For example, you can create a category for investors, developers, faculties, etc.
Create as many groups and nested groups as you need by adding new Groups and then using the Parent drop-down menu to build a directory hierarchy …
Remember to click the Add New Group button after entering each item …
To change or reassign Groups for a specific item, hover your mouse over a category title and click on the Edit link …
The selected item will display in the Edit Group page. 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 your mouse over the group name and choose the Quick Edit menu feature …
Click the Update Group button when done …
Continue adding groups in this section until you have created your directory structure …
You can add as many nested groups as you like …
Once you have finished setting up your hierarchical structure, you can start adding staff details to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
In your admin menu, choose Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
This opens up the Add New Staff Member area …
(Add New Staff Member section)
This page provides you with an easy-to-use interface for adding and editing your staff member information and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: Your employee’s name
- Slug: Change the permalink URL for each employee if required (you will see this section after saving your details).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Upload a photo in this section
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: Your employee’s role
- Email: Your employee’s email address
- Phone Number: Your employee’s phone number
- Facebook URL: Add the person’s Facebook address (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Add the staff member’s Twitter username here (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 faculty member here. This uses the WordPress Text Editor, so you can add formatted content into this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: Assign an employee or faculty member to a group (see above to learn how to set up groups).
Click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your screen …
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 …
(Add New Staff Member fields)
Once you are done entering your staff member’s details, assign your new item to a directory group in the Groups box in your sidebar …
Note: If you did not set up groups before adding staff member details, you can add a new group in this screen by selecting Groups > + Add New Group …
(Add a new group inside your Groups box)
A field will display 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 …
A new category will be added. Make sure that the checkbox is ticked …
Note: You cannot edit groups when adding or editing new employee details. To edit a group entry, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section above for details).
After typing in your staff member’s details, click the Publish button …
Click View Post …
You can edit your member profile by clicking the Edit Staff Member link in your admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)
If you need help using the admin toolbar, refer to this step-by-step tutorial:
Note: If you get errors like the one shown below, check that your site’s permalinks have been configured correctly …
(Check your permalinks if you get ’page not found’ errors)
To learn more about setting up WordPress permalinks, see this step-by-step tutorial:
Repeat the above process to add more members to your employee directory directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
Once you have finished entering employee or team members into your directory, you can view and edit their details by choosing Staff Members > All Staff Members in the menu …
(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table listing all the staff profiles and their details …
(Staff Members list)
If you need to edit an individual’s details, hover over their name, and a submenu will appear.
Click on Edit if you want to update their Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to update details such as their name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also remove someone from the directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by clicking on View …
(Editing Staff Members profile information)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your table can grow quite large.
You can use the Search Staff Members search box to find listing items if required …
(Search Staff Members search box)
You can specify which fields to display in this section. To show or hide fields on your screen, click on Screen Options …
(Screen Options tab)
Tick or untick the checkboxes to show or hide fields. You can also choose how many staff members are shown per page. Click the Apply button when finished to save your preferences …
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you set the order in which your staff entries show on your directory pages.
Click Staff Members > Order in the menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To reorder your items, click and drag the entry to its desired location …
(Reorder employee listings using drag and drop)
Your list will automatically be reorganized …
Once you have added staff details to the directory, the next step is to add the directory to your site users.
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface allowing you to set the order in which listings display on your directory page.
Select Staff Members > Order in your WP admin menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To rearrange the order of your items, click and drag the item to its desired location …
(Rearrange employee listings using drag and drop)
Your staff list will automatically be rearranged …
After adding your employees’ details to your directory, the next step is to add your directory to your visitors.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
Simple Staff List allows you to create the layout and style of your employee directory items using template tags and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
To customize the layout and style of your staff directory, select Staff Members > Templates from the WordPress admin menu …
(Staff Members – Templates)
This opens the Templates screen …
(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 a screenshot of the default template used for displaying directory listings …
(Default Plugin Template)
The This code will display your directory 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 display in your directory, we will need to include the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] template tags, as shown below …
(Template tags can be added to Staff Loop Template)
Your directory listings will now display as shown in the screenshot below …
(Directory listings with social media links added)
Note: If you want to customize how your staff directory looks but don’t want to mess around with template tags or are not sure how to edit the template as shown above, please contact us for assistance.
As well as being able to customize your listing templates, the Simple Staff List plugin lets you display your staff profiles differently using modified shortcodes.
In your main menu, click on Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members – Usage)
This opens the Usage screen …
(Simple Staff List – Usage Shortcode section)
This screen lists all the shortcode variations allowed by the plugin.
For example, a useful shortcode variation you can select to display only members belonging a specific group is the shortcode [simple-staff-list group=”group name”], (e.g.:[simple-staff-list group=”partners”])
Or, you can make your listings display in ascending or descending order by inserting the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”ASC”] (ascending).
In the dashboard menu, select Staff Members >Options …
(Staff Members Menu – Options)
This brings up the Options page …
(Simple Staff List – customizable fields)
Here you can edit labels like Staff Members URL Slug and Staff Member titles
You can also export your staff members data from the Tools > Export section …
(Export Staff Members plugin information)
If you need specific help with this plugin, go to the Simple Staff List support page.
Additional Staff Directory Plugins For WordPress
Simple Staff List is not the only adding a directory of your faculty. For example, here are some other free plugins you can look at:
(Modern Team Staff Directory)
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:
(Staff Directory – WordPress Plugin)
Staff Directory lets you easily display a list of staff/faculty/team members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, schools, etc.
You can also use custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields Screen. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory website)
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
(Faculty And Staff Directory – WP Plugin)
The Faculty And Staff Directory plugin provides a simple and flexible faculty and staff directory for a small college or university.
The plugin also installs a widget that allows you to feature profiles in a widget area.
Learn more here:
(Company Directory – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
With the Company Directory plugin, you can add your staff to your site. Different layouts are included, including list and customizable single views, plus as fields like job title, email, phone number, pic and 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 read 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 website)
This plugin uses shortcodes.
Learn more here:
(Employee Spotlight – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
Employee Spotlight displays team members, partners or just one individual person in a 4-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant on plugin activation.
Employee Spotlight comes with two sidebar widgets which display featured and recent employees selected in the editor, and two responsive views which adjust to the screen in the viewer’s device.
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 website)
(Staffer – Plugin For WordPress)
The Staffer 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 employee directory on your site …
(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.
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 Directory Plugin
- WordPress Plugin Staff Directory
- Employee Directory WordPress
Hopefully, this tutorial has helped you learn how to create and add an easy-to-update directory of staff to your site.
Images of models used to display staff members in this tutorial were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com
"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now