Consumer behaviour research shows that people tend to buy from those they already know, like and trust.
Are you looking for quicker, easier and cheaper ways to grow your business online? Then make it easier for your prospects to get to know your organization better.
If your website is powered by the WordPress CMS, a simple way to help visitors get to know you better is to use a WordPress directory plugin that lets you add a directory listing with information about your key people, your business team, or your staff members.
This tutorial shows you how to create and add a simple and easy-to-manage directory of staff to your WordPress site.
How To Easily Add An Employee Directory To Your WordPress Site: Step-By-Step Tutorial
In this tutorial, we will install, activate and configure a plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List Plugin For WordPress)
Simple Staff List is free and lets you easily create a simple staff directory for.
The first step is to install and activate this plugin.
Log into the administration and go to Plugins > Add New …
(WP Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins panel, search for “simple staff plugin”. This will bring up the Simple Staff Plugin in your search results area.
Click on Install Now …
(Plugins – Add Plugins screen)
Activate the plugin …
After installing and activating the plugin, you will see that a new menu will have been added to your main WordPress menu bar called Staff Members …
(Staff Members menu)
Here is where you will manage and configure all of the settings and options for your plugin are configured and managed in the Staff Members menu.
How To Configure The Plugin
Depending on the size of your business and how you want to structure your employee directory, you could start to add new staff members at this at this stage, or create various groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to your staff.
Staff Members – Groups
To set up your directory categories go to your dashboard menu and choose Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members Menu – Groups)
This takes you to the Groups panel …
Note: Setting up directory groups works just like WordPress categories …
(Groups are like WordPress categories)
Create new groups by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Enter your category name here
- Slug – Type in 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 section to set up a directory hierarchy
- Description – Enter your group description in this field (optional)
- Click Add New Group when done to create your new group …
If you are a business that employs many people, having the ability to create groups can be very useful. For example, you can create a group for partners, project teams, faculties, etc.
Create as many categories and nested groups 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 on the Add New Group button after entering new items …
To edit Groups for specific entries, hover your mouse over a category title and click on the Edit link …
The category open in the Edit Group screen. Select a new group category from the Parent dropdown menu …
(Edit Group screen)
Click Update when done …
To change the Group name or slug, hover your mouse over the group name and select the Quick Edit menu feature …
Click on Update Group when done to save your changes …
Continue adding categories in this section until you have created your directory structure …
You can add as many nested groups as you like …
(Add nested categories your staff directory)
Once 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 admin menu, click on Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members Menu – Add New)
This takes you to the Add New Staff Member settings area …
(Add New Staff Member settings)
This section provides an easy-to-use interface for adding your staff member details and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: Your staff member’s name
- Permalink: Here you can change your staff members’ permalink URL (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 staff member’s role
- Email: The staff member’s email
- Phone Number: The staff member’s phone number
- Facebook URL: Add your staff member’s Facebook address (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Type in 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: Add a profile description for your employee here. This uses the WordPress Text Editor, so you can add formatting to the content entered into this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: You can assign an employee or faculty member to a specific group (see the previous section 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)
Now that you know what each section does, enter each of your staff member’s details …
(Staff directory fields)
After you are done inputting details, assign your new entry to a directory group in the Groups feature in your sidebar …
Note: If you did not set up your directory groups 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 for entering a group name will display, with a dropdown menu to assign your new entry to a parent group. Enter your new group and click on Add New Group …
The new category will be created. Make sure that the checkbox is ticked …
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 of the tutorial above for details).
After typing in the person’s details, click the Publish button …
Click View Post …
To update the staff member’s profile, click on the Edit Staff Member link in the admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – WordPress admin toolbar)
If you need help using the dashboard admin toolbar , go here:
Note: If you have set up groups and get errors like the one shown below, check that you have correctly configured your permalinks …
(Check your permalinks if you get errors)
We have written a detailed tutorial on using WP permalinks here:
Keep adding new details to your directory directory until done.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
Once you are done entering employee details to your directory, you can view and edit details by choosing Staff Members > All Staff Members on your menu …
(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)
This brings up a list with all the staff profiles and their details …
(Staff Members details)
If you need to change individual details, simply hover your mouse over their name, and a menu will appear.
Click on Edit if you need to make changes to the item’s Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to change details such as their name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also delete a listing from the directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by clicking on View …
(Edit Staff Members profile info)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your list can get quite long.
You can use the Search Staff Members search feature to find entries …
You can specify which fields to display in this section. To show or hide fields on your screen, click on Screen Options …
Selecting a check box displays the field and unselecting it hides the field. You can also specify how many staff members are shown per page. Click Apply when finished to save your settings …
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to arrange the order in which entries show on your directory page.
Choose Staff Members > Order in your menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To reorder your entries, click and drag the item to the desired location …
(Rearrange employee listings using drag and drop)
Your list will be automatically rearranged …
Once you are done adding all of your member details to your directory, the next step is to display the directory to your site users.
Staff Members – Order
The plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to set the order that listings show on your directory pages.
Select Staff Members > Order on the menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To reorder your listings, click and drag the entry to its desired position …
(Reorder items using drag and drop)
Your list will be automatically reorganized …
After adding all member details to your directory, the next step is to make the directory display on your site.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The plugin allows you to edit the style and layout of your employee directory items using template tags and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
To customize the style and layout of your staff directory, select Staff Members > Templates from the main menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Templates)
This opens the Templates screen …
To customize your directory listings, insert any of the allowable template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, here is the Default Staff Loop Template …
(Default Simple Staff List Staff Loop Template)
The This code displays your directory listing as shown below …
(Default Staff Loop Template Listing)
Notice that there are no Facebook or Twitter URLs showing in the above listing. To make these fields show up in your directory, we will need to add the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags to the template, as shown in the example below …
(Template tags can be added to the Staff Loop Template to customize your listings page)
Here is what your listings page should now look like …
(Directory listings with social media URLs added)
Note: If you want to customize your directory but don’t want to mess with CSS styles and template tags or are not sure what to do, please contact us for help.
As well as allowing you to customize your directory templates, the Simple Staff List plugin allows you to display your listings differently using modified shortcodes.
In your WP admin menu, choose Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members Menu – Usage)
This opens the Usage screen …
(Usage Shortcode screen)
This screen displays all the shortcode variations allowed by the Simple Staff List plugin.
For example, a useful variation you can add to your page to display only members belonging a specific group is the shortcode [simple-staff-list group=”group name”], (e.g.:[simple-staff-list group=”technical engineers”])
Or, you can make your listings display in ascending or descending order by inserting the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”DESC”] (descending).
In your main admin menu, select Staff Members >Options …
(Staff Members – Options)
This brings up the Options page …
(Simple Staff List – Options settings)
Here you can change some of the labels used in the plugin
Finally, you can also export your staff members details by going to the menu and choosing Tools > Export …
(Export Staff Members plugin info)
If you need plugin support, visit the Simple Staff List website.
Additional Staff Directory Plugins For WordPress
Simple Staff List is not the only adding a directory of your team members. Here are some other free plugins you can use:
(Modern Team Staff Directory – WP 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 – WordPress Plugin)
The Staff Directory plugin lets you easily display a list of team/faculty/staff members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, teams, etc.
This plugin also lets you use custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields Screen. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory plugin website)
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
(Faculty And Staff Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
Faculty And Staff Directory was developed to provide 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 a profile in a widget area.
To learn more about this plugin go here:
(Company Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
This plugin lets you easily add your employees, team or faculty to your website. Different layouts are available, including grid and customizable single views, as well as fields like position title, email address, phone number, 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 staff member 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 also uses shortcodes.
Go here to learn more about this plugin:
Employee Spotlight displays staff members, founders or just a single member of your team in a 4-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant on plugin activation.
With Employee Spotlight, you also get two sidebar widgets that let you display featured and recent employees, and two responsive views which adjust to the screen size of 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 source: Employee Spotlight plugin website)
Learn more about this plugin here:
(Staffer – WordPress Staff Directory Plugin)
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 a staff directory on your site …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot sourced from Staffer website)
Staffer works with almost all 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, search the WordPress plugin directory or go online and search for:
- Add Staff Directory To WordPress
- WordPress Staff Plugin
- Staff Directory WordPress Plugin
- Staff Plugin WordPress
Congratulations! Now you know how to add a simple directory of staff members to your WordPress site with no coding skills required, so your site visitors can get to know your company better.
Images of persons used in this tutorial to depict sample staff members were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com
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