No doubt you’ve already heard that people often tend to buy from those they know, like and trust.
Are you looking for simple ways to sell more products online or get people to interact more on your site? Then make it easier for your visitors to get to know you, your team and your organization better.
Adding a faculty member directory to your site will help to let visitors learn more about the team behind your organization.
In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to easily create and add a simple faculty members directory in your site using a free plugin.
Plugin Tutorial: Adding An Employee Directory
In this tutorial, you will learn how to install, activate and configure a free WordPress plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List – WordPress Plugin)
The Simple Staff List plugin is a no cost WordPress plugin that lets you easily display basic information to visitors about your employee on your site.
The first step is to install and activate the Simple Staff List plugin.
Log into the WP admin and in your admin menu, choose Plugins > Add New …
(WP Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins panel, search for “simple staff plugin”. This brings up the Simple Staff Plugin in your search results area.
Click on the Install Now button …
(WordPress Plugins – plugin search results)
Click the Activate Plugin link …
After the plugin has been installed and activated, you will notice that new entry will appear in your main WordPress menu called Staff Members …
All of the settings for this plugin are configured and managed from the Staff Members menu.
How To Configure The Simple Staff List Plugin
Depending on the size of your organization and how you want to structure your employee directory, you can just start to add 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
Let’s set up your directory categories. In your WP dashboard menu, choose Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members – Groups)
The Groups settings screen …
Note: Configuring groups works just like categories in WordPress …
(Groups are like categories)
Add a new group by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Enter your category name here
- Slug – Enter 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 a directory hierarchy
- Description – Type in your category description here (optional)
- Click the Add New Group button when finished to set up a new directory category …
(Groups settings screen)
If you work with a business that employs many people, 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 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 new items …
To change or reassign Groups for individual entries, hover your mouse button over a category title and click on the Edit link …
Your selected item’s details open in the Edit Group screen. Select a new group from the Parent drop-down menu …
(Edit Group screen)
Click Update to save your changes …
To edit your Group name or slug, hover over the group name and select Quick Edit …
Click the Update Group button when done to save your changes …
Add as many categories as you need to until you have created your directory structure …
Add as many nested categories as you like …
(Add nested groups to your staff directory)
Once you have finished setting up your hierarchical structure, you can start to add your people to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
In your admin menu, select Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
This takes you to the Add New Staff Member section …
(Add New Staff Member settings area)
This screen provides you with an easy-to-use interface for adding your staff member details and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: The staff member’s name
- Permalink: Here you can change the slug for your staff member if you want (you will see this section after your first save).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Add a photo of your staff member
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: Add the staff member’s position
- Email: Add the person’s email address here
- Phone Number: Type in your employee’s phone number into this field
- Facebook URL: Enter your staff member’s Facebook address here (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Type in the employee’s Twitter username into this field (note: only enter the username, not the full twitter URL)
Staff Member Bio Section (4)
- Staff Member Bio: Add a profile description for your employees here. Since this uses the WordPress Text Editor, you can use HTML in this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: You can assign the person 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 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 staff member’s details …
(Staff directory fields)
Once you have entered details, assign your new entry to a directory group in the Groups section in your sidebar …
Note: If you did not set up directory groups before adding staff member details, you can create a new group by clicking on Groups > + Add New Group …
(Add a new group inside your Groups box)
A field will appear allowing you to create a new group name, with a drop-down menu to assign your new entry to a parent group. Enter your new group and click on Add New Group …
Your new directory category will be added. Remember to tick the check box to assign your list entry to the group …
Note: Groups cannot be edited when new employee details are being added or modified. To edit an item, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section above for details).
After filling in your staff member’s details, click the Publish button to add them to your staff directory …
Click View Post …
To update the person’s profile, click on the Edit Staff Member link in the admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)
We have created a detailed tutorial about using the WP admin toolbar here:
Note: If you get ’page not found’ errors like the one shown below, check that your site permalinks have been configured correctly …
(Page error – Check your permalinks)
For a detailed tutorial on setting up permalinks in WordPress, go here:
Repeat the above process to add new entries to your staff or team directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
Once you are done entering staff details into your directory, you can view and edit their details by clicking Staff Members > All Staff Members in the WP admin menu …
(Staff Members – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table listing all the staff members and their details …
(Staff Members details list)
If you need to modify individual entries, just hover over their name, and a menu will appear.
Click on Edit to make changes to the Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to update details like name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also remove an entry from your employee directory by clicking on Trash, or view the entry on your site by clicking View …
(Editing Staff Members details)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your table can grow quite large.
You can use the Search Staff Members search field to find a member if necessary …
The plugin also lets you specify which fields can display in this screen. To show or hide fields on your screen, click the Screen Options tab …
(Staff Members Screen Options tab)
Tick or untick the checkboxes to display or hide fields. You can also select how many staff members are shown per page. Click Apply when finished to update your screen options …
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you specify the order in which 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 the desired location …
(Rearrange items using drag and drop)
Your directory will automatically be rearranged …
Once you are done adding all of your employees’ listing details to the directory, the next step is to make the directory display on your site.
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List 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 in the main menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To reorder your entries, click and drag the item to a new location …
(Reorder items using drag and drop)
Your staff list will be automatically reordered …
(Reordered list items)
Once you are done adding all of your members’ listing details to the directory, the next step is to add your directory to your site visitors.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The 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 style and layout of your staff list, select Staff Members > Templates from your main menu …
(Staff Members – Templates)
This brings up the Templates page …
(Customize your directory template)
To customize your directory listings, reorganize any of the permitted template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, below is a screenshot of the Default Template …
(Default Plugin Template)
The The code shown above will display your directory listing as shown below …
(Default Simple Staff List Template Listing)
Notice that there are no Facebook or Twitter URLs showing in the above listing. To make these fields display in the 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 the Staff Loop Template to customize your directory page)
Your employee details will now display Facebook and Twitter addresses as shown in the example below …
(Employee profiles with social media links added)
Note: If you want to customize your directory listings but don’t want to mess around with code or are unsure of what to do, please contact us for assistance.
In addition to being able to customize your directory templates, the Simple Staff List plugin lets you display your staff profiles differently using modified shortcodes.
In your menu, choose Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members – Usage)
This opens the Usage page …
(Usage Shortcode screen)
This screen provides a list of all different shortcode variations that the Simple Staff List plugin allows you to use.
For example, a useful variation you can insert in your page to display only members of a specific group is the shortcode [simple-staff-list group=”group name”], (e.g.:[simple-staff-list group=”partners”])
Or, you can display listings in ascending or descending order by inserting the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”ASC”] (ascending).
Select Staff Members >Options in your menu …
(Staff Members – Options)
This brings up the Options screen …
(Simple Staff List – Options screen)
Here you can edit some of the labels used in the plugin
Finally, you can also export your staff members info from the Tools > Export section …
(Export Staff Members plugin information)
If you need additional information about the Simple Staff List plugin, visit the plugin support page.
Additional Employee Directory Plugins
Simple Staff List is not the only plugin you can use. For example, here are a few other free plugins you can use to add a directory on your site:
(Modern Team Staff Directory – WordPress 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)
Learn more here:
(Staff Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
Staff Directory lets you easily display a list of team/faculty/staff members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, schools, etc.
You can also add custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory website)
For more details, visit the plugin site 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 or university.
The plugin also installs a widget that allows you to feature profiles in a widget area.
(Company Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
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 job title, email, phone number, image and member 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 in an easy-to-view format. Screenshot sourced from Company Directory plugin website)
This plugin uses a simple shortcode system.
Employee Spotlight displays team members, partners or just one single member of your team in a four-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant on plugin activation.
With the Employee Spotlight plugin, you get two sidebar widgets which display featured and recent employees, and two responsive views which adjust to the screen in the viewer’s device.
Detailed information about each staff member can be displayed in their own page, as well as in summary …
(Responsive layout with circle grid. Screenshot sourced from plugin website)
Learn more about the plugin here:
This plugin uses custom post types for staff management and supports the display of staff members via a shortcode, allowing you to easily create and manage an onsite staff directory …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot sourced from plugin website)
Staffer works with almost all WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
Go here to learn more:
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
- WordPress Plugin Staff Directory
- Staff Plugin WordPress
Congratulations! Now you know how to add and create a simple directory of staff members to your WordPress site without touching code, so your site visitors can get to know your organization better.
Images of models used to depict fictitious staff members were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com