Consumer buying habits have successfully shown that people tend to buy from those they know, like and trust.
If you are looking for simple ways to sell more products or services online, then make it easier for your visitors to get to know, like and trust you and your organization better.
If your online business is built using the WordPress CMS platform, a simple way to help people get to know you better is to display information about your key partners, your business team, or your employees using a staff list plugin.
This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to create a simple and easy-to-update directory of employees in your WordPress site.
Adding An Employee List Directory To Your Site: Step-By-Step Tutorial
In this tutorial, we will install, activate and configure a no cost plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List)
Simple Staff List is a free plugin that lets you easily create a simple staff directory for.
First, let’s install and activate this plugin.
Log into the administration and go to 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 search results area.
Click on the Install Now button …
(Plugins – plugin search results)
Click on Activate Plugin …
After the plugin has been installed and activated, you will see that a new menu will show up in your WordPress admin menu called Staff Members …
All of the settings for the Simple Staff List plugin are configured and managed from this menu.
How To Configure The Simple Staff List Plugin
Depending on the size of your team and how you want to structure your staff directory, you can just start to add new employee entries at this point, or create several groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to your members.
Staff Members – Groups
To configure your directory categories go to your dashboard menu and select Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members – Groups)
The Groups screen …
Note: Adding groups is just like adding categories in WordPress …
(Groups work just like WordPress categories)
Create a new group by typing in the following information:
- Group Name – Type in your group category name
- Slug – Type in the URL-friendly version of your group 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 – Enter the group description in this field
- Click Add New Group when finished to create the new group name …
If you work with a larger organization, having the ability to set up different groups can be very useful. For example, you can create groups for founders, developers, faculties, etc.
Create as many categories and nested categories as you want 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 entering each new item …
To edit Groups for individual entries, hover over a category title and select the Edit link …
The item’s details will display in the Edit Group screen. Select a new category from the Parent dropdown menu …
(Edit Group screen)
Click Update when done …
To edit the Group name or slug, hover your mouse over the group name and choose Quick Edit …
Click on Update Group when done …
Add as many group names as you need to until you are done creating your directory structure …
Add as many nested categories as you like …
Once you have finished setting up your groups, you can begin adding names to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
In your admin menu, choose Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
This takes you to the Add New Staff Member settings …
(Add New Staff Member screen)
This screen 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
- Slug: You can modify your employees’ permalink URL (you will see this section after your first save).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Upload a photo of your staff member
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: The employee’s position
- Email: Type in the person’s email address into this field
- Phone Number: Add your staff member’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: Type your company’s Twitter username (note: only enter the username, not the full twitter URL)
Staff Member Bio Section (4)
- Staff Member Bio: Type in a profile description for your staff members here. This uses the WordPress Text Editor, so you can add formatting to the content entered into this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: Assign the person to a specific group (see the previous section to learn how to set up groups).
If you 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)
Now that you know what each section does, enter each staff member’s details …
(Staff directory fields)
Once you are done inputting each staff member’s details, assign your item to a directory group in the Groups section in your sidebar …
Note: If you have not set up your directory groups before starting to add new staff members, you can create a new group by selecting Groups > + Add New Group …
(Groups - + Add New Group link)
A field for creating your new group name will display, with a drop-down menu to assign your new entry to a parent group. Enter your new directory category and click on Add New Group …
A new directory category will be added. Remember to tick the checkbox to assign a staff member to the group …
(New group added in Groups feature)
Note: You cannot edit groups when adding or making changes to a staff member’s details. To edit a group item, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section of the tutorial above for details).
After entering your employee’s details, click the Publish button to add them to the employee directory …
Click View Post …
To edit your member profile, click on the Edit Staff Member link in your admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – WordPress admin toolbar)
If you need help using the WordPress admin toolbar, refer to this step-by-step tutorial:
Note: If you see ’not found’ page errors like the one shown below, check that you have configured your site’s permalinks correctly …
(Not found error? Check your permalinks)
We have written a detailed tutorial on using WordPress permalinks here:
Repeat the above process to add more details to your directory directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
After you have finished adding employee details into your directory, you can view and edit details by selecting Staff Members > All Staff Members in your dashboard menu …
(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table displaying all your directory items and details you have added related to each entry …
(Staff Members table)
If you need to modify individual entries, just hover your mouse over their list name, and a submenu will appear.
Click on Edit if you want to make changes to the Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to update details such as their name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also remove a member from your staff directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by clicking View …
(Edit Staff Members details)
If you have many names to add, your list can get quite long.
Use the Search Staff Members search field to find a member if required …
You can specify which fields can display in this screen. To hide or hide fields on your screen, click the Screen Options tab …
(Staff Members Screen Options)
Placing a tick in the item’s 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 Apply when done to update your settings …
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you set the order that entries show on your directory page.
Click Staff Members > Order in the main menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To reorder your items, click and drag the item to its desired position …
(Reorder employee listings using drag and drop)
Your staff list will automatically be rearranged …
(Reordered list entries)
Once you have added all of your employees’ details to the directory, the next step is to add the directory to your site visitors.
Staff Members – Order
The Simple Staff List plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface allowing you to specify the order that entries display on your directory page.
Click Staff Members > Order on your main admin menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To reorder your items, click and drag the item to its desired location …
(Rearrange listings using drag and drop)
Your staff list will be automatically reorganized …
(Reordered list items)
After adding your staff details to the directory, the next step is to add the directory on your site.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
Simple Staff List allows you to customize the style and layout of your staff 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 your main admin menu …
(Staff Members – Templates)
This brings up the Templates screen …
(Simple Staff List Templates page)
To customize your directory listings, insert any of the allowable template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, here is a screenshot of the Default Template …
The This code will display your listing as shown below …
(Default Plugin Template Listing)
Notice that no Facebook or Twitter URLs are showing in the above example. To make these fields show up in the directory, we will need to include the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] template tags, as shown in the example below …
(Template tags can be added to the Staff Loop Template to customize your directory page)
Your directory listings will now display with Facebook and Twitter links as as the screenshot below shows …
(Directory listings with social media URLs)
Note: If you want to customize your directory listings but don’t want to mess around with CSS styles and template tags or are unsure of what to do, please contact us for help.
In addition to being able to customize your directory templates, the Simple Staff List plugin allows you to display your staff profiles differently using modified shortcodes.
In your menu, choose Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members Menu – Usage)
This brings up the Usage screen …
(Simple Staff List shortcodes)
This screen provides a list of all different shortcode variations that the plugin lets you use.
A useful variation you can select, for example, 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 using the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”ASC”] (ascending).
In your main admin menu, select Staff Members >Options …
(Staff Members – Options)
This opens the Options page …
(Simple Staff List – customizable fields)
Here you can change some of the labels used in the plugin
Finally, you can also export your staff members data from the Tools > Export section …
(Export Staff Members information)
If you need additional information about the Simple Staff List plugin, visit the plugin faq page.
Additional WordPress Plugins For Creating Staff Directories
Simple Staff List isn’t the only for creating a directory of your employees. Here are other free plugins you can use for creating a staff directory on your site:
(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)
Learn more here:
Staff Directory lets you easily display a list of staff/faculty/team members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, teams, etc.
The plugin lets you add custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields Screen. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory website)
Go here to learn more about the plugin:
(Faculty And Staff Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
This 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.
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
(Company Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
This plugin lets you easily add your employees, team or faculty to your website. Different layouts are included, including list and single views, plus as fields like job title, email address, phone, photo 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 learn more about each staff member in a customizable single view …
(Display your staff and faculty in an easy-to-view format. Screenshot source: Company Directory plugin website)
This plugin uses shortcodes.
For more details go here:
Employee Spotlight displays team members, partners or just one individual member of your team in a 4-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant upon plugin activation.
This plugin comes with two sidebar widgets which display featured and recent employees selected in the editor, and two responsive views which adjust to the screen size of the viewer’s device.
Detailed information about each faculty member can be displayed in their own page, as well as in summary …
(Responsive layout with circle grid. Screenshot sourced from plugin website)
(Staffer – Plugin For WordPress)
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 a staff directory on your website …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot source: Staffer 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 about this plugin:
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 Directory Plugin
- WordPress Plugin Staff Directory
- Simple Staff List Template WordPress
Hopefully, now you know how to easily add an easy-to-update directory of staff members in in WordPress with no coding skills required.
Images of persons used to display fictitious staff members were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum