It’s often said in marketing circles that people will mostly buy from people they already know, like and trust.
If you are looking for ideas to grow your business online or get people to stay longer on your site, then make it easier for prospects to get to know, like and trust you, your team and your business better.
Adding a directory of staff or faculty members to your website can help increase your online credibility and get interested prospects to contact you.
This tutorial will show you how to create a simple and easy-to-manage staff directory in your web site.
Plugin Tutorial: Adding A Staff List Directory To Your Site
In this tutorial, we will install, activate and configure a 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.
The first step is to install and activate the plugin.
Log into your WP admin and in your admin menu section, choose Plugins > Add New …
(WordPress Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins screen, search for “simple staff plugin”. This brings up the Simple Staff Plugin in your plugin search results.
Click on the Install Now button …
(Plugins – Add Plugins screen)
Click on the Activate Plugin link …
After the plugin has been installed and activated, you will notice that new entry will appear on the WordPress admin menu called Staff Members …
(Staff Members menu)
The Staff Members menu is where you will manage and configure all of the options and settings for the Simple Staff List plugin are configured and managed from the Staff Members menu.
Configuring Simple Staff List
Depending on how many people are in your business and how you want to structure your staff directory, you can start to add new staff members after installing the plugin, or create different groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to individual employees.
Staff Members – Groups
To configure your groups go to your WordPress dashboard menu and select Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members – Groups)
The Groups panel opens on your web browser …
(Groups settings screen)
Note: Configuring groups works just like categories in WordPress …
(Groups work just like WordPress categories)
Create a new group by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Type in your category name
- 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 a category description in this field (optional)
- Click Add New Group when finished to create your new directory group …
If you work with a larger organization, the ability to assign people to different categories can be very useful. For example, you can create categories for investors, project teams, 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 assign these to a directory hierarchy …
Remember to click on the Add New Group button after creating each new item …
To edit Groups for a particular item, hover your mouse over a category title and select the Edit link …
The group open in the Edit Group page. Select a new group category from the Parent dropdown menu …
(Edit Group screen)
Click the Update button to save your changes …
To change your Group name or slug, hover your mouse over the group name and select Quick Edit …
Click on Update Group when done to save your changes …
Add as many categories as you need to until you have created your directory structure …
You can add as many nested categories as you like …
(Add nested groups to your directory)
After you are done setting up your directory structure, you can start to add your people to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
From your WP admin menu, click on Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
This opens up the Add New Staff Member settings …
(Add New Staff Member section)
This section provides an easy-to-use interface for adding and editing your staff member details and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: The staff member’s name
- Permalink: Modify the slug for each employee if you want (this section appears after your first save).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Upload a photo here
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: Add the person’s role here
- Email: The staff member’s email
- Phone Number: Enter your staff member’s phone number
- Facebook URL: Enter your company’s Facebook address (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Type in the person’s Twitter username into this field (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 employees here. Since this uses the WordPress Text Editor, you can use HTML into this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: This section lets you assign the individual to a group (see above to learn how to set up your groups).
If you click on the Screen Options tab …
(Screen options tab)
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 your employee’s details …
(Staff directory fields)
After you have entered each staff member’s details, assign your entry to a directory group in the Groups feature located in your sidebar …
Note: If you did not set up categories before starting to add staff member details, you can create a new group by selecting Groups > + Add New Group …
(Add a new group inside your Groups box)
A field will display allowing you to create a new group name, with a dropdown 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 directory category will be added. Remember to tick the check box to assign an individual to the group …
Note: Groups cannot be edited when adding or editing a staff or faculty member’s details. To edit an item, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section above for details).
After entering your employee’s details, click the Publish button to add them to the staff directory …
Click View Post …
To edit your member profile, click on the Edit Staff Member link in the admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – WP admin toolbar)
We have written 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 you have correctly configured your site’s permalinks …
(Not found error? Check your permalinks)
To learn more about setting up permalinks in WordPress, refer to this tutorial:
Repeat the above process to add more members to your staff or member directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
After you are done adding employee or team members to your directory, you can view and edit details by selecting Staff Members > All Staff Members in your main admin menu …
(Staff Members – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table listing all your listing entries and their details …
(Staff Members details table)
If you need to make changes to an individual’s details, hover over their listing, and a submenu will appear.
Click on Edit if you want to make changes to the item’s Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to edit details like name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also remove an entry from your employee directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by selecting View …
(Edit Staff Members details)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your table can become unwieldy.
Use the Search Staff Members search feature to find entries 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 …
Placing a tick in the item’s checkbox displays the field and unchecking a box hides the field. You can also choose 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 allows you to set the order that your employees display on your directory page.
Choose Staff Members > Order on the menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To reorder your listings, click and drag the entry to the new position …
(Reorder staff listings using drag and drop)
Your list will be automatically reordered …
Once you have added members’ listing details to the directory, the next step is to add your directory to your visitors.
Staff Members – Order
The Simple Staff List plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface allowing you to set the order in which listings show on your directory pages.
Click Staff Members > Order on your WP admin menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To rearrange the order of your items, click and drag the entry to the new position …
(Reorder employee listings using drag and drop)
Your directory will be automatically reordered …
(Reordered list entries)
Once you are done adding all of your employees’ listing details to the directory, the next step is to add the directory on your site.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The plugin allows you to edit the style and layout of your directory listings using template tags and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
To customize the style and layout of your directory, select Staff Members > Templates from the main admin menu …
(Staff Members – Templates)
This brings up the Templates page …
(Customize your directory template)
To customize your directory listings, insert any of the allowed template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, here is the Default Staff Loop Template …
(Default Staff Loop Template)
The This code will display your directory listing as shown below …
(Default Plugin Staff Loop Template Listing)
Notice that there are no Facebook or Twitter URLs showing in the above listing. To make these fields show in your directory, you will need to include the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags in the template loop, as shown in the screenshot below …
(Template tags added to Staff Loop Template)
Your staff listings will now display as as the screenshot below shows …
(Directory with social media URLs added)
Note: If you want to customize your directory listings but don’t want to mess with editing code or are not sure how to edit the template as shown above, please contact us for assistance.
In addition to 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 …
(Simple Staff List shortcodes)
This screen displays all the shortcode variations that you can use with the plugin.
A useful variation you can decide to use, for example, to display a list of persons belonging only to a specific group is the shortcode [simple-staff-list group=”group name”], (e.g.:[simple-staff-list group=”Asia Pacific Region”])
You can also display listings in ascending or descending order by using the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”DESC”] (descending).
Click Staff Members >Options on the menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Options)
This brings up the Options screen …
This section lets you edit some of the labels used in the plugin
Finally, you can also export your staff members details by going to your menu and choosing Tools > Export …
(Export Staff Members information)
If you need plugin help or support, go to the Simple Staff List faq page.
Additional WordPress Plugins For Creating Simple Employee Directories
Simple Staff List is not the only plugin you can use. For example, here are some other free WordPress plugins you can check out to add a directory on your site:
(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)
Go here to learn more:
(Staff Directory – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
With Staff Directory, you can easily display a list of faculty/team/staff members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, schools, etc.
The plugin also lets you insert custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields Screen. Screenshot sourced from plugin website)
Learn more about this plugin here:
(Faculty And Staff Directory – WP Plugin)
Faculty And Staff Directory provides a simple and flexible faculty and staff directory for a small college, school or university.
The plugin also installs a widget that allows you to feature a profile in a widget area.
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
The Company Directory plugin lets you add your employees to your site. Different layouts are included, including grid and single views, as well as fields like job title, email address, phone number, pic and staff bio, allowing you to present your company and capabilities.
Visitors can 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, visit the plugin site here:
(Employee Spotlight – WordPress Plugin)
Employee Spotlight displays employees, founders or just an 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.
Employee Spotlight includes two sidebar widgets that let you 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 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:
(Staffer – WP Plugin)
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 source: Staffer plugin website)
Staffer works with many popular WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
To learn more about the plugin go here:
If the above plugins 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
- WordPress Plugin Staff Directory
- Staff Plugin WordPress
Congratulations! Now you know how to add and create a simple staff or faculty directory to your WordPress site with no coding skills required, so your web visitors can get to know you and the people in your business 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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