Consumer behavior research shows that people generally tend to buy from those they already know, like and trust.
If you are looking for simple ways to grow your business online, then something you can do, is help prospects get to know, like and trust you and your business better.
Adding a directory to your site can help boost your online credibility and get more prospects to contact you.
In this step-by-step tutorial, we explain how to add a simple and easy-to-update list directory of employees to your site using free plugins.
Step-By-Step Tutorial: Adding A Staff Directory
In this tutorial, you will learn how to install, activate and configure a plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List WordPress Plugin)
The Simple Staff List plugin is free and lets you easily staff (you could also use it to display faculty, etc.).
First, let’s install and activate the plugin.
Log into your WordPress administration and from the admin menu, click on Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins area, search for “simple staff plugin”. This will bring up the Simple Staff Plugin in your plugin search results.
Click on Install Now …
(Plugins – plugin search results)
Activate the plugin …
After the plugin has been installed and activated, you will see that a new entry will display on the main WordPress admin menu section called Staff Members …
All of the settings and options for your plugin are configured and managed in this menu.
Configuring Simple Staff List
Depending on how many people are in your business and how you want to structure your directory, you could just start adding new entries at this at this stage, or create several groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to your staff members.
Staff Members – Groups
To configure your directory groups go to your dashboard menu and choose Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members – Groups)
This takes you to the Groups settings panel …
Note: Adding groups is very similar to working with categories in WordPress …
(Groups work like categories)
Create new groups by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Enter your group 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 nested groups
- Description – Enter your category description in this field
- Click Add New Group when done to set up your new group name …
If you manage a medium to large organization, the ability to assign people to different categories can be very useful. For example, you can create a group for founders, developers, departments, etc.
Create as many groups and nested categories as you need by adding new Groups and then using the Parent drop-down menu to build a directory hierarchy …
Remember to click on the Add New Group button after entering each new item …
To edit or reassign Groups for a specific entry, hover over a category title and select the Edit link …
The group open in the Edit Group screen. Select a new parent group from the Parent drop-down menu …
(Edit Group settings)
Click Update to save your changes …
To edit the Group name or slug, hover over the group name and choose Quick Edit …
Click Update Group when done …
Continue adding categories to this section until you are done creating your directory structure …
You can add as many nested groups as you like …
(Add nested categories your staff directory)
Once you are done setting up your groups, the next step is to start adding names to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
From your 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 page provides you with an easy-to-use interface for adding your staff member details and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: Add your staff member’s name
- Slug: Edit each employees’ slug (this section appears after saving your details).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Upload a photo here
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: The staff member’s position
- Email: Your employee’s email address
- Phone Number: Type in the staff member’s phone number here
- Facebook URL: Enter your staff member’s Facebook address (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Enter 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: Enter a profile description for your staff members here. This uses the WordPress Text Editor, so you can add formatted content into this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: This section lets you assign the person to a group (see the previous section to learn how to set up groups).
Click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your screen …
(Screen options tab)
You will see options to enable additional page settings …
(Enable additional fields in screen options)
Now that you know what each section does, enter your employee’s details …
(Add Staff Member settings)
After you have entered each of you staff member’s details, assign your new item to a directory group in the Groups box in the sidebar …
Note: If you have not set up categories before adding new staff members, you can create a group now by clicking on Groups > + Add New Group …
(Add a new group inside your Groups box)
A field for creating a group name will display, with a drop-down menu that lets you assign your new entry to a parent group. Type in the name of your new category and click on Add New Group …
Your new category will be created. Make sure that the check box is ticked …
Note: You cannot edit groups when adding or making changes to new employee details. To edit an item, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section above for details).
After filling in your employee’s details, click the Publish button to add them to your directory …
Click View Post …
To make changes to the staff member’s profile, click on the Edit Staff Member link in your admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)
We have created a detailed tutorial about using the admin toolbar here:
Note: If errors like the one shown in the screenshot below shows up, check that your permalinks have been configured correctly …
(Not found error – Check your permalinks)
To learn more about setting up permalinks in WordPress, see this tutorial:
Repeat the above process to add more entries to your staff directory directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
After entering employee details to your directory, you can view and edit their details by clicking Staff Members > All Staff Members on the main admin menu …
(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table listing all the staff profiles and any details you have added for each entry …
(Staff Members table)
If you need to edit an individual’s details, just hover your mouse over their name, and a menu will appear.
Click on Edit if you want to edit the item’s Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to update details such as their name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also remove someone from the staff directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by clicking View …
(Edit Staff Members details)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your table can grow quite large.
Use the Search Staff Members search field to find listing items if required …
(Search Staff Members search box)
The plugin also allows you to specify which fields can display in this screen. To show or hide fields on your screen, click on Screen Options …
(Staff Members Screen Options tab)
Tick or untick the checkboxes to display or hide specific fields. You can also select how many staff members are listed per page. Click Apply when finished to save your settings …
Staff Members – Order
The Simple Staff List plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to set the order that your employees appear on your directory page.
Choose Staff Members > Order on the dashboard menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To rearrange the order of your entries, click and drag the entry to the desired position …
(Reorder listings using drag and drop)
Your staff list will automatically be reorganized …
Once you have added employees’ details to the directory, the next step is to make your directory display to your visitors.
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface allowing you to arrange the order that listings display on your directory page.
Select Staff Members > Order on your menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To reorder your listings, click and drag the item to a desired position …
(Reorder staff listings using drag and drop)
Your directory will automatically be reordered …
(Reordered list items)
After adding all staff details to your directory, the next step is to display the directory to your visitors.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
Simple Staff List lets you edit the style and layout of your staff 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 WP admin menu …
(Staff Members – Templates)
This brings up the Templates page …
(Customize your directory template)
To customize your directory, reorganize any of the permitted template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, below is the default template used for displaying listings …
(Default Plugin Template)
The above code displays the listing shown below …
(Default Template Listing)
Notice that no Facebook or Twitter URLs are showing in the above listing. To display these fields, we will need to include the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags in the template, as shown in the example below …
(Template tags can be added to Staff Loop Template)
Your employee entries will now display as as shown below …
(Directory listings with social media URLs added)
Note: If you want to customize how your directory looks but don’t want to mess with CSS styles and template tags or are not sure what to do, please contact us for assistance.
In addition to being able to customize your listing templates, the Simple Staff List plugin allows you to display your staff profiles differently using modified shortcodes.
In your menu, click on Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members Menu – Usage)
This brings up the Usage screen …
(Simple Staff List – Usage shortcodes)
This screen displays all different shortcode variations allowed by the plugin.
For example, a useful variation you can decide to use to display a list of staff members belonging only to a specific group is the shortcode [simple-staff-list group=”group name”], (e.g.:[simple-staff-list group=”Gold Level associates”])
You can also display listings in ascending or descending order by inserting the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”DESC”] (descending).
Choose Staff Members >Options in your menu …
(Staff Members – Options)
This opens the Options screen …
(Simple Staff List – Options settings screen)
Here you can modify labels like Staff Members URL Slug and Staff Member titles
You can also export your staff members info by going to your menu and choosing Tools > Export …
(Export Staff Members information)
If you need any help with the Simple Staff List plugin, go to the plugin faq page.
Other WordPress Plugins For Creating 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 for adding a staff directory on your website:
(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)
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
(Staff Directory – WordPress Plugin)
Staff Directory lets you easily display a list of faculty/team/staff members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for churches, schools, etc.
You can also set up custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory plugin website)
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
(Faculty And Staff Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
This plugin was developed to provide a simple and flexible faculty and staff directory for a small college or university.
The plugin also includes a widget that allows you to feature profiles in a widget area.
Go here to learn more about this plugin:
With the Company Directory plugin, you can add your employees to your website. Different layouts are included, including grid and single views, plus as fields like title, email, phone, photo and staff bio, allowing visitors to get to know your company and capabilities.
Visitors can 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 members in an easy to view format. Screenshot source: plugin website)
This plugin uses simple shortcodes.
To learn more about this plugin go here:
(Employee Spotlight – Plugin For WordPress)
Employee Spotlight displays employees, partners or just a single person in a 4-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 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 sourced from Employee Spotlight website)
(Staffer – WordPress Staff Directory 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 employee directory on your website …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot sourced from plugin website)
Staffer works immediately with many popular WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
Learn more about the plugin here:
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
- Staff Plugin WordPress
Hopefully, now you know how to add an easy-to-update simple staff directory in in WordPress using a free plugin.
Images of models used to depict fictitious staff members were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com
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