Many business experts have successfully demonstrated that people generally tend to buy from businesses they know, like and trust.
Are you searching for simple ideas to sell more products or services online and increase user interaction with your site? Then one of the things you can do, is help your prospects get to know, like and trust you, your team and your organization better.
If your online business is built with the WordPress CMS platform, a simple way to help people get to know you better is to display information about your key partners, your team, or your staff using a WordPress directory plugin.
In this step-by-step tutorial, we are going to show you how to create and add an easy-to-update simple faculty directory in your WordPress site without touching code.
Tutorial: Adding An Employee List Directory To Your Site
In this tutorial, you will learn how to install, activate and configure a WordPress plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List)
The Simple Staff List plugin is a free plugin that lets you employee (you could also use it to display partners, etc.).
The first step is to install and activate the Simple Staff List plugin.
Log into the WP admin and go to Plugins > Add New …
(WordPress Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins area, search for “simple staff plugin”. This will bring up the Simple Staff Plugin in your search results area.
Click on Install Now …
(Plugins – plugin search results)
Click on Activate Plugin …
After installing and activating your plugin, a new entry will be added to your WordPress admin menu section called Staff Members …
(Staff Members menu)
This menu is where you will configure and manage all of the settings for this plugin are configured and managed in this menu.
How To Configure The Plugin
Depending on the size of your team and how you want to structure your staff directory, you can start to add new staff members at this point, or create different groups (i.e. categories) to place your individualstaff members into.
Staff Members – Groups
To configure your directory groups go to your dashboard menu and select Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members Menu – Groups)
This opens up the Groups area …
(Groups settings area)
Note: Setting up groups is very similar to working with categories in WordPress …
(Groups work like categories)
Add new groups by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Type in your group category name
- 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 drop-down menu if you plan to set up nested groups
- Description – Enter the group description (optional)
- Click Add New Group when done to create the new group name …
(Groups settings screen)
If you manage a larger organization, the ability to assign people to different categories can be very useful. For example, you can create groups for partners, project teams, 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 assign these to a hierarchical structure …
Remember to click the Add New Group button after entering new items …
To change or reassign Groups for a specific entry, hover over a category title and click on the Edit link …
The group details will open in the Edit Group screen. Select a new parent group category from the Parent dropdown menu …
(Edit Group settings)
Click Update to save your changes …
To edit the Group name or slug, hover over the group name and select the Quick Edit menu feature …
Click the Update Group button when done …
Add as many groups as you need to until you are done creating your directory structure …
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 begin to add your people to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
From your WordPress admin menu, choose Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
The Add New Staff Member area …
(Add New Staff Member area)
This area provides an easy-to-use interface for adding and editing your staff member profile and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: The staff member’s name
- Permalink: Change the slug for each employee if required (this section appears after saving your details).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Upload a photo in this section
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: Type in the person’s position
- Email: The staff member’s email address
- Phone Number: Your staff member’s phone number
- Facebook URL: Type your employee’s Facebook address (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Type in the person’s Twitter username (note: only enter the username, not the full twitter URL)
Staff Member Bio Section (4)
- Staff Member Bio: Type a profile description for your employee here. This uses the WordPress Text Editor, so you can format content into this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: You can assign the individual to a specific group (see the previous section of this tutorial to learn how to set up your groups).
Click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your screen …
You can enable additional features …
(Enable additional fields in screen options)
Now that you know what each section does, enter each of your staff member’s details …
(Add Staff Member fields)
After you have entered each of you staff member’s details, assign your entry to a directory group in the Groups feature located in the sidebar …
Note: If you have not set up groups before adding new staff members, you can add a new group in this screen by selecting 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. Enter your new category and click on Add New Group …
Your new group will be created. Remember to tick the check box to assign an individual to the group …
Note: You cannot edit groups when adding or editing new employee details. To edit an item, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section above for details).
After entering the person’s details, click the Publish button …
Click View Post …
You can modify your member profile by clicking the Edit Staff Member link in the WP admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)
To learn more about using the admin toolbar, refer to this tutorial:
Note: If you have set up groups and get ’page not found’ errors like the one shown below, check that you have configured your permalinks correctly …
(Not found error? Check your permalinks)
We have written a detailed tutorial on using WP permalinks here:
Continue adding new entries to your employee or partner directory until done.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
After you have finished adding employee details to your directory, you can view and edit details by choosing Staff Members > All Staff Members on the menu …
(Staff Members – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table of all your staff profiles and details you have added for each entry …
(Staff Members list)
If you need to modify an individual’s details, hover your mouse over their name, and a menu will appear.
Click on Edit to update the Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to edit details like name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also remove a member from your directory by clicking on Trash, or view the entry on your site by clicking View …
(Editing Staff Members profile)
If you have many entries added to this section, your table can get quite long.
Use the Search Staff Members search box to locate listing items if required …
(Search Staff Members search feature)
The plugin also lets you specify which fields can display in this screen. To show or hide fields on your screen, click on Screen Options …
(Staff Members Screen Options)
Tick or untick the checkboxes to display or hide specific fields. You can also choose how many staff members are shown per page. Click the Apply button when done to update your settings …
Staff Members – Order
The plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to set the order that entries display on your directory page.
Choose Staff Members > Order on your menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To reorder your listings, click and drag the entry to the new location …
(Reorder staff listings using drag and drop)
Your directory will automatically be reordered …
(Reordered list items)
Once you are done adding all of your member details to the directory, the next step is to display the directory to your site users.
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you arrange the order that listings display on your directory page.
Click Staff Members > Order in your menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To rearrange the order of your entries, click and drag the item to its new position …
(Rearrange employee listings using drag and drop)
Your directory will be automatically rearranged …
(Reordered list items)
Once you have added all of your employees’ listing details to your directory, the next step is to make your directory show on your site.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The plugin also lets you edit 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 list, select Staff Members > Templates from your main admin menu …
(Staff Members – 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 template used for displaying listings …
(Default Simple Staff List Staff Loop Template)
The above code displays the listing shown below …
(Default Plugin Template Listing)
Notice that there are no Facebook or Twitter addresses showing in the above example. To display these fields, you will need to add the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags to the template, as shown in the screenshot below …
(Template tags can be added to Staff Loop Template)
Your staff entries will now display as shown in the example below …
(Directory listings with social media URLs added)
Note: If you want to customize your directory but don’t want to mess with template tags 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 main admin menu, choose Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members Menu – Usage)
This opens the Usage page …
(Usage Shortcode section)
This screen lists all different shortcode variations that the plugin allows you to use.
A useful variation you can add, 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=”Gold Level associates”])
You can also display listings in ascending or descending order by adding the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”ASC”] (ascending).
In the main admin menu, select Staff Members >Options …
(Staff Members Menu – Options)
This opens the Options page …
(Simple Staff List – customizable options)
Here you can edit labels like Staff Members URL Slug and Staff Member titles
Finally, you can also export your staff members data by going to your menu and clicking Tools > Export …
(Export Staff Members information)
If you need plugin support, visit the Simple Staff List plugin site and contact the plugin developer.
Other Employee Directory Plugins
Simple Staff List is not the only for creating a directory of your employees in WordPress. For example, here are a few other free WordPress plugins you can check out for adding a directory on your site:
(Modern Team Staff Directory – WordPress Plugin)
The Modern Team Staff Directory plugin 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 – Plugin For WordPress)
The Staff Directory plugin lets you easily display a list of faculty/team/staff members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, schools, etc.
This plugin also lets you use custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory plugin website)
Learn more here:
(Faculty And Staff Directory)
This plugin was developed to provide 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.
Learn more about this plugin here:
(Company Directory – WordPress Staff Directory Plugin)
With Company Directory, you can add your staff to your site. Different layouts are included, including grid and table views, plus as fields like title, email address, phone number, photo and 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 employee in a customizable single view …
(Display your staff and faculty members in an easy-to-view format. Screenshot sourced from plugin website)
This plugin also uses simple shortcodes.
Learn more here:
(Employee Spotlight – Plugin For WordPress)
Employee Spotlight displays team members, founders or just an individual member of your team in a four-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant on plugin activation.
The Employee Spotlight plugincomes with two sidebar widgets which display featured and recent employees, plus 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 employee circle grid. Screenshot source: plugin website)
Learn more here:
(Staffer – WordPress Plugin)
This plugin 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 an onsite employee directory …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot source: Staffer website)
Staffer works immediately with almost all 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, just go online or visit the WordPress plugin directory and search for:
- Add Staff Directory To WordPress
- WordPress Staff Plugin
- Staff Directory WordPress Plugin
- Staff Directory Plugin WordPress
Hopefully, now you know how to add an easy-to-manage simple faculty members directory in your website using a free WP plugin.
Images of persons used in this tutorial to display sample staff members were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com
"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)