No doubt you’ve heard that people often tend to buy from businesses they know, like and trust.
Are you looking for quicker, easier and cheaper ideas to grow your business online or increase user interaction on your site? Then something you can do, is make it easier for visitors to get to know your organization better.
If your site is powered by the WordPress CMS, one way to easily help people get to know you better is to display information about your key partners, your faculty, or your employees using a staff list plugin.
This tutorial explains how to add an easy-to-manage staff directory to your site.
Plugin Tutorial: Adding A Staff List Directory In WordPress
In this tutorial, you will learn how to install, activate and configure a no cost WordPress plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List WordPress Plugin)
Simple Staff List is free and lets you staff members (you could also use it to display board of directors, etc.).
First, let’s install and activate the Simple Staff List plugin.
Log into the WordPress administration and from the admin menu section, choose Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins panel, search for “simple staff plugin”. This should bring up the Simple Staff Plugin in your plugin search results.
Click on the Install Now button …
(WordPress Plugins – Add Plugins screen)
Activate the plugin …
After installing and activating the plugin, a new menu will appear on the WordPress admin menu section called Staff Members …
All of the settings for the Simple Staff List plugin are configured and managed from this menu.
Configuring Simple Staff List
Depending on the size of your business and how you want to structure your employee directory, you can just begin to add new staff members after installing the plugin, or create several groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to individual employees.
Staff Members – Groups
Let’s set up your directory categories. In your WP dashboard menu, choose Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members – Groups)
This brings up the Groups screen in your web browser …
Note: Adding directory groups is very similar to creating categories in WordPress …
(Groups are like WordPress categories)
Create new groups by typing in the following information:
- Group Name – Enter your group category name here
- Slug – Enter the URL-friendly version of your group. Note: make sure that all letters are in lower case and use hyphens instead of spaces.
- Parent – This section lets you set up a directory hierarchy
- Description – Enter a category description in this field (optional)
- Click the Add New Group button when finished to create your new group …
If you work with a business that employs many people, being able to assign people to different categories can be very useful. For example, you can create a group for investors, 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 assign these to a directory hierarchy …
Remember to click on the Add New Group button after creating each item …
To change or reassign Groups for individual entries, hover over a category title and select the Edit link …
The selected category open in the Edit Group screen. Select a new group from the Parent dropdown menu …
(Edit Group settings)
Click the Update button to save your changes …
To edit the Group name or slug, hover your mouse over the group name and click on the Quick Edit menu feature …
Click Update Group after making changes …
Continue adding categories in this section until you have created your directory structure …
Add as many nested groups as you like …
After you have finished setting up your hierarchical structure, the next step is to begin adding staff details to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
From your WP admin menu, select Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
This opens up the Add New Staff Member settings screen in your browser …
(Add New Staff Member settings area)
This section 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
- Permalink: You can change your staff members’ permalink URL (this section appears after saving your details).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Upload a photo of your staff member
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: The employee’s position
- Email: Your employee’s email address
- Phone Number: The 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 in the person’s Twitter username here (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 built-in WordPress Text Editor, you can add formatting to the content entered in this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: Assign an employee or team member to a specific group (see the previous section of this tutorial 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 tab)
Now that you know what each section does, enter your staff member’s details …
(Add New Staff Member fields)
Once you are done inputting details, assign your item to a directory group in the Groups section in your sidebar …
Note: If you have not set up categories 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 entering a group name will display, with a dropdown menu to assign your new entry to a parent group. Enter your new group and click on Add New Group …
A new directory category will be created. Remember to tick the checkbox to assign your employee’s details to the group …
(New group added)
Note: Groups cannot be edited when adding or editing a person’s details. To edit an item, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section of the tutorial above for details).
After typing in your employee’s details, click the Publish button …
Click View Post …
You can edit the person’s profile by clicking the Edit Staff Member link in the WP admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)
If you need help using the admin toolbar, see this tutorial:
Note: If an error like the one shown in the example below shows up, check that you have correctly set up your site permalinks …
(Not found error? Check your permalinks)
If you need help setting up WordPress permalinks, go here:
Repeat the above process to continue adding new entries to your staff directory directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
Once you are done adding employee details into your directory, you can view and edit their details by selecting Staff Members > All Staff Members in the menu …
(Staff Members – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table listing all the directory items and the details you have added with each entry …
(Staff Members details table)
If you need to edit an individual’s entry, simply hover your mouse over their name, and a submenu will appear.
Click on Edit to edit the Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to edit details such as their name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also delete a listing from your directory by clicking on Trash, or view the entry on your site by clicking on View …
(Editing Staff Members profile info)
If you have many entries, your table can grow quite large.
You can use the Search Staff Members search feature to locate a member if required …
(Search Staff Members search feature)
The plugin also allows you to specify which fields to display in this section. To show or hide fields on your screen, click on Screen Options …
Selecting a 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 save your settings …
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you set the order that listings display on your directory pages.
Click Staff Members > Order on the main menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To rearrange the order of your entries, click and drag the entry to its new location …
(Reorder listings using drag and drop)
Your list will be automatically rearranged …
(Reordered list items)
Once you have added all of your staff listing details to the directory, the next step is to add your directory to your visitors.
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface allowing you to set the order in which listings appear on your directory pages.
Choose Staff Members > Order on the menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To rearrange the order of your entries, click and drag the entry to its new position …
(Rearrange items using drag and drop)
Your staff list will be automatically rearranged …
(Reordered list items)
Once you have added all of your members’ details to the directory, the next step is to display the directory to your visitors.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The plugin allows you to customize the style and layout of your employee 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 menu …
(Staff Members – Templates)
This opens the Templates screen …
(Customize your directory template)
To customize your directory, reorganize any of the permitted template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, here is a screenshot of the Default Staff Loop Template …
(Default Simple Staff List Template)
The above code displays the listing shown below …
(Default Staff Loop Template Listing)
Notice that there are no Facebook or Twitter addresses showing in the above example. To make these fields display in the directory, you will need to include the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags in the template loop, as shown in the example below …
(Template tags added to Staff Loop Template)
Your staff details will now display Facebook and Twitter links as as shown below …
(Directory with social media links added)
Note: If you want to customize your directory but don’t want to mess around with template tags or are unsure of what to do, please contact us for assistance.
As well as being able to customize your directory templates, the Simple Staff List plugin lets you display your listings differently using modified shortcodes.
In your WP admin menu, choose Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members – Usage)
This opens the Usage page …
(Usage Shortcode screen)
This screen lists all different shortcode variations that the plugin allows you to use.
For example, a useful variation you can add to 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=”property managers”])
You can also display listings in ascending or descending order by using the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”ASC”] (ascending).
Select Staff Members >Options in your menu …
(Staff Members – Options)
This brings up the Options page …
(Simple Staff List – Options screen)
This section lets you modify labels like Staff Members URL Slug and Staff Member title
You can also export your staff members data from the Tools > Export screen …
(Export Staff Members information)
If you need plugin help or support, visit the plugin support page and contact the plugin author.
Additional Staff Directory Plugins
Simple Staff List is not the only plugin you can use to display a staff directory in WordPress. For example, here are some other plugins you can use:
(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 about the plugin:
Staff Directory lets you easily create a directory of faculty/team/staff members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, teams, etc.
This plugin lets you create custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory website)
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
(Faculty And Staff Directory – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
The Faculty And Staff Directory 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 profiles in a widget area.
(Company Directory – WordPress Staff Directory Plugin)
Company Directory gives you an easy way to add your employees, team or faculty to your site. Different layouts are available, including grid and single views, plus as fields like position title, email address, phone, pic 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 read more about each employee in a customizable single view …
(Display your staff and faculty in an easy-to-view format. Screenshot sourced from Company Directory website)
This plugin also uses shortcodes.
Go here to learn more about the plugin:
(Employee Spotlight – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
Employee Spotlight displays employees, founders or just a single person in a 4-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant upon plugin activation.
Employee Spotlight installs with two sidebar widgets which display featured and recent employees, and two responsive views which adjust to the viewer’s screen.
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 source: Employee Spotlight plugin website)
To learn more about this plugin go here:
Staffer 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 online staff directory …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot sourced from Staffer plugin website)
Staffer works with almost all WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
For more details go here:
If the directory plugins listed above 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
- Simple Staff List Template WordPress
Hopefully, this step-by-step tutorial has shown you how to create and add an easy-to-update staff directory in your WordPress site.
Models 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