It’s often said in marketing that people generally tend to buy from those they already know, like and trust.
If you are looking for inexpensive ideas to sell more products or services online, then something you can do, is help prospects get to know your organization better.
Adding a directory of staff to your site will help humanize your business.
In this step-by-step tutorial, we show you how to add a list directory of employees or faculty members in your WordPress site using a free plugin.
Step-By-Step Tutorial: How To Add An Employee List Directory In WordPress
In this tutorial, we will install, activate and configure a free WordPress plugin called Simple Staff List.
Simple Staff List – WordPress Plugin
(Simple Staff List WordPress Plugin)
Simple Staff List is free and lets you easily build a basic staff directory for.
The first step is to install and activate the Simple Staff List plugin.
Log into your WP dashboard and navigate to Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins panel, search for “simple staff plugin”. This brings up the Simple Staff Plugin in your plugin search results.
Click on Install Now …
(WordPress Plugins – Add Plugins screen)
Click on the Activate Plugin link …
After your plugin has been installed and activated, you will notice that new menu entry will appear on your WordPress menu section called Staff Members …
All of the options and settings for this plugin are configured and managed from the Staff Members menu.
How To Configure The Plugin
Depending on the size of your team and how you want to structure your employee directory, you can start adding new staff members after installing the plugin, or create several groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to individual employees.
Staff Members – Groups
To configure your directory categories go to your WordPress dashboard menu and choose Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members Menu – Groups)
The Groups settings panel …
Note: Configuring groups is very similar to working with categories …
(Groups work just like WordPress categories)
Add a new group by typing in the following information:
- Group Name – Type in your group name
- Slug – Type in 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 – This section lets you set up nested groups
- Description – Enter a group description
- Click Add New Group when done to set up your new group …
(Groups settings area)
If you work with a business that employs many people, the ability to create categories can be very useful. For example, you can create a group for investors, developers, departments, 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 directory hierarchy …
Remember to click on the Add New Group button after entering new items …
To edit Groups for a specific entry, hover over a category title and click on the Edit link …
The selected group details open in the Edit Group page. Select a new parent category from the Parent dropdown menu …
(Edit Group settings)
Click Update to save your changes …
To edit your Group name or slug, hover your mouse over the group name and select the Quick Edit menu feature …
Click the Update Group button when done …
Continue adding group names in this section until you have created your directory structure …
Add as many nested groups as you like …
After you are done setting up your directory structure, you can start to add names to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
In your WP admin menu, choose Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members Menu – Add New)
This brings you to the Add New Staff Member area …
(Add New Staff Member settings area)
This page provides an easy-to-use interface for adding your staff member details and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: The staff member’s name
- Permalink: Edit the slug associated with your staff member if required (you will see this section after saving your details).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Upload a photo in this section
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: Your employee’s role
- Email: The employee’s email address
- Phone Number: Your staff member’s phone number
- Facebook URL: Enter your company’s Facebook URL (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Type in your company’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 employees here. This uses the WordPress Text Editor, so you can add formatting to the content entered into this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: You can assign your employee to a 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 …
(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 each of your employee’s details …
(Add Staff Member settings)
After you are done inputting each staff member’s details, assign your new item to a directory group in the Groups feature in the sidebar …
Note: If you have not set up directory groups before adding new staff members, you can add a new group in this screen by clicking on Groups > + Add New Group …
(Add a new group inside your Groups box)
A field for creating your group name will appear, with a drop-down menu that lets you assign your new entry to a parent group. Type in the name of your new group and click on Add New Group …
The new directory category will be added. Make sure that the check box is ticked …
Note: Groups cannot be edited when adding or editing employee 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 entering your employee’s details, click the Publish button …
Click View Post …
You can make changes to your member profile by clicking the Edit Staff Member link in the admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)
To learn more about using the dashboard admin toolbar , go here:
Note: If you have set up groups and get a ‘page not found’ error like the one shown below, check that you have correctly configured your site’s permalinks …
(Check your permalinks if you get a ‘page not found’ error)
If you need help setting up permalinks in WordPress, go here:
Repeat the above process to add new members to your directory directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
Once you are done adding employees to your directory, you can view and edit their details by clicking Staff Members > All Staff Members in the menu …
(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table displaying all the staff profiles and all details you have added for each entry …
(Staff Members table)
If you need to make changes to an individual’s entry, hover your mouse over their list name, and a menu will appear.
Click on Edit if you need 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 delete an entry from the employee directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by clicking View …
(Editing Staff Members info)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your list can grow quite large.
Use the Search Staff Members search feature to find entries if required …
(Search Staff Members search feature)
You can specify which fields to display in this section. To hide or hide fields on your screen, click on Screen Options …
(Staff Members Screen Options tab)
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 listed per page. Click the Apply button when done to update your settings …
Staff Members – Order
The Simple Staff List plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you specify the order that listings appear on your directory page.
Select Staff Members > Order in the menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To rearrange the order of your items, click and drag the item to the desired position …
(Reorder listings using drag and drop)
Your directory will automatically be reordered …
Once you have added member details to your directory, the next step is to add your directory on your site.
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you specify the order in which your staff profiles show on your directory page.
Select Staff Members > Order in your dashboard menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To rearrange the order of your listings, click and drag the item to the new position …
(Rearrange items using drag and drop)
Your directory will automatically be reordered …
After adding your staff details to the directory, the next step is to make your directory display to your visitors.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The plugin lets you customize the style and layout of your employee 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 menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Templates)
This brings up the Templates page …
To customize your directory listings, reorganize any of the permitted template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, here is the Default Template …
(Default Plugin Template)
The above code displays the listing shown below …
(Default Staff Loop Template Listing)
Notice that no Facebook or Twitter URLs are showing in the above example. To make these fields appear in your directory, you will need to add the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags to the template loop, as shown below …
(Template tags can be added to the Staff Loop Template to customize your directory page)
Your employee profiles will now display as shown in the screenshot below …
(Directory listings with social media links added)
Note: If you want to customize your directory but don’t want to mess with CSS code and template tags or are unsure of how to edit the template as shown above, please contact us for assistance.
As well as allowing you to customize your directory templates, the Simple Staff List plugin lets you display your listings differently using modified shortcodes.
In your WordPress admin menu, choose Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members Menu – Usage)
This brings up the Usage page …
This screen displays all different shortcode variations that the plugin allows you to use.
For example, a useful variation you can select to display a list of individuals belonging only to a specific group is the shortcode [simple-staff-list group=”group name”], (e.g.:[simple-staff-list group=”customer representatives”])
Or, you can make your listings display in ascending or descending order by adding the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”DESC”] (descending).
In your main admin menu, select Staff Members >Options …
(Staff Members Menu – Options)
This brings up the Options screen …
(Simple Staff List – Options screen)
Here you can edit labels like Staff Members URL Slug and Staff Member titles
You can also export your staff members details from the Tools > Export menu …
(Export Staff Members information)
If you need plugin support, go to the plugin plugin site and request help from the plugin developer.
Other Staff Directory Plugins
Simple Staff List isn’t the only plugin you can use to build a staff directory in WordPress. For example, here are some other free plugins you can use:
Modern Team Staff Directory
(Modern Team Staff Directory – WP 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)
Learn more about this plugin here:
Staff Directory lets you easily create a directory of team/faculty/staff members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, teams, etc.
The plugin also lets you insert custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields. Screenshot sourced from plugin website)
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
Faculty And Staff Directory
(Faculty And Staff Directory – WordPress Staff Directory Plugin)
This plugin was developed to provide a simple and flexible faculty and staff directory for a small college or university.
The plugin also installs a widget that allows you to feature profiles in a widget area.
For more details go here:
With Company Directory, you can add your employees to your site. Different layouts are included, including list and table views, as well as fields like title, email, phone, pic and bio, allowing you to present 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 in an easy-to-view format. Screenshot source: plugin website)
This plugin uses a simple shortcode system.
(Employee Spotlight – Plugin For WordPress)
Employee Spotlight displays team members, founders or just an individual person 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 device screen size.
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 Employee Spotlight plugin website)
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 site …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot source: plugin website)
Staffer works immediately with almost all WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
For more details, visit the plugin site 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 Directory Plugin
- WordPress Plugin Staff Directory
- Employee Directory WordPress
Hopefully, this tutorial has helped you learn how to create a simple and easy-to-maintain directory of employees in your web site.
Models used in this tutorial to depict sample staff members were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com
"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum