Many business and marketing experts often raise the point that people generally buy from people they already know, like and trust.
Are you looking for quicker, simpler and cost-effective ways to grow your business online? Then something you can do, is help your visitors get to know you and your organization better.
Adding a faculty member directory to your site will help personalize your business.
This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to create a simple and easy-to-update staff directory in your website.
Adding A Staff Directory In WordPress: WordPress Plugin Tutorial
In this tutorial, you will learn how to install, activate and configure a no cost WordPress plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List)
Simple Staff List is a free plugin that lets you easily staff members.
First, let’s install and activate the Simple Staff List plugin.
Log into the WordPress admin and navigate to Plugins > Add New …
(WP Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins area, 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)
Activate the plugin …
After your plugin has been installed and activated, a new menu entry will display on your WordPress admin menu called Staff Members …
(Staff Members menu)
All of the settings and options for your plugin are configured and managed in the Staff Members menu.
How To Configure The Simple Staff List Plugin
Depending on the size of your business and how you want to structure your staff directory, you can just start to add new employee details at this point, or create several groups (i.e. categories) to assign yourmembers into.
Staff Members – Groups
Let’s start by configuring your groups. From your WordPress dashboard menu, select Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members – Groups)
This opens up the Groups settings area …
(Groups settings area)
Note: Configuring groups is similar to working with categories in WordPress …
(Groups are like WordPress categories)
Create new groups by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Type in your category name
- Slug – Type in the URL-friendly version of your group name. 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 – Type in your category description in this field (optional)
- Click the Add New Group button when finished to set up your new directory category …
(Groups settings area)
If you are a business that employs many people, being able to set up different groups can be very useful. For example, you can create categories 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 organize these into a directory hierarchy …
Remember to click on the Add New Group button after creating each item …
To edit Groups for an individual item, hover your mouse over a category title and click on the Edit link …
The selected item’s details will display in the Edit Group screen. Select a new group category from the Parent drop-down menu …
(Edit Group settings)
Click Update when done …
To edit your Group name or slug, hover your mouse over the group name and select the Quick Edit menu feature …
Click Update Group when done to save your changes …
Add as many group names as you need to until you are done creating your directory structure …
You can add as many nested categories as you like …
Once you have finished setting up your groups, the next step is to start to add staff details to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
In your WordPress admin menu, click on Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members Menu – Add New)
This brings up the Add New Staff Member settings screen in your browser …
(Add New Staff Member settings area)
This area provides you with an easy-to-use interface for adding and editing your staff member details and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: Your employee’s name
- Permalink: Here you can modify the slug for your employee 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: Type your employee’s role here
- Email: The staff member’s email address
- Phone Number: Enter the staff member’s phone number
- Facebook URL: Enter the staff member’s Facebook URL (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Enter 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: Enter a profile description for your staff or team member here. This uses the WordPress Text Editor, so you can add formatting to the content entered in this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: Assign an employee or faculty member to a group (see the previous section to learn how to set up groups).
Click on the Screen Options tab …
You will see options to enable additional features …
(Enable additional fields in screen options)
Now that you know what each section does, enter each staff member’s details …
(Add Staff Member settings)
Once you are done inputting each of you staff member’s details, assign your new entry to a directory group in the Groups feature in your sidebar …
Note: If you have not set up categories before starting to add staff member details, 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 to assign your new entry to a parent group. Type in the name of your new group and click on Add New Group …
The new group will be added. Remember to tick the check box to assign your listing to the group …
Note: Groups cannot be edited when new employee details are being added or modified. 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 team member’s details, click the Publish button …
Click View Post …
You can update your member profile by clicking the Edit Staff Member link in your admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)
For a detailed tutorial about using the dashboard admin toolbar , go here:
Note: If you have set up groups and get ’not found’ page errors like the one shown below, check that your site permalinks have been configured correctly …
(Page error? Check your permalinks)
For a detailed tutorial about setting up permalinks in WordPress, go here:
Repeat the above process to add new members to your staff directory directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
After you have finished adding employee or faculty members to your directory, you can view and edit their details by choosing Staff Members > All Staff Members in the dashboard menu …
(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table displaying all the directory entries and their details …
(Staff Members details list)
If you need to edit individual details, hover your mouse over their listing, and a submenu will appear.
Click on Edit if you want to make changes to the Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to update details such as their name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also delete an entry from your directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by clicking View …
(Editing Staff Members details)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your table can become unwieldy.
Use the Search Staff Members search field to locate items if necessary …
The plugin also lets you specify which fields can display in this section. To hide or hide fields on your screen, click the Screen Options tab …
Tick or untick the checkboxes to display or hide fields. You can also choose how many staff members are shown per page. Click Apply when done to update your screen options …
Staff Members – Order
The plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to specify the order that listings display on your directory page.
Choose Staff Members > Order on the menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To reorder your items, click and drag the item to the desired position …
(Rearrange employee listings using drag and drop)
Your directory will automatically be reorganized …
(Reordered list items)
After adding all employees’ listing details to the directory, the next step is to display your directory to your visitors.
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface allowing you to arrange the order that listings appear on your directory pages.
Click Staff Members > Order in the menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To reorder your items, click and drag the item to its new location …
(Rearrange items using drag and drop)
Your directory will be automatically reordered …
After adding all staff details to the directory, the next step is to display your directory to your visitors.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The plugin also lets you edit the layout and style 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 your menu …
(Staff Members – Templates)
This brings up the Templates page …
(Customize your directory template)
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 used for displaying listings …
The This code displays your directory listing as shown below …
(Default Simple Staff List Template Listing)
Notice that no Facebook or Twitter URLs are showing in the above listing. To make these fields show up in the directory, we will need to include the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags in the template, as shown in the example below …
(Template tags added to Staff Loop Template)
Your staff details will now appear with Facebook and Twitter addresses as as the screenshot below shows …
(Directory with social media links)
Note: If you want to customize your directory but don’t want to mess with CSS code and template tags or are not sure what to do, please contact us for help.
In addition to being able to customize your listing templates, the Simple Staff List plugin lets you display your staff profiles differently using modified shortcodes.
In your menu, choose Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members Menu – Usage)
This opens the Usage screen …
(Usage Shortcode section)
This screen provides a list of all different shortcode variations that you can use.
For example, a useful shortcode variation you can select to display only members of a specific group is the shortcode [simple-staff-list group=”group name”], (e.g.:[simple-staff-list group=”customer representatives”])
You can also display listings in ascending or descending order by using the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”ASC”] (ascending).
In the menu, select Staff Members >Options …
(Staff Members Menu – Options)
This brings up the Options page …
(Simple Staff List – Options settings)
Here you can change some of the labels used in the plugin
You can also export your staff members data by going to your menu and selecting Tools > Export …
(Export Staff Members plugin information)
If you need plugin support, visit the plugin plugin website and contact the plugin author.
Additional WordPress Plugins For Creating Employee Directories
Simple Staff List isn’t the only plugin you can use. For example, here are some other free plugins you can use:
(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 here:
(Staff Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
The Staff Directory plugin lets you easily display a list of staff/team/faculty members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for churches, schools, etc.
The plugin lets you set up custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields Screen. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory plugin website)
To learn more about the plugin go here:
(Faculty And Staff Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
Faculty And Staff Directory provides 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.
(Company Directory – WP Plugin)
With the Company Directory plugin, you can add your employees to your website. Different layouts are included, including list and single views, plus as fields like position title, email, phone, photo 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 learn more about each employee in a customizable single view …
(Display your staff and faculty in an easy to view format. Screenshot source: Company Directory website)
This plugin uses shortcodes.
(Employee Spotlight – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
Employee Spotlight displays team members, partners 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.
With the Employee Spotlight plugin, you get two sidebar widgets which display featured and recent employees, plus two responsive views which adjust to the device screen size.
Detailed information about each faculty member can be displayed in their own page, as well as in summary …
(Responsive layout with circle grid. Screenshot source: Employee Spotlight plugin website)
(Staffer – WP Plugin)
The Staffer plugin uses custom post types for employee management and supports the display of staff members via a shortcode, allowing you to easily create and manage a staff directory on your website …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot sourced from Staffer website)
Staffer works immediately with almost all WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
Learn more here:
If the directory plugins listed above 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
- Staff Directory WordPress Plugin
- Staff Directory Plugin WordPress
Hopefully, this step-by-step tutorial has helped you learn how to create and add an easy-to-update staff directory in your web site.
Images used to depict 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