It’s often said in business circles that people generally will buy from those they know, like and trust.
Are you searching for quicker, simpler and cheaper ideas to sell more products or services online? Then help prospects get to know, like and trust you and your organization better.
If your site is built using WordPress, one way to easily help visitors get to know you better is to display information about your partners, your business team, or your staff members using a directory plugin.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to easily add an easy-to-maintain simple faculty members directory to your website using a free plugin.
WordPress Plugin Tutorial: How To Easily Add An Employee Directory
In this tutorial, you will learn how to install, activate and configure a plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List – WordPress Plugin)
Simple Staff List is a free plugin that lets you build a basic staff directory list for.
First, let’s install and activate the Simple Staff List plugin.
Log into the admin and from the admin menu, select Plugins > Add New …
(WP Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins screen, search for “simple staff plugin”. This should bring up the Simple Staff Plugin in your search results area.
Click on Install Now …
(Plugins – Add Plugins screen)
Click on Activate Plugin …
After installing and activating the plugin, a new menu entry will display on your main WordPress admin menu section called Staff Members …
(Staff Members menu)
All of the settings and options for your plugin are configured and managed from the Staff Members menu.
How To Configure The Simple Staff List Plugin
Depending on how many people are in your team and how you want to structure your employee directory, you can begin to add new employee entries at this point, or create various groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to individual group members.
Staff Members – Groups
Let’s start by configuring your directory groups. From your dashboard menu, choose Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members Menu – Groups)
This opens up the Groups settings area …
Note: Configuring groups works just like categories …
(Groups are like categories)
Create new groups by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Enter your category name here
- Slug – Enter the slug of your category. Note: make sure that all letters are in lower case and use hyphens instead of spaces.
- Parent – Use this section if you plan to set up a directory hierarchy
- Description – Enter the category description
- Click the Add New Group button when done to create a new group name …
(Groups settings screen)
If you manage a business that employs many people, having the ability to assign people to different categories can be very useful. For example, you can create groups for founders, project teams, departments, etc.
Create as many groups and nested groups 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 the Add New Group button after entering each item …
To change or reassign Groups for an entry, hover over a category title and select the Edit link …
The category details open in the Edit Group screen. Select a new parent group from the Parent dropdown menu …
(Edit Group settings)
Click the Update button when done …
To change the Group name or slug, hover your mouse over the group name and select the Quick Edit menu feature …
Click the Update Group button after making changes …
Continue adding groups to this section until you have created your directory structure …
You can add as many nested categories as you like …
After you are done setting up your groups, you can start to add names to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
From your WP admin menu, click on Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members Menu – Add New)
This brings you to the Add New Staff Member screen …
(Add New Staff Member section)
This section provides an easy-to-use interface for adding and editing your staff member details and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: The employee’s name
- Slug: You can change each staff members’ slug (this section appears after your first save).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Upload a photo in this section
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: The staff member’s position
- Email: The staff member’s email address
- Phone Number: Add your staff member’s phone number
- Facebook URL: Enter the person’s Facebook URL here (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Add 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: Add a profile description for your staff members here. As this uses the default WordPress Text Editor, you can format content in this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: You can assign a staff or faculty member to a group (see the previous section to learn how to set up your groups).
Click on the Screen Options tab at the top of the screen …
(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 of your employee’s details …
(Staff directory fields)
Once you have entered each staff member’s details, assign your entry to a directory group in the Groups section located in your sidebar …
Note: If you have not set up your directory groups before starting to add staff member details, you can create a new group by selecting Groups > + Add New Group …
(Groups > + Add New Group link)
A field will display allowing you to enter a new group name, with a dropdown menu that lets you assign your new entry to a parent group. Enter your new category and click on the Add New Group button …
A new group will be created. Make sure that the check box is ticked …
Note: Groups cannot be edited when adding or making changes to someone’s details. To edit an item, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section above for details).
After typing in your employee’s details, click the Publish button …
Click View Post …
To update the person’s profile, click on the Edit Staff Member link in the admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – WordPress admin toolbar)
If you need help using the admin toolbar, see this tutorial:
Note: If you see ’page not found’ errors like the one shown below, check that you have correctly configured your permalinks …
(Check your permalinks if you get ’not found’ page errors)
If you need help setting up WP permalinks, go here:
Keep adding new members to your staff directory directory as shown above until done.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
After you are done entering staff members into your directory, you can view and edit their details by clicking Staff Members > All Staff Members on the main admin menu …
(Staff Members – All Staff Members)
This brings up a list of all your listing entries and their details …
(Staff Members list)
If you need to modify an individual’s entry, hover your mouse over their name, and a submenu will appear.
Click on Edit to edit the item’s Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to change details such as their name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also delete a listing from your staff directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by clicking on View …
(Editing Staff Members info)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your table can get quite long.
You can use the Search Staff Members search feature to locate items if required …
(Search Staff Members search field)
The plugin also lets you specify which fields can display in this screen. To hide or hide fields on your screen, click on Screen Options …
(Screen Options tab)
Selecting a 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 Apply when done to save your preferences …
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to specify the order that your staff members appear on your directory pages.
Click Staff Members > Order in your menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To rearrange the order of your items, click and drag the item to its desired location …
(Rearrange items using drag and drop)
Your list will be automatically rearranged …
(Reordered list items)
After adding your members’ listing details to the directory, the next step is to display the directory on your site.
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface allowing you to set the order in which listings show on your directory pages.
Click Staff Members > Order on your menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To reorder your listings, click and drag the entry to a desired position …
(Rearrange items using drag and drop)
Your staff list will automatically be reordered …
(Reordered list entries)
After adding your members’ listing details to the directory, the next step is to add the directory on your site.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The Simple Staff List plugin allows you to create the style and layout of your employee directory entries using template tags and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
To customize the style and layout of your staff list, select Staff Members > Templates from your menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Templates)
This brings up the Templates page …
To customize your directory, insert any of the permitted template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, below is the default template used for displaying directory listings …
(Default Simple Staff List Staff Loop 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 listing. To make these fields display in your directory, we will need to add the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags to the template, as shown below …
(Use template tags to customize your directory page)
Your employee entries will now appear with Facebook and Twitter addresses as as shown below …
(Staff profiles with social media links)
Note: If you want to customize your directory but don’t want to mess with 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, select Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members Menu – Usage)
This brings up the Usage screen …
This screen provides a list of all different shortcode variations you can use.
A useful variation you can insert in your page, 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=”sales reps”])
Or, you can display listings in ascending or descending order by using the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”ASC”] (ascending).
In the main admin menu, select Staff Members >Options …
(Staff Members – Options)
This opens the Options page …
(Simple Staff List – customizable fields)
This section lets you edit labels like Staff Members URL Slug and Staff Member title
Finally, you can also export your staff members data from the Tools > Export screen …
(Export Staff Members information)
If you need specific help with the Simple Staff List plugin, go to the Simple Staff List website and request help from the plugin developer.
Additional WordPress Plugins For Creating Staff Directories
Simple Staff List is not the only adding a directory of your faculty. Here are other free plugins you can look at:
(Modern Team Staff Directory – WordPress Staff Directory 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 – WordPress Plugin)
With Staff Directory, you can easily display a list of team/faculty/staff members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, teams, etc.
The plugin also lets you set up custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields Screen. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory website)
For more details go here:
(Faculty And Staff Directory – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
This plugin was developed to provide a simple and flexible faculty and staff directory for a small college, school or university.
The plugin also installs a widget that allows you to feature profiles in a widget area.
To learn more about the plugin go here:
(Company Directory – WordPress Staff Directory Plugin)
The Company Directory plugin lets you add your employees to your website. Different layouts are included, including grid and customizable single views, as well as fields like title, email address, phone, image and staff 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 source: Company Directory plugin website)
This plugin also uses simple shortcodes.
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
(Employee Spotlight – Plugin For WordPress)
Employee Spotlight displays staff members, founders or just one single member of your team in a 4-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant on plugin activation.
Employee Spotlight comes with two sidebar widgets that let you 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 circle grid. Screenshot sourced from Employee Spotlight website)
Go here to learn more about this plugin:
(Staffer – Plugin For WordPress)
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 plugin website)
Staffer works immediately with almost all WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
For more details 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
- WordPress Plugin Staff Directory
- Staff Directory Plugin WordPress
Hopefully, this step-by-step tutorial has shown you how to create and add an easy-to-update directory of staff to your website.
Images of models used to depict sample staff members in this tutorial were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com
"Your training is the best in the world! It is simple, yet detailed, direct, understandable, memorable, and complete." Andrea Adams, FinancialJourney.org