Many business and marketing experts have successfully shown that people tend to buy from businesses they know, like and trust.
If you are looking for quicker and simpler ways to sell more products or services online, then one of the things you can do, is make it easier for visitors to get to know, like and trust your organization better.
If you use WordPress, one way to easily help visitors get to know you better is to display information about your key partners, your team, or your staff members using a WordPress directory plugin.
In this step-by-step tutorial, you are going to learn how to easily create and add a simple and easy-to-update list directory of employees or team members to your website with no coding skills required.
Plugin Tutorial: How To Easily Add An Employee Directory To Your Site
In this tutorial, we will install, activate and configure a free WordPress plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List)
Simple Staff List lets you easily build a simple staff directory list for.
First, let’s install and activate this plugin.
Log into your admin and from the admin menu, click on Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins panel, search for “simple staff plugin”. This will bring up the Simple Staff Plugin in your search results area.
Click on the Install Now button …
(WordPress Plugins – plugin search results)
Click on Activate Plugin …
After your plugin has been installed and activated, you will notice that new menu will have been added to the main WP menu called Staff Members …
(Staff Members menu)
Here is where you will configure and manage all of the settings for your plugin are configured and managed from the Staff Members menu.
How To Configure The Plugin
Depending on how many people are in your business and how you want to structure your employee directory, you can start to add new employee details after installing the plugin, or create different groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to individual staff members.
Staff Members – Groups
To set up your categories go to your WordPress dashboard menu and select Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members Menu – Groups)
This brings you to the Groups screen …
Note: Configuring groups is very similar to working with categories …
(Groups work just like WordPress categories)
Create a new group by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Type in your group name
- Slug – Type in the slug of your group 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 a directory hierarchy
- Description – Type in the category description in this field (optional)
- Click Add New Group when finished to create a new category …
(Groups settings screen)
If you manage a larger organization, being able to create groups can be very useful. For example, you can create groups for founders, project teams, departments, etc.
Create as many categories and nested groups as you need by adding new Groups and then using the Parent drop-down menu to organize these into a directory hierarchy …
Remember to click the Add New Group button after creating each new item …
To change Groups for an individual entry, hover your mouse over a category title and select the Edit link …
The item’s details open in the Edit Group page. Select a new category from the Parent dropdown menu …
(Edit Group screen)
Click Update to save your changes …
To edit your Group name or slug, hover your mouse over the group name and click on the Quick Edit menu feature …
Click on Update Group when done …
Add as many groups as you need to until you have created your directory structure …
Add as many nested groups as you like …
(Add nested groups to your staff directory)
After you are done setting up your hierarchical structure, the next step is to start adding your people to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
From your admin menu, choose Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
This brings up the Add New Staff Member settings screen …
(Add New Staff Member section)
This page provides an easy-to-use interface for adding and editing your staff member profile and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: The employee’s name
- Permalink: Here you can change your staff members’ permalink URL (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 role
- Email: The employee’s email
- Phone Number: Your staff member’s phone number
- Facebook URL: Enter the 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 into this field (note: only enter the username, not the full twitter URL)
Staff Member Bio Section (4)
- Staff Member Bio: Type a profile description for your employees here. This uses the WordPress Text Editor, so you can format content into this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: This section lets you assign the individual to a specific group (see the previous section to learn how to set up groups).
Click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your screen …
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 staff member’s details …
(Staff directory fields)
Once you have finished inputting each of you staff member’s details, assign your item to a directory group in the Groups section located in your sidebar …
Note: If you have not set up directory groups before starting to add staff member details, you can create a group now by clicking on Groups > + Add New Group …
(Groups > + Add New Group)
A field for creating your new group name will display, with a dropdown 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. Make sure that the checkbox is ticked …
(New group added)
Note: Groups cannot be edited when a staff member’s details are being added or edited. To edit a group entry, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section of the tutorial above for details).
After filling in your staff member’s details, click the Publish button to add them to your employee directory …
Click View Post …
To modify the person’s profile, click on the Edit Staff Member link in the WP admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)
If you need help using the dashboard admin toolbar, see this tutorial:
Note: If ’not found’ page errors like the one shown in the screenshot below shows up, check that you have configured your site’s permalinks correctly …
(Check your permalinks if you get ’not found’ page errors)
For a detailed tutorial about setting up WordPress permalinks, go here:
Repeat the above process to add new details to your staff directory directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
After entering staff members into your directory, you can view and edit their details by selecting Staff Members > All Staff Members on your main menu …
(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table displaying all your staff members and details you have added with each entry …
(Staff Members details)
If you need to modify individual details, simply hover your mouse over their listing, and a submenu will appear.
Click on Edit if you need to make changes to the Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to edit details like name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also remove a listing from your staff directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by clicking on View …
(Edit Staff Members profile info)
If you have many names to add, your table can grow quite large.
Use the Search Staff Members search feature to find entries …
The plugin also allows you to specify which fields can display in this screen. To hide or hide fields on your screen, click on Screen Options …
(Staff Members Screen Options tab)
Tick or untick the checkboxes to show or hide fields. You can also choose how many staff members are listed per page. Click Apply when done to save your settings …
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to specify the order that listings display on your directory pages.
Choose Staff Members > Order on the main menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To reorder your listings, click and drag the item to its desired location …
(Reorder listings using drag and drop)
Your list will automatically be reorganized …
(Reordered list entries)
Once you are done adding all of your members’ 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 that lets you set the order that entries appear on your directory page.
Select Staff Members > Order on the menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To rearrange the order of your listings, click and drag the entry to a desired location …
(Rearrange employee listings using drag and drop)
Your directory will automatically be reorganized …
Once you have added staff details to your directory, the next step is to make your directory display to your site users.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The plugin allows you to edit the style and layout of your staff 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 screen …
(Customize your directory template)
To customize your directory listings, reorganize any of the allowed template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, below is a screenshot of the Default Staff Loop Template …
(Default Plugin Template)
The This code displays your listing as shown below …
(Default Template Listing)
Notice that no Facebook or Twitter URLs are showing in the above listing. To make these fields show in the directory, we will need to include the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags in the template loop, as shown in the example below …
(Use template tags to customize your directory page)
Here is what your directory will now look like …
(Directory with social media URLs)
Note: If you want to customize your directory but don’t want to mess around with code or are not sure what to do, 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 main admin menu, select Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members Menu – Usage)
This opens the Usage screen …
(Simple Staff List – Usage shortcodes)
This screen provides a list of all different shortcode variations allowed by the Simple Staff List plugin.
A useful variation you can select, 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=”customer representatives”])
Or, you can make your listings display in ascending or descending order by inserting the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”ASC”] (ascending).
In the main menu, select Staff Members >Options …
(Staff Members Menu – Options)
This opens the Options screen …
Here you can change some of the labels used in the plugin
Finally, 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 any help with the plugin, go to the plugin faq page.
Other Employee Directory Plugins
Simple Staff List is not the only plugin you can use to display a staff directory in WordPress. Here are a few other free WordPress plugins you can check out:
(Modern Team Staff Directory – WordPress Staff Directory Plugin)
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 this plugin:
(Staff Directory – WordPress Plugin)
The Staff Directory plugin lets you easily create a directory of team/faculty/staff members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for churches, schools, etc.
The plugin also lets you create custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory plugin website)
Go here to learn more:
(Faculty And Staff Directory – WordPress Plugin)
The Faculty And Staff Directory 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.
Go here to learn more:
(Company Directory – WordPress Plugin)
Company Directory lets you easily add your employees to your website. Different layouts are included, including grid and table views, plus as fields like job title, email address, phone, image and staff bio, allowing you to present 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 also uses simple shortcodes.
Learn more here:
(Employee Spotlight – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
Employee Spotlight displays employees, partners or just an individual person in a 4-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant upon plugin activation.
With Employee Spotlight, you also get two sidebar widgets that let you display featured and recent employees, plus two responsive views which adjust to the screen size of the viewer’s device.
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: plugin website)
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
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 an employee directory on your website …
(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 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 Directory Plugin
- Staff Directory WordPress Plugin
- Staff Directory Plugin WordPress
Hopefully, now you know how to easily add an easy-to-manage list of staff members in your site using a free WordPress plugin.
Images of persons used to portray 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)