It’s often said in business circles that people tend to buy from businesses they know, like and trust.
If you are looking for ways to sell more products or services online, then help prospects get to know, like and trust you and your business better.
If you are a WordPress user, one way to easily help visitors get to know you better is to add a directory plugin that lets you add a directory listing with information about your key people, your faculty, or your staff.
This tutorial explains how to add a simple and easy-to-maintain directory of staff members to your site.
How To Add An Employee Directory To Your WordPress Site: Tutorial
In this tutorial, we will install, activate and configure a no cost WordPress plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List)
Simple Staff List is free and lets you display basic information about your staff members on your site.
First, let’s install and activate the Simple Staff List plugin.
Log into the administration and go to Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins area, 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 – plugin search results)
Activate the plugin …
After installing and activating your plugin, a new entry will appear in your WordPress menu called Staff Members …
The Staff Members menu is where you will manage and configure all of the options and settings for your plugin are configured and managed from the Staff Members menu.
Configuring The Plugin
Depending on the size of your organization and how you want to structure your employee directory, you can just begin adding new staff member details at this at this stage, or create different groups (i.e. categories) to place youremployees into.
Staff Members – Groups
To configure your directory groups go to your dashboard menu and choose Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members – Groups)
The Groups section …
(Groups settings area)
Note: Configuring directory groups works just like categories …
(Groups are like WordPress categories)
Create a new group by typing in the following information:
- Group Name – Enter your group category name here
- 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 – Use this section if you plan to set up nested groups
- Description – Type in your group description in this field (optional)
- Click Add New Group when finished to create the new group name …
If you work with a larger organization, having the ability to create categories can be very useful. For example, you can create groups for partners, project teams, 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 build a directory hierarchy …
Remember to click the Add New Group button after creating each new item …
To change Groups for specific items, hover over a category title and select the Edit link …
The category will display in the Edit Group screen. Select a new parent category from the Parent dropdown menu …
(Edit Group screen)
Click the Update button to save your changes …
To edit the Group name or slug, hover over the group name and click on Quick Edit …
Click Update Group when done to save your changes …
Continue adding group names in this section until you have created your directory structure …
You can add as many nested categories as you like …
Once you are done setting up your groups, the next step is to begin adding names to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
In your WP admin menu, click on Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
This opens up the Add New Staff Member settings …
(Add New Staff Member settings)
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: Add your staff member’s name
- Permalink: Modify each employees’ slug (you will see this section after saving your details).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Add a photo in this section
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: Enter your employee’s role
- Email: Type in your employee’s email address here
- Phone Number: Type the person’s phone number
- Facebook URL: Type your company’s Facebook URL (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Type in your employee’s Twitter username here (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. Since this uses the default WordPress Text Editor, you can add formatting to the content entered into this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: You can assign the individual to a group (see the previous section of this tutorial to learn how to set up groups).
Click on the Screen Options tab at the top of the screen …
You can enable additional features …
(Enable additional fields in screen options tab)
Now that you know what each section does, enter each employee’s details …
(Add New Staff Member settings)
After you have entered each of you staff member’s details, assign the new entry to a directory group in the Groups box located in your sidebar …
Note: If you did not set up your directory groups before adding new staff members, you can create a group now by selecting Groups > + Add New Group …
(Groups - + Add New Group link)
A field for entering your group name will display, with a drop-down menu that lets you assign your new entry to a parent group. Enter your new directory category and click on the Add New Group button …
Your new directory category will be added. Make sure that the checkbox is ticked …
Note: Groups cannot be edited when adding or making changes to an employee’s details. 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 entering the person’s details, click the Publish button to add them to the directory …
Click View Post …
To update your member profile, click on the Edit Staff Member link in your WP admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)
We have written a detailed tutorial on using the admin toolbar here:
Note: If a page error shows up like the one shown in the example below, check that you have set up your site permalinks correctly …
(Check your permalinks if you get errors)
We have written a detailed tutorial on using permalinks in WordPress here:
Keep adding more members to your staff directory directory as shown above until done.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
After entering employee details to 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 listing all the directory items and details you have added with each entry …
(Staff Members details table)
If you need to modify individual details, hover over their name, and a submenu will appear.
Click on Edit to modify the Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to update details like name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also remove an entry from your staff directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by clicking on View …
(Edit Staff Members details)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your table can become unwieldy.
You can use the Search Staff Members search feature to find a member …
You can specify which fields to display in this screen. To hide or hide fields on your screen, click the Screen Options tab at the top of your page …
(Staff Members Screen Options)
Tick or untick the checkboxes to display or hide fields. You can also choose how many staff members are listed per page. Click the Apply button when finished to update your screen options …
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you arrange the order in which listings display on your directory pages.
Click Staff Members > Order on your main admin menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To reorder your items, click and drag the entry to its new location …
(Reorder listings using drag and drop)
Your list will be automatically rearranged …
Once you are done adding all of your staff details to the directory, the next step is to make the directory show on your site.
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to arrange the order in which your employees show on your directory pages.
Choose Staff Members > Order on your dashboard menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To rearrange the order of your items, click and drag the item to the new location …
(Reorder employee listings using drag and drop)
Your list will automatically be reorganized …
(Reordered list items)
Once you have added all of your staff listing details to your directory, the next step is to make the directory show to your visitors.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The plugin lets you customize the layout and style 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 brings up the Templates page …
(Customize your directory template)
To customize your directory, reorganize any of the permitted template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, below is the default template used for displaying listings …
(Default Plugin Staff Loop Template)
The The code shown above displays your directory listing as shown below …
(Default Template Listing)
Notice that no Facebook or Twitter URLs are showing in the above example. To make these fields show in the directory, we will need to add the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags to the template loop, as shown in the example below …
(Use template tags to customize your listings page)
Your staff profiles will now display as shown in the screenshot below …
(Directory listings with social media URLs added)
Note: If you want to customize how your directory looks 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 listing templates, the Simple Staff List plugin allows you to display your staff profiles differently using modified shortcodes.
In your dashboard menu, choose Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members – Usage)
This brings up the Usage screen …
(Usage Shortcode screen)
This screen provides a list of all different shortcode variations that you can use with the Simple Staff List plugin.
For example, a useful variation you can decide to use 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=”Asia Pacific Region”])
Or, you can display listings in ascending or descending order by inserting the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”DESC”] (descending).
Select Staff Members >Options in the menu …
(Staff Members – Options)
This brings up the Options page …
(Simple Staff List – customizable options)
Here you can edit some of the labels used in the plugin
Finally, you can also export your staff members data by going to the dashboard menu and clicking Tools > Export …
(Export Staff Members plugin information)
If you need plugin support, visit the Simple Staff List site and contact the plugin developer.
Additional Staff Directory Plugins For WordPress
Simple Staff List isn’t the only plugin you can use to create an employee directory in WordPress. For example, here are some other plugins you can check out to add a directory on your site:
(Modern Team Staff Directory)
This 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)
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
(Staff Directory – WP Plugin)
This plugin lets you easily create a directory of staff/team/faculty members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for churches, teams, etc.
You can also use custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields Screen. Screenshot sourced from plugin website)
(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 – Plugin For WordPress)
The Company Directory plugin lets you add your employees to your website. Different layouts are included, including grid and customizable single views, plus as fields like title, email address, phone number, pic and member bio, allowing visitors to get to know your company and capabilities.
Visitors can 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 members in an easy-to-view format. Screenshot sourced from Company Directory website)
This plugin also uses simple shortcodes.
(Employee Spotlight – Plugin For WordPress)
Employee Spotlight displays staff members, partners or just one single person in a 4-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant on plugin activation.
Employee Spotlight includes two sidebar widgets which display featured and recent employees selected in the editor, plus two responsive views which adjust to the screen in the viewer’s device.
Detailed information about each staff member can be displayed in their own page, as well as in summary …
(Responsive layout with circle grid. Screenshot source: plugin website)
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
(Staffer – Plugin For WordPress)
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 onsite employee directory …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot source: Staffer website)
Staffer works with almost all WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
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 Directory Plugin
- Staff Directory WordPress Plugin
- Staff Directory Plugin WordPress
Hopefully, this tutorial has helped you learn how to add a simple and easy-to-manage directory of staff to your web site.
Images used to display staff members in this tutorial 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