Many business and marketing experts often raise the point that people generally buy from those they know, like and trust.
If you are looking for cost-effective ideas to sell more products online or get people to stay longer on your site, then make it easier for prospects to get to know, like and trust you and your organization better.
Adding a directory of employees to your site can lead to more trust, increase your credibility online and get interested prospects to buy from you.
In this step-by-step tutorial, you are going to learn how to create and add an easy-to-manage directory of employees or faculty members in your web site using free WordPress plugins.
WordPress Plugin Tutorial: Adding A Staff List Directory To WordPress
In this tutorial, we will install, activate and configure a free WordPress plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List – WordPress Plugin)
The Simple Staff List plugin is free and lets you staff members (you could also use it to display faculty members, etc.).
First, let’s install and activate the plugin.
Log into your WP admin and in your admin menu, choose Plugins > Add New …
(Plugins Menu – Add New)
In the Plugins area, search for “simple staff plugin”. This brings up the Simple Staff Plugin in your search results area.
Click on the Install Now button …
(Plugins – plugin search results)
Click the Activate Plugin link …
After your plugin has been installed and activated, you will notice that new menu will display on the main WordPress menu called Staff Members …
The Staff Members menu is where you will manage and configure all of the settings and options for this plugin are configured and managed in 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 directory, you can start to add new staff details at this point, or create several groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to individual staff.
Staff Members – Groups
To set up your directory categories go to your dashboard menu and select Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members – Groups)
This opens up the Groups panel in your browser …
Note: Configuring directory groups works just like WordPress categories …
(Groups are like categories)
Add new groups by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Enter your group name here
- Slug – Enter the URL-friendly version of your group. Note: make sure that all letters are in lower case and use hyphens instead of spaces.
- Parent – This section lets you set up nested categories
- Description – Enter a category description in this field
- Click Add New Group when done to create your new directory category …
(Groups settings screen)
If you manage a medium to large organization, the ability to create categories can be very useful. For example, you can create categories for partners, project teams, faculties, etc.
Create as many groups and nested groups as you need by adding new Groups and then using the Parent drop-down menu to assign these to a hierarchical structure …
Remember to click on the Add New Group button after entering new items …
To edit or reassign Groups for an individual item, hover over a category title and click on the Edit link …
Your selected group details open in the Edit Group page. Select a new group category from the Parent dropdown menu …
(Edit Group screen)
Click the Update button when done …
To change your Group name or slug, hover your mouse over the group name and click on Quick Edit …
Click the Update Group button when done to save your changes …
Continue adding categories in this section until you have created your directory structure …
You can add as many nested groups as you like …
After you have finished setting up your directory structure, the next step is to start adding names to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
In your WordPress admin menu, choose Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
The Add New Staff Member section …
(Add New Staff Member settings)
This page provides an easy-to-use interface for adding your staff member details and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: The employee’s name
- Permalink: Modify your employees’ slug (this section appears after your first save).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Upload a photo here
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: Type the person’s position here
- Email: The staff member’s email address
- Phone Number: Enter the person’s phone number
- Facebook URL: Add your company’s Facebook URL (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Type in the staff member’s Twitter username (note: only enter the username, not the full twitter URL)
Staff Member Bio Section (4)
- Staff Member Bio: Type a profile description for your staff members here. Since this uses the default WordPress Text Editor, you can format content in this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: You can assign your staff member to a group (see above to learn how to set up your groups).
If you 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 employee’s details …
(Add New Staff Member fields)
Once you have finished entering each staff member’s details, assign your item to a directory group in the Groups section in the sidebar …
Note: If you have not set up categories before starting to add staff member details, you can create a new group by selecting Groups > + Add New Group …
(Groups - + Add New Group)
A field for entering a group name will display, with a drop-down menu to assign your new entry to a parent group. Enter your new category and click on Add New Group …
A new group will be created. Make sure that the checkbox is ticked …
Note: Groups cannot be edited when a staff member’s details are being added or edited. 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 the person’s details, click the Publish button to add them to your directory …
Click View Post …
You can update the person’s profile by clicking the Edit Staff Member link in the admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – WP admin toolbar)
If you need help using the WP admin toolbar, see this tutorial:
Note: If ’page not found’ errors shows up like the one shown in the screenshot below, check that you have correctly configured your permalinks …
(Check your permalinks if you get ’not found’ page errors)
To learn more about setting up permalinks, see this step-by-step tutorial:
Continue adding new entries to your directory directory until done.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
Once you are done adding employees into your directory, you can view and edit their details by clicking Staff Members > All Staff Members on your menu …
(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table displaying all your staff members and the details you have added related to each entry …
(Staff Members details)
If you need to modify individual details, just hover your mouse over their name, and a submenu will appear.
Click on Edit if you want to edit the Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to update details such as their name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also remove someone from the employee directory by clicking on the Trash link, or view the entry on your site by clicking on View …
(Edit Staff Members profile information)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your table can become unwieldy.
Use the Search Staff Members search feature to find member details …
(Search Staff Members search field)
You can specify which fields to display in this section. To show or hide fields on your screen, click on Screen Options …
(Staff Members Screen Options)
Tick or untick the checkboxes to display or hide specific fields. You can also choose how many staff members are shown per page. Click the Apply button when finished to save your settings …
Staff Members – Order
The Simple Staff List plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to set the order that listings show on your directory pages.
Choose Staff Members > Order in the WP admin menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To reorder your entries, click and drag the item to its new position …
(Reorder listings using drag and drop)
Your staff list will automatically be reordered …
(Reordered list entries)
Once you have added all of your member details to your directory, the next step is to make the directory show on your site.
Staff Members – Order
The plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you specify the order that entries appear on your directory page.
Select Staff Members > Order in the WordPress admin menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To rearrange the order of your entries, click and drag the entry to a new location …
(Reorder listings using drag and drop)
Your staff list will be automatically reorganized …
(Reordered list items)
Once you have added all of your staff details to the directory, the next step is to make your directory show to your site users.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The plugin allows you to customize the layout and style of your employee directory entries using template tags and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
To customize the layout and style of your staff list, select Staff Members > Templates from the menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Templates)
This opens the Templates screen …
To customize your directory listings, reorganize any of the allowable template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, here is the default template used for displaying listings …
The above code displays the listing shown below …
(Default Plugin Template Listing)
Notice that there are no Facebook or Twitter URLs showing in the above example. To make these fields show up in the directory, you will need to include the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags in the template loop, as shown in the example below …
(Template tags can be added to the Staff Loop Template to customize your listings page)
Here is what your directory should now look like …
(Employee profiles with social media links added)
Note: If you want to customize how your staff directory looks but don’t want to mess around with CSS code and template tags or are not sure what to do, please contact us for help.
In addition to allowing you to customize your directory templates, the Simple Staff List plugin lets you display your staff profiles differently using modified shortcodes.
In your menu, click on Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members – Usage)
This opens the Usage screen …
(Usage Shortcode screen)
This screen displays all the shortcode variations that the Simple Staff List plugin lets you use.
For example, a useful shortcode variation you can choose to display only members belonging a specific group is the shortcode [simple-staff-list group=”group name”], (e.g.:[simple-staff-list group=”Gold Level associates”])
You can also display listings in ascending or descending order by inserting the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”DESC”] (descending).
In your menu, select Staff Members >Options …
(Staff Members Menu – Options)
This brings up the Options screen …
(Simple Staff List – Options settings)
This section lets you modify labels like Staff Members URL Slug and Staff Member titles
You can also export your staff members data from the Tools > Export page …
(Export Staff Members information)
If you need specific help with the Simple Staff List plugin, visit the Simple Staff List faq page and contact the plugin developer.
Other WordPress Plugins For Creating Simple Staff Directories
Simple Staff List isn’t the only plugin you can use to display an employee directory in WordPress. Here are some other free plugins you can check out for adding a directory on your site:
(Modern Team Staff Directory – WordPress 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)
Go here to learn more:
(Staff Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
With the Staff Directory plugin, you can easily create a directory of staff/team/faculty members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, teams, etc.
You can also insert custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields Screen. Screenshot source: Staff Directory website)
Learn more about this plugin here:
(Faculty And Staff Directory – WordPress 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.
Learn more about the plugin here:
(Company Directory – WordPress Staff Directory Plugin)
Company Directory gives you an easy way to add your staff, team or faculty to your website. Different layouts are available, including grid and table views, as well as fields like position title, email, phone, photo and staff bio, allowing you to present 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 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 – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
Employee Spotlight displays staff members, founders or just one single person in a four-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant on plugin activation.
With the Employee Spotlight plugin, you get two sidebar widgets that let you display featured and recent employees selected in the editor, plus two responsive views which adjust to the screen size of 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 sourced from Employee Spotlight website)
For more details, visit the plugin site here:
(Staffer – WordPress 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 plugin website)
Staffer works immediately with almost all WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.
Go here to learn more about this plugin:
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
- WordPress Plugin Staff Directory
- Employee Directory WordPress
Hopefully, now you know how to add an updatable simple staff directory in your web site.
Images used to depict fictitious staff members were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com
"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com