Consumer behaviour research shows that people will mostly buy from those they know, like and trust.
If you are looking for inexpensive ideas to grow your business online, then one of the things you can do, is help visitors get to know, like and trust you and your organization better.
If you use WordPress, a simple way to help people get to know you better is to display information about your partners, your team, or your staff members using a WordPress staff list plugin.
This tutorial explains how to add an easy-to-update directory of employees to your web site.
Plugin Tutorial: How To Add A Staff Directory
In this tutorial, we will install, activate and configure a free WordPress plugin called Simple Staff List.
(Simple Staff List WordPress Plugin)
Simple Staff List is free and lets you staff (you could also use it to display faculty, etc.).
The first step is to install and activate the Simple Staff List plugin.
Log into your administration 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 Install Now …
(Plugins – plugin search results)
Click on the Activate Plugin link …
After your plugin has been installed and activated, you will see that a new menu will display on the WordPress menu bar called Staff Members …
(Staff Members menu)
All of the options and settings for the Simple Staff List plugin are configured and managed from the Staff Members menu.
Configuring The Simple Staff List Plugin
Depending on how many people are employed in your business and how you want to structure your staff directory, you could begin to add new staff details at this point, or create different groups (i.e. categories) to assign your individualemployees into.
Staff Members – Groups
To configure your directory categories go to your dashboard menu and select Staff Members > Groups …
(Staff Members – Groups)
This loads the Groups screen …
Note: Setting up directory groups is very similar to creating WordPress categories …
(Groups work just like WordPress categories)
Add a new group by entering the following information:
- Group Name – Type in your group category name
- Slug – Type in the slug of your category 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 your category description in this field
- Click the Add New Group button when done to set up the new directory category …
(Groups settings screen)
If you manage a larger organization, having the ability to create groups can be very useful. For example, you can create groups for partners, developers, faculties, etc.
Create as many groups and nested groups 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 entering each item …
To change or reassign Groups for individual entries, hover over a category title and click on the Edit link …
The item will display in the Edit Group screen. Select a new category from the Parent drop-down menu …
(Edit Group settings)
Click the Update button when done …
To change your Group name or slug, hover your mouse over the group name and click on the Quick Edit menu feature …
Click on Update Group to save your changes …
Continue adding groups to this section until you are done creating your directory structure …
Add as many nested categories as you like …
After you are done setting up your groups, the next step is to start adding your people to your directory.
Staff Members – Add New
From your WP admin menu, choose Staff Members > Add New …
(Staff Members – Add New)
This brings up the Add New Staff Member area in your browser …
(Add New Staff Member settings screen)
This screen provides an easy-to-use interface for adding your staff member details and includes the following fields:
Name Section (1)
- Name: Enter the staff member’s name
- Permalink: Edit the slug associated with each employee if you want (this section appears after your first save).
Staff Photo Section (2)
- Photo: Upload a photo of your staff member
Staff Member Info Section (3)
- Position: The staff member’s role
- Email: The employee’s email address
- Phone Number: Type your employee’s phone number
- Facebook URL: Add the person’s Facebook URL (note: use the full URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/username)
- Twitter URL: Type your employee’s Twitter username here (note: only enter the username, not the full twitter URL)
Staff Member Bio Section (4)
- Staff Member Bio: Type in a profile description for your staff member here. Since this uses the WordPress Text Editor, you can use HTML in this section.
Groups Section (5)
- Groups: You can assign the individual to a specific group (see the previous section to learn how to set up groups).
If you click on the Screen Options tab …
You can enable additional features …
(Enable additional fields in screen options tab)
Now that you know what each section does, enter your employee’s details …
(Add New Staff Member settings)
Once you have finished inputting your staff member’s details, assign your item to a directory group in the Groups box in the sidebar …
Note: If you did not set up categories before adding staff member details, you can add a new group in this screen by clicking on Groups > + Add New Group …
(Add a new group inside your Groups box)
A field will display allowing you to create a new group name, with a dropdown menu to assign your new entry to a parent group. Type in the name of your new category and click on the Add New Group button …
Your new category will be created. Make sure that the check box is ticked …
Note: Groups cannot be edited when adding or making changes to an employee or faculty member’s details. To edit an item, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section of the tutorial above for details).
After filling in the person’s details, click the Publish button …
Click View Post …
To modify the person’s profile, click on the Edit Staff Member link in your admin toolbar …
(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)
We have written a detailed tutorial on using the dashboard admin toolbar here:
Note: If you get a ‘page not found’ error like the one shown below, check that you have correctly configured your site permalinks …
(Page error? Check your permalinks)
For a detailed step-by-step tutorial on setting up WordPress permalinks, go here:
Repeat the above process to add new entries to your staff directory directory.
Staff Members – All Staff Members
After you are done adding employees into your directory, you can view and edit their details by clicking Staff Members > All Staff Members on your dashboard menu …
(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)
This brings up a table displaying all the directory entries and details you have added with each entry …
(Staff Members list)
If you need to make changes to individual entries, just hover over their list name, and a submenu will appear.
Click on Edit to modify the Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to edit details such as their name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also delete a member from the employee directory by clicking on Trash, or view the entry on your site by selecting View …
(Edit Staff Members profile details)
Depending on what you are using the plugin for, your list can get quite long.
You can use the Search Staff Members search box to find listing items if necessary …
The plugin also allows you to specify which fields to display in this screen. To show or hide fields on your screen, click on Screen Options …
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 update your preferences …
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you specify the order that your employee profiles show on your directory page.
Select Staff Members > Order on your menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Order)
To reorder your entries, click and drag the item to the new location …
(Rearrange items using drag and drop)
Your staff list will automatically be reordered …
(Reordered list items)
Once you have added all of your members’ details to the directory, the next step is to make the directory show to your visitors.
Staff Members – Order
Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface allowing you to set the order that entries appear on your directory pages.
Choose Staff Members > Order in the menu …
(Staff Members – Order)
To rearrange the order of your entries, click and drag the item to its desired position …
(Reorder listings using drag and drop)
Your staff list will automatically be reordered …
After adding all employees’ listing details to the directory, the next step is to add your directory to your site users.
Simple Staff List – Additional Notes
The Simple Staff List plugin also lets you create 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 your WordPress admin menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Templates)
This opens the Templates page …
(Simple Staff List Templates page)
To customize your directory, reorganize any of the allowable template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.
For example, below is a screenshot of the default template used for displaying directory listings …
(Default Simple Staff List Staff Loop Template)
The above code displays the listing shown below …
(Default Plugin Staff Loop Template Listing)
Notice that there are no Facebook or Twitter URLs showing in the above listing. To display these fields, you will need to add the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] template tags, as shown in the example below …
(Use template tags to customize your directory page)
Here is what your directory will now look like …
(Employee profiles with social media links added)
Note: If you want to customize your directory listings but don’t want to mess around with editing code or are unsure of what to do, please contact us for help.
As well as allowing you to customize your listing templates, the Simple Staff List plugin lets you display your staff profiles differently using modified shortcodes.
In your WP admin menu, select Staff Members >Usage …
(Staff Members Menu – Usage)
This brings up the Usage page …
(Usage Shortcode screen)
This screen lists all the shortcode variations allowed by the plugin.
For example, a useful shortcode variation you can choose 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 make your listings display in ascending or descending order by using the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”DESC”] (descending).
Choose Staff Members >Options in the menu …
(Staff Members Menu – Options)
This opens the Options screen …
(Simple Staff List – Options settings screen)
Here you can modify labels like Staff Members URL Slug and Staff Member titles
You can also export your staff members data from the Tools > Export section …
(Export Staff Members info)
If you need help with the Simple Staff List plugin, go to the Simple Staff List support page and request help from the plugin author.
Other Employee Directory Plugins For WordPress
Simple Staff List isn’t the only plugin you can use to create a listing of your staff in WordPress. For example, here are other free WordPress plugins you can check out to add an employee directory on your site:
(Modern Team Staff Directory – WP 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)
Go here to learn more:
This plugin lets you easily display a list of faculty/team/staff members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for churches, schools, etc.
The plugin also lets you insert custom fields …
(Custom Details Fields. Screenshot sourced from Staff Directory website)
To learn more about this plugin go here:
(Faculty And Staff Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
Faculty And Staff Directory 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.
For more details go here:
(Company Directory – Plugin For WordPress)
Company Directory gives you an easy way to add your employees to your site. Different layouts are available, including grid and single views, plus as fields like title, email, phone, photo 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 staff member in a customizable single view …
(Display your staff and faculty members in an easy-to-view format. Screenshot source: Company Directory plugin website)
This plugin uses a simple shortcode system.
Go here to learn more about the plugin:
(Employee Spotlight – WP Staff Directory Plugin)
Employee Spotlight displays team members, founders or just one individual member of your team in a four-column circle grid page. This page can be easily created with a setup assistant upon plugin activation.
Employee Spotlight includes two sidebar widgets which display featured and recent employees selected in the editor, and two responsive views which adjust to the screen in the viewer’s device.
Detailed information about each employee can be displayed in their own page, as well as in summary …
(Responsive layout with circle grid. Screenshot source: Employee Spotlight website)
Learn more about the plugin here:
The Staffer 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 employee directory on your website …
(Staffer archive page. Screenshot source: Staffer 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, search the WordPress plugin directory or go online and search for:
- Add Staff Directory To WordPress
- WordPress Staff Plugin
- Staff Directory WordPress Plugin
- Staff Plugin WordPress
Congratulations! Now you know how to add a simple staff directory to your WordPress site, so your web visitors can get to know your organization better.
Models used in this tutorial to display staff members were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com
"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum