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How To Add A Staff Directory In WordPress

No doubt you already know that people often tend to buy from those they know, like and trust.

If you are searching for simple ideas to sell more products or services online, then one of the things you can do, is help visitors get to know, like and trust your organization better.

If you are a WordPress user, a simple way to help visitors get to know you better is to add a WordPress directory plugin that lets you add a directory listing with information about your key people, your faculty, or your employees.

In this tutorial, we show you how to easily add an updatable simple team members directory in your web site without using code.

Step-By-Step Tutorial: How To Add A Staff Directory

In this tutorial, we will install, activate and configure a no cost plugin called Simple Staff List.

Simple Staff List

(Simple Staff List)

The Simple Staff List plugin is free and lets you easily employee (you could also use it to display faculty members, etc.).

The first step is to install and activate this plugin.

Log into your WordPress administration and go to Plugins > Add New

(WordPress Plugins Menu – Add New)

In the Plugins screen, search for “simple staff plugin”. This brings up the Simple Staff Plugin in your search results area.

Click on Install Now

(WordPress Plugins  – Add Plugins screen)

Activate the plugin …

(Activate plugin)

After installing and activating the plugin, you will notice that new menu entry will appear in your WordPress admin menu called Staff Members

(Staff Members menu)

The Staff Members menu is where you will configure and manage all of the settings for this plugin are configured and managed from the Staff Members menu.

Plugin Configuration

Depending on how many people are employed in your business and how you want to structure your staff directory, you can just start to add new staff member details after installing the plugin, or create several groups (i.e. categories) to assign your individualgroup members into.

Staff Members – Groups

To set up your directory groups go to your WordPress dashboard menu and select Staff Members > Groups

(Staff Members – Groups)

This loads the Groups area …

(Groups section)

Note: Adding groups is very similar to working with WordPress categories …

(Groups work like categories)

Add new groups by typing in the following information:

  1. Group Name – Type in your group category name
  2. Slug – Enter the URL-friendly version of your group category name. Note: make sure that all letters are in lower case and use hyphens instead of spaces.
  3. Parent – Use this drop-down menu if you plan to set up nested groups
  4. Description – Type in the group description in this field
  5. Click the Add New Group button when finished to set up the new directory category …

(Groups settings screen)

If you run a business that employs many people, being able to assign people to different groups can be very useful. For example, you can create categories for founders, project teams, departments, etc.

Create as many categories and nested categories as you want by adding new Groups and then using the Parent drop-down menu to assign these to a directory hierarchy …

(Nested categories)

Remember to click on the Add New Group button after entering each item …

To edit Groups for a specific entry, hover your mouse over a category title and click on the Edit link …

Your selected item’s details will display in the Edit Group page. Select a new parent group category from the Parent dropdown menu …

(Edit Group screen)

Click Update to save your changes …

To change your Group name or slug, hover over the group name and choose Quick Edit

Click on Update Group  after making 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 …

(Nested groups)

After you have finished setting up your groups, the next step is to start adding your people to your directory.

Staff Members – Add New

From your WordPress admin menu, choose Staff Members > Add New

(Staff Members Menu – Add New)

This brings you to the Add New Staff Member screen …

(Add New Staff Member settings screen)

This section provides you with an easy-to-use interface for adding and editing your staff member details and includes the following fields:

Name Section (1)

Staff Photo Section (2)

Staff Member Info Section (3)

Staff Member Bio Section (4)

Groups Section (5)

If you click on the Screen Options tab at the top of your screen …

(Screen options)

You will see options to enable additional page settings …

(Enable additional fields in screen options)

Now that you know what each section does, enter each of your employee’s details …

(Staff directory settings)

Once you have finished entering details, assign your item to a directory group in the Groups feature in your sidebar …

(Groups box)

Note: If you did not set up your directory groups before starting to add new staff members, you can create a new group by clicking on Groups > + Add New Group

(Add a new group inside your Groups box)

A field will appear allowing you to enter a new group name, with a drop-down menu that lets you assign your new entry to a parent group. Enter your new directory category and click on Add New Group

The new category will be created. Remember to tick the checkbox to assign a person’s listing to the group …

(New group added in Groups feature)

Note: Groups cannot be edited when adding or making changes to someone’s details. To edit a group item, go to the Groups section of the plugin’s settings (see “Groups” section above for details).


After entering your employee’s details, click the Publish button …

Click View Post

You can edit the employee’s profile by clicking the Edit Staff Member link in your WordPress admin toolbar …

(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)

We have written a detailed tutorial on using the admin toolbar here:

Note: If you have set up groups and get errors like the one shown below, check that you have set up your site permalinks correctly …

(Check your permalinks if you get errors)

To learn more about setting up permalinks in WordPress, go here:

Continue adding new members to your employee directory directory until done.

Staff Members – All Staff Members

After entering staff details into your directory, you can view and edit their details by selecting Staff Members > All Staff Members on the menu …

(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)

This brings up a table listing all the staff profiles and any details you have added related to each entry …

(Staff Members details)

If you need to change an individual’s entry, simply hover over their listing, and a submenu will appear.

Click on Edit to make changes to the item’s Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to update details such as their name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also remove someone from the staff directory by clicking on Trash, or view the entry on your site by clicking on View

(Editing Staff Members profile information)

If you have many entries, your table can get quite long.

You can use the Search Staff Members search box to locate items if required …

(Search Staff Members search field)

The plugin also lets you specify which fields to display in this section. To show or hide fields on your screen, click the Screen Options tab …

(Screen Options tab)

Selecting a check box displays the field and unselecting it hides the field. You can also choose how many staff members are listed per page. Click the Apply button when finished to update your settings …

Staff Members – Order

The Simple Staff List plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you arrange the order in which listings appear on your directory page.

Click Staff Members > Order in your WordPress admin menu …

(Staff Members Menu – Order)

To rearrange the order of your items, click and drag the entry to its desired position …

(Reorder items using drag and drop)

Your directory will automatically be reorganized …

(Reordered list items)

Once you have added members’ details to the directory, the next step is to display the directory to your visitors.

Staff Members – Order

Simple Staff List also features a drag-and-drop interface allowing you to arrange the order in which entries appear on your directory pages.

Click Staff Members > Order on your menu …

(Staff Members – Order)

To reorder your items, click and drag the item to its desired location …

(Reorder employee listings using drag and drop)

Your list will be automatically reorganized …

(Reordered list)

Once you are done adding staff listing details to the directory, the next step is to make the directory display to your visitors.

Simple Staff List – Additional Notes

The plugin also lets you edit the style and layout of your employee directory listings using template tags and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

Templates Menu

To customize the layout and style of your directory, select Staff Members > Templates from the menu …

(Staff Members – Templates)

This brings up the Templates page …

(Simple Staff List Templates screen)

To customize your directory, insert any of the permitted template tags inside the [staff_loop] [/staff_loop] code.

For example, here 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 Template Listing)

Notice that no Facebook or Twitter URLs are showing in the above example. To display these fields, you will need to add the [staff-facebook] and [staff-twitter] tags to the template, as shown below …

(Template tags can be added to the Staff Loop Template to customize your listings page)

Here is what your staff list should now look like …

(Directory with social media URLs)

Note: If you want to customize how your directory looks but don’t want to mess around with editing code or are unsure of how to edit the template as shown above, please contact us for assistance.

Usage Menu

As well as allowing you to customize your listing templates, the Simple Staff List plugin lets you display your listings differently using modified shortcodes.

In your menu, click on Staff Members >Usage

(Staff Members – Usage)

This brings up the Usage screen …

(Simple Staff List shortcodes)

This screen displays all different shortcode variations that you can use with the Simple Staff List plugin.

For example, a useful shortcode variation you can decide to use to display only members of a specific group is the shortcode [simple-staff-list group=”group name”], (e.g.:[simple-staff-list group=”technical engineers”])

Or, you can make your listings display in ascending or descending order by inserting the shortcode [simple-staff-list order=”DESC”] (descending).

Options Menu

Select Staff Members >Options in the WordPress admin menu …

(Staff Members Menu – Options)

This opens the Options screen …

(Options settings)

Here you can change labels like Staff Members URL Slug and Staff Member titles

You can also export your staff members data by going to your menu and choosing Tools > Export

(Export Staff Members info)

If you need specific help with this plugin, visit the Simple Staff List website and contact the plugin developer.

Other Employee Directory Plugins

Simple Staff List is not the only WordPress employee directory plugin you can use. For example, here are other plugins you can use:

Modern Team Staff Directory

(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)

For more details, visit the plugin site here:

Staff Directory

(Staff Directory – Plugin For WordPress)

With the Staff Directory plugin, you can easily display a list of faculty/team/staff members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, schools, etc.

You can also set up custom fields …

(Custom Details Fields. Screenshot source: Staff Directory website)

To learn more about this plugin go here:

Faculty And Staff Directory

(Faculty And Staff Directory – WP Staff Directory Plugin)

This plugin provides a simple and flexible faculty and staff directory for a small college or university.

The plugin also includes a widget that allows you to feature profiles in a widget area.

For more details, visit the plugin site here:

Company Directory

(Company Directory)

This plugin lets you easily add your staff to your site. Different layouts are available, including grid and single views, as well as fields like job title, email address, phone number, photo and 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 learn more about each staff member in a customizable single view …

(Display your staff and faculty in an easy to view format. Screenshot source: plugin website)

This plugin uses shortcodes.

For more details, visit the plugin site here:

Employee Spotlight

(Employee Spotlight)

Employee Spotlight displays staff members, partners 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 Employee Spotlight, you also get two sidebar widgets that let you display featured and recent employees selected in the editor, and two responsive views which adjust to the device screen size.

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)

More info:


(Staffer – WP Staff Directory Plugin)

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 a staff directory on your website …

(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.

Learn more about the plugin here:

If the directory plugins listed above aren’t what you’re looking for, search the WordPress plugin directory or go online and search for:

Congratulations! Now you know how to add a simple employee or faculty directory to your WordPress site, so your web visitors can get to know you and the people in your company better.

Models used to display sample staff members in this tutorial were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com


"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)