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How To Add A Staff Directory In WordPress

Many business experts often raise the point that people generally will buy from people they know, like and trust.

If you are searching for ideas to sell more products online and get people to stay longer on your site, then something you can do, is help your prospects get to know, like and trust you and your business better.

If your site uses the WordPress CMS platform, a simple way to help people get to know you better is to use a WordPress staff list plugin that lets you display a directory listing with information about your partners, your faculty, or your staff members.

In this step-by-step tutorial, you are going to learn how to easily add an easy-to-update simple faculty directory to your WordPress site without editing code.

Adding A Staff List Directory: Plugin Tutorial

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install, activate and configure a WordPress plugin called Simple Staff List.

Simple Staff List

(Simple Staff List WordPress Plugin)

The Simple Staff List plugin is a free plugin that lets you easily staff (you could also use it to display faculty, etc.).

First, let’s install and activate this plugin.

Log into your WordPress administration and navigate 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 the Install Now button …

(WordPress Plugins  – Add Plugins screen)

Click on Activate Plugin

(Activate plugin)

After installing and activating the plugin, you will see that a new menu entry will appear in the WordPress menu section called Staff Members

(Staff Members menu)

All of the settings for this plugin are configured and managed from this menu.

How To Configure The Simple Staff List Plugin

Depending on how many people are in your organization and how you want to structure your staff directory, you can begin adding new staff details after installing the plugin, or create various groups (i.e. categories) that you will assign to your members.

Staff Members – Groups

Let’s start by setting up your categories. From your WP dashboard menu, select Staff Members > Groups

(Staff Members – Groups)

This brings up the Groups settings area …

(Groups settings)

Note: Adding directory groups is just like setting up categories in WordPress …

(Groups work just like WordPress categories)

Create a new group by typing in the following information:

  1. Group Name – Enter your group category name here
  2. Slug – Enter the slug of your group 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 a directory hierarchy
  4. Description – Type in the group description here
  5. Click the Add New Group button when finished to set up your new directory category …

(Groups screen)

If you are a medium to large organization, being able to create groups can be very useful. For example, you can create a category for investors, developers, departments, etc.

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

(Nested groups)

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

To change Groups for individual items, hover over a category title and select the Edit link …

Your selected group will display in the Edit Group screen. Select a new parent category from the Parent drop-down menu …

(Edit Group screen)

Click Update when done …

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

Click the Update Group button to save your changes …

Add as many categories as you need to until you are done creating your directory structure …

You can add as many nested categories as you like …

(Nested categories)

After you are done setting up your hierarchical structure, you can begin to add names to your directory.

Staff Members – Add New

In your admin menu, choose Staff Members > Add New

(Staff Members – Add New)

The Add New Staff Member settings area …

(Add New Staff Member settings screen)

This section provides you with an easy-to-use interface for adding 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)

Click on the Screen Options tab …

(Screen options tab)

You will see options to enable additional features …

(Enable additional fields in screen options tab)

Now that you know what each section does, enter your staff member’s details …

(Staff directory settings)

After you have entered details, assign your item to a directory group in the Groups feature in the sidebar …

(Groups feature)

Note: If you did not set up groups before adding staff member details, you can add a new group by selecting Groups > + Add New Group

(Groups - + Add New Group)

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. Type in the name of your new directory category and click on the Add New Group button …

A new group will be added. Make sure that the checkbox is ticked …

(Groups feature)

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

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

(Edit Staff Member link – admin toolbar)

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

Note: If ’page not found’ errors like the one shown in the example below shows up, check that you have set up your site permalinks correctly …

(Page error? Check your permalinks)

If you need help setting up permalinks in WordPress, see this step-by-step tutorial:

Repeat the above process to add more entries to your employee or team directory.

Staff Members – All Staff Members

Once you have finished entering employees to your directory, you can view and edit details by choosing Staff Members > All Staff Members on your menu …

(Staff Members Menu – All Staff Members)

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

(Staff Members list)

If you need to modify individual entries, simply hover your mouse over their listing, and a menu will appear.

Click on Edit to edit their Staff Bio, or Quick Edit to change details like name, slug, group, and publish status. You can also delete a list item 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)

If you have many entries, your list can grow quite large.

Use the Search Staff Members search feature to find a member if necessary …

(Search Staff Members search box)

You can specify which fields to display in this section. To show or hide fields on your screen, click the Screen Options tab …

(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 the Apply button when finished to save your screen options …

Staff Members – Order

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

Click Staff Members > Order in the menu …

(Staff Members Menu – Order)

To reorder your items, click and drag the entry to the new position …

(Rearrange staff listings using drag and drop)

Your staff list will be automatically rearranged …

(Reordered list)

After adding your members’ listing details to the directory, the next step is to display the directory to your visitors.

Staff Members – Order

The Simple Staff List plugin also features a drag-and-drop interface allowing you to specify the order in which your employee profiles show on your directory page.

Choose Staff Members > Order in your menu …

(Staff Members – Order)

To rearrange the order of your entries, click and drag the item to its desired location …

(Rearrange items using drag and drop)

Your directory will be automatically rearranged …

(Reordered listings)

Once you are done adding employees’ details to your directory, the next step is to make the directory display on your site.

Simple Staff List – Additional Notes

Simple Staff List allows you to create the style and layout of your employee directory items using template tags and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

Templates Menu

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

(Staff Members – Templates)

This brings up the Templates screen …

(Templates page)

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

(Default Staff Loop Template)

The This code will display your directory listing as shown below …

(Default Staff Loop Template Listing)

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

(Template tags added to Staff Loop Template)

Your employee entries will now display as as shown below …

(Directory listings with social media URLs)

Note: If you want to customize your directory but don’t want to mess with template tags or are not sure what to do, please contact us for assistance.

Usage Menu

As well as being able to customize your directory templates, the Simple Staff List plugin allows you to display your listings differently using modified shortcodes.

In your menu, click on Staff Members >Usage

(Staff Members – Usage)

This opens the Usage screen …

(Simple Staff List shortcodes)

This screen displays all different shortcode variations that the plugin allows you to use.

A useful shortcode 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=”Asia Pacific Region”])

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

Options Menu

Select Staff Members >Options on the menu …

(Staff Members Menu – Options)

This opens the Options page …

(Simple Staff List – customizable fields)

This section lets you edit some of the labels used in the plugin

You can also export your staff members details from the Tools > Export menu …

(Export Staff Members plugin info)

If you need plugin help or support, go to the plugin plugin site.

Additional WordPress Plugins For Creating Simple Staff Directories

Simple Staff List isn’t the only for creating a directory of your staff in WordPress. Here are other plugins you can use for adding an employee directory on your site:

Modern Team Staff Directory

(Modern Team Staff Directory – WordPress Staff Directory Plugin)

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)

More info:

Staff Directory

(Staff Directory – Plugin For WordPress)

The Staff Directory plugin lets you easily create a directory of staff/faculty/team members. The plugin supports staff categories and can be used for companies, teams, etc.

You can also add custom fields …

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

Learn more about this plugin here:

Faculty And Staff Directory

(Faculty And Staff Directory)

The Faculty And Staff Directory 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 a profile in a widget area.

For more details go here:

Company Directory

(Company Directory – WordPress Staff Directory Plugin)

The Company Directory plugin lets you easily add your employees, team or faculty to your site. Different layouts are included, including list and single views, plus as fields like job title, email, phone number, photo and staff bio, allowing visitors to get to know your company and capabilities.

Visitors can click through from your list, grid, and table views to read more about each employee in a customizable single view …

(Display your staff and faculty members in an easy-to-view format. Screenshot sourced from plugin website)

This plugin also uses simple shortcodes.

Go here to learn more:

Employee Spotlight

(Employee Spotlight – WP Staff Directory Plugin)

Employee Spotlight displays team members, partners or just a 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, and two responsive views which adjust to the viewer’s screen.

Detailed information about  each faculty member can be displayed in their own page, as well as in summary …

(Responsive layout with circle grid. Screenshot source: Employee Spotlight plugin website)

To learn more about this plugin go here:



Staffer 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 onsite staff directory …

(Staffer archive page. Screenshot source: plugin website)

Staffer works with almost all WordPress themes, and also allows for custom template use and custom content wrappers.

More info:

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

Congratulations! Now you know how to add and create a simple directory of staff members to your WordPress site, so your web visitors can get to know your team better.

Images of models used in this tutorial to depict sample staff members were sourced under creative commons license from pixabay.com


"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie