Wondering how to create a WordPress member directory? We’ve got you covered with two simple no-code methods. Let's go!
Who doesn't love a good club? The feeling of unity, exclusivity, shared passions, and sense of belonging... ? It's no wonder membership sites are so popular!
Not only do they provide users with a plethora of perks, but they also offer that unmistakable sense of community we all crave.
Practically speaking, you've probably realized that online member directories are a fantastic tool to boost interaction. But do you know how to build one?
Luckily, setting up a searchable membership listing isn't difficult and doesn't require you to be a coding whiz kid either.
Yep, you read that right — no coding needed! ?
Today, we're guiding you through the two best ways to add a member directory to your WordPress website.
But before we jump in, let's take a second to explore the benefits a WordPress membership directory offers.
Already know it all? ? Skip straight to the step-by-step tutorial.
? Benefits of adding a membership directory to your site
Have you ever wondered why folks flock to membership sites? Well, the reasons are as diverse as the members themselves.
Some sign up to support specific creators. Some are curious to see what exclusive content is hiding behind that paywall. Others join to meet people with similar skills, hobbies, or interests.
It's all about creating connections and nurturing a tight-knit community of kindred spirits. ?
Since sharing is the heart and soul of any membership site, wouldn't it be great if you could do more to encourage interactions and exchanges among members?
Well, that's where WordPress member directory plugins come in. ?
Think of a member directory as a digital Rolodex. It's a space where members share contact information to reach out to each other easily, expand their networks, and strengthen community bonds. ?
But an active directory isn't just good for members; it's good for website owners, too.
While users build connections and help one another, the membership site gets up-to-date information and a lot of engagement, both of which can increase traffic and add value to the site. A true win-win! ?
Now that we know how an online membership directory can help your site, let's make one!
?️ How to build a WordPress member directory
We know there's no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to creating websites. That's why we're showing you two different options for adding a membership directory to your WordPress site in this post.
Both of the methods below make it simple to create a WordPress searchable member directory. ?
- Using MemberPress + Formidable Forms: For more experienced WordPress users or those needing extensive membership management as well as form and listing features.
- Using Business Directory Plugin: For those looking to easily create directory listings for less.
Alright, enough chit-chat. Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work! ?
How to create a member directory with MemberPress + Formidable Forms
For this method, you'll need two things first:
1. MemberPress is an effective yet easy-to-use WordPress plugin that powers your entire membership website on WordPress. It's a simple way to create a highly customized community regardless of niche or size.
Once that's done, you can start building member-only areas and set up membership levels!
2. Formidable Forms is the best WordPress form maker around, and it also happens to be great for building directories. If you don't already have Formidable Business or Elite, click below to get your license.
If you need help getting started, here's how to install and activate Formidable Forms.
Okay, have your plugins? Awesome. ? Time to start building your membership directory.
Step 1: Install Formidable's WordPress Member Directory application
First, let's make sure you already have the Visual Views Add-On installed. From your WordPress dashboard, go to Formidable → Add-Ons.
If you see the Install button, click it then click Activate. If it says already activated, you're all good!
Next, from your WordPress dashboard, go to Formidable → Applications.
On the Applications page, choose the Member Directory from the list of application templates.
The Member Directory Template lets you register users, add them to a searchable member list, and allow users to edit their own profiles. ?
Click the + Add button, then name your directory application and click Install Application. The following items will be automatically generated:
Once you open the application, you'll find the following components in the My Applications section of your Formidable → Applications page.
- 1 Form: User Directory Profile
- 2 Views: Table Listing View User Directory and Grid View User Directory
- 2 Pages: Member Directory Page and Add a Member Page
☝️ FYI — by default, these automatically generated pages are saved as drafts and are not published right away. That way, you can still review the pages and make changes before they go live.
Step 2: Create your member directory
How about we start with the first thing you'll see on your My Applications page: the User Directory Profile form.
This is where you can personalize the user profile form visitors need to fill out to be included in the directory.
You can make any changes you want. Add, remove, or edit form fields as you like. You can even add custom fields such as social media links.
But do make sure to leave the I want to be included in the directory field. Users must turn it on to be included in the member listing.
When you're done making your changes to the form, click Update to save your work.
Now, publish your form on any page or post you want by inserting the Formidable Forms block. Then, just choose your form from the dropdown menu.
Update or publish your post/page, and your user profile form is now live! ?
Great job! Now, let's move on to the next-to-last step.
Step 3: Publish the member profile form in a members-only area
So, you should now have a basic directory and sign-up form. Way to go! ? But we're not quite done.
Since you're building a membership directory, you probably want the sign-up form available to members only.
You can do this with MemberPress by adding a new rule. First, make sure the form is published on a page already. Then, go to MemberPress → Rules → Add New.
Here, you can make a rule to restrict the profile page to members only. Under Protected Content, select the page on which you published your form. Then, make sure the access conditions are set to apply to members. ✅
You can do something similar if you want to limit the membership directory to a certain membership tier. Pick the membership plan(s) you want to grant access to, and you're set!
Save your changes. Now, only the groups you chose should be able to view the page, so they'll be the only ones who can fill out the form.
Here's a peek at what a completed user profile might look like:
Step 4: Publish your member directory
Now that members can opt-in to being included in the directory, it's time to show your directory listing on your site!
The member directory template you installed in Step 1 automatically generated a User Directory View for you along with a page.
All you have to do is publish the page. To do this, go to the auto-created page for the member directory. Make any changes you'd like, and then Publish the page.
And voilà! ? You have the ultimate WordPress member directory listing only the members who want to be listed.
Did all that seem too complicated (or maybe too expensive) for you? You'll love our second option for creating a member directory on WordPress. Keep reading! ?
How to create a membership directory with Business Directory Plugin
If you're on the hunt for a solid MemberPress alternative, a lower-cost solution, or don't want to install two WordPress plugins when one will do, look no further than Business Directory Plugin!
This tool makes it incredibly easy to create a directory site. Here's a quick overview of the steps:
- Head to your WordPress admin dashboard.
- Go to Plugins and select Add New.
- Search for Business Directory Plugin, then click the button to Install and Activate.
- Allow the plugin to create pages automatically by clicking Create Required Pages for Me.
And most of your work is done! ??
For more details along with the final steps, read this guide to creating a directory website in WordPress.
How will you use your WordPress membership directory plugin?
As you can see, a WordPress member directory is a fantastic way to boost your online presence and streamline your operations.
Whether you opt for Formidable Forms and MemberPress or the all-in-one Business Directory Plugin, you're on the right track to creating an engaging membership site.
But remember, the success of your site doesn't solely rely on the type of member directory software you choose. It also depends on how you use it to make your site more appealing and user-friendly.
After all, your website is more than just a platform — it's a gateway to your community!