Looking for the easiest way to create a member directory in WordPress? We’ve got you covered with this simple four-step walkthrough!
Membership sites can offer users a lot of benefits. One of the most appealing part is a sense of community. A membership directory can help facilitate communication among members, but you might not know the best way to build one.
Fortunately, setting up a WordPress members directory doesn't have to be difficult. By leveraging the dual powers of Formidable Forms and MemberPress, you can create an exclusive networking tool and increase the site's value to visitors.
In this article, we'll cover a few reasons why you might want to start a membership directory. Then, we'll walk you through the process in just four steps. Let's dive right in!
Why you might want to start a membership directory
People join membership sites for a lot of different reasons. Some may enjoy supporting creators whose work they appreciate. Others may be curious about the content that lies beyond the paywall.
Website members may also be looking to bond over shared interests. This can help nurture a small community of like-minded individuals.
Since this sense of community can be a crucial part of a membership site, you might want to encourage these connections. This is where a membership directory plugin comes in. By creating a resource where users can share contact information, you can make it easier for them to reach out to each other.
Furthermore, the membership site may benefit as well. An active membership directory can lead to consistently updated personal information and may help drive more traffic and add more value.
How to create a member directory
Let's look at how to set up a membership directory. Before you get started, you'll need to install and activate the premium version of Formidable Forms on the WordPress site.
Step 1: Set up a MemberPress account
MemberPress is an effective yet easy-to-use WordPress plugin that runs an entire membership website on WordPress. It's a simple way to create a highly customized community regardless of its niche or size. Furthermore, it integrates beautifully with Formidable Forms.
To get started, go to the MemberPress website and select a plan. Then, install and activate the plugin on the WordPress website. Once that's done, you can start building membership areas.
Step 2: Install the Formidable Forms directory add-on
Now that you have the base for a membership site, we can move on to building the directory. We'll start by adding the necessary add-on first. This directory plugin is included with the Formidable Business+Views plan.
Go to Formidable → Add-ons. Then, find the Directory add-on and click on Install:
When it's ready, you can move along to the add-on's setup wizard. Go to Formidable → Global Settings → Directory and follow the on-screen instructions.
You should then see a few new options for customizing the membership directory:
For the first option, make sure you've selected User/Member. You can also change the names of the directory listing form and directory page here.
After you click on Create Now, Formidable Forms will generate a few new forms, views, and pages. Don't worry about them going live – they're all created as unpublished content by default.
Next, scroll down to the CUSTOMIZE YOUR NEW PAGES section and click on View Page:
You'll then be brought to the auto-generated content. However, we'll focus on just one for now: the User Directory Profile form:
This is the form that users will need to fill out to be included in the membership directory. Make any changes that you see fit, such as adding extra customer fields, social media fields, or other profile fields specific to this website.
Lastly, find the option titled I want to be included in the directory:
Make sure that this is included prominently in the form. Users will need to toggle it to the 'on' position to be a part of this network. When you're done, save your work and move on to the final step.
Step 3: Publish the member profile form in a members area
At this point, you should have a basic directory and sign-up form complete. Nevertheless, we're not quite done. Since you're building a membership directory, you probably only want the sign-up form available only to members.
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:
From here, you can create a rule that restricts that profile page to members. Under Protected Content, select the page you've published the form on. Then, make sure the access conditions are set to apply to members.
If you want to limit the membership directory to a certain tier of membership, you can do that too. Simply select the specific membership plans that are granted access instead. You may also want to consider doing the same with a few other members-only areas on the site.
Save your changes. Now, only the groups that you chose should be able to view the page. Thus, they'll also be the only ones who can fill out that form. Those who opt-in will automatically be included in the membership directory.
Step 4: Publish the members directory on a page
Now that members can opt-in to being included on the directory, it's time to show the members on a page. The setup in step 2 created a User Directory for you along with a page.
The final step is to publish the directory. To do this, go to the auto-created page for the member directory. Make any changes you'd like, and then publish the page.
You'll end up with an ultimate member directory that includes just the members that should be listed:
A membership site can create a lively community of like-minded people. Supporting these connections can be key to a membership site's success. Fortunately, a membership directory built with Formidable Forms and MemberPress can help support this crucial element.
In this article, we showed you how to create a membership directory in four steps:
- Set up a MemberPress account.
- Install the Formidable Forms directory add-on.
- Publish the sign-up form on a page that's available to members.
- Publish the member directory for all to see.