How to Create a WordPress Searchable Member Directory with Ease

A member directory can be an incredible resource for both your site visitors and members. A membership site of any kind allows the members to connect with each other and help build strong relationships. These relationships create an engaging community and help the members emerge as leaders. Highlighting those members will certainly give you an edge.

However, users often have complexity when it comes to creating an online member directory. But a WordPress member directory plugin will make their work easy.

A member directory plugin helps you build a community of professionals. It will allow you to add a WordPress table with options to sort, search or filter to find a particular member. So, visitors can find any member and read his/hers full profile.

Today we are going to dig into the details of creating a WordPress searchable member directory using WP User Frontend.

Let's get started.

Why Create A Member Directory Site with WordPress

When you create a WordPress member directory, you build a community for similar-minded users!

Membership websites are an efficient way to earn money online. And when you have a large website where you offer memberships, then it is a wise idea to add a member directory to it. That way-

  • Member directories allow members to get an idea of who else is involved in the company
  • It will allow the members to interact and communicate with each other, that way your community will grow
  • As an admin, you can keep track of each individual activity
  • Having seen the list of your members, users will be attracted to join your website
  • You can highlight your most active member that will help encourage other members to get more involved
  • With a member directory, you can showcase the professionals who have joined your network
  • Last but not least, your visitors can get in touch with your members. This allows them to hire them for their services without spending hours online looking for a trusted professional.

So, you can clearly see that if you have a membership site, you can offer extra value to your members by adding a member directory to your website.

How to Create a WordPress Searchable Member Directory (5 Steps Only)

How to Create a WordPress Member Directory

After going through the lists of reasons why you should create a WordPress member directory, you must be thinking about which plugin you can use to create one yourself. Well, don't worry because we got you covered. You can easily create a WordPress member directory using WP User Frontend.

WP User Frontend's User Directory Module can easily do the job for you. This module can create and customize the default member directory by creating an individual member listing page. And this page will list all of your members with their profile details such as an avatar, with a link to their Member Profile page.

We will go through all the details of installing and how you can use the module to create your default WordPress member directory.

Pre-requirements for Creating WordPress Searchable Member Directory

Before going ahead, you need to install these plugins on your WordPress site:

Step 1: Enable the User Directory Module

You need to enable the User Directory module to start. First of all, navigate to your WP dashboard->User Frontend->Modules. Find User Directory and turn on the toggle button on the top right to activate this module.

This is a screenshot of the WP User Frontend User directory module_wordpress member directory

When you install the User Listing & Profile add-on, you will notice a User Listing sub-menu under the User Frontend menu in your WordPress dashboard. See the image below for an overview of what each section does.

This is a screenshot of the WPUF WordPress member directory

Step 2: Configure Settings

Admins can now select among different built-in design layouts for all user profiles and user listings.

You can go to WP-Dashboard->User Frontend->Settings.

This is a screenshot User directory option fo WPUF

Moreover, you can easily change the Profile Gallery Image Size. All you need to do is choose the size from the dropdown as shown below.

This is a screenshot of the User Directory option of WPUF

Also, you can change the Avatar Size, select a size from the dropdown.

This is a screenshot of the Avatar Size of the WPUF plugin

There is an option to change the Profile Header Template. You need to choose one from the 3 predefined templates given.

User Directory Template GIF

Now on to the User Listing Template, choose one from the 6 predefined templates given.

WordPress directory Template GIF

Step 3: Show the List

To show the list on the front-end of your site, first create a new page, give it a title of your choice, and then add the following shortcode to the page body:


Then publish the page. The User Listing table will be shown on this page.

Step 4: Customize WordPress Default View

You can customize the default view of the member directory. There are two ways,

a. Show All The User

You can also control who can see what type of users there are on your WordPress site. According to the user type such as

  1. Administrator
  2. Author
  3. Editor
  4. Subscribers
  5. Customers

Navigate to WP Admin → Post → The page you used the User Directory shortcode in and paste the following code.

[wpuf_user_listing role=”all”]

Note: This code will show all the users on your site to everyone.

This is a screenshot of the Member Directory Shortcode

Now if you navigate the frontend of your site and go to the user listing page as another user other than as an admin.

The User Directory will show everyone in the list on the front end.

b. Show Certain Users

As an admin, you can also limit a certain category of users from the directory list. This will depend on the admin configuration.

For example here in this user list Elaine Benes is an administrator.

This is a screensbot of the WordPress directory users

If you enter the following shortcode in place of the previous one it will limit certain viewing capabilities.

[wpuf_user_listing roles_exclude=”Administrator,Customer”]

Note: In this shortcode, if you can change the roles that will be excluded. Such as vendors, editors, subscribers, etc.

This is a screenshot of the WordPress directory User Directory pages

The frontend view will exclude administrator and Customer from the User Directory. (According to the shortcode)

In the same way, you can limit the number that will be shown on one page with the code below.

[wpuf_user_listing roles_exclude=”Administrator,Customer” per_page=”10″]
This is a screenshot of WordPress directory pages

Step 5: Publish Your WordPress Searchable Member Directory

So, this is how you can easily customize the default sort order of the default WordPress member directory using the amazing User Directory module of WP User Frontend.

This is a screenshot of user profiles

This is how you can create a member directory in WordPress using the WP User Frontend plugin.

5 Types of Member Directory Sites to Take Inspiration From

Starting from real estate listings to niche membership sites, member directories provide an enhanced, interactive experience for your website visitors. You can create sites like YELP, which is a famous directory website.

So, we have gone out and found these WordPress member directory examples that will help you design your own.

  • Local business directory: This member direcory website helps local businesses get found by their ideal customers, outside of search and social media platforms.
  • Reviews of services: This is beyond a simple member directory. Because if you create a site like that can offer a place for users to leave comments and reviews for companies, services, and other websites, you are sure to prosper.
  • Industry listings: these types of directories can help people find a job in an industry that they are interested in, and can also help business owners share opportunities.
  • Tools directory: businesses are always researching features, comparing related systems and trying to find the most relevant software for their needs. A directory can better organize all of the details and make it easier to search through.
  • Location listings: whether it’s for people within an organization or a business directory based on geography, location is an important aspect for many directories.

FAQ(s) for WordPress Searchable Member Directory

What is a member directory?

Member directories include the name and other key information your organization stores about members. Common data in an online member directory includes Member name (and a link to their individual profile, if applicable) Email address, and social media handles. Role within the organization and/or membership level.

What is a directory WordPress?

These are the files and folders that run your WordPress site. You are not supposed to edit those files on your own. Here is a list of core WordPress files and folders you would see in your WordPress site's root directory. [dir] wp-admin. [dir] wp-includes

How do I create an online directory?

To create an online directory you need to follow the below steps,
1. Decide the Niche or Domain.
2. Get Domain and Hosting.
3. Get a WordPress Directory Theme.
4. Content, Traffic & Get Paid For Listings.
5. Get Paid For Advertisements.
6. Branding.

Are online directories profitable?

Whether you are looking for a full-time gig or to generate some additional income, running a local business directory website can be extremely profitable and provide multiple streams of recurring revenue. From selling listings and ads to offering complementary services, the opportunities are endless.

How do I monetize my website directory?

Top Ways to Quickly Monetize Your Directory Site
1. Charge for Listings on Your Directory Site
2. Let Businesses Claim Their Listings
3. Sell Advertising Space
4. Set Up an Exclusive Membership Directory Site
5. Create a Site like Airbnb

Is the Advanced Custom Fields plugin compatible with WP User Frontend?

Yes, the WP User Frontend plugin is compatible with the Advanced Custom Fields plugin

Can current users edit/upload profile pictures use WP User Frontend?

Yes, logged-in users can update their profile picture from the edit profile page that contains the profile form shortcode.

Are You Ready to Create Your WordPress Searchable Member Directory?

We are at the end of our tutorial and hopefully, now you know how to create a WordPress member directory for your membership site using the WordPress member directory plugin WP User Frontend. We have provided some examples of the type of directories you can create. However, if you want you can create directories for:

  • Subscribers at your WordPress membership site or online course
  • Team members or employees of your business
  • Members of your forum or online community – for example, you could list the most active members at your forum by creating a member list
  • Service providers – e.g. a financial planner community that also helps visitors find the best financial planner in their area
  • Customers at your WooCommerce store.

So, what are you waiting for, grow your organization and build your digital footprint with your own membership directory today!

If you have any queries, do let us know.

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Rabbir Shad
Written by

Rabbir Shad

Shad is a Content Writer with expertise in eCommerce, SEO, WordPress, and Technology. He has a passion for Football. Besides, he likes to spend time reading a quality book or watching any classic film.

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