WordPress Member Directory Plugin + Community (CMEDC) - Use Case - Creating Directory Where Users Suggest Experts

Use Case - Creating Directory Where Users Suggest Experts

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Note: This guide covers features from


The WordPress Member Directory plugin allows you to create a listing of experts, or members. 

The Community add-on lets other users (logged-in or not) create and manage said profiles.


Use Case Front-End


Example of the expert directory index page - WordPress Members Directory
Example of the expert directory index page

Suggestion Form

Suggestion form - WordPress Staff Directory Plugin
Suggestion form

Quick Read: How It Works

  • When a logged-in user creates an expert, that expert is attached to their account profile. This way, the expert(s) will show up on the user dashboard.
  • You can let users claim expert profiles as their own. If approved, the profile will be attached to the user.
  • All expert profiles can have login and password. You can enable users (even anonymous) to edit them by inputting these credentials.

Once a non-logged in user submits a new expert, their email is saved and a password is sent once the listing is approved.

This process does not create a WP user associated with the listing. However, it still allows user to update their expert listing information without having any access to the WP dashboard or having any other privileges related to WP users.

Use Case Assumptions

In this example use case guide, we'll cover how to create a directory where users can suggest experts. You can apply the same idea to the topic of your site.

We consider that you have already bought the addon, but not installed it. 

It follows:

Installing the Add-on

The process is the same for all CM plugins and addons.

CreativeMinds Customer Account Dashboard - Downloads tab
CreativeMinds Customer Account Dashboard
  • Download the plugin from your customer dashboard.
  • Log in to WordPress and navigate to the WordPress Admin  → Plugins settings.
  • Click on Add New.
  • Activate it and add the license.

Setting up a Directory

First, set up the directory if you haven't done so. Since this article focuses on the community use case, it mostly list the relevant documentation for this first step.

Checking Settings

Navigate to the Admin Dashboard → CM Expert Directory → Settings. Then click on the General tab.

General settings tab - WordPress Plugin for Member Directory
General settings tab

Read more: WordPress Member Directory Plugin (CMED) - General Settings (Permalink, Default Image, Admin Edit Link)

Adding First Expert

Head to CM Expert Directory Pro → Add Expert.

Adding new expert - WP Member Directory Plugin
Adding new expert

Learn more: WordPress Member Directory Plugin (CMED) - Getting Started - Add Expert

Useful Guides

Letting Users Suggest Experts

With the directory ready, let's allow users to suggest experts.

Navigate to the Admin Dashboard → CM Expert Directory → Settings.

TIP: Most Settings Are Located in This Tab

Most settings related to the add-on are in this tab.

Community expert settings tab - WordPress Employee Directory
Community expert settings tab

Under moderation settings, choose the roles who can add experts.

Moderation settings - WordPress Members Directory
Moderation settings

Anonymous Users

Letting anonymous users make submissions means visitors who are not logged-in can suggest an expert. It's recommended to only allow this in tandem with moderation and reCAPTCHA

Moderating Submissions

Also here you can enable moderation. This means that, every time someone suggests an expert, the status will be pending until you approve the submission.

There are also notifications related to moderation

Restricted Access Warning

The field "Choose a text to display" will dictate what users without permission will see when trying to suggest an expert. The placeholder [list of roles] can be used to show the allowed roles.


Restricted access warning - WordPress Staff Directory Plugin
Restricted access warning

Creating and Modifying the Suggest Expert Form

Adding Form to the Site

Place the [community_expert_form] shortcode on the page where you want to display the form.

Adding suggestion form to the site - WordPress Plugin for Member Directory
Adding suggestion form to the site


Example of the suggestion form - WordPress Plugin for Member Directory
Example of the suggestion form

Direct Edit Link - One Expert Per User Mode 

If the One Expert Per User mode is enabled, it's possible to create a handy shortcut to edit the expert.

To do so, add the shortcode with the parameter:  [community_expert_form self_edit="1"] to a page. Once logged-in users access this page, they will be directed to the edit form of their expert.

So, if the page "site.com/edit-form" has this form, you can add the link to a button to direct users to the form.


In the settings → Community Expert tab, check the Add a Expert Form section. There are some important settings.

Suggestion form settings - WordPress Employee Directory
Suggestion form settings
  • Suggest an Expert Page ID - Edit the link to suggest a expert form. This can be show up in the expert directory index page.
  • "Suggest an Expert Form" - Link to the page with "Suggest an Expert" form. You can click the edit to open the page editor.
  • Add "Suggest an Expert" link on expert directory index page - Check the box to add a link to the suggest a expert link on the expert directory index page.


    'Suggest an expert' link - WordPress Members Directory
    'Suggest an expert' link
  • Maximum number of categories - Set the maximum number of categories that users can assign an expert to. The admin can always add more categories.

TIP: Invite Users!

Be sure to link the Suggest Expert Form in a prominent section of your site so that they easily send submissions.

Editing the Form

The suggestion form is quite flexible. To access which fields are available and required, head to  Admin Dashboard → Expert Directory → Settings → Community Experts Labels tab.

Community expert labels tab - WordPress Member Directory Plugin
Community expert labels tab

Here you can set the label of each field. Some fields have the option to be set as visible and mandatory.

'Visible' and 'Mandatory' option - WordPress Staff Directory Plugin
'Visible' and 'Mandatory' option

TIP: Translate, Adjust

The add-on has over 40 labels that can be translated. 

It's an opportunity to change the interface to your site's language and/or style.

reCAPTCHA For Security

Under Community Expert Tab → Form settings, you can enable reCAPTCHA Captcha. 

It will be used on places where the user can submit information. This happens on the add/update a expert and the claim a expert functionality.

Relevant settings:

  • Show Captcha - Check the box to secure the form with Captcha.
  • Captcha key - Enter the Captcha key in the provided box.
  • Captcha secret key - Enter the Captcha secret key in the provided box.

Note: You must provide reCaptcha v2 Invisible keys.

Choosing reCaptcha v2 type - WordPress Plugin for Member Directory
Choosing reCaptcha v2 type

Read more General Support - reCAPTCHA - What is It and How to Enable

User View - How a User Can Suggest Experts

Now, when the user reachers the page with the suggestion form, they will be able to send the data.

The fields and if the suggestions are moderated... it all depends on the settings above.


Suggestion form example - WP Member Directory Plugin
Suggestion form example

TIP: Taxonomies, Custom Fields and Custom Links

These fields are only enabled if they have been configured. Note that they have specific labels!

Addiotional links in the suggestion form - WordPress Employee Directory
Addiotional links in the suggestion form

Learn more:

User View - The User Dashboard

You can add a dashboard so that the user can edit the experts assigned to his/her profile.


Dashboard for managing experts - WordPress Members Directory
Dashboard for managing experts

This is done by using this shortcode on any page:

  • Shortcode: [cmedc_dashboard]
    • Optional Attributes:
      • show_footer - Input the value "1" to display the footer and "0" to hide it. The footer is the line containing the Expert count and the Suggest Expert link.

        Example: [cmedc_dashboard show_footer="0"]

      • show_headerSet "1" to show the header; set "0" to disable.

        Example:  [cmedc_dashboard show_header="1"]

      • edit_on_backend - Set "1" to allow users to access the Back-End editor; set "0" to disable.

        Example:  [cmedc_dashboard edit_on_backend="1"]

TIP: Single Expert Mode

If the single expert mode is enabled, instead of showing a list, this shortcode will direct the logged-in user to his/her expert.

Enabling single expert mode - WordPress Member Directory Plugin
Enabling single expert mode

Learn more: CM Expert Directory Community (CMEDC) - Settings

Geo Directory Attribute

geo_directory is a special optional attribute

geo_directory - Set "1" to allow the GeoDirectory integration; set "0" to disable. Add it to the proper GeoDirectory tab. Learn more WordPress Member Directory Plugin (CMED) - Integration With GeoDirection Plugin Example  [cmedc_dashboard geo_directory ="1"]  

What Happens on Edit?

When a user clicks the Edit button they are redirected to the form containing that expert's details.

The interface is identical to the existing suggestion form.

Notifying Users and The Admin

Now, let's make sure you and your users are notified of important events regarding submission status.

Notifications are used to send an email to the user submitting his expert on the status on the expert page and also to the admin managing the directory. In both cases you can customize the email template and decide it should be sent at all.

You can enable/disable and configure these notifications:

  • To the Admin
    • User suggests an expert
    • User claims expert
  • To the User
    • Submission was accepted/declined
    • Claim rejected
    • Information about how to login to an expert profile

TIP: Similar Settings

The settings are similar in all cases. You can enable/disable that specific notification and change the content. In some instances, placeholders such as [url] are accepted.

Email notification template example - WordPress Staff Directory Plugin
Email notification template example

Extra 1 - Granting a User Access to Expert Profile

The admin can verify the owner of an Expert profile in the edit expert page. To enable this, turn on the option "Recovery management" in the  Community Expert tab.

Enabling recovery management - WordPress Plugin for Member Directory
Enabling recovery management

Now you will see a meta-box called "CM Expert Directory Community Custom Fields" when editing a profile.

In it, the admin can assign the expert to an email. 

If an email address is already set, the admin can view the login and password and also send these credentials to the user, as highlighted.

Sending login and password to the page owner - WP Member Directory Plugin
Sending login and password to the page owner

To learn more about, check the specific guide Password Recovery.

Extra 2 - Letting Users Claim Profiles

You can let users or visitors claim expert profiles as their own.

What The User Does (Front-End)

First, the user has to open the  Expert Page, toggle Claiming form and send his name and e-mail address to admin.

Login form - WordPress Employee Directory
Login form

Enabling Claims

Inside the Expert Claim Settings section:

  • Claims management - Check the box to allowing experts to be claimed by site users. if this is checked than users can claims existing expert pages which have not been claimed yet. Once claimed an email will be sent to the admin which can accept or reject the claim.
  • Login form on expert page - Lets user log in to an expert profile on that expert's page
  • Require captcha for claims - Check the box to add reCAPTCHA to secure expert claiming form.
  • Allow multiple pending claims for one expert - Check the box to allow multiple claims by one expert. it is advised not to allow multiple claims to prevent human bots.

TIP: How The Admin Manages Claims

From the WordPress dashboard navigate to  CM Expert Directory Pro → Settings → Claim Requests.

Navigation to the 'Claim Requests' dashboard - WordPress Members Directory
Navigation to the 'Claim Requests' dashboard

From here, the admin has an overview of all claim requests.

Dashboard for managing claim requests - WordPress Member Directory Plugin
Dashboard for managing claim requests

For each, the admin can accept, reject and delete the request. Finally, it's possible to resend the claim confirmation email.

Learn more: How To - Let Users/Visitors Claim Experts


With all steps completed, your directory will accept submissions from users via a customized form.

Example of the expert directory index page - WordPress Plugin Staff Directory
Example of the expert directory index page

Get more information about the CM Expert Directory Community WordPress Add-on

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