CM Expert Directory (CMED) - Use Case - Creating an Expert Directory From Scratch


Use Case - Creating an Expert Directory From Scratch

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Note: This guide covers features from the Pro version of CM Expert Directory - This document uses version 1.5.7

Introduction

CM Expert Directory allows you to create a site with a comprehensive directory of experts. Each expert has a profile page with detailed information.

Quick Read: Expert Profile is Not WordPress Account

In this base plugin, users cannot submit/manage profiles. The admin controls all pages.

To let users manage their expert profiles, use the Community Add-on.

Video

Use Case Front-End

Expert Directory

Expert Profile


Use Case Assumptions

In this example use case guide, we'll cover how to create a small directory with five experts in Education and IT. You can apply the same idea to the topic of your site.

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

It follows:


Installing The Plugin

The process is the same for all CM plugins.

  • 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

Learn more: Getting Started - Plugin Overview


Adding First Expert 

With the plugin ready to go, it's time to add the first expert! 

Head to  WP Admin Dashboard → CM Expert Directory Pro → Add Expert

You will be able to fill detailed information for your new expert.

Creating John Doe Profile

Here we show the main sections of adding the profile for John Doe.
  1. Name and overview
  2. Publications, education, experience
    1. Taxonomies Index - Filters (Search, Taxonomies)
    2. Tags
    3. Additional Links and Fields Expert Page - Additional Links and Fields
    1. Address with Google Maps - Expert Page - Google Maps
    2. Social media links
Also: Image gallery, video gallery, documents and more

Learn more: Getting Started - Adding an Expert


Configuring The Directory

The Directory Page is automatically created upon plugin installation in the address www.yoursite.com/expert-directory. As you add experts, it will be automatically updated to present all profiles.

It's a normal page with the shortcode  [cmed_expert], which outputs your experts.

 You can configure how it looks by default by heading to the plugin's settings →  Directory Appearance tab.

In this page you can decide options such

  • Default template
  • Filters
  • Experts by page
  • Default sorting order

Learn more: Index - Header Settings (Page ID, Number of Items, Pagination)

Different Views, Different Settings

The Directory plugin has four available views, each with their settings.

Settings

Search and Filters

Another important setting in the directory is regarding filters - in other words, how users narrow down and search the directory.

For example, you might want to let users search by tags but not keywords. Or, allow search by custom taxonomies.

TIP: Filters Are Essential For UI

Especially if your directory is big!

What You Can Change

  • Displaying filter fields as Dropdown or Tags.
  • Display search field
  • Show or not these filters:
    • Category
    • Expertise
    • Service
    • Language
    • Tags
    • Custom Taxonomies

All settings are under Filter settings.

TIP: Modifying The Index Content With Shortcodes

You can change what appears in the each instance of the directory by adding parameters to its shortcode,  [cmed_expert].

Parameters 

A small sample:

  • view - the id of the view from the following: tiles, list, directory
  • filter_search - whether to hide Search filter on Experts Index Page (set 0 to hide )
  • cats - the slug of the category from which the expert should be displayed
  • tags - the name of the tag the expert displayed should have

Example   [cmed_expert view="list" filter_search="0" cats="teachers,educators" tags="available,remote"]

Check all shortcodes and parameters: Shortcodes - Available Shortcodes


Editing The Expert Page

Now let's match the page to our site's identity. Here are some examples of what we can achieve:

Head to the Expert Page tab.

Sample of what you can change:

  • Default country
  • Page colors
  • Show or not expert picture, publish date, update date, comments, back to directory link, expert e-mail address, Publications, Education, Experience, Documents
  • Show or not custom taxonomies
  • Show or not additional links, and also what are their labels
  • Related experts

Learn more: Expert Page - Customizing What is Shown (Template, Colors, Related Experts) 

What Else Can I do?

Check some useful tips:

  1. Enable Star Ratings CM Expert Directory (CMED) - Expert Page - Advertisement 
  2. Show persistent advertisements CM Star Rating Module (CMSR) for Directory Plugins

Expert Page - Additional Links, Fields and Taxonomies

Expert Directory is flexible in that you can configure a series of fields and choose to display them or not.

Example

What's The Difference?

  • Custom Taxonomy - Work like categories or tags and is searchable. Ideal for concepts shared by many experts.
    • Examples: Expertise, Area of Interest, Department
  • Custom Link - Simple link.
    • Examples: Portfolio, Personal Website, Company Profile
  • Custom Field - Simple text field. Ideal for unique values
    • Examples: Years of Experience, Personal Quote

1) Taxonomies

You can enable/disable and rename taxonomies from the Taxonomies tab. They will apply to both Directory and Profile page.

Learn more: CM Expert Directory (CMED) - Additional Taxonomy (Labels, Expert Page, Index)

2) Custom Links

The settings are in the Expert Page tab. Set Show additional custom links to Yes and you will be able to see these fields when editing an expert. Choose a label and icon for up to four custom links.

3) Custom Fields

Custom fields are similar and the settings are just below Additional Links in the Expert Page tab.


Translating Interface

If your site is not in English, that's ok. 

The CM Expert Directory lets you translate the most important front-end labels to your language of choice. To do so, head to the Labels tab.

Some examples of labels available for translation:

  • Expert
  • Address
  • City/Town
  • Back to Directory

Expert? Member? Specialist? You Choose!

A common use case is using a different name other than expert. For instance, you directory might contain only lawyers, teachers or scientists..

For this adjustment, you should:

  • Check all labels related to "Expert"
  • Edit the title of the Expert Directory page from the back-end

Learn more: Settings - Labels


End Result

Following instructions found in the plugin and guides, you should be able to complete the directory with multiple experts.

Expert Directory

Expert Profile


More information about the CM Expert Directory WordPress  Plugin

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