WordPress Member Directory Plugin (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 WordPress Member Directory plugin - This document uses version 1.5.7


WordPress Member Directory plugin 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.


Use Case Front-End

Expert Directory

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

Expert Profile

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

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.

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.

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

Adding new expert - WordPress Plugin for Member Directory
Adding new 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

3.1. Taxonomies Index - Filters (Search, Taxonomies)

3.2 Tags

3.3. Additional Links and Fields Expert Page - Additional Links and Fields

4.1. Address with Google Maps - Expert Page - Google Maps

4.2. Social media links

Also: Image gallery, video gallery, documents and more

Expert page details - WP Member Directory Plugin
Expert page details

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.

Directory appearance settings tab - WordPress Employee Directory
Directory appearance settings 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 WordPress Member Directory plugin has four available views, each with their settings.

4 available directory views - WordPress Members Directory
4 available directory views


Choosing the directory view - WordPress Member Directory Plugin
Choosing the directory view

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!

Directory filters - WordPress Staff Directory Plugin
Directory filters

What You Can Change

  • Displaying filter fields as Dropdown or Tags.
Displaying filter fields as Dropdown or Tags - WordPress Plugin for Member Directory
Displaying filter fields as Dropdown or Tags
  • Display search field
Search field - WP Member Directory Plugin
Search field
  • Show or not these filters:
    • Category
    • Expertise
    • Service
    • Language
    • Tags
    • Custom Taxonomies

All settings are under Filter settings.

Filter settings - WordPress Employee Directory
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].


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.

Expert page settings tab - WordPress Members Directory
Expert page settings 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

Star rating - WordPress Member Directory Plugin
Star rating

2. Show persistent advertisements

Adding adverts - WordPress Staff Directory Plugin
Adding adverts

Expert Page - Additional Links, Fields and Taxonomies

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


Custom taxonomies, links and fields - WordPress Plugin for Member Directory
Custom taxonomies, links and fields

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.

Taxonomies settings tab - WP Member Directory Plugin
Taxonomies settings tab

Learn more: WordPress Member Directory Plugin (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.

Enabling custom links - WordPress Employee Directory
Enabling custom links

3) Custom Fields

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

Enabling custom fields - WordPress Members Directory
Enabling custom fields

Translating Interface

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

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

Labels settings tab - WordPress Member Directory Plugin
Labels settings 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"

    Labels - WordPress Staff Directory Plugin
  • Edit the title of the Expert Directory page from the back-end

    Label on the front-end - WordPress Plugin for Member Directory
    Label on the front-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

Example of the expert directory index page - WP Member Directory Plugin
Example of the expert directory index page

Expert Profile

Example of the expert page - WordPress Employee Directory
Example of the expert page

More information about the WordPress Member Directory Plugin

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