How to Add a Member Directory to Your Membership Site Using MemberPress and Formidable Forms

Using MemberPress, you can enable users on your site to communicate with each other through community forums. However, it can be hard for them to find each other without a comprehensive member directory.

Fortunately, it's easy to create one with Formidable Directory, an add-on for Formidable Forms that integrates seamlessly with MemberPress. It's highly adaptable, so you can use it for just about any kind of membership site you can think of.

In this article, we'll show you how to use Formidable Directory to add a member directory to your MemberPress site. Let's get to it!

Why You May Want to Add a Member Directory to Your Membership Site

A member directory provides your users with the perfect way to find each other. If you run a membership website with a forum, for example, a directory helps users locate and get in touch with others they want to interact with.

Moreover, user directories can come in handy for online classrooms. Your instructors can use them to look up students and vice versa. This can make it easy for pupils to form study groups or reach out to their teachers with questions about assignments or assessments.

Having a public member directory can also signal to new users that you run a popular website. If someone sees a list of hundreds or even thousands of users, then they know your platform is probably worth the subscription fee.

Although MemberPress provides you with all the tools that you need to create a membership website, it doesn't include a directory feature out of the box. Luckily, there's another plugin that does.

An Introduction to Formidable Directory

Formidable Directory is an extension of Formidable Forms that enables you to create member, business, and even website directories. You have full control over the data you want to include and you can even charge for listings:

The Formidable Directory plugin.

Formidable Directory can format listings for each registered user on your site. These may include profile pictures, names, roles, and even links to social media profiles:

An example of a member directory.

With Formidable Directory, users also get to decide whether they want their profiles to be publicly available. That way, privacy-conscious members can protect their information, while those who want to network and build relationships have the opportunity to do so.

How to Add a Member Directory to Your Membership Site (In 3 Steps)

The first thing that you need to do to create your member directory is to download the Directory add-on and upload it to your WordPress site (Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin).

You'll also need to install and activate a premium Formidable Forms license. If you haven't set up the parent plugin yet, do so before moving on to Step 1.

Step 1: Activate the Formidable Directory Plugin

To activate the Formidable Directory add-on, go to the Formidable > Add-Ons page in your WordPress dashboard. Find the Directory entry and click on the Activate button under its name:

Installing the Formidable Directory add-on.

Right away, the plugin will launch a setup wizard. You will have the option to install the User Registration add-on, which works alongside the Directory plugin.

Traditionally, you'd activate that add-on to set up a form that enables users to sign up for your site and add their information to your directory. However, since you're using MemberPress, you can skip this additional extension and just use our plugin's registration functionality.

Step 2: Configure Your Member Directory

Next, Formidable Directory will ask you what type of directory format you want to set up. Select the User/Member option:

Creating a user/member directory.

You can also decide whether to use a two or four-column layout for your directory. This is up to you and your personal preferences. Once you've made your choice, change the name of your directory page under Directory Page Name.

Formidable Directory will then set up a new page for your member directory and save it as a draft. That means it's not live yet and you can still make changes before publishing it.

Step 3: Publish Your New Member Directory Page

Although the Formidable Directory plugin automatically generates a directory for your site, it doesn't publish it right away. Instead, that page is saved as a draft so you can review it before it goes live.

Formidable Directory takes care of the page's basic styling and pulls the data that it displays from your website's user information. If your members haven't set avatars yet, you may want to remind them to do so from their profile pages, or your directory will look a bit bare bones.

Once you publish your member directory, you'll want to add a link to the directory to your website's navigation menu so that users can access it. To do so, navigate to Appearance > Menus in your dashboard.

Select the menu you want to add the link to, then find your new directory page in the list to the left and add it:

Adding your member directory page to your navigation menu.

Ideally, you'll add this resource to your main navigation menu so users can find it with ease. While you're within the menu editor, remember that you can re-order pages by dragging and dropping them.

If you want to make any changes to your directory after it goes live, all you have to do is navigate to Formidable > Global Settings > Directory in your WordPress dashboard.

Conclusion

Member directories provide you with an opportunity to show off how many people use your website. Moreover, they help users engage with each other by sharing links to their social media profiles and enabling them to reach out to one another.

If you use MemberPress, we recommend you try out Formidable Forms and its Directory add-on. Using both, you can create a stylish member directory page for your website in a matter of minutes.

Do you have any questions about how to add a member directory to your membership website? Let's talk about them in the comments section below!

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Categories: Add Ons How To
About John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, WordPress fanatic, and staff writer.

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