Looking for a campus directory WordPress plugin? See this article! Learn everything about the best campus directory WordPress plugin with a tutorial.
A campus directory is an important part of any educational institution. It provides official information about the faculties, staff, and students. Sometimes you can include the campus administrators as well in the directory.
Campus directories are now digitalized thanks to modern web technologies. These are accessible from anywhere. Having an online campus directory makes things easier for every stakeholder.
Cannot wait to meet the best campus directory WordPress plugin? We’ll tell you about it in this post.
Also, here we have a step-by-step tutorial. It will show you how to create a campus directory in WordPress. You get everything in a single place!
The best campus directory WordPress plugin
You may notice several directory plugins for creating a directory online. But you should know, not all plugins are created the same.
The campus directory will present your institution. And you don’t want to switch between platforms. This is why you need to start with the best one. It makes sense, right?
Business Directory Plugin is the best campus directory WordPress plugin. Before you ask, let's make it clear! Don’t get confused by the name. You've heard that right.
Our WordPress directory plugin covers all types of online directories. We’ve named it after the most common one. As simple as that.
Many people use this plugin for various purposes. It includes almost every use case ranging from local business to real estate, nonprofits, alumni directory, and more. Folks happily use it to manage their listings.
Business Directory Plugin is an easy-to-use directory plugin for WordPress. You can call it a school directory WordPress plugin as well. It has both free and premium versions.
What to include in a campus directory website
As we’ve mentioned earlier, a campus directory will present data about the institution’s students, faculty members, staff, and more. Here is a quick list.
- Student information with bio and contact data.
- Faculty members with office location and contact info.
- Staff details with work location and contact data.
- Information of campus administrators, affiliates, etc.
These are the most commonly included information categories in campus directories. You can adjust them as you see fit. Probably you would find some stuff relatable to an employee directory as well.
Wondering how to add, manage, and present all these data? We’ll show you. Let’s do that now!
How to create a campus directory with WordPress
To build a campus directory in WordPress, first, we need a live WordPress site. You can also install our campus directory WordPress plugin on your existing WordPress site (e.g. main campus website).
But we would recommend you get a new WordPress instance. This will make the directory more independent.
You can get a fresh WordPress site live with some help from your domain registrar company. If you want to get it from a different provider, select a WordPress hosting service and contact them. For more information, see our post on how to choose the best WordPress hosting.
Once the WordPress site is live, we can start our work. Here we go!
Step 1: Get Business Directory Plugin
Let’s install Business Directory Plugin on our WordPress site. It will add the directory system to the site.
For a basic campus directory, you can use the plugin's free version. But if you want to use features like Google Maps, location filtering, attachments, ABC filtering, get a premium plan.
Wondering how would they help? Here’s a quick overview.
- You can add Google Maps frames to your faculty member and staff profiles. This will be helpful to find their office locations. You can also let the visitors use Google Maps’ direction feature on those map frames.
- The location filtering option lets the users find any student, teacher, staff, or other directory members based on a particular location. This can be helpful to hold regional programs and beyond.
- With the listing attachment feature, you can upload files to the member profiles. It can be a resume, biodata, CV, media file, etc.
- To enable the audience to search your directory by the first letter of the member names, use the ABC filtering feature.
- There are many other premium features like directory templates, migration system, advanced search using ZIP code, category images, etc. Explore all the features and get a premium plan to utilize them.
To use these amazing premium features, you just need to activate the relevant modules after installing Business Directory Plugin premium.
If you need some help with the installation, please see our docs on how to install Business Directory Plugin.
Step 2: Create the campus directory pages
A campus directory would have only a few kinds of pages. The single listing page, the listing archive pages, and the listing submission page (for internal use). The single listing page and the archive pages are generated dynamically. Also, you can create filtered archive pages.
Main directory page: First, we’ll get the main campus directory archive page. It’s created automatically if you follow the dashboard prompt after activating Business Directory Plugin.
This page displays a search form, directory categories, and a bunch of other options. You can use this page as the listing homepage.
Custom directory archives: These pages are optional. Do you want to create custom archive pages for listing categories like students, teachers, and more? Use the [businessdirectory-quick-search category =”categoryslug”] shortcode. You'll get these pages.
Go to WordPress Dashboard → Pages → Add New. Then create a page with the shortcode inside. Replace the “categoryslug” part with your category’s slug. Also, you can put a search bar on the top of that page using the [businessdirectory-quick-search] shortcode.
Listing submission page: This will be a front-end form. Use it to add listings. Although you can add listings from the back-end, the front-end interface is cleaner.
Insert the [businessdirectory-submit-listing] shortcode in a page to create this form.
Business Directory Plugin has several other shortcodes. Please see the shortcode docs to learn how to use them.
Step 3: Set up the campus directory WordPress plugin
Business Directory Plugin comes with lots of settings options. We need to tweak them to fit our purpose. For this post, let’s make the following changes.
- Turn off the submit listing button from the homepage
- Set up who can add listing items
- Tweak the listing items' time to live
Turning off the submission button on home: A campus directory site should be managed by internal teams. It doesn’t need a listing submission form for the visitors.
Our main listing homepage automatically gets a submission button. It's a plugin feature. It can be useful for many cases. Just not for this one.
Now we'll hide that button. Visit Directory → Settings → Listings → Buttons. You’ll find a Show the “Submit listing” button check box. Uncheck that. Save changes.
Set up who can add listing items: We’ll ensure that only registered users can add listings to the site. They can do so by logging in to the site. Go to Directory → Settings → General → Registration.
Enable the “Require login to post listings?” option. Then choose “No” for the “Allow users to create accounts during listing submit?” setting. Don't forget to save changes!
Tweak the listing items' lifetime: Business Directory Plugin offers several monetization features to create a paid directory. You can add a payment gateway to accept payments as well.
We don't need the payment features for this tutorial. But we need to customize its default pricing plan (fee plan). There is a built-in free fee plan. More can be added.
Since we’re now building a campus directory, we don’t need any paid fee plan. All of our listing items will be using the free fee plan.
By default, this campus directory WordPress plugin sets a 365-day time for a listing item in its default “fee plan”. We’ll remove this expiration time. We’ll make it “forever” so that no listing item auto-expires.
Go to Directory → Fee Plans → Free Listing. Select “run listing forever” in the option “How long should the listing run?”. Save changes.
Step 4: Create listing categories for the campus directory
Let’s say we’ll have 4 types of listings in this directory. These would be students, teachers, staff, and administrators. We'll need to add 4 listing categories for them.
Visit Directory → Directory Categories.
Add and manage the listing categories there.
Step 5: Edit the form fields
This campus directory WordPress plugin has some built-in form fields. These are business-listing friendly. Now we’ll edit them to make them usable in our project.
Go to Directory → Manage Form Fields. Change the field labels as you need.
Here’re some examples.
- Edit “Listing Title” and make it “Name”.
- Change “Listing Category” to “Department”.
- Edit “Short Description” and make it “Designation”.
- Change “Description” to “Bio”.
You can add, edit and delete form fields as you want. Plus, you can set some fields to be required or optional. Please find more detail in our form fields documentation.
Step 6: Add listings to the campus directory
Thanks to all the steps above, now we are ready to add listing items to our site. Remember the listing submission page we created in step 2? Visit that page, and add your listings.
You can also add listings from the back-end. The front-end interface looks cleaner though. To use the back-end list submission form, go to Directory → Add New Listing on your WordPress admin interface.
The plugin has an import-export feature to bulk export directory listings. Later, you can use the CSV import option to import listings in bulk. These can come in handy sometimes. Isn't it?
Step 7: Get a better design
Business Directory Plugin works with any standard WordPress theme including drag-and-drop page builders. We have some premium directory templates that you can use for the directory content. These templates are independent of the main WordPress theme on your website.
Below is a listing archive screenshot.
And here's the single listing or member profile view.
Get your favorite directory template from your BD account's Downloads section. Then go to Directory → Themes. Upload, install, and activate your template there. You can learn details about adding and managing a directory template from our knowledge base.
Learn More: How to Create a Webinar Directory in WordPress
If you want to use a third-party WordPress theme, we have a tailored list for that as well. We’ve got you covered in every way. You don't need to be a web design expert for this!
We strongly believe that this article has helped you find the best campus directory WordPress plugin. Also, you got a detailed tutorial on how to create a full-fledged campus directory. Please let us know if you have any queries about this WordPress school directory plugin. We appreciate your comments.
Get Business Directory Plugin now and build your future-proof campus directory today. It’s risk-free with a 14-day money-back guarantee! Download with confidence!