WordPress Member Directory Plugin: How to Create a Member Directory That’s Searchable

Creating a directory that's either public facing or private to members shouldn't be hard to do on WordPress. Luckily, with the WordPress member directory plugin we're about to showcase you'll see just how to do it.

You can follow this tutorial to create a public directory website, or a private member only directory. You decide!

Learn how to create a member directory that's searchable on WordPress. With a user directory, you can create a socially engaging environment for your membership site users by encouraging each member to customize their own profile and then connect with other members.

The Tools You'll Need to Make It Happen:

To create a member directory that's searchable on WordPress, you'll need three tools:

  1. A website built on WordPress
  2. The AccessAllymembership site plugin
  3. A tag-based CRM that integrates with AccessAlly (Drip, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, Ontraport, or Infusionsoft)

There are a few member directory plugins available for WordPress, but you'll see in a minute why AccessAlly is recommended for maximum user friendly flexibility.

How The Searchable Member Directory on WordPress Works:

When someone gains access to your membership site (either by signing up for a free course or purchasing to access a paid one), the AccessAlly membership plugin automatically creates a new WordPress user for them.

The member directory is a feature of AccessAlly, and compiles each WordPress user on the site, displaying select information from each user's profile:

How to create a searchable member directory on wordpress

Each member can then sort through the results and find members to connect with… and it's as easy as adding a shortcode. Here's how:

How To Implement A Searchable Member Directory on WordPress

Membership directories have two parts: the editable member profile, and the searchable list of all members. Let's take a look at the steps needed to implement this WordPress member directory plugin on your website.

Step 1: Install & Set up AccessAlly Plugin

You'll want AccessAlly to be totally set up and integrated with your CRM.

Step 2: Set up the User Profile Page

Create a “profile” page for each user to enable them to update their own information (just add a shortcode from AccessAlly!)

How to create a membership site that's searchable on WordPress

Step 3: Decide What You Want To Appear in the Searchable Member Directory

The AccessAlly plugin will actually allow you to create multiple member directories, each with results that can be filtered by any tag in your system.

When you're setting up a member directory in the “backend” of the site, here's what you'll see:


AccessAlly works with the tags created in your CRM to restrict access to your membership site content. You can choose any tag in the system to use as a “filter” for your searchable member directory results .

how to create a searchable member directory on wordpress


This second setting is the actual directory you are creating (and yes, you can create more than one!).

You can select how many profiles appear on a search results page, what personal information is shown to the other members, as well as the filters available to search with:

how to create a searchable member directory on WordPress

Step 4: Add the Shortcode to Your Page

Once the settings are ready to go, go to the page you want to place the directory on, and use the AccessAlly shortcode adder:

how to create a member directory thats searchable on wordpress

Hit “save” on the page, and you're ready to roll!

How to create a searchable member directory on wordpress

An example of how we used the searchable member directory:

In the AccessAlly membership site (“Heartquarters”), we created an accountability program, where each member partners up with another to encourage each other to achieve their business goals.

Because we ask each member to find their own partners, they first connect inside our private Facebook group, then team up inside the membership site.

For this purpose, our member directory can be filtered by members who “need a partner” and those who don't. It's a great way to really fine-tune the purpose of your member directory.

how to create a member directory that's searchable on wordpress

That's it – that's how to create a member directory that's searchable on WordPress with AccessAlly! Happy user directory creation!

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