How to Create a Searchable Member Directory in WordPress

Creating a membership directory shouldn’t be hard to do on WordPress. Luckily, with our WordPress member directory plugin we’re about to showcase, you’ll see just how easy it is to create a member directory that is either public-facing or private to members.

You can follow this tutorial to learn how to make a membership directory that’s searchable on WordPress.

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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.

Required Software Tools

You’ll need three software tools to create a searchable member directory on WordPress:

  1. A website built on WordPress
  2. The AccessAlly membership 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 Directory 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. It compiles a list of WordPress users on the site and displays select information from each user’s profile:

Screenshot of a searchable membership directory in WordPress

Each member can then sort through the results and find other members to connect with. And, as an added bonus, you’ll see just how easy it is to a shortcode.

How to Implement the Directory in 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 member directory on your website.

Step 1: Install & Set Up AccessAlly Plugin

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

Step 2: Set Up the User Profile Page

Create a “profile” page for each user to enable them to update their own information. Don’t be intimidated by this task. You just add a shortcode from AccessAlly!

Screenshot of a member profile

Step 3: Decide What You Want To Appear in the Search Results

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.


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

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.

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

Screenshot of a searchable membership directory in WordPress

An Example 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.

Accountability Partners: Example Member Directory With Search Feature

Ready to Get Started?

That’s it!  That’s how easy it is to create a member directory that’s searchable. WordPress and AccessAlly give you all the tools to get your directory up and running quickly!

Browse through AccessAlly’s features list and learn more about AccessAlly and the member directory plugin.

Ditch the duct tape with AccessAlly for WordPress.

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