Creating a Directory or Phonebook in WordPress

connections plugin

Do you need to create a company directory with employee profiles? Maybe multiple departments in a larger company? Or a family directory for your next reunion?

The Connections plugin can make this a fairly easy task, allowing you to load headshots, full contact information and details on every member or employee, then display them on custom pages. In this tutorial we’ll show you the basic features. The developers at also sell extra features.

Step 1: Download and install


Go to Plugins>Add New and search for Connections.


Step 2: Plan and create categories


After Installation you will see the Connections section added to the dashboard menu. Start by clicking on the Categories menu item and start entering categories. Give some thought to what you want to name them.

For instance in a large company, you might have the main categories be Marketing, Sales, Development, and then have sub categories. It will be much easier setting this up if you think about your categories in advance.

In the screen shot below, I added the category ID numbers to the titles, so that I would have a quick reference when typing in the short codes on pages and posts for the initial entry. I’ll remove the numbers later and make them plain language.


Step 3: Add your entries


Click Add Entry on the Connections menu. Add your entries and assign them to the categories.

Step 4: Create a page for your directory


You can use a page or a post, but assuming the directory is going to be somewhat static, you probably want to use a page in WordPress. You can use subpages for subdirectories or put everything on one page. It’s all in how you write the shortcodes.

Step 5: Write the shortcodes


Click on Help in the Connections administrative menu to get full instructions. There are a number of options for how to display the results. You can show a category and all of it’s subcategories on one page, or you can have one category per page or more than one category on a page. There is a good list of examples to work from.



A helpful thing to do at this point is to write down your category names and numbers if you have a complex directory. From the Connections menu click on Categories and look for the category ID on the far right.

Step 6: Design the basic page


You an use any html to create explanations, headings or other items common the page. The shortcode will pull the information from the data base an display it according to the template you chose in the Connections administration. Connections comes with several layout choices.

You could use this plugin to create business/employee directories, a family directory for your next reunion, vendor profiles or just about any list of people who need to be categorized for easy finding.


0 0 votes
Blog Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Chandrakant Bhosale

Design the basic page was an excellent idea. Require more like this


We’re glad you liked it! 🙂

Kind regards,


Ronald Gavarrete

I need to give my users the capability of select their categories criteria, something like this “[url=]http://www.cranbrookchamber…[/url]” how can I do that?


Hi Ronald,

Could you explain a bit more?

Kind regards,


Carla Easley

[quote name=”Ronald Gavarrete”]I need to give my users the capability of select their categories criteria, something like this “[url=]http://www.cranbrookchamber…[/url]” how can I do that?[/quote]

[quote name=”iowawebco”]Hi Ronald,

Could you explain a bit more?

Kind regards,


Hi Nick!

I think what he was trying to ask is how we can display our all of our categories in a drop down box. I would actually like to know the answer to this as well. Any help would be greatly appreciated 🙂

Ronald Gavarrete

Yes! that’s what I meant…


I see you succeeded in the categories drop down, care to share how you accomplished this?

Carla Easley

Thanks for this tutorial. Could you please show me how to display all of my content with the drop down box on my page.


Hi everyone,

Sorry for the delay in responding. Sorry for the inconvenience, but if you’re a student at OSTraining, could you copy and paste this into the support forum so one of our support techs can look into it for you? All you have to do is log in at [url=][/url] and click on Support Forum in the main menu. Here’s the direct link too: [url=]…[/url]

It’s tough keeping track of all the blog comments as we have hundreds of blog posts so that’s why we have a support forum available to our students to help organize things both for the students and ourselves.

Please see the support FAQ for more information:


Thanks for understanding!

Kind regards,



Hey, come on!

I’ve been searching for a solution to the question of the drop-down category list and this is the nearest I have got to an answer…

I would appreciate a share.

Business Directory Greece

Based on your WP WP Business Directory business directory website that allows you to add features to a WordPress plugin . It is easy to use and has a lot of features . With the features of Google Maps and Google AdSense with premium membership , you also can earn money.


How to use it for frontend submission ? The solution is for showing the directory..

I am in search for frontend family directory submission where the users fill the form and the data added to the directory immediately or option of admin approval.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x