5 Best WordPress Member Directory Plugins Compared - ProfilePress

5 Best WordPress Member Directory Plugins Compared

A WordPress member directory plugin can make it surprisingly easy for you to create a fully functional user directory on your site without touching the code. However, you need to make sure it comes with all the features and functionalities that you’re going to need.

You also want to have a good amount of control over your member directory and important customization options.

With tens of member directory plugins out there, we have done all the research and testing for you to find the 5 best WordPress member directory plugins.

ProfilePress

ProfilePress is simply the most complete member directory WordPress plugins out there since it goes well beyond being a member directory plugin to offer a lot of additional features too.

Here’s a quick look at some of the biggest use cases of ProfilePress:

However, as this post is centered around member directory plugins, we will only focus on the member directory functionality of ProfilePress.

One of the best things about using ProfilePress to create a member directory is that you get full control over every single element of your member directory without having any programming or coding knowledge. There are loads of customization options to help you create a member directory exactly the way you want.

Let us walk you through the process of creating a member directory with ProfilePress with all the custom features.

First things first, you need to install and activate the ProfilePress plugin if you haven’t already done so. Once activated, click on Member Directories under ProfilePress.

Click on the Add New button at the top.

You will get to choose between two different templates depending on the look and appearance you want for your member directory.

Give a name to your directory and click on Select Template.

Now, you would have a very simple user interface to work with here. As you can see in the below image, two fields are included by default in your member directory: Display name and Biography. You can remove one or both of them as well as add many other standard options you see on the right.

You just have to drag them into the section where these two pre-selected fields are listed.

You can also change the order of these fields by dragging them around to the position you want on the list.

Appearance and Choosing User Roles

Now, let’s scroll down a bit to check out all the other customizations and features available to you.

In the first field, you need to choose the user roles you want to include in the directory. You can choose your subscribers, authors, admins, and more to be included in your member directory.

The second and third fields above allow you to include or exclude specific users. The final option in the above image lets you enable or disable the profile picture for the users in your member directory.

Sorting

The next tab you see on the list is sorting. In simple terms, it allows you to choose a standard way of sorting users in your member directory.

You can sort them by newest registered users, oldest users, first name, username and more. You can also enable custom sorting and add as many sorting options as you want.

Search

You can choose whether other users visiting your website can search for users from your member directory or not. In addition, you can choose the filtering options they can use to narrow down their search.

Pagination

ProfilePress offers a fair few pagination options as well. These features allow you to control the search results and how they appear.

You can also enable the results to be shown by default, although this is not the recommended option for most websites. Some of the other options you will find here include:

  • Number of members to be shown on each page
  • Results text
  • The result text for when the search returns a single result
  • The result text for when the search cannot find any user for the search performed

Finally, you can also customize the colors for different elements of your member directory, including the search and filter fields, the border for those fields, the pagination links, and more.

Once everything’s done the way you want, you can go ahead and click on the Save Changes button. However, if you want to see exactly how your member directory is going to look without actually creating it, then you can click on the Live Preview button at the top.

This will allow you to see all the changes in real-time and make any modifications if you want before you actually push the directory live.

There’s going to be one last step before you and other users can see the directory on your site. You need to copy the shortcode for your member directory and create a new page or post with the shortcode.

Of course, this was just a test. You may have a lot more users and the search functionality would allow visitors to search for your users and filter them based on the different metrics you choose when creating the directory.

You can add a lot more functionality and advanced features in the form of ProfilePress add-ons. You would be able to integrate a variety of different services and tools into it, including bbPress, Mailchimp, and WooCommerce.

But there’s going to be a lot more to it. Some of the additional pro features include:

  • Custom fields to collect unlimited additional information from users besides the standard profile data.
  • Social login via Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn and more.
  • User moderation lets you decide whether to approve newly registered users or not.
  • Allowing users to select BuddyPress groups that they would like to join at the time of registration.
  • Integration with Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor.

Ultimate Member

Ultimate Member is a popular user profile and membership directory plugin for WordPress websites. Let’s give you a quick look at all the menus you will find listed under this plugin.

  • Dashboard: It gives you an overview of the users registered on your website, as well as other nifty features like clearing user cache and purging temp files
  • Settings: This is where you get to create user, login, registration, and other pages, enable or disable members directory, setup user display rules, and a whole lot of other useful features
  • Forms: Here you can create and manage your user registration, login, and profile forms
  • User Roles: Create and manage user roles
  • Member Directories: We will review this in detail below
  • Extensions: You can purchase extensions for additional functionalities that you don’t get in the free version of the plugin

Now that you have a basic idea of the different menus and what you can use them for, let us create a membership directory using Ultimate Member and walk you through the entire process.

Begin with clicking on the Member Directories menu under the Ultimate Member option on your WordPress dashboard. Then click on the Add New button at the top.

There are quite a few features and customizations, and they are all self-explanatory. However, let us cover some of the key features you will find here:

  • The ability to choose which user roles are included and which user roles are left out from the member directory
  • Create a member directory only with specific users you want or exclude certain specific users from the directory
  • You can sort users using a variety of different criteria, including the display name, username, first name, last name and many more

Sorting Criteria and Profile Control

You can also enable custom sorting and add as many sorting criteria as you want.

Ultimate Member also allows you to customize the profile display rules, meaning you can choose whether or not the profile photo, cover photo, display name, tagline, and extra information is shown or not.

Search and Filter Options

Now, one really useful and important feature you will find as you scroll down is Search Options. If you enable it, users and other visitors on your site will be able to search members in the directory.

But this search functionality in itself is pretty customizable as well. You can choose specific user roles that are searchable, choose specific filters for searching them (you can also disable the “filter” option for searching), choose specific filter meta like age, country, and first name.

Pagination

You can control how the search results appear with the pagination options. Some of the important things you can do using the pagination features include:

  • Choose whether search results are shown by default or only if a search is performed
  • Set the maximum number of profiles that would appear in the directory; not setting a number will show all user profiles by default
  • Number of profiles per search result page, for both desktops and mobile devices

Once you have gone through the entire list of settings and customized everything the way you want, you can click on the “Create” button at the top right, to bring your member directory to life.

Now, your member directory has been created, but you need to create a new post or page with the shortcode you get. Once the post or page is created with the directory’s shortcode, you and the other chosen users will be able to view the directory.

This is how it’s going to look like.

ProfileGrid

If you’re a developer who wouldn’t have a problem finding your way through different user management features, or perhaps someone with a little more technical knowledge, then ProfileGrid may turn out to be an impressive way to manage users and create a member directory on your WordPress website.

Feature List

While it certainly isn’t the most user-friendly member directory plugin on our list – and the documentation isn’t as helpful as it could be – it can still get the job done pretty well. But as we said, you just need to have some technical knowledge to figure out all its functionalities and features.

With that said, here’s what you get with ProfileGrid:

  • Create a frontend member directory that has advanced filtering and search options
  • Restrict premium content to encourage users to register or become a paid member
  • One of the best plugins for managing WooCommerce user-profiles and replacing the standard WooCommerce user profile page
  • Create different groups and membership levels
  • Integrate bbPress for free

Coming back to the member directory, you can create one with ProfileGrid simply by using the shortcode. The plugin would create a default group for you that you can use for different purposes.

You can then use different shortcodes for implementing different functionalities on your WordPress website. You can use these shortcodes for creating a frontend member directory page, multipage registration form, single user profile page, login form, password recovery form and more.

Creating a Member Directory

As for creating a member directory, you need to start by clicking on the ProfileGrid menu on your WordPress dashboard.

If you want to go ahead with the default group to be displayed in your member directory, simply copy the shortcode you see there. Or you can create a new group and add the members you want.

So the shortcode here is [profilegrid_register gid=”1″]. This shortcode is for the user registration form. To make it work for creating a member directory, you need to replace the “register” part in the shortcode with “users.”

We have found this through ProfileGrid’s documentation so that you don’t have to do the grunt work.

So our shortcode would be [profilegrid_users gid=”1″]. You can even just copy this shortcode and it should work on your WordPress website if you have the plugin installed and activated.

You just need to create a new post or page with this shortcode, just like with some of the other plugins we discussed above. Finally, this is how our directory looks like.

As you can see, there’s also a search field where the users can search for a particular user by typing a username into the field. Then there’s the sorting option too, which would come in very handy for large member directories.

UsersWP

UsersWP is not only creating a member directory but also for other user management features like a registration page, login page, password reset page and more.

All you need to do is install and activate the plugin on your WordPress website and walk through their start-up activation process and you will be done. UsersWP would automatically create all the user-related pages for you, including a member directory.

Some of them will be created and published, while some others would be saved as a draft.

Coming back to the user directory, here’s how the member directory automatically created by UsersWP looks like.

As you can see, there’s a search and sorting option as well. There are quite a few sorting options that will turn out to be very useful when it comes to accessing user information from large member directories.

There’s also an option to change the format of the user listing. The users on the page can view the directory in 5 different formats.

You can make changes to the member directory as well. However, the range of customizations is very limited with UsersWP compared to our top plugin choice, ProfilePress.

But you can change the default format of the directory, the number of users displayed on a single page, as well as choose if you want to exclude certain users, among other customization options.

Dynamic User Directory

This is a simple plugin specifically designed to help WordPress site owners create a member directory. While it’s not the most user-friendly, it does offer a fair few features you would be pleased to have in the free version of a member directory plugin.

The interface and settings can be a bit tricky to decode, though. However, it does list explanations besides every feature or setting, which can help you get through the process even though it’s going to be time-consuming.

With that said, here’s a quick look at some of its highlighting features:

  • Ability to include or exclude the search option easily
  • Include or exclude certain user roles in the directory
  • Include or exclude certain users specifically
  • Some impressive customization options with respect to display name, profile picture, colour and size of the user profiles and other design and appearance-related elements
  • A fair bit of control over how the search results appear, though not as detailed as the top two plugins above
  • A dedicated pagination section that let you decide the number of users per page, position, font size, pagination links and more
  • Ability to include some unique details about the users such as the website, date registered and more

Once you have gone through the settings, you need to click on the Save Options button at the end. Once that’s done, you need to copy the directory shortcode which appears at the top and put it into the post or page where you want the member directory to be published.

Finally, this is how it looks once the page with the directory shortcode is published.

Summary

It always helps to go with a member directory plugin that offers tons of customization options and, more importantly, covers other user management functionalities as well such as creating custom registration and login pages.

ProfilePress ticks all the boxes here. It offers all the member directory features you will ever need while offering many other features that help you build a fully functional membership site as well.

Needless to add, using multiple plugins for different user functions would just make your site bloated and slow. So unless you’re really fine with a simple user directory plugin, you do need to go with one single plugin that covers all areas for the user management of your website.