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How to Create A Searchable User Directory for Your Membership Site

AccessAlly includes a built-in membership directory feature where users can search for and connect with each other. The member directory is a feature of AccessAlly, and compiles each WordPress user on the site, displaying select information from each user’s profile (to set up the profile pages, please see this tutorial).

Please note that, to build a membership directory, you must have already completed the following tutorials:

  1. How to Set Up Profile Pages (For Use With Member Directories)
  2. How To Set Up the Filters For Your Searchable Member Directory

Step 1: Create a New Directory

To find the directory settings, go to: AccessAlly > User Directory > Directories.

Here, you can create multiple directories if you wish for your membership site. To create a new directory, simply click on the yellow ADD NEW DIRECTORY button.

Once created, you can name your directory (if you wish), and then click the dropdown arrow to reveal additional settings.

Step 2: Configure the Directory Filter(s)

The first tab you see inside the directory dropdown is the “User Filter” area. Here, you can decide which of the filters (that you created in the previous tutorial here) you want to be applied in the directory. Add as many as you’d like.

Step 2: Configure User Directory Appearance

There are three options that you can choose from to help customize your directory appearance, as shown below:

Option 1: Pre-Built Display

Choose from three different pre-designed styles for your user directory profile appearance.

Option 2: Custom User Profile Using Templates

To customize the appearance of user profiles beyond what’s offered in “Option 1: Pre-Built Display”, you can use this option.

First, select the profile from Option 1 that is most similar to how you’d like your profiles to appear. Then, change the dropdown to “Custom User Profile Using Templates”. The customization options will be pre-set from the Option 1 design, so you can simply tweak the design style parameters instead of having to start from scratch.

Option 3: Raw HTML - Developer Only

If you have an in-house developer who is familiar with AccessAlly, this final option may be chosen, since it offers full customization flexibility.

First, select the pre-designed profile (from Option 1) that is most similar to how you’d like your profiles to appear. Then, change the dropdown to “Use raw HTML code to create User Profile (Developer Only)”.

The customization options will be pre-set from the Option 1 design, so you can simply tweak the design style parameters instead of having to start from scratch.

Step 3: Misc

The final tab in the Directory setup is the “Misc” tab.

Here, you’ll find the following options:

  • Max number of users to show per page
  • Search box label
  • Filter dropdown label
  • Search button text

Step 4: Create Your Member Directory Page and Add Shortcode

At this point, you’ve configured the parameters and appearance of your Member Directory. Now, it’s time to set up the page itself so that your users can access it.

1: Create a New WordPress Page & Designate Access Tags

Create a new WordPress page. In the “AccessAlly Member Permission” section, you have three options:

  1. Require users to log in to view page – if you check the “Visitors must login to view this page.” box, any logged-in visitor can access and view this page.
  2. Require log in and specific tags to view page – if you check the “Visitors must login to view this page.” box AND designate permission tags, only logged-in users who have those tags on their account will be able to access this page. (One reason why you might choose to use this setup is if you charge extra for access to your user directory.)
  3. Do nothing – if you do not check the “Visitors must login to view this page.” box, any website visitor can view this page. Use this option if you have a public-facing membership directory. (One example use case for this option would be a realtor’s association, who wishes the directory and profiles to be searchable by the general public.)

2: Add the shortcode to the page

Using the AccessAlly shortcode adder, select the “User Directory” option.

If you’ve created multiple directories, select the one you’d like to add from the second dropdown. Then, click “add shortcode”.

3: Publish page

Now, you’re ready to publish the page.

Updated on February 1, 2018

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