WordPress team member plugin picks

WordPress team plugin

A few years back, when content types first came out, team member functionality became a common feature in themes. Lately, however, the best practice is not to tie content or functionality to a theme [for example, see this article on where to place analytics code ]. Now I can’t find the team member content type as part of a theme feature set. If you are not going to build the content types yourself, the recommendation is to use plugins instead for content such as team showcases, analytics, and shortcode-driven data so that if you swap out themes a lot, your content is portable.

On one of my sites that I created a few years ago, I used a theme that came with a pretty robust team showcase. It’s not perfect, but I’ve put it to good use. To prove the point above, I just found out that the theme is no longer being updated. So I’ve been looking for a new team member solution for that site, as well as a couple of other sites I’m working on.

I pored through at least 30 team plugins, and as a first look, chose plugins that had been updated within the last 3-6 months and had enough features in the free version to evaluate. (Note: Since I had recently updated to the latest WordPress, some plugins that looked good were not compatible yet, so I was not able to include them here.)

When evaluating the plugins, I looked for the following features:

  • Responsive
  • Flexible and unlimited social profiles
  • Profile links to an automatically-generated detail page, or at least a custom field that links to a bio page
  • Ability to create different teams and showcase them anywhere on the site

The plugins I chose for this review are TeamBuilder, Team, Team Members, and AWSM. Some are completely free and some have upgrades to PRO versions. Others not included here looked interesting, but they are entirely fee-based and don’t provide any demo or free version that I could access for reviewing them. Except for one included here, I discarded many others that only provided four static social profiles. I did not pursue them because I need more for my specific purposes, but they may be sufficient for your needs. See my pick at the end of the article.

Team

by pickplugins

Team Pickplugins demo

How it works

  1. Create team members in individual records from the TEAM MEMBERS tab.
  2. Create a team record from the TEAM tab, and add team members.
  3. Configure settings on the TEAM tab.
  4. Copy short code to add to pages or php code to add to your php templates.

Configuration

The following selections are done on the team level. There are other settings (such as social profile choices) that are done on a global leval and affect all teams. These are found under the Settings option in the TEAM tab.

Options

  • total number of members on each page
  • display pagination
  • link to member to a custom post or custom link
  • can set grid widths for desktop, tablet and mobile
  • grid item margin
  • grid item text alignment

Styles

  • themes for grid (flat, rounded, zoom out)
  • active masonry grid – yes or no
  • container options (add link to background image, background color, text align)
  • pagination color

Query member

  • orderby id, date, title, etc.
  • query order (sac, des)
  • filter member

Custom CSS

  • gives the classes that would be customized

Layout Builder

  • can shift the order of thumbnail, title, position, bio, social

wordpress team plugin team pp social profile fields

Notes

The fields are static; they not drop downs. However, in the Team Settings, you can create the media you want and add an icon. This is a way to customize the social media for your organization, and also customize the icons if you don’t want to use the original ones.

The number of items in a row generated by width entered, not by any fields for number of items. This is because it is set up with the responsive options.

Individual bio pages are available, but they don’t seem to be styled. That means we’ll have to add some custom styles in our custom css.

More than one team can be created, which is useful if your site has different groups.

WordPress team plugins bio

I’m not sure what the custom link to the member and Address fields are for. I entered the fields, but don’t see any link or content showing on the bio page or tile.

Photos have to be uploaded to the final size you want. Otherwise they will show at full size.

I’m not crazy about how the excerpt cuts off with no ellipse and the Read More appears at the end. This can probably be corrected by modifying the php code, but I’d prefer customization options in the interface.

The Zoom Out shows the photo. The text is shown upon hovering over the photo. The Read more link is not accessible if there is too much text, so can’t link to file.

WordPress team plugins zoom

This team plugin does provide various styling options and requires some configuration, but you’ll probably want to customize the design. Upgrading to the premium version ($14 per domain) may be worth it to get access to the additional skins and features.


AWSM Team

by awsm.in

ASWM team plugin drawer

How it works

1. Create team members in different records

  • long description for some styles (lists, modals, drawers)
  • short description for other styles (e.g., cards, tables)
  • name, position
  • unlimited social profiles with many icons available
  • featured image – has to be a square (min 500px wide)

AWSM WordPress team plugin individual

2. Create teams

  • create unlimited teams
  • add team members to them – drag and drop to reorder
  • configure styles (cards, tables, lists, number of columns, etc. – see all the styles available in the demo)
  • customize CSS if desired

AWSM WordPress team plugin team group

3. Add shortcodes

  • Copy the shortcode from the team group record
  • Add to pages and widgets where you want the teams to appear

Configuration

The configuration options are included within the team member and the team group records. You don’t have to go to a special settings tab as with other plugins.

As you can see from the options above, the interface is simple yet the selection is powerful and the results highly customizable.

Shown below are the card and list options. Since the original photo was a different size for Rachel Green, it is skewing the photo. Looks like I’d probably have to do some additional CSS tweaks on the typography.

AWSM WordPress team plugin sample

Notes

I like the unlimited and flexible social profiles available in this WordPress team member plugin. Having fields for short and long descriptions is smart. Also, the style types are varied enough to use in several layouts, unlike most other plugins where the change in styles is a minor color or element variation. The free version is pretty substantial; the difference with the Pro version is that it offers five more styles (Drawer, Modals, Sliders, Grids and Circles) and the option to integrate with Visual Composer.  The Pro version, currently under $20, is worth it.

For my uses, I’m missing the individual bio page. Each card or record doesn’t automatically link out to a separate record. In pro versions, you can get an overlay or drawer where the long description would be shown, but in my case I need individual records to house several videos, etc. for each person. I suppose I can add a link in the text on the long description versions, but that means I have to create the pages, which is extra work. However, if the overlay versions are enough for your longer bios, the design and functionality are attractive and sophisticated.


Team Builder

by wpshopmart

TeamBuilder WordPress team plugin

How it works

  1. Create a team record
  2. Select a design
  3. Add team members within the team record
  4. Make font and color changes in the sidebar of the team record and add any css in the custom css box.
  5. Copy the shortcode.
  6. Add it to the page where it should appear.

 

TeamBuilder WordPress team plugin interface options

Configuration

You can choose from two layouts that are basically the same. The only difference is that one has a background color behind the content and the other doesn’t.

Team members are added within the team record, and reordering is easy because you can drag and drop the individual member cards.

Photos need to be square-cropped with a minimum dimension of 500px before uploading.

All the customizations and styling happens within the team record. No other settings are involved.

Customization options are:

  • team member name color
  • team member designation color (role)
  • team member social profile icon color
  • team member social profile icon background color
  • team member name font size
  • team member designation font size (role)
  • team member description font size
  • font style/family
  • team column display layout
  • team member wrapper background for design 2

Team details available:

  • name
  • role
  • description
  • 4 social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+)

Notes

TeamBuilder is really simple to use. The good news is you can have unlimited teams, but since the records are organized by adding members to a team, you would have to enter a team member more than once. There are no individual records here that you could reuse on different teams. The plugin does not provide linking to an individual bio page. the full text shows up on the team page cards.

If you need something quick and simple, this plugin is a good choice.

 


Team Members

by WP Darko

Teams WordPress team plugin

How it works

  1. Create a team record
  2. Add team members within the team record
  3. Set color and alignment settings in the sidebar of the team record.
  4. Save and copy the shortcode from the Team list shortcode column.
  5. Add it to the page/post where it should appear.

Teams WordPress team plugin add members

Configuration

The customization options on the free version are somewhat limited. Options include:

  • main color (appears in the border)
  • how many members per line to show (2-4)
  • last row centered option
  • description/bio alignment
  • picture link behavior

Team details available:

  • first name
  • last name
  • job/role
  • description/bio
  • 3 social media links (type of link, attribute, URL)
  • member photo
  • photo link URL

The PRO version adds new features: New picture on hover, pictures’ shape, enabling/disabling picture borders, and picture position. It also allows you to show from 1 to 5 members per line, add filters to your pictures, set a color for each member instead of one general color for everybody (good for distinguishing your staff). Two more links can be added to each member.

Notes

Team Members is similar to Team Builder in configurations. You can build all team members in one file – you don’t have to open individual records for each team. However, if a member is on more than one team, you’ll have to build duplicate records for each team. You can’t create one record and attach to both teams. Unlike Team Builder, if you’ve entered the team members and then realize the order is wrong, you will have to reenter everything again to get them in the order you need. The cards are not draggable.

The team cards are simple and allows for long descriptions. No interactivity (such as hover cards) is available. Only 0-3 links are available for each member. The pro version offers 2 more.

There is no extended bio on the free version. However, you can provide a link URL on the photo so you can link out to a page which you would have to create for each team member (although not ideal). Plus, the link to the external page is not intuitive if user doesn’t know to click on the photo. It would be better to be linkable on both the photo and the name.

The free version only provides one design style. There are no customization options from within the plugin itself. You can change the text alignment and the color of the top border. The pro version offers a few more tweaks, but the design is basically the same.

 

 

My pick

Although I still did not find one plugin for all the functionality I wanted, two came close, so I am going with these two. For a site where individual bios are lengthy and require various content types including as video embeds, my pick is Team by pickplugins. For a site where a short bio is sufficient, I am going to use the pro version of ASWM Team, which will provide slick design options such as drawers and modals and sufficient configuration options. ASWM Team might consider adding the individual bio page option in the future.

As mentioned above, there are other plugins that looked interesting, but since the free version did not offer much to test, they were not included here. I recommend the model that ASWM Team uses. From their free version and demo sites, you can test pretty much all the functionality available. The only difference is that the free version only offers 3 styles, whereas the premium version offers 8. And once you’ve tested the free version, you can feel confident purchasing the pro version.

If you use another team plugin that is worth adding, please leave comments below.

 

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