Staff Profiles Plugin


The Staff profiles plugin creates a new custom post type (people) and a new custom taxonomy (Staff type) in wordpress whose main function is to display user profile information. The people post type can either function as a normal WordPress page, or it can collect its content from user profiles. The staff type taxonomy allows grouping of different types of staff (multiple types can be assigned to a single user).

The plugin was developed to allow members of staff to edit their staff pages by populating them with data from their WordPress profiles – negating the need for them to be given access to edit other parts of the website.

For some help on using the Symplectic service with this plugin, see the symplectic help page

[tab:Wordpress users]
User profiles in WordPress can be edited by any user who has an account in the WordPress installation, including Subscribers (the wordpress role with the fewest permissions). The default list of fields in a user profile has been expanded to handle the complex information required for staff pages, and allow some formatting to be added. To make a People page using the data from a user profile, add a page to the People section (People->Add new) and fill in the username in the Staff WordPress ID / username box. The main people page will display the name, short biography, contact information, and picture. If either the research interests or long biography fields have been filled in, there will be a link to a page displaying all profile information.

When the plugin is enabled for a site, the user profile fields are altered to include the following data entry fields:

Title, First Name and Last Name
These fields map directly to the corresponding fields for the standard WordPress user.
Office phone number in the form 0113 123 4567
Twitter username – this will be used to make a link to the users’ twitter page
Office building and room number (e.g. Clothworkers’ Building South, Room 1.02)
Office Hours
Regular office hours (e.g. Monday – Thursday, 1.00pm. – 4.00pm.)
Formal job title(s) e.g. Senior Lecturer in International Communications
Academic qualifications
Biography Summary
A very brief summary of the staff member’s role including areas of expertise and research interests. This is used on the people listing page
Biographical Info
A longer biography (150 – 250 words) – featured on the main profile page
Research Interests
Details of research interests – as a series of bullet points followed by a paragraph giving further detail if required
Details of the modules the staff member teaches / coordinates along with any other teaching responsibilities
Departmental Responsibilities
Any additional responsibilities the staff member has in their department (e.g. Director of Research, Exams Officer etc.)
Publications & Research Outputs
This is a field for the six digit payroll ID (e.g. 901234) to retrieve their publications feed from Symplectic. For more details on the symplectic system, see this guide on the use of symplectic feeds in the University theme. The following checkbox options relate to the display of items returned in that feed:

  • Include publications with no status set in the list (symplectic sometimes omits the publication status on items)
  • Include ‘Accepted’ publications in the list
  • Include ‘Submitted’ publications in the list
  • Include ‘In Preparation’ publications in the list
  • Include ‘Unpublished’ publications in the list
  • Include the abstract field in your publications list – this will display a link to show the abstract using an expando
  • Include the notes field in the publications list
  • Include the author url field in the publications list (this is an arbitrary URL which you can supply, and can be used for web-based resources or links to copies of the publication held on other sites)
  • Include the repository url field in your publications list (this will include a link to the White Rose repository copy of the publication (if available)
Research Projects & Grants
Details of research projects and awards (past, current and proposed)
Research Centres & Groups
Details of any research centres / groups of which you are a member.
External Appointments
e.g. External examiner, editor, member / chair of advisory boards, conference organising committees etc.
PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision
A list of current and past PhD and postdoctoral supervisees and the topic of their research
PhD Thesis
The abstract of the staff member’s PhD thesis and a link to the full text if available
Professional Practice
e.g. exhibitions, performances, compositions, media projects etc.
Links to any websites related to their work which may be of interest to visitors

[tab:{Other users}=Other Users – Student Profiles, Alumni, etc.]
If you want to crate a page for someone in the people section, but you don’t want the page to be editable by them, or contain information from a user profile, you can just add a page to the People section (People->Add new) and leave the Staff WordPress ID / username box blank.

Add the name of the person in the page title, and the content of the page will be taken from the People page, so just add content in the text editor and separate sections with Headings (level 3) where appropriate.

The excerpt will be shown on the main people page along with the name and picture – if anything has been added to the content of the page, the name and photo will link to a page displaying the full information.

[tab:Staff types]
People are organised by using a WordPress Category called Staff types. Users can be categorised in multiple staff types, and these are shown as tabs on the main people page. A tab for a staff type will only appear on the People page if there are people assigned to the category. Also, if a user is not assigned to a staff type, they will not appear in the People section.

Staff types are hierarchical, so you can nest them to create “sub-types”. At the moment, the plugin cannot display hierarchies of types (using a nested tab structure, for instance), but this functionality is planned for a future release.
[tab:{Admin}=People admin page]
There are shortcuts to add and edit people pages on the People admin page (in People->People admin), as well as set a default sort order for publication types and staff types. You can also enter symplectic IDs for staff here, and assign people to staff types.

Publication types can be put in any order by site administrators using a drag and drop tool in individual user profiles – the default order for publication types is set on the People admin page (in People->People admin).

Staff types are also put in order here using drag and drop – this governs the order of the tabs on the people page.


The plugin alters the rewriting structure of your site, so you may encounter a “Page not found” error when the plugin is first activated/installed. If this happens, visit the Permalinks page in Settings->permalinks (just visiting this page will flush the ruleset, and hopefully cure the problem)

You may not be able to visit a page which has the same slug as category, so be careful not to duplicate them.