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How To Set Up the Filters For Your Searchable Member Directory in AccessAlly

A Searchable Member Directory is made up of two main components: the user profiles and the filters/search options. Both are fully customizable, which makes this feature extremely flexible.

When you’re setting up a user directory, it is possible to designate who appears in the search. This tutorial will show you how to set up the filters and available search parameters.

What Do Filters Do for your Searchable Member Directory?

An example use case of this feature is if you wish members to be able to search the directory by location, in which case you would set up filters so that the searcher can simply check which location (State, Province, etc.) they’d like to see results for.

How to Set Up Filters

Note that you can have one or more filters inside your user directory … and each must be set up separately.

In your WordPress website, go to: AccessAlly > Directories > Filters.

Then, click on the “+ New Filter” button.

Step 1: Set Up Filter Criteria (Tag-based Rules)

AccessAlly uses your CRM’s tagging system to determine your site permissions. So the first thing you’ll need to do is set up the “logic” behind who does/does not appear in each filter.

(This is where you get to exercise your logic skills to decide who gets to show up inside your member directory by using an “exclude” or “include” logic.)

AccessAlly Directories Filter Tagging



An example use case of the “with” logic is if you are using your member directory to showcase certain membership site users who are PAYING to appear in the directory (perhaps it is a “Realtor” directory, and you require additional payment for users to be included in this directory). In this case, you may have created and applied a “PAID_DIRECTORY” tag to anyone who is taking advantage of the directory feature… so the Logic would be:


An example use case of the “without” logic is if you allowed members to opt OUT of appearing in your member directory (perhaps it is a “looking for a job” directory, and some members do not wish to be contacted for job-related ventures). In this scenario, you may have an “OPTOUT” tag applied to those members… so the Logic would be “Without > ANY > OPTOUT”.


In advanced use cases, you can create a rule based on a filter.

Since you can add multiple rules for each filter, you can really fine-tune the exact people who you’d like to appear when the filter is selected from the user-directory dropdown.

Step 2: Configure Sorting Criteria

AccessAlly Directories Filter Sorting

Optionally, you can set a sorting criteria to ensure that some profiles in your directory always appear first (think of it as a “Featured Listing” opportunity).

Add as many sorting criteria as you like by clicking the “Add New Sorting Criteria” button, designating whether you’d like it to consider a tag or custom field, then assign a number.

In the screenshot example above, we also used the Priority Tie Breaker settings to ensure that the “Directory Speciality” custom field elements always come out ahead.

Step 3: Configure Search Criteria

Now, it’s time to decide what will show up when someone uses the “search” input field when looking through your user directory.

Prior to AccessAlly 3.2.0, the only element searched was a user’s first and last name. Now, however, you can select which fields you would like to have AccessAlly “read” and match up with the search query:

AccessAlly Directories Filter Search Criteria

Step 4: Create a Secondary Filter/Segment Based on Custom Field

AccessAlly Directories Filter Segmentation

Finally, you can create an optional secondary filter that’s based on a CRM custom field. This is ideal for location-based directories, for example, since there’s often a dual-filter requirement (i.e. “filter by state + industry”).

Step 5: Name The Filter

Because the name of your filter will be visible to anyone who searches the directory, it’s important to name it something clear and descriptive. In the example below, the filters are named to correspond to the state/location tags that were applied to the users.

Backend:AccessAlly Directories Filter Naming

Public-facing directory filter names:

Step 6: Save Changes

Once this has been configured, click on “Save Changes”, and then move on to the third (and final!) step in setting up your member directory with this tutorial: Add Member Directory to a Page.

Updated on November 15, 2023

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