Participants Database 1.5 WordPress Plugin

Call for Beta Testers!

Release of version 1.6 is coming, with new features & many code improvements.

I need beta testers, so if you have an install of Participants Database in a non-critical application and want to run it through it’s paces for me, email me.

what’s new in 1.5

There’s lots of improvements under the hood, and a list of new and better user features too:

Plugin Overview

This WordPress plugin is for the purpose of creating a database for use in a WordPress site. It is primarily intended as a way to manage information pertaining to people such as the members of a club or team, volunteers, students, anything like that. It gives you the ability to allow people to create and edit their own record while additional information can be managed by administrators or managers. The plugin may also be used as the basis for an index, directory or catalog.

>> Quick Setup Guide

The database is made up of fields, and each field may be one of several types that are uniquely suited to store a particular kind of information. These fields can also be divided into groups to help organize the information. Fields can also be provided with help text to assist users in providing the information.

Please read the documentation fully, as this is a complex plugin that can be used in a lot of different ways.

I have created a page that gives a step-by-step method for setting up a typical application of the plugin. I suggest you begin with that, it will help you understand how the plugin works and also give you a working baseline so you know the plugin works on your site. You can make your modifications to the plugin functionality from there.

[email protected]

Next… Using The Participants Database Plugin


Hi Roland,
Is there a way to set up the groups/fields such that a field in one group becomes the key for another group? In other words, a field in one group references another group? Thanks.


by Josiah on January 27, 2015 at 7:35 am. Reply #

The plugin in it’s current form is one-dimensional, so that kind of thing isn’t possible without custom code. If you’re a coder, there is an API that give you ways to create custom field types, that is the best way to go for this kind of functionality.

Participants Database API

by Roland on January 27, 2015 at 9:05 am. Reply #

Thanks for the info. Unfortunately that’s a little beyond my coding skill right now but I’ll see what I can do. Much appreciated!


by Josiah on January 27, 2015 at 12:19 pm. Reply #


Yes … After I posted I copied this code that Andrew gave me

[pdb_list filter=”county=Wayne” fields=”address,city,state,zip”]

and it was still leaving out the address and zip

so I altered it to
[pdb_list filter='county=Wayne' fields='address,city,state,zip']

and it worked. Don’t know why the first code didn’t work but, the one I altered did.


by Karl on January 27, 2015 at 3:03 am. Reply #

I meant county=”Wayne” of course…

by Andrew on January 27, 2015 at 1:18 am. Reply #

1. I recall you had some fun loading the data in the first place. Glad that you have moved on but make sure you have data to display in those fields by using List Participants where County=Marin and have a look.

2. If 1. shows the data is there, look in Manage Database Fields to make sure you are using field names and not field descriptions eg it might be zip_code.

by Andrew on January 27, 2015 at 1:16 am. Reply #


That worked a little. I copied what you sent directly to the page but it only gave me the state and the city. No address or zip. Im bot sure why?

by Karl on January 26, 2015 at 6:01 pm. Reply #

Hey Roland

I’m trying to post a list on my page of all the address’s in my PDB that are in a specifc county

I’m using the shortcode ….

[pdb_list filter="county=Wayne&address&city&state&zip"]

I;ve tried this as well

[pdb_list filter='county=Wayne&address&city&state&zip']

With both I’m just getting email address’s and they are not even in the equation. I’m not getting address, city, state or zip at all.

What do you think the problem might be?


by Karl on January 26, 2015 at 1:33 pm. Reply #


I think you will find that you want [pdb_list filter="county=Wayne" fields="address,city,state,zip"]

by Andrew on January 26, 2015 at 4:18 pm. Reply #

Hi again,
I had no idea what post ID meant because it is not included on the list of posts. Been a blogger but never needed IDs before. Finally downloaded the plugin ‘Reveal IDs’. The author Oliver Schlobe indicates that as of WordPress 2.5, IDs on all admin pages have been removed. His Plugin lists the record ID for pages and posts similar to the way it was prior to 2.5
After downloading and using the posts ID numbers, it worked like a charm.
New users of WordPress need a reference to the plugin.
Your Participants plugin is indeed incredible.
Thank you for sticking with me and for your answers.

by Morgan on January 25, 2015 at 2:36 am. Reply #

I’m glad you got it working. Most people use the name (slug) of the page in the setting, so they don’t need to know the Post ID, but WordPress can be set up a lot of different ways.

by Roland on January 25, 2015 at 7:34 am. Reply #

Great plug-in.
I am having trouble trying to save a post ID on record form. Does not update or saved and email notice to new subscriber has no link.
Thanks for any help.

by Morgan on January 22, 2015 at 8:11 am. Reply #

I’m not clear what you’re trying to do here. Are you using a hidden field to capture the post ID of the page the form is on?

The record edit link in the email notice requires the “Participant Record Page” be configured under the “Record Form” tab in the plugin settings. Take a look at the “setup guide” for details on that.

by Roland on January 22, 2015 at 8:35 am. Reply #

I input the name of the file for the Participant Record Page but when updating the page, the Post ID area comes back empty.
By the way, the same Post ID in the Signup Form updates correctly.
Another problem:
When trying to display an individual record, I get a blank because, as you indicate, the id of the record must be in the URL, but apparently I don’t know how this is generated. I thought I followed all the instructions perfectly.


by Morgan on January 22, 2015 at 10:41 am. Reply #

Did you try selecting the name of the page instead of the Post ID? The Post ID selection is so you can select a blog post or custom post type if you want. Normally, you’d choose the name of the page where you placed the [pdb_record] shortcode.

Displaying an individual record is usually done by providing a link to the page in the list display. How to do this is explained in the Setup Guide, look for “Setting Up the List Page and Detail Page”.

by Roland on January 22, 2015 at 11:09 am. #

Thank you for your message.
There seems to be a basic problem with one of the input fields. The editable ID field in Record Form does not retain a typed in file name and returns only a blank upon updating.
I tried it also without specifying an alternative page, and in the Signup Form letter to user specified the following line:
This is your private link: [record_link]
The user’s letter received contains other specified fields [first_name], etc. but only a blank in place of the link.
Perhaps there is a step I’m missing to activate the /participants/detail?pid=

As for display of single record, I completed the instructions, but clicking on the link field only reloads the whole user display listing.

I thought reinstalling would solve the problem, so reinstalled Participants DB on suggestion of Jeriff Cheng by editing the version number of the plugin and then updating from the (WordPress Admin Panel).

Perhaps I need to reboot myself to an earlier me when I could solve all problems on my own. Thanks for your help.

by Morgan on January 24, 2015 at 10:25 am. #

The “post ID” is only for a post ID number, not a file name. You just need to find the name of the page with the [pdb_record] shortcode in the dropdown. Same goes for the single record page. These have to be be correctly set in order for the email and list links to work.

by Roland on January 24, 2015 at 3:12 pm. #

Hi there, I’ve checked through the support forums and documentation but can’t seem to find a solution to my issue. I’ve got a large database, and it seems that when I reached 1000 members, the pdb_list stopped displaying new members. The members are successfully added to the database and I can find the user in the front end list by searching, but the pdb_list just stops at member #999. I need to be able to display members in the 4 digit range. If you can help at all it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

by Justin on January 21, 2015 at 12:32 pm. Reply #

Hi Justin,

Not sure what the problem would be here, I have many users with databases much larger than 1000 records without problems. What exactly are you seeing? Are you using pagination?

by Roland on January 22, 2015 at 8:32 am. Reply #

After reading your reply I went through the settings and was able to work around the bug by ordering my list by “date recorded” instead of my custom field “membership number”. Thanks for the reply though!

by Justin on January 22, 2015 at 9:50 am. Reply #


2 questions:

1) Is there a shortcode to drop in the private link request on it’s own page in WordPress (rather then as part of the “Forget your private link? Click here to have it emailed to you”?

2) Can I send out private links to all my list participants?

Thank you.


by Janak Rajani on January 19, 2015 at 12:16 pm. Reply #

You can use the [pdb_request_link] shortcode as explained here:
Using the Participants Database 1.5 Plugin

You can only send out the private links manually, the plugin doesn’t have the ability to send those emails on command.

by Roland on January 20, 2015 at 8:25 am. Reply #

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