Participants Database 1.6 WordPress Plugin

This WordPress plugin is for the purpose of creating a simple database for use on 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.

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.

Plugin Technical Support

Participants Database is a complex plugin and getting the most out of it often requires some basic technical knowledge. There are three main ways I support the plugin: the public forum, the comments section here, and by email.

Please read through the documentation and relevant support conversations before posting questions, you may find your questions have already been answered.

My support email is published in the plugin, please use it if you have questions or links you don’t want made public, or for special requests. While I try to provide good support for free, please remember this is what I do for a living and my time is limited. I am usually available to provide plugin customizations, so please contact me with inquiries about extending the functionality of the plugin.

>>WordPress Plugin Support Forum



Hi Roland,

I’m interested in making a music website that will serve as a database of music for a particular genre. Musicians will create a public profile, and can list their music which should be able to be searched (site wide) by visitors by specific keywords or tags – such as: summer, Christmas, horses, Mondays, etc. Musicians should have control over adding and removing music.

Ideally, visitors should be able to listen to clips of the music that they find.

Is this possible with your plugin? Would it require extensive customization to accomplish this?



by Rob on November 19, 2015 at 6:45 am. Reply #

Hi Rob,

The short answer is yes, it will take extensive modification to make this work.

You’ve got a great idea, it sounds simple and straightforward, but technically it’s quite complex. My plugin might help you get there, but with or without it unless you are a WP developer or have one working with you, you’re not going to get too far because you have all these pieces that need to interact. It will take a lot of custom code to get all those things working together so that you end up with an application that will be attractive to users. If you write out all the things that your users need to be able to do, you’ll see how many features and UI interfaces you’ll need to make something like this work. It may not seem like it now, but your idea is huge, the kind of thing startups spend millions of dollars to develop.

I say this not to discourage but to give you a realistic perspective that will allow you to accomplish your goal. I suggest you start with a grand design for your application: write it all down, with all the details you can think of. Once you have that, you can extract a scaled-down version of your concept that is more easily achieved…take out a few major pieces so you’ve got something much simpler, then get that working. You’ll still need dev skills, it’s just unavoidable, too much of what you want to do will require custom code, either modifying core and plugin functionality with filters and such or developing your own plugins and/or a custom theme.

by Roland on November 19, 2015 at 8:49 am. Reply #

Are there any simple CSS options or sample code for simple spacing of columns, etc? Thanks.

by David on November 11, 2015 at 2:57 pm. Reply #

CSS is a difficult subject to provide quick, simple help with because anything I might suggest has a good chance of not working due to the specific rules that are already in place on your site. I’ll give you a couple of things to try, but they may or may not work…consider them starting points to getting what you want.

For the list display if you want to increase the spacing between items, use “padding”

.pdb-list .wp-list-table td {
padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px;

To change the width of columns you have to look at the HTML to determine your selector. You need to target the “th” cell at the top of the column to set the width of the column. For instance to set the width of the first and last name columns, you’d use something like this:

.pdb-list .wp-list-table th.first_name,
.pdb-list .wp-list-table th.last_name {
width: 100px;

There are limits to what you can accomplish with this, though, because tables always manage the give-and-take between column widths.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to use CSS, take a look at this series of articles giving you the tools to use CSS to change the look of your WordPress site:

Simple CSS techniques for WordPress

by Roland on November 12, 2015 at 7:40 am. Reply #

is there any experience with this plug-in and the latest WordPress release (4.3.1.). I would love to use this – but I am running 4.3.1.

Cheers and best regards,


by Jan on October 27, 2015 at 10:14 pm. Reply #

I’m running it on several sites with the latest WordPress…I have been too busy to update the readme to reflect that.

by Roland on October 28, 2015 at 8:15 am. Reply #

big thanks for your answer! I will give it a shot then. We are active in local “refugee help and welcome” – I am looking into your plug-in in my search to find something that can serve as a database for (1) things that people need (“looking for item X”) and also (2) things that people want to spend (“I have Y and want to give it”) – but self organized – because we drown in communication.
From what I have read I have the hopes that your tool might bring us relief.

Cheers and thank you – and best regards.

by Jan on October 28, 2015 at 11:52 am. Reply #

hello, can anyone please tell me how to edit the form style with css? the custom css doesnt change anything…thanks

by jordana on October 15, 2015 at 10:25 pm. Reply #

Hi Jordana,

CSS is a bit complicated, so sometimes it seems that your custom rules aren’t working, but often that means that your selectors are not specific enough to override other rules.

I suggest you take a look at this series of articles that will give you tools for getting the results you want.

Simple CSS Techniques for WordPress

by Roland on October 28, 2015 at 8:14 am. Reply #

Hi Roland!

Great plugin, the best I found for my needs. But today I ran into a problem and your help would be greatly appreciated.

Some time ago everything worked fine. Being a personal, non-profit project, I ran out of time and took a brake. Started working on it again today. Now it won’t save changes to the fields. It saves changes to groups, i can change pages etc, but when it comes to changing fields (name, display, validation etc) it acts like the changes are saved but reloads the page without the changes. It saves fields order changes though.

Not sure if it is because I updated to the latest WordPress version, because I increased the number of fields to about 80 or because of some other reason.

I hope you can help me solve this issue. Thank you!

by Gabriel on September 14, 2015 at 5:02 am. Reply #

Hi Gabriel,

This can happen sometimes if you have a lot of fields in one group. In the web server configuration, there is a limit to the size of a POST requests, and if you have a lot of fields in one group, it can go over the limit when you try to save the changes. Try breaking your fields up into smaller groups.

by Roland on September 14, 2015 at 8:10 am. Reply #

Thank you Roland! Your solution worked just fine.

by Gabriel on September 15, 2015 at 4:39 am. Reply #

Hi Roland! I ran into a new problem I can not solve and I hope you can help me with it.

The website is, a website meant for mental healthcare. After an intro you get on the first page of the form where you fill in an ID, the location and age (the code here is [pdb_signup groups="main" fields="id_participant, judet, varsta, gen" action="chestionar-2" submit_button="INCEPE CHESTIONARUL!"] – i tryed removing the fields section and got the same problem). This page seems to work, but on page “chestionar-2” i get the message no records found. The code on this page is [pdb_record groups="test" fields="I1, I2, I3, I4, I5, I6, I7, I8, I9, I10" action="chestionar-3" submit_button="CONTINUA!"]. Again I tryied removing the records section but it didnțt fix the problem. In the database I see the new records added (only whatțs added on the first page). The ID also has auto-increment.

Any ideeas how to fix this problems? Help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

by Gabriel on September 16, 2015 at 6:06 am. Reply #

I don’t know what causes this, the ID of the new record is saved using a PHP session value. Did you try changing the “Use PHP Sessions” setting under the advanced tab?

by Roland on September 16, 2015 at 10:11 pm. #

Thank you, I will work on that. How do I add values to a dropdown list such as a state or country list? In manage db fields when I add many values (with and without a the result is an inline stream of values. A selection would result in selecting all values. Same as with radio buttons etc.

by Tara on August 30, 2015 at 12:09 pm. Reply #

Nevermind! I found that the values should be comma separated.

by Tara on August 30, 2015 at 1:16 pm. Reply #

Hi Roland, nice product!

I am creating a list of contacts that may be updated via a private link [pdb_signup]. Once the person signs up, their contact info will be a new row in the public list [pdb_list]. My objective is that this person may be contacted by website visitors without revealing their email address.

Visitors will be able to contact them with a link or button in the list that when selected opens a contact form page that will be sent to their hidden email address.

I also would like their email to not be visible in the details page [pdb_single].

Any ideas? Thank you!

by Tara on August 29, 2015 at 8:07 pm. Reply #

Something like this would need some custom code, not too difficult if you know your way around WordPress and PHP. Other than that, it’s not possible because you need to access whatever method you’re using to send the email on the backend so the user doesn’t see the email address.

by Roland on August 29, 2015 at 8:23 pm. Reply #

Roland, I’m trying to figure out how to remove line breaks from the front end. For instance, in a radio button group, Firebug shows me the the HTML below which displays the button above its value and also stacks each radio label on top of each other. I’ve looked in templates, but not seeing where these breaks are coming from.



by Jordan on August 21, 2015 at 11:17 am. Reply #

if there are no BR tags in the HTML, then it is a CSS rule setting the element to “block” which generates a break after itself. Change this to ‘inline’ or ‘inline-block’ to eliminate the breaks.

by Roland on August 29, 2015 at 9:30 am. Reply #

WP password protect for the membership page on the site doesn’t work. Is there a setting in PD that counteracts WP password protect?

by Tony Carosella on August 20, 2015 at 10:29 am. Reply #

No, Participants Database doe not interact with WP logins in any way.

by Roland on August 21, 2015 at 6:14 am. Reply #

I am displaying a list of our members. My client would like the list to rotate the list on reload so that you would see a different members all the time.

by Barbara Davis on August 20, 2015 at 5:05 am. Reply #

So that it isn’t necessarily displaying in alpha order all the time.

by Barbara Davis on August 20, 2015 at 5:06 am. Reply #

You can randomly sort the list like this:

[pdb_list orderby=random ]

by Roland on August 20, 2015 at 6:01 am. Reply #

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