There are all types of directories available. If you want to aggregate listings from businesses, providers, properties, or industries, you can use WordPress to develop a platform for your business.
We’ve already seen one example in our recent blog post on creating a job board using WordPress.
Let’s jump straight into the best WordPress plugins and themes for creating a directory website:
5 Best WordPress Directory Plugins
Websites that sell access to, or subscriptions to listings (i.e. providers, lodging, businesses, etc.) need a way to professionally display them.
While you can do this with standard posts inside of WordPress, you might need additional support from plugins such as these:
The Business Directory plugin does just as the name promises: it helps you build out a directory of listings on your website. In addition, it comes with directory templates you can use to streamline setup as well as automatic integration with Authorize.net to start accepting payments from listers (among many other awesome features).
The Business Directory team told us why it’s a great plugin to use for you:
“Creating a powerful, attractive directory that users love has never been easier than with the Business Directory Plugin. The plugin features quick setup to keep users engaged and to make money on your site quickly and easily. Our support is legendary, and doesn’t cost extra (you can read our rave reviews on WordPress)!
To get started, they recommend these resources:
“Taking a look at our showcase of example directories created using BD is a great place to start, as well as taking a peek at our demo directory, as it has all of our premium modules in it. I’d recommend our Getting Started Guide to begin building the directory you’d like, as well as our extensive documentation of the plugin.”
Price: $199 (multiple pricing options available)
For real estate or other property listing websites (like Airbnb), you can use Easy Property Listings.
It gives you full control over listing fields, images, placement, contact management, and more!
Would your users benefit from seeing listings displayed in an actual map instead of in a running list of headlines or establishment names?
If your theme doesn’t already come equipped with the functionality, use GeoDirectory to create your on-map directory.
The team behind the well-known GravityForms have given us this premium add-on for listings websites.
GravityView takes the information submitted through your forms and displays it on your website in a highly organized fashion.
This would be particularly useful if you have employers submitting job listings or agents wanting to show off properties, and you’d like to automate the process of moving that information from the form to the website.
“GravityView lets you display, use, and modify your form data on the front end of your WordPress website. You can easily build powerful application like directories, listings, databases, maps, and more – all without writing a single line of code.”
– Kiefer, GravityView
New GravityView users should check out their Knowledge Base, specifically the “Getting Started” section. They have a ton of detailed articles on using the plugin plus a short introductory video.
The SabaiDirectory plugin is going to give you the ability to create an online business directory to rival that of Yelp.
With features like location-based search, reviews and ratings, voting systems, and an interactive map, your directory will have all the functionality your search users expect from it.
5 Best WordPress Directory Themes
As you’ve already seen, there are a number of themes and plugins that have been designed in order to help users like yourself create clean-looking, well-organized, and easy-to-manage listings. The same goes for directories.
It’s simply a matter of finding the tools made specifically for your purposes.
While Listify does brand itself as a basic directory theme, it really outdoes itself when it comes to listing out local-based businesses.
Think of something like Yelp or TripAdvisor–free-to-use sites that aggregate business listings, but use other means for monetizing the experience for users. That’s what you can do with Listify.
ListingPro is a great choice for designing business directories in WordPress.
It comes packed with the local features you’d need (maps, hours of operation, ratings and reviews, and more) as well as ad targeting for easy on-site monetization of your directory.
For real estate listing websites, you can use MyHome. While you could try and build out a listing website such as this using a free or even a generic WordPress theme, MyHome saves you time adding the features that matter most to your end user. Namely, the theme includes filterable search, high-res search listings, interactive maps, and more.
Would you like to more efficiently sell listing space to businesses that want a space in your directory? You can use PointFinder for that.
This multipurpose theme allows you to design your directory for whatever purpose you want. It also enables you to dictate how you get paid for it–By post? By subscription? With ads? It’s all up to you.
Wyzi is an advanced business directory theme with a social media-type vibe to it.
With this theme, you’ll be able to create a site that enables businesses to promote their services, book appointments with prospects, and communicate in private via a chat system. You can then create subscription packages to allow them entry into the directory.
“Wyzi opens the doors for you to have your own mini-Facebook, with business owners updating their statuses and getting followers, likes and comments, while promoting their products. Each business / service owner can have a business wall and post business statuses, share their news, updates, images and videos, manage booking calendar, manage appointments, plus sell products and post job vacancies.”
– Ibrahim, Founder, WzTechno
These WordPress directory plugins and themes all have different features and benefits – the right one will depend on what type of directory site you’re creating.
This overview should have given you a good idea of where to start when creating your directory site using WordPress – next up? Start building!
Once your directory is live and receiving consistent traffic, consider using MobiLoud to build a mobile app to boost your mobile presence!