You’ve done it – you’ve got your WordPress site all set up and it’s beautiful. You wait for people to visit your site, but they don’t.
What’s missing? It could be content. A business directory can help with that!
Business Directory Plugin (BD) for WordPress is not just any directory software – it’s THE go-to plugin for WordPress users when they want a custom directory on their site. Used by professional developers, beginners, and everyone in between, this plugin has something for everyone.
Creating content to keep your users coming back time and again is really the strength of adding a directory to your website. A directory on your site can be used to add relevant content for your target audience.
When considering adding a directory to your WordPress site, the key questions to ask yourself are:
- What type of directory do you want (informational, monetized, member, team, staff, etc.)?
- Who will add the directory listings? (You? Your users? Both?)
How do you choose relevant content?
Have a look at your audience. If you have a website about widgets, perhaps you want to include a directory of all the places you can find those widgets online. Have as site about soccer? Add a directory featuring local teams or players (or both!).
Maybe you run a company? Create an employee directory. The free core version of BD is packed full of customization options for your directory site. Adding listings to your existing site is easier than you think.
Plus, making your site a hub for user-generated content can be a great way of collecting email addresses.
Customize the Free Version of BD
Getting started building an online directory WordPress website doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you can get started for free with BD and use the core version of this directory software to begin building an engaging directory on your site.
With BD, you can create custom fields for your directory site, and it’s super user friendly. With the click of a button, you can choose to add new fields, customize the type of field, determine whether it’s required or optional information, or whether it’s displayed in the listing at all!
BD also allows for customized field types – want a dropdown menu? BD can do that! Select and multi-select fields are options as well, as are checklists, text fields and radio buttons. We even have designated social media fields for your directory!
Have you been looking for an out-of-the-box directory software that includes fields for shoe size? We’ve got that! Simply add it to your fields, drag and drop to arrange the fields how you like, then you’re all set.
Add category-specific fields
When you’re creating an online directory to add content to your site, it’s important to have listings that make sense. Using BD’s category-specific fields is a great way to do this.
You may have wondered in the past how directories customize the content of the directory listings on their website. Wonder no more with our user friendly, straightforward category-specific fields feature.
If you are building a directory for a local community, for example, you will end up with lots of different types of businesses in your directory. Each type of business will have unique information specific to that type of business.
For example, say you have a category for dentists – you want to know what type of dentistry they offer, and you want to know what insurance they accept, right? For an auto repair place, those fields are irrelevant.
Adding category-specific fields is super easy in BD and is a matter of setting the field category policy for each custom form field.
Powerful Search and Sort options
Our directory plugin has a quick search box and an advanced search option, as well as a search widget, allowing you full control over how your users search and the results they find. You choose the fields that are searched, optimizing the efficiency of the searches for users.
You can also customize the fields that are used for sorting your directory listing search results.
Unlimited Fee Plans, including automatic renewals
BD makes it simple to add a fee plan and customize it to your needs. In each fee plan, you can control the number of images a user can add to their listing, how long the listing is active before it renews, and pricing. You can even customize the background color by fee plan! Paid listings are a breeze with BD.
Many online directories set up a subscription-type payment plan with recurring payments. BD allows you to do this quickly and easily with the click of a button. You can even set the order that the listings are served up by rearranging the fee plans into a custom sort order. Having the most expensive listings at the top of your search results is an incentive for your users to buy a more expensive fee plan!
Customizable Email Reminders
Payments in BD are simple to accept, especially with automatic renewals. But if you have a fee plan without automatic renewals, how do your customers know when it’s time to renew their listing in your directory? BD allows you to set up the specific timing you want for sending out renewal reminders to your listing owners.
With completely customizable email templates, you can send renewal reminders at specific intervals – say, a week before the listing expires, two days before a listing expires, etc. You can even send emails to listing owners after the listing has expired to give them the opportunity to renew the listing on your site.
Accept payments right away with free Authorize.net payment gateway
BD helps you get started right out of the gate with a fee payment gateway, allowing you to take payments from the moment you activate the plugin. Simply add your Authorize.net account information and you’re ready to collect payments.
Sometimes it’s helpful to give some businesses a price break for their listing in your business directory, and BD allows you to customize a fee plan just for those types of submitted listings. You may decide that community organizations, non-profits, and local charities qualify to be added to your directory at a low or no-cost option, which you can make available in fee plans.
Premium Modules make the difference
Our free directory plugin offers multiple ways for you to build a directory website, and our premium modules add additional customization when you’re ready to take your online directory to a whole new level.
If you already have a list of businesses, groups, or individuals you want to add as content in your directory, you need to be able to allow those users to own their listing in your directory and to manage that content. The Claim Listings module does just that – allows users to claim the existing listing on your website.
Why would anyone want to claim and own their listing in your directory? Because it gives them full control over the information contained in the listing. Perhaps you only have the names and phone numbers of all the local restaurants, for example. Once the business owner claims that listing, they can add more information – like the type of cuisine they offer, whether reservations are required, or their hours of operation.
Google Maps Module
If you are running a local directory website, people want to be able to find those businesses easily. With the Google Maps Module, you can display a Google Map for each listing address, show search results on a map, or even show the overall directory on a map.
Having a map of local businesses helps users of your directory locate something nearby quickly. They can even get driving directions, too!
Featured Levels Module
Are you dreaming of building an online directory of local businesses that will make money for you? Then the Featured Levels Module is one you can’t live without.
With this module, you can make certain features like ratings, maps, form fields, images or character counts only available to certain paid levels of your listings. Build a good-better-best fee plan structure and get going!
File Attachments Module
BD has premium modules for everyone. Perhaps you have thought about building a directory for your website that includes giving the viewer access to important information or images. The File Attachments Module allows your users to add file attachments to listings--such as PDF, TXT, RTF, and images.
As a business owner, you may want to treat certain people you meet to a discount on a premium listing in your shiny new directory. The Discount Codes Module lets you do this!
If you find that your site doesn’t have enough listings, a great way to build your directory base is to offer discount codes. You can create discount codes for as much or as little off of the price of a directory listing as you’d like, and they can be a percentage off or a fixed amount.
Heading out to a local Chamber of Commerce meeting? Why not add a discount code to put on the back of your card to give to everyone you meet. Posting an image of your directory on Instagram? Include a special code for those users who follow you.
Get your community involved in your online directory. "Community" can be broadly defined to include online communities as well as local communities. Research shows that people are more likely to choose a business if it has recommendations from others. You can get those recommendations for your online directory listings by using the Ratings Module with BD.
Everyone has an opinion and they typically love to share! You can allow users to rate and comment on the listings in your directory to their heart’s content. You can even allow users to rate a listing on several factors. Here’s an example restaurant rating form:
Location, location, location! Ever notice how everyone wants to know where things are physically located in relation to them? Give people that information by using the Regions Module.
The module allows for a lot of different ways to display listings based on geographic location. Users of the directory can filter listings based on location, they can visit a page dedicated to a certain location, or they can choose a location using a side list, kind of like a Craigslist page. People want to quickly find the listings that matter most to them, and filtering your listings based on location is a must-have for your directory.
And if there was one module that could be given an award for the most flexibility, it would be our Regions Module! Not only can you build a region's hierarchy including continent-country-state-city, but those regions can also be modified to be called whatever you like (i.e., province, village, etc.). Plus, you can go as deep as you’d like, narrowing your defined regions down to city, neighborhood, or even street – it’s all up to you!
ZIP Search Module
As we’ve discussed, in local online directories, location is the name of the game. People want to find businesses nearest to them, and while a map may help, narrowing listings down to a specific ZIP or postal code, really helps limit the search. You can add a location-based listing search by radius (miles or km) from a postal/ZIP code.
This module works beautifully with our other location-based modules, like Google Maps and Regions.
Payment Integrations for Everyone
You want to make money online, and we want to help you make money online. Currently, BD has premium payment gateway modules for PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and Payfast. PayFast is a module developed to help you increase revenue from your site by accepting payments from South Africa.
Putting it all together, you can see that BD is a highly customizable business directory software package for WordPress. We’ve made it easy for you to create a directory with featured listings, drag and drop flexibility, multiple payment gateways, Google Maps, custom fields, and advanced search.
You can get started quickly by adding our free plugin to your WordPress site, then add premium modules as needed ad you create a directory that caters to your online community. Happy directory building!