Wondering how to create a WordPress directory site? Check out this easy to follow directory starter tutorial on how to build a directory website with WordPress.
Planning to build a directory website? You can do it easily when you have the right tools in hand. It needs a web platform and website directory software. All you have to do is to follow this tutorial to start a business directory website.
Today we are going to show you how to create a WordPress directory website. It involves a brief checklist followed by a few simple steps. Let’s start! Shall we?
To create a directory website with WordPress, you need to follow the below checklist.
- Choose your directory niche
- Select a web platform
- Get the directory system
- Start building the directory
It looks simple, right? But remember, if you don’t follow the right path, it will be harder than you could imagine. We can guarantee, this tutorial will make it very easy for you to build a directory website with WordPress. So, no worries!
Here we go. Let’s see the journey on how to make a directory website using WordPress.
Step 1: Choose your directory niche
We hope you’ve already decided about the niche of your directory. An online directory can be of many types. Some of them are real estate directories, job board directories, local business directories, etc.
If you want, you can create your own niche. Or you can choose from a popular directory category. We have dedicated tutorials on how to build a city directory, campus directory, store directory, hotel directory, paid business directory, staff directory, and more.
If you’re choosing the directory niche based on your professional requirements (like a company directory, alumni directory, etc.) then you can decide simply based on your needs. But if you’re not sure, then focus on a few stuff.
Do you want to create a directory with the best possible monetization potential? If “yes”, then you can choose to build a business directory where you can list businesses and earn from several different ways. Some of them can be paid listings, featured positions, ads, etc.
If you want to create a directory as a hobby or a charity, then just follow your heart!
Step 2: Select a web platform
Once you are set with your online directory niche, it’s time to choose a website platform. It’s pretty easy to decide. WordPress is a go-to option for almost any kind of website. We’ll also choose WordPress as the website platform.
The core benefit of WordPress is its ease of use. It comes with a built-in page builder called Gutenberg. You can have high-quality web designs on WordPress without any coding. Our online directory website building experience will be effortless on WordPress.
After deciding the platform to be WordPress, now we need the website. If you’re just starting, you can get a fresh WordPress website live from your domain name registrar. There are many specialized WordPress hosting provider brands as well.
Getting your new WordPress site live is just a matter of contacting your domain or preferred hosting provider company.
On the other hand, if you want to launch the directory in your existing WordPress site, that’s also possible. It can be your business site, a blog, or whatever you have on WordPress. All we need is a live WordPress website.
Got your WordPress site up and running? Great. Let’s talk about choosing the directory system.
Step 3: Get the directory system
A WordPress website is just the platform for your online directory. It doesn’t come with the functionalities to run a directory. But don’t worry! We got the right solution for you.
We’ll use Business Directory Plugin, the best WordPress directory plugin.
Why Business Directory Plugin?
Business Directory Plugin is a free WordPress directory tool that offers a ton of features. What’s more interesting, there are several premium plans of this WordPress plugin that can make your directory even more powerful.
Let’s see some of the free features offered by Business Directory Plugin.
- Front-end listing item submission form.
- Supports both free and paid listings.
- Create and manage multiple pricing plans.
- Customizable form fields for listing items.
- Drag and drop image upload option.
- Built-in widgets for search and featured listings.
- Search and filtering options.
- Built-in email templates for notifications.
- Responsive and mobile-optimized content.
As already mentioned, Business Directory Plugin has a rich set of powerful premium features. These will take your directory to the next level of excellence.
Here are some of the premium features of Business Directory Plugin.
- Exclusive premium WordPress themes for your directory.
- Multi-level featured listing opportunity.
- Attachments & file uploads with listing items.
- Ratings & reviews for a trustworthy listing presentation.
- Capability to add listing category images.
- Alphabetical directory filtering for faster browsing.
- Advanced search with ZIP code and location-based filtering.
- Robust backup & migration system.
- Google Maps integration with Direction support.
- Discounts and coupon code support for the customers.
- You can limit some features by pricing.
- Opportunities for businesses to claim a listing.
- Multiple payment gateway support including PayPal and Stripe.
As you can see, the premium version of Business Directory Plugin has a great collection of cutting-edge features. These will really help you stand out with your directory. So we recommend you get a suitable premium plan of Business Directory Plugin now and move forward.
Step 4: Build the directory website with WordPress
Now that our tool is chosen. We already have our website live in the second step. It’s time to start the main procedures to create the directory.
Follow the steps below to build your directory.
Step 4.1: Install and activate Business Directory Plugin
To utilize Business Directory Plugin’s benefits, first, we need to install it on our site. So install and activate the plugin on your WordPress website.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, a premium plan of the plugin will be really helpful to build a powerful and future-proof directory. It would be wise if you get a premium plan and move on.
If you have some experience with WordPress, a plugin installation would be very easy. If you are new in this area, don’t worry. See our detailed guide on how to install Business Directory Plugin.
Step 4.2: Create directory related pages
In Business Directory Plugin, there are 2 types of directory-related pages.
- The directory item submission page
- The directory listing page(s)
You can create a directory item submission form by inserting the [businessdirectory-submit-listing] shortcode into a page. Then you can link that page from anywhere.
You and your visitors will be able to submit new listing items using this page. And guess what, it works on the front-end! If you want to customize the listing item form fields, see our form field customization guidelines.
Now let’s come to the directory listing page. You can actually create multiple listing pages using our shortcodes. These pages can be customized to show custom listings. And there is no need to create any custom post type.
You can also create a page to show all of your listings. Simply create a page with the [businessdirectory] shortcode in it. This page will be a universal listing page for your directory. You’ll actually see a back-end prompt to create this page after activating Business Directory Plugin.
If you follow the prompt, the above-mentioned directory page will be created automatically.
Your main directory listing page also shows a “Submit Listing” button. You can keep or hide that button if you want.
Step 4.3: Configure Business Directory Plugin settings
Business Directory Plugin gives you the freedom to fine-tune your listing site as you want. It has a rich set of settings options to make your directory work the way you want. Take a look at the settings panel here.
In most cases, the default settings will do fine. But as you’ve just read, you can tweak the settings your way. And you’re not alone! We got great documentation to help you with the Business Directory Plugin settings.
Step 4.4: Set the pricing plans and payments
Business Directory Plugin is a complete solution to all of your directory site needs. You can create a paid business directory with both the free and the premium versions.
It’s ready for you to earn money via paid listings, claimed listings, ads, and more. You can accept recurring payments as well.
If you decide to create a free directory website, then you can launch the listing site right after adding some items. It will require the directory pages and little settings tweak.
Do you want to offer paid listing opportunities as well? Great! Set up your plans and activate your favorite payment methods. We’ve already provided you with the resource links above.
After setting everything up, test the directory features you’re planning to use. If all looks good, you’re ready to launch the directory!
Learn More: How to Build a Lawyer Listing Site in WordPress
Step 5: Reach your audience
Building a directory site is really fun when you use Business Directory Plugin. After you take it online, your audience needs to see your site.
To make the directory a success, proper reach is a core requirement. We’ve got a dedicated blog post on how to promote your directory with minimal effort. Check that out and thank us later! You can make it a multilingual directory to cover more audiences.
With Business Directory Plugin, we’ve democratized the directory building system. This plugin offers the easiest way to create a directory website like Yellow Pages or Yelp in WordPress. It serves every directory purpose you can imagine, and beyond.
Take a look at our top picks for the best business directory websites to get more ideas.
So, what are you waiting for? Get Business Directory Plugin now and launch your fantastic directory site today!