Wondering how to build a hotel directory in WordPress? With the right tool, it’s easier than you think. Let’s find out!
Want to help people who need hotel information? Planning to launch a WordPress hotel directory? It’s easy when you have the right tools in hand. In this post, we’ll show you how to create a hotel directory in WordPress.
Creating a hotel directory WordPress site requires several things to consider. The hotel listings must be easy to explore. The content should be search engine friendly.
Plus, it would be nice if you allow others to request or add listings. We’ll see them and beyond.
The best tools to create a hotel directory
In this tutorial, we’re going to create a hotel directory site on WordPress. That means, we’ll need a WordPress site up and running. This is a must to start the core procedures. Besides a live website, a WordPress directory plugin is required for the listing related features.
Got more questions in your mind? Just keep reading!
Why Business Directory Plugin?
We always want to provide you the best thing. Be it a piece of software, a recommendation, or support. Our Business Directory Plugin is the most advanced and future-proof directory solution for WordPress. It offers everything you need to create a hotel directory site in WordPress.
Let’s have a look at some core features of Business Directory Plugin.
- It’s easy to use
- Fine-tuned for mobile devices
- Responsive and beautiful design
- Easily and quickly scalable
- Supports custom fields
- Earn from paid listings
- Multiple payment gateways
- Recurring payment collection
- Detailed search & filtering
- SEO friendly
- Export and import options
What to include in a hotel directory in WordPress?
Well, let’s think this in the simplest way. A hotel directory is also a business directory. In fact, it’s a special kind of business directory. There you want to offer hotel-related information that is helpful for the visitors.
That being said, here are some content types you should present on your hotel directory site (including but not limited to):
- Photos of the hotels. Videos would add more value.
- Location with maps.
- Transportation and trip-related information.
- Price range and core policies of the hotels.
- Easy to scan lists and details of facilities offered.
- Food and safety-related information.
- Special notes for parking, gym, and other general facilities.
- Accepted payment methods and refund related information.
- Booking system link, contacts, website & social links.
How to build a hotel directory WordPress site
Now that we know the tools and prerequisites of a WordPress hotel directory. We will assume that you already have a fresh WordPress site live. We’ll turn it into a hotel directory.
If you don’t have a WordPress instance up and running, you can get it in a few minutes. This varies depending on your web host. So contact your hosting provider or see their support docs to have a WordPress website set up.
Got your WordPress site? It’s time to move on with the directory building workflow. Let’s see the whole process step by step.
Step 1: Install and activate Business Directory Plugin
It’s pretty basic. Do you have previous experience in installing WordPress plugins? If yes, this would be a piece of cake for you.
Or if you are not familiar with this, don’t worry! You’re just a few clicks away from installing our Business Directory Plugin on your site. Find it in our detailed knowledgebase article on how to install Business Directory Plugin.
Got the Business Directory plugin installed and activated on your site? You are ready to move to the next step! Excited? You must be!
Step 2: Create the hotel directory listing pages
Business Directory Plugin takes care of everything you need to have a great listing site. Upon the activation of the plugin, it shows a prompt to create a directory listing page on the back-end.
Click the “Create required pages for me” button to create the main directory listing page. It will add a new page to your site with the [businessdirectory] shortcode inside.
Navigate to Dashboard → Pages anytime. There you’ll see a list of all your WordPress pages including the directory listing ones.
The plugin offers many other shortcodes to create custom directory listing pages. These are based on several criteria. Use them to organize your hotel listing site the way you want.
Step 3: Customize the directory settings
Business Directory Plugin offers many customization and tweaking options. This helps make your hotel listing site behave as you like.
To view the Business Directory settings options, log in to your WordPress dashboard. Look at the admin menu bar. You’ll see the Directory link. Hovering over the link will expand the menu items.
You can also open the Directory link to see the core plugin options page. It shows the directory pages, gives an option to add new directory items, create fee plans, etc. Also, you can manage the form fields, listing categories & tags, payment stuff, and so on.
Let’s have a quick look at the main settings options of the plugin.
General: Configure the technical stuff like directory permalinks on this tab. Set up the search behavior, submitters’ terms & conditions, reCAPTCHA, etc. Also, if you want AJAX submission support, you can turn that on from this page.
Listings: Control the number of items to be displayed on a listing page. Do you want a listing item to be alive for a given duration? Or maybe forever? You can set it up here.
There are other settings options like item sorting, item author contact form, and more.
Email: The email settings are divided into 2 sections. These are General Settings and Templates. The General Settings section lets you decide the listing email address displayability, content, and notification stuff.
The Templates section offers 10+ email templates. These emails are sent based on different events. You can customize the email content right there.
Payment: Do you want to offer a paid listing service to the hotel businesses? It’s a great money-making option for your directory site. If you want so, use this feature from here.
Need to accept recurring payments? Business Directory Plugin supports that as well.
Appearance: You can use this tab to customize your directory display options. You can show or hide several listing related buttons, directory option, etc.
It's not as complex as a real estate site. The plugin saves you a lot of time. And you don't need to be an expert in using a page builder like Visual Composer.
Licenses: This tab shows the license details of the plugin you are using. For the free version users, it provides a way to upgrade and displays a knowledgebase link. Paid version users will see their license-related information on this tab.
Step 4: Customize the form fields
You get 10 ready to use form fields in Business Directory Plugin. These are the most common fields used in listing sites.
Some of them are marked as required by default. Others are optional. You can change these anytime you need.
And yes, you can add new form fields as well. It’s a complete solution to add, edit, and delete listing item fields. Visit Directory → Manage Form Fields to review, edit, create, or delete listing form fields.
Step 5: Create listing categories
Your hotel directory will offer hotel listings in different categories. You can categorize hotels by location, occasion, etc. To make it simple, we offer an entire category management section. There you can create, view, modify, and delete listing categories.
To access the category management system, visit Directory → Directory Categories.
Step 6: Test the hotel directory in WordPress listing submission
As of now, we’ve set up our hotel directory. The system is ready to work. It’s time to test the directory. We’ll do a simple checkup by adding a sample listing item.
You can create a listing item from the back-end and front-end. The front-end list submission form is cleaner than the back-end one. By default, you’ll find a Submit button on the directory listing page. Also, you can add a new submission form using the [businessdirectory-submit-listing] shortcode.
So, visit the listing submission form and fill in the data. Submit the listing. Is everything working fine? Did you set up any notifications via email?
Check whether that’s working as intended. Do the fixes if needed. Done!
What’s more, you can bulk edit or move data using the CSV Import & Export feature of Business Directory Plugin.
Step 7: Drive users to your hotel directory in WordPress
So, you’ve just launched your brand new hotel directory website on WordPress. Congratulations! Spread the news via every possible channel and bring users to experience what you’ve done for them! The hotel WordPress directory is ready to serve!
Learn More: How to Create a WordPress Store Directory
Offering a directory submission button with the items will be good for your listing business. If you create a dedicated listing submission page, link that on your site for easier access by your visitors!
Take your hotel directory to the next level
The free version of Business Directory Plugin works great for basic directory sites. If you want to take advantage of our advanced features, go with the premium version.
There are several premium plans of Business Directory Plugin. Choose a pricing option that fits your needs. Some of the main features of Business Directory Plugin premium are mentioned below:
- Add Stripe, PayPal, and other payment methods.
- Offer coupons to the users. Discount codes are also supported.
- Add Google Maps for a better user experience with the listings.
- Take advantage of the migration and backups.
- Advanced search options like city or ZIP code lookup are available.
- Let the users rate the hotels using a star rating system.
- Dedicated WordPress directory themes for listing items.
Building a hotel directory is really easy when you have our Business Directory Plugin. It provides a robust system to create a future-proof hotel directory in WordPress. The plugin also offers several well-designed directory templates. Your listings will look professional without any dedicated hotel directory theme!
We believe this article has helped you with all the necessary information. Now Get Business Directory Plugin and launch your WordPress hotel directory site today!