Want to create a directory site in WordPress? Not sure how to start a directory site? This complete guideline will tell you what to do, and how.
We receive this query quite a lot: “How to start my online directory website….”.
It’s not about “how to do…”. It’s about “what to do, and how”. The thing is, many users know what type of directory they want to create. But what they should do to create that, is their question.
For example, you want to create a campus directory for your college. Perhaps your college authority has assigned this project to you. But you may not know details about a campus directory. What content a campus directory serves, what should be the listing submission policy, etc.
We understand the pain points of our valued users. So we’ve come up with a detailed guideline on how to start a WordPress directory website.
It’s not a step-by-step tutorial. It’s the blueprint you need to follow to build your listings site. We’ll show you the way.
Also, we’ll provide the necessary links to the relevant tutorials and documentations. So, no worries! We’ve got your back.
What it takes to start a directory site
It requires only a good plan to start a directory site in WordPress. This plan includes everything you need to do to launch the directory. It has 5 core chapters.
- Identify your purpose
- Decide the directory type
- Build the directory structure
- Style your directory
- Add content
Looks neat, right? Let’s explore our ultimate guide to starting a directory site in WordPress.
Chapter 1: Identify your purpose
First, know the purpose of your directory. Ask yourself the following questions.
- Why are you building it?
- What will be your content?
- How will you source the content?
- Who will have the authority to add content?
- Will it be a public directory?
- Do you want to monetize your site?
Think about these and find the answers. You’ll be ready to move next after you’re clear about the above points.
Chapter 2: Decide the directory type
There are many types of directories. Some are merely for public service. Some are for business purposes and helping the community.
Think about a city directory by the government. It’s not for earning revenue. It’s for helping people with information.
Again, many business directories list both free and paid items. It can be a store directory, a lawyer directory, etc. These will also help the users. At the same time, these directories have a business purpose too.
So, you need to know your directory before you actually start building it!
Chapter 3: Build the directory structure
By this time, we hope you’re clear about your directory purpose and type. So, let’s talk about what to do to build it. There will be supporting resource links so that you can easily build your own!
Get Business Directory Plugin: It all starts with installing and activating Business Directory Plugin. Before that, you’ll need to have a live WordPress website. You can get that from your domain name service provider. Or, you can contact our recommended WordPress hosting brands.
Please read our documentation to learn everything about installing Business Directory Plugin.
Create directory pages: Your Business Directory website will have the main archive page, internal archives, listing detail pages, and a listing submission page. These will be your core directory pages.
After activating Business Directory Plugin, you need to create the main archive page and the listing submission page. The main archive page can be set as your site’s home page if you want.
You can create these directory pages using our shortcodes. Explore and build!
Customize the form fields: To collect directory listing inputs, you need to use the listing submission form. This form works both on the back-end and front-end. Its fields are managed from inside Business Directory Plugin.
The plugin gives you 10 ready-to-use form fields. You can add, edit, or remove them. These form fields have extensive customization options. These can be shown/hidden from the archive or detail views.
Find everything you need to know about form fields in our documentation.
Define the fee structure: Will your directory offer any premium listing opportunity? If yes, then add some fee plans reflecting the prices. There’s a pre-built free fee plan in the plugin. You just add the paid fee plans as you need.
Who can add items: You can control the item submission policy of your directory. Will you allow the public to submit items? Do they require to log in first to see the submission form?
Will you allow to register an account and add a listing? You can decide them all from your directory settings.
Default item publishing policy: What would you like to happen after submitting an item? Save as pending? Or publish right away?
Also, what would happen if a published item is edited? Define it all in the directory settings.
Add a payment method: To accept payments for paid listings, you need to add a payment method to your directory. Business Directory Plugin supports Authorize.net, PayPal, Stripe, and more.
Visit the Payment tab in directory settings to connect your payment method. Learn more about payments in our documentation.
Chapter 4: Style your directory
Business Directory Plugin offers tons of styling options. You get 3 listing archive layouts in its appearance settings. These are- default single column layout, double-column layout, and table layout.
Besides these layouts, we have several directory templates. These WordPress directory themes offer professional web design for any kind of directory you can imagine.
Explore these styling options and fine-tune your directory’s look!
Chapter 5: Add content
After doing all of these above tasks, you’re now ready to add content to your directory. Let’s do it!
Create categories: Like blog posts, directory listing items should also have categories. Business Directory Plugin has a custom directory category option for this. A parent and child category system is available for a more organized directory. You can also add thumbnail images to categories if you want.
Managing categories is easy. See our category docs if you need more information.
Add listings: Visit your listing submission form and enter the listing information. Publish listings! You can manage the listings including those submitted by others from the Directory menu.
And that’s it! You’ve successfully started with your directory site! Don’t forget to visit our Features page to know the full potential of Business Directory Plugin.
Also, now you know what to do. So, take a look at our documentation to learn the “how-to” for everything you need!
Going forward, keep your content search engine friendly. Whether you sell listings to online businesses, local businesses, or real estate companies, the business listings must attract visitors.
To make it a financially successful directory website, you can also try other monetization options like Google AdSense. Some social media promotions may help you there.
Starting your directory website in WordPress could be much easier than you think. If you follow the right path, it will be fun. We hope this guide will help you with that. Should you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section!