Building a one-of-a-kind WordPress custom directory can be an effective way to outshine the competition. Here are four features that can help you get started!
The internet can be a competitive place. With over 1.8 billion websites available, creating a custom WordPress directory is crucial to helping your listings stand out. However, this task may sound a bit intimidating.
Fortunately, the process can be super easy and won't need a WordPress developer. Our Business Directory Plugin provides you with simple yet powerful personalization options. By learning how to best use these features, you can build a unique WordPress site that’s tailored to your audience.
In this article, we’ll look at why having custom directory options is important. Then, we’ll cover four of our most effective features to help you take your directory site to the next level. Let’s dive right in!
Why WordPress custom directory options are so important
Using WordPress custom directory options can help you better serve your audience. For instance, let's say you have a directory of doctors. People looking for medical care may feel safer using your directory listings if you can offer professional and tailored features. This might include options like categories with images of the doctor's offices.
Custom features can also be important for those posting the listings. Medical staff may want to provide specific information, such as emergency contact numbers.
Fortunately, Business Directory Plugin can help you add these personalized features:
Our tool offers tons of customization options, which you can use to build a unique and effective directory. Thus, it's a flexible choice for almost any kind of listing collection.
4 essential features of a great WordPress custom directory tool
Let's take a closer look at four important features that can help you customize your directory. Note that you'll need to have WordPress hosting setup with our Business Directory Plugin installed and activated before you begin.
1. Change the labels and message defaults
Let's start with defaults wording for the messages and labels for your directory.
For example, you may want a real estate agent directory. In that case, you could change the default label to refer to listings as ‘agents' instead.
On the other hand, you might run a paid directory to advertise products. Here, you may want to change the labels to ‘ads'.
Changing these labels is easy. Go to Directory → Settings → Listings. Then, scroll down to the Message Defaults area:
Here, there are four messages that you can change. Listing label will control what each posting is called. For an alumni membership site, you might want to change this to ‘member'.
Then, you can add the plural version next to Listing label (Plural). For the same example, this may be ‘members'.
Next, you can change the overall title with Directory label. If your listings are something unique, such as a list of books, we suggest you change this to match.
Finally, you can also adjust the Submit Listing instructions message. This text will appear to users who are submitting their information. You can use this feature to give your users instructions or to send a short message. Thus, it can be an easy way to create a distinct voice for your WordPress custom directory.
The Society for All Artists (SAA) uses its messages well. Its directory is meant to help users find Art classes, and the labels reflect this:
Additionally, the SAA also gives users instructions for the search process. This may help visitors feel more comfortable using the site.
You'll also find an option to add a completely custom terms of service. But if you don't need it, just leave it blank and it won't be included.
2. Create custom fields
Next, you may want to use custom fields. Business Directory Plugin comes with many useful default options.
You can also create your own fields. For example, let's say you run a lawyer directory. You may want to add a field to show how many court cases each lawyer has won.
To get started, go to Directory → Form Fields → Add New Form Field. You should see a screen with several options:
We'll cover the most important fields here. However, you can also look at our form fields support document if you want a little more information.
Under Field Type, you can select what form your new field will take on. You can then add your Field Label and an optional description.
You may also choose to validate this field to ensure that you are getting quality submissions. These settings are available under Field validation options.
Next, you may want to adjust the Field display options. For example, you could choose to only apply this field to certain categories with Field Category Policy. This can be helpful for a WordPress custom directory with many different types of listings.
Finally, consider the Field privacy options. This can be essential if you post listings that include personal data, such as a phone number directory. The iBanding insurance agent directory is a prime example:
Insurance agents may work from their homes. As such, their addresses could be classed as sensitive information.
3. Set up different plans
Business Directory Plugin comes with a free plan by default. However, you may want to charge users a fee for access to your directory. This can help boost your income from the site.
To set up a plan, go to Directory → Plans → Add New Plan:
After you label and describe your plan, consider putting a time limit on it. This can be helpful for recurring payments. Additionally, it may help keep your directory up to date.
Furthermore, you can select Is featured listing /sticky? or change the Listing background color. These options will help premium listings stand out. Therefore, they might work best for WordPress websites that include both free and paid plans.
Finally, you can set your Pricing model. For example, you may choose to charge a different price for different categories. This can give you a lot of control over your listings.
This can be helpful if you have many distinct listings. For example, the Secret Wedding Blog Directory promotes several services:
In this case, a company that sells wedding rings might pay more than one that sells cakes. Thus, this site may create a WordPress custom directory that only charges for lucrative listings.
4. Offer categories with images
Lastly, let's look at how to add images to your categories. This can help you make your listings more interesting and informative. To do this, you'll need the Enhanced Categories Module.
You can start by going to Directory → Settings → Enhanced Categories:
On this page, make sure you've checked Display the category list using images. Then, change the width and height if you need to. You can also adjust the Main Directory Behavior.
Next, go to Directory → Directory Categories. Choose the category you'd like to add an image to and select Add Image:
At the bottom of the page, you'll see a button labeled Upload Image. Simply click on it and follow the on-screen instructions to add an image to your category.
In addition to being a stylish touch, category images can help with navigation. Users may get intimidated by a wall of text. Thus, images can make the information on your page more digestible.
As such, this feature can be particularly helpful with very large directories. We feel this is well-demonstrated by the member directory for the Miami Chamber of Commerce:
Visitors don't need to hunt through multiple links. Instead, they can use images to find categories more quickly.
If you work with local businesses, consider using an authentic image for each listing. This may also be another way to monetize your directory.
Wrapping up WordPress custom directories
A unique directory can be the key to higher traffic and happier users. However, personalizing your directory pages can seem like a difficult process. Fortunately, our WordPress Directory Plugin makes it simple with many easy-to-use options.
Still need more customization options? Directory themes and WordPress themes can work together to completely change the look, layout, and style of your directory.
In this article, we covered four essential ways to create a WordPress custom directory:
- Change your default messages and labels.
- Create custom fields to fit your niche.
- Set up different plans for different users.
- Offer categories with images.
Want to use the power of our plugin to create the WordPress custom directory of your dreams? Consider getting started with Business Directory plugin today!
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