Directory websites are very popular because there are many ways of collecting fine income. Creating a directory website for any sort of business doesn’t have to be as time consuming as you might think, nor do you have to be an expert in order to create it. There are many premium WordPress directory themes like Responsive Directory Theme and Vantage, which can help you setup and maintain your directory website all by yourself, without needing to hire a professional and pay extra cash to create and control your website.
Clean and simple administration is often offered when it comes to these themes. They don’t only offer a perfect directory solution, many of them come with numerous extra features you will find extremely useful, such as flexible pricing plans, claim listings options, easy monetizing solutions, etc. Basically a premium theme gives you a full ready-to launch directory website, making it very easy for you to collect your income in more than just one way, and let you have complete control over your site.
free directory plugins for WordPress
Another way of creating a directory website is using some of the free WordPress plugins available. With the help of these plugins, you can build a directory website, just not as quickly as with ready-to-launch directory themes, as you will need to put some time an effort to it and implement the plugins to your existing theme.
Here is a list of 10 free solid plugins for creating a directory website:
Connections Business Directory is a directory manager, which can be used for creating address books, business, staff or church directories. It is very easy to use and it has several useful features such as a dashboard admin page, multiple entry types, controlling your entries, as many fields as you need, category support, and extensive role support.
It comes with many basic templates you can get started with, and they are easy customizable as well. Displaying your entries is quite simple and the plugins’ shortcode offers a nice amount of options you can work with. Connections can be used to manage directories with thousands of entries and it offers decent filters. [demo / download]
Directory & Classifieds is a plugin that gives you the ability of building any kind of a directory website. It is fully customizable and easy to configure. The listings feature a solid level of control, allowing you to attach each listing to a different level where some can have neverending active periods, include sticky status and Google Maps integration, while others can have a bigger number of attached videos or images.
When it comes to content fields, each belongs to the type that establishes its display and behavior. You can set the fields by managing visibility on pages, select custom field icon, etc. You may also assign fields to certain categories. [demo / download]
Store Locator Plus lets you add a location finder or directory to your WordPress website quickly and easily. No matter how many locations you have, you can manage them with this plugin right from your basic WordPress panel. No special skills are needed for setup, all you need to do is enter your locations, create a page and put the shortcode in it, and the Store Locator Plus map and search form will appear. You can also place it on any existing page.
Customization is also available through the settings admin panel. You can change map types, add details and re-label entry and search fields. [demo / download]
Link Library was created with the purpose of enabling you to output a list of link categories and also a list of links you can add notes and descriptions to. You will be able to create a page on your website which contains a list of all the link categories you have previously defined along with all links included in those categories.
A form can also be created through which you can accept user submissions which can be moderated by the site admin before listing the new entries. An RSS feed can be also created for your link collection, this way your visitors are aware of all the additions in your link library. [demo / download]
Name Directory features a name glossary with easily configurable layout options. It simply adds name or term directories to your regular WordPress website. A name directory consists of the following values: name, description, and submitter. Each of these directories can be embedded with a shortcode which can be easily past to your own posts and pages and each of them comes with few configuration options, such as show/hide title, description, suggestion form, submitter name and show/hide a horizontal rule between the entries. [demo / download]
Gravity Forms Directory is a free add-on for Gravity Forms, which is a premium plugin. Keep in mind it can’t be used on its own, you will need to install the main plugin first, and then get the add-on for free. It features several great options that might ease the whole directory management for you. The add-on is 100% shortcode based and therefor extremely easy to use. It includes built-in search and it allows registered users to edit their own directory listings.
You can set the listings by column, choose the way you want to show your entries and who you want to show them to and easily re-organize the columns inside Gravity Forms. Any column can be hidden or shown, and you can control the way your field boxes and columns are displayed. [demo / download]
Business Directory Plugin lets you increase integration on your website, improve your customer retention and add a revenue generating section to your regular WordPress installation. You will be able to build local directories, business provider listings, Yellow Pages style directories, Yelp – like review sections, create an address book and much more.
The form fields are fully customizable and you can choose to have free listings as well as paid ones. Featured listings can be allowed for a fee, and you will be able to create multiple fee plans which can get assigned to categories for posting. The listings can be edited by users without having to access the WP dashboard. The businesses in your directory can be rated and their location can be displayed as well thanks to the Google Maps module included. Category icons are available as well as management of attachments in a listing. [demo / download]
Open Links Directory is a simple plugin that helps you build a basic website directory. Your visitors will be enabled to submit their on links and they will also be able to search for a website. The plugin is under active development as we speak, so any future options that might get included are under construction. [demo / download]
The BePro Listings plugin helps you to create searchable listings on any page or post inside your WordPress website. You can create posts with additional info such as cost, contact or geography. This information can be searched and viewed via several different formats including Google Maps, and it can all be done through widgets and shortcodes. You will find this plugin very useful if you want to include listing type features into your own custom design.
You can setup categories and control many things about them, including number of images, default search distance and page details. Your members can also control their submissions with the following options: add/edit/delete. A BuddyPress option is included with the help of which users can manage their submissions right through their profile. Custom posts are available as well and when it comes to listing categories, custom taxonomies are available with the ability of adding images to them. It is multisite compatible, too. [demo / download]
Classyfrieds represents a directory listing that fits in with your WordPress native functions; therefor it’s really easy to use. It uses regular WP custom posts and taxonomies to create easily expandable classifieds or a directory system. You can choose a pre-made layout or create your own, turn user fields on or off, etc.
The plugin integrates nicely with existing plugins and the Classifrieds framework is easy to operate with. User comments are available and you can set post expiration, subtitle options, select country, add additional information, a pricing field, website URL field. Image upload and storage is available by username and you can set access for registered/guest users. [demo / download]
As you can see, some of these plugins offer more than the others, and few of them can actually get you somewhere, for starters. In case you don’t want a full directory website, and you only want to include a directory option in your blog/site, these free plugins can get you started quickly, and they offer a fair functionality.