Are you looking to start a directory website and need good, solid tools to help you along the way? Here’s our list of the best WordPress directory plugins that will transform your site into a full business-related online directory. Feel free to share your thoughts and picks and leave us a comment below.
Do online directories still work in 2020?
They sure do, and here’s why. As Wikipedia states, there are two ways to find information on the Web: by searching or browsing. Web directories provide links in a structured list to make browsing easier. If you know your way around a specific niche, let’s say food or travel or sports and fitness industry, start from there. Build a niche-specific directory website that is helpful for people AND can make you a good amount of passive income. It’s all about knowing your niche and demand you’re satisfying.
What are the advantages of having a directory type of website?
Well, the main benefit is that by building a listing niche site and doing it well, you’ll be getting clients and making lucrative business connections. Knowing that more and more people use the internet to search for stuff, it pays off to have a niche directory to satisfy those search intents. And what better way than to build one using WordPress, right?
Once you build your directory site, you can sell paid listings on it and earn money that way. Or, use the free space to sell ads, do native advertising, and all those content marketing stuff we talked about in the WordPress content marketing strategy article a way back.
Either way, if you decided to start your online directory, we handpicked these WordPress directory plugins to help you jumpstart your business. Depending on the niche and your needs, these are some of the best ones to save you both the time and money along the way. Any of them can transform a simple WordPress site into a full time operating online directory. Just go over their features and options and choose the one that suits your requirements.
How to start an online directory website?
As mentioned above, the key ingredient of starting an online directory website is knowing and choosing your niche and target audience. The holy trinity of any type of business that is. Once you define those three, you need to set up your site. Choose the right domain and hosting company, and the right WordPress theme (since it is only the most reliable CMS out there) that satisfies your needs. Once you get all that in order, you’re ready to start filling your directory website business.
Let’s say people search for a good restaurant or a bar in your area – as we all often do. If you are familiar and know much about the food&drink industry, then the local food directory would be just the thing for you to start. And by doing so, you’re helping three types of people:
- Users to find a good bar or a restaurant
- Restaurants and bars in promoting their places
- Yourself with the income you get for your knowledge efforts
How’s that for a semi-easy monetization plan to execute? 🙂
The same goes for real estate type of business – think Airbnb, travel accommodation – Booking, various yellow pages – Yelp. You get the idea.
And in case you still haven’t found the right WordPress theme for your directory business, head over to our Themes section and take a look at our premium quality themes. We might have just the right one for you.
Why use WordPress directory plugins?
Now, apart from being such a good platform to start your business from, WordPress has a lot of plugins perfectly designed to help you achieve your goals with a directory website. Even with no coding or programming knowledge at all, directory plugins can and will help you turn your idea into reality. That’s why we recommend these six directory plugins to choose from. Use them and convert any type of WordPress theme into a niche-specific directory website quick and easy.
Top 9 WordPress directory plugins for 2020
This freemium plugin is made for any and every type of directory site you want to make. Whether it’s a wedding niche site, a photography service listing, review and catalog site, accommodation site, etc… this plugin helps you build and create your listings any way you like.
It comes with unlimited categories and category levels, locations, and custom fields to organize your listings. Moreover, there are features like:
- Advanced Search Form
- Listings Display Options
- Featured Listings
- Gutenberg Blocks
- Shortcode Builder, and more.
Premium version comes with more options and features such as:
- Paid Listing Plans
- Listings Slider/Carousel
- Paypal and Stripe Payment Gateways
- WooCommerce Integration
- CSV Import/Export
The price is $9.99/month.
A freemium WordPress plugin that transforms your site into the fully-developed website directory. Whether it’s a local directory, real estate, Yelp alike, business guide, or any other type of local business, this plugin does it all. It comes with ready to use and customize directory form fields and listing types, payment acceptance, image support, to name the few. Not to mention it supports CSV files to help you import or export your listings. And if that’s not enough, there are plenty of premium upgrade features to further improve your directory site. And if you have a multilingual site, this plugin fully supports WPML for dynamic language switching.
Another good quality freemium directory plugin with its simple design and high-quality features. With it, you can create both small and big types of listings and run them smoothly. Choose from types such as business, link, member, simple address book, or a staff directory. Connections Directory plugin comes with many customizable features and is compatible with the newest WordPress update as well as with the most popular page builders. Premium features include CSV import, more advanced forms, date and time features, as well as predefined ready-to-use templates.
Ultra-fast and responsive premium directory plugin that has many advanced but user-friendly features that help you make a professional directory website. Whether you want a local business directory website, a user directory, any type of community-driven listing, this is the tool to use for it. Directories Pro comes with options like Custom Fields & Views, Multi-Criteria reviews, Multi-Directory support, over 30 Custom Fields elements, fully-featured map, Paid ListingsCSV export&import feature, and more! Furthermore, it is fully compatible with popular SEO plugins to help your site be more visible and rank better on Google. The price is $39, and you can buy it at Envato Market.
A 100% Multisite compatible directory plugin that is developed to support both simple and high-maintenance directory listing websites with lots of traffic. It comes with the drag-and-drop editor for simple use, 13 different field types, more than 12 widget areas, and 15 widgets to work with, as well as several shortcode options. Moreover, it has built-in forms for User Reviews, Send to Friend, and Business Enquiry. So many options and features to make your directory website stand out! And if you need more, there are premium add-ons like Custom Post Types, Location Manager, Events, Multi ratings and Reviews, and more.
A beginner-friendly WordPress directory addon that turns your Gravity Forms into a full directory website. Here’s how easy it is:
This addon works completely with shortcodes, using the [directory] shortcode, the directories and entries are displayed either as a table, list or definition list, has Bulk Approve &Dissapprove entries feature and more. Now, for more advanced features, head on to Gravity View and choose among many add-ons such as Multiple Forms, Import Entries, Ratings&Reviews, Social Sharing&SEO, and more.
If you’re thinking about creating a dictionary, encyclopedia, glossary type of site – Name Directory is the plugin to do it with! Or, if you’re keen on minimalistic lists, with no distractions like maps or images, feel free to choose it as well.
Name Directory is simple and easy to use a plugin that helps you build your name/term directories in no time. And it comes with the search function. With it, you create single or multiple directories that are added with a simple shortcode you just paste onto your pages or posts. Couldn’t be more straightforward than that 😊
Sabai Directory is a premium WordPress directory plugin that can build you a community-driven local business directory with many features and options. With it, you can display listings in a list, grid, or even map view. Furthermore, it comes with interactive Filters (allows you to limit searches based on ratings, pricing, location, or date) and listing search (smart searching, contact information, and an interactive map), as well as multicriteria rating system where user get to choose for a specific type of ratings to examine. There are also various Custom Fields and Map Styles to choose from to make your directory website more unique. And, above all, it supports Multiple Payment Gateways and Currencies. 2Checkout, Authorize.net, PayPal, Stripe, all that you need. The price for this directory plugin with all of its great features is only $29, and you can buy it over at Envato Market.
uListing is a highly thorough WordPress directory plugin that transforms any blog or site into a full-featured directory website. No matter if you’re a novice or an experienced WordPress user, setting up and running this plugin is easy and it comes with lots of premium-level features such as:
- drag and drop builder
- fully customizable field forms
- unlimited custom attributes and more.
It’s new and 100% free, and to see how it all looks when it’s done, head over to the uListing demo page and play around.
Which WordPress directory plugin to use?
As we said at the beginning, this article is supposed to help you narrow down the choice and choose among many directory plugins out there. Depending on your needs and budget, these are the 9 most relevant and up-to-date WordPress directory plugins that can be the perfect pair for your business.
If you have more questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to contact us and do share which plugin you chose at the end. And if you liked our article, feel free to share it on social and look us up there, we’re regularly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Come and say Hi 🙂