Best software to build a business directory?

61 replies
Hi guys,

I am interested in finding out the steps it takes to build a business directory. I was looking for advice as to which software people rate the best to use for this, preferably based with minimal coding and ensuring it's quite straightforward as i'm not the best technically online!

Here are some examples of directories I would like to base my own upon (not the industry just the general ease of use to help you get an idea!)

Find trusted local builders, plumbers, plasterers, tilers, carpet fitters and much more · TrustATrader.com
Counselling Directory - Find a Counsellor Near You


The likely hood is I would be looking to start with a trade directory initially and my budget is absolutely minimal!

Here is a little bit about my backround and what I do at the moment in this thread...

http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...s-morning.html

I am looking to actively contribute to the forum - but offline aspects of marketing are my speciality and I hope there is some information in that thread that could help you guys!

Thank you and I look forward to your replies,

Regards,
Nate
#build #business #directory #software
  • Profile picture of the author Chris Rockstar
    We've built several online business directories, at first we started using Wordpress, believe it or not WP is a great platform to build a directory, it can definitely be done but you'll need a great WP developer.

    On the other hand when we wanted to go bigger and be more professional we couldn't find a pre-made solution, so your best shot is to build a custom one, it's not going to be cheap, but it's going to be worth it... trust me... again, just make sure you find a great developer.

    We've also used eDirectory (google it) in some of our projects.
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    • Profile picture of the author gotguanxi
      Originally Posted by Chris Rockstar View Post

      We've built several online business directories, at first we started using Wordpress, believe it or not WP is a great platform to build a directory, it can definitely be done but you'll need a great WP developer.

      On the other hand when we wanted to go bigger and be more professional we couldn't find a pre-made solution, so your best shot is to build a custom one, it's not going to be cheap, but it's going to be worth it... trust me... again, just make sure you find a great developer.

      We've also used eDirectory (google it) in some of our projects.
      Ouch, that software is massively out of my budget (for the time being), but thanks for the input as it gives me a good idea of the costing involved if I was to seriously give this a go.

      I know this is a long shot but do you know of any free software out there that can be used to build even a basic directory?

      Regards and thanks,
      Nate
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Rockstar
    Yeah i understand, it is expensive, but totally worth it... about the free software for business directory, well to be honest with you, we never used one, so I'm not sure how they work or even if they DO work LOL so do a search in Google and see what pops out.
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  • Profile picture of the author easywso
    Try "Vantage" $99 from the good folks at Appthemes.com.

    It's a really impressive Wordpress Theme for Business Directories.
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  • Profile picture of the author DustonMcGroarty
    I would also use Wordpress for this... Sitemile has a business directory theme for $69 here:
    DirectoryMarket Business Directory | SiteMile.com

    Woothemes also has a few directory themes for real estate and car sales that might work for your business directory.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayhew
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    • Profile picture of the author vegaskev
      Originally Posted by Michael Mayhew View Post



      My own 2 cents....I trashed Directory Press b/c it is horrible IMO.

      I WAITED FOREVER FOR VANTAGE FROM APPTHEMES.....in fact I waited so long that I ended up building my own from a regular old wp theme that had some good graphics and is built by a theme developer that has quality work and regular updates.

      Your best bet is to learn how to use WordPress and their custom fields capabilities and custom post types. A little PHP and CSS can go a very long way for what you want to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author andreisaioc
    i go for the DirectoryMarket directory theme from sitemile, seems much clean and more professional looking.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Rockstar
    I agree, if you don't have a larger budget then Wordpress can work, you can get a premium theme that has business directory capabilities and pay someone to add any extra features you need.
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  • Profile picture of the author andreisaioc
    correct chris, but you knew that wordpress is used for 23% of all the websites in the world? so wordpress is very good and is not a budget decision but a smart decision.
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    • Profile picture of the author vegaskev
      Originally Posted by andreisaioc View Post

      correct chris, but you knew that wordpress is used for 23% of all the websites in the world? so wordpress is very good and is not a budget decision but a smart decision.
      @andreisaioc, I agree 100%
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  • Profile picture of the author andreisaioc
    i agree, wordpress is not hard, but sometimes you get too busy to learn wordpress too, and you want a ready made solution to start your business. Thats why you buy the wordpress premium themes from sitemile, appthemes etc and others
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    • Profile picture of the author gerardhevey
      You can use Joomla with the Sobipro plugin both are free.
      SobiPro Full
      Good luck.
      Signature

      Gerard D Hevey

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      • Profile picture of the author ameliabrooke
        Hi, you can check the "EasyIndex" business directory software from iScripts. its an open source script that you can install and create your own business directory. Its totally free so there is no harm in giving it a try.
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  • Profile picture of the author toby26
    Just in care u plan to buy directory press's be ready to wait several days if not week before u receive the product. It is so annoying experience that I had to wait after payment
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    • Profile picture of the author vegaskev
      Originally Posted by toby26 View Post

      Just in care u plan to buy directory press's be ready to wait several days if not week before u receive the product. It is so annoying experience that I had to wait after payment
      @toby not too mention the site is booty and looks about as stylish as a pile of wet dog crap. I bought it, used it and then trashed it and wrote my own directory mods to a premium theme that I bought elsewhere (it was a regular theme, but at least it looked good).
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    I don't see a mention of phpLD yet, which is the most widely used and in continuous development since about 2005. Make sure you take a look at the admin demo. There really is little comparison.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tangycontent
    Just a quick note that Google is starting to stomp these out. You may want to find a better niche...

    From today: Did Google Drop 100+ Small Directories
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    • Profile picture of the author vegaskev
      Originally Posted by Tangycontent View Post

      Just a quick note that Google is starting to stomp these out. You may want to find a better niche...

      From today: Did Google Drop 100+ Small Directories
      Very true. According to Google, Link Directories are crap! I am building business directories and having great success, but my directories differ heavily from what they are considering the determining factors of a Directory built for the purpose of link building, etc.

      Do your research (lots of it) to determine what to do and what to avoid when developing your directory....and don't even start if it's solely a "link" directory.
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    • Profile picture of the author dvduval
      Originally Posted by Tangycontent View Post

      Just a quick note that Google is starting to stomp these out. You may want to find a better niche...
      Over at phpLD we did our part to help! One thing that was happening was people were using our software without a license and churning out dozens or even hundreds of sites. Then they were making offers on sites like this for a "1000 links for $10" or similar.

      Well, we have used the DMCA to take down 1000s of sites like this, and the directory industry is getting cleaned up!

      This is a great time to start because there is void left as a result of both our efforts and google's to make sure that directories specialize in a quality review process. I have to tell you that those that have such a quality process in place are doing just fine right now. The main thing you have to do is have a unique review of every site on your directory, and don't just accept any link, even if they want to pay you.

      We have our new phpLD version 5 coming out shortly and there are going to be some great opportunities for people that get in at the right time. Many new markets to make money!
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      It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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  • Profile picture of the author CyborgX
    I think there are several script out there that have add-ons that will handle this. But I would recommend creating your own as often time you can get more flexibility. software affects your site from spamming.
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    as we have developed PhpLD we saw early on that there were some quality directories, and then lots of spammer type directories. what we did as we were developing our software is make it easier to control the fields that are submitted. the result is people can make a directory of virtually anything. from images to videos to flash games to business addresses to social links, so with his much more flexibility and because the data can vary widely from 1 directory to another, there is much less potential for spam if you don't set up your directory like all the others. we are seeing them amazing site now that looks nothing like a typical directory now. I'm sure you will start to run into more of these but until then we are still working on making the directory industry something very exciting again.
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    It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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    • Profile picture of the author joe1102
      I agree that wp is the best but did anyone try adobe,I have used adobe for my website and is great.
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  • Profile picture of the author Devel
    I recommend Drupal.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMac
      Has anyone ever really seen a good business directory?

      John
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  • Profile picture of the author dotgirish
    I tried many directory scripts but couldn't meet my requirement , later I asked my friend to write it on PHP from scratch. It came out very well. I want to have a online system where I keep track of all the valuable IM tools and services in one place . So that I can refer it any time. There are many resources but to get the real information I have to read thru lot of details and also it doesn't give a ALL in one solution. IMHelpz.com is the one I am talking about here.
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  • Profile picture of the author hbwsl
    You can checkout wplocalplus to create a local business directory. It's a plugin which can be used on any wordpress site to auto generate your local business directory. You can add you listings on the same page or use Advertised Listings to place it above the directory.
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    • Profile picture of the author rjonesx
      Local directories seem to be doing quite fine, in fact I have one with about 4.7 million pages in Google right now. Local is the way to go.

      On a related note, if you have a directory or are starting one and want to add a local component, feel free to reach out to me. I'm looking for partnerships.
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      CTO Virante, Inc. | Remove 'Em: The Professional Backlink Removal Tool - use warrior50 coupon code to save 50% off

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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    phpLD has a brand new release coming any time now that is in many ways a complete rewrite with 1000s of hours of work put into it. It should be available in beta forum in the next week or so. All the latest technologies, highly flexible, fast, etc.
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    It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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  • Profile picture of the author Intermission
    @hbwsl I checked out the wplocalplus plugin, but I don't think it looks as nice as the listings made with 'business directory plugin' for WordPress.

    I'm building a local site directory now and trying out the business directory plugin. Its not fancy, but for free and simple, I like it so far.
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  • Profile picture of the author andreisaioc
    we are also working hard to launch our buzzler directory theme for wordpress, we are hoping to be tomorrow. Here is the offical page: Buzzler WordPress Directory Theme

    We are working to make it responsive too, as opposed to the others out there which arent. You can see a preview here: Buzzler Directory Theme | Just another SiteMile Dev Site Sites siteBuzzler Directory Theme | Just another SiteMile Dev Site Sites site
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  • Profile picture of the author andreisaioc
    its me again just to keep this in the loop, the buzzler directory theme is almost here, we are clearing a few bugs after the beta stage and prob today or tomorrow making the final version available.
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  • Profile picture of the author rockong
    Instead of just the business directory WP themes, how does one go about gather all of the information for the directory? I know there are scraping tools for stuff like Yellow pages and stuff - is that how most perform the task?

    OP, are you planning to use the business directory to monetize it as a lead gen website? If you are, I'd be interested to learning more about what you know. PM me if so - thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author andreisaioc
    well your site will be based on people submitting the info for their listing/business. So you can charge them listing fees, featured listing fees, renewal fees, repost fees etc. These can be great monetization tools. Look at yelp.com, its exactly the same idea
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  • Profile picture of the author Tommy Afrialdi
    Thanks guys. So, what about with theme forest, or other similar?
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  • Profile picture of the author andreisaioc
    @adya: wordpress can do all those things and many more, there is nothing wordpress cant do, and it offers so much more advantages to regular scripts...

    Btw we just released the official demo of our buzzler directory theme: Buzzler Demo
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    Check out the new demo that uses maps and business listing import for phpLD. We have a new version with hundreds of hours of programming. This video focuses on the way you can build a directory quickly. Note that you can also use images with the business listings though not shown in the video.
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    It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nick Walsh
      Try word press or local meetup biz network groups
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  • Profile picture of the author osensnolf
    I recently purchased eDirectory and I'm about to purchase a second copy for another site.

    It is pricy and I was not use to paying that much but I could not find another good alternative and realized it was the cost of doing business.

    I have not launched my site but I'm getting closer. eDirectory is about to come out with v9.7 which has a lot of SEO changes and early next year they are coming out with a total rewrite of the basecode which will be good for future updates.

    If you have less than 1000 listings, I would go with Vantage on WP. But if traffic and many listings sounds more like what you will have, I would consider eDirectory.
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  • Profile picture of the author locke815
    Originally Posted by gotguanxi View Post

    Hi guys,

    I am interested in finding out the steps it takes to build a business directory. I was looking for advice as to which software people rate the best to use for this, preferably based with minimal coding and ensuring it's quite straightforward as i'm not the best technically online!

    Here are some examples of directories I would like to base my own upon (not the industry just the general ease of use to help you get an idea!)

    Find trusted local builders, plumbers, plasterers, tilers, carpet fitters and much more · TrustATrader.com
    Counselling Directory - Find a Counsellor Near You


    The likely hood is I would be looking to start with a trade directory initially and my budget is absolutely minimal!

    Here is a little bit about my backround and what I do at the moment in this thread...

    http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...s-morning.html

    I am looking to actively contribute to the forum - but offline aspects of marketing are my speciality and I hope there is some information in that thread that could help you guys!

    Thank you and I look forward to your replies,

    Regards,
    Nate
    You don't need a software. What you need is a CMS.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fredbou
    Originally Posted by gotguanxi View Post


    I am interested in finding out the steps it takes to build a business directory. I was looking for advice as to which software people rate the best to use for this, preferably based with minimal coding and ensuring it's quite straightforward as i'm not the best technically online!
    Trustatrader was built on the Deploy CMS and if you're not in a hurry, it's going to be open source.

    https://twitter.com/deploycms
    Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author andreisaioc
    yea but a wordpress based solution is much better. Google loves wp based websites and seo will be much better. Also we have a 25% discount for cyber monday. Check this out: Cyber Monday Sale – 25% Discount - SiteMile.com
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  • Profile picture of the author eugenedm
    I love WordPress. I think WordPress is the way to go. In the beginning it was cumbersome, but after many years of development WordPress gotten better. Today, it's my favorite CMS.

    Hope this helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author dvduval
      Originally Posted by eugenedm View Post

      I love WordPress. I think WordPress is the way to go. In the beginning it was cumbersome, but after many years of development WordPress gotten better. Today, it's my favorite CMS.

      Hope this helps.
      There is a phpLD/Wordpress bridge coming out shortly that makes for the best of both Worlds. This is especially good for people who already have a wordpress blog up but they want to take advantage of the advanced features of phpLD which saw the release of version 5 today. We've been working on it for a long time and great to finally have it available. The bridge is not far behind that.
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      It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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      • Originally Posted by dvduval View Post

        There is a phpLD/Wordpress bridge coming out shortly that makes for the best of both Worlds. This is especially good for people who already have a wordpress blog up but they want to take advantage of the advanced features of phpLD which saw the release of version 5 today. We've been working on it for a long time and great to finally have it available. The bridge is not far behind that.
        Is that bridge available now? Can you tell us the new ver 5 features? Was also looking for a complete list of features on your website but could not find it. Please post the link for a list of current features. Thanks
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        • Profile picture of the author dvduval
          Originally Posted by InquisitiveMarketer View Post

          Is that bridge available now? Can you tell us the new ver 5 features? Was also looking for a complete list of features on your website but could not find it. Please post the link for a list of current features. Thanks

          There are a couple of different places you might want to look for this:
          1. phpLD 5 Release doc
          2. phpLD Features
          Thanks again for your interest, and more features coming for sure. We are developing at the fastest rate in the history of our company.
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          It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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          • Originally Posted by dvduval View Post

            There are a couple of different places you might want to look for this:
            1. phpLD 5 Release doc
            2. phpLD Features
            Thanks again for your interest, and more features coming for sure. We are developing at the fastest rate in the history of our company.
            Is there an ETA ON THAT wp BRIDGE YET?
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            • Profile picture of the author dvduval
              Originally Posted by InquisitiveMarketer View Post

              Is there an ETA ON THAT wp BRIDGE YET?
              I hope in the first quarter of 2013. As I said, we have it working on 2 customer sites, but always makes sense to do lots of testing before releasing something.
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              It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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              • Originally Posted by dvduval View Post

                I hope in the first quarter of 2013. As I said, we have it working on 2 customer sites, but always makes sense to do lots of testing before releasing something.
                Thanks, dvduval. Glad to see you're working on full integration with WP.

                Is integration with the wordpress registered user database possible at this time ?

                I'm looking to create an international directory. Is this pheasible with phpLD without custom coding?
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                • Profile picture of the author dvduval
                  Originally Posted by InquisitiveMarketer View Post

                  Is integration with the wordpress registered user database possible at this time ?
                  That is what we are working on now.

                  Originally Posted by InquisitiveMarketer View Post

                  I'm looking to create an international directory. Is this pheasible with phpLD without custom coding?
                  Sure, lots of people have done this. There is a widget with a World Map you can use for that right on your homepage if you like. It's called the Vector Map widget.
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                  It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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                  • Originally Posted by dvduval View Post

                    That is what we are working on now.


                    Sure, lots of people have done this. There is a widget with a World Map you can use for that right on your homepage if you like. It's called the Vector Map widget.
                    Do I understand correctly. There are USA and World Map graphics provided by you that are clickable and can be used for a USA or Int'l direcotry?

                    I wouldn't have a clue how to come up with the graphics, etc.
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                    • Profile picture of the author dvduval
                      Originally Posted by InquisitiveMarketer View Post

                      Do I understand correctly. There are USA and World Map graphics provided by you that are clickable and can be used for a USA or Int'l direcotry?

                      I wouldn't have a clue how to come up with the graphics, etc.
                      Right, there is World, USA and Europe. The vector graphics can also be included in category pages. You can change the colors of the map and color on mouseover of a country or state and set the link address for what happens when you click on a country or state.
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                      It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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                      • Originally Posted by dvduval View Post

                        Right, there is World, USA and Europe. The vector graphics can also be included in category pages. You can change the colors of the map and color on mouseover of a country or state and set the link address for what happens when you click on a country or state.
                        Is that all set up / done in the admin panel....or is there some coding or parameters that have to be manually plugged into the script?
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                        • phpLD is sounding pretty sweet, BTW. Love the new version!
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                        • Profile picture of the author dvduval
                          Originally Posted by InquisitiveMarketer View Post

                          Is that all set up / done in the admin panel....or is there some coding or parameters that have to be manually plugged into the script?
                          It is a new widget, so if you have any problems, feel free to ask for help in our support tickets. We are happy to help. It can all be done in admin.

                          Thanks for your kind words.
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                          It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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  • Profile picture of the author andreisaioc
    plus a lot more advantages rather than using other cms, its the ease of use, the thousands of plugins available and the big community
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  • Profile picture of the author morg2k2
    Hi do recommend indexu7 its a company based from 2000 , take a look here:

    Nicecoder - Indexu web directory software and business directory software

    It has the major features and its cheap. Its required to customize it so you have an unique directory.
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    • Profile picture of the author dvduval
      Good to see indexu is still being developed. I think there was a time where it was on something like indexu.net and I lost track of it. I always liked the templates.
      Signature
      It is okay to contact me! I have been developing software since 1999, creating many popular products like phpLD.
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  • Profile picture of the author joinreview
    I have used wordpress to build a directory for a clients before with the help of templatic geoplaces.
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