In Search of the Perfect Directory Site Builder...

12 replies
It seems there have been many tools introduced that build directory sites (including a new WSO I just saw today). While they usually look great at first glance, closer inspection reveals their shortcomings and limitations.

So what is your recommendation for the "best" directory site builder? What tools do you use? Which would you avoid?

I'm looking to build directories for offline businesses in specific niches, and ideally I would like something that:
a) looks professional
b) is easy to use by consumers
c) easy for businesses to add their own listings
d) easy for ME to add listings (ideally through importing and not manually)
e) has lead gen features for local businesses (e.g. contact form, ability to include a coupon, etc.)
f) has reviews/ratings and can accept new user reviews/comments
g) geo features (map, location, directions)
h) monetization options
i) other "gee whiz" features
j) doesn't take a PhD to figure out; fairly quick learning curve

Maybe these things need to be separated into a theme and a plugin, or perhaps they are available in one solution. Curious what has worked for others.

#builder #directory #perfect #search #site
  • Profile picture of the author JohnZ
    Hey Gene,

    I believe the Business Directory Plugin has most of what you're looking for.

    Features | Business Directory Plugin for WordPress

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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      I'm partial to Directory Press. It's a WordPress theme with tons of features. I own some of their other themes and they are great.


      Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources

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  • Profile picture of the author tomm
    My advice is to have a custom script built to your specifications.

    Doing that, your admin panel will not be cluttered with never ending options that you don't want. You will only see the options you requested, it will save you time doing everyday tasks, actually most of the options can be hardcoded so you don't have to see an option for what you already decided. Eg: you want a map, why you have to see an option asking whether you want a map or not? Bugs will be easily detected because less options interacting equals lower chance of having script problems. This means less updating needed. There are so many advantages in having a custom built script.

    The cons is obviously it costs more in the beginning. But with ready made scripts you will usually have to hire and spend money to make the script the way you want it. And depending on the modifications you want, you may end up with a frankenstein style mashup that could be a pain when you have to upgrade the original script.

    Which I would avoid?

    Sorry Steve B, but I'd avoid those scripts built on top of wordpress. It's just the wrong approach. The end product usually suffers from identity crisis, it's neither a cms nor a proper directory. You have to keep updating both wordpress and the script, it just sucks, admin panel is slower, etc...
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  • Profile picture of the author Virtualpreneur
    I use directorypress on a number of sites with good success. It is mature and supported. It isn't free though. hope this helps.

    good Luck
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  • Profile picture of the author Marketer Matt
    Sorry I'm a bit late to the party, but I wrote about this some time ago here:
    WordPress Business Directory Themes - Geo Places Vs Geo Theme

    I haven't used any other scripts outside of Wordpress, but as far as themes go, I've experimented with most of them. Unfortunately, I don't know of one that has coupons built in which was something I was looking for as well. I ended up getting a custom script built so that users could upload a coupon.

    If you have any other questions after you read the review, I'd be more than happy to help you out.
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  • Profile picture of the author dsuitor
    Themeforest probably your best bet.

    Just search google for theme forest wordpress themes
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  • Profile picture of the author tahir100
    I use Premopress directory theme on my site and its pretty cool
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Cutts
    I am using geotheme at the moment and it is going well

    If you get a directory right it can work wonders :-)

    I have tried many other directory scripts in the past but Geotheme wins for me at the moment :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneymaker2012
    Try Themeforest its my choice and highly recommended.
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    • Profile picture of the author buyandsellit
      Wait for geocore's 7.4 version. They will be releasing directory listing type. Geocore is the #1 classifieds and auction software. You can even use their classifieds platform to build a directory but it is not cheap. If you know html and css, you can create any template designs that you like.

      The software has great monetization features. I like their 5 featured levels and listing extras. Just try their demo site.
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