The internet is full of directories. Your site may already be listed in some directories right now. Depending on the scenario, directories have multiple applications and use cases. For example, a Yelp is a popular option for consumers to find a restaurant or service in a specific area based on their search parameters. Simultaneously, a directory like Fazland or ProntoPro connects people with professionals for things like electrical work. , landscaping, and plumbing. Let’s take have a look on 13 Best WordPress Directory Plugins in 2020.
Both of these sites are very different. However, they are both directories.
In essence, directories are databases. They serve as an easy way for users to find more information on a particular topic or business.
Regardless of the type of business or industry, there’s a good chance you can find a way to implement a directory on your WordPress site. Law firms use directories to list their lawyers and employees. Real estate companies have directories for their listings and their agents. A retail chain probably has an online directory for outlets.
If you’re using WordPress, adding a directory to your site is simple. You just need to install a plugin.
Main features of a WordPress directory plugin
Since the word “directory” is so vague and has tons of potential applications, it can sometimes be challenging to find the best WordPress directory plugin to use on your site. So, before we go through the list of the best options to consider, I want to briefly explain what feature you should seek in a WordPress directory plugin.
- Payment options (for those of you who will charge for adding to the directory)
- Location-based searches with integrated maps
- Fully customizable form fields
- Simple ways to add and edit directory listings
- Ways for clients to evaluate and review businesses
- Back-end tools
- Front-end submission functionality
- Shortcodes that make it easy to add a directory anywhere on the site
You won’t necessarily need all the features on this list. It depends on your business, the purpose of your site, and the type of directory you’re trying to create. As we continue with this guide, you will see these features and many more offered by the WordPress directory plugins I have listed.
Best wordpress directory plugins for your website
GeoDirectory has one of my favorite search interfaces of all directory plugins on the market. With GeoDirectory, you can create a massive global directory on your site. This is an excellent option for those of you who are looking for a free WordPress directory plugin.
They make it easy for site visitors to find exactly what they are looking for without sacrificing the look and visual appeal of your site.
This plugin offers a front-end module that allows other companies and users to submit lists, hence the possibility of the directory growing fast and very high.
When someone searches for a business on your site, the listings are displayed by proximity, so users can first see the closest and most suitable options.
As the name suggests, GeoDirectory is integrated with Google Maps. There is a large, clickable map next to each listing in the directory. Users can find directions to the location directly from that map without having to leave the website.
While most of the features are free, you can purchase add-ons for things like:
- Paid lists
- Multi-position support
- Advanced Search
- Option for businesses to “claim” their ad
GeoDirectory is also compatible with multiple sites, so I recommend it to developers who will add it to their client’s sites or plan to build a directory network.
If you are building your directory website from scratch, you might also consider purchasing directory themes from GeoDirectory. But this plugin will work with any theme, so you don’t have to.
Merchants with listings in your directory will have access to Google Analytics data. This feature will show them how much your site helps their business. You can use it to potentially justify your pricing if you plan to charge for listings.
Overall, GeoDirectory is the best option for anyone who wants to build an extensive and scalable business directory.
Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro
Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro made my list because its potential applications are seemingly endless. You can use it as an ad platform, similar to Craigslist, or go in a completely different direction and use this plugin for something like a movie rating directory. Perhaps you want to add a travel guide directory, wedding directory, restaurant guide, or real estate portal. All these options are possible with the Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro plugin for WordPress.
Similar to other plugins on our list, Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro is free to install. But it does offer additional premium features that you can purchase. One of my favorite additional features is the lists slider.
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The plugin has an intuitive interface for businesses to manage their listings on your website. This area allows those companies to view their payment history and renew their cards directly from the platform. This plugin can integrate with Stripe, PayPal, and WooCommerce for payment processing. It also supports offline payments, which means you can accept checks from local businesses that don’t want to pay online. This can be a way to save money by avoiding a payment processing add-on. Merchants will automatically be notified by email when their listings expire. They will also receive a confirmation message when payments have been received.
Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro allows you to organize lists by category, which you should take advantage of. An advanced search widget is also available from Advanced Classifieds and Directory Pro so that users can narrow down their options by category, location, keywords, and more. All of these flexible features make this one of the best WordPress directory plugins you will come across.
Business Directory Plugin
The Business Directory Plugin is an all-in-one option for WordPress directories. It offers some of the key features I look for in a directory plugin:
- Media support
- Custom form fields
- Payment process
You can also purchase add-ons to enhance your directory with the Business Directory Plugin. If you are going to use these add-ons, I recommend that you purchase the bundle. The combo package costs $ 199.99 for a single site and $ 399.99 for multiple sites. It may seem expensive at first, but considering that each add-on price starts at $ 69.99 and $ 139.98 (for a single site and multiple sites, respectively), it’s a great deal.
They have add-ons for premium features like:
- 2 Checkout gateway
- Discount Codes
- The ability for businesses to claim ads on your site, similar to Yelp
- Google Maps integration
- File attachments form
- PayPal gateway
- Band integration
While you will have the option for premium add-ons, you can install and use this plugin right away. The plugin also includes a built-in reCAPTCHA tool to avoid spam listings in your directory.
The Business Directory plugin also has a feature level module. This is perfect for those of you who use this directory to generate recurring sales by implementing subscriptions. Here’s how it works: You can configure your site to offer specific features for paid cards. For example, a company that pays to be listed may have an unlimited number of fonts, images, and maps. At the same time, a free listing would not get these features. The Business Directory plugin even allows you to specify between payment tiers based on the features you offer.
This plugin gives you all the tools you need to compete with the giant names in the directory industry. I’m not saying all of you should try to be the next Yelp or TripAdvisor, but if that’s your goal, you should try the Business Directory Plugin. I think it would be super smart to create a directory in a niche area that isn’t well-represented or easily searchable in an existing directory.
Toolset Directory provides all the critical functionality needed for an advanced directory website without using complex PHP coding.
The plugin is aimed at both experienced programmers and programming beginners. Developers will be able to add features such as front-end modules quickly and without having to waste valuable time coding PHP. Meanwhile, beginners will be able to build complex directory websites that they didn’t think were possible for someone of their level.
Even though this plugin is paid but it’s worth the price for what features it provides to the user
Use the toolset directory to create a variety of functions, including:
- Custom post types, fields and taxonomies
- Custom search with multiple filters
- Maps with distance filters
- Front-end modules
- Paid lists
- Email notifications
- Payment support thanks to the WooCommerce integration
It’s easy to customize these features too. For example, you have the flexibility of how your search results are displayed, whether it’s a grid, table, or map.
If you are building a multilingual directory site, you will be pleased to know that the Toolset directory was created by the team behind WPML so that they are fully compatible.
Toolset Directory is also integrated with other popular plugins like Elementor, WooCommerce, and Yoast SEO. Also, it works with the main themes in WordPress.
The full toolset directory package on three websites costs $ 149. But its versatility means you can also use it to create other types of websites such as e-commerce, membership, and brochures. Therefore, there is no need to download multiple plugins if you plan to build various websites.
Last but not least is the Directories Pro WordPress plugin. It is incredibly responsive and uses caching to optimize directory performance from both desktop and mobile devices.
The plugin offers advanced search and filter for your visitors. You can also enable an auto-suggest feature in search forms.
All fields are fully customizable. Each listing can contain fields such as tags, locations, reviews, and categories.
One of the best features of Directories Pro is the content view editor. It’s easy to use the drag-and-drop editing options to customize your directory without using any code. Some of the other main features include:
- Map integration
- Paid lists
- List complaints
- CSV import and export
- Personalized email notifications
With Directories Pro, customers can rate and review the listings in their directory without having to register, log in, or create an account. So you will likely get more reviews that will improve your directory.
It’s easy to create multiple directories with this plugin too. You also have the option to clone or migrate your directories from one site to another. All these features make Directories Pro one of the best WordPress directory plugins for developers and average users.
There are many different ways to add a directory to your website.
Some of you may be trying to create giant business directories that can compete with the big players in this industry. Other websites will create local directories in niche categories. You may also want a directory for something simple, like your staff.
Regardless of your situation, you can easily add a directory to your WordPress site by installing a plugin. So use this guide to narrow your search. Look for the option with the specific features needed to help you find the best WordPress directory plugin for your website.