In this review, we introduce you to a new feature of the popular TheGem WordPress…
Directory Builder is a WordPress theme for creating a listings and events directory. Directory Builder has been created by Alex Gurghis of Themes Dojo, a developer from Moldova who has launched a number of popular WordPress products, including the WPJobus theme which we recently reviewed.
This theme however, has been developed to help you to build a directory website for publishing listings and events with WordPress.
Once this theme has been installed on your website, you and your visitors can begin adding listings that cover local attractions, businesses, and other places of interest, as well as events to the directory. Those seeking information on local events and listings, can then browse your directory to find what they are looking for.
Directory Builder also gives you some flexible options for generating revenue from your listings website, helping to make this an all-in-one solution for building a website of this type.
If you need a suitable theme for creating a local, national, or international listings and events website with WordPress, read on for our full Directory Builder theme review.
The Best Features of the Directory Builder WordPress Theme
If you need to build a listings website for publishing the details of local, national, and even international businesses, tourist attractions, or other places of interest, then the directory Builder theme aims to be the go to solution for WordPress users.
Thanks to the flexibility of this theme, it can also just as easily be used to create a website for publishing classified adverts and events. To further prove the flexibility of this theme, it can be used to publish both listings and events at the same time, giving you the ability to create a comprehensive directory website that contains all the information your visitors are seeking.
Directory Builder is available to take for a test drive in four different modes of operation. This makes it easy to see how this theme can be deployed, according to your needs. Whether you are building an events listings website, a local business directory, or a classified ads website, Directory Builder has got it covered.
However you choose to use this multi-purpose directory and listings theme, there are some great features on offer. Amongst these features, you will find a series of front end registration and submission forms. These forms ensure that your end users have an easy way to sign up to your website, and start adding their own listings to your directory. Rather than logging into the back end of your website, your visitors can use the front end submission forms to avoid becoming lost in the WordPress admin area.
Through these front end submissions forms, your users can also manage their own accounts. This includes the listings and events they’ve submitted, their favorite places, and their payment plans.
When it comes monetizing your directory, you have plenty of options available to you. Not only does this theme have a good number of spots for displaying adverts, but you can also generate revenue by charging your users a fee for publishing listings, adverts, and events in your directory.
Through the theme’s package feature, you can create multiple pricing plans. Each plan can have its own features and payment details. Creating the packages is as easy as entering the price, and then selecting which features users on that plan will get access to.
Once you’ve created one or more packages, the theme has the ability of outputting them in an attractive pricing table. This then makes it very easy for your visitors to see which plan best meets their needs, as well as their budget.
When it comes to collecting the payments from your users, in exchange for the privilege of publishing their listings on your website, the Directory Builder supports the leading PayPal and Stripe payment gateways.
To help your directory get started, in the early days you can add listings on behalf of your potential clients, and then give them the ability of claiming those listings. For example you could create a basic listing for a business in the geographical area you are focusing on, and then reach out to that business and present them the offer of claiming that listing.
Claiming a listing gives the owner the ability to add more useful information to that entry. This could include adding their contact details, opening hours, or photos, as well as being able to respond to user reviews left on their listing. This is a useful feature that not only helps you to pre-populate your new directory with some content, but also makes it easier to attract new members.
If you do decide to use Directory Builder in listings mode, then your website can be easily integrated with a number of third party services and plugins. This then allows the businesses on your website, such as restaurants, to accept bookings through your directory.
By making use of the supported Resurva, OpenTable, and Guestful services, your visitors have the option of making bookings with the businesses that are listed in your directory. Furthermore, as the theme and these services are mobile-friendly, your visitors can make a booking or reservation on their computer or smartphone, when browsing your website. Enabling this integration on your directory gives you another feature to highlight when promoting your service to potential businesses and clients.
Other integrations of note include support for Google Fonts, Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms, and Ninja Forms. When using the Directory Builder theme, your website can easily integrate with the MailChimp email marketing service to help you build a subscriber list.
It’s also worth pointing out that this theme includes the premium Visual Composer page builder plugin and the premium LayerSlider animated slideshow builder tool. The inclusion of these two very useful tools not only saves you $50 on their combined retail price, but also allows you to really customize the appearance of your website, without editing any code.
The Directory Builder Theme End User Experience
From an end user perspective, visiting a website powered by this theme couldn’t be simpler. Depending on how you’ve configured your website, your visitors can start their journey by searing for a listing in your directory.
Through one of the more popular home page configurations, you can give your visitors the option of performing a keyword search, or filtering the listings by category or location. Once they’ve entered some criteria, they can then browse the search results. Visitors also have the option of filtering the results further, in order to help them find what they are looking for.
Clicking on an entry takes the user through to the listings page. There they can find out more information about that place of interest, business, event, or classified advert, depending on how you’ve configured your website.
Again depending on how you’ve set up the theme, the listings page can include either a featured image, or a large section of Google Map, zoomed in on the location of the listing. Other optional content includes opening hours, contact details, amenities or features, photos, user ratings, and much more.
If the visitor is the actual owner of the item featured in the listing, then you can give them the opportunity of claiming ownership of the listing. Doing so then gives them the ability to edit and update the details.
If they are just a regular visitor to your website, the user can then get the details they are looking for, such as the address or contact details of the business, or even leave a review.
Admin User Experience of the Directory Builder Theme
When it comes to setting up the Directory Builder theme on your installation of WordPress, the process is pretty straightforward. After activating the theme, you are then prompted to install the included plugin. This only takes a few clicks, and after doing so, some more features are added to your website, such as the premium Visual Composer and LayerSlider plugins.
The Directory Builder package uses WordPress custom post types to store much of its content. This covers the events, listings, pricing plans, and testimonials features.
To help you organize your events and listings, they can each make use of their own custom taxonomies. In the case of listings, this includes the categories, amenities, and location details. While you can easily add listings and events through the front end forms of your website, you can also add them through the back end if you’d prefer.
As well as adding content to your website through the back end, you can also customize how your website will work. This takes place through the DB Settings area. Through this custom control panel, you can define how your site looks, as well as how it functions.
Some of the options on offer include giving you the ability to upload your logo, choose a heading type, set the colors and fonts of the site, and add content to the advertising spaces.
You can also enable the supported payment gateways, set a currency, add your contact details, and enter the links to your social profiles. You can also import the demo content to pre-populate your website with some sample listings to help you get started.
The Directory Builder theme also includes a number of widgets and widget areas. These widgets can be used to display content from your directory, in the sidebar and other areas of your website.
Once you’ve added these widgets to your website, your visitors will have another way of finding the content they are looking for.
After you’ve configured your website to work in the way that you want, complete with multiple pricing plans, pre-defined listing and event categories and locations, and claimable listings, you can either start populating your directory with content, or begin promoting your website so that local business owners and event managers can find out more about the service you are providing.
The Directory Builder theme is available for purchase from the Theme Snap marketplace. The theme was available for a short period at Theme Forest. However, after running into some problems with the service and another theme publisher, the decision was made to list Directory Builder with Theme Snap instead.
The Directory Builder theme can be purchased for $96. This price covers you for use on one project. You can also take advantage of the Theme Snap club offer and get access to 26 items from Alex Gurghis, the theme’s developer, on a subscription basis.
The Directory Builder WordPress theme combines a clean and modern design with a whole host of useful features. If you have been tasked with creating a directory website for local listings or events, then you should definitely consider this theme.
Although Directory Builder is well stocked with features, not least the premium Visual Composer and LayerSlider plugins, it also offers some useful integrations with third-party booking tools. These optional integrations can really help your directory become a valuable marketing tool for the users who choose to list their businesses on your website.
The flexible pricing plans that you can create give you plenty of freedom when it comes to deciding how your directory will be monetized; while the support for PayPal and Stripe gives you two widely used options for collecting payments.
If you are in the market for a listings and events directory theme for WordPress, then this review and the online demo of this theme should hopefully tell you everything you need to know about this product. If Directory Builder does meet your needs and includes the features you require, then you can be sure you are getting a professionally designed theme that will give your online directory a high quality appearance.