In this review, we introduce you to a new feature of the popular TheGem WordPress…
If you are planning on creating an online directory, then the Listing Builder WordPress Directory theme could be just what you need. By installing this theme and its associated plugin on your WordPress website, you can start publishing listings, as well as accepting them from your visitors.
Your website will also give you the option of charging your users a fee for publishing their listings, as well as giving them the ability to manage their own entries in your directory. This not only makes it possible to create a hands-off directory website, which is managed by your users, but it can also enable you to generate an income from your directory.
Whether you want to earn money from running an online business directory, or simply create a free resource that lists popular attractions in your local area, the ListingBuilder theme combines great looks with a full set of features for building such as website with WordPress.
In this ListingBuilder WordPress theme review, we will break down the features of this theme to see exactly what it can do, as well as take a look at how easy it is to use when it comes to creating an online directory with WordPress.
ListingBuilder WordPress Directory Theme Review
In order for a WordPress theme to be able to truly help you build a fully functioning online directory, it has to provide a lot of extra features and tools than is provided by WordPress alone. The developers of ListingBuilder have recognized this and have done a great job of ensuring you will have everything you need after installing and activating their theme.
The Best Features of the ListingBuilder Directory Theme
To help you decide if this is the right theme for your project, as well as give you a good overview of exactly what it can do, here are some of the best and most important features of ListingBuilder.
Front-End Registration Forms
To make your website as easy to use as possible from end end-user perspective, as well as providing a consistent user experience throughout all aspects of it, ListingBuilder uses a series of front-end submission forms.
These forms save the user the trouble of creating an account, logging in, and posting a listing through the default WordPress forms. Instead, this activity takes place through custom designed front-end forms that blend in with the rest of your website.
Detailed Listings Pages
Each listing in your directory gets its own page on your website. These listings can be populated with a range of content. What content exactly can be controlled through the site settings, but typically each listing could include a cover image, a photo gallery, a description, contact details, social media and website links, a Google Map highlighting the location of the business, and any user reviews.
Like the rest of the theme, the listings are all fully responsive. This means that they can easily be viewed and interacted with on small screen smartphone and tablet devices.
To help your directory gain traction, it’s possible to create claimable listings. These are listings for real businesses and events that you create in order to populate your directory.
These listings can then be claimed by the business owner, allowing them to take over control of the listing. This gives them the ability to add more information to it and receive emails from your visitors. Rather than waiting for business owners to find you before your directory can become a useful resource, creating claimable listings can ensure your directory is valuable to your audience from the outset.
Create Multiple Pricing Plans
ListingBuilder makes it very easy to monetize your website by charging your visitors a fee to submit a listing to your directory. Each package can include its own pricing information, capabilities, and other details that differentiate it from the next.
This gives you a range of options for catering to as many different types of users as possible. However, you are also free to create just one package in order to simplify the registration process. The theme will also generate a pricing comparison table based on your package details. This then makes it easy for your visitors to view the different plans on offer.
In addition to creating your own pricing plans, you can also accept payments via Stripe and PayPal from your visitors, right out of the box.
Detailed Listing Searching and Filtering
Hopefully as your online directory gains popularity the number of listings it contains will grow too. The only potential downside of this is that it can make it more difficult for your visitors to find what they are looking for.
Thankfully, ListingBuilder includes an advanced filtering tool that is very easy to use. This tool gives your visitors a number of different ways to filter and search the listings in your directory in order to find what they are looking for.
From performing a keyword search and applying the tag, category, and location filters, and then sorting those results by price, you can make it a lot easier for your visitors to quickly find the listings they are looking for.
User Reviews of Listings
To ensure your directory is interactive and to help it compete with more established sites, you have the option of publishing visitor feedback on your site in the form of user reviews.
These user reviews are left via a modified comment form which can be displayed at the end of each listing.
Detailed Theme Options Control Panel
We’ll take a closer look at the ListingBuilder control panel in the section of this review that covers using this theme but suffice to say, it gives you lots of control over how your website looks and works, all through a user-friendly interface.
Other Useful Features of the ListingBuilder WordPress Theme
One handy feature of this theme is that it has the ability to create pricing tables, based on the packages you’ve created for your site.
These pricing plan comparison tables make it very easy for your visitors to see which options are available to them, helping them to choose the right plan for their needs.
As well as visitors having the ability to filter the listings to find what they are looking for, they can also view the tags index page. This index page contains a list of all the tags you’ve used on your directory, complete with links to all the listings which have used a particular tag.
Another way you can monetize your online directory is to display adverts on your website. This can be instead of, or as well as, charging your visitors a fee for publishing their listings. The advert code can be managed through the theme options control panel, with the advert being displayed in the designated spaces on the front-end of your website.
The ListingBuilder theme gives you the option of adding contact forms to your directory listings. If enabled, this feature gives your visitors an easy way to get in touch with the owner an individual listing they are interested in. As the directory administrator, this can benefit you too, as it prevents your visitors from emailing you with questions about the entities in your directory. The theme integrates with the most popular form plugins for WordPress, including Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms, and Ninja Forms.
The theme also includes two premium plugins: Visual Composer and LayerSlider. These are two very popular tools for WordPress that allow you to build custom page layouts through a drag and drop interface, and create animated slide shows to promote your content.
Building a Directory Website with ListingBuilder
With all the features you need to create an online directory with WordPress included in this theme, it’s now down to exploring how easy ListingBuilder is to use.
Installing the Activating the Theme
The ListingBuilder theme is installed just like any other. After uploading the files to your WordPress website through the dashboard or via FTP, it’s ready to go.
After installing and activating the theme, you are then prompted to install the three required plugins: LayerSlider, Listing Builder, and Visual Composer. This only takes a few clicks and then once they’ve been added to your site and enabled, it’s time to start configuring your directory and setting up how it will work.
Importing the Demo Content
To help you get your website online as quickly as possible, as well as gain a better understating of how the theme works, you can choose to import the demo content. This is done by clicking on the appropriate button on the theme options control panel.
If you do decide to import the demo content into your site, it will then be populated with a range of content. This includes the pricing packages, sample listings, testimonials, and other types of content.
Configuring the Directory Settings
ListingBuilder is a flexible theme and together with the included Listing Builder plugin, gives you lots of control over how your directory website functions. Most of these settings are managed through the custom post types that are added to your site after installing the theme.
For example, the options that you can offer your visitors for submitting their listings are managed through the Packages custom post type. This allows you to create as many packages as you need, each with their own settings and details.
You could create multiple packages, each with their own pricing and capabilities. For example you could create an entry level package that allows users to create one listing, which lasts for 30 days, and allows them to create a listing with a cover image, an image gallery, and a video box.
As you are free to create as many packages as required, you can offer your visitors a range of options for posting their listing in your directory. This could include basic free packages and advanced premium options.
Using the WordPress Customizer
The ListingBuilder directory theme does include some support for the WordPress Customizer tool. This lets you configure some aspects of the theme and your website, all with a live front-end view. In theory, this is great as you get a live preview of your changes as you make them, rather than having to switch browser tabs and refresh windows.
However, while there is a lot you can control through the Customizer, just as much as been left out and must, therefore, be configured through the backend theme options control panel. This isn’t a big issue, but it would be nice if you could change the fonts and colors through the Customizer and get a live preview of these changes as you make them.
Customizing the Appearance of the Theme
When it comes to customizing the appearance of your website, most of the work takes place through the theme options control panel. These appearance settings cover the fonts and colors used on your website, giving you the option of setting the fonts for the individual paragraph styles used by the theme.
Once you’ve configured the theme, all that’s left to do is start promoting your website so that your target audience can begin signing up and adding their businesses to your directory.
ListingBuilder Theme Review Conclusion
As you can see for yourself the ListingBuilder theme has a modern and attractive design and appearance. However, not only that, but it’s backed up with a useful set of features that will make creating an online listings website with WordPress pretty straightforward.
Whether you just want to create a free resource for your audience or build an income generating premium directory, you are free to do so with this theme and its package and payment features.
If you want to build an online listings website with WordPress, the ListingBuilder theme is well worth checking out.