A directory website is one where the names, addresses, contact and other details of like or similar individuals or organizations are grouped together, so that they can be accessed from one location. Examples would be a real estate listing directory, blood banks, restaurants and the like. Online directories make it easy for people to locate any listed service and if you’re using WordPress for your website, you’ll be glad of the many Directory themes and plugins that are available for building your website. WordPress directory plugins can add a fully featured directory to your website.
Directory websites are a worthwhile venture as it’s possible to set up many revenue generating streams with these websites. From selling ads and listings to businesses, to charging visitors for access to content or else setting up a booking site, there are multiple options to generate revenue. Featured listings, sticky listings, selling ad space, private listings, membership fees and promoting a product are some of the ways you can make money with a directory website.
Let’s check out some free and premium plugins that you can try for your WordPress directory website.
Free WordPress Directory Plugins
The free directory plugins in this list can effectively set up a directory on your website and allow listings. Some are simple to set up, while others requires the adjustments of a few settings, especially if you want to customize.
Business Directory Plugin
If you wish to organize the content in your WordPress and make it searchable by users, the Business Directory Plugin is a good option. It helps you create local listing websites, directory listing websites, business provider listing and more.
You can use the plugin for both free and paid listings and receive payments via Stripe and PayFast Gateway, with full support for recurring payments. Multiple fee plans can be offered and assigned to categories for posting. Or you can receive a higher fee for a featured / sticky listing. For Featured, Latest and Random Listings, as well as for Search, you can use widgets. It allows you to add fully customizable form fields and offers a reCAPTCHA option that will cut down on spam registrations.
Import and export of listings via CSV format is possible and so is the upload of limited number of images which can be displayed along with categories. Users can sort within categories and listings, and listing owners can edit listings without access to WP dashboard, if they have posted any item.
Search options include a quick search as well as an advanced search that can show or hide fields. The plugin is responsive, SEO friendly, supports WPML and integrates with popular navigation plugins for easy use.
Paid add-ons can display ratings for your listings, business locations, location based filtering and zip code radius for many countries. They also help with managing attachments, upload of PDFs, and offer additional payment gateways as well as discount codes.More info / Download
As the name suggests, GeoDirectory makes use of geographic location to set up an online Directory website like Yelp, TripAdvisor and YellowPages. The base plugin is available for free, but the paid extensions truly enhance the plugin’s capability. Needless to say, you’ll have to obtain an API key for Google maps.
GeoDirectory comes with a powerful set of features that enable millions of listings, and offer tons of customization options. It has an easy to use front-end interface where users get to register, login and submit entries as well as reviews. They can search for listings based on zip codes or street address, and results are returned in order of proximity.
The plugin is fully responsive and compatible with multisites. It comes with a built-in review system, 15+ widgets (including Google Analytics Widget) and 12+ widget areas. It’s easy to import and export listings in bulk using the CSV format. The paid extensions help to monetize your site by selling listings. These extensions also allow event based listings, create multi-location directories, add payment gateways and more.More info / Download
Connections Business Directory
Connections is a powerful directory plugin for WordPress that can handle simple tasks such as an address book or employee directory, as well as a full fledged business or links directory. While the basic plugin comes with a great number of features, the many paid extensions available allow you to add any extra function that you need.
The plugin is highly configurable. The custom fields that come with this plugin let you create almost any kind of directory website. And for some custom fields like phone numbers, users and site admins can set privacy level. CSV import of nested categories and CSV export of data is supported, as well as translation into 20+ languages. The administrator dashboard can show anniversaries, birthdays and other important events. Entries can be slotted into different types – individual, organization and family. The family type of entry will allow you to group individuals together.
Adding a simple shortcode to a WordPress page will display the directory at the frontend. You can also choose your layout from the pre-built templates and then use the powerful shortcode options to customize the appearance of your directory. It allows you to add responsive logos and images for each entry.
Connections Business Directory is one of the best WordPress directory plugins available today. It is compatible with most standard WordPress themes and is SEO friendly. There are a number of free and paid add-ons that can extend the plugin’s functions. With over 180 filter hooks and 300 filters, the plugin is developer friendly too.More info / Download
Gravity Forms Directory
Gravity Forms is a beginner friendly form plugin that allows you to quickly add contact forms to your site. You can also use it for many other purposes such as to conduct surveys or helping users submit content.
Gravity Forms Directory is a free add-on plugin for Gravity Forms. It lets you to create a web directory using Gravity Forms. You need to create a form using which users will submit details to your directory. The plugin will then display these details on a page in your WordPress. You can configure how the entries should display in the directory.
You need to simply edit the page, click on the Add a Gravity Forms Directory button, select the form to be turned into a directory, click insert directory and update the page. The entries will show as a directory on the page.
The plugin works entirely on shortcodes. You can adjust settings so that the entries show up only to the persons who enters them, and these users can also login and edit the entries. Only approved entries are displayed, along with uploaded images and a lightbox option. The entries are sorted by column and pagination of the display is possible. A built-in search option is also included.More info / Download
BePro Listings allows frontend submissions to help create a directory. Just placing one shortcode on any page or post vests it with the power of many Ajax powered features such as clustered Google Maps for showing listings via a map, and search and filter by multiple parameters. As a result, there is improvement in SEO and better customer engagement, as well as access to customer stats.
The base plugin includes many features to enable a fully functional directory such as uploading listings in a CSV format, accepting payments with the free BePro Cart addon and adding categories with or without images. 4 different directory layouts are possible with two template options for search results. Listings are also compatible with gallery type display. For the user, it’s easy to manage their submissions using the profile shortcode.
Site admins can set expiration date, allow any currency symbols and add recent listings using a widget. They can also add listings via a custom post to keep it separate from other posts, and edit and send out email notifications using the free BePro email addon. The plugin is SEO friendly, is responsive, supports multisites and will delight developers with hooks and filters.
You can configure the plugin to cater to different types of websites including, Real Estate, Business Directory, Product Catalogue, Portfolio, Classifieds and others via addons.More info / Download
Simple directory allows you to easily create a business or personal directory. It comes with three templates – single listing, archive listing and search listing. It requires the installation of the Piklist plugin. The plugin allows you to customize the results page, as well as create and use your own template. You can also create a custom post type with address, telephone number, website URL, fax number, email address and social links. A search widget or a short code will help to add a search box.
There is a premium version which includes options to show payment methods, business hours, add to contact list, and some more customization options.More info / Download
With so many free plugins, you may think that there is really no need to search among the premium plugins. But these plugins do have a lot to offer, both by way of additional features and greater support. So let’s check out a few top selling premium directory plugins.
Sabai Directory Plugin
Sabai Directory is a feature rich premium business directory plugin that helps create not one, but many beautiful directories on WordPress. It displays listing in a beautiful list, grid and map view. You can switch between list and map modes.
A helpful dashboard is available for users to manage their listing and bookmarks. Users can bookmark reviews, listing as well as photos and search the listings by keywords, category, distance, and location. They can also vote on the photos and reviews of listings. The most attractive feature of this plugin is its ability to build community based local directories such as Google+ Places, Yelp, and Yahoo! Local.
The plugin provides multilocation support, allows upload of photos for listings and shows directions on maps. You can have featured listings and custom single page listing, as well as pricing tables on your directory. Contact form and 27 customizable email notifications are available for contacting listing owners. The plugin supports RTL, CSV import and export, and BuddyPress user profile and activity integration.
Using the Visual Form Builder, you can add custom fields and filter results using these fields. It includes a fully interactive map that can display details on hover. The map can be embedded into any page using a short code. You get to choose between 16 map Google map types and add custom marker icon to the maps. The plugin supports multiple payment gateways and currencies to receive payments.More info / Purchase
Web 2.0 Directory Plugin
Web 2.0 Directory plugin is a completely responsive plugin that allows users to create any type of online business directory websites such as a classified advertisements, real estate listing site or a yellow pages site. The option to search within a radius makes it ideal for a local directory.
Besides being SEO friendly and helping to build multilingual directories, it offers a bunch of features that are necessary for directory building. These include front end listing and editing, powerful search option with content fields, rating option, management of invoices and restriction of ads by listing levels. You can have featured and sticky listing options and allow users to choose between multiple payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe. It supports Right to Left (RTL) functionality and layouts. A frontend dashboard is available for regular users. It’s also compatible with WooCommerce payment systems and Yoast WordPress SEO plugin.
With a price tag of $34, it helps you earn revenues from listing renewals, listing upgrades and claims. This plugin has out of the box support for Google maps and map marker icons. You can upload images via Ajax, and attach videos and vimeos as well. Visitors to the site can contact the owner directly on account of integration with Contact Form 7. They can also bookmark entries, print them or download them in PDF format. The plugin is built using Twitter Bootstrap and is compatible with most standard WordPress themes. It is compatible with Visual Composer, allows CSV import of images and included 12 shortcodes and 5 widgets.More info / Purchase
Directory Pro helps you build responsive layouts for your directory, at the same time allowing you to make money with it by selling listings in innovative ways. Users can subscribe for varying periods such as daily, weekly, monthly or annually or else opt for one time payments. You can also offer free or paid trials and tailor user roles to be in line with the packages. The subscription can cover services like Adding a listing, access to the site, making a reservation, selling a VIP badge and more.
The plugin allows custom post type and is SEO friendly, fully responsive, WPML compatible and integrated with Visual Composer and MailChimp. Users can add or edit listings from ‘My Account’ at the front end and pay for listings via the Paypal payment gateway or the Stripe payment gateway. They can also contact the listing owner via a note. You can place the listing details page on a touch slider to make it easy for visitors to view on mobiles.
When it comes to new listings, you can add a badge and specify the number of days for which the badge is to display. The plugin also includes 7 pricing tables, 2 signup styles, coupons for signup, 11 email templates and a whole host of other features and settings.More info / Purchase
Many of us use Gravity Forms to add forms such as Contact Forms to our website. These forms collect loads of data. The GravityView plugin helps to display this data in Table view, List View, Data tables and Google Maps to serve as a directory. Using a paid add-on, you can instantly have a paid directory.
Admins will find it easy to work with this plugin. You can search entries, sort columns by values and filter entries, as well as opt to approve or reject entries. Add a star to an entry in the Admin Panel to display it as a featured entry. Both site admins and users can edit entries right inside the original Gravity Forms. It’s possible to upload multiple media elements like images, audio and video and display them in a gallery. A drag and drop builder helps in content layout. Users can rate entries.
This plugin works well with other Gravity plugins like great with GravityFlow, Gravity PDF, and GFChart to do even more with your form data. For certain levels of licences purchased, GravityView allows deep integration with DataTables, a quality script for working with tabular data. This enables you to browse, filter, and sort entries with live updates. With a paid add-on, you can import entries in CSV format. The plugin is highly customizable with a 30 day refund guarantee.More info / Purchase
WP Local Plus is a completely automated, WordPress plugin with which you can create content filled, local business directories. Besides listings, it’s possible to include reviews, coupon offers and Google Maps integration, and more, right from within your WordPress blog.
The plugin doubles as an autoblogging tool, and so the auto generation and auto updates features ensure that your content is always fresh. Local deals and discounts can be streamed to your blog automatically to enhance the value of the listings. You can create high-powered customized business listings with live local data in minutes.
The business search functionality helps to search reviews and deals, while a high powered search tool helps users find the most relevant local results. LocalPlus fully integrates with Google maps and can display complete data about business listings. The built-in contextual ad system helps to maximize revenue from ads. Listings can display in a list or map view, or you can opt for custom single page listing. Geolocation capability allows the user to search relevant data and the friendly dashboard allows them to manage their listing leads. The plugin is available in two versions – one for the American continent and another for the remaining countries.More info / Purchase
Map List Pro
An easy to use, fully featured, Google map and location listing WordPress Plugin, Map List Pro for WordPress lets you quickly display your locations in a page that is sortable, searchable, and filterable. Map List Pro is perfect for creating store locators, office address and contact lists.
The geolocation capability and listing feature make it suitable for listings.More info / Purchase
Developing a directory from scratch is both costly and time consuming. This is where WordPress Directory plugins can prove to be handy and enable anyone to start with their own directory listing website. If you prefer a
WordPress theme to handle your directory you can check out this list. If it’s a more specific classifieds directory
you need, there are themes for that as well.
As always, if your favorite plugin is not on this list, let us know about it in the Comments section.