Creating a business directory or any other type of listing in WordPress can be tricky. Collecting information with your form builder plugin is one thing, but displaying that data in a useful and unique way is where a lot of plugins fall short. Fortunately, the Pro version of Formidable Forms was built with displaying data in mind and has all of the tools you need to quickly and easily start building a directory with WordPress. So let's get started.
Step 1: Build and Publish your Member Profile Form
First You'll want to create a form to collect the information you would like to show in your directory. Using the drag-and drop interface native to Formidable Forms, this step is a piece of cake. Adding that form to a page is equally simple, just use the shortcode builder on your posts and pages composer to add your form. I have taken a few minutes (literally 2 minutes) to create and publish a simple form below step 2, but no skipping ahead.
Step 2: Collect the member data
You can collect data in a couple ways. If you already have data collected, importing from a csv file is your best option. Alternatively, you can create entries with the form you created in step 1. Another option is to simply allow others to enter their own information by submitting your published form. With the use of permissions and editing tools, you can allow users to edit/update their own information, prevent user's who are not logged in from adding entries, even require payment before a user can submit their entry.
Go ahead and enter a name and company to be added to my demo directory.
Step 3: Build and Publish your Business Directory
Formidable Forms is the only form builder plugin with the ability to display form submissions without the need for additional plugins or add-ons. Views allow you to display your form entries in a totally custom way. With the use of dynamic filters, search and sorting options, you have total control over how entries are displayed, which entries are displayed, their order, and how many per page. I have set up my View to simply show the 5 most recent submissions. Pagination is built in, but not helpful for this demonstration. If you entered your name in the form above, you should be listed at the top of the directory
|First Name||Last Name||Company|
|BIlly||Bob||Billy Bob's Shop|
Step 4: Add Features to your Business Directory
Search: What use is a directory if your users can't find who or what they are looking for? Adding a search form allows you to quickly find that needle in a haystack. Test it out below. Search for your name or mine (Steve). The View above will update to show only listings that match all your search criteria.
Detail Pages Have you ever wanted a super clean and simple directory, but have a ton of information that needs to be accessible? So have we. That's why we built in detail pages. Display only necessary info on the listing page, and then let users get all the details on the detail page. Our simple directory form only has 3 fields, so it isn't the best candidate to show off this feature, but this will at least give you an idea for how it works. Click a name to see the rest of the user's information.
With 4 easy steps, you can create a searchable business directory. If you are tired of collecting form data without any way of using it in a powerful way, maybe it is time you considered Formidable Forms.
In fact, if you're looking for a fast option, we've already built several directories for you. Check out our WordPress Directory Plugin to get started today.