Wondering how to build a business directory in WordPress? We'll show you how in this step-by-step tutorial. With the right tools, it's not as hard as you think!
Many people think there’s no need to create a business directory in WordPress.
But, when 97% of people look up local companies using the internet. And that includes directories. So, business directories are still alive and well.
But that leads to how to build a business directory in WordPress. And that’s exactly what we’ll show you in this step-by-step guide.
So, let’s get started.
👉 Read more: Need a WordPress custom application plugin?
What is a WordPress business directory?
A business directory is a list of businesses visitors can search through to find the information they’re looking for.
It’s like having a Yellow Pages, only online and with more information.
Whether a list of local businesses or international, real estate, or anything in between, having a web directory is a great way to get traffic to your WordPress website.
But, how to create a directory website is a little more complicated. Do you use a WordPress directory theme? How do you set custom fields?
Luckily, you can solve this with a simple business directory plugin.
And Formidable Forms is that plugin.
How do I create a web directory for my business?
To start, you want to install and activate the Formidable directory plugin.
With Formidable’s drag-and-drop builder, you can easily create a directory website you’re proud of.
Head over to our directory plugin pricing page and grab the plugin. You’ll see a subscription, but you get a lot for that price. Not only do you get everything the Formidable directory offers, but you also get everything the Formidable plugin offers.
Plus, there’s a 14-day money-back guarantee. Try it out, and get your money back if you don’t like what you’re using. No questions asked.
Once you’re set-up, the fun begins!
Here are the steps to follow:
- Set up the directory add-on
- Follow the Directory setup wizard
- Check the auto-generated forms & pages
Step 1: Set up the directory add-on
After installing the plugin, go to your WordPress admin, Formidable → Add-Ons, and click Install on the Directory plugin.
Next, go to Formidable → Global Settings → Directory, and you’ll see the Formidable Directory setup wizard.
Follow the wizard to set up your directory.
Step 2: Follow the Directory setup wizard
So, now we’re going to start building the forms, Views, and pages you need for your business directory website.
In the setup wizard, choose the Business option. On this same page, you can add your page name and your directory page name.
Step 3: Check auto-generated forms & pages
Last, you’ll want to check your auto-generated pages before you publish them. They’ll be saved as drafts by default when using the setup wizard.
Click on the View Page button to visit your business directory listing page.
You can check your other pages if you’d like, or you can publish them, and you’re good to go!
And that’s how to create an online business directory website in WordPress.
🤔 Did you know?
You can also use our sister plugin Business Directory to easily create directories of all kinds!
Take your website up a level with Formidable Forms
As you can see, making a business directory with Formidable Forms is pretty straightforward.
And that’s because it’s one of the best WordPress plugins around. And we think 300,000+ active users proves that!
But, it’s also the features you get that take it up. Here are some of the top features:
- Views. Use form data to build websites. When a business owner fills out a form, Formidable generates their listing & profile pages.
- Free and paid listings. Whether you want to show listings for free or make a little extra income, the choice is yours.
- Top-notch support team. Having troubles on your site? Most other plugins don’t offer great support. That’s not the case with Formidable Forms. We’re here to help.
What's included with the Formidable directory plugin?
With the Formidable directory plugin, you get everything in Formidable Forms, plus the directory builder add-on.
Swing by the directory pricing page, and you'll see you can choose from two plans: Business or Elite.
Formidable Forms by itself includes a lot: every form building feature you could ask for, plus all the integrations you need to build your directory site. The directory builder add-on makes building directory listings sites a simple affair.
Although this is not a free WordPress directory plugin, as the old saying goes: you get what you pay for.
Take a look at the WordPress.org plugin directory. You'll see there are free solutions available, but none allow for paid listings.
But, how flexible Formidable is what makes it worth the price.
Create business directory websites that get visitors
We mentioned earlier that Formidable's directory builder could help you build your directory site automatically.
This is true no matter what type of directory you are building. However, Formidable includes three specific directory templates:
Since we are learning how to create a business directory, let's see what's included if you choose that option. Here's what's included with a Formidable business directory:
- Embedded maps
- Reviews & ratings
- Listing owner contact
- Customizable forms & styles
- Front-end submissions
- Paid or free listings
- Multi-page listing submission form
The truth is there's actually a lot more included than that, but if we listed it all, we would run out of space quickly!
Other layout options for your business directory
By itself, the Formidable directory plugin makes it easy to submit listings and display them in a grid style.
But what if you’d prefer another layout? Like a table layout for your WordPress directory.
You can quickly grab the Posts Table Pro plugin and connect it with Formidable. The two work hand-in-hand to make your directory listings searchable, sortable, and filterable. For huge directories, this is essential.
Ultimately, you get complete control over what to display and how to display it.
What about a WordPress theme?
Many people opt to use a WordPress theme to solve their problems simply.
But, we think this is a bad idea. Why? Let us explain:
- Lack of support: WordPress themes don’t have great support. It’s not a big deal if you buy a well-known theme, like Astra. But smaller, more niche themes could leave you hanging.
- Plugin compatibility: Plugin conflicts are as common as the sun rising. It’s better to find something that’s stable and has broad compatibility. Fewer conflicts, fewer headaches.
- Not updated often: Themes don’t change a whole lot. Even the best ones are only updated a few times a year. Ultimately, you’re stuck with what you get, including any issues you may have.
For these reasons, if you choose a theme, choose something tried and tested.
But, to avoid all these issues, we recommend using a business directory plugin because it checks all the boxes above and more.
And the best of these is Business Directory.
And that’s all it takes to create a business directory website in WordPress. Pretty simple, huh?
With this post, you learned how to build a business directory website in WordPress and why Formidable Forms is the best tool to help you get the job done.
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