Sometimes you need to have a list of places, restaurants, or any local real or virtual business in your site, what do you need is a Directory.
For example, a list of restaurants in your city, where people can leave reviews about them, or where the owners can list their addresses, and contact info.
I know you can tell me that Yelp, or Foursquare exists, but maybe you run a city magazine, and you want to have all those business and places listed in your site.
There are two main ways to have a directory in your site with WordPress:
1- Have a dedicated directory theme
2- Install a plugin in any theme you want
Let’s go for the dedicated theme option.
There a some themes, that will transform your site in a fully featured directory, thing is, that most of the themes are already packed with features that you may not need, or unable to configure features that you may need, of maybe the layout that this themes present you may not like it.
This option is the most install and go, don’t change too much, don’t bother to give your feedback, it is already packed. There are slightly differences, but most of them work out of the box… Meaning after you install the theme and activate it.
The plugin option.
There are some plug ins that can handle this feature in a proper way, thing is a plug in gives you the chance to use any theme you want, or no theme at all.
Some plugins are quiete complex, with a list of features like (In this particular plugin called Sabai Directory Plugin):
– Display listings in list, grid, or map view
– Fully responsive and flat design
– Search listings by keywords, category, distance, and location with user friendly auto-suggestion features
– Custom fields with visual form editor (Choice, Date, HTML, Markdown Text, Number, ON/OFF, Paragraph Text, Single Line Text, CAPTCHA, User, Section Break, File Upload, Image Upload, Video, Email, Phone Number, and more)
– Filter listings and reviews by custom fields
– Fully interactive map – show listing details on hover/click, refresh search results on map drag, autocomplete location field, clustered markers, etc.
– Add new or claim existing listings
– Post reviews of listings with 1-5 star multi-criteria rating system and rating charts
– Upload photos of listings
– Multi-location support
– Comment on reviews and photos
– Vote reviews helpful/non-helpful
– Vote up photos and comments
– Bookmark listings, reviews, and photos
– Flag listings, reviews, photos, and comments
– Show directions on map
– Dashboard for users to manage their listings, leads (if there are any claimed listing), payment orders, and bookmarks
– Featured listings
– Custom single listing page tabs
– Display reviews, photos, and bookmarks by user
– Unlimited hierarchical categories
– Custom map marker (by category) and marker cluster images
– Create multiple directories
– Paid listings with custom pricing plans
– PayPal, Authorize.net, 2Checkout, Stripe payment gateways
– PayPal and Stripe recurring payment (weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, annual) with trial period Manual payments
– Manage payment orders
– Show pricing tables
– Flexible role-based permission system
– Schema.org microdata support
– Contact listing owners via contact us form
– Share listings
– CSV Importer (Categories, Listings, Photos)
– RTL language support
– OpenStreetMap support
– BuddyPress user profile/activity integration
– 27 customizable e-mail notifications
– 16 custom Google map styles
– 11 widgets
– 12 shortcodes
There are also, some other options like http://www.wplocalplus.com, you can definitely search and compare the features you need.
So as you can see, you can almost do anything you want with this kind of plugins, depending on what do you need, you may find useful different versions of the plugins.
You may find some free plugins, but some other versions offer premium features to subscribers, or license holders.