If you want to build an online directory website in WordPress, you’ll need the best plugin for the job. Online directories are basically public listings to help visitors find businesses, services, products, and more. But building one from scratch in WordPress is difficult without a plugin. Thankfully, there are some great directory plugins out there to make that process much easier. But finding the right one for your needs can be challenging. In this post, we’ll share our list of the best WordPress directory plugins to help you make the right choice for your business.
How to Choose the Right Directory Plugin for You (What to Look For)
Directory plugins have been around for a long time. Most solutions take into account 90% of what’s needed to create a decent directory. But, the best directory plugins go above and beyond by offering:
Simple directory creation: The best WordPress directory plugins make it easy to create a directory website, even if you don’t have coding skills. For an ideal solution, choose one that doesn’t take a lot of work to set up.
Flexible and customizable: They should allow you to customize everything from the layout of your directory pages to the (custom) fields included on each listing.
Advanced search and filtering: The ability to search and filter listings is vital for a directory website. The best directory plugins offer advanced search options to help visitors find what they’re looking for without any hassle.
Payment support: If you plan to make money off of your directory website, look for a plugin that supports popular payment gateways and eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce. This will allow you to charge for listings, create different subscription plans, and display sitewide ads.
Compatibility with other plugins and WordPress themes: To ensure your directory plugin works seamlessly with your other WordPress plugins and themes, look for a plugin that is compatible and updated often.
If you want the best chance for your directory to gain traction, getting a feature-rich tool will do wonders for you.
The Best WordPress Directory Plugins
If you’re looking to create a directory website using WordPress, you’re in luck! There are a variety of plugins available to help you get started, each with its own strengths and features. Whether you need a simple address book, a classified ads section, or a business directory, there’s a plugin on this list that will fit your needs. First up is a crowd-pleaser—GeoDirectory.
GeoDirectory is a versatile WordPress plugin that allows you to create a location-based business directory similar to popular sites such as Yelp or YellowPages. For example, users can easily submit for approval, search for businesses and other entities, and have them all nicely displayed on an interactive map. By using GeoDirectory, you can transform any WordPress website into a useful business directory.
Learn how to build a business directory with GeoDirectory
Key Features for GeoDirectory:
Transfer directory data using CSV import and export options
Drag-and-drop interface for building your directory listings
Easy to style directory using available themes.
Location management system.
Customize the look of search results and single listing pages
Search results based on a specific location
Allows users to rate listings
Integrates with Ninja Forms to connect with other CRMs and
Integrates with page builders like Divi
Integrates with popular SEO Plugins like RankMath.
Premium Add-ons to monetize your site, set up recurring payments, and allow business owners to claim listings.
Multisite compatible to create a network of directories
GeoDirectory handles every aspect of creating a directory site. But, with its smart compatibility with other top plugins, GeoDirectory starts to shine. For instance, its BuddyPress integration can connect BuddyPress to your directory, giving your directory a social edge. This makes your directory more personal—giving your directory more of a chance to stand out in a crowded market.
GeoDirectory is for you if you…
Need to build a high-quality directory site based on location
Want the ability to create a simple or complex online directory
Want an extendable solution with powerful premium add-ons like (recurring payments, enhanced search, and multi-location directories)
GeoDirectory Pricing: Free, Premium $199 a year
2. Business Directory Plugin
The Business Directory Plugin is an easy-to-use WordPress plugin that enables you to create and manage a variety of directory types for any kind of directory website. It includes everything you need to get started, regardless of the type of directory you want to create. Plus, it allows visitors to submit listings without needing to code a thing.
Key Features for Business Directory Plugin:
Monetize your directory via Authorize.net, PayPal, or Stripe
Supports WPML for multilingual directories
SEO friendly and integrated with Yoast SEO
Users can filter business listings by location
Enable rating and reviews with proper schema markup
Enable users to be able to upload files and control the file types that they can add to listings
Easily make money with your directory by creating different pricing plans. You can choose to have a directory with only free plans, or you can attach certain features to different plans and charge a fee. Additionally, you can set plan time limits or create recurring payment plans.
Business Directory Plugin is for you if you…
Need a free and comprehensive directory plugin, with the option to upgrade to more advanced functionality via an extensive add-on directory
Are looking for payment support, with the ability to create listing-based monetization
Pricing: Free, $99 a year
3. AWP Classified
AWP Classifieds is another easy-to-use plugin that allows users or visitors to create classified ad listings on your WordPress website. From the makers of Formidable Forms, this plugin is perfect for anyone looking to add a classified ads section to their site quickly with little fuss.
Key Features for AWP Classified:
Automatic creation of required pages streamlines the setup process
Non-registered users can post ads with simple email verification
Monetization support with customized subscription plans, enabling the creation of a classifieds site to make money easily
Integration with 4 major payment gateways for easy monetization through paid listings and charging for banner ads on classified pages
AWP Classified lets you limit the number of submissions, reviews, or listings a user can make depending on their plan. This allows you to easily create pricing tiers for monetizing your new classified section. You can even display external ads (such as Google Adsense) across your website’s classified sections for additional monetization potential (without having to use an advertising plugin).
AWP Classified is for you if you…
One of the simplest classified plugins on the market (and built by a trusted developer at that)
Have a high focus on monetization
AWP Classified Pricing: Free, $49.50 a year
Directorist is a freemium WordPress directory plugin that is suitable for a variety of websites, from business directories to property listings, classified ads, and job portals. With a wide range of features, Directorist aims to be the only WordPress directory plugin you will ever need. The same company has built (but doesn’t require) its own classified themes that can also be of help to budding directory owners.
Key Features for Directorist:
Easily build your listings pages with Directionist’s custom drag-and-drop form builder
Custom form fields are searchable for exact search results
Includes search widgets with 10+ different filters
Use Google Maps or OpenStreetMap for geo-based listings
Compatible with WooCommerce’s Multivendor plugin for creating a multi-vendor marketplace
Customize all the fields with Directorist! Its truly powerful (and beautiful) filterable listings make your directory-based website easy to go through. You’ll have the ability to add searchable custom fields or use standard directory fields like price, tags, text, location, and more.
Directorist is for you if you…
Do not want to settle for an ugly directory site
Need a plugin that can easily convert your directory into a mobile app
Pricing: $139 a year
Toolset is a powerful WordPress plugin with a suite of tools that simplifies the process of creating advanced websites. You can use it for custom eCommerce, real estate, membership, and Directory sites. However, it’s not the easiest thing to learn on this list because it feels like its own ecosystem of related tools. But it can help you create a directory website from scratch.
Key Features for Toolset:
Create custom post types, unlimited custom fields, and taxonomies that you can display on your site frontend
Create custom frontend forms for users to use and interact with your directory
Restrict certain website features and sections for paying customers
Comes with an in-depth course and an onboarding program
Toolset is not made solely to build directory websites. However, it gives you the tools to build just about anything on WordPress. Toolset even has created special training for how to build a directory website. Plus, it can be used with Divi and other page builders to create more beautiful directories.
Toolset is for you if you…
Are you an advanced WordPress user looking for a suite of tools for managing all sorts of custom post types and how they are shown
Want to create a directory site from scratch without knowing code.
Pricing: From $69 a year (renews at $51)
6. Connections Business Directory
Looking for a simple, yet powerful business directory plugin? Connections Business Directory has you covered. While not the most appealing plugin on our list, you can create directories of all types and host thousands of worldwide listings. And, the plugin is completely free.
Key Features for Connections Business Directory:
Supports the Block Editor with four directory blocks
Privacy controls for listings and directory entries
Allows you to control the fields shown on your listings
Support for nested categories
Face Detect add-on to properly center the display of profile pictures automatically
The plugin has an optional free add-on to create directories for displaying people (like Alumni, staff, and volunteer directories). For example, its Face Detect add-on can properly render images (of various sizes) so that a user’s face is always front and center.
Connections Business Directory is for you if you…
Need a free option with solid core features
Want free and affordable add-ons to extend the functionality of your directories
Pricing: Free, with add-ons (Free – $14.99)
HivePress has created a fantastic and free WordPress directory plugin that truly covers all the bases. And, it has more products including beautiful directory themes and extensions that bring even more power to the core plugin.
Key Features for HivePress:
Can charge users to feature their listing
You can allow users can rate listings as well as leave reviews on listings
Users can send private messages to listing owners
Can allow users to “favorite” listings making them easy to find again in the future
Users have private, frontend dashboards to manage their listings
HivePress comes built-in with a clean and modern user interface that allows users to manage their listings without logging into your WordPress backend. You can easily create a Favorites page for users that have marked listings with a heart. This allows users of your site to save and keep an eye on their favorite listings.
HivePress is for you if you…
Want a free plugin that has plenty of room to grow as you start making money
Crave a beautiful directory with plenty of features included
HivePress Pricing: Free, with paid add-ons (Free – $39)
What is the Best WordPress Directory Plugin?
The best WordPress directory plugins balance deep feature sets, and multiple plugin integrations, and are easy for users and admins alike. We hope that with the help of this list, you were able to find the right plugin for your next project.
For the best overall directory plugin, we suggest GeoDirectory because it has powerful features and extensions, it is easy to use, and integrates well with other plugins. Business Directory also is a great choice, especially if you are looking to monetize your directory.
Advanced WordPress users should look at using Toolset along with Divi. This powerful combo will provide all the tools you need to create a directory specific to your needs. Whatever you choose, make sure that it balances your business needs with your budget—that way you’ll be on the right track in building out your directory.
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