A directory is a vague term based on how they’re used. However, all online directories typically have the same functionality, where it delivers business or personal information based on a location or category.

Yelp, one of the more popular directories online, delivers local business information based on the user’s location. Angie’s List is also considered a directory, yet it connects people with contractors and professionals for tasks like plumbing and roofing.

To make your own directory like one of these, it requires a WordPress directory plugin. We put together a detailed guide on how to create your own directory website:

The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide to Creating a Directory Website with WordPress

You don’t need a plan to overtake Yelp or create an enterprise of your business directory. Many companies use online directories for internal or external purposes. A real estate firm might share a directory on its website with a list of all the agents and which areas they cover. A law firm may have a directory of its employees, or maybe a list of key business partners.

Directories serve as user-friendly databases, where they provide search bars, pictures, location information, and contact details. More often than not you see a map, like how Best Buy or Target have public directories for customers to find all store locations. Even Google (My Business) and Facebook provide business directory tools for those seeking out quality products and services.

What to Look for in a Great WordPress Directory Plugin

Much of the decision depends on the type of directory you want to launch. Is it to make money by charging local businesses to pay for ads? Then you’ll want some features for collecting those payments. Is the directory being used to reveal information about people and not businesses? You’ll want to find one that has fields for personal and contact information.

However, all of the best WordPress directory plugins have several things in common. Here’s what you should look for during your search:

  • Options for adding new listings and adjusting old ones.
  • Backend tools for merchants that want to share information about their businesses.
  • Payment collection features for if you charge for listings.
  • Rating and review systems.
  • Media support.
  • Bookmarking tools.
  • A location-based search module with maps.
  • Frontend submission options.
  • Shortcodes and widgets for adding listings anywhere on your website.
  • Highly customizable form fields for adjusting submissions.

The Best WordPress Directory Plugins to Choose From in 2022

Feel free to use this shortlist to test the waters and play around with each plugin yourself. We also recommend reading further, since we break down each of the WordPress directory plugins to find the best features and reasons for going with each.

1. Business Directory Plugin

The Business Directory Plugin includes all core directory features such as fully customizable form fields, image support, and payment acceptance. These core features are all free when you download the main plugin, but you also have the option to download some add-ons for a premium price. A package with all of the add-ons goes for $199.99 (onetime fee) while the individual modules start at $69.99.

Business Directory Plugin for WordPress
Business Directory Plugin for WordPress

Some of the extra modules include:

  • Discount codes.
  • Featured levels.
  • File attachments.
  • Google Maps.
  • 2Checkout gateway module.
  • A claim listing button.
  • Rating feature.
  • Many more.

As you can see, to turn your directory into something as powerful as Yelp, you’ll have to pay for some of the add-ons. For instance, the rating module is going to cost you that extra $69.99, or the zip search tool is going to cost you as well.

Without any of the add-ons, you still have a solid directory. It even provides support for Authorize.net if you’d like to accept payments for business listings. We like the Business Directory Plugin for those who want a fully functional directory without having to pay anything. The reviews and ratings are quite impressive, and the plugin is lightweight and ready to go on your website. It’s also nice because you can buy some additions for only the features you need.

Main Reasons We Like This WordPress Directory Plugin:

  • The core plugin is free and most of the features in there should give companies what they need. If not, there’s a large add-on directory for upgrading your feature set.
  • Payment support is included with the core plugin. So, if you’d like to create multiple plans or simply charge for listings one by one, that’s available.
  • The form fields are as customizable as they come, allowing you to make your directory submission forms as unique as possible.
  • You can upload a CSV if you already have a large list of businesses for your directory.
  • This plugin has above-average image options, with tools for changing your thumbnail sizes, adjusting the image orders, and an area to drag and drop images into the pages.
  • A reCAPTCHA tool is built-in, preventing all of the spam you often see on directories.
  • Frontend submissions are available, and those people who submit the listings can modify content without logging into the backend of WordPress.

2. GeoDirectory

GeoDirectory allows you to turn any WordPress theme into a powerful, fast directory. The plugin is more focused on generating a global business directory, but you can cut that down into certain sections of the world or only cater to your neighborhood. It’s a WordPress multisite compatible plugin, which makes it excellent for building a network of directories or installing it on multiple client sites. The majority of the plugin is given to you for free, but several add-ons are sold for adding events, multilocation, pricing, reviews, and BuddyPress integrations. These add-ons typically start at $19.

GeoDirectory WordPress plugin
GeoDirectory WordPress plugin

One of the main reasons we enjoy GeoDirectory is because of the beautiful search interface. The plugin has a frontend form for both regular users and merchants who want to add listings. The business pages are brought up in order of the proximity to the user, with large, clickable thumbnails to the left and a beautiful Google Map next to it. When someone clicks on a business they can search for directions right from your website. There’s even a CSV import and export tool for filling multiple listings at one time or moving them to another site.

With GeoDirectory’s lightweight, scalable interface, it’s one of the few free directory plugins useful for massive growth and lots of traffic. The developer also sells directory themes if you’re starting a site from scratch.

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Main Reasons We Like This WordPress Directory Plugin:

  • GeoDirectory has a frontend form for people to submit listings and edit those listings with a drag and drop editor.
  • There are 13 field types for constructing your custom forms and making them fit your website.
  • Over 15 widgets and 12 widget areas are provided with the plugin. You also get some shortcode options.
  • Google Analytics information is shown for merchants with listings. This way, they can see how much your website is helping their business.
  • Several forms are built into the plugin, and they are mainly for user reviews, business inquiries, and sending information to friends.
  • Multisite compatible.
  • The plugin is free, but you have dozens of affordable add-ons for functions like custom Google Maps, AffiliateWP integration, list management, social importing, and more.

3. Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro

If you’re looking for more flexibility with your WordPress directory plugin, the Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro plugin is right up your alley. It’s a strong solution that integrates into any existing website, and it supports any kind of directories such as a movie rating site, a platform for classifieds, or a travel guide. As with the other two plugins we’ve already talked about, Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro can be downloaded for free. The developers also sell several premium add-ons for upgrades. Some of the add-ons provide tools for WooCommerce support, PayPal, Stripe payments, and a listings slider. They start at around $19.99 per add-on.

As you might notice, the add-on library for the Advanced Classifieds plugin is much smaller than the competition. However, this is mainly because most of the features are already packed into the core plugin. In fact, the only thing you really have to pay for is some sort of payment processor tool.

Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro
Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro WordPress plugin

The unlimited custom fields in the Advanced Classifieds plugin are enough to make us recommend at least trying out the plugin. You can add anything from radio buttons to input boxes, and it allows you to assign categories to each of your listings as well. The user functions are also quite impressive, with a whole area for businesses to manage their listings, renew listings, view payment history, and more. An offline payment feature is included. So, if you’d like to accept checks through the mail or from local businesses, that’s a possibility without having to pay for one of the premium payment add-ons.

Main Reasons We Like This WordPress Directory Plugin:

  • The majority of the features are included for free. The only add-ons you’ll have to pay for are the Stripe or PayPal payment plugins.
  • Email notifications are sent out when certain events happen. For instance, the merchants get emails when listings expire or when a payment is received.
  • The Advanced Classifieds plugin has powerful revenue features for charging users and setting up free plans.
  • The plugin has an advanced search widget with options to search by keyword, category, location, and more.
  • All of the listing pages support the uploading of images and videos.
  • The plugin provides unlimited locations with the ability to hone in on certain neighborhoods and cities.
  • You get an unlimited number of custom fields for accommodating whatever types of businesses you list in the directory.

4. Connections Business Directory

The Connections Business Directory plugin combines simplicity with unique features, allowing you to create anything from a small contact book to an empire with thousands of worldwide business listings. The WordPress directory plugin was built to be as compatible and configurable as possible, making it one of the more flexible solutions on this list. The support from the developers is also outstanding.

Connections Business Directory WordPress plugin
Connections Business Directory WordPress plugin

The business model for this plugin involves giving away the core plugin for free. Then, you have access to several free add-ons, some of which include features for toolbars, logins, and birthday emails. The developers also sell premium extensions, which range in price but don’t go anywhere above $75 for a single website. In fact, some of the simpler extensions are listed at $5. As for the premium extensions, you ‘ll find a decent list of options like a CSV import tool, an option for more advanced forms, and a widget pack.

We also enjoy that the plugin developers have several premium templates. This way, you don’t have to customize and design the directory yourself. You might want to make a small staff directory or a full business directory. Both of those are possible with the templates. The Connections Business Directory also provides excellent support for developers, with open development going on at Github and over 180 action hooks and 300 filters. APIs are open for things like settings, email, and the fragment cache–so the customization and scaling opportunities seem endless with this plugin.

Main Reasons We Like This WordPress Directory Plugin:

  • The core plugin can be downloaded for free, and most of the premium extensions you’ll need sell for $5 or $10.
  • The plugin is especially useful for developers who want to integrate into special systems or customize for a completely unique directory. The APIs are open for you to play with.
  • Several premium templates are sold for constructing a unique directory that doesn’t necessarily look like a regular out of the box directory.
  • Some of the custom fields are far more unique than what you get with other directory plugins. For example, the plugin offers custom fields for languages, hobbies, education levels, facilities, local time, and business open hours.
  • Repeatable fields are shown for address, phone numbers, email, and other options. This means that you can add as much information as needed for your business listings.
  • Anniversaries and birthdays are saved in the directory. So, your organization can keep a database with reminders for when employee birthdays roll around.
  • The plugin has excellent support for user directories, where information on people is stored in the traditional business directory. It even has an area to type in biographical information for each person.

5. Sabai Directory

The good news about the Sabai Directory plugin is that it sells for only $29. That gets you six months of support from the developer. This one-time payment also provides every feature in the plugin, so there’s no need to pay for additional directory add-ons. Sabai is sold through the CodeCanyon marketplace, and the reviews and ratings are positive. The plugin is made to create a directory site structure for businesses, restaurants, and stores. It also comes with multiple maps that can be switched using Google Maps.

After our review of the plugin, we started to realize that Sabai is one of the best bets for getting close to a platform like Yelp or Google Places. You can adjust whether the listings are shown on a grid or map and insert a search bar for typing in keywords, categories, and locations.

Sabai Directory WordPress plugin
Sabai Directory WordPress plugin

The custom fields are created and managed with a visual form editor. It’s not as sleek as a drag and drop editor, but those who know WordPress should be fine. The fully interactive map is a feature to keep an eye on. With its hover and click animations and draggable areas, it’s easy for users to find the businesses they want. Considering all of the features are included in the base price, you can expect more advanced tools like reviews, ratings, multi-location support, voting, page flagging, email notifications, and media uploads.

You can even set it up to collect recurring payments through either Stripe or PayPal.

Main Reasons We Like This WordPress Directory Plugin:

  • All premium features are packaged into one plugin, so you get it all for the low price of $29. This also gives you customer support for six months, which can come in handy for a directory plugin.
  • The interactive listing search is sleek and easy to use, with smart searching, contact information and a map with interesting icons.
  • The plugin provides interactive filters for limiting searches based on ratings, pricing, location, or date.
  • You can insert a multicriteria rating system, where the user can choose something like quality or price and rate each of those categories for a single business or product.
  • Users can generate their own content and upload it to their reviews. This is similar to how Amazon lets customers upload images when they write a review.
  • The custom fields are implemented using a visual editor. The plugin also provides all the custom fields you would need, like numbers, HTML, image, and section breaks.
  • You can create paid listings.
  • The plugin has an awesome feature for choosing from 16 custom Google map styles. Some of them have varying colors and overlays, while others feature more playful icons.

6. Web 2.0 Directory plugin

The Web 2.0 Directory plugin is another fine solution found through the CodeCanyon marketplace. It’s a little pricier than the SabaiDirectory plugin, but at $34 you can’t complain. This alternative features Google Maps quite a bit, with maps and marker icons to show off the businesses in your directory. All of the search is done right on the directory homepage, with customizable search options and a tool for honing in on the radius of the user.

Web 2.0 Directory WordPress plugin
Web 2.0 Directory WordPress plugin

Web 2.0 Directory connects with a few payment modules like PayPal and WooCommerce, and you can even link it up with YouTube, and of course, Google Maps. Because of this YouTube integration, you can put both videos and images in your directory listings.

A standout feature from the Web 2.0 Directory plugin involves the different ways to collect money from merchants. Usually, these plugins stick with the recurring model or a one-time fee to post a listing. Web 2.0 Directory takes it to a new level, with payments for listing activations, renewals, upgrades, downgrades, and listing claims. You can also sell packages of listings for companies that might want multiple pages. As you can see, the Web 2.0 Directory plugin seems to focus quite a bit on selling your directory pages.

Main Reasons We Like This WordPress Directory Plugin:

  • For only a one-time fee of $34, you receive every feature in the plugin along with six months of support.
  • The plugin links to WooComerce for online store functionality, along with PayPal for simpler payments. Stripe is also supported.
  • It provides a full rating system for users to go in and rate their favorite (or least favorite) business, then type in a few words about their experience.
  • You have the opportunity to sell listing packages and pretty much accept money for any type of action on your directory.
  • Both YouTube and Vimeo videos can be shared on listings.
  • There’s a tool for visitors to print out or grab PDFs of all the listings.
  • The search and Google Maps interfaces combine nicely to create one of the more beautiful customer experiences on this list.

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7. Name Directory

Name Directory takes an alternative approach to the usual “business index” plugin. It’s more like a glossary, where the admin generates a list of names or terms and shares them on a page for internal or external use. It seems to make the most sense for when you actually need to make an online glossary of terms, or for when your company wants to list out personal information for employees. The Name Directory plugin is completely free, but you won’t get any support besides the WordPress forums area.

Name Directory WordPress plugin
Name Directory WordPress plugin

After creating the directory list, the plugin presents a shortcode that you place anywhere on your site, whether it is a widget or post or page. This makes it easy to implement the directory, and you don’t have to start with a completely new website to make it work. There is also a bulk import function for when you have a large list of people, terms, or businesses and don’t want to spend all that time typing it in yourself.

Main Reasons We Like This WordPress Directory Plugin:

  • Name Directory is unique on this list, since it’s more of a glossary than a map-based directory. If you’re interested in creating a list of people or terms, along with information about those, this might be the plugin for you.
  • You can create multiple directories with the plugin, and each of those directories can be spread throughout your website with the help of the handy shortcodes.
  • Most of the design is done for you, so it’s one of the quickest ways to get a directory onto your website.
  • A few configuration options are provided, such as the ability to show or hide the title, suggestion form, or search function.

8. LDD Directory Lite

The LDD Directory Lite plugin is an easy to install and free solution for those who want a directory on their WordPress website. The plugin can also be downloaded from the LDD Web Design site, along with the various other extensions for things like social sharing, social logins, imports, exports, and reviews. As mentioned, the core plugin doesn’t have a price tag, but the extensions vary in price. For instance, the Directory Social Share extension is listed as $9.99 and the Directory Social Login option is $19.99. Only five extensions are listed on the site, so you can assume you get most of the features in the core plugin. Not to mention, $10 to $20 is pretty reasonable for an extension.

LDD Directory Lite WordPress plugin
LDD Directory Lite WordPress plugin

With LDD Directory Lite you take a shortcode and add it to any page or post on your website. This automatically generates the directory, making for one of the more lightweight, yet powerful solutions on this page. You can customize the look and feel of the WordPress directory plugin however you want and connect to Google Maps and a social media website.

The WordPress directory plugin has a clean and somewhat modern design, and it’s mainly for those who don’t want to mess with too many features. It gets the job done and doesn’t weigh down your website.

Main Reasons We Like This WordPress Directory Plugin:

  • Most of the directory tools are completely free in the core plugin.
  • The five extensions are easy on the wallet and there’s a chance you don’t even need them.
  • The directory is created instantly with the help of a shortcode. On the frontend, your users can view directory listings and click through without any clutter.
  • The WordPress directory plugin integrates with some social tools and Google Maps.
  • You can customize all of the email notifications and maintain listings from the backend.
  • Website users are able to customize their own listings from the frontend.

9. Directory Pro

Consider the Directory Pro plugin if you’re interested in an almost playful, yet professional, design with an advanced payments system that accepts bids and other interesting payment methods. This is a WordPress directory plugin that’s sold through the CodeCanyon marketplace. Therefore, you pay $34 as a onetime fee, then you can upgrade your support length to 12 months for $11.25. The listing plugin seems to work best for local or worldwide business placement, with a beautiful page for your listing and a spot for companies to manage how their online presence looks.

Directory Pro WordPress plugin
Directory Pro WordPress plugin

The standout feature involves how you earn money with the plugin. You can basically charge for your listing through a variety of ways, including through a bidding system or when people book appointments. You can also charge folks when they make reservations, view listings, claim listings, or even just to access the website. The bidding module works by asking companies to put in a certain number they’re willing to pay to be seen higher in the directory.

Main Reasons We Like This WordPress Directory Plugin:

  • The plugin is affordable and it offers a colorful interface with powerful features.
  • It has certain badges for new listings, along with buttons for saving favorites and items that people are interested in.
  • You can make money through several methods. One of these is the bidding system.
  • Make an unlimited number of subscriptions for the companies listed on your site.
  • The plugin integrates with the Visual Composer plugin, so you don’t have to know much about coding.
  • Directory Pro also combines well with tools like PayPal, Stripe, WooCommerce, and MailChimp.

10. Toolset Directory

Toolset Directory allows you to build directory websites without any PHP coding. In fact, this plugin is both a good option for coding novices looking to build their own website for the first time or experienced programmers who need to build websites fast. Toolset Directory integrates perfectly with some of the most popular plugins including Elementor, WPML, and WooCommerce as well as all major themes.

Toolset Directory
Toolset Directory WordPress plugin

Toolset Directory is priced at $149 for your first year and $111 for renewals. This plugin provides you with different possibilities to build any type of website such as ecommerce, membership, and brochure websites.

Main Reasons We Like This WordPress Directory Plugin:

  • Support for custom post types, fields, and taxonomies.
  • Featured and related listings.
  • Category trees.
  • Payment gateways integration.
  • Display results in grid-based layouts, lists, and many other different ways.
  • Powerful search with multiple filters and AJAX update

Which WordPress Directory Plugin is Right for You?

We have plenty of viable WordPress directory plugins on this list. Hopefully, we’ve trimmed down your list quite a bit, but you might still be wondering which of these is the perfect solution for your website.

  • The cheapest WordPress directory plugin – Most of them come with free core plugins, then you have to pay for extensions. If you don’t plan on buying extensions, opt for a free solution. Otherwise, the directory plugins sold on CodeCanyon give you the best bang for your buck.
  • The best value – Sabai Directory.
  • For multiple payment collection methods – Web 2.0 Directory plugin.
  • For making your directory as powerful as Yelp – Business Directory Plugin or Sabai Directory.
  • For offering the best local directory – GeoDirectory.
  • If you’d like to make more of a glossary – Name Directory.
  • For a super lightweight directory – LDD Directory Lite.

That’s it! If you have any other questions about the best WordPress directory plugins, or you’d like to share your own experiences with the options above, let us know in the comments.

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