The first and one of the most important decision you will make before starting your website creation is choosing the platform. As nowadays, we have many directory platforms that you can use to create your online directory website.
All these platforms come with their own benefits and limitations. And the right platform for you can only be decided based on what kind of directory website you want to create
Even though switching the platform at a later stage is possible, it turns out to be risky and a little complicated. So the smart idea is, to take your time and decide the directory platform only after a thoughtful consideration.
In this article. we will discuss the three most common alternatives to create a directory website. This comparison will help you decide the best platform to create a directory website. We will discuss the three main platforms that you can go for to create your online directory.
- Pros and cons of using programming language to create an online directory
- Using the /directory software to create online directory website
- Pros and Cons of using a CMS/Framework like WordPress to create your online directory
Using Programming language
If you are a programmer and want to create a directory website of your own, you can obviously use your programming skills to get your website created.
If you possess the necessary designing and programming skills, you can create a website on your own. However, a directory website is different than a business or blog website and obviously demand more efforts, accuracy and time.
Design and functions just the way you want
The best thing about creating a website through programming, you can create your website just like you want it.
However, it becomes a little difficult when you are outsourcing this. If you are hiring programmers to get your website created than the first challenge is to find the professional help. Next challenge is to explain your needs to the programmers, agreeing on the price.
And then it’s a long tiring process for you explaining your requirements to the programmers and then checking if what the programmer gives you is what you wanted.
However, when you get your website created by programming, you can have your website designed and created just the way you want.
No relying on third-party software/services
One of the positive traits of creating programmed or PHP directory listings is that you won’t have to rely on a third party software or service. You get to design and program your own site, plan and integrate features as per your requirements.
So your website remains unaffected by the changes made in a directory platform or a theme. Software providers usually update their software to fix some errors or to upgrade the features. Even though the software updates are generally in form of enhancement, you might not like the changes every time.
But that won’t happen since the only one to be able to update the software is you.
More efforts to program and maintain
Creating websites through programming is already need more efforts than using software or templates. And directory websites are different from ordinary business or blog websites. They are the websites with massive features and takes more time and efforts to be developed.
When you create a directory in PHP or any other programming language, you can either start coding from the scratch or go to the ready to use Php directory listing script.
If you start coding from scratch, it might take days for designing, and then create all the programming modules for the different features of a directory website. Therefore,
You can download scripts from the internet but can’t be sure on how safe they are. Assuring security and detecting loopholes in ready to use scripts is also time taking and tiring.
Creating a website through programming is obviously time taking. When you create a website through programming, there are two phases, the designing, and the programming phase.
Both of these phases take time as there are different levels of coding, testing, correction, etc. Therefore creating a website through programming takes more time.
Prone to programming and coding errors
Even the greatest programmers can sometimes make errors. Suppose you fail to forget the programming syntax, or type the wrong variable name, or write two code snippets on two different modules that conflict each other.
Also, you have to watch out for minor details because they might cause major problems. Sometimes, even a missing colon can prevent the successful execution of your code.
The mistake can be minor and the fix might take just a few seconds, but spotting the mistake may sometimes take lots of time and efforts.
Also, there are chances that a wonderfully written piece of code misfunctions. For instance: A code to calculate a complex math misfunctions and shows up with wrong answers.
Sometimes, even the debugging tools and techniques fail to find the problem. And that’s when you are required to go through endless code lines to find the fault.
Limits the addition of new features, makes it time-consuming
Adding new feature in your website developed with programming means writing more code!
Sometimes you might need to go through all your existing code to make sure you follow the same syntax or just to find out the name of a function or variable. Obviously, there are tools like FireBug that can make it easier.
And again, integrating new features into your WordPress website through coding is time taking. Also doing that every time when you need a new feature on your website is exhausting. Because you might to revisit some of your code modules and then adjust them according to your new module.
Therefore, adding new features to your website can, therefore, be a long and tiresome process.
Hiring programmer to develop a website for you
Today when we have so many different technologies and software to get our website created, anyone can create and manage their own website.
It is a far better option than hiring a programmer and designer to get your website created. The following are the few of many arguments to support this:
- Website development through programming takes time. You can’t expect your website to be live in a few hours or minutes.
- You will definitely miss website updates/upgrades. When you go for a software/platform, they are constantly working to make their system better and most of them promise regular updates.
- It’s difficult to explain all your requirements to the developers and get them to make a website just like you want.
- You’ll always have to rely on the programmers for minor site maintenance.
- If you need a new feature added, it might take time and you again, have to rely on programmers to do that for you.
SaaS services like Brilliant Directory or eDirectory
There are multiple ways through which you can create your directory website. Because programming is not everyone’s cup of tea. And so we have all these new technologies and innovative ways through which you can create your directory website.
One of the ways through which you can create your directory website is by using the SAAS solution. Here the platform to create your online directory is provided as a service. All you need to do is to pay monthly subscription fees and get your site online.
All the features are pre-programmed. And this platform comes with intuitive backend options to let you control how your website looks and behaves.
Easy to use compared to other directory platforms
The directory platforms available as a software service. It is designed for the convenience of the users.
Such directory software platforms are crafted with user-friendliness in mind. Also, they can be used by anyone, even a person with little to no technical knowledge can use this platform to create a website on their own.
So the directory platforms are really easy to use. You can create your own directory portal in minutes without writing or changing a line of code.
Get started in just minutes
Where creating a website using PHP scripts can take days (if not weeks) to get your directory website online. But with the SAAS directory platform, you can create it in just minutes.
Going for a SAAS platform to create your directory website is time-saving because of two reasons:
- It is a self-hosted, no need to spend time on researching the hosting services and evaluating them
- Also, you won’t have to spend time installing the software and theme, just sign up and get started in minutes.
Besides, one of the main reasons you should go for the self-hosted directory building platforms is because they are pre-programmed. You can re-configure your website as per your requirements but you won’t need to write codes and develop modules for each feature you want on your website.
Best features and support for your online directory website
A SAAS directory platform is specifically designed for creating directory websites. It is mainly designed for the nontechnical people to be able to create their directory website on their own.
Therefore, they come with all the required features preloaded. All these features can be managed with easy options available at the user dashboard.
So even a person with no technical knowledge can create a fully functional professional looking website with the directory software.
When you go for a premium and reliable directory software, they promise support as one of their after-sales services. These services let you create your website with some of the easiest options available.
However, if you ever need help building your directory website, you can ask for support. Different directory platforms provide support through different mediums. And they can be of assistance whenever you need.
Self-hosted platform for creating online directories
As discussed earlier, this type of directory solution is self-hosted. So you won’t have to worry about choosing the best hosting company.You might not always end up with the best host around even after all the search. Sometimes the services you choose end up disappointing.
With the self-hosted directory platform, you won’t even have to pay more for the hosting services or get confused with their various schemes. All you need to do is to choose the directory software package and get started with your directory website.
Professional design + Customizability
The directory software is specialized platforms for creating directory website. They are designed professionally and include all the features and options you need to create and manage an online directory website.
Such directory platforms are designed for people at large to let them create their directory website effortlessly.
Also, they come with abundant options to make your website look and feel the way you want. For instance: If you want to create a real estate directory, there are enough options to create it within the platform.
Besides, you can change the colors, customize the fonts, re-organize the pages of your website, with the options available in the backend.
Monthly fees can prove to be expensive
The directory portal software generally charges you on a monthly subscription basis. You can subscribe for a period and use the platform to create the directory website.
These platforms come with all the features and options required to create a directory website. They also provide additional features in form of add-ons.
However, the monthly fees include the managed platform as well as the hosting (as you don’t have to pay for the host separately).
Moreover, these platforms are managed, your efforts are reduced to minimal. So if you don’t mind paying a little more for an easier website making experience, you should surely opt for the directory software. Additionally, there are better deals when you choose a long-term subscription.
Adding new features
When you want to add a new feature into your directory software, you can choose from the available add-ons.
The addons for directory software are pluggable software modules that you can integrate into your website. These software modules are mostly provided for a monthly subscription.
Generally, the directory software comes with all the basic features inbuilt. Only the additional, high-end, and extra features are available as add-ons. So you will only need to integrate additional add-ons when you want extra enhancements in your website.
WordPress Directory themes
CMS like WordPress has revolutionalized the whole website building experience. WordPress is one of the most popular CMS among all of them because it is free, opensource and easy to use.
Moreover, with the intense competition in the market, there are abundant directory WordPress themes available.
True that WordPress themes are pre-designed and pre-programmed. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be customized as per your requirements. Most of the premium WordPress directory software is highly customizable.
And the highlight is the ease of customization. With intuitive options, you can customize your online directory and make it look and work, exactly the way you want.
High-end features integrated
WordPress themes are pre-equipped with all the required features for the specific niche. For instance: If there’s a WordPress theme for e-learning, it comes with all the required features that an online e-learning system requires. Similarly, a directory WordPress theme comes with all the required features inbuilt.
While it takes weeks of coding, testing and rectifying when developing features through programming, with the Directory website builders or templates, you get them ready to use. These features are not just ready to perform, but also come with enough customization options to let you manage your directory website easily.
No recurring(Monthly) fees
Mostly all of the self-hosted directory platforms charges on monthly basis. And therefore, if you go for a directory platform, you’ll have to subscribe on a recurring basis to get your website going.
However, WordPress directory templates are generally sold as independent software programs. You can complete the payment process and download the template. You don’t have to pay for renewing them every month.
On account of heavy competition in the market, there are abundant directory scripts you can choose from, at an affordable price.
Support and documents
Most of the premium WordPress themes come with documented guides that provide you with step by step information on how you can install and use the theme.
It contains all the information on how to setup your website with WordPress. So you can use these documented instructions to setup your website and get started instantly.
Adding new features is really easy
WordPress plugins are reusable code snippets that you can use to integrate new features into your website.
For example: If you want to add the booking feature in your normal WordPress website, there are multiple WordPress booking plugins available. You can download the one with the features you like and install into your website in just a click.
Mostly, the premium WordPress plugins are easy to use, compatible with most of the plugins and themes and available at a fair price. They are pre-programmed and are the best way to integrate new features into your website in just minutes.
You can convert your WordPress site into an eCommerce portal if your theme supports the WooCommerce plugin.
Purchasing the theme/template or program
Online directory WordPress templates can be bit pricey. But purchasing a directory WordPress themes is still affordable as compared to the directory software.
As mentioned earlier, the directory software is generally priced on a monthly subscription basis, while buying the themes or template is a one time cost. You won’t have to pay monthly for your themes or templates
If you go for a CMS like WordPress or Joomla, you can choose from among hundreds of templates on different subjects with varying designs and
Considering it’s the only price you pay for a detailed, multi-featured directory website, it’s not a big problem.
The bottom line:
There are many directory software available in the market and you can choose the best for you based on your requirements.