Online Directories are becoming more popular than ever. Because they are easy to maintain websites that can turn out to be very profitable with very little efforts. In this article, we will see how you can create a contact directory software with WordPress.
The Contact directory websites are in the form of an online telephone directory or a staff directory. These directories are similar to the general locations or a business listing websites. The only difference is the fields of the listings.
Generally, it’s difficult to find a niche contact directory template, however, any directory theme based on listings can be used to create a contact directory.
In this article, we will see how you can tweak an ordinary directory template to create a contact directory website.
- What is the use of an online contact directory software?
- Installing the contact directory template for WordPress
- Redesigning your contact directory software
- Enabling front-end submissions on your people directory software
- Managing your contacts directory software
What is a Contact directory or a people directory?
A contact directory or a people directory is a type of online directory where different contacts are posted. The fields on your people listing can be as per your choice. For example, You can choose if you want a field pertaining to address, a field for fax, etc.
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With flexible directory software, you can choose whatever fields you like for your contact listings. Here are a few examples of general contact directories you can create with WordPress:
An online telephone directory is one of the most common types of contact directory software. It typically contains very basic contact details for people of certain social group, or community, people of a city.
Business contact directory:
Similar to a contact directory website but with business people listings. The contacts in a business contact directory are businesses under different categories.
Human resource/Staff directory:
Staff directory typically belongs to a company or an institution. It lists the contacts and other personal details of the employees. It can contain any information that a firm collects from an employee. In fact, such a directory in itself can serve as an employee database.
Besides the ones mentioned here, there can be a number of types of contact directories that you can create. The only pre-requisite for this is to choose a theme that is thoroughly customizable. So that makes it easy for you to add all the fields you want and create a listing of your choice.
Installing and getting started with your contact directory website
The very first choice you’ll need to make while creating a website is to choose a platform to develop your website. We’ll go for a people directory WordPress theme to create our online contact directory. The following are the reasons for preferring WordPress:
- Free, open source and very easy to use
- Availability of pre-designed and fully functional people directory wp themes
- Availability of plugins and add-ons to extend the features of your website.
Therefore, we’ll go for WordPress to create online contact directory software. And we will use the Directory WordPress template as our people directory script to create an online contact directory website.
Next, we need to acquire a domain name and hosting. To subscribe to a domain name (and hosting), you can rely on any of the popular companies. But make sure you conduct enough research before you decide on a service provider. Because even when it is possible to move WordPress site from a domain and host, it is best to avoid it.
Customizing and re-designing your Contact Directory Software
Even though the main customization part is creating the new custom post type and setting up the submission form, here will talk about the basic customizations of our people directory theme.
Because this people template comes with many customization options to create a website of your choice without tweaking a line of code. This people website template can be used by anyone to create a website on their own without technical assistance.
The following are a few things that you would like to customize on your people directory software website builder:
- Uploading the logo, changing the footer credits
- Changing the colors and background of your website
- Designing and organizing the menus on your contact directory website
- Updating the images and titles of your people directory software
This people directory software is customizable and it provides you with all the options to make your website look and behave the way you want.
Creating categories for contacts/people on your people website script
You’ll not always need categories on your contact directory website. But certain contact directories might need categories for the people listings.
For example – An employee directory website where you list all the employees of an institute or a company. So different department can act as different categories. And the contact of each department can be managed under the specific category in a people script.
Designing the submission form for the contact directory template
Now that we have completed the customization part, we’ll come to the main part of creating an online contact directory software. Here, we will create a custom post type for people listings. This will serve as the post type fo people profiles on your Contact Directory Software.
The Directory WordPress software comes with the feature to let you create custom post types with the fields of your choice easily. So you can create a directory of almost any niche using this theme.
First of all, we will create a custom post type called “Contact” for the contact listing on your online contact directory. Again, the theme guide has an in-depth description of how you can create and use a custom post type.
Now is the time to design the submission form. first of all, you must decide the fields that you want to be included in your contact listing. I’ll take the fields name, address, blood group, phone number, email address, etc.
Once you are decided with the custom fields to be included, you can use the available options with the theme to create the custom fields. The theme comes with a theme use guide that has detailed steps explained on how you can create custom fields. This makes your task easier.
When you save the custom post type and assign it the fields, it will start appearing as one of the post types on your website. You can now create categories for this post types and add content to it from the backend.
Enabling front-end submissions on your contact directory software
Front-end listing submission is generally not required for a contact directory. But just in case you need it, you can easily do so using the Directory software.
The first requirement for creating a contact directory website with a front end submission system is the contact submission form.
Allowing front end submission
With the WordPress Directory software, you won’t have to worry about designing your front end submission system.
You can easily generate the listing submission form using the shortcode. All you need to do is to create a new page, name it as you want it, and past the shortcode with the name of your contact listing custom post type.
Paste the shortcode and preview it to see how your contact submission form will look like. Once the submission form is ready, you can start showing the link to the submission page on your homepage or include it into the menu where it can be found easily.
You can even control how you want your front end submission to be managed. You can choose to directly publish it, or you can choose to hold the front end listings in moderation until you manually verify the submitted details.
Managing your contact directory website
A contact directory is relatively easier to manage as compared to other types of directories.
Removing outdated content/unnecessary plugins
In order to let your website run smoothly and efficiently, you need to get rid of unnecessary elements on your site. These can be in form of extra plugins, or unused pages, etc. Anything that is not contributing to the functioning of your website or providing value to your users can be removed. Because
- It frees the space on your website’s server
- Makes space for new useful content
- It makes your website faster
- So that your users don’t stumble upon an unnecessary or incorrect page while browsing your website
Updating the contacts as and when required
A contact directory is all about contacts, so you need to keep it updated. There’s absolutely no sense in having a contact directory website with obsolete data. So one of your recurring tasks is to update your contact directory website as and when required.
Fixing bugs and broken links in your contact directory software
Another important maintenance routines include fixing malfunctioning module or part of the website. It is important to resolve the issues before it affects the user experience on your website.
So are you ready to create your own contact directory?
With these simple steps, your contact directory can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. No need to bother about finding technical experts to get your online contact directory software ready and running.
Also, we’d love to hear from you. If you have suggestions or want to share your opinions regarding contact directories.