Thanks to the modern technologies that we can affirm that creating a directory website isn’t a difficult deal.
There are different platforms and website builders that you can use to create your city directory. Multitude of tools make building and managing city directory websites easier and effortless for even people with zero technological knowledge.
One of the easiest way to create your city directory website is by using WordPress. Even though it is a CMS, WordPress is free, opensource and best for beginners as it is easy to use.
And the best thing about WordPress is the availability of hundreds of beautiful, feature rich themes to create your website. Even for a city directory WordPress website, there are different themes you can choose from.
In this article, we will see step by step procedure on how to create a city directory website with WordPress.
The Simple steps to Create a City Directory
WordPress is one of the easiest ways to create websites. It can be used to create different types of website very easily.
- Obtain the theme
- Get the domain and hosting
- Setup your website with WordPress
- Setting up menus
- Creating categories
- Creating & updating pages
- Updating images & customize website
- Create pricing packages
- Setup payment processing
- Check user registration, add & manage user roles
- Make sure that the Front end submission is working properly
Obtain the theme
If we are using WordPress for creating a city directory website, you will need a WordPress theme. The city directory WordPress GeoPlaces theme has all the features to create a city directory website.
Actually, it can work in single city as well as multi-city modes, so you can use it to create a city directory for multiple cities at once.
The GeoPlaces WordPress theme is elegantly designed, clutter-free with thoughtful placement of screen elements for maximum visitor attention.
It supports Google Maps – to let you create a location based WordPress city directory website easily.
This WordPress theme comes with inbuilt listing types – Places for different categories of places in the city like Museums, hospitals, Hotels, Amusement Parks, Auditoriums, etc. and Events, for event listings.
Also included, is a front end listing submission form, with a fully functional front end submission system with payment processing to accept sponsored listings on your website.
With the available options, you can easily create payment packages to display before the submission form. So the visitors can choose the pricing option that fits them the best and pay & post their business listing on your website.
There are many other beautiful features the theme comes with.
Get the domain and hosting
The WordPress theme is almost like a ready to use website design that you can use right away. But you will need a domain name and host to publish your website.
The domain name represents the name/address of your website. It is infact your website’s permanent identity on the internet. Whereas the hosting space is the server space, you have to rent, to get your website online. The hosting space is where the components of your website are uploaded.
Now, getting a domain name and hosting isn’t difficult at all. You just sign up, choose the domain name and hosting package and choose to buy them by making the payment. Just like you do on eCommerce websites.
However, you choosing the best domain name/hosting package for your website, does need some considerations.
This article will help you choose the best domain name and hosting for your website.
Setup your website with WordPress
The theme comes pre-configured with features and a design that can be customized. You can
Getting Started with WordPress
WordPress is a CMS that can be used by technical experts as well as totally non-technical people. It is easy to install and use.
Most of the hosting providers nowadays offer easy WordPress start. You just have to sign up and choose the option to create a website with WordPress.
So with those services, you won’t even need to install and setup WordPress and get started in just minutes.
Installing the WordPress Theme
Once you have your platform(WordPress) ready, you can get started with the WordPress theme install. A WordPress theme is much like a ready to use website, with lot of example data.
Setting up menus
Menu is one of the most important parts of your directory website. Since online directories generally have multiple pages and important links where a user might want to go, there should be a swift way of navigating there.
Setting up menus is simple with WordPress and the City directory theme. The theme documentation comes with step by step description on how you can setup the menu.
Well, the technical part is not difficult, but the question is – what to put on your menu, and deciding the menu hierarchy.
For that, I recommend the old traditional way. Take a notepad and pen, and jot down all the important pages that you want your menu to display. Make sure it includes every single page so as not to leave an unlinked, orphan page.
Once you have the list of what your menu should consist, you can break it down in top and subsidiary links. For your reference, you can have a look at the other directory websites and see what you can learn from them.
A directory website can be a lot confusing with hundreds of listings on it. The categories are what makes them organized.
The categories of listings can be any, based on the subject of your city directory. The GeoPlaces directory theme allows you to create categories in hierarchical form. There can be a parent category, and it’s child.
For example – In your website you have a category called “Restaurants”, and the subcategories can be “Vegetarian restaurants”, “Non-vegetarian diners”, “Indian restaurants”, “Italian restaurants”, etc.
These categories will help you keep the listings managed and help visitors find the listings of their interest effortlessly. The only requirement is – creating the categories and subcategories very carefully.
The Geoplaces city directory WordPress theme comes with pre designed categories pages. These pages will only show the listing pertaining to the selected categories. Which facilitates browsing the directory for the visitors.
You can create as many categories as you want and a ready to go category page will be directly created for you with the Geoplaces directory. To make your directory website more effective, you can create textual or graphical links for the important categories and display them on the homepage of your city directory.
Creating & updating pages
You can create as many pages with your WordPress website as you wish. The GeoPlaces comes with some pre-designed, ready to go pages with customization possibilities.
One of the advantages of using the professionally designed themes like GeoPlaces is that you get the main pages ready. And the main pages on your city directory theme are – homepage, Listing category page, listing detail page, etc.
Homepage- Should be intuitive, well-designed with great navigation and graphics
Listing Category page – A Page where all the listings of the said categories are displayed.
Listing detail page – The main element of your city directory. A page to represent a business on your directory website.
However, there are other pages like contact page, about page, etc, that come predesigned. And the ones that you want to create on your own, you can create using the WordPress page options.
Updating images & customize website
Images add more meaning to your content. People will not always find time to read your meaningful and useful content, but they will certainly find it interesting to peek at the images on your pages.
Also, images can deliver a lot. For example: You can use a custom graphic to depict how the directory submissions work. It makes it easier for the visitors to understand the processes.
You must also insist your listing owners submitting their listings from the front end to make sure that they use optimized, high quality & useful images into the listing.
We do recommend using many images on your website. But you should also see that it doesn’t slow down your site. To optimize the images on your website, you can use one of the image optimizers. Because too many images on your website can dangerously slow it down and adversely impact the speed and performance of your directory.
Create pricing packages
City directories are a great tool for making money online. However, you can make the most of it by properly phrasing the pricing packages.
With the GeoPlaces WordPress theme for creating online city directory websites, you can easily create pricing packages of your choice. There is a simple form with pricing fields you can set value for.
You can name the package, set it’s duration, set the number of listings allowed under the package, and many other details. Create as many packages as you want. You can even create category specific packages, and also set different prices for different categories. 4
This way you can charge more for popular categories and offer some categories at a lower price.
The theme gives you a total flexibility in creating different and unique pricing packages. It is upto you to utilize it properly and create profitable packages that also look not just affordable, but appealing to your visitors.
Check user registration, add & manage user roles
A directory website is a user based website. On your city directory, you will need registration facility for the visitors who would want to submit their listings.
You don’t have to worry about the process for registration, because GeoPlaces theme comes with a functional registration form. With a simple setting option, you can even decide the default role for a newly registered user.
As an admin, you can even add users and manage them easily through the user options of WordPress. You can add a new user, or remove the already existing user, update the user details, or change the role easily.
Make sure that the Front end submission is working properly
Geoplaces city directory theme comes with a flawless front end submission function. But you can manage it on your own.
Below listed are a few tasks related to the front end submission system on your website:
- The “submit listing” or the “add new listing” button is displayed clearly on the homepage
- User registration before submission works properly
- The submission orm is customized as per your requirements
- Set the default status of the submitted listings
- Keep checking or the new listing submitted using the front end submission form
- See that the expired listings are removed
- Check that proper listing categories are selected
If necessary, you can also create a video, or a text document/page to explain the whole process of front end submission or the new users. This typically consists of registration, choosing the payment package, submitting the listing, etc.
Such a documentation/video will help the people who want to submit the listing on your website but are a little confused about the process.
Creating and maintaining directory websites is a combination o many small and big tasks that add up to a beautiful city directory site. It will take a series of articles on how you can create and manage the directoy site, which we are planning on launching soon.
However, in this article – I have tried to cover the most important tasks o your directory website. The points mentioned in this article are not just important but are the building blocks consisting o the main features of your site