Having a directory that only allows your users to search through one city is old news, you can setup a multi-city directory for many different niches and types of listings. It’s easy and we have everything you need to know to do just that.
What is a Directory Website?
Online directories are databases where links and websites of a certain niche are collected and can be accessed by searching the program.
If you are still not sure exactly what directory or listing websites are you can find out more through our complete article series starting with Everything You Need to Know About Directory Websites.
There are many types of directory websites, but first is deciding what niche your website will be for. This is going to determine a lot of things from here such as what type of hosting, what theme, and so on.
What Does it Mean to Have Multiple Cities in a Directory Website:
You can add multiple cities within a theme which allows them to become content filters. This is extremely important, let’s say there is a listing added for one city (like Dallas), then this listing wont show up for another city. (Las Vegas) If it does that would be annoying for the user.
You want to give your users the option to search in different cities and without a website that allows it, you can only search for listings in 1 city (oh, the inefficiency of that)
Do you need Multiple Cities for Your Directory?
Some websites may not need multiple cities. Such as websites that are specifically designed for one city. For example, if you have a directory for Events in Dallas, Tx. then you are not in need of multiple cities.
If you have a directory that is searching for Lawyers or Stores (near the user) then you will need to have a Geolocated website (so that location can be known) and multiple cities so the users can find listings where ever they are needed.
One user can also search for multiple cities. For example if a user was wanting to know about a specific concert in one area but wanted to see how details about it in another then you could search for multiple cities.
Here are a few unique and contemporary ideas for directories:
- Women-Owned Business Directory
- Vegan Products Directory
- CBD Distributor Directory
- Pet Hotel Directory
Once you know what specific kind of website you would like to make then you can find the right category, since these will be set-up depending on the functionality. Many themes come with included plugins or addons that make the type of directory more efficient. Here are a few categories:
- Real Estate Directory Websites
- Event Directory Websites
- Job Directory
- Classified Ads
Directory websites might seem like a dying breed, but they are actually very popular. Here are a few famous directory websites that are used by a lot of people:
- Angie’s List
- Craig’s List
In addition deciding how to build your website is another key component.
We suggest WordPress, and here’s a few reasons why:
- WordPress is Open-Sourced
- WordPress can handle large websites
- Customization with WordPress
- Easy to Use to Make Money
- WordPress is Popular with a Large Community
This is an important feature when it comes to directory websites and once you have decided that WordPress is the best option for the amount of traffic needed to keep your website running next is to register your Domain and Hosting.
Domain is the name of your website that will be used for people to look it up. This is important because it will be what people will now you as, search engine optimization and will be how to contact you.
Hosting is where your websites files will actually be located. Hosting services can provide a variety of things but one of the most important is speed and reliability.
This can be further broken down into Software as a Service that come with hosting included, or themes for WordPress that require you to purchase hosting. Deciding which one? We have the Pros and Cons of each already listed for you.
If you are doing separate hosting we recommend BlueHost for the reliability, and trust. And they have integrated a 1 step set-up for your website. Here is a complete list of what you should look for in a hosting service and a comparison of a few top competitors.
Picking a great theme that allows Multi-City integration isn’t hard. There are many great options out there. Here are a few key features to have in a Multi-City Directory Theme:
- Geolocation, Geolocation, Geolocation
- Front-end submissions
- Excellent Listing submission forms
- Bulk data upload
- Visual listings on GoogleMaps
I will be using the GeoPlaces theme for demonstration. This is designed to help you make a geolocated WordPress theme and enables multiple listings and cities.
Log into your hosting website to use the server space.
Then, install the GeoPlaces theme by logging into your WordPress Dashboard
Click on: Appearance and Theme
Upload your theme and install
Next step is to enter the activation key that you receive on the GeoPlaces Directory software download.
When you download the GeoPlaces sample data it will look exactly like the demo website.
Next is Setting It Up for You
Replace the example logo of the GeoPlaces Theme, with your logo or design.
If you need to design a logo, there are many online programs that can help you. Remember that a logo is simple and will be used as the iconic detail for your business. Be sure it has the feel you are looking for and it can even highlight specific details for your brand
You will also need to change the colors and background image.
Go into the appearance menu to change these.
Remember that this will be the entire feel and first indication of your brand so make sure it speaks to the idea you want people to have about your company.
You can take it a step further and integrate even more customization of the layout and the colors. This is great to embrace the look you are wanting and give even more unique details. Geoplaces is fully widgetized to help you with these features.
So for a directory website you will need listings. To create category listings such as different types of restaurants, or clothing.
Click on listings in the dashboard, then listing categories and add new category.
For an even larger directory with in-depth categories you can create subcategories. These all come in handy when you would like to have paid submissions.
Create and Manage Cities
Go to Tevolution on the Dashboard and Click Manage Locations.
Things to note: cities are technically listing factors, this allows for certain cities to show up and others won’t.
You can also add cities by Clicking Tevolution, Manage Location, Cities then Add New City
Maintenance of Your Directory Website
We all know it’s one thing to setup your website but its a whole other thing to maintain it. Maintenance can include many different categories such as keeping listings up to date, monetization, security, SEO, and bringing in more traffic
Make Money with you Multi-City Directory
This is the easiest ways to make money with your directory website (really any website, or business). With the widget integrated design this allows for ads almost anywhere on the page. You have the ability to use Google AdSense or have the users upload an image or video ad banner.
By allowing different types of packaging you can integrate certain categories to charge depending on what you would like. These can include different offers, price and time length. The user can choose which one they would like.
This is great for detailing a certain number of days that it will remain active, so you are not manually checking in and remembering how long each package is supposed to be running for. Also allows for a specific number of entries to limit the amount or can increase the price for more listings.
Category specific packages are another step into specifying prices. If you would like a particular category to have a price such as featuring to homepage or events page, you can add that detail.
This is efficient for having listings on the homepage or right at the top. Most submission users will want to have their listing at the top. Charging for featured listings is a great way to gain more money.
Promoting your Directory website
This can include keeping any content such as blogs updated to keep traffic coming back to your website. This is great for certain niches, if you have a blog which maintains a steady knowledge base you can easily integrate affiliates and gain money through promotional products. The more traffic you have the better, for your listings and making money through your directory website.
Deleting old submissions or posts, or ones that don’t work. This can keep from spam or low rated sites to be posted. If this happens Google will penalize your website.
Keeping your website secure is crucial maintenance. If your website is hacked then valuable information can be breached. You will have to completely reset your entire website and lose all that information. This means it is important to back up your website as much as possible. There are many ways to take care of both these issues.
Many premium themes or software will come with security protection. One example is spam checking by using WPreCAPTCHA plugin this will allow built-in support against spam.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization as you have probably heard before is important. Showing up on search engines can allow more traffic and in turn is the key to money for your directory. WordPress already has integrated features to help with this, but there are more you can do to help with that.