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A Collection of Great WordPress Directory Themes and Plugins

Posted on June 19 by in Resources | 30 comments

A Collection of Great WordPress Directory Themes and Plugins

Directories can be profitable as a stand alone website or as an addition to an existing website. WordPress lets you do both.

If you want to develop a directory website from scratch, there are a number of fantastic directory WordPress themes available; including our very own eList theme.

WordPress plugins let you integrate a directory into an existing website design. This can be a great way of displaying useful resources and relevant links to your readers and customers. For example, you could add a directory of local businesses in your area, or list great hotels from a city.

Let us take a closer look at some of the best themes and plugins that are available to WordPress users.

eList (Included in Elegant Themes Membership)

eList is a dedicated directory WordPress theme that is available in unlimited colors. It uses WordPress posts to store directory listings. Information such as a company’s URL and name are denoted. The location of a company can also be displayed using Google maps.

Visitors can search for listings using a drop down category menu. You can profit by charging users through PayPal to submit new listings. A featured listing option can also be enabled.

eList WordPress Directory Theme

eList is a flexible directory theme that comes with many additional page templates.

Explorable (Included in Elegant Themes Membership)

Another good option for Elegant Themes customers is Explorable. It is one of my favorite Elegant Themes designs.

The theme displays a full screen Google Maps map on the home page. Each directory listing is denoted on the map with a pin. Visitors can leave ratings and zoom in and out the map to see more or less directory listings.

Obviously, Explorable would be a good option for a directory related to travel; such as hotels or great destinations. However, I think it would be great for a local directory website too. As with all Elegant Themes designs, it supports unlimited color schemes, many additional page templates, and shortcodes for styling. The theme looks great on mobile devices too.

Explorable WordPress Theme

Explorable is a fantastic directory theme that places an emphasis on location.

Directory Theme ($99)

Templatic’s Directory Theme is a flexible directory solution that displays a Google Maps powered map on the home page with a number of unique pins denoting directory listings. Listings display information such as contact address, visitor rating, images, and map.

The theme comes with over 200 countries and 4,000 states preloaded into the theme. You can monetize your directory by selling advertising space or charging visitors to add a listing. An event manager, advertising manager, and a ratings system, are also built into the theme.

Directory Theme

Directory Theme comes preloaded with thousands of locations.

Directory Theme ($99)

PremiumPress also sell a theme called Directory Theme. I am not sure which theme inspired which, however the structure of the design in the demo is almost equal to its counterpart on Templatic. However, don’t dismiss this theme yet, as it features a drag and drop visual page builder that lets you customize your design in any way you want.

An advertising manager is included with the theme to help you manage ads. You can also sell packages to visitors for advertisements and listings and charge customers more for additional features such as Google Maps, highlighted listings, or placement at the top of the category. It is possible to charge different amounts for submissions to different categories too.

Directory Theme

Directory Theme allows you to customize pages using a drag and drop visual page builder.

GeoTheme ($85)

GeoTheme is a global directory theme that was created for yellow pages and city directories. It places directory listings on a Google Maps powered map and uses custom post types for places and events.

Visitors can submit directory listings and be charged a recurring fee for doing so. You can also offer discount coupon codes to encourage people to submit to your directory.

GeoTheme

GeoTheme is a directory WordPress theme that can be used to build a Yelp clone.

Vantage ($99)

Vantage is a business directory WordPress theme that displays a large search bar under the main navigation menu. A Google Maps powered map is displayed on the home page, with featured listings and regular listings, displayed underneath.

Visitors can leave ratings and reviews about listings. You can also profit by charging for normal and featured listings. Listings can also be added manually by yourself and then claimed later by business owners. I found the overall look of Vantage a bit dull, though there is no denying it has a lot of great features.

Vantage WordPress Theme

Vantage features great search functionality and an option for featured listings.

Directory ($55)

Directory is a cool WordPress theme that can be used to create a large directory. The home page can display a map, an image, a slider, or even Google StreetView. The search bar is practical, allowing visitors to search via keyword, location, and category.

Listings can be sold to visitors via PayPal and there are many advertising spaces integrated into the theme. Your mobile users will also be pleased with the optimized mobile design.

Directory WordPress Theme

Directory is a stylish directory WordPress theme.

GeoDirectory (FREE)

The first plugin in our list is GeoDirectory; a plugin that lets you easily add a business directory into your existing website. It is a versatile plugin that lets you modify your front end form using a drag and drop form builder.

Directory listings display images, contact information, and reviews and ratings from visitors. 12 unique widgets are included with the plugin, such as a Google Maps widget. There are 12 widget areas to place them into your design.

A number of premium add ons are available that add additional features such as a payment manager for charging for submissions and an events on. These retail at $45 each. A few simpler add ons are available cheaper. Individually, these add ons are cheap; however it would cost you hundreds of dollars to add purchase all add ons. It’s hard to complain about this when the free version has so many great features.

GeoDirectory

GeoDirectory is a feature packed directory plugin that can be downloaded free.

Simple Intranet Directory (FREE / $95)

Simple Intranet Directory is a WordPress plugin that can be used to insert an employee directory into a post or page using a shortcode. It uses a custom post type entitled biographies in order to store information about staff.

I found the free version of the plugin very limiting. When I installed it on my test website, all it did was display a list of users and their images. However the premium version of the plugin looks much better. It features a searchable employee directory, Google Calendar syncing, custom widgets, and more.

Simple Intranet Directory

The premium version of Simple Intranet Directory offers many great features.

Connections Business Directory (FREE)

Connections is a free business directory plugin that displays a large amount of information about listings. This includes name, address, image, logo, messenger ID’s, email addresses, links, notes, and a large biography. Each listing can be assigned as an individual, family, or organisation. Different fields are displayed for each type. Directory listings can be assigned to categories too.

The plugin comes with four free templates for publishing your directory. Each template displays your directory information using a different structure. A number of premium templates and extensions are also available for the plugin. These start from as low as $2.99. Packs are available that contain all templates and extensions. These will save you money if you plan on purchasing a lot of add ons.

Connections Business Directory

Connections is a fantastic free business directory plugin that can be extended in many ways.

Business Directory Plugin (FREE)

Business Directory can be used to build local business directories like Yelp. You can create listings for free or charge businesses to have their business published on your website. Businesses can also be charged for having their listing highlighted.

Eight premium modules are available for the plugin. Modules include a ratings module, file upload module, and a Google Maps module. These retail at $49.99 each; however you can purchase all eight for $199.99.

Business Directory Plugin

Business Directory helps you add a Yelp like business directory to your website.

Gravity Forms Directory (FREE)

If you use Gravity Forms on your website, you may want to consider trying the free plugin Gravity Forms Directory. It allows visitors to submit listings to your website using a simple form. You can then use the submitted entries to build a directory.

The plugin is setup so that fields and columns are organised through Gravity Forms. The directory can then be placed on our website by inserting a shortcode.

Gravity Forms Directory

A basic directory plugin that Gravity Forms uses may want to try.

Directory ($19)

Directory is a premium directory plugin from WPMUDev that can be used to build any type of directory. You can allow visitors to submit listings free or charge them for submission via PayPal or Authorize.net.

The directory is added to your website using a shortcode. This allows you to build your directory using WordPress pages. For example, you can modify the shortcode to only display certain categories, or use a shortcode to display a button for submitting a new listing.

Directory

Directory is a user friendly directory solution that can accept payments for submissions.

WP Local Plus ($39)

WP Local Plus is a premium business directory plugin that supports Google Maps, discount coupon codes, user ratings, and user reviews. It features an built in advertising system for generating income.

Two versions of the plugin are available. One focuses on USA and Canada. The other has been configured for international websites. Both versions are available at $39 and support one domain and one year of updates. At $67, their developer license offers more value for money, as it allows you to add an unlimited number of directories to an unlimited number of domains.

WP Local Plus

WP Local Plus can be used to build a local business directory.

WP Business Directory ($15)

WP Business Directory is a useful directory plugin that lets you integrate Google Adsense ads onto Google Maps powered maps. It lets you charge visitors for submissions via PayPal. A CSV import feature is also available.

Six widgets come packaged with the plugin including categories, tag cloud, premium company list and recent company list. There is also a theme editor to help you modify the output.

WP Business Directory

WP Business Directory is a great looking directory plugin that lets you monetize your maps using Google Adsense.

Web 2.0 Directory ($26)

Web 2.0 Directory is a versatile directory plugin that can be used to build a directory portal, a classifieds section, and more. It supports Google Maps, ratings for listings, and PayPal subscriptions for charging visitors for submissions.

The layout of your directory can be changed easily by using one of five available shortcodes. Widgets are also included for search, categories, listings, and social media accounts. I was impressed with the overall look and feel of the plugin. It looks very professional and the option to charge for submissions makes it a good plugin for those who are trying to monetize their website.

Web 2.0 Directory

Web 2.0 Directory is a professional directory plugin with many great features.

SabaiDirectory ($26)

SabaiDirectory is a fantastic business directory plugin that supports interactive Google Maps and paid submissions via PayPal. Listings can be displayed in a list, a grid, or on a map. Visitors will love the search functionality that the plugin offers. It allows them to search by keyword, category, distance, and location. They can also claim listings that you have added manually.

The directory can be added to your website using shortcodes. Several shortcodes are available and each shortcode has multiple attributes available. This makes SabaiDirectory a highly versatile directory solution.

SabaiDirectory

SabaiDirectory is a stylish directory plugin that can be configured in many unique ways.

I hope you found this list of WordPress directory themes and plugins useful. If so, please subscribe to the Elegant Themes blog in order to get updates of our latest articles. Be sure to share your favorite WordPress directory plugin in the comment area below too :)

Article thumbnail image by Zygotehaasnobrain / shutterstock.com

30 Comments

  1. I wonder if any bloggers use eList to showcase all their blogs on one page. Although it seems most bloggers like to keep their blogs independent from one another…

  2. Explorable “could have been” a great directory theme had you paid more attention to it. In its current form (and limitations) it is not. Or you can say it is a great directory theme, if one limits oneself to just 20-30 listings.

    Sorry to be caustic, cannot help it.

    • Puru,

      What happens when you add too many listings?

      • Josh,

        If I add too many listings (say 60-80), two problems happen:

        1. There is no markercluster so the map loads slowly
        2. The List View lists all the pins along with the images and even if you keep the images at 30-40 kb each, the size of the homepage runs in a few MBs.

        Result: Too Slow and often unusable.

  3. I use WP Store Locator found on wordpress’s plugin directory.
    It’s incredible, it looks great, you can customize markers and google maps, it auto-locates a user using GPS positioning, it’s responsive (hence mobile-friendly) and best of all, it’s FREE!

    I use it on a client’s vehicle training shop site to locate authorized shops.

  4. Templatic’s Directory Theme looks really clean. I might actually use it for one of my projects. Thanks for the share!

  5. I would love to see eList as a plug-in – I love its functionality and look. A few years ago, I hired Slava to “graft” eList onto Aggregate to make a magazine theme with a kick-butt directory that matched the main theme. At the time, most directory plug-ins just provided a lame list. What I didn’t anticipate was how difficult it would be apply updates to both themes because of the customizations. Still, the site worked out well.

    • I’m with you on the plugin idea! I love the concept of elist, but it’s not mobile friendly (or maybe I just can’t figure it out). I keep forgetting that one minor limitation, and have probably installed it a half dozen times in the past 3 years. Converting it to a plugin would be amazing – I’m creating a cobbled version of a directory (no plugins) in my divi theme at the moment.

      • Does the ET plugin (handeld plugin) not work with the eList theme?

    • I agree – to integrate the list with the look and feel of a website like Divi, requires a great plugin, to create something like a boat sales or car sales website with a directory plus detailed listing pages that have flexible formatting options – would be brilliant.

  6. Interesting article. I am working on a local directory with a difference using the Divi 2 theme.
    It’s a work in progress as I have to visit each business personally.
    I love Divi 2 because it enables me to make custom pages for every sponsored listing on http://saltash.today which is in Cornwall.

    • I like what you’ve done with yours Roger. You’ve just given me a few extra ideas. Thanks!

    • Nice site, but the slides on the home page change much faster than I can read the text on them. Less text on each would be a suggestion…

    • Hi Roger,

      I really like what you have done with the diva theme.

      You’ve given me some ideas, I was originally going to use the elist
      theme but know you have put a cat amongst the pigeons as they say around my neck of the woods.

      Thanks
      Alan

  7. I’ve been using Business Directory Plugin. It is great and customer support is just phenomenal – even for free version. Thanks for mentioning this.

  8. Excellent list Kevin – Where were you with this like 4 years ago! ;-)

    I spent years looking for the ideal directory theme and a while waiting for Vantage to be released, but since purchasing last year I’ve been rather happy with it. I’m just really now getting around to setting up the site I had in mind with it now and while I agree the look is a little dated – they do have some child themes that can be purchased to modify the look, if one is not up to the task of making one yourself.

    Thanks for this list and I’m going to have to take a look at a number of these here!

    Steve

  9. Thanks Kevin and big thanks to Elegantthemes for for being proactive to expose us to various possibilities using WordPress. While this post has pointed me to a new height, I’d love to know which directory plugin can someone use to build a Disease Search directory. I don’t know how feasible this can be, just tinkering and looking for a solution….

    Cheers :D

  10. Nice collection Kevin !!! Uses many directory WordPress themes for clients but didn’t use any plugin.

  11. Thanks Kevin! for sharing such useful collection with community, they all are really nice themes and some of them we have used earlier.

  12. Is there any list for the Radius Search Module too, as it supposed to be included in the directory theme / plugin.

    Any plan of your to update eList with that.

  13. In this post you say that in the Explorable theme: Visitors are able to leave ratings. I don’t think the theme offers this functionality at all? Instead it only allows the person who does the actual posting of the listing to rate it, but that’s about it… No random visitor can rate the posts.

    Please get back to me on this one, cause I’m using the Explorable theme and currently as I said, no visitor is able to rate a post… You’d think that was the original intention of the functionality in the first place…

    thanks a ton

  14. GeoDirectory is one of my most favorite WordPress plugin. I have been using this plugin for last 1 year. Thanks for the awesome share.

  15. Have you actually used all these? The Gravity Forms directory plugin, for instance, is broken and, for all practical purposes, unsupported. Its inclusion calls into question the entire list.

    Suggest you read this post:
    http://wpin.me/wordpress-list-posts-hurting-pocket/

  16. I have a membership here at ET. Why would I want to purchase another (directory) theme from elsewhere?

    I have tried the plugins. Each has pros and cons. With a little modifications it can do what I need it to.

    What I’m waiting for is a backend friendly directory LISTING feature within Divi 2, that would be sweet! At the least, a new updated version ‘directory listing’ theme from ET would be nice. eList is totally outdated. Explorable wreaks the geo marker fad and IMO not the most SEO friendly the way it uses H1 taqs. Also not so user friendly in the fact that it uses the slide tab instead of displaying clear cut text listings.

    • Plus one to this. I don’t want to buy a competitor theme.

  17. WP-property is worthy of inclusion. Supported and very customizable.

  18. Vantage- One advice, stay away, they are crooks , thieves and liars. I wasted nearly half a year asking to fix search options in vantage, to say nothing of spending extra 300$ to fix other things. Forum is filled with hundred of unhappy customers, hard to spot, you will get access only when you buy. If they don’t like the comments, they’ll delete it. Beware, stay away.

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