Business Directory Plugin is a directory solution for WordPress that helps you add a professional directory to your website.
It can be used for local directories, business directories, a Yellow pages style business directory, and more. The plugin can be downloaded free of charge from WordPress.org, however a number of premium modules are available that extend the functionality of the plugin further.
In this review I would like to show you the free version and then highlight some of the upgrades that can be purchased.
When it comes to directories, styling can be just as important as features. So before we look at the back-end of Business Directory Plugin, let's look at how the directory looks.
At the top of the directory is a search area that allows you to search listings. At any time you can visit the directory home page, view all listings, or create a new listing.
Selecting advanced search brings up a more detailed search form. You can narrow your search more by completing a number of different fields.
The examples above show you what you can expect from the plugin after installing it on your website. For a better idea of how your directory will look, check out the demo of Business Directory on the official plugin website.
The listings page displays all information about an item. Underneath each listing is an option for visitors to leave a comment.
The free version of Business Directory Plugin comes with two theme designs; Default and a theme that predates version 4.0 of the plugin.
Five premium themes are available for purchase. These are Business Card, Mobile Compact, Restaurant, Tabbed Business, and Elegant Business. They retail at $49.99 for a single site license and $99.98 for a multi-site license.
Alternatively, you can purchase all five themes in a bundle for $99.99 for a single site and $199.99 for multi-site.
The Free Version of Business Directory Plugin
The free version of the plugin can be downloaded from WordPress.org or installed directly from within your WordPress admin area.
After activating the plugin you will be asked whether you want the plugin to create a directory page for you. All this does is create a new page which contains the businessdirectory shortcode in it.
New listings can be created on the front-end or back-end of your website. For each listing you can enter general business information and upload images for the listing. Listings can also be assigned to categories and sub-categories. Tags can be assigned too.
There are a ton of options in the main plugin settings area.
In the general tab you will find permalink settings, reCAPTCHA settings, registration settings, terms and conditions, directory display and search options, and more. The listings tab gives you control over how listings are displayed and sorted in your directory. Listing renewal settings and featured settings can be found here too.
In the email tab you can customise email templates and notifications that are sent out to users. Payment information can be input in the next tab. The free version lets you accept payments for submissions using Authorize.net.
In the themes tab you can change the theme button style and in the image tab you can change image settings and thumbnail settings.
You can choose to offer free listings or charge a fee. A submission can be displayed indefinitely or for a set number of days. You can also define the maximum number of images allowed for a listing and what categories the listing is allocated.
You will be glad to hear that Business Directory Plugin gives you complete control over the fields that are displayed. You can easily remove fields you do not need and add new form fields.
There are a variety of field types on offer such as textfield, list, URL, radio button, social media website, and much more. Fields can validated and can be marked as required.
The plugin has one of the best import and export tools I have ever seen in a WordPress plugin. You can select how the CSV file is created and what data is exported and imported.
The plugin also has a debug tool and an uninstallation tool that removes all plugin data from your WordPress database.
12 premium modules are available for Business Directory Plugin. These can be purchased individually at a rate of $59.99 for a single site license and $119.98 for a multi-site license. All licenses come with a year of support and updates.
You can save over 70% by buying all modules together in their combo pack. That retails at $199.99 for a single site license and $399.99 for a multi-site license. It's worth going for that option if you plan on buying a few modules.
Four of the modules are payment gateways. You will find a payment module for 2Checkout, PayFast, PayPal, and Stripe.
Other modules include a module that lets users claim a listing, a discount codes module, a module that creates a level structure for paid listings, and a file attachments modules for documents. There is also a Google Maps module, a ratings module, a regions module, and a zip/postal code module.
The cost of renewing support and updates for modules is very cheap. They only charge 25% of the original cost to continue receiving support in the second year.
Business Directory Plugin is a great directory solution for WordPress users. The free version has everything you need to get started, but you will need to upgrade in order to get access to popular payment gateways and add features such as ratings and Google Maps.
Some important functionality is missing from the plugin altogether. At the moment there is no theme editor that lets you easily customise the design of your directory. It would be good to see better support for advertising integration too so that revenue can be generated in other ways.
Whether something offers value can be subjective, but I do think the pricing structure of Business Directory Plugin places it at the higher end of the market. To get access to all five themes and all 12 modules you are going to have to spend around $300. If you only want to buy one theme and three modules, you will need to spend around $230; therefore there is a good argument for buying the combo deals from the start or it could prove even more costly.
It is worth noting that the cost of the plugin can be redeemed in the future by generating money through submissions, but I do still hope they can reduce the cost of modules a little in the future to be more competitive. The free version is really good and a fairer price point should encourage more people to upgrade.
If you haven't already did so, check out my video review to see exactly how the plugin works.