Whether you’re new to web development or maybe a seasoned professional, creating websites with WordPress is a great choice for building directory sites. In this tutorial, we’ll be using Linux web hosting (we recommend HostGator) and the DirectoryPress theme (or explore & pick your desired WordPress directory theme at ThemeForest), which is SEO-friendly and versatile for any type of niche directory site.
Step 1: Choose Your Domain
Simply go to one of the major domain registrars such as Godaddy and Namecheap. If you’re choosing a hosting plan at the same time, usually you can pick a free domain along with it. If you already have hosting, then maybe save a few dollars and do a quick search for coupons + registrar site to check for any current promotions running.
Step 2: Purchase Linux Web Hosting
If you’re on a shoestring budget, shared hosting is great for getting your website up and running. Though down the road when a website starts receiving higher traffic volume, consider upgrading to a Virtual Private Server (VPS). Also factor in where your audience is served, and what country you live in. Your internet connection will determine how quickly you can upload new content listings. For example, if you live in and use internet providers in Canada, then look for Canadian hosts that use Canadian IP addresses.
Step 3: Use Cpanel & Fantastico to Build Website
So now that we’ve chosen Linux hosting, which usually comes with cPanel software, you can begin installing WordPress. Log in to your cPanel interface and locate the software installer for WordPress called Fantastico. Follow the prompts and enter your new database name, database user and password which will be auto-created by Fantastico. You’ll also create a user and login separately for logging into WordPress later on. After following those steps, remember to create your new domain emails before exiting cPanel.
Step 4: Install DirectoryPress WP Theme
The DirectoryPress WordPress theme is a beautiful all-in-one directory solution which can handle 50,000+ listings on a shared hosting account. After you purchase, you can upload it to your host via FTP into the http://yourdomain.com/wp-content/themes location of your new WordPress install. After logging into WordPress for the first time, scroll down the left side to ‘Appearance’, then click ‘Themes’ and find DirectoryPress in order to activate the new theme. Afterwards, you’ll see new theme options for customizing menus, widgets, site logo, and more.
Step 5: Install WordPress Add-Ons & Plugins
After you create your new directory homepage, contact, and legal pages, there are an assortment of add-ons provided by DirectoryPress, as well as free WordPress plugins at their repository for customizing site design and functionality. Though a word of caution is not to use too many plugins on a shared host, it will slow down your website.
Step 6: Customize Your Directory WP Site
This last step is optional for creating your directory, and may be needed in the event you wish to break down categories or tags by city and state. An easy way to do this is by using a CSV file import with plugins like WP All Import. Creating and uploading a CSV file with city and state names will save a bundle of time instead of typing each one.
So there you have it, your directory site is ready to go! Make sure to browse to every page on your new website to ensure everything works, and test for any broken links with plugins such as Broken Link Checker. All that is left is to start promotions and make new contacts!