Online directories vary in many different ways. The most popular directory website is probably Yelp, since it delivers all sorts of information, ratings, and reviews about local restaurants and other companies. On the other hand, you can find niche directories for gaming sites, WordPress theme companies, and more. Some of these directories are completely free, while others require you to pay a fee.
On the other hand, some listing websites only let some people submit, while others are open to just about every user who wants to make a page for their business. Regardless, you don’t need to spend days coding a fresh, new directory site, since the majority of them get started with a simple WordPress theme. This way, you can launch the site, collect listings, then expand with plugins or even other platforms as you scale up.
What Features to Expect
The standard directory theme provides an area for users to submit on the frontend. This includes profiles for managing a business and connecting with users. You’ll also want to figure out what regular users are seeing on the frontend. They’ll need a search bar, review system, and a map to locate the listings based on geography. Finally, listing websites are no good if you can’t make any money off of them. That’s why it’s essential to have ad support or an eCommerce tool for collecting payments.
Which Companies and Individuals Need a Free Directory or Listing WordPress Theme?
Quite a few bloggers utilize listing themes that focus on their niche. For example, a local Chicago blogger might build a listing site for all of the cool music venues in the area. We also recommend the following themes for entrepreneurs just getting started with a directory website, since we figure the majority of these themes are used by independent business people. Overall, you could use these themes for a blog, business site, or on their own.
Many people develop directory or listing websites. If you’ve located a theme that’s helped you find success in the area, feel free to drop a link to it in the comments section.
The Ultimate List of Free Directory and Listing WordPress Themes
The Starter WordPress theme embodies everything we know about directories. First of all, it provides a large embedded map with icons. The icons indicate different businesses like hotels, restaurants, and monuments. The free and customizable directory theme presents wonderful tools for changing around the colors, and it’s completely responsive for mobile devices. A user can punch in a business in the search bar, and they also have the ability to filter based on the type of listing.
All of the popular places are showcased on the homepage, with reviews, descriptions, and images. Users coming by your site can utilize Favorite buttons, while managing their own profiles and lists of their most visited places. Logging into the site only takes a second, where people submit their new business listings from the frontend. Each listing looks similar to that of Yelp, with reviews, maps, descriptions, photos, and related listings.
The Directory WordPress theme comes in as one of the simplest of the bunch, with a modest, clean interface, and a beautiful widescreen map working as the header. Each of the listings show up on that map, and all of the main categories are compiled into lists below the header. Submitting a new business is done with the click of a button, while the responsive design ensures that all customers can search for their favorite businesses while on the go.
For a free theme, this is surprisingly customizable. For example, you can change around settings for colors, backgrounds, headers, and menu positions. The custom post types enable for a beautiful blog, while the fully widgetized sidebar means that you can go out and find widgets for social media buttons and recent post lists. This is a translation ready theme, since it all depends on the location of your directory business. Finally, the threaded comments get people talking even more about the listings.
The Geocraft theme serves as a business directory, utilizing a quick search and filter menu at the top of the homepage, along with grid-based recommendations for the different categories on your site. This is a free theme, so you can use it on multiple domains. Adding a listing from the frontend only takes a minute, and the Google Maps integration ensures that all users know where to go. This is particularly helpful once combined with the responsive interface.
The theme provides Lead Capture integration for grabbing emails, and the review system is one of the cleanest we’ve seen. Therefore, all users go on your site, write a review, and rate the business based on their own experience. You have the ability to give out free listings or charge for more visibility, and the payment integration (through PayPal and Stripe) puts money in your pocket for all the hard work. Along with a blog page template, complete documentation, and a fully functional options panel, the Geocraft theme is a favorite of ours.
Consider the Graftee WordPress theme if you’re thinking about making a directory theme with the simplest design possible. This one has nothing crazy to it, since you get a clean white background, basic text, and a standard blog. Although we would generally suggest this for a regular blog, you can integrate with various other review and forum plugins to make it work. For example, BuddyPress has been tested with the theme to generate a full social experience with communications between users.
The responsive theme provides a global menu and the ability to adjust things like color, backgrounds, and borders. You can configure up to two columns for a more organized look, and the threaded comments serve their purpose for generating conversation on your blog. You might use the translation features if starting the directory in a Spanish or Italian neighborhood. Not to mention, the multiple sidebars support widgets, or you can have a full width template in place for clearing out the clutter.
For a similar site to Craigslist, try out the LarrysList theme. This design isn’t anything new, but the classifieds setup can turn your blog or business site into a hub for niche selling and buying. All of the listings show up on the homepage, and users can click a button to submit their own listing. Or they can search around based on the different categories. The responsive design even offers options for adjusting backgrounds, headers, and sidebars.
Email and social media links are included with the free theme. In addition, each of the members have their own dashboard for managing listings and posting new items they would like to sell. Whats more is that each of these sellers can see stats for how well their pages are doing, since they may need to change some text or pictures if they’re having trouble selling. Along with translation tools, two columns, a custom header, and various sidebar options, the LarrysList theme holds up.
The Viper WordPress theme is primarily for setting up an affiliate directory. Therefore, people come to your page and shop like they would on any other eComemrce site. If someone clicks through and buys a product, you get a kickback. The main settings include an option to adjust the number of items you show per page. You can also move around those products and make it so that only categories are being revealed.
The offer banner is controlled with the help of an image URL, and this will show to the right of an image slider. Therefore, you can showcase more products on the homepage or think about selling advertising for the banner. As for the slider, this connects to one of your categories, for scrolling through a list of certain highlighted products in that category. The great thing is that you can choose the number of slides and banners you have on your site. Overall, this is the closest you can get to an online store without working with your own inventory.
The Paraxe WordPress theme has a more modern and visual look to it, since you get a large, parallax header image, and some social media buttons for sending people to your other platforms. The theme is purposefully colored dark for a sleek tone, and the interesting scrolling effect comes into play when trying to grab attention from people who just land on your site. In addition, the theme has a responsive layout for viewing on phones and tablets.
Since directories need to fit in lots of listings, it makes sense that the theme provides a four column layout. Along with that, you get WooCommerce support if you’re trying to sell merchandise or collect recurring fees from the businesses that list on your site. The three navigational bars are enough to guide people to their favorite local spots, while the footer supports custom widgets such as Instagram feeds, videos, and latest article lists.
K2 MediaOctober 30, 2017 at 9:34 am
Thanks for the list Brenda. The free Directory theme gets a slating over on WordPress.org so may be not a good option.
Thanks and keep up the good work.
Sarah BishopNovember 2, 2017 at 6:52 am
Thanks for the feedback!