Make your directory website a rising star with a properly chosen niche.
A directory is a website that lists products, services or other items that you can search or browse through. You can easily create a directory website for basically any purpose or niche. Whether it’s a real estate, events, restaurant, job board or any other type of directory website – you can create it using the right WordPress directory plugin.
If you’re looking for a decent directory plugin and doubting which one to choose, then this article is right up your alley. We’ve hand-picked some of the best free directory plugins with incredible functionality and analyzed each of them by different criteria.
Top 10 WordPress Directory Plugins to Choose from in 2021
- Business Directory Plugin
- Connections Business Directory
- WordPress Classifieds Plugin
- Advanced Classifieds & Directory Prо
- Classified Listing
HivePress is a free multipurpose WordPress plugin that allows you to create any type of directory and listing websites in next to no time. The plugin is crazy easy to use, and you should find no difficulty setting up and managing your own listing directory website. It’s a relatively new plugin, but it has already gained the trust of thousands of website owners.
You can use HivePress with any theme, but it’s better to use one of the official themes to avoid any styling issues. You can choose the free default ListingHive theme suitable for building a directory of any type, whether it’s a business directory, real estate, classifieds or any other listings website.
Also, you can consider purchasing one of the premium themes. At the moment, the following themes are available:
- TaskHive – service marketplace WordPress theme that allows you to create a website like Fiverr.
- JobHive – job board WordPress theme.
- ExpertHive – on-demand marketplace WordPress theme that allows you to build a website like Thumbtack or TaskRabbit.
The core plugin has all the essential features for building simple listing directories or catalog websites, like customizable listing fields and search filters, listing moderation and reporting, user account system, and so on. Also, there are 7 free extensions that you can use to extend your website functionality depending on the type of website you’re building.
- Paid Listings – charge users for adding and featuring listings;
- Authentication – allow users to sign in via third-party services;
- Claim Listings – charge users for claiming listings;
- Favorites – allow users to keep a list of favorite listings;
- Geolocation – enable Maps so users can search listings by location;
- Reviews – allow users to rate and review listings;
- Messages – enable sending private messages by users.
So you can build a unique listing website by combining it with various extensions and using different settings.
The plugin itself, its default ListingHive theme and 7 extensions are free to use. So even with the free functionality, you can build a fully functional directory website.
There are also several premium themes and extensions that can be purchased directly from the WordPress dashboard. At the time of writing, each premium theme costs $79 per license, and the price for premium extensions starts at $29 per license. Each license includes unlimited updates, 12 months of support and can be used for a single website or domain.
There’s a free official support forum on the HivePress website. It is directly supported by its developers, so any issues are resolved in the fastest and the best way possible by people who know their product inside and out.
|Average Rating||4.9 out of 5 stars (111 reviews)|
|Update Frequency||18 / last year|
|Free Themes||✔️ 1|
|Free Extensions||✔️ 7|
Business Directory Plugin
It’s one of the most popular and long-standing directory plugins that comes in both free and premium versions. It allows you to build local business directories, membership websites, job portals, restaurant directories and many other different types of directory websites.
You should find no trouble building and running a simple directory website with a free version and its limited features. However, if you want to create a fully functional directory website – be ready to pay top dollar for some essential features.
Business Directory Plugin is compatible with different free and paid themes. However, its developers recommend using it with Astra, Genesis, or any of their official premium themes in order to avoid any styling issues.
The free version of the plugin has quite limited functionality, and if you want to build a powerful directory, you’ll have to use some premium add-ons. For example, essential features like category images, listing reviews and the location-based search require purchasing a subscription plan.
Please note that there are no one-time purchases, so if you want to get access to premium add-ons or themes, you’ll have to choose one of the available subscription plans.
- Basic Package ($199 / year) – You’ll get access to one theme, one year of support and 7 add-ons;
- Pro Package ($399 / year) – You’ll get one year of priority support, one theme and 12 add-ons. Also, it allows you to have up to 5 supported sites;
- Elite Package ($1599 / year) – The package includes all themes and add-ons. Additionally, you may have unlimited sites supported.
Also, keep in mind that no add-ons or themes can be purchased separately, only via an annual bundle subscription.
The plugin developers offer free support via the WordPress.org forum. There is also a knowledge base on the plugin’s website and the support ticket system for paid customers.
|Average Rating||4.7 out of stars 5 (436 reviews)|
|Update Frequency||17 / last year|
Connections Business Directory
It’s a simple yet effective business directory plugin that allows you to build either a small local directory or an extensive one with thousands of listings. It has a user-friendly interface, so it’s easy to navigate and set up a directory. Connections Business Directory is more suitable for building a member or employee directory, or creating an address book, etc.
There are 9 official themes powered by Connections Business Directory, and three of them are free. Also, the plugin is compatible with any theme, including popular themes, such as Avada and Divi, so no styling issues should occur when combining it with third-party themes.
The plugin has quite good functionality for building a directory of people with multiple custom fields to fill in with the information you want to display on your listings. Also, there are 11 paid add-ons. Some of the most notable things that you can do with the paid add-ons are:
- CSV Import – allows to import contact details from any spreadsheet application;
- Contact – allows users to email entries in the directory;
- ROT13 Email Encryption – protects your base of emails from spambots;
- Custom Category Order – list your categories in a specific order.
Generally, it’s a free plugin, but there are different premium extensions and templates available. An individual template costs $19,99, and extensions’ price starts at $2,99. However, if you need everything at once, you may save by buying one of the bundles.
- Extension Pro Pack ($29,99) – Includes all add-ons;
- Template Pro Pack ($59,99) – Contains 6 themes;
- Pro Pack ($74,99) – You’ll get access to all the current templates and extensions.
There’s free support offered via the WordPress.org forum, and you can find a documentation section on the plugin’s website. Additionally, there’s a support forum available for paid customers.
|Average Rating||4.9 out of 5 stars (384 reviews)|
|Update Frequency||23 / last year|
|Free Themes||✔️ 3|
Here’s one more well-known free directory plugin on our list that has been available since 2011. It was designed to display information about different businesses, especially those that are tied to a particular location since its core features are mostly related to geolocation.
The developers offer 8 official themes, and 3 of them you can use for free if you don’t want to design your directory from scratch. GeoDirectory is also compatible with many different themes and page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Divi, allowing you to choose the design tools you prefer.
The plugin is extensible by design, and there is a bunch of free and premium extensions available for installation via the WordPress dashboard. Free extensions include WPML integration, directory converter, Google Analytics integration and a few others. However, if you want to monetize your directory and make it fully functional – you’ll need to use some premium add-ons, like Claim Listings, Advanced Search, Location Search, etc.
It’s a free plugin, but you can purchase some premium add-ons and themes. The price for a premium theme or add-on starts at $19. There’s also an option to buy a membership plan for $199 per year that includes all the add-ons and themes.
Free support is constantly provided on the WordPress.org forum. There’s also email-based support on the official website that requires filling out the contact form to open a new support ticket.
|Average Rating||4.6 out of 5 stars (381 reviews)|
|Update Frequency||33 / last year|
|Free Themes||✔️ 3|
|Free Extensions||✔️ 4|
WordPress Classifieds Plugin
AWP Classifieds (formerly known as AWPCP or Another WordPress Classifieds Plugin) has been one of the most popular classifieds plugins for more than ten years. It has many different features for building a classified ads website and a user-friendly interface, so it’s easy to use it. In the old days, it was a top choice for many people who wanted to create a classifieds website.
There are no themes integrated with AWP Classifieds, but developers assure it will work fine with any WordPress theme. So you can combine it with different popular third-party themes, and no styling issues should occur.
The plugin has a good but still quite limited functionality in its free version. For example, in order to make some listings featured, add custom fields or search listings by location, you’ll have to purchase additional modules. There are 19 premium add-ons, including basic and common features like category images or listing ratings and more complex ones like the subscriptions module.
No payments are required to use the plugin, but to make it fully functional, you’ll definitely want to grab some or all of the premium add-ons. Any individual extension goes for $39,99 if you’re going to use it on a single website, and it costs $79,98 to benefit from it on multiple sites.
There’s also an option to subscribe to one of the plans to get all extensions in one bundle. The following plans are available:
- Plus Plan ($199 / year) – You’ll get access to all extensions, priority support, and one year of updates;
- Elite Plan ($399 / year) – Allows you to use everything from the Plus plan on multiple websites.
The developers offer regular support on the WordPress.org forum. Also, you can find the support form on the official plugin’s website and submit a support request or check the available documentation.
|Average Rating||4.6 out of 5 stars (290 reviews)|
|Update Frequency||15 / last year|
WPAdverts is another well-known classifieds plugin on our list with a broad audience of users and more than ten years of experience. It’s a reliable plugin that allows you to add primary Classifieds functionality to WordPress. The basic functionality you need to get started is included in the free core plugin. But there are many essential features that can be enabled only at a price through the premium add-ons system.
No official themes are offered along with the plugin, but you can integrate it with any theme on WordPress and use it on a new or existing site. Developers ensure that no styling issues should occur when combining the plugin with a well-coded theme.
The plugin is extensible by design, and there is a list of different add-ons that you can use to enhance your classifieds website’s functionality. However, most of the extensions are premium and require a subscription plan, even for some common features. For example, in order to create custom fields, add maps and locations, set category icons, allow front-end registration and create users’ accounts, etc., you need to purchase one of the packages.
First of all, you should bear in mind that no one-time purchases are available. There is only a subscription model, so you cannot buy a single product out of the bundle as well. There are three packages:
- Startup Package ($59 / year) – Includes 7 extensions and allows you to use the plugin for up to 3 websites;
- Professional Package ($149 / year) – You’ll get access to 13 extensions and will be able to use the plugin for up to 10 sites;
- Professional Plus Package ($299 / year) – Contains 14 extensions and allows you to use WPAdverts for unlimited websites.
Also, each plan includes one year of support and plugin updates.
You can use the WordPress.org forum to ask developers any questions or visit the official website and check the documentation or create a support ticket to get a response via email.
|Average Rating||4.9 out of 5 stars (149 reviews)|
|Update Frequency||8 / last year|
|Free Extensions||✔️ 5|
Directorist is one of the decent directory plugins listed in this article. Its free version has quite a lot of features that allow you to build a solid directory website. With the free version, you’ll be able to create and run a pretty functional directory website based on different factors like location, category and interests. However, if you want to monetize your directory be ready to also pay for it since some premium add-ons will be required.
The plugin is compatible with most of the themes, including popular ones like Astra, Avada, Divi, etc. However, if you’re going to use Directorist, you may want to check its official themes first. The developers offer three paid themes that you can buy directly from your WordPress dashboard.
You can extend the functionality of the plugin by using some of its add-ons. There are 20 premium extensions that you can purchase individually or in a bundle. Some of the most useful ones include:
- Pricing Plans – allows you to monetize a directory by setting pricing plans;
- Listings Slider & Carousel – allows you to display different listings via the sliders and carousels;
- Booking (Reservation & Appointment) – allows you to set up a booking system.
You can use the plugin with its basic settings for free. But if you want to combine it with one of its official themes, you’ll have to pay from $25 to $69, depending on the theme. There are also premium extensions that range in price but don’t go anywhere above $29 for a single website.
You may also buy one of the membership plans that starts at $99 per year and includes all of the premium themes, extensions and one year of priority support.
As usual, there’s a support forum on WordPress.org. Also, developers provide support via the support ticket system on the official website.
|Average Rating||4.7 out of 5 stars (137 reviews)|
|Update Frequency||17 / last year|
Advanced Classifieds & Directory Prо
Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro is one more pretty functional plugin with many features included for free. It has a simple interface for businesses to manage their listings on your website. However, it lacks some payment features and gateways to make money from your website.
There are no official themes that you can purchase or use for free when building a directory or classifieds website using ACADP. However, the developers of the plugin assure that it has been designed to work with any theme. So it should work smoothly if you integrate it with your existing theme or any other popular one.
The plugin is extensible by design, but there are not many add-ons that you can add since most of its features are included for free. But if you want to monetize your directory, you’ll need to subscribe to one of the paid plans, as most of the payment features are only available in the premium version.
The price for the Professional Plan starts at $95.88 per year. It includes 2 payment gateways, 4 extensions and WooCommerce integration. There’s also an option to get lifetime access for $289,99. Also, bear in mind that all extensions are available only in the subscription bundle and cannot be purchased separately.
You can use the WordPress.org forum for support if you have any issues with setting up the plugin. Also, there’s a support ticket system on the plugin’s website that you can use for free.
|Average Rating||4.8 out of 5 stars (81 reviews)|
|Update Frequency||3 / last year|
It’s a pretty modern directory and classifieds plugin that is built on Vue.js and helps you create and display listings for different niches. It has a quite user-friendly interface with a lot of different features and settings. It may be a fairly good option if you are looking to build a directory website. But, you’ll have to purchase the plugin’s premium version in order to monetize a directory in several ways.
The developers sell several different themes if you’re starting a site from scratch. But you don’t have to limit yourself only to the official themes suggested by developers since the plugin is fully compatible with most WordPress themes.
The free version is pretty functional by itself, but there are also 5 premium extensions that you can purchase from your WordPress dashboard. The list of suggested add-ons contains:
- Subscription – allows to create and sell subscription plans;
- User Roles – create different user roles and attach listings limits to each of them;
- Wishlist – allows users to collect their favorite Listings;
- Compare – create a comparison between two or more different listings;
- Social Login – allows visitors to login and register with social media applications.
The core plugin goes for free, but if you want to extend its functionality with premium add-ons, you have to purchase a subscription plan. The annual subscription plan costs $54,99. It includes 5 premium extensions, one year of support and updates.
Please note that the add-ons cannot be purchased separately, only via an annual bundle subscription.
Developers offer free support on the WordPress.org forum, or you can use a support ticket system on the official website as well.
|Average Rating||4.5 out of 5 stars (26 reviews)|
|Update Frequency||23 / last year|
It’s a responsive plugin with an easy-to-use interface and basic functionality needed to create a classifieds website. At the same time, the plugin lacks several important features in its free version, especially those related to monetization. For example, such essential features as featured ads and custom field options are available only in the premium version.
The plugin should work with any well-coded WordPress theme without any styling issues. However, the developers also offer several paid themes built explicitly for the Classified Listing plugin for a more seamless setup. You may take a look at the available premium themes in the WordPress dashboard and check their live demos.
You can extend the plugin’s core functionality by purchasing its premium add-ons. At the time of writing, there are only MultiLingual and Memberships add-ons available. You’ll need Memberships if you’re going to monetize your classifieds website by creating membership packages with different per-category restrictions.
You can purchase any of the official themes for $39, and the price for plugin extensions starts at $21. However, bear in mind that the plugin’s Pro version is required to install any add-ons. The Pro version is priced at $39 for a one-year license.
As usual, you can use the WordPress.org forum if you have any troubles with setting up the plugin. You may also create a new support ticket on the plugin’s website.
|Average Rating||4.8 out of 5 stars (20 reviews)|
|Update Frequency||17 / last year|
That’s it! As you can see, there are many directory plugins that you can use for free. Each of the presented plugins here has its own pros and cons. So, use this guide to narrow your search and choose the best option for you according to your needs, budget, and tech skills.
However, if you are looking for a lightweight and highly customizable directory plugin, you may want to consider HivePress. It has tons of different features and allows you to build any type of directory and listing website in a breeze. Moreover, you’ll be able to monetize your directory website in several different ways using its extensions.
Create a service marketplace similar to TaskRabbit or Thumbtack using WordPress.