The right choice of a plugin is the most important thing to consider when launching a directory website with WordPress. We bet you’ve heard of a Business Directory Plugin that, a few years ago, has been one of the most popular tools for building listing websites.

Well, today, we’ll show you a Business Directory Plugin alternative – HivePress, a free business directory and classified ads WordPress plugin. 

We’ll compare side by side the main features of both plugins, their customization & monetization options, the support policies and so on. 

We hope this article we’ll help you to determine which directory plugin is a better choice for your future website, according to your requirements and budget. Also, please note that we’ll first compare the free versions of both plugins and later show the available premium features.

If you are in a hurry, feel free to check our brief Business Directory Plugin vs HivePress comparison landing.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started!


Let’s start our article with a quick introduction of both plugins and then move to a more hands-on comparison.

Business Directory Plugin

Business Directory Plugin.

Business Directory Plugin is a well-known plugin that went out with the ark since it has been on the market for more than 10 years. It comes with a minimalistic design and some common directory features that allow you to create a simple business directory site.

Probably anyone who’s been trying to build a WordPress directory website 5 or 7 years ago knows about Business Directory Plugin. Today it still remains one of the most popular WordPress directory plugins. 


HivePress - a business directory plugin alternative.

HivePress is a free directory and classified ads WordPress plugin. It’s basically an all-in-one solution for building listings websites of any kind without coding skills. 

Whether you are looking to create a directory, classifieds, job board, product catalog or any other listing website – HivePress has got you covered!

Side-by-side Comparison

Before moving to the more detailed overview of both plugins, you can take a sneak-peak at the table below.

HivePressBusiness Directory
Active Installations 10,000+10 000+
Average Raiting4.9 out of 5 stars (148 reviews)4.6 out of 5 stars (476 reviews)
No Hard-coded Fields✔️✔️
Custom Listing Fields✔️✔️
Custom Listing Search Filters✔️✔️
Custom Vendor Fields✔️
Custom Vendor Search Filters✔️
Category Images✔️💲
Monetization Features✔️✔️
Listing Packages✔️✔️
Claim Listings✔️💲
Featured Listings✔️✔️
Radius Search✔️💲
Ratings & Reviews✔️💲
Private Messages✔️
Customizable Emails✔️
Code Snippets Collection✔️
Code Reference✔️
Hook Reference ✔️
Marketplace Functionality💲
Requests Feature💲
Booking Functionality💲
Memberships Feature💲💲
Import Add-on💲✔️
Social Login💲
Social Links 💲
Opening Hours Feature💲
Statistics for Vendors💲
Search Alerts 💲
SEO Add-on💲
Discount Codes💲
Migrator Feature💲

Plugins’ Core Features

In this section, let’s compare the core features that both plugins include out of the box. Please note that here we compare only the free functionality that doesn’t require purchasing any add-ons or membership plans.

Later in this post, we’ll also compare the premium features of both plugins.

Check out our guide on how to launch a WordPress directory site.

Business Directory Plugin Core Features

Here are some of the most notable features that are included in the free version of Business Directory Plugin:

  • Front-end Listing Submission – the plugin allows you to accept new listings submitted by the website visitors;
  • CSV Import – easily manage your listing data in bulk by importing CSV files;
  • Monetization Functionality – make money with your directory website by creating and selling different listing plans; 
  • Featured Listings – as a website admin, you can mark any listing as featured to display it at the top of the search results page;
  • reCAPTCHA – enable security validation to prevent spam and abuse from entering the site (check our guide on WordPress website security).

HivePress Core Features

If you are about to build a directory website using the HivePress plugin, you can expect the following features:

  • Front-end Submission – with HivePress, you can enable or disable the front-end submission of new listings. Meaning that you can create a multi-vendor website hassle-free. Also, it’s possible to enable “Moderation” if you want to accept each new listing manually;
  • Monetization Functionality – monetize your directory website by selling listing packages (with different restrictions), by making certain listings featured for an extra fee, by charging business owners for claiming listings (like Yelp does);
  • Geolocation – easily integrate your directory website with Google Maps or Mapbox to add maps to your directory, enable the location-based search and the radius search;
  • Communication System – allow users to communicate with each other and send attachments via the built-in messages system;
  • Rating & Reviews – increase credibility on your directory website by allowing users to rate listings and leave reviews about them;
  • Featured Listings – display any listing at the top of the search results by making it featured;
  • Favorites – allow registered users to keep a list of their favorite listings, so they can easily come back to them;
  • reCAPTCHA – protect your directory website from spambots.

In order to make it easier to compare both plugins, you can take a look at the side-by-side comparison table below.

Key Takeaways 

HivePress Business Directory Plugin
Front-end Submission✔️✔️
Monetization Functionality✔️✔️
Geolocation Feature✔️
Communication System✔️
Ratings & Reviews✔️
Featured Listings✔️✔️
CSV Import💲✔️


As a website owner, you should be able to customize your business directory in the way you like. Starting from the core features that are required for your niche and ending up with the website’s look and feel to match your brand. 

In this section, we’ll compare how customizable both plugins are.

Business Directory Plugin Customization Options

Business Directory Plugin gives you control over the following parts of your website:

  • Listing Categories – add your own listing categories, describe them and add parent categories if necessary. Please note that if you want to upload category images, you’ll need to purchase a premium membership;
  • Listing Fields – easily add your own listing fields to the listing submission form. Also, each field will be used as a search filter in the advanced listing search;
  • Listing Tags – create custom listing tags;
  • Website Appearance – customize the website look and feel with the WordPress Customizer.

HivePress Customization Options

The HivePress plugin allows you to customize the functionality of:

  • Listing Fields – create your own custom listing fields that are required for your website;
  • Listing Search Filters – add various search filters to make the search on your website even more precise;
  • Vendor Profile Fileds – add vendor profile fields if you want to require extra info from vendors (e.g., email address, phone number, etc.);
  • Vendor Search Filters – similarly to listing search filters, create several for vendors to allow users to search for vendors as well;
  • Layouts – customize the layout of your website using the Gutenberg drag-and-drop feature. Also, HivePress allows you to override and customize any HivePress-specific page with the WordPress block editor;
  • Appearance – easily change colors, fonts, and a header image with the WordPress Customizer;
  • Emails – create custom emails and assign them to different events on your website.

Additionally, you can find a collection of code snippets(CSS & PHP) on the official HivePress website. With code snippets, you can customize your website even more to get a truly unique functionality and appearance.

Key Takeaways

HivePressBusiness Directory Plugin
Unlimited Listing Categories✔️✔️
Category Images✔️💲
Custom Listing Fields✔️✔️
Custom Search Filters✔️✔️
Custom Vendor Profile Fields✔️
Custom Vendor Search Filters✔️
Listing Tags💲✔️
Page Builders Integration✔️
WordPress Customizer✔️✔️
Visual Editor✔️
Custom Emails✔️

Monetization Options

When choosing a plugin for your future directory website, you should always check what monetization features it includes out of the box. In this section, we’ll compare how you can monetize your website with each of the plugins (free versions).

Business Directory Plugin Monetization

This plugin allows you to monetize your website by charging users for adding new listings. You can easily add different plans with various restrictions like listing expiration period, the number of allowed images, etc. Also, you can make category-specific plans if you want to charge users differently depending on the listing category they choose.

HivePress Monetization

With HivePress, you can make money in at least 3 different ways. You can apply each method separately or use several of them at the same time:

  • Paid Listings – create listing packages (with various per-category restrictions) and charge users for adding new listings;
  • Listing Promotion – charge vendors for making their listings featured, so they appear at the top of the search results page;
  • Claim Listings – allow business owners to claim listings on your website for a fee.

Additionally, we recommend checking out our article on how to monetize a WordPress directory website to get a better idea of the most popular business models.

Also, please note that we only mentioned monetization options available in the free version of each plugin. However, both plugins support extra business models in their premium versions.

Key Takeaways

HivePressBusiness Directory Plugin
Paid Listings✔️✔️
Listing Promotion✔️
Claim Listings ✔️

Exclusive Themes

It’s not a secret that each directory plugin works best with its own WordPress themes that are created by the same developers. Within this section, we’ll take a look at the themes that both plugin offer.

Themes Powered by Business Directory Plugin

At the time of writing, there are 8 premium themes on the official plugin’s website. Let’s briefly check each of them:

  • Business Card – a simple business directory theme that displays all the listings in the form of business cards;
  • Elegant Business – one more business directory theme;
  • Elegant Grid – it’s another version of the Elegant Business theme, which allows you to display listings in a grid;
  • Restaurant – a restaurant directory theme;
  • Modern Filtered – a directory theme with a modern sidebar and extra search filters;
  • Tabbed Business Theme;
  • Mobile Compact Theme;
  • Modern Business Theme.

All of the mentioned themes go with a minimalistic and sometimes a bit outdated design, but they can be a good choice for you if you are looking for something simple.

Themes Powered by HivePress

Currently, HivePress developers offer 5 handcrafted WordPress themes that work like a charm with HivePress. Let’s check each of them:

  • ListingHive – a free multipurpose theme for building directory and listing websites of any kind. At the time of writing, it’s one of the most popular free directory themes in the WordPress repository, with more than 7000 active installations;
  • ExpertHive – a premium service marketplace theme that allows you to create websites like Thumbtack or Airtasker;
  • RentalHive – a premium booking marketplace theme for building rental websites for any niche (e.g., real estate, clothes, sports gear, etc.);
  • TaskHive – a premium freelance marketplace theme, suitable for creating platforms of digital downloads and Fiverr-like sites;
  • JobHive – a premium job board platform that allows you to create a job portal in next to no time.

Each premium HivePress theme already includes different premium HivePress add-ons that provide you with all the necessary features for building a website.

Premium Add-ons

Often, when building a website, you realize that you need some extra features to make your site work in the way you want. That’s why it’s crucial to choose an extensible directory plugin that has different official add-ons that you can use to enhance your website with additional features.

Let’s check which add-ons both plugins offer.

Business Directory Plugin Premium Add-ons

You won’t be able to purchase different add-ons separately, but you can buy one of the membership plans that contains various features. Here, we’ll mention some of the features included there:

  • Enhanced Categories – allows you to set parent & child hierarchy navigation, category images and more;
  • Ratings – let your users express their opinion of listed businesses;
  • Discount Codes – offer discount codes for listings, in percent or fixed amount;
  • Claim Listings – allows businesses to claim existing listings on your site, just like Yelp or Foursquare;
  • Restrictions – allows you to make features like ratings, maps, form fields, images, or character counts only available to certain listing plans;
  • Google Maps – this add-on allows your listings to display a Google Map for their address and show search results on a map;
  • Regions – enables location-based filtering of listings;
  • ZIP Search – adds location-based listing search by radius (miles or km) from a postal/ZIP code;
  • File Attachments – allows users to add file attachments to listings–such as PDF, TXT, RTF and images;
  • Migrator – exports all settings from one site and imports them into another;
  • PayFast Payment – allows you to accept payments on PayFast (South Africa);
  • PayPal Gateway – allows you to accept payments via PayPal;
  • Stripe Payment – allows you to accept payments using Stripe.

These are all the add-ons that you can use with the Business Directory Plugin. Now let’s move on and check what HivePress has to offer.

HivePress Premium Add-ons

At the time of writing, there are 10+ premium HivePress extensions that you can purchase directly from your WordPress dashboard or by visiting the official HivePress website. Let’s take a closer look at each of them:

  • Bookings – turns your website into a booking platform. It lets users book listings, while vendors can accept or decline booking requests, set booking restrictions and, of course, manage the booking calendar;
  • Marketplace – with this add-on, you can create a marketplace of fixed-priced services (like Fiverr) or digital assets (like Creative Market);
  • Requests – allows customers to post requests, while vendors can make offers;
  • Memberships – turns your website into a members-only platform where you can charge users for viewing listings, using certain features (e.g., sending messages or submitting reviews);
  • Statistics – provides vendors with stats on the number of views of their listings;
  • Social Login – allows your website visitors to sign in via different platforms like Facebook or Google;
  • Social Links – lets users add their social media links to listings and vendor profiles;
  • Search Alerts – this feature allows users to set search alerts and get notified when new listings are added;
  • SEO – improves SEO of HivePress-specific content;
  • Import – enables CSV import of listings;
  • Tags – allows users to set listing tags;
  • Opening Hours – lets vendors add opening hours to listings while users can search listings that are currently open.

Additionally, there’s a bundle that includes all the HivePress extensions.


Finally, let’s compare the support policy of both plugins. When choosing a directory plugin for your website, it’s vital to take a look at its support policy because you’ll probably need some help with setting up your website before you make it up and running.

Business Directory Plugin Support

If you are using the free version of Business Directory Plugin, you can expect the following:

  • Access to an extensive knowledge base that can help you set up many parts of the website on your own;
  • Support is provided via the ticketing system.

Also, users with a premium membership plan will have a priority level of support.

HivePress Support

The HivePress plugin is supported directly by its developers, so any possible issues are resolved in the best possible way. Users can use the knowledge base or reach for support via email or the community forum.

Also, there’s a community of website owners who built their websites using HivePress. Any community member can:

  • Ask questions & give answers
  • Suggest features
  • Vote for the suggested features
  • Report bugs

Additionally, on the official HivePress website, users can find developer docs, code & hook references and a collection of code snippets.

Final Words

That wraps up our article! We hope it was helpful to you and that now you know a little more about both plugins. So, if you are looking for a Business Directory Plugin alternative, you can take a look at HivePress. It’s a modern directory and classified ads plugin that is jam-packed with all the necessary features for building listings websites hassle-free.

Additionally, you may want to check our rating of the best free business directory plugins and an overview of the most popular free directory themes.

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