Best WordPress directory plugins of 2022

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
A shelf filled with folder files.
(Image credit: Pixabay)

The are many reasons why you might want to implement a directory on your website, and in this list of the best WordPress directory plugins, we'll outline several of them.

Directories are highly useful to find new businesses or providers based on particular search criteria. Not only that but directories can also be used by a company to provide an online listing of their employees, for instance. 

There are a myriad of ways to use online directories, and if your site is powered by the website builder (opens in new tab) and web hosting solution WordPress, then you can add a directory simply by installing a plugin. But which one should you use? That’s always a daunting question, so in order to make the selection process easier, we’ve looked at five of the best on offer.

For each directory plugin, we’ve checked out their range of customizations, their keyword and SEO functions, their design and template options, and, of course, how much they’ll set you back and whether there are free versions available.

Also check out our roundup of the best business networking apps.

The best WordPress directory plugins of 2022 in full

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

(Image credit: Business Directory Plugin)

1. Business Directory Plugin

The top all-round directory plugin

Reasons to buy

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Versatile
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Full featured

Reasons to avoid

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Google Maps not available on free plan
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Stripe integration only available on pricey Elite plan

Business Directory Plugin (opens in new tab) is a good all-round tool. It’s easy to install and set up, and it’s highly customizable. It’s also integrated with Yoast SEO (check out our guide on the best WordPress SEO plugins), to easily associate keywords to Google searches. This plugin offers you full image support, is easily scalable, is able to be monetized and can even process recurring payments.

Not all features are available to all though: there are three plans, and as usual, the next one up the chain offers more than the one beneath it. The cheapest option is Basic which allows you to take payments through PayPal, enables file uploads and supports category images. Pro lets you embed Google Maps, allows you to offer your visitors discount codes, and enables search filters. And Elite includes support for Stripe payments, grants access to all themes, and can be installed on an unlimited number of sites.

Looking to track your website visitors? Check out these best WordPress Google Analytics plugins.

(Image credit: Connections)

2. Connections Business Directory

Ideal if looking for a free option

Reasons to buy

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Free version available
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Customizable

Reasons to avoid

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Paid-for add-ons required for key features
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Templates not included in free version

Connections Business Directory (opens in new tab) has a great hook to get you to start using it: it’s free! Or at least its basic version is. Depending on your requirements you may find that paying for some of the other best WordPress directory plugins will better suit your website, but if a simple directory is all you're after then you shouldn't be let down by this reliable entry-level directory plugin.

The developers make their money by offering a range of premium templates and extension packs. These include features such as CSV import, a form so visitors can submit their details to be added to your directory, and Custom Category or Entry order, to let visitors list your directory in a specific way rather than just alphabetical.

These extensions can be purchased separately, or acquired through a bundle (if you’re looking to get a few, a bundle is often the cheapest option).

(Image credit: GeoDirectory)

3. GeoDirectory

Best for those looking to implement with Ninja Forms

Reasons to buy

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Many premium features are free
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Membership provides all official add-ons and themes

Reasons to avoid

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Add-ons can see costs mount
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Advanced search not included as standard

GeoDirectory (opens in new tab) is another free plugin which comes with a raft of features, some of which would be considered “premium” by others. These include being able to drag and drop custom fields onto your listing, adding custom sorting options, check a business’ opening hours, and even search by proximity. It can also be integrated with Ninja Forms to support unlimited contact forms. You could easily design a complex and thorough directory without spending a penny.

There are of course more advanced features which come at a price. These include Location Manager (to turn your local directory into a more global one), Pricing Manager (to help you monetize your directory), and GD reCAPTCHA (to filter out spam).

You can buy each add-on individually or grab yourself a membership which gives you access to all add-ons and templates for a discounted price.

Still deciding on a website theme? Read about the best WordPress business themes of 2022.

(Image credit: PluginsWare)

4. Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro

Great for PayPal, Stripe and WooCommerce integration

Reasons to buy

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Many free features
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PayPal and Stripe and integration

Reasons to avoid

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No flexibility of purchase plans
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Could do with improved anti-spam functionality

Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro (opens in new tab) is a pretty powerful plugin, with enough power to let you create a directory (or an army of directories), on any subject you’d care to imagine. 

What really earns its spot among the best WordPress directory plugins, is that it offers many of its features for free, such as Custom Fields, Frontend Listing Submission, Featured Listings, and Email Templates to name but a few. You can create pretty intricate custom directories with this plugin with little effort.

If you want to make money out of your directory, then you’ll need to pay for the privilege. Unlike other similar plugins, there’s only one plan, which simplifies everything really: a yearly subscription grants you access to all premium features which include PayPal and Stripe payment gateways, WooCommerce integration, and CSV import and export features.

Read about the best WordPress e-commerce plugins.

(Image credit: Directories Pro)

5. Directories Pro

Best if looking for responsive mobile and desktop versions

Reasons to buy

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Very feature rich
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Affordable

Reasons to avoid

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No free option
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Support not the quickest

Directories Pro (opens in new tab) is an elegant plugin, and although it doesn’t offer a free option like others in this list of best WordPress directory plugins, it's pretty affordable next to many of its competitors. Its sophisticated use of caching makes it very responsive, useful for those intending to benefit from the plugin on both on desktop and mobile platforms. 

It offers advanced search and filter capabilities, drag and drop editing, map integration, CVS import and export, and also paid listings (although there’s a catch to that one, see below).

One feature we quite liked was the ability to clone a directory to build multiple directories quickly and easily based on the original. 

The price of the plugin depends on whether you’ll be charging visitors for access to the directory or not.

We've also highlighted the best WordPress plugins.

What is a WordPress directory plugin?

Users of WordPress will likely know all about the thousands of plugins that can be implemented to customize your site to exactly how you want it.

A directory plugin allows users to further tailor their website with additional functionality, allowing visitors to find out key information about the business or service via a list, database, or catalogue. These can range from store locators (say, by integrating Google Maps), to a list of products or team members.

How to choose the best WordPress directory plugin for you?

Budget is of course a key factor in deciding on which directory plugin to opt for, and the good news for those with a small one is that some of those featured in our rundown of best WordPress directory plugins can be used for free.

Those with more sophisticated requirements, like reCAPTCHA, advanced search and filter, and directory cloning, are more likely to require paying for the privilege. 

In such a case, you're best weighing up whether you're more inclined to go down the add-ons route - where you pay for each individual feature - or a membership scheme like that offered by Advanced Classifieds & Directory Pro, which grants all of its features for one annual subscription.

The best WordPress directory plugin: How we test

In testing out five of the best WordPress directory plugins on the market, we've taken into account the features one might expect such a plugin to have, for users of varying skills and requirements. 

For those looking for a basic directory plugin on a smaller budget, we've reviewed the plugins that offer their entry-level service for free. Some of these include key features like custom fields, submissions, and email templates, though others require users to spend a few extra pennies on add-ons or subscriptions for more premium options.

We've reviewed these options, including payment gateways, CSV import and export functionality, anti-spam features, and location manager, to decide on whether they are worth the extra spend.

Steve has been writing about technology since 2003. Starting with Digital Creative Arts, he's since added his tech expertise at titles such as iCreate, MacFormat, MacWorld, MacLife, and TechRadar. His focus is on the creative arts, like website builders, image manipulation, and filmmaking software, but he hasn’t shied away from more business-oriented software either. He uses many of the apps he writes about in his personal and professional life. Steve loves how computers have enabled everyone to delve into creative possibilities, and is always delighted to share his knowledge, expertise, and experience with readers.