How to build your own Web Directory – free directory scripts

No Comments » Written on August 22nd, 2012 by
Categories: CMS

Web directories or link / URL directories as some refer to, are some of the most common websites on the web, live since the beginning of the WWW industry and pointing users to relevant websites in each category before search engines were available.

Since the rise of search engines, web directories lost some of their importance, however they are still a great way to get introduced to website administration and they can help you identify profitable niches.

Before I point to some directory scripts I tested and can recommend, I would like to say the relevance these directories have for a webmaster:

  • directories are easy to manage and develop as many webmasters are using them for getting backlinks, therefore it will show you a bit of the work that is required in promoting a website
  • directories are user generated, and all you have to do once the directory was set up is review submitted links / descriptions and approve the ones that fit your requirements
  • directories are a good way to get backlinks to some other websites you want to promote by using a reciprocal link feature – this way you can ask websites submitted to your directory to include a link to another website of yours in order to get approved
  • directories are a good source of identifying niche markets that you can approach with new websites and generate revenues. To identify niche markets using a web directory simply check the directory organic visits (from search engines) – if you rank with a web directory for different expressions, it will be so much easier ranking with a website focused on those expressions

These being said, web directories can be built using some directory scripts. Some scripts are free, other are paid versions offering more features and control, but as requirements you will need a web hosting account offering PHP support and MySQL databases.

Web Directory scripts:

  • Link Directory for WordPress - requires WordPress. Paid version offers a great amount of features in managing the directory and making money out of it with free/paid memberships, advertising ready positions, reciprocal & broken link checker, easy design customization, SEO ready, integrated payment gateways. The beauty of this script is that you can integrate it with a multitude of free plugins available for WordPress users
  • phpWeby - Free script offering some features for creating your first URL directory: easy administration, integrated payment gateway, search engine friendly URLs with a bit of customization, reciprocal link checker
  • phpLD - Paid version for a web directory script with multitude of features such as customization of fields (for creating any sort of directory), widgets, multi-language, mass mailer, PayPal payment gateway integrated, optional SEO, sitemaps
  • cpLinks - Free script with basic features; it can run multiple directories using the same database and data with different configuration files

Script installation details can be found on the pages of each specific product. Follow the step-by-step guides and you will see that installation is something anyone can do. Once you  have your web directory live, customize the template design and set up some categories and sub-categories and let other webmasters populate it with content.

TIP: to get other webmasters visit your directory at the beginning and get them submit their links, I recommend having your web directory listed for free in Directory Critic and Links Admin, or some submission ready listings such as List Directories, URL opener or URL web opener.