In this Siteturner round-up, we take a close look at the best WordPress business directory themes available for 2018. Any one of these themes would work well for building a city guide, local business directory, or even a global directory on the WordPress platform.
As far as we can tell, the only must-have features for a WordPress city guide or business directory is the ability to submit detailed listings, and a page template to display them. Beyond that, it depends on your individual requirements. Obviously Google maps and geolocation support are coveted features. But we also think that most users would benefit from front-end dashboards for listing submission and management, and so many of the themes featured on this list do provide front-end administration.
We also know that anyone looking to build a business directory, local or global, probably has money in mind. In that case, make sure you select a theme that integrates at least one payment gateway and membership plan.
You may also want to check out our list of top WordPress membership site themes.
About this list:
As always, we feel it necessary to point out that the themes on this list were selected by hand, based on the quality of their design and the depth of the functionality they provide. We did not simply gather up every WordPress business directory and city guide theme on the internet and spit them out onto the page.
There is a loose order here, in that the first theme on the list is our favorite, while the last theme on the list is our least favorite. But all selected themes are high quality, and any one would make a good starting point for your city guide or business directory website.
If you think we missed something, send us a link and we’ll check it out.
First up, we’ve got the fantastic DirectoryEngine theme by EngineThemes. DirectoryEngine features a modular design with a fully supported page builder, giving site admins lots of control over the way information will be presented to site visitors. The theme is essentially an assembly of content blocks that display reviews, categories, testimonials, featured places and more.
Users can quickly and easily submit their place listings, and with DirectoryEngine you can monetize your website by selling paid listing plans. The developer is constantly updating the theme with new features. Most recently, support for events listings has been added.
The professional, understated flat design and the full range of features make this the strongest theme on our list. In fact, it’s really more of a total solution for a directory site than it is a theme. It won’t require any coding knowledge whatsoever, and it’s unlikely you’ll need anything else.
Detailed documentation is included. EngineThemes provides one of the most detail breakdowns of functionality you could ask for, and if you’ve got a few minutes we’d suggest checking it out. Highly recommended.More Info/Download
Next up we have the My City directory theme, released in October. First, I need to mention the gorgeous, full-screen animated background the design team used for the demo. As expertly designed as the theme is in general, it’d be hard to top the first impression made by its demo, unless you have a similarly vibrant rendering of your own city/town. This graphic deserves a closer look if you’ve got the time. The subtle, animated fog is very cool.
The rest of the design is almost as lovely, and the developers have embraced a familiar, one-page style UX, using modern trends and techniques. The result is a product that’s visual engaging without creating noise and distraction. It’s flashy and fun, but that eye-candy doesn’t overshadow the content. Usability and performance deserve a nod, too: it’s speedy, and the sensible navigation and architecture are a pleasure.
Features are impressive, and it’s clear the team knows you’re not putting together a city directory just for fun. Lots of emphasis is placed on monetization efforts. With MyCity, webmasters can charge local business for premium listings, or even setup a subscription/membership model. Affiliates will appreciate marketing tools like shareable coupons.
Of course, all the necessary functionality for building the directory itself is included. Google Maps and Geolocation are fully supported. Strong secondary features add even more value: premium plugins like Visual Composer and Slider Revolution are bundled free. EventOn and Testimonials showcase extend functionality further.
Plenty of settings and options are packed into the admin, so adjustments, customization, and branding are a simple process. Combined with Visual Composer’s drag & drop page building, digging into the code itself to change things around will never be necessary. My City is SEO optimized, to help you secure excellent rankings in Google, and it’s built responsive on Twitter Bootstrap (for flawless display and usability across the range of mobile gizmos).
Amazingly, it’s currently priced at the low price of $49. This is a bit perplexing, considering the strength of the product and how much obvious care and time went into getting it just right. Other ThemeForest products with half the features of My City – and lesser design quality – are often priced at least 10 dollars higher. Weird. Anyway, we couldn’t even begin to cover everything the theme offers, so take a peep at the details page for the full scoop. And check out the demo!More Info/Download
DirectoryS is one of the newest themes on our list, and no doubt one of the best in terms of design. Its modern, flat look perfectly complements its impressive list of features. It’s responsive, retina-ready and easy to set up using the demo content made available by the developer.
The theme represents over 3600 hours of work (which, frankly, is sort of insane considering ThemeForest’s $48 pricing). But it’s clear that a ton of attention and care was put into the code and design. The theme includes advanced Google Maps integration, Geolocation support, advancing filtering, and an easy to use front-end listings manager that allows users to create and post their listings.
Site admins can monetize the site using the provided PayPal integration, or by inserting advertising via shortcodes and widgets. There’s tons of room for customization using the backend options and drag & drop page builder. DirectoryS is SEO optimized, translation ready and is even bundled with Revolution Slider (though that’s not *totally* surprising for a ThemeForest item).More Info/Download
I hesitated to follow-up DirectoryEngine with DiningEngine (partly because of its very specific intended purpose), but DiningEngine such a strong product that it deserves a top spot on the list. So what the hell. If you’re looking for something more general, or if you’re concerned that we’re nothing but soulless shills for EngineThemes, feel free to skip ahead to the next pick. We really do just love their stuff.
Simply put, this highly intuitive, expertly conceived, and impressively executed product is about as good as it’s going to get if you want to build a local restaurant directory on the WordPress platform and skip paying for expensive custom solutions. Absolutely all the functionality you need is provided right of the box, including options for monetization (payment plans, payment gateways, etc.).
The UX is top-of-the-line, and the design is sleek & modern with its own personality (without being obtrusive, gimmick-ridden or over-baked).
Have a closer look and you’ll see what we’re talking about. Cool? Cool.More Info/Download
Directory | Multi-purpose WordPress Theme
The imaginatively-titled Directory theme by Chimpstudio is an excellent option for web development agencies using WordPress to create client websites. More than just a directory theme, it’s a multipurpose theme that will work for property listings, car dealers, tourist agencies, hotels, schools, job boards and more.
Everything feature you need to build a local or global directory is provided. Site owners looking to monetize their site can charge users to post their listings, or go with a free listing model. Advanced, location-based searching and unlimited categories are supported.
Other notable features include Revolution Slider, packaged free of charge, an easy to use drag & drop page builder for creating and editing complex layouts, and lots of back-end settings that allow users to tweak various elements of theme – colors, fonts, and more. Directory is SEO-optimized and supports the WPML plugin.More Info/Download
Globo keeps things simple in terms of design, opting for an almost minimalistic aesthetic. It’s clean, easy to use, and the developers have wisely put user experience ahead of extraneous gimmicks and laggy animations.
Globo is feature-rich, and has almost everything covered. It’s unlikely you’ll need to add many third-party plugins after the fact. A front-end dashboard is integrated, as well as a smart, intuitive bookmarking system. Globo includes classifieds support, and smooth, AngularJS powered searching.
The theme is versatile and a breeze to customize thanks to the extensive Redux-based options panel. Google maps is integrated, and Globo is translation ready (with support for WPML).More Info/Download
Though its clean, modern and flat design doesn’t disappoint, Pointfinder probably isn’t the flashiest theme on our list, but it’s certainly one of the most featured-packed and functional.
The list of directory-related features Pointfinder serves up is too long to cover in a couple paragraphs, but front-end submissions, PayPal integration, customizable content types and search fields, a review system, geolocation, and AJAX-enabled searching are among the highlights.
The theme also comes with skins for automotive and real estate listings. Visual Composer and Revolution Slider are bundled free, and Pointfinder is SEO friendly and translation ready. Worth a closer look.More Info/Download
MetroDir is a premium business directory theme that will work equally well for a variety of uses, from a city guide, to a restaurant guide, to an event listing. The developer boasts a content-first approach to the design, and users can submit and manage their listings by way of the front-end dashboard.
A payment system is integrated for paid listing support, and an especially slick implementation of Google Maps and Geolocation put this WordPress directory theme near the top of the pack.
Advanced searching with useful filtering, multiple rating systems for creating reviews, and events calendar support add extra value. MetroDir is fully responsive, easy to customize, and bundled with Revolution Slider. Comes with both written documentation and video documentation for users with short attention spans.More Info/Download
Javo Directory is a new, top-of-the-line business directory theme built on the responsive Twitter Bootstrap 3 framework. Its elegant, minimalistic and retina-ready design looks just as good on mobile devices as it does on desktops, and no functionality is sacrificed when viewed on a tablet or smartphone.
The advanced search function is front-and-center on the homepage, and the theme provides multiple ways to lay out and feature your content and listings. Customizable listing pages and a customizable ratings system are included.
Javo Directory supports Google Maps Pro+ w/ AJAX, and four front-end forms from which users can submit their information and listings. The theme comes with PayPal integration if you want to shake down your users for their hard earned cash, and it’s bundled with Revolution Slider and Visual Composer (for drag & drop page building).
And here’s a nice bonus: the developer offers a free installation service. So if you’re new to WordPress, or just careless, you don’t have to worry about screwing anything up! Hooray!More Info/Download
Geocraft v2, by InkThemes, is a fully-featured business directory or WordPress city guide theme that goes well beyond its clean, understated design. It has a sharp focus on monetization, and it’s optimized for generating passive income.
Members can submit, manage, and pay for listings easily using the built-in listing system. The theme additionally includes a lead capture system to provide extra value to your members/clients.
The theme is responsive, and comes with multiple color scheme options. A few bonuses are bundled in, too, like the useful InfoBar Plugin and a selection of PSD promotional banners to assist you in your marketing efforts.
This is a simple, straight-forward theme and a good choice if you don’t want to spend time fooling around with page builders and giant options panels. Install it, promote it, and make money! It’s that easy, right? Sure!More Info/Download
This rather lovely theme is one of the best selling WordPress directory themes out there, with almost 4000 happy customers and a strong 4.5 star rating (based on over 300 reviews).
Like most themes on this list, it’s got all the bells & whistles you’re going to need to build your city guide or directory, like Google maps and Geolocation support, a front-end admin for submitting and managing listings, and PayPal integration. The interactive AJAX search means users won’t be left hanging when filtering listings and sorting results.
If it sounds like we’re repeating ourselves, it’s because Business Finder, like most of the themes on our list, is packed with must-have features.
Site owners can, without much fuss, set up payment plans and fees to squeeze money out of poor local business men, or they can take advantage of the pre-made advertising spaces to earn money from Adsense or other Ad networks.
The theme is responsive, SEO ready and includes lots and lots of customization options.More Info/Download
Next up we’ve got GLOCAL, which is suitable for both local and global business directory themes. GLOCAL. Get it?
Like any good directory theme, front-end pages are provided for submission and management of business listings, and it’s fully integrated with Google Maps w/ AJAX. No annoying page reloads! There’s also a handy bulk upload option included, in case you’re migrating listings from one site to another.
There’s a few options for customization and multiple headers to choose from. GLOCAL also comes packaged with a ratings system and PayPal integration for setting up subscriptions and listing fees.More Info/Download
Atlas approaches directories a little bit differently, taking full advantage of its Google Map capability via full-screen maps. In terms of features, it’s just as powerful as everything you’ve seen so far, with a front-end dashboard/submissions system, PayPal (and Stripe!) integration, membership management and more.
Atlas is extremely easy to customize, if that’s important to you, and comes with extensive documentation. If you like the full-screen style and want to know more, for a detail breakdown of everything the theme has to offer take a few minutes and visit the product page. There’s too much to list here.More Info/Download
Explorable is another full-screen theme that uses Google Maps to its full potential. It’s an ElegantThemes product, and although we are an ElegantThemes affiliate, we wouldn’t include it here if it didn’t belong. Come on, you can trust us.
It’s responsive, and includes a lot of useful shortcodes and page templates. The ePanel theme options give you plenty of control over the bits and pieces of the theme, meaning you can toggle elements on and off and swap colors painlessly. Buy it. Buy it now.More Info/Download
Expedition City Guide Theme
The Expedition theme by WPZOOM is a bit different than our other selections, in that it doesn’t include a front-and-center implementation of Google maps. But it’s a great option for a WordPress city guide theme or even a general travel guide regardless. With Expedition, you can create a faster, user friendly site.
Expedition’s clean, simple design is built on top the advanced ZOOM framework, which offers a ton of customization potential. It’s responsive, and comes with a homepage builder and built-in banner management for easy monetization.More Info/Download
Note: Like Spotfinder, our number five selection, Locations, is another child theme for Directory by Templatic. Again, we’ve included it primarily because we like the design. It offers all of the features of the Directory theme, but has a slightly different take on the individual listing pages and gives visitors a more comprehensive view of the map. Plus, the little icons are more colorful!More Info/Download
We have a feeling that this is the best selling WordPress business directory theme of all time, with nearly 9000 sales and no signs of slowing. As always, this often speaks as much to the quality of the development and support teams as anything, and you can count on lots of help with this one if you get lost. You can also expect to see frequent updates for some time to come, which might not be the case with less popular themes.
This one pretty much set the standard for features, and the only reason it’s not higher on the list is that the design, though lovely, is beginning to feel a bit dated. Front-end administration, geolocation and Google Maps integration, advanced AJAX searching and a connection to PayPal are all here.
Directory Portal is bundled with Revolution Slider. It’s also translation ready and offers a variety of customization and tweakable options on the back-end for users who just can’t leave well enough alone.More Info/Download
In terms of features, Ultimate Directory is more or less what it claims to be: an ultimate directory. We not as thrilled by the design, but we do think the above average functionality earns it a spot on our list.
It’s got everything you need to create an excellent business directory or city guide, and tons of layouts and styles to choose from. Along with standard directory features like front-end listing submissions, membership packages and advanced searching, it additionally comes with support for reviews and the social sharing of listings and posts.
It’s responsive, built on a 1170px Bootstrap grid, and comes with some nice extras like Google Fonts, FontAwesome Icons and a drag & drop page builder.More Info/Download
Finally, that brings us to eList, another ElegantThemes selection. This one’s pretty basic, but that’s its strength. Sometimes you just want to put together a simple city guide or directory, and can’t be bothered fussing with maps and geolocation and all that. Really, this does everything a theme ought to do to begin with: it looks good.More Info/Download
Want something custom? You can get a custom directory WordPress site created for $100
If none of these themes fit your requirements, you’ll find that you can go custom for much less than you think. You can get a custom built directory site for as little as $100 from this top rated seller on Fiverr. Some examples of what you can get: a membership directory, a business finder, and a portal.
Even if you have a theme, you can have your site customized exactly as you want — for as little as $5 — by a top Fiverr developer. Check it out here.More Info
And that’s the end of our round-up of the best WordPress business directory themes. Have a suggestion or an opinion or something? By all means, share it in the comments below!