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Here is another question I received (per the chat below) on picking the right solution for a very customized directory project. I always recommend folks who need heavy duty customization use a platform like Sharetribe (although that wouldn’t be the idea solution for this particular project as articulated below) it IS a much more robust solution for more complex marketplace communities……while staying on a bootstrap budget. Geodirectory (the plugin) is something I’m learning a bit more about these days as well – as I have clients using it on a current project, as an alternative to MYLISTING or other WP analogs.
Hi Ian,I am looking for a business directory theme that allows two things: Tow types of login: moving companies to list their services, and users who are looking for moving services. And allow services to have “From” and “To” and handle the complexities that come with that: Search by destination, Calculate price by length of path, etc. Most business directory themes only focus on listings that have one single location: for example listing restaurants. Not handling the complexities of businesses that are otherwise. What do you recommend? Thanks!
ian hollander4:24 PM
Hey there – once you start getting into very specific use cases (e.g. – doing calculations based on path, etc) – you are starting to move outside of the scope of what (I believe, anyway) a WordPress style solution is going to reliably accomodate. I would start looking at Sharetribe.com and SAAS style offerings that may be easier (long term) to customize for your specific needs. You may also consider getting a custom script written – but that feels like a much sturdier recommendation that trying to retrofit that style site (with custom and unique needs) into a platform (WP) that probably isn’t going to reliably (which is the key component, to me 😉 handle what you need longer term.
You may get something done that appears to work well for that purpose – but under stress testing and real world execution – the directory style solutions for WP work really well – but, in my view, for a more narrow band of applications and use cases. 🙂
hugely appreciate your help Ian. Thanks. Do you recommend using a plugin like GeoDirectory. Are you familiar with that? Or do you recommend something else?
ian hollander5:26 PM
I will take a peek at geodirectory – I am familiar with it by name – but not having used it – it’s hard to comment on whether it’s a good option. I do think you may be able to use listify (or listable) for what you need – and just get a custom wp script to accomodate the variable functionality (per your path requirement or estimation funtionality based on personal user driven preference) – if WP is essential to your project – i’d stick to the themes + frameworks that are most widely supported and used – listify (astoundify) are solid people who are well respected in the space.
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Parisa 5:56 PM
pardon my lack of knowledge, but what do you mean by “get a custom wp script”? Do you mean pay some fee to the the theme developers to customize it for me? Or is it change that I can do myself?
ian hollander8:57 PM
Hey there – the custom script reference was in regard to your more specific use case (for moving company – path pricing, etc – per your original note) – no….the theme developers wouldn’t be able to do that for you – you’d have to find someone who is skilled at wordpress code and who would be amenable to doing that specific task – to modify the directory functionality to accomodate a specific type of query. (I’m a marketing person – not a code person – so I can’t really advise there) Anything (within reason) can be done of course – but you need to knwo what your budget is – what specifically you need done – and find someone skilled enough to pull it off reliably (key word! 🙂 so that it’s future proof for many months (or years) to come – if your ambitions are to build something meaningful, viable, and valuable long term!
This is a short recording (about 11 minutes) that I shared with some folks in my directory building list/community on how to start, launch and ultimately scale an affiliate program on your business directory.
The 3 “buckets” I cover here are:
Products and services you can include on your directory that SERVE the members/professional profiles/peers you feature on your site. Affiliate offers like hosting/domain name registration, email marketing, automation and newsletter services, etc.
People you can promote on your directory as an affiliate for THEM. (promoting their Amazon books, using an Amazon link, for example, is the absolute simplest example of this. Scaling this idea to include high end services, products, programs, coaching, courses, etc – that your MEMBERS offer, not only makes your directory more appealing to them, it also allows you to monetize your members in a very “win/win” way.
Turning your members and professional profiles into affiliates for YOU! This is the absolute best way to scale the strategies above, and convert your community into a full on e-commerce exchange – where members are incentivized for promoting and recommending your own offers, products, and services as an AFFILIATE – turning them into ethical (and incentivized) Evangelists and ambassadors for your blog, brand, business and bank account
I use PODIA for handling all of the above – from setting up affiliate campaigns for clients, to empowering my own readers, subscribers and peers to sell our products as well. (as incentivized partners/affiliates) There are simply too many creative ways to count how this strategy can transform your brand and business…..and convert your community into a full ecommerce “exchange” or marketplace.
Start with the lowest hanging fruit first. Add affiliate programs that are easy to join (e.g. – the web hosting offers, email autoresponders, et al – as you can seed your site with those offers first, and when you invite partners – you’ll have existing offers AND name brands they’ll recognize already on your site.
Here is question about the MYLISTING WordPress theme that comes up quite frequently. I’ll share some others (also about “extending” the MYLISTING theme, but this one (paid plugins) is one of the most frequent questions I get from folks looking to build a business directory, and are struggling to pick the right theme for their brand, business and budget.
I was wondering if there 8:31 PM
there’s any aspect of this theme that requires paid plugins
ian hollander11:39 PM
Hey there – sorry for missing your message – no, Mylisting is fully self contained– the theme functionality is built into the package – and you shouldn’t need to buy anything additional to get full utility out of the theme/framework. (some plugins that aren’t required are “premium” – like WC bookings + WC vendors pro, etc – but those aren’t neccessary – and you can launch with the theme as is and do great things. Thanks! Ian