WordPress Directory Theme, what’s the best [updated 2020]

...besides GeoDirectory?
WordPress directory theme

How the WordPress Directory Theme niche started

When we started this journey, there were only a couple of other players in the WordPress Directory Theme niche.

GeoPlaces by Templatic and Directorypress by PremiumPress.

At that point, me and Stiofan still didn’t know each other. We met in the Templatic forums after buying their theme to build our directories.

However, we found Templatic to be flawed, buggy, and unsuitable for use in developing a live website.

Stiofan started using it, adding fixes to it and making it work for him. It turned into his Barra directory website.

Over 80% of the theme needed major fixes, so we decided to team up, fork it and create an alternative product.

That’s how we created GeoTheme. After that it came Vantage from AppThemes and then we saw products popping up one after the other.

Today ThemeForest.net lists 157 items and counting that are a WordPress Directory Theme (last time we checked they were 134).

Several other independent Theme Shops sell their own WordPress Directory Theme too.

GeoTheme ceased to exist over 2 years ago. We decided to turn it into a plugin called GeoDirectory, so webmasters can use it any way they see fit.

This allows directories to be added to any existing websites without any change being needed to the theme or website.

With so many options, which one to choose in 2020?

Our 1st answer would be Listimia + GeoDirectory for obvious reasons. Listimia was released in June 2019 and you can see it in this DEMO.

It only costs $39 and revolving around GeoDirectory makes it the most feature-rich Directory Theme for WordPress. Did we say it is sleek, elegant and professional?

listimia wordpress directory theme

Should you prefer not to make this journey with us, at least let us help you choose wisely.

For that, we bought, installed, and tested the 7 most popular WordPress Directory Themes, so that we can provide scrupulous and objective reviews from specialists of the directory niche.

To praise their Pros and expose their Cons.

Affiliate link disclosure

We hope you appreciate our effort! Having invested $500 to buy all these themes, we need to recoup the investment. Some of the links on this article are “affiliate links”. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.

Testing Criteria

First of all we decided to test only 7 themes. The 4 top selling themes of the moment from ThemeForest.net and the 3 top ranking on the Google.com Serp for the keyword “WordPress directory theme”.

They are:

1) Listify by Astoundify
2) Listable by Pixelgrade
3) ListingPro by Cridio Studio
4) MyListing by 27collective
5) DirectoryEngine by EngineThemes
6) Vantage by AppThemes
7) Directory by Templatic

We will test and evaluate them for:

1) Ease of use
2) Design quality
3) Flexibility
4) Use of SEO best practices
5) Quality of support & documentation
6) Quality of code, use of WordPress best practices and scalability

Why didn’t you review this or that other theme too?

Because of time restraints. There are hundreds of them and we couldn’t review them all. We picked the theme for which the market was showing the strongest preference.

Listify by Astoundify

wordpress directory theme - listify

Ease of use

Installing and setup of this theme was a as straightforward as could be.

The setup guide allows you to set up a staging website in less than 5 minutes.

The only tedious part is the procedure to get the Google Maps API Key, which was more of a struggle than anything else in the rest of the install wizard.

I suggest authors look at our API KEY for Google Maps plugin.

They’ll learn how to streamline the procedure from several steps to a couple of clicks.

Design quality

Listify design is outstanding and easily customizable, and should prove accessible even to users with little to no coding/css knowledge.

The “Customizer” section contains Style Kits and other options for the user to modify the website styleike the logo, elements colors, labels and typography.


A 3rd party plugin, called WP Job Manager, actually powers the theme, so
there’s few built-in options for management of fields and links.

The first thing that I wanted to test were custom fields to see how Listify handles postmeta.

I was surprised to find that it basically doesn’t actually handle fields very well.

If you want to add a custom field to the front end add-listing form and listing pages, you have to add code snippets to your child theme, or buy yet another premium plugin.

Search filters by custom fields as a consequence are not available. You can filter by location, by category, by keyword or by tag.

With an extra premium plugin called FacetWP you can extend that, but I didn’t test it and I can’t say to what extent.

Listify is compatible with WPML, but Polylang is recommended to create a multilingual website.

Use of SEO best practices

The location field is a taxonomy. Because of that, this theme is more suited for a local directory. Bootstrapping a successful website with multiple locations could be next to impossible.

You can search and filter by category and location. But you can only browse archives of listings by location OR by category. For Directories with listing from more than one city, this is a huge SEO limit.

If you want to see the “Private Room” listings in San Diego on the Listify demo, you can only do that by using their search engine. If you copy the URL returned :


and paste it a new browser window, you will see that it won’t show “Private Room” listings in San Diego, but a generic search results page.

This is SEO unfriendly.

You can’t handle SEO metas with SEO yoast for similar search results pages.

No relevant Title. No relevant metas. Nothing in the URL to help Google index your website for “Private rooms in San Diego”.

For a good directory there should be an archive under a similar structure:


That structure allows to assign a unique meta title and meta descriptions and it would be 100% SEO optimized.

Listify handles Rich Snippets but it integrates them in the most basic way possible.

Quality of support & documentation

The documentation is extensive and clear. Support is also polite and efficient.

I submitted one query via comments on the product page and received a response in less than 24 hours.

Quality of code, use of WordPress best practices and scalability

Out of the box, because it doesn’t use Custom Fields, Listify is scalable, in a similar manner to how WordPress is for posts and pages.

Adding custom fields to the equation, via code snippets or plugin, would quickly degrade performances. This because of how the custom fields are saved in the database.

Code Comments: In general, the code quality is good, lots of the important functions have code comments, but there are still many without any comments or that lack full descriptions, and as such would not be up to WordPress standards.

Actions & Filters: The theme has 134 do_action() and 187 apply_filters() which is good to see (in general the more actions and filters the easier it is for developers to work with).

Escaping (security): Seems good and up to WP standards.

Listify conclusions

While great design and quick setup are definitely obvious pros, this theme is,unfortunately, totally dependent on other plugins. In our opinion, Wp Job Manager is less than ideal for building a business directory.

Since Astoundify has been sold and we don’t know the new developers, I can’t guarantee that Listify is still as stable as it was when we 1st tested. If and when we’ll get the time to check the latest updates, we’ll report here.

Listable by Pixelgrade

Ease of use

Listable gave a very good first impression, although it wasn’t as smooth and fast as the previous one.

A few minutes of work and my staging website looked similar to the Listable official demo.

Listable features Mapbox integration. Mapbox is an alternative to Google Maps, although it offers only 1600 map views per day and becomes pretty expensive after that, so it’s not a great choice.

Google Maps is available. They require adding the API key manually, which is time-consuming. Listable’s authors should have a look at what we suggested to the Astoundify team about this.

Design quality

Listable’s major strength is it’s sleek and pixel-perfect design.

Their customizer options allow the editing of most elements. Tweaking Colors Schemes, Managing Fonts or adding Custom CSS


Just like Listify, Listable’s weakest point is the plugin powering the directory. WP Job Manager, that I think is far from ideal for a business directory.

Again, in order to create custom fields you need an extra premium plugin or extra code. The only difference are the Locations that are not a taxonomy, but a postmeta.

An extra taxonomy offered are the listing types. I didn’t see their utility because they appear to be for admin only.

Listable is fully compatible with WPML. I tested it and can personally confirm.

Use of SEO best practices

Even though the Location field is not a taxonomy (it is a custom field), the issues are the same that we saw with Listify.

Google will never index your category archives by city (if you have more than one).

A Directory of Hotels located in several cities ,including New York, will not rank for keywords like “Hotels in New York”.

With this structure is better to create a single city or a hyper local directory only.

Listable handles Rich Snippets, but it integrates them in a basic way.

Quality of support & documentation

The documentation is extensive and clear and support is polite and efficient.

I submitted one query via comments on the product page and received answer in less than 12 hours.

Quality of code, use of WordPress best practices and scalability

Out of the box, because it doesn’t use Custom Fields, Listable is scalable just like Listify.

But like Listify, if you try to add custom fields performance problems quickly arise.

Code Comments: Some code comments exist, but most functions are un-commented and ones that have comments are not up to WP standards.

Actions & Filters: The theme has 141 do_action() and 136 apply_filters() (in general the more actions and filters the easier it is for developers to work with).

Escaping (security): Mostly good and to WP standards though I would like to see all POST data escaped even in the backend functions.

Listable conclusions

Great design and easy setup, but same problems as Listify, as again their choice to use WP Job Manager limited their potential.

Also, because most of the plugins are premium, I couldn’t test them all. Buying them all would bring the total investment to over $300.

For example, I couldn’t test paid listings, claim listings, bookmarks and listings tags. All monetization options come at an extra cost.

Same consideration I made for Listify is valid for Listable too. It’s a shame that it’s not compatible with GeoDirectory. Plenty of our current members would have bought it.

ListingPro by Cridio Studio

Ease of use

Things didn’t go very smoothly with ListingPro at first. I unzipped the archive and found 5 zip files in it:

  • Documentation-1.0.zip,
  • listingpro.zip,
  • listingpro-Bulk-import-addon.zip,
  • listingpro-child.zip, and Live-demo-Content.zip.

I installed both the parent and the child theme and activated the child theme. I was redirected to the setup wizard page, where the first step requires installing the mandatory and recommended plugins. This step failed and I couldn’t proceed.

I had to ask for support, that ,fortunately, was very fast in getting back to me. They explained that to set up everything I had to activate the parent theme. This shows the process is buggy, because activating the parent or child theme shouldn’t change anything.

If it’s better for the setup process to activate the parent theme first, why not hide the child theme zip file and add a step to the setup wizard that installs and activates the child theme once everything else is done? (Like Listify does.)

In any case, after activating the parent theme the problem was gone and I had a staging website similar to their official demo to start my tests.

The author added a default Google Maps API key, to avoid users seeing an error on their maps when first visiting the website.
This is good and bad.

It’s positive to avoid showing an error to the users at first. But that API key will quickly reach its limit, all users that missed changing it and will be presented with the map error. Possibly when their website is live, which is worse.

And, as in the two previous themes, with ListingPro you can’t fetch the Maps API automatically.

Design quality

The front end design for ListingPro is outstanding and the customisation options are limitless, but the excessive use of colors on the dashboard is a bit grating and quickly becomes an eyesore.

I prefer when plugins and themes blend graciously into the WordPress UI, using its original styles and elements.

ListingPro doesn’t use the Theme Customizer for it’s styling and customization options. Being all in the dashboard theme options, it means that you can’t preview your styling changes while doing them.


ListingsPro is a WordPress Directory Theme that comes with all Directory features built in. It doesn’t rely on 3rd party plugins to operate the directory portion of the theme.

This is a big advantage, especially for those on a tight budget.

Unlike WP Job Manager, ListingsPro handles custom fields. You can create fields of the following types: Text, Checkbox, Checkbox (Switch On/Off), Multicheck, Radio and Select.

Custom fields are unavailable as advanced search filters and are only used as Additional Business Info. Advance search filters are predefined and the admin cannot edit them. They are: Price, Open Time, Highest Rated, Most Reviewed and Categories.

Locations are a Taxonomy and the add listing page requires to select a location. This means that if you want to build a country wide directory, you must enter all Cities of that country in advance.

Because there is no proper validation, you can input an address from a city (even if is not valid) and select a different City as your location. This is sloppy design, and could really use a more thought out approach from the designer.

Another taxonomy offered is features. Features are category dependent. A taxonomy nested within another taxonomy.

ListingPro features two options for monetization: Paid listings and ads. Paid listings allow the enabling and disabling of a few options.

You can show or hide : Contact information, Google map, Video and the Gallery.

Paid Ads give listing owners the option to buy extra impressions in featured areas of the theme. This is a very interesting but it’s implementation is pretty basic. For example, you can only set one price and ad duration per ads slot .

Our favorite section of this theme is the user Dashboard. It is very well thought out

Use of SEO best practices

ListingPro has the same flaws in this aspect that the previous two themes had. It doesn’t provide Search Engine friendly archives of categories filtered by location.

Not really suitable for a Directory covering multiple cities, it can be used for a hyper local or city directory with a limited number of listings.

ListingPro doesn’t handle Rich Snippets.

Quality of support & documentation

Documentation is not 100% complete and it can’t be searched. Support is extremely efficient, we posted 1 comment and received a reply within minutes. I was invited to use their ticketing system, which was a positive and user-friendly experience

Quality of code, use of WordPress best practices and scalability

The manner in which data is stored in the database makes ListingPro the worst theme so far, at least in terms of performance and scalability. Everything is saved as posts and postmetas. Listings, Prices, Ads, Reviews, Invoices and Claims are all posts types.

With a total of 9 listings I had 82 rows in the wp_post table and 1340 rows in the wp_postmeta table.

Building a directory with thousands of listings using this theme would be literally impossible without spending a fortune for hosting.
Code Comments: Very basic comments exist for some things but in general most things have no comments. I did not find any comments up to WP standards.

Actions & Filters: The theme has 14 do_action() and 31 apply_filters() (in general the more actions and filters the easier it is for developers to work with).

Escaping (security): Very poor escaping and we actually found an extremely serious XSS vulnerability during our basic checks (we have reported this to the author)

ListingPro conclusions

A great design with some very good ideas, but an overall immature product with too many major architectural flaws.

It reminds me of GeoPlaces on steroids.

It is obvious that the author studied the graphic side of this project in great detail. But it is also evident that whoever wrote the code had little to no any experience building high performance scalable applications.

They also need to learn how to make their code secure. Code wise this is the 3rd worst tested theme.

ListingPro is currently not suitable for a live application in our opinion.

MyListing by 27collective

Ease of use

I started installing MyListing in a multisite network, but had a hard time recreating a demo through WP All Import. That is their suggested tool to import dummy data and create a demo. I’m not sure if this is a known issue or if missed something.

When I tried on a standalone WordPress install the problem was no longer there and I was up and running with a demo very similar to their official demo in just few seconds.

MyListing requires several plugin to be installed:

  • Wp Job Manager
  • WooCommerce
  • Elementor
  • All-in-One WP Migration
  • Contact Form 7

Because of this, fast loading pages are to be expected on high performance servers only.

Even their demo are not extremely fast and loads on average in 7.4 secs when tested from 20 locations.

On a live directory website that would result in a very high bounce rate.

We used this speed loading test tool to get those statistics.

As with all previous themes tested MyListing won’t allow you to fetch the Maps API automatically.

Design quality

MyListing is highly integrated with the Elementor plugin and offers a lot of customization options. You can basically design most of it through the Elementor page builder.

You can customize the home page, the explore page (search) and few other templates. You cannot edit the listing detail page.

The general design quality is outstanding, although I find the typography to be slightly too small for modern standards and hard on the eye.

MyListing is another theme that doesn’t follow WordPress standards and avoid using the Theme Customizer, for it’s styling and customization options.


MyListing uses WP Job Manager as a base for the directory and shares the same limitation of Listify and Listable. They integrated the Advanced Custom Fields plugin for some theme options, and also built their own custom fields system.

Prices are set through WooCommerce, as products and the payments are managed by WooCommerce too.

In our opinion, this is a bit too much. We developed a lightweight plugin called Invoicing plugin to manage payments for GeoDirectory, because any other e-commerce system was adding an excessive amount of useless code to the directory.

For example, you’ll have a system to manage shipping on a website that doesn’t do any shipping.

Use of SEO best practices

MyListing has the same flaws in this aspect that the previous 3 themes had. Custom Taxonomies are used for categories and locations, which means that it’s impossible to visit a page showing listings of 1 category for a specific location with a nice SEO optimized URL.

Mylisting handles Rich Snippets, but it presents few errors too.

Quality of support & documentation

The documentation appears to be complete and it can be browsed via the sticky menu on the left sidebar. We haven’t tested support, but I don’t see negative reviews for about inefficient or substandard support, so they must be doing a good job.

Quality of code, use of WordPress best practices and scalability

Because they used the default WordPress architecture for custom fields, scalability for MyListing will be a huge problem. I created 1 test listing with 5 images and that resulted in 7 rows in the wp_posts database table and 59 rows in the wp_postmeta database table.

MyListing conclusions

It’s definitely aesthetically pleasing, and, being easy to customize via Elementor, is a great tool for the beginner Directory Developers, but most of the projects built with this theme will have a very hard time scaling their business if the website starts getting traction.

This theme forces you to install:

Wp Job Manager, Wp Job Manager WC Paid Listings, Elementor, WooCommerce and their own MyListing Add-on. It couldn’t get more bloated.

Someone may wonder why they have mostly 5 star reviews and no negative reviews at all. This struck me as suspicious, especially considering the flaws that we identified in this theme.

Apparently, people who leave negative reviews have been banned from getting support and updates, people who gave them a negative review. Proof that they did it at least once in the past can be found here:


That made me discover that Envato deletes reviews made by people who received a refund for any given product. I consider that an awful business practice by Envato.

While I’m not suggesting that this is MyListing authors standard behavior with customers, I can personally tell that they have a hard time dealing with negative feedback, because they also contacted me directly asking me to modify this review.

I’d suggest they take negative feedback as information to improve their product, rather than taking it as personal offenses and witch hunt anyone that dares to critique their product.

Mylisting is another over-hyped theme from Theme Forest will see a decline in sales as soon as they release it on their own website.

You can make great-looking websites with it, but it will be slow to the point of becoming unusable if a decent amount of traffic were ever hit it.

DirectoryEngine by EngineThemes

Ease of use

I’m not a fan of Themes that come with bundled plugins. Because most of the time the bundled plugins are out of date. You have to start the install by updating 1 or more plugin via FTP, because the bundled plugin can’t be automatically updated (unless you buy a license for that too).

DirectoryEngine comes with 2 bundled plugins: Revolution Slider and Visual Composer, of course both where outdated and I had to update them via FTP.

The documentation tells to install the dummy data using the WP Importer plugin, and the theme provides a tool to automatically import it.
Like all 3 previous themes, the Google Maps API key must be generated manually.

All in all, it took me approx 15 minutes to get a staging site similar to their demo. That’s not too bad.

Design quality

The quality of the design is high, but not as pixel perfect and comparable to the previous 3 themes.

Customizer options allow to modify the sections of the home page and the general website colors only, and there are few really substantial design options.


DirectoryEngine is one more WordPress Directory Theme that doesn’t handle custom fields out of the box. They can be added, but only programmatically.

If you can’t create custom fields, you also cannot use them as search filters.

There are 4 custom post types: Places, Events, Packs, and Testimonials.

Places are used for listings.

Events are special offers that listings owner can add.

Packs are for listing prices.

Testimonials are not clearly defined and have no obvious use.

You can create unlimited listing prices, but all they do is limit the number of places and events that a user can enter and the length of their availability. There are settings to determine how many pictures or categories a listing can accept, but that will affect all prices.

Locations are items of a taxonomy.

Just like ListingPro, while adding a listing, you can select an address from a city and in the location field select a different city.

At time of writing, DirectoryEngine is three years old, and I find this to be unacceptable. What’s worse, they describe this as a “feature” in the documentation:

Use of SEO best practice

DirectoryEngine has the same SEO flaws of all Themes tested so far.

Being locations items of a taxonomy, there is no way to browse archives of listings of a given category filtered by a defined location. The only way to do it is via their search engine, which is not SEO friendly.

The way locations are handled is amateurish at best. You can rank a website made with DirectoryEngine on major Search Engines only if the directory accept listings for 1 city or for a smaller geographical area.

DirectoryEngine uses rich snippets correctly.

Quality of support & documentation

Documentation seems to be slightly outdated, however it covers all features of the theme. Support replied within 24hrs the first time. The second time, when we reported a serious vulnerability in their theme, they didn’t reply at all.

Quality of code, use of WordPress best practices and scalability

With 4 listings, 7 events and 3 prices the post and postmeta tables have respectively 311 and 936 rows. I see here the same scalability problems that ListingPro has: insurmountable.

Code Comments: Most things have code comments and most are to WP standards though parameters for the most part lack descriptions, but in general better than the vast majority.

Actions & Filters: The theme has 100 do_action() and 137 apply_filters() (in general the more actions and filters the easier it is for developers to work with).

Escaping (security): I started checking this code and the first 3 things I found had exploits such as XSS, login page spoofing and the ability to view or delete content from the site.

DirectoryEngine conclusions

I had high expectations for this theme and after testing it, I can’t help but say that I’m disappointed. For a product that has been available for three years it still has critical flaws, despite being widely used. I wouldn’t hesitate to ask for a refund if I had purchased it for my own personal use.

There is definitely a fine designer at work behind this theme, but the quality of the back-end application is rather unprofessional.

I would have to conclude the authors have very little knowledge of security and scalability. No one should ever install this theme on their site.

Vantage by AppThemes

Vantage has been around for several years, and as such it’s the most mature product of this list. It has been recently re-designed, and I have considered this a direct competitor for a long time. I was very curious to finally get my hands on it and properly evaluate it.

Ease of use

Installing and setting up Vantage was as very enjoyable experience. The setup guide is as good as the Install Wizard of Listify. I had a demo website that looked similar to the AppThemes original demo in less than 5 minutes.

The only weak point is the google Maps API key requirement that could be streamlined, just like for the previous 4 themes.

Design quality

The new flat design is modern and clean, a huge step ahead compared to the old Vantage design.

The customizer options allow to modify site identity elements like the logo and site icon. Color schemes, color of individual items, background image and layouts.


Out of the 5 themes tested so far, Vantage is the first that really handles custom fields. Because you can’t use them as advanced search filter though, they are not as useful as they could be.

The location field is a text field. It calculates Latitude and longitude coordinates automatically from whatever the user input in it. The lack of validation on this field allow users to enter just about anything. Saving the form after inputting an invalid address returns PHP warnings.

Price option allow the setting of recurring and non-recurring prices. Limit the number of categories that a user can select for each listing. Set the listing duration period and featured status for search and category archives.

Available payment options out of the box are Paypal and Bank Transfer. There are extra payment gateways, child themes and other premium extensions that come at an extra cost. We didn’t test any of them.

Use of SEO best practice

Just like the other themes, the Location part of Vantage is not ideal. It is not sufficient to create a decent Directory structure with listings submitted for more than 1 location.

You can rank the listing detail page and the category pages, but not by location. This because the only way to browse listings by location, is via the search engine that returns non SEO friendly results page, with URLs like this:


There is no way to assign a unique meta title and description to this search results pages. Because of that, it’s very improbable that Google or other search engines will rank them for relevant keywords and locations.

Vantage handles Rich Snippets, but it integrates them in the most basic way.

Quality of support & documentation

The documentation for this WordPress Directory Theme is extended and very well organized in 4 sections:

  1. Documentation – Install guides, release notes, and more.
  2. Tutorials – Our themes and plugins tutorial library.
  3. Developers – Our API documentation. Extend our products.
  4. Sellers – Documentation for our Marketplace sellers.

Support is very kind and helpful. I submitted a support request via their support forum and got an answer within 24 hours.

Quality of code, use of WordPress best practices and scalability

Vantage doesn’t employ a database structure that is ideal for a directory. With only 3 listings, the wp_posts table had already 49 rows and the wp_postmeta 246. The use of extra custom fields would make the second figure grow exponentially.

Scalability problem could arise very soon without investing enough resources in an expensive server infrastructure.

Code Comments: This is very well commented and most code comments are to WP standards, seeing so much quality code comments give a developer confidence.

Actions & Filters: The theme has 238 do_action() and 230 apply_filters() (in general the more actions and filters the easier it is for developers to work with).

Escaping (security): Security and WP standards were up to scratch. No major problems could be identified.

Vantage conclusion

Great design and excellent setup procedure. A directory can be set up and used within minutes. It is effective for use on a single-city directory.

However, it is unsuitable as a directory for a region, country or world-wide directory. It wouldn’t be SEO friendly.

Of the 7 themes tested, I would have to conclude that Vantage is definitely the best overall product.

Directory by Templatic

Ease of use

I tested this theme when it was first released, and I was unimpressed. However, the latest version left me pleasantly surprised. It’s fast, easily-installed and makes import dummy data easy. I was able to set up a staging website identical to their demo in just few minutes.

The level of improvement is impressive.

Design quality

When it was first released in early 2014, the design was modern and sleek, however now it starts to be a bit outdated, and while they provide several child themes with different designs, they all come at an extra cost.

Some of the design options are available in the customizer section, some in the theme setting. It’d be more convenient to have them all in the customizer.


Directory is by far the most flexible of all 7 tested themes in terms of features.

It handles Custom Post Types (Listing types), and for each Custom post type you can create any kind of custom fields. Finally, you can use all custom fields as advance search filters.

The theme database comes with all Countries listed and almost 4000 regions. The system creates cities when adding listings, but there is no tool to merge them, in case of typos or other database errors. This is something that shouldn’t be missed when users can add locations to the database.

Strangely, even though there are regions and countries, you are unable to browse listing by region or country, only by city. It’s a step forward compared to the other 5 themes, but still far from ideal. An ideal directory would include the option to browse by “All locations”, country, region, city and neighborhood.

Money-making and business opportunities are very good. You can set prices with good flexibility. You can set Prices for “single submission” or for “subscription” including a set number of listings. Set them recurring or as one-time fee payments. Also add an up-sell price for each category. Another option is the duration of the package and featured placement of the listing.

Use of SEO best practices

Even though with Directory you can finally present archives filtered by category + location, the amount of flexibility in managing Titles and Metas is close to non-existent. You can create a category description, but that will be the same for all locations.

We are still very far from an ideally SEO optimized directory tool.

Directory handles Rich Snippets, but it integrates them in the most basic way.

Quality of support & documentation

The docs are very well organized and easy to search. Although their support team replied to my support request within 24hrs, they couldn’t understand my question, despite being pretty straight-forward.

Quality of code, use of WordPress best practices and scalability

Buggy code was what we best remember about Templatic’s themes. Directory is no different.

We found options that don’t save, security holes and a deficient database structure.

The database structure is the worst of all Themes tested. With 13 listings, 15 pages and 4 posts, the post table has 105 rows and the postmeta counts 1,308 rows.

Finally the advance search widget queries are SQL killers. They JOIN the postmeta table once for each custom field that you filter.

Scaling this Directory Theme beyond few hundred listings could be next to impossible.

Code Comments: Most things have some sort of code comments, somethings are to WP standards but not everything, maybe 50/50.

Actions & Filters: The theme has 487 do_action() and 319 apply_filters() (in general the more actions and filters the easier it is for developers to work with).

Escaping (security): Most things are escaped, but there are still lots of things that are not which could lead to XSS on the backend. In general the code is sloppy with many PHP warnings and Notices and, in many places, lacks basic security checks for things like sending emails and SQL injection.

Considering the previous points, Directory isn’t something I would want to run on my server.

Directory conclusions

Compared to GeoPlaces of 4 years ago, the theme shows a lot of improvements. Especially in terms of new features and options, but the underlying structure is the same. Not scalable and buggy.

Final Conclusions

We were pretty shocked to discover that half of the theme tested were so poorly coded.

Similar products can undermine WordPress’s reputation in our opinion.

The quality of the backend application should always be equal or superior to the quality of the design.

If it’s unable to meet the standard of design then your customer is receiving a product that doesn’t match what was promised.

Obviously, we advised the Themes’ authors about the possible exploits and as far as we know the ListingPro authors already corrected its XSS vulnerability.

Apart from that, Vantage ranks #1, Listify #2, Listable #3, ListingPro, MyListing and Directory tied #4 and DirectoryEngine is by far the worst.

The last four themes in our opinion are not suitable for a production website.

A message to the authors of Directory Themes

Why would you bother to build the directory features of your themes from scratch (or use a plugin that’s not made for it)?

If you had to develop an E-Commerce theme today, would you build the entire shopping cart or use WooCommerce for that?

Without a doubt, GeoDirectory is far superior to the Directory options included in all of the themes that we tested.

You are still in time to correct that mistake and let us handle probably 90% of the support requests that are sent your way.

Cooperating is better than competing 🙂

We hope you enjoyed this extended review and should you wish to add anything to it, please do so in the comments down below!

Published by Paolo

Paolo Tajani is the co-founder and growth hacker of AyeCode LTD. With his business partner Stiofan, they are the makers of the GeoDirectory, UsersWP and Invoicing plugins for WordPress. Paolo developed his first WordPress website in 2008. In 2011 he met Stiofan O'Connor and together they started building and marketing successful themes and plugins for WordPress. Today their products are used by +100.000 active websites.

125 thoughts on “WordPress Directory Theme, what’s the best [updated 2020]

  1. Hi Paolo! Thanks for great article. What would you recommend in terms of hosting for large directory using your plugin? What kind of hosting would I need for fast loading of pages? Also, how would you suggest to add listings? Is there any database service that would sell a specific niche listings across USA to bulk upload to the directory? How do you add listings to your directories? Thanks in advance for your response. 🙂

    1. Hi Oleg,

      it really depends on the amount of traffic that you forecast to have visiting your site and the size of the database.

      I have a couple of sites on a Siteground’s Growbig plan and with wp-rocket installed (caching plugin) they load pretty fast. Cloudways, Wp Engine, or Kinsta are all excellent options too and there are many more out there.

      There are services that sell databases, but we don’t recommend going that way. 99.9% of our customers build their own databases. Having unique data is fundamental to rank your directory on Google.

      Hope this helps.

      Thank you

      1. Thank you so much for your recommendations, Paolo!

        1. You are welcome 🙂

  2. Hi Paolo, just wondering, do you still think the same of ListingsPro? I saw that your screenshots were of version 1.1 and currently they’re on version 2.5.7. Just wondering if maybe the recent versions are any better.
    Thank you in advance

    1. They keep adding stuff and definitely got worst. It’s extremely bloated and loads countless scripts and CSS on each page. If you test on pagespeed insight (or any other tool to test a site’s performances) the site they brag about the most (Serbian Yellow Pages), scores are embarrassing: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.yell.rs%2F

  3. I wished I had read this before buying listingpro a few days ago, it just seemed like a simpler option but I was not aware of the bad coding you mentioned. I see you recommend Elementor but I am considering getting the GD membership and use it with Divi theme I already got, is GD compatible with Divi and the Divi builder or just with Elementor?
    Also, does GD allows to create many search filters? for both events and listings?
    Are people able to claim and upload video to their listings? as well as upcoming events under their regular listing?

    1. Hi Carolina,

      GD will work with Divi too. Not as integrated, but you can still do pretty much anything. Yes GD provides everything that you mentioned.


  4. Paolo
    If I understand you right – in the case when I want to make a listing or directory for only one geo location( in my case – small region city) with up to 500 places maximum – it’s possible to build something with the mentioned themes instead of using right directory plugin as GD and spend money for developers and setting up the whole system on it. If yes – what you recommend for such a small project – just to check the market and then make something biger and on correct tech steck?

    1. It depends on which one… All themes with directories features built-in should be avoided at all costs.

      Themes are for presentation, plugins for extra features, and the problem will come up when you are ready to make something bigger and on correct tech stack. You’ll have to start over completely. Not only with design but also with data migration.


  5. Hi Paolo,

    A very simple question. Is it possible to use the theme to make a job board? No geotags or maps are needed in my case.

    Are there examples of these pages/ tutorials?


    1. Hi Matias,

      we built our GeoDirectory experts site with Elementor PRO and GeoDirectory and we added a section for Jobs. You can see it here: https://geodirectoryexperts.com/jobs/ No maps nor GeoTags.

      If you want we can pass you the Elementor’s template…

      Let me know!


  6. I tried a few, ended up getting the one called citybook. It is 95% ok to handle, the other 5% are small bugs you gotta fix yourself or contact support. Not sure why I didn’t buy the first one in your list, I think it was pricing.

  7. Hi – do you know if a plugin like WP Simple Calendars (premium version) would work with GeoDirectory? I need availability calendars with iCal sync. Or, do you have any plans to create an Addon for this feature? Thanks.

    1. Hi, the only event plugin compatible with GeoDirectory is our event add-on. Yes we are planning to work on iCal integration asap.


      1. That’s great, thanks Paolo.

        Ps. Happy 6th Birthday 🙂

        1. Thanks! 🙂

        2. Sorry, another question, I took a look at your event plugin – is it possible for it to be used as an available calendar for things such vacation rentals?


        3. I explored that option myself and the answer is: not really. Some customization would be required and it wouldn’t scale very well if you’d use it for many vacation rentals.

        4. OK, that’s a shame, but thanks for answering my questions 🙂

  8. Hi,
    Thank you for your post.

    I am looking for a directory theme that work well with multi location and multi category but, I need a SEO theme because of my business strategy .. I had read that the themes in your article are not very seo friendly. Which theme do you suggest?

    1. Only GeoDirectory will fulfill all your requirements. GeoDirectory works with any theme, so you can choose the one you like to work with the most. Listimia looks great out of the box. If you need your own custom design, GeoDirectory + Astra + Elementor for me is one of the best options available at the moment.

      Hope this helps 🙂

      1. Have you used phlox theme with GD, are there any known issues?
        In process of creating an events focused site.

        1. Hi,

          I’ve never tested it, but I’m almost sure it is fully compatible.


  9. Difference between listingpro and listable. what’s better and why.

    1. Listable is definitely better, but only if you need to do a hyper niche directory with a low number of listings. Listingpro is not something I’d ever recommend. Nice design, but the code is low quality, bloated and full of bugs. Neither one is really good from an SEO point of view if yo ucover more than 1 city. If you need custom fields and search filtered by customer fields, neither one will scale.

  10. Paolo
    It is difficult to be a judge and share in the opinions expressed, but it is clear your point of view as a developer.
    The point is obviously in those who use Job manager as an element to create the LISTINGS, or GEODIRECTORY which is what you propose.
    I have worked at the time with LISTABLE, and really JOB MANAGER is an abortion, it does not fit at all, and they are all patches.
    The question is, there is a theme that is very old, perhaps one of the first that you do not mention and is AIT Directory +

    What opinion do you deserve this theme, know on what basis it works, ie Job Manager or GEODIRECTORY.
    In my opinion it is against the need for many plugins, but at least they are the ones who develop and provide them, that is, AIT.

    I will appreciate your professional point of view

    1. Hi and thanks for your comment. The honest answer is I don’t know it. I need to buy it, install it and have a look at it.
      I intend to do a major refresh of this post in the upcoming weeks. Add a couple of themes, test them all for speed too and update the post.
      I’ll definitely take your request into consideration and add the AIT Directory + theme to the equation.


      1. Thank you for your response, and I look forward to that evaluation you are going to make.
        I appreciate that you add the comparison to the theme of ait, since you will fully complete the report

      2. Paolo
        Returning to the subject in question, I clarify that apparently ait directory does not use either Job Manager or Geodirectory for its listints, that is, like Listinpro, they have their own development that would have to be evaluated based on the design of the databases they developed.

        Even in the case of Listingpro, which you rightly question, you can see its perhaps main client that is yell.rs, a consizable directory to analyze your product based on the design of the databases, accessibility, speed etc

  11. Hey Paolo. Just stumbled across your article and thank you for your lengthy review. It is interesting you rated Vantage #1. I understand this post may be dated. I purchased Vantage last year, but quickly decided it was not what I was expecting in turns of quality, operability, and looks. I then turned to ListingPro. While I do commend the support group for prompt responses, there is no way I will feel comfortable charging people to list on my site. I never intended my directory project to be an ATM. I did have plans on making at least server money back. There always seems to be one issue after another, and really quirky stuff. They rolled out version 2.5 at the beginning of the year with a lot of rah rah behind it. I was holding my breath not knowing what the next big thing would mean from a troubleshooting perspective since I had already been working on my site for a couple of months. Since the rollout, the latest version update count is up to 2.5.6. Again, one thing gets resolved and another pops up.

    Since you clearly have more background in development and directories, specifically, than most, are there any true COTS solutions for those wanting to start a directory? I get it that we can’t expect an enterprise solution for 50 bucks, but what are some other solutions out there which meet your criteria as a professional product? Thanks again for the service you provide your readers!

    1. Hi Rick,

      Vantage is the best between the worst. I explained clearly in the article that a theme providing all features is a huge mistake that should be avoided at all costs. IMHO GeoDirectory is the only solution that you should be considering. Thank you

  12. Dear Paolo,
    What an interesting reading, thanks!
    It’s an old post, and even it has been updated in 2019 it would have been nice to know when and what has been updated!
    I was wondering if you can come up with some light for me? as at the end of my reading I’m confused.
    I’m not sure I fully understand what GD is offering, since as far as I understand GD needs also a Theme and if I’m not wrong, all of the above mentioned are also Themes. So I’m confused!!
    On the other hand, what option is GD offering to overcome the above directory themes weaknesses? You mention Listimia + GD, why and where is it better than any of the analysed in the article? What would that combination provide that the other don’t?
    In my particular case, I’m looking for a solution that is scalable, where we can list many countries, cities and even regions and where visitors can do a search even on a “single-room” following this structure that you mention in the post
    want similar structure as this: domain.com/rentals/united-states/california/san-diego/single-room
    allowing to assign a unique meta title and meta descriptions so it would be 100% SEO optimized, ranking the listing detail page and the category pages, but also by location
    Ability for custom fields, as advanced search filter
    and also Rich Snippets.
    Thanks for your help and clarification!

    1. GeoDirectory, being a plugin, requires a theme. But you can use any theme and possibly one that offers high performances. Like the Astra theme or the page builder framework theme, or hello + Elementor, etc. The themes that include directory options are to be avoided at all costs. First, because they break the first usability rule of WordPress (theme for design and plugins for data and functions). Second because they will never be able to scale, nor they will provide SEO optimized URLs. GeoDirectory instead, will provide exactly what you need and it can scale to millions of listings.

      I hope this answers your questions. If you still have doubts, please let me know.

      1. Hi Paolo, is it compatible with oxygen builder(and if it is, how much, because oxygen doesn’t play nicely with others)??…thank you…

        1. Hi, yes Oxygen should be fully compatible using GD widgets within the builder.


  13. Hi, thanks for this article, it opened up my eyes to the SEO issue. With regards to directories in general, speed is such a major issue with some of those themes that it makes theme unusable unless you put a lot of time and money into speed tools, CDNs, and compression techniques.

    In terms of final cost, yes it can get expensive when you factor in the premium plugins, especially WooCommerce Subscriptions. To be fair, though, you didn’t mention the cost of a fully formed GeoDirectory site with Claim Listings, Paid Listings, Advanced Search (for Geolocation), etc. Those extensions are around $40 each and really necessary to have an attractive site which you can monetize. Therefore the final cost will still be in the hundreds of dollars, though less overall compared to an equivalent site built with, say, Listify.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Yes, quality doesn’t comes cheap. Our prices are publicly available 🙂

  14. Costantino Gargiulo

    Excellent guide!

    However I have to say that your wp geodirectory also has some solvable problems:

    1) Why not group all the plugins in a single folder and why not separate them instead from the themes ? (Today if I login on my dashboard I find a lot of stuff to download, but I don’t know what it is for…Maybe you could write beside or in brackets (THEME).

    2) Why don’t you expect a general installation of ALL plugins?
    (or is there a way to install everything together without having to upload a single plugin each time?)

    3) Why is there no area where it is possible to send private tickets like other companies on themeforest do?

    1. Thanks,

      1 because WordPress does work that way, each plugin must be in its own folder inside the plugins folder.
      Did you see the extensions page on GDv2? It allows to add 1 license key for your membership and download/activate plugins directly from that page (WP Easy Updates must be installed too).

      Extensions page

      2 Because almost no one uses all of our plugins in one site. From the extensions page, is very easy to install what you need or even everything.

      3 Because a lot of people don’t want to ask for support and they prefer to search in a forum or knowledgebase 1st. With a private ticketing system that wouldn’t be possible.

      I think you missed the biggest of our cons, design, but that should be solved within this week too.


      1. Costantino Gargiulo

        Thanks a lot Paolo!

        Today I will make an installation from scratch following your advice.

        Yesterday I had tried to load the various themes (including whoop).I was very curious to test them…but I don’t know why, after installing whoop and whoop child the layout went down the drain and various overlapping modules appeared.

        I’ll let you know with this new installation 🙂

        Have a good time!

        1. If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance in our forum. The support team will be more than happy to assist you.


  15. Hey Paulo,

    I hate the look of every single theme on Theme Forest. All crappy. The home pages are all decorated with distracting bells and whistles. The people that use directories don’t even care about this stuff. They just want a list of information in categories. All of the stupid maps and are just stupid.

    Is it possible to just build your own from scratch? Just use the GeoDirectory plugin and start building with a page builder?

    1. Absolutely yes. GDv2 was built with that always in mind. Allowing anyone to design it as they want it.

  16. Love this article.

    However, the GeoDirectory core themes are unbearably ugly. It’s really a shame that no developers are building themes that integrate Geo.

    At the end of the day, we have to be able to sell listings to businesses. And if the business perceives that the theme is ugly, then they won’t bother advertising.

    Ok, so the next question, how do you customize the look and feel of GeoDirectory core themes? None of these topics are covered.

    Frustrating. Everyone knows that the Geo engine is the best. But what use is an amazing engine if there is no body to support it?

    Instead, we are forced into weaker engined themes with slick interfaces.

    My recommendation to the developers of Geo is to get developers to adopt the framework, (only one on theme forest does) and adopt Gutenberg as a page builder.

    1. There is a great looking theme called Listimia that currently is only available for another script that very soon will be available for GeoDirectory too.

      Hopefully, more will follow. However, I think some of your comments are exaggerated if not totally wrong.

      I’ll quote myself from another comment on this post:

      Design doesn’t come first when measuring the success of a website. It’s really a huge misconception. What brings success is the service provided. Yelp, Reddit, Facebook and I could make many more examples, are not fancy looking websites. However, they are extremely successful.

      Going with the broken theme just because it is good looking, for me is no smart move at all.

      1. That Listimia theme is really, really elegant and simple. Very nice on the eye.

        One of the things I really like? The muted use of maps. It seems many of the current theme developers are always including these elaborate map functions. Too distracting.

        Any idea on when this theme might be ready for market?

        1. The developer just said ASAP, but didn’t provide a date. I’ve seen work in progress and he didn’t seem to be too far from being ready.


  17. It’s amazing to go to see this web site and reading the views of all
    mates concerning this post, while I am also zealous of
    getting experience.

  18. Hello GeoDirectory team,

    Thank you for the research! I was looking for detailed info like that about directory themes and plugins.
    You don’t talk about Wilcity directory (the team behind is the one who made ListGo). It has very good grades and the features seem nice. Did you look at it ?

    1. Hi, no we haven’t had a chance to test it directly, but the demo doesn’t even load, so I don’t think we’ll ever even invest the time.
      Looks like another bloated theme that tries to do everything and anything…

  19. Hi, I’m very much impressed with your article, please can you guys give a latest review on my listing vs listing pro, in terms of scalability.
    Thanks in advance

    1. They both won’t perform well in terms of scalability. Nothing has really changed in their database structure, since their first release. They are design essays, not professional tools.


  20. Thanks Paolo. Could you suggest a good theme for me to use so I can then adapt with GD. I really want to start off right and not waste money on a theme that will not work.

    Listify ?


    1. Listify does not work with GeoDirectory because it includes it’s own directory features.

      I suggest to go with any NON directory theme. Our free themes will work more just fine for example: https://wordpress.org/themes/supreme-directory/


  21. Hi there. Am totally new to themes.

    I previously used FrontPage for a villa I owned in Florida and manually added other owners villas to the site – some years ago !!!

    I now want to start a web site where owners will pay an annual subscription to advertise on my site and they will have their own log in page to display their villa with images, description, calendar, reviews etc.

    The page for each owner needs to allow them to “tick” if they have a pool, internet, spa, number of bedrooms, etc etc.

    Potential guests need to be able to search by number of bedrooms, if the villa has a spa, pool etc.

    I want to do all the work myself to create the site as I love a challenge and wanted to know if any GD themes will do what I need or do I use Listify or similar ?

    Any help will be appreciated.

    1. Hi, yes with GeoDirectory you can easily do all that.

      GeoDirectory is a plugin and it works with any theme. Theme that include Directory features should be avoided at all costs.

      Thank you

  22. This was pretty good. Great article!

  23. Many thanks for your prompt reply especially this time of year, I think this will be my next purchase then.
    all the best & seasonal greetings

    Kind regards

  24. Hi,
    Above you say “GeoDirectory with whatever theme you like the most”, can we use GeoDirectory with Divi and create our site.

    Also do you have options for using open street maps as google could hit us hard with the new pricing on busy sites.

    Kind regards

    1. Hi,

      yes and yes.


  25. Hi Paolo,

    Great article. I was about to push the buy button for LISTABLE until I read your article. My question is: I am trying to build a site similar to https://www.whereyoulivematters.org/

    The site is set-up in the manner that I would like to set up my site…have information for the niche I am most interested in and also have a directory built into it.
    As an example: https://www.whereyoulivematters.org/find-a-community/

    What are your recommendations for the theme/software to best develop a site that is similar?


    1. Thank you for your comment Dan,

      definitely GeoDirectory with whatever theme you like the most.


  26. Compare all those to
    DWT Listing – Directory & Listing WordPress Theme
    Has option for “open street maps” and “WOO” ready, witch some don’t have.
    I was using ListingPro – WordPress Directory Theme and moved to DWT.

    1. That theme is bloated and unoptimized. https://www.dotcom-tools.com/website-speed-test.aspx#AA57082F0F8F499591E92F0EA03449A8

      That’s why I didn’t even include it on the list. There is no way to make a profitable directory with it.

      It’s a nice design exercise, but not a professional tool.

      Thanks anyway

  27. Hi Paolo,

    1)I never said anything about FANCY design. Responsive design is a must today, otherwise users will abandon your site and Google will kill it in rankings. “MyListing”, “ListingPro”, Yelp, Facebook – they all offer clean, compact design on mobile, so it looks like a native app. Vantage is not responsive on my iPhone, I had to zoom in/out to reach different sections of Vantage demo – this is very outdated technology, and nobody should use Vantage theme until they make it responsive.

    2) GD is kinda responsive, but the poor demos and certain outdated features make it somewhat unattractive and difficult to use. I tried GD with Avada theme, and it looked much nicer and more responsive than your demo themes, so it got me interested to test your product further.

    3) Your pinpoint feature, a sliding map and the ability to put custom fields on any listing widget (including on a search page and on a map bubble) are very very nice. They seem to be unique, something that other themes don’t have.

    4) On the other hand, your huge pictures on every listing are terrible. Let’s say other wordpress themes are not even a consideration, since GD is the best of them all. So compare yourself to sites like Yelp and YellowPages. On those sites/apps listings either don’t have a pic at all (on a search page), or they have a tiny pic on a side of a horizontal listing (taking maybe 15-20% of the whole listing) – this allows users to see 4-5 horizontal listings on one phone screen. In GD huge pics take more space than all other listing info, and the whole vertical listing barely fits into a phone screen. There should be an option of not displaying pictures at all, OR no pictures for lower levels of membership and displaying a tiny pic for premium levels. Currently if I have a GD listing without a picture, it shows just a white space taking half of my phone screen – not pretty, terrible from usability standpoint.

    5) The addresses in GD are not clickable? They don’t redirect users to google maps for directions? This is really bad, 2005 technology, something that will drive users away from the website.

    6) Your default tab on a listing is “profile”, which displays a long useless article. It takes 4-5 swipes up to get to some relevant info, such as location and phone (and this what gives users an impression, that GD is not responsive/unusable on a phone). Again, look at Yelp and YellowPages – top section on every deal is address, phone, website, deal, hours, category – all one-liners. Nobody wants to scroll through long article to find important info. [I figured how to have phone/address in the first tab of GD.]

    7) I never said that spending some money on a theme is a waste of money. In the past I’ve purchased premiumpress & templatic memberships (both are unusable junk) and some ThemeForest themes (such as Directory+ , which works, but has some usability issues that I don’t like). I’d be interested to buy GD add-ons and fixes, if they can address the above issues.


    1. Hey man, I am a GD user for 3 years. Here are my 2 cents.

      1. I have no idea about Vantage, I know a guy who used ListingPro tho, it has a very nice design but its very slow and yeah ur website ends up looking like the 1000th website using ListingPro. The case studies section had a lot more websites https://listingprowp.com/case-studies/ but I think they erased them to just leave the best looking ones, thats a smart business decision I think. They had like 100 websites and all of them looked the same. Now this can also be said about GD, if u go to the showcase u will find 80% of us use Supreme Directory and barely customize anything. HOWEVER, beware that u are buying plugins here, the themes are basically a free adition and an afterthought. You will have to BUY A SEPARATE THEME from other shop if u want something outstanding, maybe buy a pagebuilder too if u wanna do it yourself or hire someone. Me and other members constantly bug Paolo and Stiofan to update the themes but it keeps being pushed further for one or another reason. First they focused on some other plugins for invoices then V2 of GD, then GDPR, then the Woocomerce integration and I think now with Gutenberg they will probably push it even further down the line. So yeah… at this point I have 0 faith of them releasing a cool looking theme hahaha. That being said, I have been with them for 3 years because their plugins just work, the support is mostly pretty good and I have had no big issues with the backend whatsoever. I mean come on even their own website is pretty ugly so what do u expect. Forget about the design aspect, u will have to buy/build/hire that separately.

      2. Still talking about design. Again just buy Avada or something else, problem solved. GD is very responsive tho, its not perfect but its pretty good overall.

      Yeah the address redirecting to google maps is something I also wanted from them, I gave up on it because google maps started charging for the use of their API so I switched to Open Street maps and actually lost some features from GD since they dont fully support Open Street maps. Not sure if they ever built the redirect to google maps. But thats something u can actually bug them about and they will probably build if they havent yet, since its more backend than design they can probably do it I think.

      Man I thought I was gonna have enough energy to respond at everything but I am getting lazy now. Anyway, just buy it already man. I dont think there is anything better out there overall, there are tons of good looking themes that dont work properly thats for sure. Join us 😀

  28. Seeing that most comments here are from 2017, it seems that this is an extremely outdated review.

    “My listing” and “ListingPro” are the top 2 directory themes on ThemeForest, with thousands of sales and 5-star reviews from majority of buyers. They both have clean responsive designs (look amazing on smartphones, everything is neat and compact due to tabs & accordions – it feels like a native smartphone app) & their demos load fast (despite having many features that most themes don’t have).

    Somehow you ranked Vantage theme above those 2 themes. Vantage is complete garbage: outdated design, very limited features compared to other themes (no deals, no coupons, no video, no expandable hours widget, no expandable FAQ widget,etc), and it’s NOT RESPONSIVE!! Try it on mobile, it looks terrible, all listings & menus are a mess! Google will kill any website built with this ugly theme, and users will abandon it as well.

    WpGeoDirectory – I’ll try the free version first, and then possibly buy your add-ons/membership. But here is what I see on your website at the moment. There is not a single decent looking, professional website in your showcase (most of them had to spend a lot of $$ to customize their websites, and yet not a single one of them comes even close to MyListing or ListingPro demo). In your themes your listing pages are kinda mobile responsive (fit into mobile screen, but they are long [poor design, no tabs/accordions] & lack many features [comparing to modern directory themes]). But your home/search page IS NOT REPOSNSIVE & very outdated. Categories are crowded into one line and they only display the first 2 letters, so it’s impossible to read them. There is no sorting feature (by distance or alphabetically), so users have to scroll through a long list of listings. Your tiny map with a cluster of listings is unusable on smartphone. And instead of having “categories” drop-down menu in your main search widget, you have “PLACES” drop-down – completely useless feature, since all listings are “places” anyway.

    I could use WPGeoDirectory on a small project of about 100 listings in one city. It doesn’t seem suitable for larger directories with 1000+ listings, as your search/sorting/maps/listing pages look like they are in 2005 instead of 2018.

    1. Hi,

      thanks for the lengthy comment. They have only 5 stars review, because they delete negative reviews after a refund is offered.

      MyListing is the last theme we tested and it wasn’t that long ago. Their code is such a mess that if they haven’t rewritten it from scratches, it’s probably still a bloated and buggy nice looking theme.

      As far as ListingPro goes, we got this comment not too long ago: https://wpgeodirectory.com/business-directory-software-vs-wordpress/#comment-295112 and it came as no surprise.

      The fact that you say that their demo loads fast, means you are either biased or don’t know exactly how to measure such things:


      Another thing that you are definitely missing, is that design doesn’t come first, when measuring the success of a website. It’s really a huge misconception. What brings success is the service provided. Yelp, Reddit, Facebook and I could make many more example, are not fancy looking websites. However they are extremely successful.

      We rated Vantage better, because the code is a lot better. It is as simple as that. Being another competitor of ours, we don’t have interest in doing so.

      The custom post type field appears only if you have the custom post type add-on installed and more than 1 listing type. Our search is a lot more complex than you are assuming. Here you can see how it works: https://wpgeodirectory.com/docs/gd-search/

      Our products are plugins and we provide a “vanilla” design, so that anyone can adapt it to their theme and needs. WooCommerce out of the box, doesn’t look that fancy, but nobody would ever build a eCommerce theme today without using it.

      You may think that spending some money to embellish GeoDirectory is a waste of money, but trying to make one of those themes work properly, would cost you a lot more, especially if you try to make them scale.

      In any case, everyone is entitled to have an opinion…

  29. I am looking at directory options now. Listing Pro has done some updates and I am looking at Directory by Ait. I want it to have business listings, events, and local deals for multiple cities. Have you tried the newer versions of Listing Pro or have you found a better option?

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      I haven’t tested personally the new version of ListingPro, but just few days ago one of their customers left this comment: https://wpgeodirectory.com/business-directory-software-vs-wordpress/#comment-295112

      It is no surprise for us, because they would have to rewrite it from scratch to make it decent and in two months (time it took them to move from V1 to V2) it’s impossible to do what would be required.

      I know this will sound like strong bias, but we consider ourselves to be the only professional option for WordPress.


  30. Have you found any directory listing theme which handles SEO & search archives more efficiently?
    I am looking for a theme which has a 3rd party search engine compatibility eg algolia, so i could use the most of out it although seo friendly listing categories its still a mystery.

    1. Our plugins work with any theme and does that and more… 🙂

  31. Hi Stiofan,

    Thank you so much for your prompt response! I want to build a price filter with a slider functionality. Do I I need to hire someone who is familiar with GD or any wordpress developer will do?

    1. Hi Ling,

      We already have a select price range option that you can see here: https://wpgeo.directory/starter/property/

      It would not be hard to replace it with the input you want, we just found the HTML5 slider hard to use on mobile so opted for a select range. Any WP dev could do it, its just a filter that is used and you can replace the input with whatever you like.



  32. Hi,
    I was just going tp purchase Listingpro due to its features but after reading your article, I’m afraid I will end up with a very slow website which is not Google friendly. My question is, does your plugin contain the features that Listingpro has? Specifically
    1) User dashboard that enables owners of the listings to see when people click on their listing or leave a review,
    2) Filters for fields like open now and custom fields
    3) ability for owners to offer coupons
    4) Sort search results by various fields like price, rating, nearby etc
    5) Paypal payment

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Ling,

      1. Owners are emailed when a review is left, you can even set it to let the owners approve/reject/spam the review (not appropriate on all directories, but a nice option form some). You can show the owner limited Google analytics, and even live show them exactly how many users are currently on their page 🙂 You can read more about that here: https://wpgeodirectory.com/front-end-google-analytics/ (you can now even show this to the general public also if you wanted).

      2. You can filter by almost any field, the “open now” filter is not implemented yet but we have laid the DB foundations for it, its surprisingly tricky to make scale with different timezones 🙂 It is planned to be implemented after all GDv2 addons are out of beta. Currently though i think we are the only business hours that are cache proof, if the “Open now” text is in the html output then it will be cached by most caching plugins, we do it differently so that will never happen, and our open/closed texts will update on the page live without a page refresh when places open/close. 🙂

      3. You can simply add a coupons custom field, but we don’t do anything specifically for coupons.

      4. You can sort category pages with most field types, but on search we have our own weighted system that is designed to give the best results according to your search terms and filters, or you can sort it by distance.

      5. Yes, we support paypal, paypal pro, stripe, payfast, sagepay, mollie, gocardless, 2checkout, PayUmoney, webpay as well as options for cash on delivery, cheque and bank transfer.

      If you have any more questions just let me know 🙂



  33. After much testing and deliberation on which directory to use (themeforest), I found this article and finally opted for GD plus membership. I really hope there was not too much bias against the others, although the scalability issue has surfaced before on other articles and comments on the web.

    1. Hi Richard,

      Welcome aboard! 🙂

      We have been building our directory software to scale for years and its satisfying to know big players in the ecommerce world, Woo and EDD both this year have announced they are also starting to move to custom tables for scalability and performance 🙂



  34. Nice Piece of Information. Thanks in Advance.
    I am interested in making purchase here. But You know What?????????
    We are not so technical to understand What You have specified in terms of SEO lacking in Upper mentioned Themes.
    I want to Understand this & want to compare myself
    1. Please make it more clear – doesn’t provide Search Engine friendly archives of categories filtered by location.
    The location field is a taxonomy. Because of that, this theme is more suited for a local directory. Bootstrapping a successful website with multiple locations could be next to impossible.

    You can search and filter by category and location. But you can only browse archives of listings by location OR by category. For Directories with listing from more than one city, this is a huge SEO limit.

    If you want to see the “Private Room” listings in San Diego on the Listify demo, you can only do that by using their search engine. If you copy the URL returned :


    and paste it a new browser window, you will see that it won’t show “Private Room” listings in San Diego, but a generic search results page.

    This is SEO unfriendly.

    You can’t handle SEO metas with SEO yoast for similar search results pages.

    No relevant Title. No relevant metas. Nothing in the URL to help Google index your website for “Private rooms in San Diego”.

    If Location field is not supposed to be taxomony what it should be like? Under What? What Do You Mean?

    Further For Reason You have mentioned above I am declined towards Your Theme.
    BTW I have Point finder theme Purchased Already.
    So Quickly reply me How Your theme is Better than Point finder Them.
    So that I can switch it as soon As

    1. It should be something that you can mix with taxonomies. WP doesn’t really have a default thing for that, so we created it within our system.

      With our themes it is possible to have a URL like this for Hotels in New York:


      You can add meta title, meta description and a text description for Google to index that page for you.

      With your actual theme and any other WP themes described in this article, the URL you have for Hotels in New York is a search query:


      You cannot add meta title and meta description or a unique description text to that page, so Google will never index it.

      Hope this makes it clearer.


  35. The only drawback of this kind of themes is that they can end up being too much for the features that an average website actually needs. And that’s something webmasters don’t usually take into account. Anyway, a very complete post! 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comment Samuel!

      I definitely agree, those who use a plugin to manage the directory are using the wrong plugin 🙂 and those that include everything are bloated and almost unusable…

  36. Any WordPress theme works in harmony with GeoDirectory. If you want something designed especially for GeoDirectory you should consider hiring someone whose work you consider “sexy” to customize the plugin with just about any theme for you…


  37. Hi Rob, thank you for your comment.

    If you decide to try GeoDirectory and find any issue, feel free to ask for support. We can help 99.9% of the time solving any kind of problem.


  38. Damn good article. Glad I read this before I purchased another crappy directory theme. I specifically bought Listingpro, had it up looking just like the demo, went to add a new listing and got an error when trying to Save and Preview listing. Then I figured maybe it was my install, so I went to their demo site and I couldn’t get it to work there either, sad. I’ll give your plugin a try but if it’s crappy too, I’ll have to write a bad review but will think twice thanks to this article you wrote, it’s definitely truthful from my experience with Listingpro alone.

  39. Hi Paolo,

    Wanted to share with this: https://listingprowp.com/case-studies/; quite interesting.
    Smelling something; maybe or maybe not… What is your opinion?


    1. I’ve already posted that link in a previous comment here: https://wpgeodirectory.com/best-wordpress-directory-theme/#comment-172343

      I smell a collection of websites that mostly look the same. Those with many listings are so slow that their bounce rate must be through the roof.

      I love their design, I just wish they weren’t so fool to think that building the directory engine was as easy as they thought it would be.

      I hope v2 of GeoDirectory will convince many more theme designers to adopt it…

  40. Hi Paolo,

    Thanks for your prompt reply to my earlier posting.

    I have another question about WordPress classified Ads themes; I don’t know your team has tried some these that are being hype-marketed as best solutions for that segment of the online business.
    Some that are coming up from time to time in some suspicious reviews are AdForest, Classiera, ClassifiedEngine, ClassiPress, etc. I have been researching on some niche opportunities with the usage of online classified ads; would do with some expert guidance!


    1. We never tried any of those I’m sorry. The general rule in any case is to use theme for presentation and plugins for functionality, so my evaluation for any theme that includes classified features can’t be positive.

      Hope this helps,


  41. Hi Paolo and Stiofan,

    Many thanks for your well researched article. I nearly bought one the six (falsely-hyped) reviewed themes; imagine? Thank God I just stumbled on your article. Can’t thank you enough folks.-

    “Turn any WordPress theme into a global business directory portal” – this is the heading at one of your sites or simply at https://wpgeodirectory.com/.

    My Question is: Can I pick any WordPress theme, e.g. Sydney theme for example or any other WordPress theme and turn it into a global biz directory – really?

    PS: My site is under construction (pwd protected)!!!

    Please, reply.-


    1. Correct!

      If you see any template issue after installing GeoDirectory, it can be solved via theme compatibility settings and we’ll be more than happy to assist you with them in our support forum!


  42. Author is totally biased and actually would not believe anything he says, full STOP.

    Used Listify for YRS used MyListing for a while now, love MyListing, its very customizable, if you can imagine something, you can probably do it, any other theme, no, you probably cant, so good luck with the cafes you targeted. thay are your income, MyListing offers you lots of different options, setups, tags, categories, page layouts per category, colours, icons etc etc etc

    Before you buy any theme, buy MyListing, its THEE best, if you dont think it is, you never used the others 🙂

    1. Yes, 100% biased, did you read the premise of the article:

      With so many options, which one to choose in 2017?

      Our 1st answer would be GeoDirectory for obvious reasons. Should you prefer not to make this journey with us, at least let us help you choose wisely.

      That said, we are also the working on developing directory solution since years and we are also experts.

      MyListing is a beautiful looking theme, like most that we reviewed, but the good news stop there. To make an analogy, it’s like a car with the look of a Lamborghini and the engine of lawnmower.

      Perfect to create great looking websites. Impossible to make a heavy traffic website with it.

      Unless you are a SQL expert it is hard to understand, but as soon as you’ll get some traffic on your website you’ll realize it yourself.

      Thanks for your comment anyway…

      p.s. why didn’t you link your website? Don’t you want us to see it? 🙂

    2. Hi Darryn,

      Suppose for a moment that Paolo and his team are biased, because they are also in the same niche.

      You could assist many of us who are exploring opportunities in the online business directory by pointing to your real websites and others using the themes you have mentioned here with their metrics (SEO, search, perfomance [especially page load time – very critical for conversion], code quality, flexibility, features, etc.).

      Please, help the community with such information.
      Waiting for your reply.



  43. Hi polo
    Really helpful post,i have started using geodirectory.I am afraid of SEO in google ranking.let us know top rated website which uses GD plugin. i have searched a lot but not getting popular website which has around daily 10k+ traffic or keywords which ranking in first google page. if you have a big client website.could you share with us,only single website.

    1. there are plenty of them in our showcase section, please help yourself.

  44. Hi paolo
    Thanks for valuable post
    i want to know what u recommend to create a website like justdial ??

    1. For sure GeoDirectory

  45. Hi,
    When will we finally have a really sexy theme working in harmony with the https://wpgeodirectory.com plugin?
    Best Regards

    1. Any WordPress theme works in harmony with GeoDirectory. If you want something designed especially for GeoDirectory you should consider hiring someone whose work you consider “sexy” to customize the plugin with just about any theme for you…


  46. Hello Paolo,
    Do you believe that using the facetwp.com plugin, could we considerably improve search performance and reduce calls to the server? Would we have any real gain in SEO?

    Thanks, Best Regards

  47. Hello Paolo,
    My congratulations for the article with very relevant content.
    I could attend by raising some questions about another point of view:

    a) What do you think of including Woocommerce and its add-ons (booking, vendors, etc.) to increase monetization possibilities?

    b) has a recent theme that is doing a relative success: https://27collective.net/files/demo/ – You know this theme, could you comment?

    c) As you do not know, it is better to ask … is there a current directory theme that can best reconcile technical issues: SEO, search, perfomance, code quality, flexibility, features, etc. with a great attractive and current design? Could you indicate any theme that came closest to that?

    Thanks, Best Regards

    1. Hi and thanks for your comment!

      a) it is not in our current plans
      b) I haven’t tested it directly, but I heard it has the same problems all other themes from Theme Forest have. It can’t scale, so it’s just another nice design with no real engine.
      c) The theme that most of our members are using is our Supreme Child theme, but any theme can make a great directory, if used with GeoDirectory. If you can’t personalize a nice directory by yourself customizing a theme, you should hire someone who can. Using a theme to make a site that is identical to thousands of others, just because the theme looks good, won’t make your project successful.


  48. Hi GD-Team,

    I have an important question concerning other directories. Would be great to get your expert answer.
    Assume that I start-off with one of the directory themes mentioned in this blog post. Would it be possible to change(e.g. somehow transfer data) to GD at a later time (currently I cannot wait for V2, hence my question).

    1. Yes that will be possible and it is in our plans to create conversion tools for most of the themes that we reviewed and probably few more.


  49. Hi there, great review. I notice listify offers static pages http://listify.astoundify.com/article/814-create-static-listing-pages-for-seo and wonder if this is a somewhat clumsy way to allow some seo on individual listings. What do you think?

    1. It is, I guess it could work for Directories with few locations and categories… But it’d be extra work.

  50. Nice article i think you gave the review for listing pro when it was released.They changed lot after that mainly location by google and near by.Regarding speed they had 1.2 million listings and it works.I have 2000 plus listings on http://www.citylist.co.za and never had problems with the speed.

    1. Hi and thanks for your comment,

      I saw some improvements yes, however with only 2000 listings your website is not very fast (average of 3 sec to load the home page)
      speedtest citylist

      I haven’t checked the website with 1.2 million listings because the directory is visible only to registered users, but I checked the other website with 300k listings and it confirms what we wrote: over 7 seconds to load the home page, 11.22 seconds for a blank search: https://tools.pingdom.com/#!/dxhtX5/https://yoplace.com.br/?select=&lp_s_loc=&lp_s_tag=&lp_s_cat=&s=home&post_type=listing

      When you try to filter by price it bounces forever…

      listingpro slow loading

      Not really ideal…

      Also if you try to rank your website in Google for Keywords like “Event planner in Johannesburg” or any such combination: “Category in Location”, you’ll have a very hard time, because your closest URL for “Event planner in Johannesburg” is:


      A page for which you cannot enter a unique SEO title.

      “You search for Home – CityList” is what you got now.

      You cannot add a meta description or any other relevant SEO factor. I can continue if you want, but for me that is more than enough.

      Great design, even though the case studies section is a collection of very similar websites: https://listingprowp.com/case-studies/

      The underlying application is still very much amateurish.

  51. Great value-rich post, thank you Paolo.

    I have spent hours now reading about available directory solutions, only because I cant progress with GeoDirectory, which would be my first choice, but it’s hard to customise on a detailed level (beyond widgets).

    I agree with sayllus about the design of GeoDirectory. Understanding that you guys are developers and not designers, I think you should really focus on making GeoDirectory compatible with the top-5 or top-10 website builders out there. This will a) avoid that you have to focus on designing yourself, and b) increase the value of your plugin 10x, killing everyone else.

    For example I use Thrive Architect but I cannot edit my webpage once I have installed the GD plugin. So now I’m trying to understand from a developer perspective how all the files are connected so I can make time-consuming small changes in the code.

    I truly hope the website builder compatibility really moves soon on top of your agenda.

    Thank you!

  52. ok so what one do you recommend to create a website like airbnb?

    1. If you really have to buy one of them, either Listify or Vantage.


  53. Are there any plans to improve your UI and styling? You guys sure seem to have the tech side buttoned down but your design is mostly bland and cliche. If you combined the great work ListingPro did with your apparent back end work it would be pure genius.

  54. Hi

    Thanks for the very helpful review – especially with regards to SEO.

    Have you tested List&Go. As I’m looking to purchase a directory theme I’d love to get your expert opinion. (https://themeforest.net/item/listgo-directory-wordpress-theme/20254260?s_rank=3)

    Thanks again

    1. Hi James,

      thanks for stopping by! We haven’t but I had a quick look at the demo and the SEO problem appear to be exactly the same. There is no way to browse a category archive filtered by location under a SEO optimized URL.


  55. Such a helpful article – directory themes are a minefield of bad coding. Thank you.

  56. This is a brilliant and actually very true review. I can say this after wasting so much time and money using and paying for nearly all the above directories (trying to do both a business directly and classifieds in one project).

    The most frustrating of all is Listify . . it’s like the most brilliant, well designed theme . . CRIPPLED by using Job Manager, a plugin that is not at all designed for a directory, so they have to keep clunky together addons and rehacks to make it work rather than just biting the bullet and throwing it/doing it with a real toolset.

  57. Can this theme handle 20,000 listings in the Google Map section of it. My current site has a hard time with the map section because of the large number of listings on the site. It is obviously not trying to have them all appear at the same time, but the map doesn’t appear at all when doing a search. All the API codes are entered correctly too.

    1. Hi,

      yes it does, we have customers with directories with many more listings than that.


  58. What a douchebag final message… I LOVE IT!!! 😀 When I was first looking for a directory theme/plugin I did consider most of these products. I knew nothing about WordPress and after reading some general info I councluded …hmm well the theme should be the frontend and the plugins handle the backend funcionality, yeah the GD guys are probably better. My noob ass noticed some other holes too. Glad I somehow realized this was the better product with so little knowledge I had at the moment. Great article Stiofan and Paolo, the best one so far. On the other hand, u guys could use some help with the design of ur themes 😀 Of course functionality is king but maybe and update in the look wouldnt hurt :D, just saying.

    1. We know and we agree 100%. We are backend developers, not really designers, but we are working to fix that too…

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