Creating a Directory Website with the OllieWP Theme

create directory with olliewp & geodirectory

Here’s a step-by-step guide to building a Directory Website using the Ollie theme for WordPress:

  1. Install the Ollie theme
  2. Install and setup GeoDirectory
  3. Design the Directory Website using the OllieWP theme and the Gutenberg Editor

GeoDirectory is fully compatible with FSE Block Themes like Ollie, so we won’t need a page builder or an extra blocks plugin, in this case.

GeoDirectory offers a robust and flexible solution for crafting a dynamic online directory using any theme or page builder.

In this tutorial, we will show how to build a directory website with the OllieWP Theme in combination with the GeoDirectory Plugin.

This duo allows users to seamlessly integrate location-based features, customize layout designs, and incorporate interactive content blocks, ensuring an intuitive and engaging user experience.

With this integrated approach, web developers and designers can easily achieve a professional-grade directory site tailored to specific niche markets or broader community needs.

Let’s see how we can do that in detail.

In this tutorial, we will:

Installing Theme and Plugins.

1. Install the OllieWP Theme

We need to install a Theme, and for this tutorial, you will install the OllieWP Theme.

Go to Appearance >> Themes

Select Add New, Install, and Activate the OllieWP Theme.

Install OllieWP theme
Install OllieWP theme

2. Install GeoDirectory

Finally, you need to install GeoDirectory.

Go to Plugins >> Add new, search GeoDirectory. Please install and activate it, and we finished installing the plugins.

Install GeoDirectory plugin

3. GeoDirectory Install Wizard

For GeoDirectory, you will need to complete the Setup Wizard to configure the Google Maps API key and import a few dummy listings.

Choosing the Map System (Google Maps or OpenStreetMap)

GeoDirectory Setup Wizard

You can choose between two mapping systems on the wizard’s first step. Google Maps and Open Street Maps (which doesn’t require an API key).

In this tutorial, we select OpenStreetMaps.

In case you wish to select Google Maps, do the following extra steps.

Click on the Generate Key button and follow the steps of this doc to generate a valid API key.

The essential steps are:

  1. Enable the Keys.
  2. Create or select an existing project.
  3. Get the Key.
  4. Activate a billing account.
  5. Restrict the API key (so it can only be used from the URL of your website)

About point four: it is a requirement. However, you only get charged if you pass the threshold, which is $200/month.

This free credit is more than enough for 99% of directories.

Setting the default city

Settings the Directory default city
Settings the Directory default city

After that, you will set the default location. This is the city for which the directory is created.

We will set Philadelphia as the default city.

You can use whatever location you need.

If you need to add listings to more than one city, you will need the Location Manager add-on.

Adding extra features


In this step, we will install our UsersWP, a user login plugin that lets users register and log into your website.

This is needed to allow users to add and edit their listings. It will also create user profiles where they can find their listings, reviews, and so on.

We will also install Ninja Forms so that all listings have a contact form that sends emails directly to the listing owners.

AyeCode Connect is not mandatory for this tutorial. It is mainly needed if you want to add GeoDirectory premium add-ons and install them directly from the WordPress Dashboard.

Adding Dummy Data

GeoDirectory Dummy Listings

The last step to complete the installation wizard is adding some dummy listings. This will also add listing categories that you can edit later according to your needs.

You will not add sidebar widgets and menu items right now, as we will do that later.

Design the OllieWP Directory Website

Now that we installed the theme and the plugins and done the preliminary setup of GeoDirectory, we can start designing our Directory Website with the OllieWP Suite of tools.

1. OllieWP Directory Home page design

You can create a new page or use one WordPress creates by default, like the Sample Page.

Go to Pages, edit the Sample page, and rename it Home or create a new page for this.

Next, go to Appearance > Editor > Pages > Home and click on the edit button.

Setup the Home Page

First thing first, we will need a logo for our website.

You don’t need to invest in a designer to sketch the 1st version of your logo.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when starting a new directory is investing too much time and money before testing the product market fit.

You can design a logo in five minutes with an app like Canva, which is cheap and surprisingly good.

create a logo
Create your 1st logo draft using

For an MVP (minimum viable product), a logo designed with Canva will be more than enough.

There are several logo templates to choose from, and it doesn’t matter if your initial logo is not as perfect and original as you believe it should be.

If your project gets traction, you can always invest in improving it or radically changing it later.

An average logo is never the leading cause of a failed project.

The Navigation Menu

After creating and adding the logo, go to Appearance > Editor, and create your menu.

create navigation menu

Click on the menus on top and remove all existing ones.

setup header for menu

Now let’s add a column block with a two-column layout.

add 2 columns to the header

In the left column add the site logo block.

add logo to first column

Click on the main header container and from the block settings set the Background: #FFFFF

add menu to second column

In the right column add the Navigation menu.

add links to menu

We added the following main navigation links and a few sub-navigation links:

  1. Home
  2. About
  3. Blog
  4. Places and add places
  5. Profile
  6. Login/out

The Login/out block will only Login and Logout links based on the user login status.

The Content

I will start building this page from scratch using the OllieWP and Gutenberg blocks.

Go to Appearance > Editor > Design > Pages and click on the edit home page button.

setup home page content

we need a hero header on the homepage for that let’s remove all the content of this page and add a Cover block.

Next, check the block setting and set the Background image URL.

For the Hero Section, we need an image and we will download a free image from (Thanks, @rachel-claire).

add hero section

we will add add following settings in this cover block

Content: 1200
Wide: 100
Opacity: 50
Padding & Margin: 0
Minimum Height of cover: 600

Now let’s add a header tag inside this cover block with the
Text: Find The Best Restaurant in Philadelphia

fine tune hero section

we will also give the header tag one additional class( heading-text-center ) to add some style to it.

add title to hero section

Now let’s add the following style in the theme customiser.


Now let’s add the GD > search block below this heading.

add search form to hero section

below it, let’s add some space using a spacer block with a Height of: 60

add space to hero section

Now let’s add an empty column and put the GD > Categories block in it.

Set block options to the following
Design type: Image Background
Row Items: 3
Enable Use Category Image

add categories below hero section

You can set the image to a category by editing the category from wp-admin -> places -> Place Categories.

Each category has an option to set a default image

Categories Default Image

Below the hero section, add one more Column by clicking on the plus icon and add the GD > Listings blocks there.

add listings to home
Home Page GD Listings Block

Now we will do some needed settings in this GD > Listings block. we will set sorting: recent

Home Page GD Listings Block settings

Now let’s add an empty Column with Content and Wide to 100.

add row for home page interactive map

Add the GD > Map block in it and keep the settings to default.

add map to home page

Click on the Footer and OllieWP already provides a few prebuild Footer templates. I am selecting one of them.

add footer

Congratulations! Your homepage is Completed.

home page completed

2. OllieWP Directory Website Listings and Search page design

Now you need to design two pages that are essential for any directory.

Now you need to design two pages that are essential for any directory.

The listings page (general archive, categories, tags), and the search results page.

GeoDirectory creates them by default with a general layout. In this tutorial, we will customize the layout of these pages a bit.

The listing and search pages are mostly identical so we create it once and just copy the layout on the other page.

We decided the Listing page layout would be the listings on the left, and on the right, a sticky map showing the listings’ precise location.

Listings and Search page inspired by Airbnb search page layout

This is very easy.

Listings page

Go to Appearance > Editor > Design > Templates and Click on Edit GD Archive page template

customize gd archive template
Edit the listings page

Remove all the content from this GD Archive page template.

Now let’s add an empty row.

add row for columns to gd arcvhive

Inside this add a two-column layout

2 column gd archive airbnb style

Now on the left container, we will drag GD Archive page-related widgets like GD > Loop Action, GD > Loop, GD > Loop Pagination, and GD > Search on top so the user can search from the Archive page.

On the right column, we will drag the GD > Map block.

Add GD>Map Block

we will keep all the settings default for the GD > Map. let’s give it some height and I have decided to give it the height of 100vh.

GD>Map Block Styles

Add the following style in the theme customizer from  Appearance => Customize => Add CSS

.geodir-archive .geodir-listings .geodir_location_listing{
    overflow-y: scroll;
    max-height: 100vh;
    padding-right: 15px;

Now after this, the Listing Archive page is ready.

archive and search page completed

Another option is to use the GD > Simple Archive block as explained in this tutorial on how to Build a Directory Website with Elementor.

For the search page, we repeat the same process.

Search page

Go to Geodirectory > Settings > General > Pages > Click on edit GD Search page template

Remove all the content from this GD Search page template.

Copy all the content of the GD Archive page and paste it into the GD Search page.

So now our GD Search and Archive page is ready.

3. OllieWP Directory Website single Listing page design

Now to edit and customize the GD Detail page, You can go to Appearance > Editor > Design > Templates and Click on Edit GD Single page template.

single listing design

Add an empty column

add empty column to gd detail template

Let’s first add an image slider at the top of the Listing Detail page. we will drag the GD > Post Image block in this container with the following settings

Image Limit: 10
Show limit: 3
Output Type: Slider
Auto Start: Enable

add GD post image for the gallery

Now let’s add an empty row with
Content: 1200
Wide: 100

add empty row for gd listings content

add two columns inside of it.

add 2 columns for gd listings content

Now let’s add all required GD Detail page shortcodes on the left column one by one.

Which includes GD > Single Taxonomies, GD > Single Tabs, and GD > Single Next Prev.

On the right column, we will add GD > Author Action and GD > Output Location block.

add content to gd listing detail template

After doing it our Listing Detail page has been completed.

gd single listing page completed

Adding Premium Features to your OllieWP Directory Website

If you wish, now you can add premium features to your directory, such as:

  1. Paid Listings: with the GeoDirectory Listing Price Manager add-on, you can set prices for listing submission. For each price tier, you can enable/disable features such as: Restricting the number of pictures for free listings while allowing more pictures for paid listings. Allowing more or fewer tags and categories. Enabling or disabling specific custom fields. Submitting longer or shorter descriptions.
  2. Claim Listings: This is a fundamental feature for a directory where the admin creates the database and invites business owners to take control of their free listings. The claim listing process may include forcing an upgrade to a paid listing to take over the listing’s ownership.
  3. Advertisingselling ads is another form of monetizing an online directory. If you have a lot of traffic, you can use Ads networks. Otherwise, you may sell ads directly, allowing businesses to add banners in specific areas of your website or allowing for listings to appear as ads, for example, on top of organic search results.

These are just three examples. However, a directory website offers many ways to make money online.

You can create a global marketplace of handcrafted items, sell event tickets, or sell discount coupons.

Kickstart your directory website project with this advice: Start a directory website today.

The possibilities are limitless.

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