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Places Categories

What you need to know
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions


Use categories to group your listings. Each CPT has a unique set of categories to group the listings in that CPT. Categories from one CPT cannot be used to group listings from a different CPT. Use the gd_categories element to display colorful links to each of your Category Archive pages.

Use the Category Top Description field with the gd_category_description element to add unique content to all your Category Archive and Category + Location Archive pages.

What you need to know

  1. Every listing requires a category.
  2. A default category “Uncategorized” is created with each new CPT.
  3. Each category requires a map icon.
  4. Category Default Image, Category Font Awesome Icon, and Color are optional, but they are used by common GeoDirectory features and it is recommended to fill out each of them.
  5. If one CPT “Restaurants” has a category “general”, then a second CPT “Hotels” with a category “general” will automatically be assigned a slug pf “general-1” because all slugs must be unique all throughout the site.
  6. Categories and most category data can be imported and exported.
  7. SEO Note – One of the most powerful features of WordPress is the creation of Archive pages that are Category specific. GeoDirectory increases this power by creating archive pages for each Category + each Location. Read more about how to make the most of this unique and incredibly powerful feature for your site.

Building a Unique Directory Step by Step

When you take your first steps to setup your new directory, the first thing you should do is create the categories you need, but in order to do that, you will at least need one map icon. When you first create your categories, you can set each to have the same icon. That is the easy thing to do, and you can come back later to create unique icons.

After you have created your categories, you can take the next step and find unique icons for each of your categories, and use a color that will make them distinct on your map or choose a color that will match the overall colors of your site.

Once you have a unique map icon for each category, next choose the appropriate Font Awesome Icon and color for each category to match your Map Icon.

When the Icons and colors are in place, you can use the gd_categories element on your front or Archive page or Location or Search page to show pretty links to all your category and category+location Archive pages.

Before you start adding a lot of listings to the categories, consider creating a unique default image for each category. The default image will ‘fill out’ the GD Detail page so your listings will be colorful and have visual content. Recommended 900px*600px or 3:2 aspect ratio.

Once you have these basic settings in place, you can proceed to adding the Category Top Descriptions and Category + Locations Descriptions.

As soon as you have the default Category Top Description in place for each category, consider adding the gd_category_description element to the Archive page template to display your category descriptions. As you go along, you can consider adjusting your layout so you can add videos, images, or other rich media to the Category Description field to make each Archive page unique.

Category Settings

Find the Categories for the CPT like so:

Add or Edit a category to see the options below:

Display Category links with gd_categories element

Display category links on your site with the gd_categories element.
Read more about the gd_categories element

Import and Export Categories

Import and Export new and existing categories at

GeoDirectory – Settings – Import/Export (Tab) – Categories

After you import categories you should run the GD Term Count tool. This tool will update category counts. The tool can be found at:

GeoDirectory – Status – Tools (Tab) – Term Counts – Run

Default Category

Every listing can have a default category. The default category is the listing’s “main category” in the sense that the default category is used to determine which Map Icon, Category Icon, Category Color, and Category Default Image are used for the listing.

When importing and exporting categories, check to make sure that whatever default category is chosen is also listed in the post_category column. It is not possible to select a default category without first selecting the category, meaning that the listing default category must also be a listing category.

In the frontend, you can use either multiselect or checkbox field “Category display type” to allow your visitors to select a default category. If they do not select a default category, eg cannot select a default category, it is probably because the field has been set to use select or radio. Change the Category display type back to multiselect or checkbox to allow users to set the default category.

Multiselect with default category

Checkbox with default category

Category Select with Advanced Search Addon

Category can be used to filter search results in the search bar or the search options drawer.

Read more about how to set this up with the Advanced Search Addon here:


Category Autocomplete with the Advanced Search Addon

The GD Search bar will automatically list the first 10 categories that have listings as soon as a visitor places their cursor into the “Search For” field.

When you have the Advanced Search addon installed, you can adjust the number of categories that are displayed, as well as turning the featured off so that only Listing titles autocomplete.

Find the settings in

GeoDirectory – Settings – Advanced Search – Show Advanced

You can see how our search functionality works here:

When you place your cursor in the search field it can do 1 of 4 things

  1. (Default) Auto-suggest categories and titles (Both Category and Listing Titles as direct links) and then accept search keyword.
  2. Auto-suggest ONLY categories (Categories Only as direct links) and then accept search keyword.
  3. Auto-suggest ONLY listing titles (Listings Only as direct links) and then accept search keyword.
  4. Disable all Auto-suggestions and accept search keyword.

That same search for field will take the keyword and search in title/description/tags/categories.


After a category has been created, you can edit the category to add/edit the Category Top Description Field. The field is ‘rich text’ and accepts Media and HTML, making it easy to add pretty, unique descriptions of each category to each category Archive page with the gd_category_description element.

Here is some sample content:

On this page you can find all our listings that are labeled with {page category} and %%in_location%%

Now that the default Category Top Description for a Category is in place, you can proceed to enter Category Top Description + Location for each location in your site database.

  1. Choose a category, and choose edit
  2. Scroll down to find the option “Category Top Description” and UNCHECK
  3. The Default Category Top Description field will be hidden.
  4. Proceed to fill in the unique category description for each location in your database
  5. Any Category+Location descriptions that are left blank will use the default Category+Description field value

For each of the Category + Location options, you can choose from all of the locations in your locations database on your site.

Category + Country Description

  • Choose a country from your locations
  • Add media and text to describe the country

Category + Region Description

  • Choose a region from your locations
  • Add media and text to describe the country

Category + City Description

  • Choose a city from your locations
  • Add media and text to describe the country

Display Category Top and Category Top + Location Description with gd_category_description

Display Category + Location information by adding the gd_category_description element to your Archive or Location page templates. Read more about gd_category_description element.

Category Archive Link Settings

When you look at a Detail page for a listing and click on a category the default setting will apply the location to the category. If you have Location Manager addon you can adjust this with the settings.
Read more: https://wpgeodirectory.com/docs-v2/addons/location-manager/#url

Import and Export Category Descriptions

Category+Location Values have a special export/import page, as shown here:

Get Support

Get support on our forum, fnd out more here: https://wpgeodirectory.com/docs-v2/v2/support/

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn’t the Category+Country description show on the Category+Region or Category+City page?

There are fields for each, and only the specific field is shown on the matching frontend page.

For example, if the “Awesome” category + country=Netherlands is filled out, this will only show on the page for “Awesome” + “Netherlands” at a URL like: /places/netherlands/category/awesome

See more examples in the image above.

How to change the category “Uncategorized”?

You can edit or delete the category. Make sure that all your listings have another category assigned, first, so that you don’t end up with listings without a category. Listings without a category can break the map display and have other unintended consequences.

Where can I find Map Markers / Map Icons?

Here are some links to map icon resources:

You can download the original markers that ship with GeoDirectory V1 including a PSD template here.

Interested in custom map markers and icons? Contact GD Experts: https://geodirectoryexperts.com

Changes in V2

Parent category selection
V2 does not automatically select a parent category when a child category has been selected. There is no way to force this behavior at the time of writing.


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