WordPress being the multidimensional CMS it is, unlocks the door to countless possibilities. Templatic, a well-known WordPress company has come up with one such amazing example – the Directory theme. This theme is one of the most complete ‘directory solutions’ built with WordPress. Today we are going to review the Directory theme by Templatic, weigh its pros and cons and cast our verdict.
What makes ‘Directory’ stand out?
Given the enormous number of WordPress themes in the market, and the fact that most of them are tagged ‘multipurpose’, we wanted to see what makes this theme stand out.
- The ability to load the theme’s demo data with just one click
- The easy to follow installation video
- Its targeted application
Instead of unnecessarily showing you how to install the theme, I’m going to review the installation process. Since everybody here likes to save time, I’m going to go with the easy installation method. Check out the awesome installation video and the detailed installation guide.
Before I could install the theme, I am required to download, upload and activate 3 plugins, in the specified order. I’ll be honest – this is kind of an inconvenience.
Upon activating the first plugin – ‘tevolution’, I am asked for a licence key. I copy it from my Templatic account dashboard and the Templatic control panel is activated. This licencing feature prevents misuse of the theme and (obviously) counters piracy. The Tevolution control panel is most impressive – loaded with a plethora of options.
Once all three plugins are activated, I navigate to WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload Theme and upload the templatic.zip file.
In my opinion, every paid WordPress theme should come with a demo data file so that the users can get themselves acquainted with the theme’s features. Templatic is no exception. Normally, I’d have to go to WP Dashboard > Tools > Import, upload the XML file, and a couple of settings/click later, the demo data gets populated. In some cases, it doesn’t work – maybe because the host had removed the demo images or an XML configuration error.
Templatic kills in this regard. In order to populate a fresh installation of the Directory theme with its demo data, all you have to do, is click on Install Sample Data found under the Tevolution control panel. You’ll notice that the video says it might up to a minute for the demo data to be loaded. This might be because the person (in the video) was running WordPress from localhost. But it my case, it took around 20 seconds. (I’m running WordPress from a shared hosting server with LiteSpeed webserver).
Once the data has been populated, I can quickly find my way around the theme’s features. The first thing I did was change the theme’s default city to San Francisco. This setting is located under Tevolution > Manage Locations.
What good is a directory site if you can’t make a dollar out of it? With the Monetization feature, you can allow the visitor to post a listing in your site – paid or free. More on this is explained under Price Packages.
What’s more you can select multiple payment gateways, set the currency under Payment Gateways. Want to take it even further? You can create coupons as well! The following picture shows the various options available when creating a new coupon. You can set a coupon validity duration and discount type – either percentage or amount.
Tevolution also gives you a Transaction log where each and every user-initiated transactions are saved for future reference. This comes in super handy when it IRS comes knocking on your door. 😉
Another interesting feature in the Tevolution control panel is the Email Settings option. You can use the PHP mail() function or WordPress’ very own mail function – wp_mail(), as your email agent. This page gives you a lot of customization options, some of which include:
- Sending emails when certain actions are completed, like successful post submission, payment confirmation, etc.
- Set the email body when the Email to Friend button is clicked
- Buck load of useful shortcodes which can be used in the email body
Managing Listings in the Directory theme
To create and manage listings, you’ll find an entry under WP Dashboard > Listings. All places, like restaurants, coffee houses, bars, hospitals, etc. fall under the custom post type called Listings.
Each post under listings represents a place. Each such place contains almost all the information one might need about the place.
Creating a new listing is just as easy. Just goto WP Dashboard > Listing > Add Listing. Since this is a custom post type, you’ll have a lot of new options to set in order to reflect the most accurate information.
Introduced in Tevolution v1.1.2, custom permalinks allows you to include city names in your listing’s link. Suppose you want to list a coffee shop in New York called Mocha Mino, your link would be:
Or if you’re listing a bar called Girls Girls Girls in LA, the link would be:
Internally, Tevolution uses custom permalinks to include variables from custom post types.
Some might think that the developers are ripping you off with useless ‘addons’. On the contrary, the addons available for the Directory theme are very helpful to the right person, and they’re justly priced, given the amount of time it takes to code them.
The Extend addons include Events, MultiRating, AdManager, etc. Refer the official addons page for more info.
My favourite is the Payment Gateway addons which include payment processors like 2Checkout, PayPal Pro, Google Wallet, Stripe and Authorize.net amongst others.
Location and Map Settings
These settings enables you to add/remove countries, states and cities from your directory. You can then filter the results based on your predefined criteria. The City Logs shows the number of pageviews of each city, including the pageviews of a listing in that city. Thus, you can sort out the most popular cities.
The Map settings allow you to modify the map display, with factors like scaling factor, map type and view size.
A multifunctional theme needs updates from time to time in order to iron out new found bugs. The automatic updates in the Directory theme (and all other Templatic themes for that matter) is another feature I admire. The settings are located at Tevolution > Theme Update.
Templatic takes care of its customers. This statement can be verified with the fact that they provide five forms of support for each of their themes:
- Ticket Submission
- Support Forums
- Advanced Documentation
- Installation Guide
- Paid Theme Installation Service
Conclusion: Applications of the Directory theme
One of the best things I like about this theme is its explicit nature of application. The theme’s tagline says and I quote: “Complete Directory solution for WordPress”. It includes almost all the elements required to support their claim. You can create:
- A ‘yellow pages’ service
- Revamp your travel blog to include locations on the map
- Or even list all your office branches, worldwide or in your locality
The possibilities are endless, yet domain restricted. This concludes our review of the Directory theme from Templatic. If you like what you see, don’t hesitate to buy this theme.
If you enjoyed this post, make sure to subscribe to WP Mayor’s RSS feed.