So you’re interested in starting your very own directory or listing website using WordPress – that’s great! WordPress can be used to create a wide variety of websites, provided of course, that you have the right tools for the job.
Luckily, WordPress comes with a multitude of plugins and themes to choose from. This can be a blessing or a curse. In short, knowing how to choose the best plugin and theme to use can be a daunting decision to take.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how ListingHive, a free WordPress theme, in conjunction with HivePress, can help you create any type of directory and listing website in just a few clicks.
Let’s take a closer look.
ListingHive is a WordPress theme developed by the team behind HivePress – a free multipurpose WordPress plugin for building directory websites.
Although this theme is essentially a minimal blog theme, it is specifically designed with listing websites in mind. In fact, the theme shows its true potential when pairing it up with the HivePress plugin.
The great thing about choosing to use ListingHive, is that you can put your mind at rest knowing that it is fully compatible with HivePress and all its add-ons, should you wish to use the entire suite of plugins.
Whether you’re planning to launch a business directory, job board, services marketplace, real estate listing website, classified ads, or basically any listing website, then ListingHive is a great solution for you.
Installing and setting up the theme
Both ListingHive and HivePress can be found on the WordPress.org directory. This means that you can easily install and update the theme directly from your WordPress dashboard.
Installing the theme is straightforward, and with a basic knowledge of WordPress, you can have it running in no time at all.
Upon activation, the theme will recommend that you install the HivePress plugin. Of course, this is optional.
For this article, I will be using both the ListingHive theme and the HivePress companion plugin.
As you can expect from any well-developed WordPress plugin, HivePress’ settings and options are seamlessly integrated within your dashboard.
Setting up your plugin is made easy with its intuitive options. To make things effortless, the developers have also included tooltips to help you understand what each setting does without the need to continuously switch back and forth between the theme and its documentation.
One thing I like about their documentation is that they’ve included a number of videos showing step-by-step instructions of all the processes. This ensures that you’ll be able to install and use ListingHive and HivePress, no matter the extent of your WordPress knowledge.
Building your directory
If you’re starting out on a fresh, brand new WordPress site, ListingHive has curated demo content to help you design your layouts. This comes in handy if you haven’t collected all your listings and images beforehand.
If you’re using HivePress, you’ll be happy to know that it was not designed with a specific niche in mind. Therefore, there are no niche-specific attributes or features. In other words, it can be used to create any type of directory website.
The plugin also lets you search, filter, sort, and group your attributes by listing categories. By adding category-specific attributes, you can easily manage a directory with different listing types within the same site.
Customizing your directory
Customizing your site couldn’t be easier with ListingHive. All your options are grouped under the WordPress customizer. Here you will be able to change the site logo and icon, primary and secondary colors, heading and body fonts.
You can also set the custom header image for the whole site, and for each page separately.
Extending its core functionality
Another great advantage of using ListingHive and HivePress together is that they come with free extensions. These allow you to easily extend the core functionality directly from your WordPress dashboard.
There are 7 free extensions, with more currently in development:
- Authentication – Allows users to sign in via third-party services, such as Google or Facebook.
- Favorites – Allows users to keep a list of favorite listings.
- Messages – Allows users to reply to listings or send direct messages.
- Geolocation – Allows users to search listings by location and display them on a map with Google Maps integration.
- Reviews – Allows users to rate and review listings, sort listings by rating, and display the average rating for each listing.
- Claim Listings – Charges users for claiming their listings.
- Paid Listings – Charges users for adding, promoting, and renewing listings.
ListingHive also has other paid extensions including:
- Search Alerts ($19) – Notifies users about new listings.
- Statistics ($19) – Allows users to view listing statistics.
- Memberships ($19)
- Marketplace ($29)
I’ll discuss the last two extensions in the next section.
With these extensions, you will avoid bloating your site with unnecessary settings and features by only installing what you need.
Monetizing your site
There are many common ways of monetizing your new website, including things such as selling ad spaces. With ListingHive, however, you can start trying out new techniques.
There are 4 extensions that you can install to start monetizing your site in a way that suits your particular type of directory:
- Paid Listings (free) – Charges users for adding or promoting listings.
- Claim Listings (free) – Allows businesses to claim their listings.
- Memberships ($19) – Charges users for viewing listing details.
- Marketplace ($29) – Turns your site into a marketplace of services or digital downloads.
These extensions are all integrated with WooCommerce, with dozens of payment gateways available for any country.
Join the Community
With over 1,000 active installations, ListingHives’ community is growing. Many website owners who use ListingHive are sharing tips and showcasing their website creations – a great asset for anyone thinking of giving ListingHive a go.
You can join the community forum to share your suggestions or subscribe to the HivePress blog for more ListingHive tips and tutorials.
As we’ve seen, ListingHive is a minimal, lightweight blog theme. If you team it up with HivePress and optional add-ons, however, it gives you the ability to create great directory and listing websites.
It is easy to set up and has the added bonus of being easily integrated into WooCommerce. Whatever your niche, ListingHive is definitely something you should consider.