WP Business Directory Pro is your complete business directory package. With quick, responsive searches, an easy-to-use admin area and it’s many customisable options WPBDP is the perfect solution for those looking for a feature-packed directory system.
WP Business Directory Free is a lite version of the Pro plug-in. The free version does not include subscriptions, reviews, ratings and user ownership, and there are reduced business features.
This tutorial will guide you through each portion of the plug-in, so you’ll be up and running in no time.
If you still have any questions feel free to comment on our support forum, or contact us directly.
Once you have purchased and downloaded the plug-in there are two ways to install it:
1). Via the “Plugins->Add New Plugin” menu:
- Navigate to your website’s admin area (/wp-admin/).
- Roll over the “Plugins” link on the left-hand-side menu and choose “Add New”.
- At the top of the next page, locate and click the “Upload Plugin” button.
- Click the “Choose File” button and navigate to your downloaded “wp-business-directory-pro.zip” file.
- Click “Install Now” and wait . Once you see the “Activate Plugin” button please click it.
2). Via FTP:
- Extract your “wp-business-directory-pro.zip” file or “wp-business-directory-free.zip” file in to a temporary location on your computer.
- Open your FTP program and connect to your server.
- Navigate to your wordpress plugin folder. This should be something similar to /wp-content/plugins/ (there may be other folders before the “wp-content” folder).
- Drag the entire “wp-business-directory-pro” folder (or “wp-business-directory-free” folder) to the plugins folder on your server.
- Navigate to your website’s admin area (/wp-admin/).
- Click the “Plugins” link on the left-hand-side menu.
- On the next page, locate the “WP Business Directory Pro” or “WP Business Directory Free” plugin and click the “Activate” link.
Once the plug-in is activated it will automatically create default front-end pages which will include required “short codes”. By default, these pages will be located at the following locations:
- Search Page – www.YourDomainName.com/business-directory/
- Business Details Page – www.YourDomainName.com/business-directory/business-details/
- User Dashboard (PRO version only) – www.YourDomainName.com/business-directory/user-dashboard/
- User Dashboard (PRO version only), Edit Business Page – www.YourDomainName.com/business-directory/user-dashboard/edit-business/
- User Dashboard, Create New Business Page – www.YourDomainName.com/business-directory/user-dashboard/new-business/ (PRO version) or www.YourDomainName.com/business-directory/new-business/ (free version)
- User Dashboard, Process Page (an end-point for various processes including updating and saving business details) – www.YourDomainName.com/business-directory/user-dashboard/process/ (PRO version) or www.YourDomainName.com/business-directory/process/ (free version)
You don’t need to do anything to these pages but you are welcome to add more content to them or change the location of the URLs. However, please do not remove the short codes contained within the content areas of these pages.
Now you have your plug-in installed it is important to set up the basics before you start using it. First, locate the “WPBD” menu in your /wp-admin/ administration area. All admin pages for WP Business Directory can be found within this menu. Roll over it with your mouse and scroll down to the “Settings” option.
Here you customise many of the options for your business directory, including whether to include Google Maps, Reviews (PRO version only) and User Ownership/Claiming (PRO version only). You can also set up payment methods for subscription purchases (PRO version only). Here are a few other key points in the settings page:
Google Maps & API Key
The business directory utilises distance searching, in order to locate businesses within a radius distance. In order to utilise this system we need to use longitude and latitude coordinates to plot our businesses. These coordinates can be added manually from the admin area but it is unlikely you will know these values, therefore we request the help of Google Maps. Google Maps will search for an address and return the longitude and latitude values when adding or moderating a new business in the admin area. This is a free* service (*with limits, depending on the amount of traffic) but it requires an API key. Follow these steps to get your key:
- Go to the Google API Console.
- Create or select a project.
- Click Continue to enable the API and any related services.
- On the Credentials page, get an API key. Note: If you have an existing unrestricted API key, or a key with browser restrictions, you may use that key.
- From the dialog displaying the API key, select Restrict key to set a browser restriction on the API key.
- In the Key restriction section, select HTTP referrers (web sites), then follow the on-screen instructions to set referrers.
- (Optional) Enable billing. See Usage Limits for more information.
The Google Maps option cannot be used without the Google Maps API key. The key will ensure users can search by location radius, whereas the Google Maps option will display a map of all businesses contained within a search, using the longitude and latitude coordinates.
User Ownership / Claiming (PRO version only)
A business can be linked to a user, but this is optional. Enabling this option will also allow users to edit their linked businesses from the user dashboard page.
User Rating and Reviews (PRO version only)
Users can rate and review a business directly from the business details page. All reviews need moderating before they are made visible to other users.
In the Installation section we mentioned that the main front-end pages will be automatically created when the plug-in is activated. The “Page Links” section in the Settings page displays which page is linked to each of the front-end components. You may have decided to move the business directory to another page (and included the correct short code when you did so). You would therefore need to change the “Main Directory Page” dropdown option so that it points to your new page.
Subscription Payment System (PRO version only)
If you choose to create paid-for subscriptions you will need to offer the ability for users to pay. Currently we offer 2 methods of payment: BACS transfer and Paypal Express Checkout. These options can be set up here in the settings page. You will need a Paypal account to utilise the Paypal Express Checkout option. Paypal Express Checkout is only available in selected areas so please check with your country’s Paypal site first. You can read more about Paypal Express Checkout here.
Paypal Express Checkout allows you to run the system through either the Live/Production system (which will take real pyments) or via their Testing/Sandbox system (no real payments are made but it is recommended to test with this system first). You will need a sandbox account to use the Sandbox/Test account. More information about this can be found here.
Subscription Packages (PRO version only)
You may wish to monetise your business directory, offering more options to those on a higher tier. This can be controlled through subscription packages. Any business within the directory can be linked to a subscription package for a set amount of time. Once that time expires their business will revert back to the default package unless they choose to renew. The plug-in will perform a daily check to ensure subscriptions are expired or renewed as and when expiration dates are reached. The user will be notified of these changes automatically.
You will notice the default package cannot be deleted or modified (other than it’s name and “visible elements”). This ensures that there is always a default package to “downgrade” to once a business’s subscription period has ended.
Creating a New / Editing an Existing Subscription Package
Select “Subscription Packages” from the WPBD Pro Admin menu. Here you will see a list of your packages on offer.
Create or edit a subscription package and you will notice the following options:
- Package Name
- Number of Months – the longevity of a subscription period, after which the buesiness will downgrade to the default subscription package (unless renewed)
- Cost – The price of registering a business on this subscription
- Visible Elements – The portions of the business that are made visible to the user. Deselect some options to reduce the data that a user can see
View a Business Subscription Status
As administrator you have the ability to review and edit a current subscription. Go to the “Subscriptions” options in your WPBD Pro Admin menu. Here you can view all business subscriptions currently on the website. Click the “View/Edit” button on a subscription to view more details and make changes such as expiriy date, payment type, payment date and more.
Paying for a Business Subscription
Your users can submit a business and select their chosen subscription package (including the default free package). Users may also renew their subscription at any time from their User Dashboard.
When paying instantly (for example via Paypal Express Checkout), the “Subscription Status” will be flagged as “Paid” and the subscription will begin once the business has been moderated.
If you are using BACS transfer as a payment method, unlike the other payment methods, a new business “Subscription Status” will be marked as “Payment being transferred”. Once payment has been received in your bank (referenced with the appropriate “Subscription Ref” shown in the subscription page) you will need to change the “Subscription Status” to “Paid” manually. Only once this is done (and the business is moderated) will the subscription for this business be activated.
A user can renew their subscription at any time via the User Dashboard. Renewal payments can be seen on the same page as the businesses current subscription page – Go to the “Subscriptions” options in your WPBD Pro Admin menu, find the relevant business and click the “View/Edit” button. Details can be found under the “Future Subscription Action” title on the right-hand side.
As before, users paying via BACS will be flagged as unpaid. Once payment had been made simply locate the appropriate “Future Subscription Ref” in the “Future Subscription Action” table and click the “Payment Received” button. Only once this button is pressed will the future subscription be activated correctly. Users who pay instantly will have their future subscription automatically flagged as “Paid”.
Subscription Upgrades and Features
A user may request an upgrade to their current subscription. This can be a complicated proceedure, as you may wish to handle this process a number of different ways. For this reason upgrade requests are received by way of an automated email to you (the administrator). You can then contact the user directly.
Similarly a user may request that their business is “Featured”. You may or may not wish to charge extra for this. For this reason you will receive an automated email from the user. You can then contact them directly to discuss options.
WP Business Directory Pro (and Free) utilises the WordPress taxonomy system. You may choose to use one or either of these taxonomies: Business Types and Business Categories.
These can be found under the WPBD Pro admin menu. Please note, these are specific to this plug-in. You can still use WordPress’s Post and Page taxonomies for other areas of your website, but they are ignored within the Business Directory environment).
Types and Categories can both be used to filter a business search result.
As an example, you may be creating a list of businesses in your town. You might then wish to add a list of Business Types; Restaurants, Shop, Offices, Supermarkets, Museums, Banks, Train Stations, Doctors, Tourist Information etc.
You may then wish to include some Categories to help describe what each business can provide; Food, Drink, Recycled, Transportation, Help & Advice, Inclusive of Vegetarian, Not-For-Profit, Money etc
So a Pizzaria could have a “Business Type” of “Restaurant” with “Business Categories” “Food”,”Drink” and possibly “Inclusive of Vegetarian”.
A charity shop could be given the “Business Type” “Shop” and a category of “Not-For-Profit” and “Recycled”
A bank could be given the “Business Type” “Bank” and a category of “Money”
You may wish to use only the Business Category or Business Types option, depending on your business list requirements.
There will be a number a situations where a customer will be emailed. These include responses to requests to claim a business (PRO version only), adding a new business, editing a business (PRO version only), renewing their subscription (PRO version only) and removing a business. To help prevent these emails from being viewed as spam, only basic text can be included, however these emails can be rewritten by the administrator.
In the admin area select WPBD Pro->Email Options (or WPBD Free->Email Options). Here you can customise and preview your automated emails.