A Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Directory Website – Fast!

Creating a website can become an arduous task if you have not got a clear outline of how you want your website to work and this is particularly true if you are seeking to create your own directory website.

Directory websites operate in a different way to a typical website and as such, it is important to recognise the different aspects of the site that combine to make a directory website function at the highest possible level.

There are several key elements required into developing your own directory website and some of the most important include:-

  • Understanding the demographics of the visitors to your website.
  • Knowing what the visitors to your site will actually be looking for
  • Ensuring that the information your directory website provides is accurate, up to date and trustworthy.
  • Ensuring that the content on your site is engaging and interesting, chiefly so that a user will consider re-using the site in future and will recommend it to others.

By considering these four key aspects of developing a directory website, you will help inform the design process of the site and thus ensure a speedier conclusion to the project, as well developing a finished website that matches your vision and needs.

For a little extra information about developing your own website in general, you can view our simple tutorial on how to create your own website by clicking on the link here.   (INSERT LINK)

Then you just need to follow the simple steps below to ensure your site is set up as a directory website:

Step One: Identify your target audience demographic

One of the key elements to a directory website is understanding what type of people will be your likeliest visitor. Understanding which type of visitor is going to be interested in your site will then inform the design of the site, the type and tone of text used and the layout of the site.

Understanding who will typically use your site is a key driving force in producing the right design and look for the site and will also play a key role in deciding how best to provide the information that your users are seeking from the directory.

Step Two: Identify what information your visitors will look for

Once you know who your visitors are likely to be, you now need to focus on what it is they are going to be looking for on your directory website.  Different demographics like to receive the information from websites in different ways and it is important to realise that different demographics get different messages even from the same content.

As such, you need to focus in on what information your visitors want and how they want to receive it. This will help you brand your website more effectively and structure the directory in a way that appeals immediately to your intended user base.

It is this subtle difference of not only identifying the type of information a user needs, but presenting it in a way that is attractive to them, which can make a directory website stand out from others in the field and make it a success.

This of course then feeds into helping you create the perfect design for your website that allows you to match how you want the information displayed, with the right choice of design for the entire site.

Step Three: Ensure the veracity of your site’s content

One thing that all directory site owners must be aware of is that their site is only as good as the accuracy of the information that is provided within it. If your site’s information isn’t accurate then it only takes a customer to receive one piece of erroneous information, for them to jettison your site and look elsewhere.

As such, ensuring your site’s content and data is accurate and up to date should be a key priority and as such, ensuring your site design makes this easy to update and keep accurate, needs to be accounted for in the design process.

Step Four: Ensure your content is informative and engaging

In essence, content is what will make or break your site. It is not enough to simply have a directory site that presents accurate, informative information in a preferred style; your content also has to have the ‘wow’ factor to make people come back and want to read again.

If you are offering an opinion, make sure it is unbiased, easy to read and of course, written in plain, easy and accurate English. Nothing undermines an opinion more than content that is rushed, misspelt or grammatically inaccurate.

The easier your site is to read, the more people will heed the message it contains. Language should therefore be clear, concise yet informative and interesting.


By following the advice above, you can follow all these tips to create a directory website that not only offers users a very useful and powerful tool in their searching, but also one that has people coming back time and time again to use the site. All it takes is a little planning ahead to ensure you get the right design and content for your site and your new website will soon start to take shape.



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