This plugin allows your website users to list their business within your directory. It have many options and features to allow your visitors to choose which options are best for them. You can configure packages and pricing to meet their needs.
Suggestions for improvements to this plugin can be made here:
This is probably the heart and soul section of your site, as this is where you will be making the majority of your income.
In order to access and edit your entire Business Directory module, you will want to login to your Control Panel using your administration username and password. Click on the icon that is circled in this image (Business Directory). This includes creating categories, sub-categories, setting package options, pricing, approving or denying businesses, setting a Business of the Week, editing current businesses, and emailing all businesses who have entered a valid email address.
Once you have clicked the icon, you will see a menu similar to the one below...
Business Directory Menu
Managing Your Business Directory General Settings
This is where you will set up your directory options, packages, prices and add any custom text either above or below the categories listing.
Action for pre-paid business listings:
Allow users to edit listings:
Show street maps to businesses:
Offer "add our search to your site" feature:
Apply taxes to listing purchases:
As you can see from the options above, and their drop down bars, you have the ability to set whether or not businesses will be automatically added to your directory, or if you want to review and approve each listing first.
Note: If you prefer to screen all business listings for appropriateness prior to activation, you should set 'Action for pre-paid listings' to 'Hold for administrator approval'. Also note that if you enable the 'Allow users to edit listings' feature, your users will be able to completely change the business' details after you approve it. This may defeat the purpose of holding the business for approval. But will save you the headache of updating a listing each time they notice a typo or need a small adjustment.
Allow monthly billing:
Allow quarterly billing:
Allow yearly billing:
Checking or unchecking these options enables these billing periods. If you wish to only collect payments on a yearly basis, uncheck the other two options and only leave "Allow yearly billing".
"Attention Grabber" upgrade:
Placing prices in the fields above specifies the amount you wish each of the following upgrades to cost if they are not already bundled as part of the pre-existing packages. This would be paid in addition to the package price they refer to when they list their business.
:: Price list included:
This will allow businesses to enter certain items or services they offer and their prices. You can learn more about this feature by clicking here.
:: Bold upgrade included:
This will allow the Company Name to be Bold in the directory listings to help this business stand out from among his fellow advertisers. Note: If you have your Visual Settings, Fonts and Colors set to automatically Bold hyperlinks, then this effect will no longer 'appear' to work, as all links will be bold.
:: Highlight upgrade included:
This will allow the Company Name to be a color the Business Owner selects upon registering to help his business stand out from among his fellow advertisers.
:: Attention Grabber upgrade included:
This will allow businesses to choose an image from a small library of images offered to be displayed with his listing to help his business stand out from among his fellow advertisers.
Your Business Directory supports various packages. You decide what those packages will include, their costs, and the cost of add-on options not included in a package type. You can see that both Standard and Premium packages are already created for you and allow for both monthly or annual payments. The business directory will automatically list businesses alphabetically. However, Premium Businesses are lifted to the top of their category to be displayed before all Standard listings.
To begin creating packages and managing existing packages, click the button.
To allow a businesses to list in your directory free, you will need to set the package pricing for "0.00". Then you can have all the add-ons be paid features, if you wish. From this point on it is as easy as completing an online form to set up your packages pricing and features.
As you can see from the above two package examples, the more options you add to a package the more valuable it can become.
IMPORTANT: Be certain to check the New Signups option to Yes in order to make a new package available to your users. Unchecking this option will hide it which is handy for discontinued packages that still have businesses assigned, but you do not wish to allow any new to sign up for it.
When bundling your packages, please understand that coupons and banners are done on a credits system. If you wish to allow a business to have "1" coupon with a standard business listing package, that means that coupon, once they enter it, is only displayed in the site for one month (no matter what expiration date they apply to the coupon). If you select 4 for the number of allotted coupons, the business can have One coupon display for four consecutive months, or four separate coupons display for one month each (redeemable at anytime during their active business listing account), or any combination (ie: 1 coupon displaying for three months and 1 to only display one month.). This works exactly the same for banners.
Once you have applied all the changes you wish to the current packages, scroll down to the bottom of the packages list and click the button.
To create a new package, click the button. The screen will refresh with the new package at the bottom of the list awaiting a new name and pricing. Click the Update Packages button when finished.
The 'Custom Field' option (at the bottom of the package details) can be for collecting one more bit of information from the business that you might wish your visitors to know. This could be anything from Store Hours to Searchable Keywords. You can only create one custom field per package so plan carefully!
Another way this could be used would be to have it collect a 'promotional code' from the business when registering in case you offered a special discount in an ad. This would tell you they are eligible. You can then apply the special offer to their package and delete the code before enabling the business to the directory. If you left the code in there it would be visible to all users who see this listing in your directory and they would not understand what the code is for.
Editing/Adding Content Above and Below Business Categories
This section will allow you, the admin, the ability to place a small amount of text either above or directly below the categories table on the Business Directory page. This is optional, if you need additional space to provide instructions, or an announcement.
When you change the text above or below the categories you will see the following:
This is what your editor looks like. You can highlight and delete the current text displaying there by clicking and holding down your right mouse button and dragging it over the words Add your content here. And then clicking the Backspace button on your keyboard. Now you are ready to create your own text!
Please see the Page Editor Chapter for further details on using this editor.
For a complete list of the WYSIWYG Icons and what they do,
please click here.
Managing Existing Businesses
Here you can edit any information pertaining to a current business listed in your directory, or enable/delete a business awaiting your review. After selecting the above Businesses icon, you will see a list of all businesses registered. This will display them in alphabetical order. Clicking on a letter of the alphabet displayed above the businesses will allow you to view businesses only beginning with that letter. Please note: Only 15 results per page are posted. You can choose from the pages numbered below the list of businesses to view more. Here you can see the business name (as it appears in your directory), any attention grabbers they may be using, the business description, their contact phone number, their current status (Awaiting Approval or Active), and finally you are given the ability to Edit the account.
Use the search box below the alphabet to help you quickly locate an ad that may need administering.
Below this list, is the option to send an email to all businesses who have entered a valid email address. To email a business individually, you will need to do it manually.
Clicking the Edit link allows you to access the Business Details section to edit any current information, find out the username who owns the account, upgrade the listing or approve/deactivate the listing. At the bottom of the Business Details is a button to Update your changes, or Delete the Business altogether.
Steps to approve a business listing being held:
Login to your Admin Control Panel.
Click the Business Directory icon.
Click the Businesses icon.
Click the 'Edit' link for the business marked 'Awaiting approval'.
Change the option for the field titled 'Status' from 'Disabled' to 'Enabled'.
Click the 'Update Details' button at the bottom of the page.
Managing Business Categories
Adding categories and subcategories to your directory is a snap! Or should we say 'click'?
To the left, you can see a sample list of categories and your option associated with them.
Edits a category (changes it's name).
Deletes a category.
And to create a new category, simply type in the name of the new category into the field below the existing categories and click the Add button.
To create a subcategory for any category, click the Category Name you wish to add to, not the Edit icon.
Edits a subcategory (changes it's name).
Deletes a subcategory.
To create a new subcategory, simply type in the name of the new subcategory into the field below the existing categories and click the Add button.
Clicking Return to Top will return you to the main categories list.
Note: You can create as many categories as you wish. Each category can have as many subcategories as you wish. And each subcategory can have as many sub-subcategories as you wish, and so on. You get the idea?
Managing Featured Business
If you wish to feature any particular business listed in your Business Directory, you can do this by selecting the Featured Business icon. Doing this is optional, and you do not have to remove the business after one week, or even one month if you do not wish. Setting a business of the week will enable the businesses logo (if one is uploaded) and text Company Name to display in a prominent area on the Featured Business page right below the categories list. If a website Url has been added, clicking either the logo or Company Name will cause the Company's website to open in a new window.
To replace a Featured Business Company for a new one, simply select a different name from the dropdown bar and click the update button. To offer no Featured Business, select None.
When a visitor clicks on the Featured Business link, show:
The option above allows you the choice of where a visitor would be brought if clicking on the Featured Business. If the business has their own website url in their business directory ad, you can choose to have it link to their personal website. If no url is listed, you can link it to their ad right in your directory.
Managing Attention Grabbers
As learned previously, your directory allows businesses to select from a small image library an attention gaining image to be displayed with their company name to help them stand out from among fellow advertisers.
Selecting the Attention Grabbers icon will allow you to remove any currently offered icons from your list, or upload new ones for your Advertisers to select from.
To upload an image, you will need to have the image saved on your computer. You will use the Browse button shown to the left to search your computer's hard-drive for the image you wish to upload. Once you have found it, click on the file name to select it. Next click the button shown to the left.
Note: Animated images are allowed. The name of the file image is what the image name will be in the library list, so name your image files accordingly! Upload as many as you wish!
In order to add your business to the directory, you will want to login to your account using your login and password. Click on the icon that is circled in this image (Business Directory).
NOTE: If you are logged in as Admin, you must click the Business Directory icon in the TOP section titled User Control Panel.
If you do not have a business listed in this directory yet you will see the options to the right. Choose: Add a new business. This form will allow you to submit your business to our directory.
First you will select which of the packages you wish to use and then use the radio buttons to select how often you wish to renew your ad. Depending upon the administrators preferences in billing all three options (monthly, quarterly, yearly) may not be available for you to choose from.
After you have selected your package and billing options, scroll down and click the Continue button.
Depending upon the package you chose you can now complete the form offered with your ad details.
This section contains basic information about your business, such as name, address and a description. You must enter a contact name (ex: John Smith or Super Pet Shop). There is also a section for a website URL. If your business has a website, make certain to include the www. If you do not have a website simply leave it blank.
Categorization: Here you will select the appropriate category(ies) for your business. Please be certain it is relevant to your business, or your listing may be deleted.
Logo: If you would like a logo image (or any image of a product, etc.) listed with your business you can upload it here. Click on Browse to find the image on your computer.
Package Option: This section shows you which options are available when listing your business. It describes the different features that are included in the package.
Additional Options: This is any extra items you may want to add to your listing to increase its visibility. Some options may require an additional fee.
Pricelists: You will need to check this box if you wish to add pricelists to your listing.
Payment Options: Choose how you would like to pay for the business listing. Your listing will not be visible until payment has been received. You business may also be held for review.
Once finished simply click on
Invoice Description: This page is an itemized list of each option you choose and the cost for each along with the total due. If you chose to mail in your payment, you will find the mailing address on this page, if mail in payments are accepted. Please make sure to include your name, username, and business name. When you are finished, click on Return to take you back to your User Control Panel.
How to Renew a Listing
If a listing has not yet expired all the user need do is login to the control panel, click the business directory icon, and then the 'edit' link for the business they wish to renew. Your admin settings must allow for users to be able to edit their listings after approval in order for this link to work. Finally, they need to scroll down toward the bottom of the page and click the link which says "Click here to renew or extend your subscription." under the "Subscription" section of the listing details.
If a listing has already expired, the owner of said listing would have to use their renewal url sent to them in the expiration email. This email is sent 10 days before the business expires and again the day the business expires. If they do not have the email, you can manually renew it for them by re-enabling the listing from your Admin Control Panel and changing the status of the ad from disabled to enabled and saving your changes to the listing.
This step will allow the owner access for that day only to renew their listing, OR if after enabling the listings as mentioned above, you can then go back into the ad details and set the expiration date manually to a new date anytime in the future on their behalf.