Choosing the Right Directory Script
Now that you've defined what your directory will contain and how it will be structured, it's time to select the directory script (i.e. directory software) that will run your online directory. Google the phrase "directory script" and you'll get 288,000 results, plus a ton of ads. But how will you know which script is the right one for your needs?
Obviously you can rule out any script that doesn't have the features you want. Beyond that, the most important factors to consider are hosting requirements and usability.
If you already have a hosting provider, check that the script will work with that host's servers and database options. Some directory scripts only work on certain configurations. If you make a mistake here, it will likely cost you as most directory script sellers don't give refunds. Most scripts require PHP and MySQL, but some have a very limited range of compatibility so make sure you nail this one down tight. If you don't yet have a webhost, make a note of the directory script's requirements and make sure you can find hosting that will run it before committing yourself to that script.
Usability includes ease of setup, use and quality of technical support. If you're relatively new to websites and/or directories it's best to avoid scripts that require any code tweaking. (Check the user forums to scope this out.) Instead, look for 'point & click' usability, a detailed product manual and excellent technical support. Free installation is even better.
But Wait, There's More!
Hosting and usability are the most important things to consider, but not the only ones. Here are a few more questions you should ask:
Finding a script you can work with that also meets your needs out-of-the-box will make launching your new directory much easier and leave you more time to fill and promote your new directory.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ready to wade through 288,000 options? Or would you rather look at just the top 20 or so best directory scripts? Directory Script Reviews offers unbiased reviews of the most-recommended directory software, with all your questions answered and real user feedback.
For a few more pointers on finding the right script, read Choosing Directory Software.
Kathee Muzin is a writer, editor and website producer located in the Vancouver, BC area.