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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?

Now that you've defined the contents of your directory, it's time to select the script (i.e. the 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.  With so many options, how will you know which script to choose?

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.

Hosting Requirements 

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

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:

  • How difficult will it be to get the look you want? Can you easily change the look of the 'front end'? Does the script come with changeable templates? If not, are third-party templates available for the current version of the script? Or will you have to pay for customization?

  • Does the script support your desired language? For example, if your directory listings are in SpainFree Web Content, does the script come with a Spanish front end and back end? Some scripts support multiple languages on the front end (user side) only.

  • Can you easily change the look of the 'front end'?

  • Can you import and export data files? You'll need this for backups and for transferring files to another host or directory script if need be.

  • How many domains can you run the directory software on? How difficult will it be to change domains?

  • How much technical support can you count on? How good is it?

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.


Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

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.



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