How To: Create an Online Directory with WordPress & eList Theme

Directories are one of the oldest types of websites online, Yahoo was the first online directory and started life as a manually edited list of links to the creator’s personal interests and grew to be one of the largest brands. Another notable example is the DMOZ which is a large human edited directory which anyone can submit their site to and apply to be a category editor. There are a huge number of other big directories and smaller niche directories, while I see the whole directory as a destination concept outdated nowdays, I think there is still value in these smaller ones as add-ons to larger sites or specialising in a tight niche.

If would like to create a directory and use WordPress as the CMS, then ElegantThemes‘ newest theme could be what you’re looking for. It’s called eList and allows you to create an online directory. In this post I will take a look at setting it up and configuring it.

Install The Theme

Once you have purchased the theme you will receive a zip file called,  in your WordPress admin, visit “Appearance” > “Themes” > “Install Themes” > “Upload” and upload the file. Click activate under the theme :

Once the theme is activated you will see it has added a new menu item called “Listings” which has a few options to manage your directory, it also adds a Theme options section for you to manage certain aspects of your site.

General Settings

All ElegantThemes come with their ePanel, click “eList Theme Options” under the appearance menu to access it. The first menu item is “General Settings” and has all the usual features like logo upload, font changes, background color, social media profiles etc. The one tab you should take note of is at the top and is called “Paid Listings Options” which is where you can configure your Paypal details and pricing structure if you want to charge people for featured listings.


The “Navigation” tab is where you can configure settings related to your site’s navigation, such as which pages to exclude from the menu, how to sort the pages, whether to use drop downs etc

Layout Settings

The “Layout Settings” tab has a few options you can choose from which pieces of info to display on post and pages ( author, date, category and comments ). You can also choose whether to show thumbnails pics on pages

Ad Management

Under “Ad Managment” there is the option to enable and configure a single 468 x 60 banner spot – under your widgets screen there are 2 custom widgets for displaying advertising as well, an adsense widget and a general banner widget.


The “Colorization” tab is for people wanting to modify the color scheme of the site. You can choose the colors for : Main Font, Links, Headings, Sidebar Links, Footer Text and Footer Links. Each option has a handy color picker to make this process nice and easy.


SEO contains a few options for setting custom titles, descriptions and how they are displayed – I prefer to use a dedicated SEO plugin for such things but its nice the option is there if you need it.


The “Integration” tab is where you can place custom code for things like Analytics or advertising scripts. It allows you to place code between the <head> tags, to the <body> tag, top of the posts and bottom of the posts. This is handy to save you having to edit the theme files directly.

Support Docs

The final tab in the ePanel is “Support Docs” and contains everything you need to know to configure the theme properly, along with video tutorials which is a nice touch.

The Listings Menu

The “Listings” menu that the theme added contains the following links :

  • Listings
  • Add a Listing
  • Categories
  • Tags
  • Custom Options

This is where you will setup the functionality of your directory. The first thing to do is create the categories you want on your site – you can set an image for each category.

You can add some starter listings using the “Add a Listing” menu option so your directory isnt empty from the start. Visiting the “Listings” menu will list all your site’s listings and let you edit or delete them like you would normal blog posts.

Here is how a full set-up directory looks :


This is good premium quality theme from ElegantThemes, I wish they would make more app-like themes like this in future. Really easy to set up and configure, good functionality and an amazing deal at just $39 per year for access to over 60 themes you cant really go wrong.



Oliver Dale is the founder of Kooc Media, An Internet Company based in Manchester, UK. I founded WPLift and ThemeFurnace, find out more on my Personal Blog. Thanks!

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6 thoughts on “How To: Create an Online Directory with WordPress & eList Theme”

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