- the Directory,
- the Join Form, and
- the Control Panel.
The Directory and Join Form are intended to be easily inserted into your WordPress pages, and the Control Panel is intended to give you simple control over the contents of your directory.
We discuss each of these three sections below. This manual assumes that you have already successfully Installed Business Directory on your own site.
The Directory displays your listings and is intended to be inserted into one of your pages.
To create a Directory list on your page, simply insert the following code into one of your pages through the WordPress interface (Business Directory utilizes the WordPress shortcode functionality to display).
NOTE: If you are going to attempt to copy and paste the above “shortcode” directly into your editor, you will need to remove the ‘bold’ formatting. We suggest retyping the “shortcode” into your editor to avoid any complications. You may be able to remove bold formatting by simply highlighting the text and clicking on the bold button at the top of your visual editor.
This will display the basic Directory on your page. Because we are using shortcode, there are two attributes that can be specified on the directory: the width and the name. By default the directory will display at 100% width, and the name is ‘Business Directory’. However you can change these values by simply adding attributes to the above shortcode sample. For example, if you want the directory to be called ‘Cool Directory’ and want it to display at only 90% of width, you would enter the following shortcode into your page:
[bizdir_directory width=”90%” name=”Cool Directory”]
You don’t have to specify either of the two attributes, and you can specify only one or the other if you like.
Also, one feature that is not readily visible is that the Directory will automatically paginate after more than 30 listings have been approved. Right now there is no convenient way to customize the number of listings displayed on each page. Advanced users can open the business-directory/config.php file and manually changing the ‘PERPAGE’ constant. If our SpareWare release goes well, we will have the opportunity to revisit this in the future.
The Join Form
The Join Form is where your visitors will enter and submit their information.
The Join Form will display a form for your visitors to submit their entry to be listed in your directory. The Join Form also uses shortcode, and should be inserted into a page. To insert the Join Form into one of your pages insert the following code:
Again, please note that if you are going to attempt to copy and paste the above ‘shortcode’ directly into your editor, you will need to remove the ‘bold’ formatting. We suggest retyping the shortcode directly into your editor to avoid any problems.
The Join Form has only has one attribute (width) which can be specified in the same way as the Directory, explained above:
Note that the Directory and Join Form cannot be displayed on the same page.
The Control Panel
The Control Panel is where you will manage submissions (including editing, approving, and deleting) and manage categories. We will treat each of these in turn.
You need to have at least one category in order for your users to submit listings. You can access your Categories by logging into your blog and clicking on the “Biz Directory” tab in the lower left hand corner of your screen, and clicking on the “Categories” link. By default, Business Directory inserts a ‘General’ category upon installation. You can edit or delete this category and add, edit, or delete your own categories. Be careful when deleting categories because when you delete a category you will also be deleting all listings inside that category (So the first thing you do after upgrading to v0.8 Beta should NOT be to delete the ‘General’ Category as this will delete all of your listings (By default, when upgrading, all listings are put in the general category)). You can move new and existing listings to different categories when managing your submissions as described below.
Business Directory gives you the ability to approve, edit and delete listings that have been submitted. You can access your management by logging into your blog and clicking on the “Biz Directory” tab in the lower left hand corner of your screen.
Managing Business Directory is intended to be fairly intuitive. You will see two lists in the management section (one ontop of the other): ‘Pending Listings’ and ‘Approved Listings’. The ‘Pending Listings‘ are the listings that have been submitted, but not yet approved. These listings are not visible in the Directory. The ‘Approved Listings‘ are the listings that you have previously approved and are visible in the public Directory. In the “Actions” section of your lists you will see that you can ‘approve’, ‘review’, and ‘delete’ your ‘Pending Listings’, but only ‘review’ and ‘delete’ your ‘Approved Listings’. ‘approve’ will move a listing from the ‘Pending Listings’ to the ‘Approved Listings’. ‘review’ allows you to edit every aspect of the listing (including move it from one category to another). ‘delete’ deletes the listing for good (there are no “take backs”, so we suggest maintaining a current backup of your site and using the ‘delete’ feature carefully).
We do not provide a way for submitters to manage their own content. After some consideration, we decided the logistics of managing user names and passwords far exceeds the effort required to simply delete the original submission and create a new one.
If a submitter contacts you and asks how they can change their submission, kindly ask them to enter a new one using the Join Form. Simply delete the old one when the new one is received (or you can edit the existing listing directly as described above). You may want to include a note on your Join Form page with this instruction.
This simple approach will save you the time and trouble of managing users in the system. We may address this again in future versions if our SpareWare release goes well. If you have comments or suggestions regarding this solution please let us know.
Comments, Suggestions, Requests, and Bugs
We are interested in your feedback and suggestions. We also want to know if you find any bugs or incompatibilities. Please submit your comments, suggestions, requests, and bugs through our contact form.