Have you thought about starting an online directory? Directories can be a fun thing to start if you are passionate about a certain subject. If you regularly research a certain subject on the web and happen to find a lot of sites on that subject a web directory might be the perfect thing to start. So what does it take?
First you should have some decent web hosting to host your new directory. Decent hosting means that your web host has good uptime and offers the right amount of services so that your directory script can run prefectly. Lots of directory scripts today use php and some even use cgi. Read all the requirements before purchasing a directory script online and make sure your current or future host offers all that is required. If you have a dedicated server running a linux OS then you will have many directory scripts to choose from.
So what are the important things to look for in a directory script?
Well, when I look for or research directory scripts I look for 5 main things. One is that the scripts are in PHP and work with MySQL. Two is that they offer mod_rewrite so that the pages of the directory are search engine friendly. All that means is that search engines will be able to spider the pages. Three is that the script has paid submissions built in. If your directory gets popular you can charge for link submissions. If the directory has a featured listing or sponsored listing feature you can always manually charge for this. Fourth is directory customization. If a directory script is easily customizable then you have the opportunity to customize it in the future. You can then add new features to it as you like by either paying a professional programmer or by doing it yourself. You will probably want to customize the layout with your logo and colors once you get it. The fifth main thing is that the directory script is supported. Email the owners of the site before you purchase any script. If the owners respond within a few hours then you know you have a well supported script.
There are quite a few different directory scripts available and what one you choose depends on your needs. If you plan to have more then 100,000 listings in your directory then Gossamer Threads offers a very robust directory script which can handle millions of listings. Check out Gossamer Links for more info. It does cost $450 for a single site license which might seem high if you are not starting something you are serious about. Other directory scripts are available that cost around $99 if you are on a budget. Search Google for “directory script” or “php directory script” to find the most popular ones. Some of the ones I have personally worked with are Indexu, phpmydirectory and PLD or php link directory. Php Link Directory is free for version 2.0 and $25 for 3.0 and runs very nice. Check it out at http://phplinkdirectory.com