What Is The Best Business Directory CMS Script?

CAUTION: This was written in 2009. It is now woefully out of date and should be read for entertainment value only. Web directories are dead, don’t waste your time. Build a website which offers something really unique that people will love.

Business Directory scripts seem to be littering the Internet, however there are so many products that it is near impossible to know which one is the best. I have now tried several, and blown a lot of money on some that I have lost hair over. Others have had great support (by one person) only to then get hacked and die. Some have awful support, some have forums for user support, but so far, there is certainly no winner in my books.

Lets take a look at the follow popular options, plus a couple of potential new ones, which could well be as naff as the rest.

UPDATE: FocalMedia.Net is no more.  Do not buy Powerseek

PowerSeek SQL by FocalMedia

This is a Perl script, and it is not cheap, currently on the market for $400 (plus VAT). What is good about Powerseek is that the templates are fully customisable, in fact they have built a template importer, so you can literally take a web template, split it in two, and pop in some code in the middle, then create the directory pages.

However, to customise the actual listings is a real pig. If you decide that you want to add an extra field, such as “address” or “map” then you have to edit all the template pages, and rebuild. And then there are problems with allowing registered users to edit the fields (currently broken on my project).

Powerseek only has email (ticket system) support, and although sometimes good, delays are very frustrating. I have been told by them recently to upgrade to fix the problem, even though the problem manifested itself after I upgraded. Lack of user forums means that it is very hard to find out if you are alone or not. Powerseek is powerful, but also a nightmare if you are not a Perl expert. Main features:

  • Premium Links
  • Banner Rotation System
  • PPC Links
  • Reciprocal Link Checker
  • Extremely Customizable
  • Image / File Uploading
  • Intelligent Searches
  • User Registration System
  • Spam Proof

PHP Link directory

This was one of the ones on my short list before I made the mistake buying Powerseek. It is a PHP/MySQL script, and unlike Powerseek it has built in URL Rewrite that means you do not have to rely on the time consuming HTML creation every time you update your directory (that can be several times a day on a busy site).

Currently being sold for $80 (although you can pay $30 if you want to advertise their product forever…..). PHPLD (as it is often referred to) has the following features:

  • Paypal Integration for Selling Featured Link
  • Google Sitemaps Integration
  • Business Listings with Google Maps
  • Active Support Forum
  • Many Mods Avaialble
  • Import Links from XML Source (per category)
  • Contact Us page with captcha

eSyndiCat

This one impressed me when I first looked, although I only tested the free version. However, there were a few features that seemed lacking, and I could see no easy way to work around them.

For me a business directory needs to have both standard listings, that are just company name, address, contact name, and then premium listings, with whatever data you chose to add – maps, page of text, email form, images, logos etc.

At the time eSyndicat struggled with some of these, but it does seem a better choice now.  A single domain licence is $75 at the moment. Features:

  • Extensive plugin system
  • Professionally looking template
  • Different prices for different categories
  • Additional fields for different categories
  • PayPal, 2checkout and other payment gateways
  • Regional locations for listings

POBusinessDir Pro

At first glance this looks interesting. They describe it as a yellow pages, business directory, or website directory that features free and paid listings.

Users and administrator can submit listings at all levels; payment through Paypal, Google Checkout, Authorize.net, Moneybookers, and 2CheckOut; featured listings can have photos; unlimited categories and sub-categories; find listings by zip code, country, city, or state; Web 2.0 style; user and administrator can edit, add, and remove listings.

All categories and links are search engine friendly displayed. Very impressive on paper, but what does it really offer, and what is the support like? It is currently being sold for $80, and is on version 6.6. However, few people seem to be talking about it at the moment, and the user forum is empty, and devoid of any real support. Slightly worrying is the appalling page payout of their own Contact page!

Subrion.com

I think that this was new when I was looking a year or so back. However, it looks like it may be another robust script. It comes in four flavours – auto directory, articles directory, realty directory and web directory.

Not a business directory proper though. It does offer both free and paid directories. Also Subrion provides build-in invoicing, payment gateway, and discount coupon – something that Powerseek is lacking badly in. However, for some reason their demo pages cannot be accessed as the passwords have changed.

So, Which Directory Script is Best?

There are others on the market. Unfortunately it is exceptionally difficult to get a real feel of which is ideal for you without buying one, which is a real pain in he arse.

Some people are great fans of one or he other, so asking in forums often leads to trouble. I used the approach of buying the one that was at the top of my budget at the time, Powerseek, but have been left very disappointed.

Hopefully a solution to my Powerseek problem will come soon, and then I may be all in favour of FocalMedia again. But at the moment, who knows?

One feature to look out for that I think POBusinessDir offers, is the “claim listing” button. To build a directory, you need to populate it yourself to start with.

However, in time you need people to list, as it is impossible to manage a large directory on your own (can you check that telephone numbers, contacts, address etc have not changed?). So a script that offers a “claim this” button, allowing users to claim their company once registered, could be a lifesaver.

But ultimately, the proof is in the pudding, and it can prove to be an expensive pudding.

  23 comments for “What Is The Best Business Directory CMS Script?

  1. Don
    October 22, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Thank you. Still deciding for my new site.

  2. PowerSeek Question
    February 8, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Could you email me I have a question about PowerSeek SQL?

  3. Webologist
    February 8, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Ask here.

  4. san
    April 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Sobi2 is the best for Joomla. Iam using it in ethio2k.com

  5. AmaZen
    July 8, 2010 at 3:29 am

    There are many good scripts out there. DirectoryScriptReviews.com looks at and rates some of the better ones.

    Hope this is helpful,
    Kathee
    http://www.DirectoryScriptReviews.com
    The Truth About Directory Scripts!

  6. Webologist
    July 8, 2010 at 8:33 am

    How do you guys rate FocalMedia’s Powerseek?

  7. October 29, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Looking for a good script but tired of reading doctored reviews all over the inetrnet.

  8. Webologist
    October 30, 2010 at 12:00 am

    What script are you using there? At the moment you only seem to have empty categories. First rule in building a directory – NEVER show empty categories.

    Powerseek at least has the option to not list the empty ones.

  9. Tony
    December 28, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Thanks for the advise. I ended with http://www.shwebizonline.com/

  10. Webologist
    December 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Why did you chose that one?

  11. June 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I have need to know which is fast. I things Joomla is very slow loading. which directory is fast? please help

  12. Webologist
    June 8, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Speed is dependent on many issues. If you have a faster server then any CMS will be quick. If you are suffering from slow loading Joomla sites it is most likely that your server is just a bit slow, unless you are doing something with Joomla out of the ordinary.

    Look into caching extensions / modules for Joomla (or any CMS that you use). Directories such as Powerseek which use static html files are always going to be quicker to load so long as the html page size is kept small, as there is no database lookup required.

    But I would seriously consider investing some time and money looking for a better web server. There are a lot of good (as in fast and reliable) servers out there that are not a fortune to hire. Ignore anyone that says you need a dedicated server to run a big site quickly.

  13. adipa
    December 21, 2011 at 9:57 am

    how integrate powerseek with joomla? thanks

  14. Webologist
    December 21, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Integration is probably not possible as such. You would install Powerseek in a subdirectory and then use bits of code to display the latest listings within the Joomla. It is all built on Perl too. Templating is easy though, just take your Joomla template and add the Powerseek code then run it through the system and Powerseek will populate the directory into the static html pages – all built on the server, no FTPing to do.

  15. Tony Blue Ice
    March 7, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Hey man great topic! I see you started this post back in 2009. Were you able to finally find one reliable solution?
    I’m working on my totally custom directory since 2004 and just found out from my very talented freelance programmer that he is not willing to continue. He found very stressful but very high pay job after which he wants to spend time with his family.
    So basically I can’t find any reliable extremely knowledgeable programmer to continue adding features to the directory. And it looks like to me that I have to start all over from scratch.
    My site is slow at times due to very high traffic. I have vps. But will be moving to dedicated next month (any advice about dedicated hosting company)
    Do you have any recommendation for huge database and high traffic sites?

  16. Webologist
    March 7, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Sounds like you are going to have you work cut out. Why not seek a new developer?

  17. April 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Another is eDirectory. Great cms for business pages.

  18. Webologist
    April 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    This probably needs an update. I no longer use Powerseek. Drupal seems promising if you have the time to build something a little morebespoke.

  19. Rik
    August 13, 2014 at 4:36 am

    We used PowerSeek until June 2014 which is when we updated to version six

    To date, despite 80+tickets to support, they are unable to fix the issue as it does not work with the latest version of MySQL

    Of the tickets they had responded, it was a delay tactic asking us to tell them what was already on the ticket and usually a week later.

    In word, don’t buy it – it does not work

  20. Rik
    August 24, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Just an update – FocalMedia/PowerSeek are not more

    Did any of its customers get advised? in a word ‘No’

  21. Webologist
    August 24, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Thanks Rik.

    I got no message that I can find. I paid a lot of money for their directory script.

    I guess the web directory market has collapsed following that Google Penguin update – everybody suddenly hates web directories.

  22. Laksandu
    April 5, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Hi
    I am just another victim of Focalmedia
    I bought their Turbo seek (Junior of Power Seek) and when need to find a solution the company has disappeared
    What a funny way of making fast buck

  23. Webologist
    April 18, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Laksandu, Focalmedia were around for a long time before closing – it is a sad fact of life and business that nothing lasts forever. How long ago did you buy Turboseek? I did not think you could still buy it.

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