Create Your Own Directory Site
Why Create a Directory Website?
There are many reasons you might want to create a directory website. Some of them might be:
- To share information with the public
- To make one for yourself to access your data
- To help people find what they need in a certain niche
- To take on the monopoly of overbearing search engines like google
The options are numerous and only limited to your imagination. A search engine is basically just a fancy directory anyways, so if nothing else, you can create a directory website to learn what it takes to build a search engine.
Step 1: Open a Blogger Account
This is the FREE method, so if you have a preferred website or webhost you want to go through, please feel free to do so. Using a blogger or blogspot blog will give you an easy set up with no cost to you. Though do keep in mind that the free method means you won't get a short URL. It will be something like http://yoursite.blogspot.com
Set up your template, play with your design and add a few blog posts about your new website so that people will know what they are going to enjoy when they visit your site.
Step 2: Google Custom Search Engine
Okay, now you want to go to google and search for "Google Custom Search Engine" (CSE). That will lead you to the set up for your first search engine. Give your CSE a name, give it your main URL and any details you see fit.
The next part is tricky, because it requires constant updating. You need to click on the "sites" tab, here you will continually add all pages of your website to your search engine. So when you create a new blog, go to it's solo-page, copy the url and then add it to your CSE. Do this for any and all pages you add to your blog, whether they be additional blogs, or actual pages.
Now, even if you haven't added any additional url's to your CSE, you still need to add it to your site. What you want to do, is go into your blog design and add a gadget. When it shows you the options for gadgets to add you want to choose "HTML". Grab the code from your CSE which can be found from the "GET CODE" tab, then past it into the HTML gadget and it will appear on your site. I suggest putting it on the right hand corner of your page for best formatting, or right above the rest of your blog. Though I'll leave that up to your better judgement.
Step 3: DIY Shortlist (optional)
This is a very awesome, but extremely simple directory widget that I found, that you will find vary useful. It's called DIY SHORTLIST
Basically, it's a widget that allows you to add categories and then place your listings under those categories. As far as I can tell, you can have as many categories and listings as you like. It's completely free to use, though it does place one add underneath your shortlist. Not to bad of a compromise if you ask me.
You can even go simply to your website to add categories and listings whenever you think of them. You can check out one that I've created on one of my sites called CANNABOOK.
Once you've added some categories and named your shortlist, don't forget to grab the code and put it on your website the same way we did with the CSE. Add a gadget - choose the "HTML" gadget - paste your code - then save. I chose to place my shortlist on a different page, as you can see from my website, and the logic behind it, is that the widget will get larger as I add categories and listings, so I want it to have all the room it needs with out cluttering up my website.
Step 4: Blog Listings!
If you are focusing on using your CSE, then the only way it will truly work, is to use your blog to list your services, products, businesses or what-have-you. So get to work blogging about your products!
You can make the blogs personal and give them your own twist, or you can be straight-up professional and simply list the company/business/product info, contacts and websites. The choice is yours.
Just remember that you need to add each individual blog url to your custom search engine.
Step 5: Testing! Testing!
Before you go crazy launching your new website, you need to check that your CSE and/or Shortlist is working properly. In most cases, everything should be fine, though Google's CSE can sometimes take a few hours or days to fully crawl your sites and get them onto your search engine.
Click on everything you want your viewers to click on, try out all apps, and make sure you don't have so many gadgets that your page lags when you try to load it. Test it all and be proud with what you have created.
Optional: Get a Domain, Point it at Your Blogsite
If you are up for purchasing your own domain name, you can easily forward it to your blogspot/blogger site and make it easier for your fans to find your directory and use it.
You can find a link to their awesome deals Right Here
Helpful Tip: Index Your Site
To help get your directory found, go to google and bing webmaster tools and add your site, with your sitemap, to the index.