Help Structuring a Wordpress Based Directory Website

I am an intermediate website builder and have been working with wordpress for a few years. I am attempting to build a website (for myself) that is data intensive. All I’ve built to date are sites that have 20-30 categories, and several pages. The new site is a business directory that will cover 50 U.S. States and have 20-30 Business Types.

My problem is that I have never really worked with post types or taxonomies, and so I cannot wrap my small brain around how to structure this site so that the content is easy to search for users. For example, a user should be able to search for a motorcycle dealer in Florida. My plan is to cover cities and zip codes via tags (unless someone suggests a better way!). Most of the default wordpress search functionality is pretty weak as well. For instance you cannot sort results via something like a drop down menu (as far as I’ve seen anyway).

I was thinking to structure the website like this:
Post Type - California
Taxonomies - Bar, Cafe, Auto Dealer, Salon, etc…
Post Type - New York
Taxonomies - Bar, Cafe, Auto Dealer, Salon, etc…

So, any help determining the best way to put together this type of site in a fashion that doesn’t bury the data and is usable as a directory would be really appreciated. It will be a photo intensive site, so although I know there’s a nice directory plugin out there - it just wouldn’t work! Each business location needs to be it’s own post.

In addition to structuring the directory, any ideas for the best way to implement advanced search functionality would also be greatly appreciated. Looking at the Relevanssi Pro Plugin at this point for search.

Thanks for reading. <snip/>

Hey TonyNYC,

I’ve had the same struggles trying to nut out the whole custom post/taxonomy structure. Some people just seem to get it straight off but I’m not one of them. One thing I did find useful in my travels was a bloke called Pippin who wrote a plugin called Easy Content Types, at the bottom of that page he has a video that steps through the demo of the plugin but in the process he has a decent explanation of how the pieces of information relate to each other and then how they can be used in a directory site.

The plugin is pretty cool itself and makes it easy to organise custom content and metaboxes. Once you’ve established your structure you can pretty much build a custom entry page for entering all of the relevant data very quickly.

Sorry I can’t be more help than that, your project is much bigger than anything I’ve taken on. I would say that you could probably learn a lot though from looking at some of the features of themes that specialise in database driven websites. The time sinks are often in troubleshooting small areas and themes have often had to troubleshoot or anticipate them for their users. Not suggesting you necessarily use one, but you can use their knowledge :slight_smile:

Good luck

Thanks Slackr! Going to read up on that plugin for certain. I did get some other decent advice here as well. I have some studying to do before attempting to add content to this website though.

The advice from the other dude sounds pretty sound, I just have to figure out the best route to take now and how the search functionality and will fit in with each possible solution. I was looking at StudioPress’s Real estate theme, and their search/sorting functionality seems solid. However, their presentation of the results would cause a whole bunch of issues with what I want to do. I thought this type of functionality was better with wordpress, but I see now that getting there takes some advanced knowledge.