Recently, we introduced the basic structure of our Citadela Directory plugin and explained how it works. Today, we’d like to give you a step-by-step guide on how to create a micro directory site in your blog. We’ll explain the practical use of Citadela Directory plugin using specific examples.
Enrich your blog posts to increase Dwell time
Citadela Directory plugin lets you enhance your blog with directory functionality. Here’s an example to get a better picture of what it means: using the plugin, you can insert a map with items that are thematically related to the content of an article into each blog post. Why should you do that?
First of all, thanks to this plugin, you can make your content extra special and more interesting for your blog readers.
Now, your web visitors can:
- Read the post with a certain topic (e.g. travel blog from Paris)
- See exact location of places mentioned in the article
This way they can discover various tourist attractions, coffee places or museums and learn more about them by clicking on the items (pins) on the map. As a result, they spend a lot more time on your website.
Features of Citadela Directory plugin can be used for different types of blogs – travel blogs or even professional blogs.
There are different types of Items that can be used to present not only above mentioned cafes but also business branches and events and to display them on the map. You can easily present anything you want.
Don’t let your visitors leave your site
The advantage of placing a map with items in your blog post is that you don’t need to link to other websites and send your visitors away from your site (up until now you could only insert links to external sources). Now you can add more information about each point of interest (item) right into the Item Detail. This will keep the visitors on your site for longer.
How to create a micro directory website
If you already have an established blog running on WordPress 5.2, it’s very easy to add directory functionality. Before you can start building your micro directory site, you need to download Citadela Directory plugin, which includes all the components you need (custom types, special pages and directory blocks), to enable you to run a micro directory website. If you don’t have it yet, you will get it by purchasing Ait-themes membership.
Building a blogpost with directory features step-by-step
Since Citadela Directory plugin only works with block-based themes, it’s understandable that the plugin itself adds blocks which you can use to build content in the editor. You can add and remove the available blocks or reorder them to create custom layout of your blogpost. Here is a step by step guide on how to create micro directory website in a blog post by adding the right blocks and then creating locations, categories and items. This manual will give you a better idea about selection of directory blocks, their arrangement and customization.
There are 6 basic steps to create a blogpost with directory features:
- Adding Google Map Directory block
- Adding Item Locations
- Adding Item Categories
- Adding Items themselves
- Editing special pages
- Final check of items on the map
It’s up to the blogger to decide if they want to follow the steps exactly or choose a different order. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you add the map first or start with creating of localities, categories and items.
One of the most important elements of a micro directory website is the map. You can add a map to a specific blogpost via Google Map block and place it anywhere within the article. However, we recommend placing it at the top of your content, before the text itself. Google Map directory block can be added by clicking the “+” symbol and choosing tab Citadela Directory Blocks.
Google map customization
Once you’ve added Directory Google Map, it’s time to customize it using Inspector. This is the advantage of having a map as the WordPress block – all settings are available directly within the Inspector.
The most important settings of a map inserted into a blogpost are:
- Category – you can choose if you want to display ALL items on the map or only items from certain category. For example, if you’ve written an article about must-visit places in Sicily, you can choose to display all items which include all categories such as restaurants, attractions, points of interest, etc.
- Location – choose if you want to show items from all locations or from the selected location only (Sicily)
- Only featured items – by enabling this option, you can display featured items only, from selected categories and locations.
- Appearance – in Inspector, there are designs and color combinations for maps that are used most often, available in one click. You can set them via the radio button. This way you can choose the most appropriate appearance of your map that goes nicely with each particular blog post.
- Enable search form – there is also an option to enable the search form directly on the map. However, if you’re writing an article about a specific place, city or experience, there’s no need for a search form on your map. In this case, you don’t need to turn this feature on. It’s more suitable in other use cases.
You can further customize the appearance of your Directory Google Map. More settings are available via the map styling tool, however, this is recommended especially for advanced users. Experienced users can also embed Custom CSS Class for more detailed customization of the map according to their preferences.
Changing the blogpost layout and alignment of the map to full width
As mentioned above, Directory Google Map works as a block. Therefore you can play with it some more and place it anywhere you like within the content. You can even display map in a column or insert it into our Ait Cluster Block (linka), which:
- Let’s you group multiple blocks into one block
- Can be stretched to the full width of the page
So if you add Directory Google Map block to the Cluster block, you can display the map full width, from one side of the page to the other. This will give you a modern layout and make your blogpost look special.
By inserting additional blocks into the Cluster block, you can affect other aspects of page’s layout. For example, adding Spacer block will create more airy layout. Separator visually separates the content. This way you can use any WordPress core block or any of our Ait blocks added by our plugins.
Second step when building a micro directory page is to create locations via Custom type Items -> Item Locations. When creating locations, it’s necessary to pay attention to logical structure and arrangements. You can use parent locations (e.g. Italy) or sublocations (specific place, e.g. Sicily)
The same way you’ve created Locations, you can create categories and subcategories via Custom type Items -> Item Categories. Add whatever category you write about in your article – from restaurants, ice cream shops, museums to water attractions or types of food – if you have a food blog.
Once you have created categories and locations, it’s time to add specific items via Items -> Add New. It could be a great Ice cream place you tried in Sicily and that you’ve recommended in your article.
Don’t forget to fill in the necessary information for each Item (general description of the item, address, contact details, opening hours…) Also be sure to add item into relevant category (ice-cream shops) and location (Italy, sublocation Sicily).
Special pages that are automatically added by Citadela Directory Plugin right after the installation (linka na Ako funguje Citadela Directory), have a predefined layout and are used to extract and display data (items, categories, locations) according to certain criteria.
For you as a blogger who works mainly with blogposts, it is a good idea to customize the Item Detail Page. This is the page that will be viewed by your web visitors most often, as they click on specific item on the map displayed in the post.
On the Item Detail page, you can shuffle individual blocks around or completely remove some of them. For example, if you’re not the owner of an item, you don’t need Item Contact Form at all, you can delete it from the page.
There’s no need to edit other special pages as their predefined layout is most likely convenient for your website with blogposts.
As the last step we recommend you to double check your Directory Google Map and see if displayed items are in line with your original thought of the blogpost. This is because there are various options of displaying items on the map – you can show all items or items from certain category or location. It’s a good idea to see if your map is showing items that you want there (especially if you’ve created the map before adding locations and categories)
If you like the concept of a mikro directory site, you can create one any time you want. You can do so even if you have a blog based on WordPress theme from another developer, such as Avada, DIVI or other. Get Lifetime membership with us and gain access to Citadela Directory plugin which will allow you to enrich your blog with mikro directory site as well as with other great features!