LDD Directory Lite Documentation

LDD Directory Lite Plugin

The following documentation covers the installation and various settings for our core plugin, LDD Directory Lite.

For information on our add-on plugins please refer to their individual pages on this site.

As with all WordPress plugins, there are two distinct methods for installing the directory on your web site. The most common and often the easiest is to install directly from your dashboard, also known as the admin area, using the built in Plugins management screen.

In some cases, you may choose to install via FTP or through your hosts control panel/file manager. If you encounter any problems installing manually, we recommend contacting your host first as they will be more familiar with how their accounts are structured and will most likely be able to help you much quicker. If you are still having trouble after contacting them or reading the information on this page, you can also jump in and ask in our community support forum.

Installation from the WordPress Dashboard

We highly recommend this method of installation unless you have a specific need for manual installation.

  1. From your plugins menu, select Add New.
  2. Type ldd directory lite into the search field and press enter.
  3. Click the Install Now link underneath where it says ldd directory lite in the search results.
  4. Select Activate Plugin after you see the Successfully installed the plugin LDD Directory Lite message appear on your screen.

Manual Installation

If you prefer to install manually, there is an excellent guide available on the WordPress codex.

Once you’ve installed and activated the LDD Directory Lite plugin, you will notice a new alert asking you to provide the Google Map API Key. This is necessary in order for the plugin to make use of the Google Maps JavaScript API.

Directory Settings

LDD Directory Lite - General Settings

To access the Directory Settings, navigate from your Dashboard to Directory > Settings. From here you can customize your Directory using the available tabs:

  • General
  • Featured Listings
  • Listings Sort Options
  • Email Settings
  • Submit
  • Appearance
  • Template Overriding

From the General Settings tab you can set up default pages, listing styles, and other important settings.

The first two settings on the “General” tab tell the plugin where you’ve placed the shortcodes [directory] and [directory_submit]. These should already set based on the new pages the Directory Lite plugin created when it was installed, however you may change these if you wish. Many of the plugin functions rely on these settings to return proper permalinks.

The taxonomy and post type slugs determine how a URL will appear when viewing either the category display pages or an individual listing. Remember that you probably want these to be different from the page slugs where you placed the shortcodes.

Front Page

This is the page where the [directory] shortcode has been placed. It is the front page or starting point for your directory and will be the url used for the “Home” link in the Directory’s navigation bar. The plugin will automatically create a page titled “Directory” with the shortcode already added to it however, you may chose to change this to any page you wish.

Submit Listing Page

This is the page where the [directory_submit] shortcode has been placed. This page is also automatically set up when the plugin is activated. This is the url where site visitors will be able to submit a listing to be included in your directory if you choose to allow Public Submissions.

Manage Listings Page

This is the page where the [directory_manage] shortcode has been placed. This page is also automatically set up when the plugin is activated. This is the url where site visitors will be able to edit or remove the listings they have submitted to your directory if you choose to allow Public Submissions

URL Slugs (Taxonomy & Post Type)

These settings control the default url slugs for your directory links. By default these are set to “listings” and “listing” respectively however, you can change these to whatever you wish. The slugs should be all lowercase and contain only letters, numbers, and hyphens.

EXAMPLES: (www.yourdomain/listings/category) (www.yourdomain/listing/business-name)

NOTE:  If you change these URL settings, you will need to update/reset your site permalinks.

Sidebar Shortcode

This setting allows you to replace the default Directory Lite contact form in individual listings with the shortcode of the form plugin of your choice.

Most of the settings found under the “Other” heading are set once and forget type features. From here you can determine whether your directory accepts public submissions and more.

Public Submissions

This setting determines whether or not your site allows site visitors to submit and manage their own listings.

Dashboard access to Directory Contributor

This setting let’s you allow users who submit to your directory to edit their own user accounts via the default WordPress dashboard.

Google API Key

This is a required API Key in order to make use of the Google Maps JavaScript API. Without this setting you will not be able to display Google Maps in your directory listings.

Google Maps

Once you have set up your Google API Key you can set this to allow maps to be displayed for all listings with the correct address settings.

Recaptcha Settings

These settings allow you to implement the Google Recaptcha anti-spam feature to the LDD Directory Lite default listings contact form.

The Featured Listings settings allow you to display listings on your directory home page. From this tab you can control whether or not to display featured listings, how many, and in what order.

LDD Directory Lite - Featured Listings

Enable Featured Listings

If checked, all listings tagged by the administrator as “featured” will appear on the homepage of the directory. You can then select whether you wish to display the featured listings at the top (before) or the bottom (after) all of the other listings on the page.

Featured Listings Title

This setting allows you to display a specific title for the Featured Listings.

Feature Tags

If you wish to set different tags to the directory listings to be featured, you can set those here.

Listing Limit

Set the number of featured listings to display on the directory home page.

Default Sort Order

The drop-down allows you to select how to order the featured listings on the directory home page:

  • Business Name
  • Zip Code
  • Area
  • Category
  • Random

You can chose whether to display featured listings in Ascending (ASC) or Descending (DESC) order.

NOTE:  You may also override these default settings via the shortcode
[directory fl_order_by=”xxx” fl_order=”asc”]

You can control the default sort order of your listings from the Listings Sort Options tab on the settings page of the Directory. These settings can also be set and/or overridden via shortcode.

[directory cat_order_by=”xxx” cat_order=”asc”]

[directory list_order_by=”xxx” list_order=”asc”]

LDD Directory Lite - Sort Options

The settings on this tab allow you to set the sort options for your Category pages, The Main Listings page and the Search results page of the LDD Directory Lite plugin.

Subcategory Listing Behavior

This setting controls whether or not to display child categories in the Categories drop-down of your directory.

The settings available on the Email tab of your directory plugin allow you to control how email notifications appear.

LDD Directory Lite - Email Settings

The first section of this tab allows you to set the From Name and Email Address of the emails to be sent out by the LDD Directory Lite plugin.

Admin Notification

This is sent to the administrative email (will default to WordPress settings if not configured) and is to notify site owners that a new listing is pending their review.

Author Notification

This is a receipt sent to the author of a new listing, and a good place to keep them informed of your terms, and approval times.

Approval Notification

This is sent to the listing author when their listing status is updated from Pending Review to Approved. This will only be sent once, so if a listing status is changed and later set back to Approved a second email will not be sent.

Macro Shortcodes

Macros in Editor

There are several Macro Shortcodes available to include in your email messages. These allow you to include dynamic items such as Listing Title, Site Name, etc. The available macros are:

  • Site Title
  • Site URL
  • Directory URL
  • Listing Title
  • Listing URL
  • Listing Description
  • Listing Category
  • Approve Link (for admins)
  • Listing Author
  • Author Email
  • Contact Name
  • Contact Emal
  • All Feilds


The settings under the Submit tab are used when you have selected to allow Public Submissions on the General Settings tab of the plugin settings page.

LDD Directory Lite - Submit Settings

From here you can control whether or not to Auto Publish each submitted listing,  Require a “Terms of Service” agreement, and set the text to be displayed as an Introduction to the submission page as well as the text to be displayed after the new listing has been submitted.

From the Appearance tab, you can control some aspects of the way your directory looks, including basic colors and default views.

LDD Directory Lite - Appearance Settings

Disable Bootstrap

The LDD Directory Lite plugin makes use of the Bootstrap CSS library for its layout. However, there some instances where this may cause a conflict with your theme if your theme already loads a version of this library – or you may want to use your own custom CSS. This setting allows you to disable this feature in the plugin.

Show Front End View Controls

The LDD Directory Lite plugin allows you to view the directory listings in several different types of layouts or views. This settings controls whether or not to allow someone to change the layout of your directory in their browser from the front end of your website. The various layouts include:

  • Category
    Shows the categories on the homepage of your directory
  • Listing
    Shows the individual listings on the homepage of your directory
  • Grid
    Displays the listings in a boxed grid layout
  • Compact
    Displays the listings inline

Other Settings

The other settings on this tab include:

  • Default Homepage Display (Categories or Listings)
  • Default View
  • Hide Featured Image
  • Basic Color settings for text, buttons and header background
  • Show Image place holder (logo) on the Category pages
  • Set default Image place holder


The Template Overriding tab allows you to set whether the LDD Directory Lite plugin uses your theme’s default template structure or the plugin’s default template structure. This setting can help troubleshoot certain layout issues you might encounter with the plugin.

LDD Directory Lite - Template Settigns

Advanced Template Modifications

You may also want to completely overhaul the plugin’s default templates. In this case, the LDD Directory Lite template files which are responsible for the markup and structure for the front end of your directory can be found here:


In order to modify the look and feel of your directory, you will need to copy the specific file(s) to a folder in your theme called lddlite_templates.

Do not edit these files within the core plugin itself as they will be overwritten during the upgrade process and any customization will be lost.

If you wish to modify a file in one of the subfolders of the /ldd-directory-lite/templates/ directory, then you will need to maintain the folder structure in your theme as well. For example: /yourtheme/lddlite_templates/global/header.php