A honest review of eDirectory – and why you should stay away

Disclosure: This post may contain links to affiliate partners and products, that I have selected manually and would or have bought myself. I will get a commission if you decide to purchase anything after clicking on these links – at no cost to you.

This is my real experience working with eDirectory, what I’ve learned about their software, their internal processes and approach, why I would recommend staying away from them – and what I recommend as a much better free or paid alternative.

One of my clients chose eDirectory for their Classified website. The key reasons the client liked eDirectory were:

  • their website promises a built-in mobile app builder with easy management and editing
  • their website promises pretty much anything else, very easy to manage, edit

But, as soon as I was taken on board as the developer who was going to oversee the work, I started to notice a pattern:

eDirectory promise the world on the website, but the actual software is outdated, they charge you for customisation at every step plus their system is very rigid and not very flexible. Almost every simple feature is a paid addon too. They target customers who are made to think they can build stuff themselves, but are never told that they could do that for free on WordPress.

After several clarification emails and hours spent digging through their setup, comparing the speed of their hosting with 3rd party solutions and learning about the additional paid features that other solutions do for free, I have suggested to the client to stop working with eDirectory.

The primary reasons why I don’t recommend eDirectory:

  1. eDirectory server requirements are too restrictive, limiting good hosting options (standard hosting companies rarely use CentOS – so you have to host with eDirectory even if you pay for the full code package), their shared hosting is too slow and they have no servers in our target market (Australia).
  2. It is slower than WordPress on a good host – They said that we should get the benefit of their Cloudflare CDN (only after I asked about it), yet, the site speed, even in its basic, empty demo state was dismal. Our test WordPress website using Geodirectory free on a subdomain performed much better.
  3. eDirectory Australian hosting (VPS) is too expensive, we can get the same performance for a fraction of the price, Australian servers with other hosting companies (like Rocket.net)
  4. Disorganized (or dishonest) and inflated development hours – our first use case of how the collaboration would look like – (getting an age pop-up on certain categories) was bad – they have quoted us 13hrs of development time for a simple functionality that I built in WordPress in 1 hour. I did that on a 3rd party software. They needed 13 hours to do that on their own software? No way. On top of that, they have quoted us over the pre-paid development hours we already have, failing to mention that. (i.e. they didn’t say – “oh, you have pre-paid development hours, we can use those“. No. They quoted us as if we didn’t have any prepaid development hours). That doesn’t build any trust in your service or fair pricing.
    • I’m a developer myself, so I kept probing – eventually, they gave us a discount on the hours, but that just shows they do start off inflated prices and hours, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to give you much of a discount. A good developer who knows the value of their time and quotes you honestly will not suddenly give you discounts when you start questioning a bit more.
  5. We could achieve the same functionality with a FREE WordPress plugin + more with a paid version for a fraction of the price, with much more flexibility and no lock-in – Geodirectory.
  6. Their system lacks all other, website development features, like WordPress – even editing simple things like the header or footer requires building it in HTML code – this is at least two decades behind WordPress. You may use their standard header and footer, but almost every business will need something custom – which you will have to code entirely in HTML.
  7. Their Mobile app builder is nothing else but a form to submit some basic info about your business (name, email, logo…), followed by more fees to pay (even if we purchased the highest plan) to get the app built. They do have an app in the AppStore/PlayStore, but there’s no customisation, you get what you see.
  8. Every additional eDirectory feature (like a map of listings) is a paid add-on – even features that are free on WordPress
  9. Communication wasn’t easy either – we had a sales rep and a developer. They ping-ponged us around telling us we should talk to the other guy.
  10. The UI is very dated, looks like it hasn’t seen any major development for at least 10 years to integrate the latest technologies.
  11. Their software isn’t open source, like WordPress, so don’t expect many developers will be able to help you (+ you have to pay a hefty price for the full code package, otherwise it’s overpriced in-house development at your service!). And if there are some developers, they know it’s niche and probably also overcharge – not a competitive market.

But how about all the good reviews on ShopperApproved.com?

None of these reviews (that eDirectory feature on their website) are verified purchases, at the time of writing, the filter “Verified purchase” returned 0 reviews:

It’s mostly paid-for reviews of new customers who don’t have a clue because they have only just started the process. They often review the sales rep (Daniel is mentioned very often) or the introductory zoom call, not the actual service after months of usage, nor are they able to compare the service to other options, like WordPress. This is the same on other review websites too (Trustpilot,

Also, it’s mostly post-sales call reviews, not actual real-life experience of building a website with eDirectory reviews. The vast majority of the reviews mention a sales call, not the actual process of how they built a good website using the service.

The customers often say so themselves in the reviews:

  • “I just bought the thing and was given a discount to leave a review, so I’m writing it now. So far ok.”
  • “The demo was in depth and answered all my questions.” – how can you leave a review after a demo with a sales rep? Well, because they ask you to do so and offer a discount if you do so, I presume (and some reviews confirm that).
  • “Howdy! So far, my experience with my sales rep was very productive, educational and overall, an amazing start to my project. It has just been a couple of hours since I purchased your services, but having that said, yesterday I had my introductory phone call conversation, and today my guided walk through zoom meeting, and I was amazed by what I can build, and how to pursue my business vision when it comes to hplist.com – the world of massages.”
    • BTW, the website still isn’t functional, just a demo: https://hplist.com/, two months after the review was posted
  • “So far so good just getting started.” – this person was clearly asked to leave a review, not knowing what to write, they wrote this. But 5 stars is 5 stars right?

To me, it all seems a bit too much like they hype the people up on the sales call, ask them to write a review straight after the call, probably for some incentive and probably don’t even tell the customer that the review isn’t for the sales call, but for the entire service, software and everything else – they are yet to experience.

To summarise – stay away if you don’t want to be stuck with an old system, a team that will milk you for money and inflate the development prices on every small change that would cost nothing on other systems.

You are much better off using WordPress and one of the many directory solutions available there.

I recommend Geodirectory – test it for free, but even the paid version is very cheap compared to eDirectory – and does everything that eDirectory promises. Plus, you get the power of WordPress – custom fields, quality themes like Kadence with built-in header and footer builder, you can find quality hosting for a fair price. And because it’s WordPress, you will be able to integrate most of other services with it easily.

A comparison of eDirectory to two WordPress directory solutions

I did this analysis for my client, hope it will help you decide (if you are somehow still unsure!)

FeatureeDirectoryWPGeoDirectoryAdvanced Classifieds & Directory Pro
Customer rating – TrustPilot4.8/5 but long term users or customisation: 1/54.3/5 – but only one single weird bad review pulling the score down. + 560 5 star reviews on the Free pluginN/A
Customer rating – SoftwareAdvice4.2/5 – same as above + more recent are 2.5/5 + all seem incentivised or not reviewing the software, but sales callN/AN/A
Free version for testing?NoYes – 4.7/5 free version rating – 623 reviewsYes – 4.7/5 free version rating – 94 reviews
Speed performance AU – Demo installbad – D, 35% – 8 seconds – very basic landing pageOK – C – 55% – 6.9 seconds, big landing page with a map and listingsNot tested yet
Customisationonly in-house, expensiveEasy – WordPressEasy – WordPress
Developer availabilityonly in-house, expensiveEasy – WordPressEasy – WordPress
External plugins and featuresNoYesYes
Easy to view codeNoYesYes
Easy to develop custom codeNoYesYes
Australia hosting pricefrom $200 – customfrom $25 – Rocketfrom $25 – Rocket
Host anywhere? (like Rocket)NoYesYes
Comments functionalityxY – WordPressY – WordPress
Bloglimited – simple editorY – WordPressY – WordPress
Compatible with 3rd party page builders (Speeds up work)NoYesYes
Try before you buy?NoYes – Free plugin features + see demo: https://demos.ayecode.ioYes – Free plugin features + demo https://pluginsware.com/demo/
Price$1500$139 yearly$96 yearly
Addons2628none, all one package
Addons average price$200free – included in the packageN/A
SEO featureslimited – no SEO plugin, just basic fields, no UI helpFull – with SEO 3rd party pluginsFull – with SEO 3rd party plugins
DocumentationLimited – can’t find info on basic stuff, like how do I create an EventYes – extensive – https://wpgeodirectory.com/docs-v2/Yes – extensive – https://pluginsware.com/documentation/
ListingsGood UI, plenty of fieldsGood UI, plenty of fieldsGood UI, plenty of fields
Listings extendabilityCustom – expensiveEasy – built in custom fieldsEasy – built in custom fields
Layout editor – Header & Footercustom – HTML codeY – theme, visualY – theme, visual
Secondary menu, custom menus$99standard, freestandard, free
Map based search$200Yes + more customisation using a shortcodeYes
Visual editor – Full flexibility with page content / editingNo – prebuilt widgets and HTMLYes – WP builders integrated, easy blocks with many options are pre-builtShortcodes + Gutenberg
Deals and offers (time limited listings) featureYesNo – or maybe with WoocommerceNo – or maybe with Woocommerce
User created articlesYes – but can’t find it anywhereNo, but can be added as a WordPress featureNo, but can be added as a WordPress feature
Banner adsYesYes – third party pluginYes – third party plugin
Payment gatewaysAll big onesYes – Woocommerce or GetPaid plugin, all big onesPaypal, Stripe built in + Woocommerce – any big ones
Subscription plansYes – built inYes – built inYes – built in + Woocommerce
NewsletterOnly via CampaignMonitorYes – anything that works with WordPressYes – anything that works with WordPress
Media galleryNo – each image has to be uploaded, even if you used it before, bad UX, even for us, adminsYesYes
Email notificationsYesYesYes
Email editorYesYesYes
Standard WordPress featuresNo – all customYes – contact forms, any page design, header, footer, newsletter forms, banners, CTAs – everythign that WordPress can doYes – contact forms, any page design, header, footer, newsletter forms, banners, CTAs – everythign that WordPress can do
TOTAL Annual price (without custom work, just addons + hosting)$1500 one off + $2400 hosting + $300 addons$139 + hosting ~$300$96 + hosting ~$300

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