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What is phpLD?

Let's start by explaining that phpLD stands for PHP Link Directory. But before you get nervous about the phrase "link directory," in this case, it doesn't mean that phpLD is just an engine to build link networks or link directories. While some site owners do still make use of link networks or link directories, the practice is generally frowned upon, not only by many site owners, but more importantly, by search engines. So, while phpLD could be used to build a link network of that sort, that really isn’t what phpLD is all about.

phpLD is software you can use to build a categorically structured website. For example, if you wanted to build a website about dogs, you could use phpLD to categorize the information on the site according to breed, size, classification (hounds, terriers, etc.), and function (i.e., hunting dogs, sport dogs, etc.).

phpLD would allow you to easily create relationships between all the categories you create. For example, on the breed list, the bloodhound will also be linked to the hounds classification, and to the hunting dogs category. Linking data categorically like this makes it easier for your site's visitors to find the information they're looking for, and to learn more about the relationships between the things your site covers.

There are many software products that allow you to build categorically structured websites. The use of categories and tags in WordPress serves a similar function. Recently phpLD has been advertising itself as a more secure alternative to WordPress and even offering a reasonably-priced service to migrate WordPress sites to phpLD. The point of using software like phpLD is that these link directories can be automated as opposed to your having to construct all those relationships and links manually.

What is unique about phpLD?

phpLD offers many features that make it an appealing choice for anyone looking for a way to build a website with strong directory-type organization. Standard phpLD features include:

  • Built in templates with easy layout modifications and customization. Also, premium templates are available from several independent developers.
  • Written in up-to-date PHP 5.3.
  • Built using the best-practice model-view-controller (MVC) programming method to separate presentation from programming.
  • Layouts designed using standard CSS for consistent rendering across different browsers.
  • Free documentation to help you create your own template and otherwise customize your site.
  • Drag-and-drop widgets to place content anywhere on your page with easy customization.
  • Search box with autocomplete.
  • Multiple link types supported including an Article link type which allows you to use phpLD as a blog or news site CMS.

What does phpLD cost?

As opposed to many other popular content management systems with categorical structure, phpLD is not free. As of May 2015 phpLD carried a pricetag of $60 or $25 depending on whether or not you wanted links back to the phpLD website removed from your site. The phpLD team also offers many add-on services and products such as installation of phpLD, a Multi Directory Checker to connect multiple installation of phpLD, a database backup utility, an invalid links checker utility, and upgrade patches from previous versions of phpLD.

Beyond the initial purchase of the software and any add-ons you select, hosting phpLD should not add any additional cost to your monthly hosting expense.

Why choose phpLD?

If you have a lot of content that will benefit from highly structured categorization then phpLD might be a great option for you. Where phpLD really shines is in instances where you have a huge quantity of data in the form of articles and links, and you need to provide an organizational structure that makes the content easy to find and also provide an easy way to link related content. Also, while phpLD can be used to be much more than a link network, if a link network is what you aim to build phpLD is one of the best options available.

What are some alternatives to phpLD?

If you’re looking for software to build a website with strong categorical structure, and want to consider some alternatives to phpLD check these other options:

  • phpMyDirectory: A premium paid application that is extremely flexible and can be used to create business directories, classified ads, link indexes, and more.
  • PHP Weby: A powerful and free directory application.
  • DirectoryPress: A premium (paid) and responsive WordPress theme you can use to turn WordPress into a listing directory.
  • SobiPro: A powerful free directory component for Joomla.

How do I install phpLD?

In order to install phpLD the first step is to purchase and download the application files from the phpLD website. Once you’ve done that track down the installation tutorial video on the phpLD website for step-by-step instructions.

While installation is not difficult it does involve some technical steps. Before proceeding you’ll need to be comfortable with FTP, creating a database in your hosting account control panel, changing file names and permissions on the server, and using the file manager in your hosting account control panel. If you aren’t comfortable with those things, then once you have the application files downloaded and have watched the installation tutorial, get in touch with your hosting provider for assistance. If you’re still having trouble after taking those steps you’ll probably be best served to purchase the installation service from phpLD.

Server Requirements

The most recent version of phpLD requires PHP5, a MySQL database, and FTP access. Most shared hosting accounts will meet these requirements, but if you aren’t sure double-check with your hosting provider before purchasing phpLD.

phpLD Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the most recent version of phpLD?

    As of May 2015 the most recent version of phpLD was version 5.2.2 which was released in December 2013 as an update to version 5.0 released in November of 2012.

  • Are link directories still helpful in increasing search results for sites included in the directory?

    In 2013 and 2014 Google initiated a couple of moves to penalize search engine results with too many directory-type listings. phpLD published an article on this topic in late 2014 and in general suggested that if websites were well-maintained (no empty categories) and contained legitimate content (not just a link) that they would continue to be an effective way to boost search rankings. if you’re interested in the details some quick work with Google or a visit to the phpLD site should help you locate their recommendations.

  • Does phpLD offer the ability to integrate location into categories?

    This is one of the neatest implementations of the latest versions of phpLD. With integration of Google Maps you can create a searchable map with listings populated directly onto the map. This is a great way to organize things that are geographically based. For example, if you were creating a website for a city you could use this tool to create map showing popular attractions in the city.

  • What are some examples of uses of phpLD?

    The phpLD website includes a list “Great Directories”. A quick scan of that list reveals the following uses for the application: a list of free resources online, a directory of car detailing companies, a directory of pet friendly hotels, a photography and tourism business website, a local businesses directory, a fashion industry directory, a directory of franchise opportunities, a mixed martial arts directory, and more. Most installations of phpLD are for directories. However, phpLD can also be used as a platform for just about any type of informational website as is the case for the photography and tourism business that uses phpLD as their website framework.

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