Back in 2002 a client suggested we create a local business directory and incorporate it into our NetBizWeb site — http://www.netbizweb.com/business-directory/. The idea seemed to make sense, so we wrote the code to make it happen.
The original business directory
Our original South Florida Business Directory (on our NetBizWeb site) drove many new customers to listed merchants. It grew to have many thousands of listings. However, as time passed it got a little long in the tooth.
It was originally built using Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP), and later migrated to the .NET platform. It ran very fast and served a useful purpose for many years. But there were some issues:
- Information provided in the listings was rather limited
- Maintenance was time consuming
- Listing descriptions were of very limited length
- Interactive maps of business locations were not available
- Business photos, logos, etc. were not included in listings
- Visitors could not send a message to a listed business
- No links to social media were available
- The website was not mobile friendly
The importance of the last two bullet points cannot be underestimated! They are driving a revolution in website design and development. Today modern websites (and their business directories) must feature:
- Mobile friendly responsive design
- Easy linking to social media
Modern shopper expectations
Shoppers now expect business websites to be easy to use when viewed on their mobile devices. Local business owners also understand their websites need to become mobile friendly.
With these considerations in mind, we decided to add a new directory to our MyNetBizWeb site. It was a “proof of concept” project. The idea was to see how a business directory would perform if we leveraged the power of:
- Genesis Framework
- Enterprise Pro Theme by StudioPress
- Business Directory Plugin
The results were very encouraging. Listings accumulated and we were happy with our efforts!
The NetBizWeb makeover
With the success of our MyNetBizWeb project we decided it was time to makeover our NetBizWeb site — including the South Florida Business Directory, with the thousands of listings.
The NetBizWeb makeover project went well! Our South Florida Business Directory continues to be a valuable source of new customers for local merchants. Smiles all around!
The final step
With the NetBizWeb makeover complete, it made little sense to maintain two separate local directories. So all business listings on MyNetBizWeb were merged into the South Florida Business Directory — which now runs on NetBizWeb!