Connections Business Directory


Showcase | Documentation | Support | Templates | Extensions

Quite simply, Connections Business Directory is one of the best business directory plugins available for WordPress. Its simplicity in design and function, vast array of unique features and versatility are the reasons more and more people are turning to Connections Business Directory for their directory needs. You can use Connections to create a simple address book, maintain a staff or member directory and run a business directory or link directory. Connections Business Directory was built bottom up to be as configurable as possible while providing the features you need. Read on to learn about some of the best features Connections Business Directory has to offer…


  • Compatible with all themes including popular themes such as Avada, Divi, Enfold and OceanWP.
  • Compatible with most popular page builders such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, Brizy, Visual Composer, Fusion, SiteOrigin, etc…
  • Supports the WordPress Block (Gutenberg) Editor with the following blocks.
    • Directory Block :: Use this block to embed your directory in a page.
    • Team Block :: It’s easy to use Connections to build your team page! Team Block is a full featured block with multiple layout styles. While premium team plugins can set you back $20 or more, Team Block is free for all Connections users.
    • Upcoming List Block :: Use this block to display an upcoming list of anniversaries, birthdays or other events.
  • Highly rated support.
  • Continuously updated bringing you new features for free.
  • Dashboard admin page where you can see at a glance today’s anniversaries and birthdays as well as upcoming anniversaries and birthdays of members in your directory.
  • Multiple entry types from which to choose; such as individual, organization and family. The family entry type is unique to Connections. This entry type allows you to group individuals together as a family which makes Connections ideally suited for creating a church directory.
  • You control which entries are viewable to the public and which entries are private, viewable for logged in users only. You can even have entries set as unlisted so only admins can view them.
  • Repeatable fields for address, phone numbers, email, IM, social media, links and dates which allow you to add as much or as little as you need for each business in your business directory.
  • Hierarchical (nested) category support. Businesses and members in your business directory can be added to any number of categories.
  • Include a biographical text for an individual member or business description for each entry in your business directory using an easy to use rich text editor.
  • You can easily add a business logo or photo of the staff member for each entry in your business directory or staff directory. The photo and logo images are fully responsive with HiDPI (Retina) display support.
  • Scalable, manage directories which contain hundreds of thousands of entries.
  • CSV Export of addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and dates.
  • CSV Import of nested categories.
  • Role capability support.
  • Displaying your business directory on the frontend is as simple as putting a shortcode on a page. Don’t let this simplicity fool you. The shortcode provides a large array of options that are just too numerous to list. To learn more, go here.
  • SEO. Every entry in your business directory outputs following the hCard spec. Soon to be updated to following
  • Extensible and developer friendly.
  • Robust templating support with the Template Customizer. Several basic templates are provided to get you started with you business directory with many more premium templates available to really make your business directory shine.


Here are some great free extensions (with more on the way) that enhance your experience with Connections Business Directory:


  • Toolbar :: Provides quick links to the admin pages from the admin bar.
  • Login :: Provides a simple to use login shortcode and widget.
  • Anniversary and Birthday Emails :: Add the ability to automatically send a customizable email to entries on their anniversary or birthday.

Custom Fields


  • Face Detect :: Applies face detection before cropping an image.

Premium Extensions

  • Authored :: Displays a list of blog posts written by the entry on their profile page.
  • Contact :: Displays a contact form on the entry’s profile page to allow your visitors to contact the entry without revealing their email address.
  • CSV Import :: Bulk import your data in to your directory.
  • Custom Category Order :: Order your categories exactly as you need them.
  • Custom Entry Order :: Allows you to easily define the order that your business directory entries should be displayed.
  • Enhanced Categories :: Adds many features to the categories.
  • Form :: Allow site visitor to submit entries to your directory. Also provides frontend editing support.
  • Link :: Links a WordPress user to an entry so that user can maintain their entry with or without moderation.
  • ROT13 Encryption :: Protect email addresses from being harvested from your business directory by spam bots.
  • SiteShot :: Show a screen capture of the entry’s website.
  • Widget Pack :: A set of feature rich, versatile and highly configurable widgets that can be used to enhance your directory.

Premium Templates

Connections Business Directory comes with a couple templates to get you started which fully support the Template Customizer. In addition to these free templates there are many premium templates available to take your business directory the level visually.

  • Circled :: A simple but bold template specifically designed for displaying small team or staff directory.
  • cMap :: Our most popular go to template for a business directory and chamber of commerce business directory, featuring full Template Customizer support.
  • Excerpt Plus :: Simple design which features a directory entry name, photo thumbnail and excerpt.
  • Gridder :: Another simple but bold template which displays the directory in a grid layout. Perfect for displaying a small team or staff directory
  • Slim Plus :: Specifically designed to take up as little space on the page as possible.
  • Tile Plus :: This template was purposely designed to display the directory in a grid or column layout.

Developer Friendly

  • Open development on Github.
  • Access to 180 action hooks and over 300 filters … and counting.
  • Term API.
  • Custom Metabox and Fields API.
  • Template Engine and API.
  • Fragment Cache API.
  • Log API (stateless and stateful).
  • Admin Notices API.
  • Email API.
  • Settings API.

Connections Business Directory has a very flexible template engine. The loading of template and CSS are context aware. This means you could create specific templates that load when a user visits a specific entry, category, postal code and more.

Templates and CSS overriding is very granular and update safe. Check out these links for the details:


Connections Business Directory has been embraced around the world and has been translated by its users in the following languages.

  • Arabic [60% Complete]
  • Catalan [52% Complete]
  • Croatian (Croatia) [22% Complete]
  • Danish [31% Complete]
  • Danish (Denmark) [29% Complete]
  • Dutch (Netherlands) [49% Complete]
  • Finnish [78% Complete]
  • French (France) [90% Complete]
  • German (Germany) [86% Complete]
  • Greek (Greece) [69% Complete]
  • Hebrew (Israel) [61% Complete]
  • Hungarian (Hungry) [52% Complete]
  • Italian (Italy) [58% Complete]
  • Norwegian [13% Complete]
  • Persian (Iran) [52% Complete]
  • Polish (Poland) [52% Complete]
  • Portuguese (Brazil) [77% Complete]
  • Portuguese (Portugal) [24% Complete]
  • Romanian (Romania) [69% Complete]
  • Russian (Russia) [40% Complete]
  • Serbian (Latin) [2% Complete]
  • Spanish (Latin America) [49% Complete]
  • Spanish (Mexico) [99% Complete]
  • Spanish (Spain) [99% Complete]
  • Sweden (Swedish) [96% Complete]
  • Turkish (Turkey) [58% Complete]




This plugin provides 3 blocks.



A comprehensive list of FAQs can be found here.

How do I install Connections?

Installation instructions can be found here.

Using the WordPress Plugin Search

  1. Navigate to the Add New sub-page under the Plugins admin page.
  2. Search for connections business directory.
  3. The plugin should be listed first in the search results.
  4. Click the Install Now link.
  5. Lastly click the Activate Plugin link to activate the plugin.

Uploading in WordPress Admin

  1. Download the plugin zip file and save it to your computer.
  2. Navigate to the Add New sub-page under the Plugins admin page.
  3. Click the Upload link.
  4. Select Connections Business Directory zip file from where you saved the zip file on your computer.
  5. Click the Install Now button.
  6. Lastly click the Activate Plugin link to activate the plugin.

Using FTP

  1. Download the plugin zip file and save it to your computer.
  2. Extract the Connections Business Directory zip file.
  3. Create a new directory named connections directory in the ../wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  4. Upload the files from the folder extracted in Step 2.
  5. Activate the plugin on the Plugins admin page.
How do I display the business directory on my site?

We have a QuickStart available that’ll walk you thru the most basic setup. Basically all you need to do is, create a page, and add the [connections] shortcode and then start adding entries to your directory.

Will it work with my theme?

Connections Business Directory has been designed to work with any theme.

Is Connections Business Directory translation-ready?

Yes it is. Connections Business Directory comes with many user supplied translations. We use Transifex to manage translations. This service make it easy for us manage and easy for you to translate. To read more, see this page.

Is Connections Business Directory compatible with WordPress Multisite?

Yes it is. However, do not Network activate Connections. Activate it on only the subsites that you wish to use Connections.

Is it possible to share entries with other sites within a WordPress Multisite installation?

Yes this is possible but there is a special setup required to do so. It is recommended this is done before added entries to your business directory.

  1. Activate Connections Business Directory the primary site.
  2. Add define( 'CN_MULTISITE_ENABLED', FALSE ); to your wp-config.php file. NOTE: If you have added any entries to any of your subsites, that data will be lost as Connections will read the directory entry data from the primary site’s database tables.
  3. Activate Connections Business Directory on the subsites you wish to use Connections.
What are the requirements to run Connections?
  • WordPress version: >= 4.4
  • PHP version: >= 5.2.4 ( >= 7.0 is highly recommended)
  • NOTE: Upgrading from version 0.6.1 and newer only, is supported. Previous version must upgrade to 0.6.1 before upgrading to the current version.


October 9, 2019
We use Connections Business Directory to create a password-protected photo directory on our church website. The directory itself is easy to use and has templates that work well for us. I recently encountered a problem when exporting data to create a print directory (which I do with mail merge, as recommended by Connections). Steve provided prompt support through the WordPress forums and, when the problem persisted, provided more direct support as well. Everything is working well now, and I love being able to update my print directory with the push of two buttons!
October 8, 2019
If you have trouble they will do what is needed to get things running again. The support is very friendly and fast. Couldn't ask for better support!
August 21, 2019
I installed the free plugin and it worked great right out of the box. My directory was functional and looked really good. There was one thing that I wanted to add to my website since my directory is so large and that was pagination so my pages would load quicker. I purchased the cMap template and not only did it provide pagination it also added a map (hence its name), a search feature that searches the directory (super cool) and it came with great support. Pretty good for roughly 20 bucks. It was easy for me to customize the template to fit in with my website but when I ran into an issue regarding changing the font size, Steven, the plugin developer, was able to get me an easy to install code in less than 2 hours that worked perfectly. I am super impressed with the plugin and the support and wholeheartedly recommend that if you need a WordPress directory to choose the Connections Business Directory.
August 20, 2019
Great plugin, really professionell and fast support - Highly recommended.
Read all 341 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Connections Business Directory” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“Connections Business Directory” has been translated into 1 locale. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Connections Business Directory” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.


Complete Changelog can be found here.

9.3.1 10/02/2019

  • TWEAK: Add the loading=”lazy” tag to support Chrome 76+ of Chrome which supports native lazy loading of images.
  • TWEAK: Add timestamp to admin JS version so Chrome will load changes.
  • TWEAK: Set max height of category div to 100% to allow variable height.
  • BUG: Fix addon plugin install link for multisite.
  • BUG: Add a check if var is an array and the key exists exists before using it.
  • BUG: Change target selector for jQuery UI Resizable for the Category metabox so the drag handle does not scroll when scrolling thru the list of categories.
  • DEV: Update dist files.

9.3 08/23/2019

  • TWEAK: Add an info box on the Connections Dashboard admin page to improve discoverability of the free addons.
  • REST API: Introduce the ../wp-json/cn-api/v1/settings/ REST API endpoint.
  • REST API: Introduce cnSettingsAPI::getRegisteredRESTOptionProperties().
  • REST API: Update the schema for all registered settings checkbox fields for better validation and sanitization for the Settings REST API endpoint.
  • REST API: Couple minor tweaks to the Entry REST endpoint.
  • OTHER: Remove the TSL logo from the assets.
  • DEV: phpDoc correction.

9.2 08/16/2019

  • NEW: Register settings with the WordPress REST API.
  • TWEAK: Remove the featured partners metabox from the Dashboard.
  • TWEAK: Remove the Featured partners section from the Connections group on the Add New Plugins admin page.
  • BUG: Fix the results displayed on the Connections group on the Add New Plugin admin page.
  • REST API: Add schema properties to all core settings options so they will be registered with the core WordPress REST API.
  • I18N: Update POT file.
  • I18N:Update MO files.

9.1.1 08/05/2019

  • BUG: The Directory block should call the same callback as the shortcode so the login required message can be displayed.
  • BUG: Ensure when setting a preferred contact detail that it does not cause an empty value to be added.
  • BUG: Remove test CSS from Directory block.
  • TWEAK: Check for valid array before attempting to pull a value by key in cnArray::pull().
  • I18N: Update POT file.
  • I18N: Update MO files.
  • DEV: phhDoc correction.

9.1 07/22/2019

  • NEW: Introduce cnEntry_Social_Network.
  • NEW: Introduce cnEntry_Social_Networks.
  • TWEAK: Add cnEntry_Social_Networks and cnEntry_Social_Network to the dependency registry.
  • TWEAK: Refactor cnEntry to utilize cnEntry_Social_Networks when working with social networks attached to entries.
  • TWEAK: Limit the requested fields in the page select editor control to the id, parent and title fields to limit processing for faster responses from the server.
  • TWEAK: Add code to fix the copy entry action. Needs additional testing, leave the action disabled for now.
  • DEV: phpDoc corrections.

9.0.2 07/10/2019

  • BUG: Fix hard coded URL fetching the brand icons.
  • DEV: Update build dependencies.
  • DEV: Update dist files.

9.0.1 07/02/2019

  • TWEAK: Extra checks to help ensure no PHP notices are generated by the new social media network fieldset options.

9.0 07/02/2019

  • FEATURE: Introduce the Social Network filedset config options.
  • TWEAK: Tweak display of social media icons a bit in the Team Block for improved display.
  • TWEAK: Add rel="noopener" to social network and website links for increased security.
  • BUG: Incorrectly applying the link type options filter to the date type option.
  • DEV: Fix typos in inline code comments.
  • DEV: Update dist files.

8.44.1 06/12/2019

  • BUG: Prevent PHP notice from being shown in some cases.

8.44 06/11/2019

  • NEW: Introduce the cn_frontend_enqueue_styles action.
  • TWEAK: Clear cached response after plugin update check to ensure when an addon plugin is updated it will not continue to display as an updated is available.
  • TWEAK: Pass the require attribute to the checkbox field type.
  • TWEAK: Add required attribute to the select field.
  • TWEAK: Move class prefixing to occur before adding the required class.
  • TWEAK: Add error styles to then entry form checkboxes.
  • TWEAK: Bump max WP version in dependency checker.
  • TWEAK: Use webpack to bundle admin CSS.
  • TWEAK: Break out the brandicon and fonticon picker CSS into their own files and import them into the admin CSS file.
  • TWEAK: Remove the brandicon CSS from the frontend CSS file and and import the brandicon CSS file instead.
  • DEV: Continue laying the foundation for the font icon picker support for the social network settings.
  • DEV: Update dist files.

8.43 05/17/2019

  • TWEAK: Do not save previous entry query results in an array. Doing this made doing REST changes have odd results.
  • BUG: Check for WP_Error before calling cnCountry::getDivisions() to prevent a potential fatal PHP error.
  • BUG: Ensure the permalink option for an entry image is converted to a bool.
  • BUG: When loading Gmagick, properly set the default image quality.
  • BUG: Additional checks to prevent PHP notices when using the default geocoder.
  • OTHER: Readme tags tweaks to stay within proposed plugin guidelines.
  • DEV: Remove unused code.

8.42.1 05/13/2019

  • NEW: Introduce the cn_export_add_bom filter.
  • BUG: Correct regression from last update which could cause icon font conflicts.
  • BUG: Correct the brandicon version when enqueuing the CSS.

8.42 05/10/2019

  • NEW: Introduce cnRetrieve::getEntryBy().
  • COMPATIBILITY: Rename the icomoon font-family to Connections-Brandicons to prevent naming conflicts with theme’s and other plugins which have not renamed their icomoon icon font libraries.
  • COMPATIBILITY: Dequeue the Striking theme CSS on the Connections admin pages.
  • TWEAK: Readme.txt tweaks.
  • TWEAK: Check if object property is an array before counting to prevent PHP warnings.
  • TWEAK: Tweak admin CSS enqueuing to enqueue on the required CSS on specific Connections admin pages.
  • TWEAK: Admin CSS tweaks to ensure Brandicons and FontAwesome do not conflict on the Connections admin pages.
  • OTHER: Remove commented out HTML code from the settings admin page.
  • OTHER: Bump Tested up to version 5.2.
  • OTHER: Continue laying the foundation for the font icon picker support for the social network settings.
  • OTHER: Update minified admin CSS files.
  • BUG: Correct social networks fieldset settings ID.
  • DEV: phpDoc correction.
  • DEV: Update dist build files.

8.41.2 05/02/2019

  • TWEAK: Do not clear the addon update check cache when doing addon status check. This causes unnecessary addon update checks to occur.
  • TWEAK: Since supplied last_checked property is being restored before returning the transient data in update checks, no need to set it with time().

8.41.1 05/02/2019

  • TWEAK: Use the cached last_checked value from the cn_update_plugins option instead of the value supplied by WordPress since third party plugin libraries alter it in a way that can cause excessive plugin update checks.
  • TWEAK: Restore timeout value for license status checks.
  • TWEAK: Remove the action to clear the cn_update_plugins option when wp_clean_plugins_cache() is called to reduce frequency of addon update checks.

8.41 04/30/2019

  • NEW: Add option to display country names in the address country autocomplete in either English or in their native translation. The later being the default which matches core WordPress when displaying country names for the site language preference.
  • TWEAK: Tweak to expiration of cached extension status checks.
  • OTHER: Update EDD-SL Plugin Updater library from 1.6.14 to 1.6.18.
  • TWEAK: Do not subtract the timeout value from time when setting up the last checked property.

8.40.2 04/26/2019

  • TWEAK: Update the user agent to match the extension plugin info request.

8.40.1 04/25/2019

  • TWEAK: Tweak to expiration of cached extension update checks.
  • DEV: Reverse change to composer.json.

8.40 04/19/2019

  • NEW: Add brand font icons and use webpack to process the frontend CSS.
  • NEW: Update the social media icons to use the brandicons.
  • TWEAK: Default image quality should be 82 not 80 to match WP core.
  • TWEAK: Remove the legacy/advanced single entry template option.
  • TWEAK: Suppress the display of the “Custom Fields” metabox by default on new installations matching core WordPress which hide its “Custom Fields” metabox by default unless enabled by the current user.
  • OTHER: Remove the WP REST API shims since they are no longer required as Connections require WP >= 4.7.12 (WP REST API was added in WP 4.7).
  • OTHER: Bump minimum required PHP version to 5.6.20 to match WP 5.2.
  • OTHER: Include the Font Awesome index source maps.
  • OTHER: Start laying the foundation for the font icon picker support for the social network settings.
  • BUG: Ensure the permalink setting for the entry image respects the permalinks setting.
  • DEV: Update clean-webpack-plugin.
  • DEV: Manage Chosen and Picturefill 3rd party vendor assets using npm/webpack.
  • DEV: Update Chosen and Picturefill 3rd party vendor asset paths when registering with WP.
  • DEV: Manage Fontawesome and fontIconPicker 3rd party vendor assets using npm/webpack.
  • DEV: Remove npm as project level dependency.
  • DEV: Update the npm autoprefixer dependency.
  • DEV: Update the package.json engine for npm.
  • DEV: Commit the updated package-lock.json file.
  • DEV: Use @wordpress/default as the babel-loader-default.
  • DEV: Match core WordPress autoprefixer config.

8.39.1 04/09/2019

  • TWEAK: Update links to plugin site from http to https.
  • TWEAK: Remove link to features requests forum from dashboard quick links.
  • TWEAK: Update link to support in plugin meta actions links.
  • TWEAK: Add support link to admin nav to make it more discoverable for the user.
  • TWEAK: Rename the Messenger IM option to Live Messenger so it is not confused with the Facebook Messenger.
  • TWEAK: Do not make Live Messenger IM user ID links since the service was cancelled my MS quite awhile ago.
  • TWEAK: Adjust processing of Advanced Block Options for the Team block so the internal limit value can be overridden.
  • BUG: Remove debug code from the Directory block.
  • BUG: Correct the array index for the excluded categories in the Team block.
  • OTHER: Bump minimum required PHP version to 5.6 to match WordPress core.

8.39 04/03/2019

  • FEATURE: Introduce the new Team block.
  • TWEAK: Sort countries from their native name in the country drop down.
  • TWEAK: Core WP changes some default admin styles. Tweak the class names assigned to the Manage admin page character index so the render correct in < WP 5.1.
  • BUG: Honor the public/private override settings when determining if the current user can view.
  • BUG: Do not import the SCSS files in the Directory block since they are unused.
  • BUG: Fix undefined index PHP notice when data type was disabled but entry had that type assigned. Now it defaults to the default data type.
  • DEV: Organize the block components into sub folders.
  • DEV: Alias @Connections-Directory in webpack so components could be imported using that alias.
  • DEV: Add JSDoc to the blocks.
  • DEV: phpDoc correction.

8.38.1 02/20/2019

  • TWEAK: Logic tweak to prevent array_map() PHP notices from being generated by the shortcode.
  • TWEAK: No need to assign $response on return.
  • TWEAK: Check for preg_split() fail.
  • OTHER: Add missing changelog header.
  • DEV: phpDoc Correction.

8.38 02/19/2019

  • FEATURE: Introduce Filters to the Editor Directory block as autocomplete fields to bring the block into feature parity with the shortcode.
  • NEW: Introduce the AutoComplete REST API endpoint.
  • TWEAK: Refactor the Upcoming List block to return a Fragment vs. an array to stop React browser console error messages about missing key.
  • TWEAK: Load block editor scripts in the footer.
  • TWEAK: Use cnSanitize::args() instead of wp_parse_args() in cnTemplatePart::listAction_ViewAll() to strip unnecessary args to prevent PHP error messages when displaying the character index.
  • TWEAK: Allow shortcode callback to receive arrays for the filters to support the Directory Editor block.
  • OTHER: Update Author URL in plugin header.
  • OTHER: Update URL property in package.json.
  • OTHER: Remove console logging of the category store.
  • OTHER: Update frontend minified CSS file.
  • DEV: Make webpack a little less chatty.
  • DEV: Add $ as an external dependency to webpack.
  • DEV: phpDoc correction.
  • DEV: Add lodash as a block editor dependency.
  • DEV: Update build files.

8.37 02/04/2019

  • FEATURE: Add searchable category checklists to the Directory block to allow excluding/including the selected categories in the directory.
  • NEW: Register the category store.
  • NEW: Introduce the HierarchicalTermSelector editor component for rendering a searchable category checkbox group.
  • TWEAK: Bump minimum support WP version to 4.7.12.
  • TWEAK: CSS tweak to the search input to help keep themes from breaking it.
  • TWEAK: Do not use time() for version when enqueueing the editor script. Used current plugin version + last modified time.
  • BUG: It seems the post type meta needs to be passed back as a return value from withSelect() in the page select control so the pages are properly indented for their hierarchy.
  • BUG: Correct category taxonomy REST base endpoint.
  • OTHER: Correct mistaken default and named imports/imports.
  • OTHER: Add whitespace.
  • OTHER: Remove unused code from directory block.
  • OTHER: Correct code alignment.
  • DEV: Reorder package.json keys.
  • DEV: Add JSDoc comment blocks.
  • DEV: Tweak Travis config.
  • DEV: Update Webpack to latest.
  • DEV: Update build files.

8.36.1 01/15/2019

  • TWEAK: Update block editor javascript dependencies to include all WP core editor dependencies.
  • TWEAK: Import withInstanceId from @wordpress/compose instead of pulling it from the global wp object.
  • TWEAK: Ensure $orderByAtts is defined to prevent PHP warning.
  • TWEAK: Add a few more styles to help prevent themes from breaking the map.
  • TWEAK: Add a few prefixed CSS attributes for increased browser compatibility.
  • OTHER: Update copyright year.
  • DEV: Update dev dependencies.
  • DEV: Update minified files.
  • DEV: Update build files.