Once you have decided on a good brandable and keyword rich domain for your bidding directory, the next step is to get a script installed. There 3 well known scripts, and custom developed scripts that could possibly power your site.
Firstly, lets talk about why the script you use will matter.
It will affect how easy your site is to view for visitors. Yes thats right, a badly designed script can cause navigation problems or slow down your site. This could cause your precious visitors to head straight for the big red X.
It can affect the amount of submissions you get. This could potentially be a big problem if you get it wrong. A script with no automatic payment processing, no form to submit site details, or giving little benefit/attention to listed sites and the top bidder will not do you and your sales any favours.
It is important to be as user friendly as possible. These include making payments automated and run smoothly, rather than the user manually sending you the payment. Giving listed sites good benefits such as their own detail page is another necessary feature. As the site is a bidding directory, one of its main features is to send traffic. This initiated by displaying top sites on the homepage. Part of this feature can be done through the design, however the script plays an important role in this. The link leader should be displayed on all pages of the site. It gives them the maximum benefits of being listed there, such as more backlinks and being displayed on every page.
Now i will go into more detail about different types of scripts, and their advantages and disadvantages.
The first types of scripts available are “on the shelf” scripts. These are available to the public both free and paid.
Firstly we have the newly popular “link bid script“. This can be downloaded at http://www.linkbidscript.com/. The advantages of this script are quite numerous. Its free; you can get it installed for free; you can get free furture upgrades; and there are many free templates to download. This script looks quite promising. Any downsides to this may be lack of support as the script is free, lack of development due to no sales revenue, and perhaps lack of user contributed modifications and templates as the script is new on the market.
Next we have the phpLD bid script. The script is based off the market leading php link directory script, which can be downloaded for free at http://www.phplinkdirectory.com. The advantages other than it being free include that it is based on the most widely used web directory script available, so there is an enourmous amount of mods, templates, support and help available out there. That includes a huge official forum with thousands of members to help you out. There are however some big disadvantages. Firstly the script is free so may lack future developments. Also, the biggest worry i feel is, the script was never made to be a bidding directory script. There are little advantages to be listed on the homepage other that you may be listed on a page with higher page rank. Bidding directories are supposed to give traffic to listed sites, and the way this script was built, this is not maximised to good effect. Top bidding sites are often shown towards the bottom of the page under a hughe amount of categories. Of course, this could easily be changed by re-arranging the design, however I feel as the script was never made to be a bidding directory script it does not offer directory owners the potential to maximise their earnings using this script.
The next script is the market leader in bidding directory scripts - phplinkBid. It is my personal favourite which is why i use it on Zorg Links. It is packed with features, and those it lacks look set to be added in the soon to be released version 1.4. The script can be downloaded at a tiny amount of $30, available at www.phplinkbid.com. The $30 is a small price to pay for what could ultimately earn you several thousand dollars a year. There are many mods and free templates around already, and the site includes a nice active forum to help new users get established.
The next type of scripts arouund are bespoke/custom “off the shelf” scripts. These are made just for the directory owner, specifically as to how they want the script to work. The advantages of these scripts are that your directory will be unique. It shows you have spent time and money trying to look different from other directory owners. Good examples of custom made scripts are the popular big web links and ventedoy. They look great and have all the features that other bidding directories have, plus more such as the ability to be notified when your listing gets out-bidded. The disadvantages of these scripts are few, mainly it will be quite expensive to get one made for you, and they are not publicly used so any bugs may not be found and fixed as quickly.
I think thats it for a longish post. Feel free to leave a comment with your feedback as usual, and let me know if i have missed anything.
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