I don’t think a generic web directory is very worthwhile these days. We are still keeping the old Open Directory Project going, now at curlie.org. But, now it is owned by one person who has their own idea of what matters. Software seems to matter more than getting people involved or helping them find it (again, or ever). One way or another I think the old directory is a bygone thing. Although I still like working on it and still (for some reason) can’t leave it behind, I don’t believe it is important any more.
But, I do think a list of links, better to think of it as a list of resources, about a specific topic, is a good thing and very useful. So I am still keeping and building my links for urban exploration and ASCII art and a few other things.
I have found that just an HTML list of links is a bit iffy. For some reason they end up a mess almost every time I have tried. Unless it is a very short list, three or so links. Larger lists seem to get muddled with HTML and one link gets the URL of another link and the original URL is lost, until you hunt for it again. It’s frustrating. So I am using software, which has its own little battles and hurdles.
Here is my current list of useful software for keeping a list of resources (or web directory), specifically for WordPress and ClassicPress sites.
Link Library – I’ve tried others, may others, but I come back to Link Library. Not only is it steady, reliable and free to use (be kind and donate to support the plugin) but it brings out more features and is still in development and it works. It is huge when you first load it and try to work your way around. There is some help at GitHub, a wiki, which helps. Don’t get discouraged or flustered, just keep working at it.
Simple Link Directory – I paid to use the pro version of this plugin. But, setting up links with categories is so confusing… I just wanted to stop spending so much time on just understanding how it works. I wasn’t making progress, my links were sitting in text files waiting for me to add them but I kept having to add more categories that weren’t categories because that’s not how this works. Maybe its because I’ve worked in a web directory for so many years and got used to doing things in that way… but this never got simple for me.
Simple Links by Mat Lipe – This plugin is now closed, as of this month. I don’t know why, likely assorted reasons. I still have my paid version. But, I never got it to set up my link lists the way I wanted them, even with the addons. It is a simpler plugin to work with than Link Library. If you can get, or still have, the paid version keep going with it.
Simple Link Library Plugin – Right now I’d say this is a back up plan. I did try it a little but it seemed to rely on the old core WordPress link plugin, which I already had. The screenshots look good and it says it has a broken link checker. It’s one I’d keep a link around for.
Lastly, for people who keep lists of links I highly recommend Broken Link Checker. Although Link Library has this feature, others do not. Or, if you want to keep lists of links as regular posts to your site instead of using plugins, you really need something to help you keep track of which links have moved, changed, or bit the dust.
In the past I have posted other lists of software for this: