Now that the software is installed, it's time to customize it to meet your specific requirements. This quick guide contains a comprehensive overview of all the necessary steps to follow.

Note: your new website will be in maintenance mode on initial setup because it does not include any listing types. For more detailed instructions on how to create an initial listing type, see the "Creating an Initial Listing Type" chapter below.


Securing Your Administrator Panel.

If the installation was performed by a phpListings employee, your administrator panel password was generated randomly. We strongly recommend that you change it to a more complex password. This can be done by visiting the "Administrator - Users - Users" section and updating the administrator account owner name, email address, and password. It is also recommended to refresh the "Authentication Token" value and set the administrator account's local time zone.


General Configuration Settings.

Visit the "Administrator - Settings - Settings" section to customize the global configuration settings of your new directory website. The most crucial options on the "General" settings tab are "Custom Header Javascript" and "reCaptcha Settings". The former is used for the Google Analytics code integration and can also accept any HTML or JavaScript code you want to appear in the <head> section of every public page HTML code of your website.

The "reCaptcha Settings" fields allow you to activate the Google reCaptcha feature, which strengthens your website security and is a required option. You must issue your reCaptcha v2 (I am not a robot) domain keys at

Finally, in the "Security" tab of the "Settings" panel, we recommend that you refresh both the "Encryption Key" and "Authentication Key" settings. Please note that this action will log you out, so you will need to re-login.


Enabling Automatic Email Notifications.

The next step is to enable automatic email notifications. Click the "Email" settings tab of the "Administrator - Settings - Settings" section to configure the SMTP mail server IP address/domain name and mail account access credentials. You can refer to the hosting service manual for the port number and supported encryption type (the most commonly used SMTP port number is 587, and the default encryption (security protocol) is TLS).

Note that an active SMTP server is already available in your hosting account if you are using cPanel. The steps to set up and access an SMTP server in cPanel may vary slightly depending on your specific hosting provider and version of cPanel, but here is a general guide:

  • Log in to your cPanel account through your hosting provider's website.
  • Look for the "Email" section of your cPanel dashboard and click on "Email Accounts".
  • Create a new email account or choose an existing email account that you want to use to send emails.
  • Scroll down to the "Manual Settings" section of the email account details page, and locate the SMTP settings. The SMTP settings will typically include a server hostname or IP address, a port number, and a security protocol (such as SSL or TLS).

If you encounter any issues or are unsure about any of the steps, you can contact your hosting provider's support team for assistance.

Note: if the messages are still not sent, please check the emails queue on the "Admin - Emails - Email Queue" page to make sure your queued messages are in the "Pending" state. If some of the messages are in the "Failed" state, please select them and use the "Resend" bulk action in the bottom of the page to resend those.

Also, double-check the configured SMTP server access credentials and unlock the "mail" scheduled task if it appears in the "Locked" state for more than a minute in the "Administrator - Settings - Scheduled Tasks" section.


Creating an Initial Listing Type.

Creating a listing type is a primary post-installation step as no listing types are added by the installation routine by default to let you create a directory website for your specific needs.

In phpListings, "listing types" refer to different types of content that your website users can create, such as business listings, events, classified ads, property listings, job postings, articles. Each of these custom listing types has its own unique set of categories, form fields, membership plans and other information, which makes it easier to organize and display the directory content in a more structured way.

Visit the "Administrator - Settings - Listing Types" section and click the "Add Listing Type" button to create your first listing type.

Note: listing types are not categories! While both listing types and categories are ways of organizing content in phpListings, they serve different purposes.

Listing types are a way to create new types of content. For example, you might create a custom listing type for "Businesses" if you are running a local business directory website.

Categories, on the other hand, are used to group related content together. They are a way to organize your listings within a listing type so that users can easily find what they are looking for.


Adding Categories to a Listing Type.

Categories are used to organize listings within a listing type. For example, if you have a listing type for businesses, you might have categories such as "Restaurants," "Hotels," "Shopping," and "Services."

Navigate to the "Administrator - Content - Type name - Categories" section to add categories.

Note: at least one category is required for each listing type you add.


Setting up Listing Products.

Listing products are used to define pricing and payment options for listings within a listing type. For example, you might create a "Basic Listing" product that allows users to submit a free listing with limited features, and a "Premium Listing" product that offers more advanced features for a fee.

Listing type's products can be managed in the "Administrator - Content - Type Name - Products" section.

Each listing product must include at least one pricing plan that sets the price and duration for that product. You can create multiple pricing plans per product.

Note: at least one listing product with at least one pricing plan is required for each listing type.


Quick Overview.