Good Free/Cheap Links Directory Script?


macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 15, 2001
The Cool Part of CA, USA
I'm going absolutely nuts trying to select a links directory system for my site. I'm basically looking to set up a Yahoo Directory-style subsection of my stie to categorize links and give brief reviews of them. Currently I'm using Gossamer's free Links 2.0, and it actually has all the features I want, but it's crusty--flat file database, not particularly easy to customize the look, and hasn't scaled well.

Note that this is NOT a big, hefty site, but I like to plan for scalability "just in case". It's an anime review site, and I want a not-so-integrated links section to match up with the reviews.

Anyway, maybe someone here can offer some advice (I'm sort of cross-posting with my webhosts's forum, but I trust the folks here more).

Features I'd Like:
*Free or very cheap
*Categories and sub-categories
*Basic category and link suggestion system, with admin review before posting
*Either nice looking or very easily templated
*System for automatically checking the database for dead links
*Text descriptions, and some way to rank some links higher than others in the list ("editor's pick" or whatever)
*Ideally MySQL backend, but builds static HTML pages
*Also ideally has been updated some time in the last, say, 5 years (not a dead project, that is--most seem to be)

I'm wondering a bit about the static pages--on one hand, maybe it's silly to try and do old-school static pages when it's not likely to generate enough traffic to warrant worrying about sever load (shared server) with dynamically generated pages via PHP. On the other, on the freak chance that it gets very popular, I care more about content than flashy features, so it seems silly to be hammering the server when all I really want are static pages (since they only update when the admin aproves new links, anyway!).

The systems I seem to have narrowed it down to include:

1) cpLinks: Beautifully simple, uber-easy templating, builds static pages from a database, but under-featured (no validity checking, no "editors pick" system, doesn't look like the admin panel would scale well).

2) PHP Link Directory: Looks cool, there's both a free 2.0 version and a $25 3.0 version with a few extra fancy features I probably don't even need. But no static pages.

3) Hot Links SQL: Looks absolutely ideal, does everything I want... except it's $89. That's a little stiff for a hobby page, and I can't test to see if it'll even run on my host.

4) Snow Blind Development Directory Script. Attractive design, not overloaded with features, and has a nice but obvious feature that you can suggest a new category and submit a link at the same time (do others offer this and I'm just not seeing it?). However, no static pages, and it doesn't say anything about dead link-scanning, plus it'll cost $40 to find out.

I also tried Barracuda, which is slick looking, but uses HTTP authorization so required me to run PHP as a module instead of as CGI (which my host prefers), plus it doesn't build static pages and it's sprayed with their advertising if you don't pay.

Are there any other good options I'm missing here? Anybody tried any of the above scripts and have an opinion?


macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2006
I tried cpLinks but I was unhappy with the way the sub cats were not visible until you enter into the main category.

Then I put "Duncan Carver's Link Management Assistant"
on my site but I don't like the lack of static (or indeed any) pages

I tried php link directory but the lack of static pages was no good.

I tried 'linker' but there were too many features

I tried 'chipmunk scripts link directory' but it is so ugly

In-fact I have tried no end of link directories and I can't find a good 'un, what I would like is a link dir that looks like php link directory but with static pages and the recipricol link checker of "Duncan Carver's Link Management Assistant" so no joy there!