Thanks for the reply, i'll try to go through some of the important features i need below and explain what it is i am trying to do, so hopefully you can advise me on what solution is best.
First i should point out this is going to be a UK website, based on UK locations, how that is searched i am yet to decide, i was thinking the easiest way might be to create a category for all UK counties and major cities. comes to about 120 categories.
I then have 3 service categores : CCTV installer, Alarm installer, Access Control installer.
I need my customers to be able to choose what kind of installer they need, and then either choose or type in there location and search to find all the installers i have listed who work in that area.
From the installer point of view, i would like to be able to select not only what service they offer, but what areas they cover. And i was thinking this could be limited depending on what listing type they have, i.e free listings can only pick 1 service & 1 area... paid = more etc...
On my home page i wold like to be able to add "featured installers", i would like this in the main content randomly selecting say 8/10 installers from a list of featured installers i input.
i would also like to see the latest installers to be added to the site and the latest customer reviews of any installers.
i would also like a large list of popular counties / cities
all the above with links to there respective pages.
On the installer details page i want there name and address of course, along with contact details i.e telephone, fax, email & website.
then there company opening hours.
to the left of there details i would like there company logo.
below that i want a company profile, provided by the installer.
then i would like to list any organisations / associations that the installer is a member of.
then a map of there location, and list of other categories they are listed in.
obviously i would like the installers to be able to log in and change there information them selves.
With regards the order of listings i would like to be able to choose if i want the list ordered alphabetically or by "review ratings".
I also want to be able to set as many different listing types as i want, i.e free, standard, medium, high, etc.. and then to be able to set priority to listing types, so high are always first in listing, medium then below them etc.
this is all i can think of at the moment but i'm sure more will come to me later and i'll just post it in here...
If you have any suggestions on how i could move forward with this, i would be very grateful.
P.s heres a good directory here in the uk http://www.freeindex.co.uk/
i like the funtionality of that site, so am looking for similar, but obviously with my own design...