A directory script refers to a content management system that categorizes information using a hierarchy of categories and subcategories. The user clicks on the category and then is presented with a list of items. The most common type of directory script is a link directory script, listing hyperlinks to websites related to each category. Other examples include scripts that categorize articles, classified ads, videos and business listings to name a few.
Before approximately 2000 there were few if any directory scripts available for sale or download. However, there were important sites that had created directories such as DMOZ and Yahoo. In the early years web directories were coded just with HTML, but as they got larger and the demand for directory submissions got more popular, webmasters and developers started to create their own scripts. Soon after that such scripts started to be shared. Often they were open source and available for free download. Then as demand for support and features increases many directory scripts moved to a paid model.