Do you want to get started with your online classifieds website, quick and easy?
You might think, “Is it even possible??”
It is possible!
Here, is the step by step procedure on how you can create, manage, and maintain a classified website on your own, without writing a line of code, in less than 45 minutes!
We’ll also see some money making tactics to earn through your online classifieds website, some tips for a perfect site and learn about the most common mistakes and misconceptions that may hinder the success of your classifieds website.
Here are the swift steps to get started with your classifieds website:
- Get a web address
- Hosting space
- Choosing the right platform to create your classifieds website
- Working on the designing part of your ad posting website
- Menus, pages, and links
- Adding the classifieds ads
- Money making through your WordPress classifieds website
- Maintaining and advertising
How to choose a domain name for your Classifieds website
Domain name, which is the web address for a website, are the first thing to be decided while creating a website.
You can use Bluehost for registering your domain address. The process is simple and easy.
Alternately, you can choose a hosting plan (refer the next step) and then choose the domain name and check out at once.
You can choose domain name according to your requirements, but here are a few guidelines that will help you choose an efficient domain name:
- A short name that represents your brand
- Use keywords
- Choose a domain name that is easy to remember
- Carefully choose the extension
- Choose a name that is easy to memorize
.com domains are the most popular and are good for classifieds websites. However, the scope of a classifieds website is generally limited to the specific county, so you can go for domain names that end with the country extension.
Choosing the host for your ad posting website
Got the domain name? Now is the time to subscribe for the server space to store our website data.
There are so many considerations while choosing a host.
Not just the availability, but the performance and usability of your website depend directly on the efficiency of your web host.
However, we recommend Bluehost for hosting your small business website. Read: Why BlueHost is the best hosting solution for your small business website?
Here’s a quick look on why we recommend Bluehost for your classifieds website
- 24X7 support by experts
- Pocket-friendly plans that fits your needs
- Excellent uptime
- Dedicated WordPress hosting (More on this later)
Choose a plan that fits your requirement and click “Select”. It will ask you for a domain name, you can either enter the domain name or if you don’t have one, you can get a new domain registered with the available options.
The next few steps will guide you through payment processing where you will have to enter some of your details and register yourself with Bluehost before paying. Once the payment is done, you can move to the next step where we’ll choose the platform to create a Classifieds website.
Choosing the right platform to create your classifieds website
Today, when you have hundreds (if not thousands) of website building tools available, the question is about choosing the best platform to develop your website.
WordPress has all the features that you may need to create a full-fledged classifieds website. Have a look at the benefits of using WordPress.
Advantages of using WordPress for your classifieds website
- Free and open source
- Easy to use
- Extensibility – Add a plugin and add features to your website
- Availability of themes and plugins in abundance
- Trusted by large number of people
- SEO friendly, number of plugins to help the optimization of your website
WordPress is one of the most popular CMS and an additional perk of using it to build a classified website is that even the hosting businesses provide WordPress optimized hosting. These services allow you one click WordPress install and optimized performance.
Personalization – Choosing a theme and working on the design
Now that we’re going for WordPress, the next step will be the theme search.
WordPress themes are more like ready made websites, with example/dummy data. So all you need to do is to pick up a theme and replace the example data with the actual data.
However, these themes are generally very flexible and allow you all the options to manage the theme’s appearance as well as features.
Choosing a Classifieds WordPress theme
WordPress is a popular CMS and there are hundreds of themes available for different niches.
The theme has all the features and a very flexible design. Moreover, it is very easy to use. However, if you want to use a different theme, you can choose a suitable WordPress Classifieds themes using this list.
Different themes have different methods of setup and customization.
But the premium themes you buy come with documented guide on how to use and manage the theme so you can handle it all by yourself.
Managing the design of the Classifieds Directory website
The best part about WordPress and WordPress themes is that they both are very flexible.
The best premium classifieds theme will always come with enough options to let you modify how your website looks.
The Classifieds directory child theme comes lets you manage the theme appearance with abundant customization options and a live customizer (that reflects the changes made in the site real time, so you can get a preview before you actually save and apply).
So, as a part of primary customizations, you can change the colors of your site (which is totally optional!) and upload the logo. Alternately, you can manage what you want to be shown on the homepage by rearranging the various widgets.
Menus Pages and links
Once you customize the theme and make it look the way you want, now is the time to create useful pages and accumulate the important links on the homepage so that the visitors can access it quickly. We’ll first create/update pages.
Creating the pages
A website is in fact, a collection of different web pages.
You would want different pages on your website with different functionalities and information. The themes generally come with pre-designed pages for different purposes. You can just open the pages and update the data.
To change the sidebar widgets, you can head to the widget section under the appearance menu and change the sidebar widgets of the required page.
Managing the menus
WordPress menus are so easy to create and manage.
Now that we have our pages ready, we can link them with the menu and sub-menu items as per the requirements.
Here’s a guide on – How to create and add menus to your WordPress website?
Linking the pages
So we now have our pages ready, but how will the users know about it?
By providing relevant links on the homepage of your website.
As a convention – The most important links are provided as menu and sub menu items.
For instance – The link for the page that lets the front end users submit their classifieds listing is presented as a button on the homepage of classifieds WordPress theme.
A button quickly draws the attention of the users.
So linking pages to the menu, sub menus and buttons on your website depends totally upon you.
Adding the classifieds ads
Once you create a classifieds website, you would want to add some classifieds listing on your website.
As an admin of the site, you can log in to your dashboard, and use the backend options to add the classifieds listing.
Click on the add classified button and use the form to insert a category into your website.
Choose the category of your classifieds ad
Choosing the category while you add a classifieds listing is important in many ways:
- It helps keep your website organized
- Helps the visitors to find relevant ads without wasting time on other categories that are irrelevant.
The image below shows a screen capture of the homepage of the Classifieds directory theme. It is the best example of proper categorization helps the visitors quickly find what they want. They won’t have to spend time searching for different categories. Instead, they can directly select their category and search for the relevant products.
Add high-resolution images
The next and most important thing to do is to add a photograph of your classifieds product.
Pictures express more than words can!
It is always recommended to add high-quality images in your post. Especially when it’s a classifieds website, where you are selling physical products.
In the example below is the detail page of a product, and as you can see, there are multiple images of the single product. These images help explain your product better to your prospect customers.
Add other information
With the images, proper title and category selected, you can add other important details about your product. The most important of which is setting the price.
In short, whatever you want to mention about the classified product, you should jot down.
The more information you provide, the better!
Money making through your WordPress website
Creating and managing classifieds requires time, resources and efforts.
And when you are investing so much, it’s very natural to expect something in return.
In this section, we’ll see how your online classifieds ads directory helps you earn passive income.
Initially, there are two simple ways to earn through your website.
- Ad monetization
- Paid classifieds listing submission
As your website grows and the traffic increases, you can look for newer ways to earn through your classifieds website.
But to start with, let us see how these two basic methods work.
Advertisement banners on your classifieds website
Displaying advertisements on your website is the simplest and most efficient way to earn through your website.
Thankfully, the classifieds Directory theme comes with ad spaces.
You can display advertisements almost any part of your website.
So, all you need to do is to find the sponsors who want to advertise on your website.
And be assured, once your website starts gaining enough traffic, there will be a lot of people who would want to advertise on your website.
Quick tip: You can set different prices for displaying advertisements at different places on your website.
For instance – The homepage captures more attention than any other page, so advertising on the homepage can be costlier than advertising on the category page or the detail page. Similarly, an advertisement banner right below the header gains more focus than that on the sidebar or footer. So the prices can be set accordingly.
Paid classifieds ad listings
A classifieds website is where people post their advertisements. However, you can decide if you want the people to post for free or charge for their advertisements.
Classifieds WordPress theme works on the directory principle. And it has all the features to allow paid classifieds submissions,
Configure the payment processor
When you are allowing paid front end submissions, you need to allow the visitors to pay online.
The Classifieds WordPress theme comes with PayPal integrated, so you can just configure it with your credentials and start using it for collecting online payments.
Besides, it allows compatibility to a number of payment processors. So you can choose the one that suits you the best.
Create price packages
To display the pricing plans for submitting classifieds listing on your website, you can create the pricing packages.
The Classifieds directory WordPress theme allows you to create as many pricing plans as you want. You can create different price packages with different prices and different conditions.
Let’s understand this with an example –
In your website, you want 3 packages. The basic package that allows the users to submit 5 classified advertisements for $100 within 30 days. The next package allows submitting 10 classifieds advertisements for $175 within 3 months. And there’s a quick package for a single submission, for $25.
So different users with different requirements can choose accordingly.
The submit classifieds button
Done creating the price packages and ready to accept payments?
Now, this final step aims to ensure that the submit classifieds button is easily accessible, right through the homepage.
The best themes will come with this button positioned on the homepage, near the header itself, but if for some reason it is not there, you can create a button or a highlighted link directing to the submit classifieds page.
Maintaining your classifieds website
Websites like classifieds and directories need maintenance and monitoring.
Obviously, modern tools and techniques make it easy to build a website, but how well it runs depend only on how well you maintain it.
For a classifieds website, there are two tasks that you need to perform right after you put your website online.
Advertising and promoting on different platforms
Yes, just like the other business can take the help of your website to display their ad banners, you too can take help of theirs to promote your online classifieds directory.
Choose a relevant platform for displaying your advertisements.
If your website is a local classifieds directory, you can just advertise locally.
Resort to the local media, use the social media, and local newspaper or television channels.
Maintaining your classifieds directory website
You will have to consistently maintain the quality and content of your website.
Most importantly, you need to keep a check on what the users submit.
The classifieds ads should be meaningful and confusion free. so checking on the content of your classifieds post is important.
Here are a few other things that you should take care of:
- Updating site with the latest data
- Checking on the quality of content posted on your website.
- Keeping a watch on the users who register
Turns out that creating a classifieds directory website is easier than it seems, isn’t it?
So, wait no more!
There’s no better time to start than now.
Good luck :)