The 7 Steps to build a classified ad website with WordPress

Updated on By

WordPress is an ideal platform to create almost any kind of website. In this tutorial, we describe the steps you need to perform to build Classifieds website with WordPress.

We also have an in depth tutorial on how you can create a classifieds ads site like Craigslist, but in this article – we have tried to streamline the logical flow you can follow to create a classified site.

You cannot go wrong with your WordPress website building, when you have a proper understanding of the whole process.

When you choose WordPress for your classified ads website building, you can be certain that you will not have to learn coding or designing, to build or even to perform the regular maintenance of your classifieds website.

Infact, you will be able to manage your site with very intuitive dashboard options, without touching a line of code.

Even if you have never created a website before, you can use WordPress, and a classified ads theme to create an awesome, fully functional and money-making website on your own. The steps to create such a site will be:

  1. Selecting a WordPress Theme
  2. Domain name and hosting service
  3. Install the theme and import demo data
  4. Customizing your WordPress Classifieds theme
  5. Classifieds feature setup
  6. Promoting your classifieds website
  7. Classified website maintenance routines

Let’s learn about each step, in a bit more detail:

1) Selecting a WordPress Theme

The first step is to select a reliable WordPress theme to create your site. A perfect theme will make your website building process a lot easier.

Since a WordPress theme comes with the design as well as features built in, we can consider it as a complete template. You just have to install it and update it with actual data and your site is ready.

Moreover, the premium WordPress themes come with easy options to let you manage your site. Especially the page builder based themes will provide you a lot of flexibility when it comes to website designing.

For a classified website, you can search for the keywords “Classified WordPress theme” and you will find a number of interesting themes to use for your site.

The classified theme should come with a good design and all the required features to create such a site: paid and free classified ads submissions, classified categories, pricing and so on.

2) Domain name and hosting

Another important decision that you will have to take regarding your classified ads site will be choosing a reliable hosting service.

Always consider a secure host with a good bandwidth and up time because a Classified website is a directory style website. Therefore, the expected traffic is generally high. And speculating the number of visitors is also not possible.

Therefore, at peak times – your host should have good ability to handle the traffic. You can choose the hosting service based on your location and the expected traffic.

Moreover, you can start with the basic hosting package, which is affordable and upgrade as and when required. Generally, you host will offer you many different packages with different services.

Also, the domain name will represent your site and will be a part of your site’s URL and therefore, you should choose it with utmost considerations.

3) Installation & Setup

This step includes several mini steps:

1) Installing WordPress on your host

WordPress is one of the most popular website building tools. It powers over 35% of all the websites on the internet. It is easy to use and very flexible and that’s why chosen by both – professional developers as well as business owners without any technical know-how.

If you choose to build your classified ads website with WordPress, you will need to install WordPress on your host. But mostly all the hosts today provide you a one click option to install WordPress. All you have to do is to choose WordPress as your website building option and it will automatically download the latest version of the software and install it for you.

2) Connecting the host to your domain name

This process can be completely different based on the host you have chosen. However, The hosting providers understand that all the website owners are not technically skilled people and therefore the hosting control panels have clear, intuitive options.

And if you find it difficult, you can access the help documents or even contact the support to help you out.

3) Installing the WordPress theme


Installing WordPress theme and WordPress plugins is really easy. There’s an option to upload the theme file in the dashboard, and same for the plugins. Or you can simply follow the steps mentioned in your respective Classifieds theme guide and install them on your own.

The WordPress dashboard is quite easy to use. You can just upload the theme zip file downloaded from the theme store and upload them and press install button. Once installed you can activate the theme and then start editing it.

4) Installing subsidiary plugins (optional)

The same will be the process to install & activate the WordPress plugins. The options to control the theme and plugins are different, but the overall process to install a theme and plugin is always easy, and very straightforward.

4) Customizing your Classified website

This can be considered as the most fun part of your website building journey. Especially if you are eager to get creative and implement your own ideas for your site.

Personalization of your site

There can be as many customizations as you want in your site, or as many as your theme allows. You can start by simply changing the logo, the branding and the footer credits of your site.

Since WordPress themes come with pre-designed pages, you would want to update the design. And maybe change the color and backgrounds of your pages.

Upload the images

Images play a very important role – for the appearance of your site, for the user experience, and even for the SEO friendliness of your pages.

Always use optimized and good-quality, as well as meaningful images on your website. You can use an image optimizer to ensure that all the images that are uploaded to your Classified ads website (including those submitted from front end users) are automatically optimized.

Create menus

Menus on your classified ads site are the main form of navigation. Based on your Classified ads theme, or your requirement, you can have one or two menus on the homepage.

It is essential that the menus are thoughtfully created to make navigation smoother. Include all the important pages. Wherever required, try to create a hierarchical form that makes it easier for the visitors to browse through your site.

Homepage optimization

The homepage of your website will be one of the most visited pages. So try making it as intuitive as possible. As you can see in the image below – the homepage of our Classified theme is constructed to include all the important parts.

There is the category part right below the header, from where the visitors can directly choose the category and get the results they need. There are also some featured classified listings and even the sidebar widgets to connect to the important parts of the site.

Regardless of the theme you choose, you should always have a clear idea of all the content that you want to be displayed on the homepage of your classified ads website.

Other changes

You can even change the layouts of other pages. Sidebar of your web pages is also a very important part and can be used efficiently to cover all the important details.

As mentioned earlier, the customization of your classified ads website is totally up to you. You can use the inbuilt options of the theme and WordPress dashboard, to completely change the look and feel of your site. Or you can even choose to use the theme as it is just by replacing the example data with your original content.

5) Classifieds features setup

Once done with basic customization, you can move towards configuring your classified ads site with the features. The previous step was to setup the appearance of your site, in this step – you can setup the classified features.

Creating categories

Categories are very important, for two main reasons. Firstly, they help the visitors find the listings of relevance easily. Secondly, they help keep the listings on your website organized.

Most of the well known classified ad themes come with the option to create category specific pricing. This makes it possible for you to allow posting under some categories for free while charging different rates for different categories is also possible.

Setting up payment methods

You can now setup the payment methods on your site to be able to accept payments online. Your classified advertising theme will come with some payment methods included, while you can use plugins to include more payment processors.

This will be mostly based on your location and the preference of your target audience. These days, most of the successful classified websites have multiple payment options. That is the best way to go. Your visitors will appreciate your online classifieds site even more if they have choices, especially in terms of payment processing.

Creating payment packages

Even though the Classifieds WordPress themes come with all the features built in, you should create your own pricing plans.

For most of the Classifieds site themes, the process will be quite simple. You can create a new payment package for your online classified ad sites- setup a name, set the values for different options. For example: the number of listings allowed for the package, the number of days the advertisement will be live for, the categories you can post under and so on.

6)Promoting your classifieds website

Blogging for beginners: Promotions and advertising

With your online classifieds site configured with all the required features, you can now start promoting your website to get the traction.

You can use different means of promotions for attracting people towards your site. First of all, allowing free classified ads for the first few months of your Classified website will definitely work. It helps you build fresh useful content as well as to promote your classifieds site amongst the business.

While free classified ads offerings is a great way to get started, the best means for promotion may be completely dependent on your classified site’s niche, the target audience, the area of operation, etc.

Furthermore, you can rely on paid advertising, social media and other sources to promote your classifieds site. This indepth guide on Classified site promotion will help you further.

7) Classified website maintenance routines


Your classified website is a type of directory site which will require regular maintenance. Some of the maintenance routines associated with your classified ads website are:

  1. Checking the listings are submitted under the right categories
  2. Ensuring the credibility and truthfulness of the content submitted through free or paid front end listing
  3. Regulating users and transaction management, listing management
  4. Removing expired listings, if any
  5. Creating new content, updating the site with offers, discount, etc.

The one’s mentioned here are just a few examples of what your WordPress classified site may need, in terms of maintenance. There can be a lot more to that.


Share This Post:
Disclosure: This page contains external affiliate links that may result in us receiving a commission if you choose to purchase mentioned product. The opinions on this page are our own and we don't receive additional bonus for positive reviews.