This is the right time to create a classified website like craigslist and start making money online. Especially when there are so many means available for you to create and manage your website on your own, at an affordable price, and without technical assistance.
This makes it very easy for you to create maintain and manage a website which can make money. The WordPress Classifieds Plus theme is designed for you to create a website like Craigslist.
In this article, we have tried answering few of the very common questions people have before starting a classifieds business.
- What do you need to create a Classifieds website?
- How to create a classifieds website like Craigslist
- Types of Classifieds website you can create
- How much can it cost to create a Classified website like Craigslist
- How to promote a classifieds directory website?
What do you need to create a Classifieds website
Of course, the first question that comes to your mind when you decide to create a classified ad directory is the pre-requisites.
The only things you need before getting started:
Hosting & Domain name:
A decent host, with great uptime, that promises you smooth performance for a better user experience, while being affordable.
Further in this article, we have discussed how to choose a domain name and hosting service for your WordPress Classified website and also attached a link to a special article for the same.
A WordPress Theme
For creating a website with WordPress, you can choose from a free or premium WordPress Themes. There are a lot of premium theme companies that create custom niche WordPress themes for building amazing website.
The themes can be used by non-technical people to create their own website without any technical assistance from experts.
Even though using WordPress plugins is totally optional, over time, you will need some plugins for your WordPress site. For instance, you will need some email marketing integration, or a payment processor or an SEO plugin for your site.
How to create a classifieds website like Craigslist?
Here are some of the simplest steps you can follow to build a website like Craigslist from scratch:
1) Get Domain and Host
First of all, you will need to come up with a domain name that correctly represents your website’s purpose. Always keep in mind that the domain name should make sense to your visitors and not just you.
So keep it short, unique and meaningful. This will make it memorable for your visitors. Also, try coming up with some alternative versions of the same so that you can try for if the name you want is not available.
Here’s a guide on how to choose a host and domain name for your WordPress site.
2) Setup the domain and hosting/connect to WordPress
Most of the hosts will come with the feature to allow you to directly download and install the latest version of WordPress on your host. If your host doesn’t come with such a facility, you can follow the instructions provided to install WordPress on your host.
3) Find the theme
It is always difficult to choose a theme since there are so many options available. You can choose a theme to build a classified site from this list of Classified WordPress themes.
You can pay for the theme and download the zip file that we will install in the next step.
4) Install the theme
Once you have WordPress installed, you can login to your WordPress dashboard using your WordPress user name and password. From now on, you won’t need to access your hosting dashboard all the time.
From your WordPress dashboard, you can navigate to the Appearance section and choose the option to install the theme. Upload the zip file and click install to install your Classified theme. Once the theme is installed, you will be asked if you want to install the sample data too.
We highly recommend installing the sample data, it makes the theme more intuitive to use.
5) Customize the theme
Now that you have the theme and sample data installed, you can start editing it to personalize your website.
- Update the logo and footer credits
- Change the colors and backgrounds if you wish
- Update the theme with original images for your site
- Setting up the menus
- Changing the homepage arrangement as per your requirements
- Setting up the sidebars, widgets, etc.
- And the list goes on..
Different users may want different changes in the theme to create unique website. Above listed are some of the basic changes you would want to make in a website, but there can be many other changes you can make.
The technical steps to manage your website and edit your website with WordPress will be available in the theme guide. All the Premium WordPress themes come with a technical documentation to help you use the the theme features, that explains the options to let you create a website like Craigslist from scratch.
6) Using the Classified feature
When you use a premium Classified theme like Classifieds plus, you get all the ready to use features to quickly build money making Classified website with WordPress. They come with a Classified management interface where you can set-up, maintain and manage the classifieds related features.
Using these features is very easy. You can simply manage everything with the intuitive dashboard options. The following is the tasks you need to follow:
1) Create categories
First and foremost, you will need to define the categories for your WordPress classifieds website. The categories help keep your listings organized and makes it easier for the visitors to post as well as find the Classified ads of their choice.
You can create classifieds categories in hierarchical format where you can have the parent categories as well as child categories. Make a list of all the different categories of Classified ads that you want on your website and add them as classifieds categories on your website.
2) Custom fields and post types
The ability to create and manage custom post types as well as custom fields is what makes your Classifieds Plus theme so flexible. You can use the inbuilt feature to create a new custom post type, and even create and add custom fields to it.
For example: On your classifieds website, you also want to create a post type called locations on your website where the visitors can post the locations for sale. Therefore, you can add a special post type, and assign special fields to it.
3) Price packages
The WordPress Classifieds theme allows you to create different price packages that the visitors can choose from. The price packages can have different rates, and different offers. For instance, a pricing package called Gold plus that allows the subscriber to post 10 classified advertisements for a fixed price, or one called basic that allows the subscriber to post 2 classified ads at a fixed price, or a free package to post a classified ad under the most common category on your website.
The price packages can also be category specific, therefore, you are free to set high prices for certain categories and offer the others at a lower price.
The pricing package feature lets you have full flexibility in terms of setting rates for different activities on your website. There are so many different features to let you earn trough your classified websites and the ability to create and manage pricing packages will let you make the best use of them.
4) Setup the payment methods
To enable online payments on your WordPress website, you will need to setup a payment processing method. The WordPress Classifieds Plus theme comes with PayPal support and even that for offline payments.
However, there are a lot of other payment gateways you can integrate based on your requirements and what fits the best for your website.
5)Promote & start accepting submissions
Creating a website is easier with all the advanced tools available on the internet but the difficult process is getting the deserved and required traction. Especially an online directory like a classifieds website requires a lot of promotion to let the people know about it.
There can be different ways of promotion that can work best for you based on the operational geographical area, the target audience, the intent of your website, etc. And even though it looks like a difficult nut to crack, over time you will discover the ways that work the best for you.
To build a website like Craigslist where people can find and post classified ads from the front end, they should be first made aware of the advantages of having such a platform. That is what you should keep in mind when promoting your Classified ads website.
6) Listing management
Once your website starts getting enough traction and you start accepting online front end submissions, you should start keeping track of the classifieds listings on your website.
This is where you will need to focus on listing management, where you should watch for expired listings, remove what’s not relevant, see that proper categories are selected, etc.
Listing management is a big part of WordPress directory management.
Types of Classifieds website you can create
Some ideas for making the most with your WordPress Classified Plus Theme:
1) A niche WordPress Classified Website
You can create a classified website that specializes in a certain area, and not a general purpose classified website. For instance, a classified website where the users can come and search for parts of cars and other vehicles and sell them as well. Or a classified website that specializes in children’s items including toys, books, clothes, educational accessories, newborn’s section, etc.
Generally, when you hear the name of a Classifieds website, a multipurpose classifieds website comes to your mind. A classifieds website like Craigslist has multiple categories. It allows people to post under diverse categories like Electronics, books, home and kitchen, music instruments, children’s section, clothing, etc.
But a niche classified directory can be regarded as a subset of just one of the main categories, with the sub categories as the main category. For instance, a classifieds website for home and kitchen appliances. Such a website can have categories like Kitchen tools, electric appliances, Crockeries, Furniture, Home furnishing, storage and organizers, Dining table accessories, etc.
Creating such a website can be very beneficial and gives you a higher chance to rank well with the best visibility since the keywords are more focused as per the niche. Moreover, such a website becomes easier to manage as the categories are not too diverse.
2) A multipurpose Classifieds website
This is a general purpose ad posting directory website like Craigslist. A site like Craigslist comes with multiple and diverse categories. You can make a site like that where people can browse from the listings on the site, and register and post on your site.
This allows the local people and business to post the classified ads on your site. It acts as a middle ground for the buyers as well as sellers. Here, the buyers can advertise their products and services under different category while the buyers can browse from the available options.
Creating such a website has an advantage since it attracts diverse target audience. Building a classified site might need time and efforts, and patience till it gets enough traction, however, they are sure to bring the best results and most revenue.
3) Any other kind of Directory site
The Classified Plus theme is in fact a fully functional Directory theme, and with the custom fields it becomes easier to create classified directory of almost any kind.
You can use different addons with the Classified Plus theme and create your own version of directory with the services you want to offer.
a) Job board
Even though the theme is aimed for creating ad posting websites, you can use it for creating a job posting website with the jobs addon.
b) Business directory
You can create a business directory with the Classified theme with just the inbuilt post types by creating custom fields or using the location based listing feature.
c) Business directory + A classifieds website
You can create a business website with WordPress along with a specialized section for classifieds with the Classified Plus theme.
d) Business directory + classifieds + Jobs + events & much more
The possibilities are practically unlimited. Since the Classified Plus theme supports custom field, you can actually set what kind of listing you want to create.
It enables you to add or remove fields from your post type, and you can create a whole new post type with just the fields you want. You can also add location features and use the geo-tracking features for location based results. And therefore, creating almost any unique kind of online directory, whether it is a Classified website like Craigslist, or a Job listing website, or an event directory, or a business directory, you can do it all with the Classified plus theme. And what more, you can combine all of these features into a single directory!
However, we also have dedicated theme for creating online directories and add-ons like Jobs, Events, Deals, Classifieds, real estate, etc. So you can choose from one of these directory themes and use these add-ons to create feature packed and useful SEO friendly online directory websites.
The Classified Plus theme and the rest of our directory themes are specially designed for those who want to earn online by setting up a business directory. They can provide the business a platform where they can pay and post their listings to advertise themselves. However there can be many different ways to make your directory website more interesting as well as to monetize it.
Our Directory add-ons are the tools that you need to do so. There are different plugins and add-ons that you can download and add to your Classified plus directory website to make it more efficient and interesting.
There are different plugins to include different features. Some of the interesting ones are:
The List Filter: The List Filter to add advanced filtering to your website so that the visitors can get the most relevant results instantly and therefore a better user experience.
The Map Customizer: The toolbox to let you customize the maps on your website
Field Monetization: If there is an important field on the listing, you can ask the users to pay more for that particular field. You can create different pricing packages with different fields using this plugin.
Access Manager: Want to create a member’s only website. You can use the access manager add-on to create different access rules and restrict the viewership.
Ad Manager: Helps you properly ad monetize your directory website by creating more opportunities for targeted advertisement based on the city, and let different advertisement appear for different pages and event types.
Cost to create a Classified website like Craigslist?
One of the major concern of people trying to build a website is the total investment they should be ready for. There was a time when creating a website was an expensive venture, but not anymore.
Now we have too many companies competition with each other in both domains, the hosting as well as website building tools. And that makes it easier to acquire best services at best prices.
However, when you wat to make a website like Craigslist, for a Classified ads business, you can do it with minimal investments with WordPress.
1) WordPress is totally FREE
The beauty of WordPress is that it is a totally free, secure and easy to use platform. And that is exactly what you will need to create a site like Craigslist that can make you money.
There are other website building platforms that are paid, and offer their services for a monthly fee. WordPress offers you nearly the same easy of website building with all the intuitive options on the dashboard. The only investment you will need to make is for hosting and a good WordPress theme.
2) Hosting charges
WordPress is not a self hosted platform. You will require a reliable server space to host your WordPress website.
We recommend using Bluehost for hosting your website. It is a very reliable host in terms of performance, affordability and best uptime. It is also good domain name registrar to get a domain name from.
But there are some advantages of using hosting services + WordPress instead of self hosting platforms. The first and foremost is that the self hosted platforms are comparatively very expensive. You can easily acquire reliable & secure host for your classified ad website.
Moreover, the with hosting services you have full flexibility. You can switch from one service provider to another if you are not satisfied with one, or if you find a cheaper or better alternative.
The self hosted platforms for creating website can sometimes be restrictive of the features and plugins you can use with them, while with WordPress – you are free to add as many plugins you want into your site.
How can I avoid the hosting charges?
Such services come with a fixed monthly rent, that includes the hosting, and using their framework to build your website. However, you will have to pay extra for premium themes, advanced features in the form of add-ons, security features, etc.
Therefore, even though it looks like you are not paying for hosting, you are actually paying for it in form of the monthly fee.
3) WordPress Theme
The WordPress themes are more like a ready to go website, with example data, that you can directly install into your website. All you need to do is replace the example listings, categories, pages, and images with your original content and your website is ready to perform.
Fortunately, there are so many different WordPress Theme companies to get beautiful WP themes from. You can rely on Themeforest to find niche WordPress Theme for your website. WordPress themes can cost anywhere from $20 to $200 and it’s a one time fee with a limited time support and sometimes free updates. It depends on what the Theme price offers you.
4) (Optional) WordPress plugins
WordPress removes all the limits on what you can do with your WordPress website since it is an opensource platform. But for the non-technical people, the WordPress plugins allow you to integrate your website in form of WordPress plugins.
However, they are very affordable and completely optional. Moreover, there are so many useful WordPress plugins available for free. Checkout this list of best WordPress plugins.
5) Extra services
A live website will sometimes need extra services in terms of security, malware scanner, a translation or a backup service, page building, etc. The cost of the service will depend on the type of service and the service provider you choose.
The internet has opened up doors for so many new opportunities. One of them is the ability to be able to conduct business online. It’s been prevalent since a long time, but with the new tools and techniques, it has become easier and accessible to everyone of us.
Even if you are not a technical person and have zero experience of website building, you can still create and manage your own website like a pro, and even generate passive income through it.
Having a website is not a bad idea at all, so get the Classifieds Plus theme and start your new business venture, right from the comfort of your home, and without having professional experts involved.