how to make a car dealership website

A car dealership website is possibly the best way to extend your car dealership’s reach and increase customer-friendliness, thus higher revenue!

Despite the growth in competition, a car dealership business is one of the best chances you have of starting a successful venture. Worldwide car sales are always growing, with 67.2 million cars sold in 2022, slightly more than the 66.7 million sold the previous year and much more than 56 million in 2020.

These numbers are quite encouraging for car dealers and aspiring entrepreneurs. This steady growth means that despite the competition, there are enough market share slices to go around. However, to get a good share demands that you do everything to position your business at the top of the food chain – this is where a car dealership website comes in.

Your site may skip the slow start and grow really fast if you follow some simple guidelines. In its early days, the owner of Trade Me playfully listed his website (and company) on eBay with a $1 million Buy-Now price tag. eBay took the auction down, identifying it as the prank it was. However, now the company is making millions, with its 2022 revenue hitting $59 million, making it the most profitable online car marketplace.

Creating your website is incredibly easy today, more than ever before, particularly with WordPress. Combine this with the ever-growing car market, and you have the perfect recipe for success. We will be explaining, step-by-step, exactly how to get there in this article without spending a fortune.

Here is how you can create an online car marketplace like Trade Me.

How to Create Your Car Dealership Website in 10 Simple Steps

Step 1: Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing a Domain Name

Embarking on the journey to establish your classified ads platform begins with a critical decision — choosing the right domain name. Selecting an ideal domain name is pivotal, as it should effectively encapsulate your brand identity and niche – car dealership. Strive for memorability and brevity to facilitate swift user recognition.

Additionally, consider the extension appended to your domain name, be it ‘.com’ or one specific to your country, like ‘.uk’ for the United Kingdom or ‘.au’ for Australia. Remember that opting for a country-specific extension may limit your audience to that particular region. Register your chosen domain name and extension with a reputable web host or domain registrar such as DreamHost, NameCheap, HostGator, or Bluehost to solidify your online presence.

Now that you’ve nailed down your domain, it’s like securing the address to your online home. Cool, right?

Step 2: Choosing a Web Host and Selecting a Hosting Plan

Hosting Plan

The significance of a reliable web host cannot be overstated. Your choice of hosting provider can shape the destiny of your website. You should prioritize hosts offering diverse hosting plans tailored to your needs. Round-the-clock customer support is crucial in evaluating hosting providers, while online user reviews can be a valuable resource for assessing their reputation. You can check the best manage WordPress hosting provider for your website.

A dependable web host assists with various site management functions and provides essential features such as site backups. With backups, you will always get all lost website data back in no time at all. You should also opt for a hosting service optimized explicitly for WordPress, ensuring preinstallation of WordPress, speed optimization, security measures, and complimentary backup plans.

Caution: You should remain wary of any host who promises a 100% uptime rate because it is literally too good to be true. This rate is impossible to achieve, and only 99% or 99.99% is reasonable. 

Think of your web host as the guardian angel for your website, always there to rescue it from digital mishaps.

Step 3: Opt for WordPress as Your Content Management System


The big question is, “Why WordPress?” The answer is known by a third of all the world’s websites that use it. This popularity places it first ahead of all content management systems (CMSs). Here is why it is so popular:

  • It offers Gutenberg, a free block builder that makes building a website without coding experience and a drag & drop interface simple.
  • Even without prior site construction experience, you can use WordPress to create your site in minutes.
  • You can download WordPress and manage a self-hosted account at no cost, since it is free.
  • WordPress is highly customizable and offers many themes and plugins that offer functional and design freedom, many of which are free.
  • It offers excellent support, including rich forums.

Step 4: Select and Install a Car Dealership Theme

Car Dealership Theme

Personalizing your classified website is effortlessly achieved by using an appropriate classified and listing theme. Among the myriad options available that are ideal for the niche, CLCar emerges as an outstanding choice its one of the best Car listing WordPress theme. This theme enhances the efficiency of your WordPress experience, providing a plethora of features that enable you to create your dream website quickly and easily.

CLCar is designed to showcase car listings, take user submissions, and manage car inventory. It gets you started with 2 exceptional homepages that are also highly customizable. The theme enables you to showcase your car listings in 4 grid and list view displays. With grid view, you have thumbnail images, key car feature descriptions with specs and pricing info; on the other hand, list view is a vertical list with more feature details.

With CLCar, you can showcase incredible details of vehicles, including car make and model, price, year of manufacture, mileage, transmission type, engine specs, body type, and other features. It allows you to work with unlimited custom fields and gives 8 relevant ones to get you started.

CLCar has multiple ad promotion options and a store and membership addon that enables you to enlist users as members with certain store privileges. Your users will enjoy a smooth browsing experience with the AJAX auto-complete search feature. CLCar ensures that what your users see is relevant to them with its category and location AJAX filters.

It offers premade page variations and allows extensive customization using the preinstalled Elementor page builder. Moreover, the theme offers multiple Elementor addons that enable you to add different elements and functions to your site easily. Since CLCar is compatible with the default block builder of WordPress – Gutenberg, it also includes some Gutenberg addons for you if you prefer the builder over Elementor.

Other CLCar’s features that you can enjoy include the following:

  • Multiple mapping sources (Google Maps and OpenStreetMap)
  • Multiple payment gateways
  • Buyer-seller live chat
  • Listing gallery with slider
  • Category-based custom field
  • YouTube and Vimeo video embeds
  • Business hours display
  • Seller and user mail notification for actions
  • Social share
  • Easy translation
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Mark listings as “sold”
  • Google ReCAPTCHA
  • SEO friendly with Yoast SEO supports

This theme offers many more features and enables you to create your website easily without needing to have prior site-building experience. It is highly customizable and allows you to change anything, but its out-of-the-box elegance and functionality is perfect.

CLCars takes your site’s experience to the next adventure with its innate features – snazzy, functional, and uniquely yours.

Step 5: Customize Your Website Structure

Customize Your Website Structure

Despite having a theme with predesigned pages and sections, you must stamp your brand and identity onto your website. However, the heavy lifting is all done with CLCar, since its elements and features are already tailored for the car dealership niche.

Opting for CLCar simplifies the customization process with the One-Click Demo Importer, facilitating the addition of pages to your site. You only need to install the theme, go to your WordPress admin dashboard on Appearance, and choose whatever you want to customize, be it the headers, menus, pages, or widgets.

Edit these pages to rearrange elements and adjust appearance to align with your brand. Work on the color schemes to make your pages and sections uniform or elegantly mixed up – you don’t want your site to appear chaotic. Create categories for ads, ensuring a neat layout with menus and submenus for easy user navigation.

If you need assistance with customizing any part of CLCar, its extensive documentation is available to help you out.

Step 6: Add Car Listings

Add Car Listings

If you want to have one person uploading the car listings, give them access or permission to do that. Alternatively, suppose you want to have users upload their used cars on your listings, you can enhance user engagement by allowing them to attach images and vital details to their products and services.

The buyers already have an excellent channel for accessing and browsing your listings. Be sure to include product descriptions, locations, pricing, and effective call-to-action buttons like ‘add to cart’ and ‘buy now’ to encourage user interaction. The live chat feature also enables you to communicate with buyers seamlessly. If you enable the rating and review feature on the listings, it can boost sales significantly.

Step 7: Optimize Your Car Dealership Website

Optimize Your Car Dealership Website

Having chosen CLCar as your theme, you effectively gain a website with excellent optimization for multiple functions, including mobile use, customer testimonials, social media integration, live chat, and user-friendly navigation with its menus. However, you should optimize the website for top performance by doing the following:

  • Add high-quality images to appear reliable and attract engagement.
  • Improve site speed by compressing images and leveraging browser caching.
  • Utilize plugins like the included Yoast SEO to optimize your site for top SEO performance.
  • Use analytics tools like Google Analytics to track user behavior, site performance, and traffic sources.
  • Use plugins that ensure compliance with regulations for privacy, accessibility, etc., such as GDPR plugins.

Step 8: Monetize Your Site

Monetize Your Site

CLCar streamlines the monetization process by offering various online and offline payment options. You can make more money from different monetization tactics than from selling cars if you strategize well! Here are a few effective monetization options for your car dealership website:

  • Sell user data and analytics to automotive industry marketing agencies, manufacturers, and analysts.
  • Host on-site events like car expos and charge sponsors for participation and promotion.
  • Provide financing options for potential buyers in tandem with financial institutions and earn from the interest.
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sell leads to industry players.
  • Adverts and sponsorships

Step 9: Promote Your Car Dealership Site

Promote Your Car Dealership Site

Maximize your site’s visibility through strategic promotion and marketing, which is achievable through different methods, including:

  • Regular content updates improve engagements and search engine rankings.
  • Conduct SEO reviews and update SEO elements to boost rankings.
  • Remain active on social media, respond to comments, and share updates.
  • Utilize Google AdWords for targeted outreach.
  • Employ affiliate strategies with websites in the industry.
  • Write engaging blogs to attract traffic.

Bottom Line: Having a Successful Car Dealership Website

By following these steps, you bypass the need for costly web coding professionals for site development. Apart from the cost savings, you have the opportunity to shape your precise vision personally. We trust you’re ready to launch your personalized car dealership WordPress site. All the best!

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at RadiusTheme is a team of WordPress experts lead by Mamunur Rashid. We have been developing WordPress Themes and Plugins from 2016, Also creating various WordPress tutorials.