Almost as old as newspapers themselves are the classified ad sections on them. In the contemporary world, actual newspapers are also gradually becoming obsolete. More people are reading newspapers online rather than on hard paper. Classified ads on newspapers now reach a smaller audience. However, that doesn’t mean that classified ads, in themselves, are obsolete. They have only necessitated improvisation, by posting them on classified websites, where people who need products and services can access them.
Creating a classified website gives you and anyone else who wants to sell their goods or services a platform for doing that. It also provides a platform for those who want to buy them can come and shop for them. If you want a classified ads website of your own, here is a step-by-step guide to doing it without the need for hiring web coding expertise.
Step 1: Select a Domain Name
The first thing you should do is select the domain name for your website. This name should be a concise description of your brand. It would help if you made it short and easy to recall.
You can then choose the extension you want it to end in. You can either use one of the popular extensions such as .org or .com or settle for an extension that is country-specific, for instance, .uk for the United Kingdom and au. for Australia. You should only choose a country-specific extension if you want to restrict your classifieds website to an audience of that country.
After choosing a domain name with your extension of choice, the next step is to register it. You may go for a popular domain registrar such as GoDaddy, Namecheap, and Domain. Alternatively, you can register the domain name with the web host that you choose in step 2.
Step 2: Choose a Web Host and a Hosting Plan
Choosing a web host is a delicate part of the process. To select the best one, you should go for the one that provides many hosting plan possibilities, exceptional uptime, and support around the clock. Some of the best choices include Bluehost, HostGator, Hostinger, DreamHost, A2 Hosting, and many more. You should make sure you know what your host can offer that others can’t.
When choosing a hosting plan, you can select an optimized plan for WordPress. If you do, you get a pre-installed WordPress account, optimized for fast performance and security. Furthermore, most such plans will provide automatic backup services for your website. The backups should give you an easy way to restore your site if you happen to lose the data on your website.
Step 3: Choose WordPress as the Content Management System for Building your Website
WordPress drives more than one-third of all websites on the planet. This makes it the most popular content management system since it is preferred by most of the website owners. One of its benefits is its ease of installation; you can install WordPress to full functionality in less than five minutes. Other advantages include:
- You can download it and install it for free on your self-hosted account.
- It is user friendly as it is easy to figure your way around it.
- It is incredibly customizable and offers many themes and plugins, which come with myriads of functionalities and design variety to your website.
Step 4: Choose a WordPress Theme and Customize it
A theme takes all the heavy lifting off your hands. Since you want a classified ads WordPress website, you can get a classified ads WordPress theme that comes with all the features and elements that you need for your website, including pages and shop functions. One of the best themes for this function is Classima. It offers 6 different homepages, each of which has a unique design to impress your users. You can edit them to achieve whichever look you want.
Classima offers the Elementor Page Builder, which comes with a drag & drop interface for constructing your pages. Therefore, you can drag and drop items onto your pages to create them. With Classima, you get a splendid design for your website where you can create your ad listings without having to deal with any line of coding. The theme allows you to customize your pages on the frontend as you observe the changes in realtime.
The multiple search option that comes with Classima has a unique search option on the top search. You can choose from category & location popup, category & location auto-fill, and the normal dropdown with relational fields. Classima has 3 different grid views for ads display. From its theme options panel, you can choose the layout in which you want the ads grid to appear. What’s more, you can also select a multiple list view for your ads. This alternative has 3 distinct displays; the option is controllable from the theme options panel too.
Classima supports a live chat between the buyer and seller so that the two can communicate to settle on the sale of the listing in question. This theme supports multiple payment options, including offline, Stripe, Authorize.net, and PayPal. If you prefer to use an entirely different payment, Classima has you covered with support for the WooCommerce payment gateway option.
You can create unlimited custom fields and set them according to categories, create groups and fields under the groups. The field types that Classima supports include number, URL, text area, text box, select, radio, and checkbox. The users of your website can post different types of ads too. These include sell, buy, jobs, exchange, and to-let. Classima offers the users an incredible experience by endowing each one of them a frontend user dashboard.
In the store facility that comes with Classima, you can add a logo that describes your brand, a store description, and a banner. You can also add the time when the store operates. To capture as wide an audience as possible, Classima allows you to translate the website into whichever language you want. You can even translate it into an RTL language like Arabic.
You can make money from different avenues, including posting different ads, such as top ads, bump up ads, and featured ads. Members can also make a particular subscription payment for extra advantages in terms of the number of ads, length of time an ad lasts, etc. Additionally, Classima comes with premium plugins that save you up to $58. These include the Classified Listing Pro and Classified Listing Store and Membership addon.
Classified Listing Pro
Having the Classified Listing Pro is a massive advantage for you as you create and operate your classifieds ads website. It adds and enhances the features that you enjoy in Classima. This plugin improves the site speed by facilitating image resizing upon upload. The Ajax image upload option allows you to resize the photos you upload to your site based on your website’s image size settings.
You can control the HTML email template, its contents, and with different pre-defined tags. The currencies that your website deals with are also in your control. If you also have a physical store or a delivery service, you will benefit from the embedded Google Map that comes with Classified Listing Pro. This Map has both latitude and longitude for accurate directions. This plugin allows you to set the duration for which a listing should last. Additionally, you get to choose for how long a listing will be regarded as a new one and have the tag.
Classified Listing Pro allows your users to report posts as abusive too. What’s more, you receive reCaptcha control over this function to prevent spamming of some listings. This control also applies for registration, listing, and Contact Form, too, for the same purpose—the plugin grants you control over the primary, label, link, and button colors. Classified Listing Pro allows your listings to have a large audience with social share options for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn. This plugin supports WPML multilanguage too.
This plugin allows you to control the currency in which your website deals. If you want to receive payment in a particular country’s currency to reduce the conversion costs, Classified Listing Pro lets you do that easily. If you want custom fields to appear in list view, this setting is just a click away. The custom fields can also show up in the search filter to give your visitors an easy time searching for listings on your website.
Searching for categories and locations that are allocated to listings is incredibly straightforward with the Ajax filter. You can set a maximum of three location levels, such as city, state, town, or another custom level. Additionally, you have an Ajax auto-complete search that makes it easy to get to particular listing categories. If you want, you can set particular listings to favorites to make them appear on top so that they can get more traffic.
In one breath, you should choose a theme that gives you a wide range of options for customizing and monetizing your website for a thriving business. It is integrated with multiple payment gateways and has strategically-positioned banner ad spaces.
Its appearance should be captivating enough to attract new visitors and keep old ones.
Step 5: Customize the Structure of Your Website
Before you can consider your website complete, you still need to work on its elements. Even though Classima and other excellent classified ads themes come with pages, you have to choose from the available choices and customize them. You have to select the headers and footers you want on your site as well as their contents.
With a good theme, you can choose the readymade element templates and customize them to fit your brand. Classima even offers categories from which you can select the ones you want on your site. Keeping your website organized gives your user an easy time navigating it, thus better conversions.
To manipulate your website, ensure that you have familiarized yourself with the admin dashboard.
Step 6: Add Images, Services and Products
Put up classified services and products to sell on your site along with their details. These details may include the seller details, the product or service location, price, and other relevant information. Along with the service or product description, you should add related images to attract visitors. Don’t forget to add attractive and conspicuous call-to-action buttons to convert your visitors by buying the services or products.
Step 7: Monetize Your Website
Apart from the ad listings, you can add banner ads in specific locations on your website to earn from your website via another avenue. You can place banner ads anywhere on your website. However, it would be best if you were careful not to cram too many ads onto your pages, which make your site look disorganized and unprofessional. With a top-quality theme such as Classima, you get designated strategic positions for banner ad placement; all you have to do is add the ads.
Step 8: Market/Promote Your Site
You must make your website popular since nobody knows about it when it’s new. You can start by linking it with social media platforms. You can create Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social accounts to promote your website. You can then create blogs on your site that draw people there from the social media platforms.
What’s more, you can get visitors from Google and other search engines. You can have high ranking blog pieces that attract viewers. Alternatively, you can use Google AdWords and other Google Ad methods, such as those on YouTube, to get users who intend to buy the products or services you have on offer. You can get to the people actually interested in your ads by launching remarketing campaigns using the data collected by Classima’s Contact Form.
By following all that, you avoid hiring a web coding expert to create a classified ads website with WordPress. Apart from saving that money, you get the added satisfaction of doing it yourself. We hope we have equipped you with all the tools you need to have a world-class website for your ad listings. Now conquer your niche!