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.
There’s a video as well of this entire process, at the end of this guide.
Here are the swift steps to get started with your classifieds website:
- How does a classified website work?
- Get a domain name and hosting for your website
- Choose the right platform for your classifieds website
- Working on the designing part of your ad posting website
- Set up Menus, pages, and links
- Adding the classifieds ads
- Make money through your WordPress classifieds website
- Maintaining and advertising
The function of a classified directory is simple. It acts as a portal for the sellers to advertise their products and the interested buyers can view the classified listings under the relevant categories and contact the seller to buy the products.
Classifieds websites are generally preferred for second-hand or customized items where the owners of the classifieds listings are not traders but people who want to sell their belongings. For example: If a person wants to relocate to some new city, he might want to sell his furniture or television. Here, the classified website gives him a platform to submit his listings for the potential buyers to find them.
The classified listings are organized under different categories. So the buyers looking for a certain type of electric product can directly go to the category and find all the classified adverts posted under the listing.
As a classified website owner, you can allow free or paid advertisement submissions on your website. Allowing paid classified ad submissions is in fact one of the most common ways to earn through your classifieds website.
1. Select a domain name & hosting for your Classifieds website
The domain name, which is the web address for a website, is the first thing to be decided while creating a website. You can use a good host for registering your domain address as well as hosting. The process is simple and easy.
However, we recommend this hosting for your business website.
Here’s a quick look at why we recommend Bluehost for your classifieds website
- 24X7 support by experts
- Pocket-friendly plans that fit your needs
- Excellent uptime
- Dedicated WordPress hosting (More on this later)
You can read this Bluehost review to understand why we recommend it. 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.
2. 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. WordPress also gives you enough chances to make money through your online directory 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 a 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.
3. 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.
Get this Classifieds Theme for absolutely FREE!
When subscribing to our hosting partner using this link, you get your favorite theme or plugin from our store without paying anything.
Essential features that the classified directory theme comes with
For a beautiful WordPress website for online classifieds, your website must have the following important features.
A classified listing website will surely have the classified listing post type. But what matters most is how informative and detailed the classified listings are. The Classified directory theme allows you to manage the fields of the classified post type. So even though the post type is designed by professionals, if you want to edit/add, or remove some field from your classified listings, you can easily do so.
One of the most important features of a directory-based website is user registration and management. Your classified website should have a facility to let your visitors easily register on your website and manage their accounts from the front end. They should also be able to add and manage their classified advertisements through their account.
A front end submission system
For allowing the paid submissions through the front end, your classified website will require a fully functional system to accept these submissions and to process them.
This includes all the features like a functional front-end submission form, a payment processing system, a pricing system connected to it so that the visitors can choose one from it, a system that controls the front-end submitted listings and automatically unpublish the expired listings, etc.
Such a front-end submission system is available with the WordPress Classified directory theme that allows you to easily create and manage the listings on your website.
For the transaction management and supporting online payments on your website, your classifieds directory website will need a proper payment gateway. The classified directory website supports a wide range of payment processors that you can install into your website with a single click. For the best, this WordPress Classified theme comes with PayPal included.
Classified submission form
For the users to submit their classified advertisements through the front end, the classified form is where they can upload the images, enter all the classified details and post it on your website. The Classified directory theme comes with a pre-built form that you can edit by changing the custom fields. The form is fully functional, allows you to upload images, choose the category and even preview your classified listing before posting it.
Proper classified categories
A classified listing website is bound to have enormous amounts of classified listings. What keeps them organized is classified categories. The classified categories also help the visitors to find the classified advertisements of their interest as all the classified products falling under a particular category can be browsed at once through the classified category page.
Search and filter features
All these features are available in our classifieds directory theme that you can easily use to create an amazing online classified portal where the visitors can post their classified advertisements and the buyers can look for relevant listings.
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 suitable WordPress Classified themes using this list.
Different themes have different methods of setup and customization.
But the premium themes you buy come with a 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.
Have a look at the best directory websites of the USA to get some design as well as feature-related inspiration!
4. 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 the classifieds WordPress theme.
A button quickly draws the attention of the users.
So linking pages to the menu, submenus, and buttons on your website depend totally upon you.
5. 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 that 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 a single product. These images help explain your product better to your prospective customers. Also, when using a lot of images on your website, you should be careful that it does not adversely affect the performance of your classified website. For this, you can use the image optimizing plugins, that can help optimize the images so that the performance of your website is not just retained but also enhanced.
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!
6. Money making through your WordPress website
Creating and managing classifieds requires time, resources, and effort.
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.
How will it help you make money?
There are many ways through which you can use your classified website to earn. A classified website is a directory-style website that allows user submissions and much more. Such information portals have a good potential as a business setup.
The simplest ways to make money through a classified website are:
1) Paid classifieds ad submission
You can allow your front-end visitors to submit the classified ads by paying a certain amount. For this, you can create the submission packages, with different criteria. So a classified owner will choose the payment package that best fits his requirements to submit an advertisement listing on your classified portal.
2) Featured Classified listings
The featured classifieds listings can be the home page featured advertisements, as well as the category page, featured classified listing ads. This feature is for the classified owners who want to buy a prominent spot on your website so that their advertisements are highlighted to stand out among other similar listings. They obviously pay extra for featured advertisements
It can be either sponsored banner advertisements or advertisement banners by Google Adsense that you can place on specific spots on your website. This is by far the most convenient way to make money through any kind of website.
4) Membership based website
You can create membership-based content where the exclusive details, like the contact details of the classified owner, are hidden and only can be accessed by members. The paid membership allows full access to all the details of the website.
A website like a classified directory or a WordPress Yellow Pages directory is the most common form of online directories that can help you earn online.
So, there are two simplest 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 on 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, through which you can charge the local business to post their classified listing on your directory.
Configure the payment processor
When you are allowing paid front-end submissions, you need to allow the visitors to pay online. A business website, may or may not need payment processing, but a directory website does.
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 with 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 –
On your website, you want 3 packages. The basic package 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.
You May Also Like, the Best Real Estate themes to create online property directories with WordPress.
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.
There are different ideas to make money through a classified website, you can try different methods and choose the one that works the best for you.
7. Maintaining your classifieds website
Websites like classifieds and directories need maintenance and monitoring for speed, security, performance, etc.
Obviously, modern tools and techniques make it easy to build a website, but how well it runs depends 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 social media, and a local newspaper or television channels. There are different ways to promote your website and what works best for you depends on your area of operation, target audience, type of website, and the type of content on your site.
Very simple things can help to promote your classified website. For example, you can ask your friends and family to spread the word about your new directory, or if someone from your contacts owns a personal blog or a news magazine website, you can ask them to promote your site.
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.
You should also conduct regular security audits to see that your website is safe from threats on the internet. Especially with transactions and user data involved, you should be more considerate about the safety of the data on your site. You can use a tool like Malcare to ensure security from Malware as well as other security threats.
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
And as promised, here’s the video of this entire process. You can watch the video on how to create a classifieds website with WordPress in less than minutes.
Turns out that creating a classifieds directory website is easier than it seems, isn’t it?
So, wait no more!
Just grab a WordPress theme for Classifieds and start right away.
There’s no better time to start than now.
Good luck :)