How To Create a Classifieds Website in 10 Steps
Launching a site to promote and sell branded products is a must today. This is what gives brands maximum exposure on the web. But what if you want to earn some cash on your old T-shirts that you won’t wear anymore but they are still in too good a condition to throw away. Or maybe you are going to buy a new smartphone and want to cover part of its cost by selling your current device. Obviously, building the entire site to sell a few used items would be too much. In cases like these, most people promote their stuff on classifieds sites.
In general terms, a classifieds site is a place where people can buy and sell products by specific categories and locations. Sites of this kind drive a lot of traffic, e.g. Craiglist.org claims to have 60 million users monthly in the USA alone. That’s why if you build a successful classifieds site, it can become your cash cow.
Attention Shopify Theme Makers!
Start selling your Shopify themes at the TemplateMonster marketplace. Enjoy author-driven pricing and high commissions. Get a share of up to 70% for exclusive items, and 40% for non-exclusive ones.
That’s why if you build a successful classifieds site, it can become your cash cow.
There are many ways to monetize classifieds sites. The most popular of them is to charge fees for featured ads that will appear in the most prominent layout areas. It can be an upper slider on the homepage or the top of search results. Some ways to profit from classifieds sites include selling banner ads, publishing PPC ads in the empty layout space, promoting affiliate products, and there are many others.
Would you like to create your own classifieds site to earn on the side first and possibly grow it into your major source of income?
If you want to create a classified website step-by-step using one of the WordPress classifieds themes, I'll show you how to do it in 10 steps:
- Install an Advanced Search System
- Integrate Google Maps
- Create a Detailed Ad Page
- Add Widgets to Your Website Pages
- Emphasize Premium Ads
- Create an Advertiser Profile Page
- Embed an Ad Submission Form
- Add a Contact Form
- Launch a Blog for Better SEO
- Make Your Site Responsive
But first, I want to share the alternative way of creating a classifieds website with the help of a sitebuider.
Create a Classifieds Website in 10 Steps
Here’s the ultimate guide on how to do it the fastest way possible, using one of the ready-made premium WordPress themes. We’ll skip the steps of how to choose a domain name, hosting, and other basics that you can find in this detailed post. In today’s guide, we’ll get straight to the point. As an example, we’ll use Bellaina. This WordPress classifieds theme was designed specifically for real estate but can be customized to any other niche. Check out the steps you need to take for building a classifieds site.
View Demo | More Info
Step 1. Install an Advanced Search System
The core of every classifieds site is an advanced search system. Your site will have tons of ads, in which visitors can get lost. If you use an ordinary search, they will find it challenging and time-consuming to track down the right product. You must equip your search with filters so that people can skip irrelevant ads and focus only on those that matter.
Such an advanced search comes integrated into Bellaina. It lets visitors specify different details to find the most suitable real estate ads. They can search properties by keyword, status, type, price, location, area, parking spots, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
To bring relevant results to the top, this classified WordPress theme has sorting options. With their help, visitors can sort ads by price (from low to high and vice versa) and date (from new to old and vice versa). It’s also possible to choose the most comfortable mode of viewing ads, i.e. grid or list.
Step 2. Integrate Google Maps
New-Yorkers are unlikely to cross the country to get a used item from Los Angeles unless it’s something exclusive. Postage from LA will also cost them higher than, say, from nearby Pennsylvania. That’s why a classifieds site must display search results on a geo map so that people are able to see the nearest offerings to their own current locations.
Bellaina is one of the best classified themes for WordPress, as it provides a location-based search. After visitors hit the search button, results show up on a map powered by Google Maps. They can preview each of them at once, by simply clicking on a corresponding marker. It will show them the chosen property with its photo, general features, and price. To get into more details, all they need to do is click on the preview box once again. It will redirect them to an individual page of that ad.
Step 3. Create a Detailed Ad Page
Ads on your site will convert only if people can access all the necessary information about the advertised products. That’s why a single ad page must contain multiple blocks that will reveal each and every detail about the offering. Just like in the case of Bellaina.
This classified ad WordPress theme has a content-rich page giving a full property overview. Visitors can read its summary, scan a list of the main features, and look through multiple images in a built-in gallery. The page is also equipped with a map showing the location of the chosen property. Under the map, there is a block with the realtor’s photo, contact details, and links to social profiles.
Step 4. Add Widgets to Your Website Pages
Besides presenting the main ad info in detail, you should always take an opportunity to offer people more. For example, you can engage them with some extra ads like related or latest offerings. That’s what widgets can help you with.
As you can see above, the ad page of Bellaina is not limited to the main details of that particular ad only. It provides much more information by means of widgets including related properties, recent posts, and comments, categories, newsletter form, calendar, etc. Widgets are also used to make navigation easier. There are tags, archives, and a search option in the sidebar of this classified ads WordPress theme.
Step 5. Emphasize Premium Ads
Some ads may be urgent, and advertisers will pay you for keeping them in the spotlight. It makes sense to add them to widgets, but the most prominent website area is definitely the top of the homepage. This is where Bellaina features a full-width slider ideal for showing premium offers. Each slide image is overlaid with an elegant, semi-transparent box revealing the major ad details. That way, people will be able to evaluate its relevance without going to its individual page.
This classified theme for WordPress also comes integrated with Cherry Projects. The plugin will let you create an impressive ads showcase. You can arrange them in a grid, masonry, justified, list or cascading grid layout and animate it with sleek loading and hover effects. The plugin supports different pagination modes including Ajax pagination, “More” button, and lazy loading. For easier browsing, people will be able to filter your ads by categories.
Step 6. Create an Advertiser Profile Page
Another important feature of a classifieds site is an advertiser profile page. That’s where visitors can learn about the author of the ad, find his contact details, and view all the ads he posted. It’s especially helpful in those cases when a customer is satisfied with a certain advertiser and wants to deal with him again.
Bellaina has a pre-designed realtor profile with a photo, a block of text, contacts, and social links. On this page, people can also check out all of his active listings and find their whereabouts on the map.
Step 7. Embed an Ad Submission Form
Next, you need to embed a form for submitting ads to your site. The form must contain customizable fields, where an advertiser can specify the major details about the offering. They include a title, short description, features, price, etc.
This WordPress theme for classified ads features an ad submission form. Besides providing the major details like the property address, area, and price, realtors can be more precise with their ads. The form has fields to specify the property status (sale or rent), type (building or office), and the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and parking places. With all this info, home seekers can be sure the chosen property fits their needs completely.
Step 8. Add a Contact Form
People contact advertisers from time to time, whether they need to find out some extra info or just make things clear. That's why your classifieds site needs a contact form like the one integrated into Bellaina. You don’t have to overload it with multiple fields. Instead, keep the form simple with the basic fields for the sender’s name, email, and message.
Step 9. Launch a Blog for Better SEO
If you are just starting out, you should drive traffic to your new classifieds site in every possible way. Creating a blog is one of them, as it will let you post keyword-rich content regularly. That way, your site will appear in search results because of more queries.
Bellaina comes integrated with a blog that you can launch out of the box. This WordPress classified ads theme has different blogging layouts such as grid, masonry, and listing. It also supports all the major content formats such as a gallery, video, audio, quote, etc.
Step 10. Make Your Classified Site Responsive
Make sure advertisers can submit ads to your site and visitors can browse them via mobile devices. It’s a mandatory requirement for any modern site. People must be able to access it whenever they need, not only from home but also from public places.
Bellaina is a fully responsive WordPress classified theme whose layout and all of its elements adjust to any device automatically. With its help, you can provide an equally comfortable experience for both desktop and mobile users.
It’s up to you how you build a classifieds site. You can either do it from scratch following these steps or go a shorter way using this ready-made WordPress classifieds theme. It comes with all the must-have features already built-in for you. They include an advanced, location-based search with multiple filters, ad submission form, advertiser profile, etc. All you need to do is install the theme and customize a little bit. That’s all. Next, you can start adding listings.
Besides must-have features for a classifieds site, Bellaina has a lot of other cool stuff in its package. With a live customizer, you can add any changes to the theme layout and preview them without page reload. You can also build layouts yourself visually, no coding required. It’s possible with Power, an integrated page builder with various options for layout structuring, multiple content types, and drag-and-drop functionality. Bellaina also complies with all the modern web standards such as a clean code, SEO-friendly structure, and cross-browser compatibility.
View Demo | More Info
As the theme is licensed under GPL, you can create multiple classifieds sites for a single price. This type of license allows you to install the theme on unlimited domains. If you need a wider choice, you can also consider these media WordPress themes for classified ads websites.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Ads? Which Advertising Platform is Better for Business Specific Objectives?
How Too Many Ads Can Screw Up Your Website
Best Google Adsense Optimized WordPress Themes in 2017
How to Turn Site Visitors into Leads. 3 Actionable Strategies [Free eBook]
Programmatic Advertising 101 — a New Long-Read Post for Entrepreneurs
Search and Display Advertising Challenges and How to Overcome Them?
What You Need to Know About Quora’s New Advertising Tools