The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Building a Classifieds Site
A Free & easy to follow Step by Step tutorial, to help Beginners Build a Classifieds Website from Scratch, Without the need to Learn to Code.
Follow the steps in this guide to build your FREE Classifieds Website, customize it, monetize it and have it up and running in no time!
This tutorial consists of 3 simple steps
- Step 1 . Choosing the Right Website Platform (CMS)
- Step 2 . Choosing a Domain name & Hosting provider
- Step 3 . Installing the Platform, Themes & Basic customizations
Once completed, you will have your very own Classifieds Website up and running, and best of all The Whole Process takes No more than 30 Minutes!
At the end of this tutorial, We’ll suggest the next steps you need to follow in order to start making money with your Classifieds Site.
So make sure to read till the end…
Step 1 / Choose the Website Platform.
The fastest way to build a classifieds website is by using a platform, also referred to as a “Content Management System (CMS)” or “Classifieds Script”.
Why use a Content Management System (CMS)?
Luckily for us today, content management systems (CMS) has made creating a Classifieds Website easier, much faster and more accessible. And the best thing is, most of them are FREE!
What does Content Management System (CMS) exactly do?
A content management system allows you to create and manage all of your Classifieds Website content from a user-friendly interface. All changes can be done from an admin area, which contains lots of options for tweaking your website without touching a single line of code.
You can manage all your listings, users, categories, payment methods and more. Making it very easy to understand even for absolute beginners.
So, what is the best platform to build a Classifieds Website in 2018?
We’ve built multiple Classifieds Websites over the past few years, and tested lots of Content Management Systems & Classifieds Scripts. We’ve learned that not all are created equal.
Our top platform picks for creating a Classifieds Site had to have
- An Easy to use User Interface
- A Good & Responsive Design
- Advanced Functionality
- A Good Performance
Only 2 of the platforms were able to pass our Rigorous Testing.
1 / WordPress Recommended for Beginners
WordPress is Easy to learn, it’s the best choice for a niche or small Classifieds Website. Choose it if you’re looking to build a small to medium sized Website.
WordPress has a huge number of themes and plugins, Making it easy to customize and extend. If you decide to add a new option in the future, like a newsletter or a forum it’s easy to achieve using WordPress plugins.
2 / Osclass Runner-Up
Osclass Has a small learning curve but can handle many listings, choose it if you’re looking to build a very large Classifieds Website.
Osclass is an Open Source classifieds script, unlike WordPress, it’s designed for the sole purpose of creating classifieds sites. This means some classifieds functionality comes as default, but since the community is smaller, the choice of themes and plugins is more limited.
For this tutorial, we will be explaining how to create a Classifieds Site using WordPress.
We are going to cover the following:
- How to choose the best Web Hosting for WordPress
- How to register a Domain Name
- How to Install WordPress
- How to Install a Classifieds Theme
- How to Customize and configure your Site
Step 2 / Hosting & Domain Name.
Now that we’ve chosen the website platform to use for our Classifieds Site, The next step is to Get Web hosting and a Domain name.
- A domain name is an address that people type to get to your website, Take google.com for example.
- A web hosting is where the content of your website resides, Every website needs Web Hosting.
SiteGround provides Feature-rich managed WordPress hosting with premium support, starting at just $3.95/month. It’s also officially recommended by WordPress.org as one of the best and brightest WordPress hosting providers.
Note: If you sign up using our link we will earn a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you. In fact, you will receive a discount by using our referral link. The funds will be used towards improving this site and creating more valuable content for our readers and will help us keep this website and all of its information Free and available to the public.
So let’s go ahead and purchase our Hosting plan and Domain Name.
The first thing you will need to do is click the Choose Plan Button.
Next, select your preferred Hosting Plan. The StartUp Plan is enough to get you started, but if you’re looking to build more than one Classifieds Site, or if you believe your site is going to grow rapidly then we suggest you go with the GrowBig or GoGeek Plan.
After choosing your desired hosting plan click the orange Get Started Button.
On the next screen, you will be able to register a new Domain Name or transfer your existing domain if you have one.
Once done, click Proceed and you will be redirected to the payment page.
Fill in your account information, Client information and payment details, then click the pay now button.
On the next page, you will see a success message with a button to access the customer area. An email will also be sent to you containing your username, login details and a few other helpful information about your account.
Click the Proceed to Customer Area Button.
Step 3 / Installing WordPress & a Classifieds Theme.
So now that we’ve bought our domain & web hosting we’re gonna log in to the customer area, you can do this clicking the Proceed to Customer Area button found on the previous screen or using the login details that were sent to you via email.
3a / Installing WordPress Using the Wizard.
After logging in to your Customer Area for the first time, you will be greeted with a pop-up asking you if you want to Start a new website on your account. Select that option and click on the WordPress button.
Now go ahead and fill in the login information needed for your new WordPress installation. Once you’re ready, click on the Confirm button.
Next, you’ll be asked what Enhancements you’d like to add to your account, you can skip those or add the ones you desire. When you’re done click on the Complete Setup button.
Your WordPress Installation is now ready, you can visit the front page of your website by going to your domain name Example: mydomain.com.
The default WordPress theme will be installed by default, We’re going to learn how to change it in the next step.
3b / Installing a Classifieds Theme.
So now that you’ve got your WordPress installation up and running, it’s time to change the default theme to a Classifieds Theme.
To change it you will need to login to the WordPress admin panel which can be accessed by adding /wp-admin after your domain name. So if your site domain is mywebsite.com the admin URL would be mywebsite.com/wp-admin
When visiting this URL you will be asked the enter your username and password, remember those are the details you added to the WordPress installation Wizard and might differ from your hosting details.
The first thing you’ll see Once you’re logged in is the WordPress Dashboard. The Dashboard displays some general information and stats related to your website.
On the left side, you will notice a sidebar menu which contains all menu items used to access different A.
From the sidebar menu Hover on Appearance then click on Themes, this will take you to the themes page. Here you can check your available themes and install new ones.
By default, WordPress comes with a couple of themes suited best for blogging sites. Since we are creating a Classifieds Website we will need to find themes that are best suitable for Classifieds.
The WordPress repository contains some free themes, but almost none of them is suited for a classifieds site. Besides that, Free themes usually have Limited Features and Functionality and offer no support.
On the other hand, Premium themes come with a great set of functionality, offer More features and customization options and usually offer free support.
So where can I get Premium WordPress Themes?
There are tons of Premium WordPress marketplaces out there, but not all of these provide high-quality themes. A good Marketplace has a strict content quality review process, and a good selection of themes to choose from.
Some of the best Premium Themes marketplaces out there are:
- Engine Themes
- Elegant Themes
- App Themes
- Css Igniter
- Theme Furnace
- Monster Templates
- Theme Fuse
What’s the best Classifieds WordPress Theme?
For the purpose of this tutorial, we will be using a theme called “AdForest” which can be bought from the ThemeForest marketplace.
We’ve tested multiple WordPress Classifieds Themes and found Adforest to be the best since it offers both speed and great functionality.
Let’s go ahead and purchase our theme. First head to the ThemeForest website click here to open it in a new tab
Click the Buy Now button and you will be redirected to the checkout page.
Fill in your First name, last name & email address then click Next. Choose your ThemeForest username and password, Verify the captcha then click the Create account & Continue Button.
Fill in your billing details, including your Name, Last Name & full address, then click the Save and continue button.
Now you will be redirected to the payments page, which includes 3 payment methods. The first two methods are Debit/Credit card and PayPal. These two methods include a 2$ surcharge. If you want to avoid this surcharge choose Envato Credit method instead.
After the payment goes thru you will see a success message.Now hover over your username in the top right corner and click on downloads.
Find the AdForest theme in your downloads page then click the green download button.
The two main options are
- All files and Documentation. This option will download a .zip file which will include the theme, all extensions, documentation, and the licensing information.
- Installable WordPress files only. This option will just download the theme in a .zip format to your WordPress site.
For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll be using the installable WordPress files only option. So Go ahead and click on it to start the download. When the download is completed navigate over to your WordPress dashboard mywebsite.com/wp-admin
Once you’re in, click on the Appearance menu item from the sidebar to go to Themes page.
On the Themes page click the Add New button to upload the previously purchased Classifieds Theme.
Next, click the Upload Theme button. The theme upload form will show up, click Choose File and navigate to the theme zip file you previously downloaded from ThemeForest then click Open.
Now click the Install Now button and wait a few moments for the installation process to complete.
On the next screen click the Activate Link.
After Activation, you will get a notification asking you to verify your purchase by entering your purchase code. The purchase code can be downloaded from the Themeforest downloads page. Click here to open the downloads page in a new tab
Find your purchased theme and click the download button next to it, from the drop-down click License certificate & purchase code (text). Now open the file you downloaded and copy the Item Purchase Code then paste it in the notification field in your WordPress admin panel. Once done click Verify.
If the verification was successful, you will be prompted with another notification asking you to install the plugins required by this theme. To do so click the Begin installing plugins button.
The process will take a few moments, then you will be redirected to plugin installation page. From there select all the plugins in the list, then click on the Bulk Actions select box and choose Install. Finally, click Apply.
Once all the plugins install successfully, scroll to the bottom and click the Return to Required Plugins Installer link.
Now select all the plugins in the list once again, click Bulk Actions followed by Activate then click Apply.
3c / Importing the Demo content.
Note: To make it easier for our readers to set up the theme we have created import files, which you can use to import the demo content, configuration and options to recreate the same demo as ours.
Now hover on Tools from the sidebar menu then click Import. On the import page, find WordPress from the list and click Install. Once the installation completes click Run Importer.
Once redirected to the Import WordPress page, click the choose file button and navigate to the WordPressDemoImport.xml file from your previously downloaded folder then click open.
Finally, click the Upload file and Import button.
On the next page choose your Username from the select box, tick the Download and import file attachments checkbox then click Submit. The process could take a few minutes so be patient and wait for the success message.
Now that we’ve imported our demo data and content, it’s time to import our themes options. From the sidebar menu hover over Appearance then click Theme Options. From the theme options panel sidebar click Import / Export.
Now navigate to the folder you downloaded from our site and open the ThemeOptionsImport.json in a text editor and copy its content. Go back to your admin panel and click on Import from File a text area will slide down, Paste the Content you previously copied in there then click Import. Note: If the import doesn’t start click the Import button one more time.
Finally, we’re gonna import our widgets. From the sidebar menu hover on Plugins then click Add New. In the top right side of the page, you’ll find a search bar, type Widget Importer & Exporter then hit Enter.
Find the Widget Importer & Exporter plugin from the list and click the Install button. Once installed Click the blue Activate button. Now you’ll be redirected to the installed plugins page, find the previous plugin from the list and click the Import/Export link.
From the Widget Importer & Exporter page click the Choose File button and navigate to the WidgetsImport.wie file which you downloaded earlier from our website, then click open. Now click the blue Import Widgets button.
3d / Configuring our WordPress Classifieds Site.
Next hover on Appearance from the sidebar menu then click Menus. On the menus page scroll towards the bottom and tick the adforest Primary Menu checkbox then click Save Menu.
Now hover over Settings from the sidebar menu and click on Permalinks, Once on that page choose the Post name option from the list then click Save Changes.
Next, hover on Pages from the sidebar menu and click All Pages. Then from the list scroll down to the page called Homepage and click the Edit link.
Now in the WPBakery Page Builder hover over the Categories – Flat section then Click the Pen (edit) Icon.
From the popup menu click the Categories tab, you will find a list of all categories. Click the small arrow icon on the right to open the category options, now select a category from the select box then click the icon at the bottom to assign a specific Icon to it. Repeat this step for each of the categories in the list. Then click save. Once saved click the update button to update the page.
That’s all, we’re done! Congratulations you’ve built your own classifieds website!
We’d love to hear about your experience building a classifieds site! Was it easy? Did you encounter any issues? Post your comments below and we’d be more than happy to help. We reply to every comment!
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