Classified ads give your site a bit more bulk when you want to attract visitors who are looking to spend money. Although they may not be as affluent as they once were, these WordPress add-ons can still be of some great use. This is especially true if you’re looking to develop a kind of community around certain goods or services.
Today, I’m going to show you how to install Another WordPress Classifieds plugin, or AWPCP. It is an easy-to-use tool that may serve well to increase visitor traffic.
For this tutorial, you will be installing a new plugin for WordPress. For the most part, the set up is automated. All you need to worry about is your custom settings.
From the WordPress dashboard, go to the Plugins area and click, «Add New.»
Search, install and activate the «AWPCP» plugin. This will add a new tool to the left column of the WordPress dashboard labeled, «Classifieds.»
When you activate the plugin, a message will appear asking if you want to take the 5-part email course for using the tool. You can sign up for this if you’d like. For now, click the «No, thanks» button to continue.
The first thing you’ll want to do is customize your classified adds. Go to the Classifieds area and click, «Settings.»
The default display will be the «Classifieds Pages» tab. This is a list of all the pages AWPCP installed into your website. You can change the name of these pages to fit your website’s niche or you can leave them as default.
After you change the pages, click the «Save Changes» button on the bottom.
Let’s take a look at the other tabs in this section.
This section gives you control over the general functionality of the classified section. Things like ad listings on main page, welcome messages, date and time formats, currencies and more are all available. You’ll want to take your time and customize this section to fit your design ideas as perfect as you can.
The Ad/Listing tab is where you can change notifications for users and moderators, how ad moderation is handled, default email messages, layouts and pagination. You have access to a lot of different features in this section, and it may take a bit of time to fine-tune. However, it’s worth having this setting complete before users start uploading their ads.
If you’re charging people to post ads, which is a viable way to make money from your website, you’ll need to edit the Payment Settings. However, you can run this plugin without requiring payment to make it a free service. Just keep in mind the amount of spam you may be subject to.
AWPCP also comes with PayPal and 2Checkout support.
You’ll want users to be able to add images of the items they are trying to sell from your website. Even if you’re simply creating a dating area, images are vital. However, you want to control what can be uploaded onto your server. Make adjustments in the Image/Attachments Settings accordingly.
A lot of website developers use AdSense to earn a bit of revenue from Google. AWPCP has a section specifically built for this purpose where all you need to do is activate the tool and paste your code. The plugin will automatically do the rest for you.
In the Form Settings screen, you can modify what elements are used when someone uses the system. For instance, you can make phone numbers required for placing and editing ads, add websites and location information. You can also set those parts to show only to those who are registered on the website.
The Registration settings give you control in regards to allowing only registered users to post and reply to ads on the site. You can also set specific login and custom registration pages from this area.
Email settings give you access to default messages for posting ads, replies, access key messages, verifying addresses, incomplete payments and more. If you know how to set up SMTP email for WordPress, you can also customize the server and address for sending messages.
AWPCP provides Facebook integration to give the classifieds a social appeal. However, you will need to create an App ID from Facebook in the developer’s page. Then, you can set AWPCP to automatically post new ads to Facebook after they have been saved by yourself or your users.
Other Sections to Note
AWPCP has a lot of features and functionality. These parts are located directly under the «Classifieds» label in the left column of WordPress. Going beyond the settings, you have access to:
- Credit Plans
You can customize how credit plans operate for your users.
- Manage Credit
In this area, you can modify and manage the credits of each user on your site. This is helpful if you want to give freebies or make other modifications.
In the fees area, you can customize the different fee plans a user can purchase. This includes number of days, images, price and other features.
Only admins have access to the Category section by default. Here is where you would create the sections users can post ads to. For instance, you can add «Computers and Networking» if you want users to post classified ads for computer hardware.
In Listings, you’ll have access to every ad currently available on your site. This means you can approve, mark certain ones as features, flag for violations and place ads manually.
- Form Fields
Using check boxes, you can turn on and off certain elements of forms for classified ads. For example, you can click to disable «Website URL» if it’s not necessary for your site.
AWPCP gives you the ability to import CSV source files. You can also choose to import image source files into a ZIP file, local directory or not to upload images at all from the CSV.
The Debug system is available in the event you or your users are seeing 404 Not Found errors in the system. This helps you identify problems and perform fixes.
Embellishing Your Website
WordPress provides a lot of functionality to create almost any kind of a site you can think of. Adding a classified section is but another way to engage visitors and promote interaction within a community of your own. Whether it’s a general ad site for anything similar to that of Craig’s List or you want to create a place where people can sell off old Xbox games, the possibilities are great.
What kind of things do you have on your website to promote interaction with visitors? What’s the biggest custom addition you’ve put into your WordPress site?