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“Follow the plan outlined here and you can create your own website from scratch without writing any code for less than $300.”
Groupon is an online deal marketplace available in 48 countries globally. By the end of 2017, 49 million active customers were using Groupon to find daily deals.
You would like to launch something similar, but you feel a website like that is out of your reach. Building websites can be expensive if you are using a team of developers.
The tools available now make it easy to create a website in days on an affordable budget. I will explain the steps that will enable you to launch a site that rivals Groupon.
Creating your site
Groupon has an easy-to-use design that you’ll be able to replicate using WordPress.
Your site will be entirely customizable, and the marketplace you will create involves no coding. Fonts, colors, layouts, and more can be adjusted as you want. Or you can keep it simple with a pre-made installation.
And you can always change your design and introduce add-ons as you see fit while your site grows. Either way, you are in control.
A quick sneak peek
Just give you a sense of what you’ll be making, here’s a look at the gorgeous group deals website you’ll create today:
Your site will be able to offer coupons for goods and services that will have people coming back for more.
Now let’s cover what you’ll need to do to make this site
Here’s how you can make a site like Groupon
Five simple steps are all it takes:
- Choose a domain name
- Get hosting for your site
- Install WordPress
- Install a WordPress theme
- Launch your site
This essential guide will prepare a ready-to-launch website. Let’s look at each step in detail.
1. You’ll Need a Good Domain
The very first step is purchasing a domain name. A domain name is the web address, or URL that people use to locate your site.
Choosing a simple name that relates to your company allows visitors to find your website with ease. The domain name also plays a part in marketing and branding. If the option you want isn’t available, pick something similar, or a name that represents your business in another way.
You can always add a short additional term to your domain too. For instance, CloudApp runs a successful software company from getcloudapp.com.
2. Signup for hosting
All websites need hosting in order to load when the domain is visited. This requires space on a server.
No one purchases and maintains their own servers the way you would be yourself a computer. Instead, you rent space on a server from a hosting company. Even most of the world’s largest digital businesses pay others for server space.
As a new webmaster, it’s best to choose a host that can provide reliable, fast speeds and also an affordable price. And it’s a big bonus if they let you try before you buy, i.e., free trial web hosting.
Nexcess meets these needs and has a couple of extra bonuses too.
Nexcess is much faster and more reliable than budget hosting plans but is still very affordable. They have a hosting plan dedicated to WordPress sites, and it includes some awesome services like daily site backups.
They’ll also help you with the next step.
3. Create a Website with WordPress
When creating a new website, you can either hire developers – and spend lots of time and money, or use already existing software. As they say, don’t reinvent the wheel.
WordPress is a quick and straightforward way to build a website. And if you are using Nexcess, the auto-installer makes it even easier. While many hosts have an installer to help you add WordPress to your site, Nexcess automatically creates a WP site for you the moment you signup.
This complete guide to creating a WordPress website has more detailed steps and instructions inside.
Why use WordPress?
As a WordPress theme developer, I’m obviously biased to recommend WordPress, but it’s truly the best solution for you to create a site like Groupon. Here’s why:
- Reliability – WordPress powers more than 25% of the internet and has billions of dollars worth of development invested in it. Bugs with WP are extremely rare these days.
- Free – WordPress has always been free and always will remain free.
- Developer community – there are so many developers earning a living from making WP products that you can find a professionally designed solution for any kind of site you’d ever want to build.
- Blogger community – tons of bloggers write about WordPress and share tips for using it. You can always find helpful tutorials online regardless of the subject.
- No coding required – I mentioned it before, but the fact that no coding knowledge is required is helpful. With the products recommended here, you can use simple interfaces and drag-and-drop menus to make your site.
4. Find the right theme
Themes are the pre-coded designs that completely change the look of your site. While plugins are typically used to add functionality, the themes recommended here also add a lot of features of their own.
Kupon is my top choice for a WordPress theme to create a site like Groupon.
Kupon is an easy to use tool for websites focused on daily deals, coupons, and group purchases. The deals support both services and physical products.
Front-end dashboards let vendors add new deals and redeem vouchers on their own, and with the latest update, you can even offer the incentive of free coupons in exchange for referral clicks.
This vastly customizable theme transforms your site into a deal website like Groupon. You can specialize in a specific niche whether that’s a product category or location.
Kupon offers a couple of options for licenses that allow you the flexibility of expanding with paid extensions or using options that do not require paid plugins.
WooCommerce compatibility comes included and there are also additional plugin extensions available to add other features like pre-orders and PDF vouchers.
Some other features offered by Kupon include:
- Sales countdown timer
- Availability scheduler
- Dynamic pricing and discounts
- Live chat for marketing automation
With short “How to” videos provided as well, you’ll have an easy time learning how to use this theme on your site.
Kupon is also mobile responsive. With the technological world we live in, it is increasingly crucial that customers can access and use your site with their phones. You’ll be able to provide that, growing your customer base and showing you know what matters to your audience.
If you are having issues or questions on the theme, there are quite a few tutorials made by the Kupon developers that can walk you through common problems. The devs also run a support system giving you direct contact for any other questions.
Other themes to consider
I would always recommend Kupon because it is going to give you everything you need for a site similar to Groupon and has a gorgeous design. That said, it isn’t the only theme for marketing sites. Some decent alternative options for your website theme are available.
WP Deal is a WordPress theme that transforms your site into a deal website with front-end deal submissions and more. WP Deal also performs well on both desktop and mobile devices.
A nice touch is the one-click demo install which will immediately set up your site just like the demo site featured above.
Froday also offers a one-click installer for quick site creation. It’s also highly customizable and comes with a plugin for drag-and-drop page building.
The documentation is clear and easy to follow for any questions you may have. And a professional support team is available to assist further if needed.
We have a handful of additional daily deal WordPress themes if you want more alternatives.
If you choose a different theme for your site, you can add a daily deals plugin to get the functionality you need.
Launch your own group deals site
To make a site like Groupon, you need to first find an available domain name. You can purchase it through a domain registrar or wait until you signup with Nexcess to get it for free.
Regardless of the host you choose, there should be a tool to help install WordPress on your site. Then it’s time to activate Kupon or one of the other recommended themes to transform your plain website into a full-featured deals platform.
You are now at the final step. You have the tools you need to create a functional website just like Groupon; it’s time to make it happen.
With a solid marketing plan and the motivation to get members on board, you’ll be well on your way to running a successful online business.