Community sites are huge these days.
In fact, Reddit surpassed 1 billion pageviews month, and that was nearly 7 years ago!
More people are using the internet today than ever before and that number just keeps growing. There’s never been a better time to start your own community website.
There have been free (and cheap) website builders out for years. However, these tools have mostly just allowed you to build blogs and simple business websites.
Thanks to WordPress and the tens of thousands of active developers in its community, there are a ton of products for creating highly advanced, multi-featured websites. You no longer need to shell out thousands of dollars to make a site like Reddit.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to build a website like Reddit and you’ll do it without writing a single line of code.
How much does it cost? Creating a site like Reddit using the tools recommended here will cost $114.40 with an annual cost of about $75/year after that.
The site you’ll make
If you follow along with this guide, the site you’re going to make will end up looking just like this:
I’ll be recommending WordPress for your site and the UpVote theme which will give it the design featured above.
I have some alternative recommendations with different designs I’ll share at the end of this post.
How to create a site like Reddit
There are a few steps to create your site, and believe it or not, most of them can be completed in an afternoon. The steps are:
- Choose a domain name
- Signup for hosting
- Install WordPress
- Install UpVote
- Customize the UpVote theme
- Launch your site
I’ll show you how to tackle each of these steps, recommend a few tools, and share some additional resources along the way to help you build and launch your new website.
What you need
Luckily, you don’t need dozens of different tools and products. There are only a few things you need to create a site with nothing more than the idea in your head now.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s best to use WordPress to create a community upvoting site. You won’t be able to make a site with this type of functionality using an alternative site builder like Weebly or Squarespace. The only other option is to have it custom made which will be incredibly expensive and time-consuming.
WordPress has been popular for web publishing for over a decade now and best of all, it’s totally free!
How to setup WordPress
I have a guide published already on how to pick a domain name, get hosting, and install WordPress. You can follow each carefully documented step here:
Once you finish up with the steps there, you’ll be halfway done! The next step will be to install UpVote.
WordPress uses themes to transform the design of the site. Often times, themes also add a lot of new functionality too, and that is the case with UpVote.
There are a few reasons why I recommend the UpVote theme over all others.
UpVote has a clean and user-friendly design. It’s important that your site loads quickly and users immediately understand how to use it.
The homepage does a good job of promoting featured stories and all of the currently highest-voted stories. Most visitors will see and understand the upvoting mechanism right away. If they try to vote or share a story, they’ll be presented with a popup asking them to register or login.
Most importantly, UpVote includes all of the special features needed for a community link sharing website.
Users can register and submit new content all from the front-end without ever seeing the WP dashboard. They can even login using their existing Facebook or Twitter account. Every user has their own profile page where they can view their sharing and upvoting history, and this allows other visitors to check out what they’ve been up to.
Of course, UpVote also comes with loads of customization options for things like the fonts and colors too.
How to setup UpVote
Once you get your copy of UpVote, you’ll be pumped to get started!
If you’ve never used WordPress and installed a theme before, that’s okay. You can follow along with this guide to learn how.
Once the theme is installed, you’ll be ready to start customizing.
How you choose to customize your site will largely depend on your preferences, but the steps aren’t much more complicated than going through the menus and choosing how you want the options to function and display.
The UpVote developers also provide support for all customers, so you can get in touch with them with any questions you have. You can also review their support in the comments section on Themeforest.
Alternatives to UpVote
UpVote gets my top recommendation for its balance of design, features, and usability. However, there are some decent alternatives.
Bunchy isn’t designed like a list of links like Reddit, but rather like a list of… lists. Here’s how it works:
You can publish a top X list post and then users submit their own entries and vote their favorites to the top. It’s a fun and interactive type of upvoting site, but it does work quite differently from Reddit.
The WPeddit theme looks exactly like Reddit. If you want to mimic Reddit then this is the best option, but it may confuse visitors or make it hard to build your own brand.
Launch your site
With just a few key products, you can launch your own website like Reddit. You don’t need to be super tech savvy and learn now to write code or spend thousands of dollars on a custom website.
There is a lot to do and it will take some time to learn your way around WordPress. However, with some persistence and hard work, there’s nothing standing between you and your goal of launching an upvoting website.