If you wanted to build a complex website like Yelp a few years ago, it would take professional developers or digital agency hundreds of hours and thousands of your dollars to get it up and running.
That doesn’t even cover all the bug fixes, content additions, and design updates down the road.
Now there are far simpler and affordable options, even for those of you that have never written a line of code in your life (and have no desire to).
Granted there is a small learning curve, but if you like to learn and follow simple directions, with a support team at your side whenever there’s an issue, you can make a website like Yelp in no time at all, for less than $200.
How to start a site like Yelp
To start out, you will need to complete some initial steps before getting into the Yelp-specific layout. These steps won’t take too long and are simple to complete with the additional guides provided below.
Here’s a sneak peek at the site you’ll be creating:
Keep reading to learn how to make a site just like that!
1. Purchase your domain name
The first thing to do is to get a domain name – the address people will type into their internet browser to get to your website.
Choosing the right name is critical to ensure minimal confusion and typos. The last thing you want is for a potential customer to find your competitor’s website by accident! Ideally, you’ll choose your business name, but this isn’t always available. The next best option is to use acronyms or simple alternatives that are easy to spell and remember.
2. Select a web host
To allow your website to be up and running all the time, you’ll need a quality hosting company.
The web host provides server space for your site, so when people type your domain name in their browser, they connect to the servers, and voila your website is displayed. Without hosting you can’t have a site online.
There are many hosts available, but I recommend you use Bluehost.
Bluehost has been around for over a decade and is reliable and affordable.
One advantage to using BlueHost is the convenient WordPress auto-installer, which will make this whole process easier and faster for you.
Click here to create your WordPress site with Bluehost now.
3. Setup WordPress
WordPress is the platform you will use to access and customize your new website.
WordPress is open source and will always be free to use. There’s no account creation and if you signup with Bluehost, there’s not even an installation process. They’ll automatically create the site for you.
Once WordPress is installed, you’ll a basic website that you can use any WordPress themes and plugins with to add a Yelp-like design and features.
With billions of dollars worth of development invested into WordPress and the themes and plugins you’ll use (mostly for free), you can skip coding altogether and get right to enjoying your new site.
Click here for a full in-depth tutorial on how to find a good domain, get hosting, and create your WordPress site.
With 15 years of time-tested success and being used by 30% of the top 10 million websites, WordPress is one of the oldest and most trusted website development platforms on the market today.
Another advantage to WordPress is the level of support and community that has built up over the years to help beginners and experienced programmers and designers alike.
WordPress’ huge popularity has enabled many developers to make a living creating WordPress themes and plugins. This is exactly why you can’t find pre-made solutions to create advanced sites like Yelp.
To build a complex website like Yelp requires a certain level of functionality that other website platforms simply cannot handle the way WordPress can.
4. Install ListingPro theme
ListingPro is the template that will transform your website into a Yelp-like review site.
You’ll enjoy the modern design and loads of features that come included in this advanced theme. The developers behind ListingPro are constantly updating it by improving existing features and adding new ones.
Here are some of the latest features to be added in the last update:
This theme was rated number one Best Seller in directory and listings in 2017 and has been given an award for five-star customer support based on over 400 customer reviews. This goes to show how much the team wants your website to succeed.
“We built ListinPro from ground-up to address your most under-served needs, & maximize your return on investment” – Sam Rizzi, Co-Founder of Cridio Studio
As a bonus, this theme includes a number of premium plugins which will save you money and the hassle of going out and finding them on your own.
An extensive self-help knowledgebase is provided which answers all questions that have already been asked. Check out their video tutorials as well if you like to see things more visually. Feel free to browse through their various niche demos and select the one that is closest to what your project will be like.
- User dashboard: Businesses that create profiles on your website will have access to a powerful dashboard with many features and tools.
- Intelligent site search: Search provides keyword suggestions as someone starts typing. There is also a category search and “quick results”.
- A detailed filter is provided for faster results
- Review capability includes an emoji-based star rating, comments, photo upload, and voting
- The listing submission page is organized by priority to ensure your new users complete the process
- Ad Express: Available for listing owners to allow ads to be shown on their listing, which means if they get paid, you get paid
- Map view and grid: Designed to be similar to Google Maps, but with an updated, modern flair
- Six languages included for translation-needs
- Three payment gateways built-in: stripe, PayPal, 2Checkout
- Newest features: Multi-Operational Hours, Call Whatsapp, Near Me, Distance, Flag & Report, Drop Pin, Open Past 12 AM, and more
It’s truly amazing that you can get so much for the price of a regular theme. If you’re ready to get started, click here to get ListingPro and begin customizing your WordPress site.
Alternatives to ListingPro
While ListingPro has everything included to get you up and running quickly with no hassle, there are some other good options you can compare with.
Listify is a WordPress directory theme, compatible with a good handful of plugins to extend the functionality of your site as desired. Currently, they offer a classic demo and a rentals demo to have your site running more quickly.
Listify also offer style kits to more easily offer your visitors an attractive visual without requiring professional design help. The homepage and listing page layout can also be designed using drag-and-drop, so no need for any HTML.
Czar integrates with the Visual Composer page builder plugin which comes bundled along with 11 other premium plugins. This includes Slider Revolution and Easy Social Share.
Boasting complete directory and listing features, Czar offers category-specific map markers to make map searching easy. It’s also made for mobile and provides two unique views for the listing detail page. Have a use for creating more than one directory? This theme allows you to do it on the same WordPress install.
Czar even has a demo site installer and the support team will install it for you on your server within 24 hours of purchase.
Launch Your Website
Now that you’ve set everything up right, you’re ready to start marketing your new website and get the users you want for your desired directory!
To set up such a complex site without any knowledge of programming or code, on a shoestring budget and so quickly, is honestly amazing.
To summarize the steps, here’s how you can make your own website like Yelp.
- Select a domain name
- Signup with Bluehost
- Install WordPress
- Install a directory theme (I recommend ListingPro)
It will take some marketing know-how to get your first customers on board, but with these tools included here, you should have no trouble getting a site like Yelp online.