Coupon websites are a great way to create an easy to monetize website that will have your visitors coming back for more. If you’ve followed our AppThemes Directory Site tutorial you’ll see how easy these kind of sites are to set up, if you’re using the right theme.
We’re going to be building this site using Clipper, a coupon theme created by AppThemes for WordPress. Your site will be highly customizable and will have you up and running in no time at all. The finished site we’ll be creating from scratch will be available to check out here:
Create your base WordPress installation
So firstly, we’re going to set up a base installation. This will be created using the one-click install feature built into 1&1 Web Hosting. I’m not going into detail here but you can follow step by step instructions on installing your website here.
We’re going to install some base plugins as part of our installation. We’ll be adding the following before we commence on the Coupon element of our site.
Install AppThemes Clipper
We’re going to be using Clipper for our WordPress theme. This theme will provide all the feature we need to build our coupon site. It’s easy to set up and monetize and will get us up and running in no time at all. You can download it here. It’s currently available for $69 or as a package with other themes for $199.
You can install the theme by downloading the zip file from your user account at Appthemes and then uploading to your site at Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload Theme.
Once activated Clipper will then setup your menus, widgets and pages. It will also give you the option of installing sample data to get started. This is often a good way to get up and running. You can then replace the sample data with real data to quickly get up to speed with how things work on your site. Here’s the site so far. It’s got some way to go, but you can see where we’re going…
Creating Coupons with AppThemes Clipper
We’re going to hit the ground running and create some coupons so we can see how our site looks for our clients. We’ll then look at the design / colour schemes afterward.
Let’s start by visiting Coupons > All Coupons in the admin panel. You’ll see the ‘10% Off Amazon’ coupon that was created during our Sample Data install. Hover your mouse over this coupon and click on Edit. We’ll change this to a real coupon, and see how the coupon is created along the way.
- Replace the Title with your new title.
- Replace the Description with your description.
- Change the Stores panel on the right-hand side of the page.
- Change the Categories panel on the right-hand side of the page.
- Change the Coupon Tags panel on the right-hand side of the page.
- Edit the Listing Plan details. You can set expiry dates, the duration of the coupon, expiration date etc. You can also set a coupon as ‘Featured’ so it appears on the slider at the top of the website, or category.
- Set the Destination. This will be the link where the coupon can be redeemed.
Generate the Store Image/Screenshot
When you preview your site you’ll see that there’s a ‘Clipper’ image where we’d like a more suitable image for our coupon/store. We’ll change this by visiting Coupons > Stores. We can then add a Store URL and a Destination URL (such as an affiliate link.) Our website will then create our website screenshots automatically for us.
Create Coupon Listings & Promotions
Using the previous listing as a guide, you can now go ahead and create more listings and stores to populate your site. You will need to source relevant affiliate programs and voucher codes to use to promote products and services in your niche. Create enough to populate your site so you can visualise the end result before moving forwards with the rest of the site design.
Promotions vs. Coupon Code – Note that you can promote a website without having a coupon code. Simply promote the discount or service on offer from a supplier, retailer or service provider and provide your affiliate id as the link. This is useful if you’re not working directly with the company involved.
Personalise Your Website
If you visit the Customize menu you will see a range of ways to customise your website. You can add your own logo, you can change the widgets, and reorder them. You can adjust the menu structure and add your own CSS code.
If you. visit the Clipper > Settings page you will be able to change the default color scheme to reflect your branding. You will also be able to configure payment options here if you wish to monetize your coupon website through charging businesses to list their store and coupons. (I’ll be covering this in a later tutorial).
In the following screenshot I’ve made the following changes to the default look and feel of the site:
- Added a logo through Customize > Header Image.
- Removed the Tagline text through Customize > Site Identity.
- Removed the Facebook Like Box through Customize > Widgets.
- Tweaked the CSS a little through Customize > Additional CSS to create a ‘flatter’ look to the site.
To be continued…