The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Building a Site Like Tripadvisor
Welcome to the internet’s best, most in depth guide on how to create a review website like Tripadvisor. In this step by step tutorial we set out everything you need to know to launch your very own, user submission holiday review site.
Our aim is very simple; for you to have the skills to build your own website by the end of this article.
All without learning a single line of code!
Follow the steps in this FREE guide and you will have your own vacation review website TODAY!
You will even be able to charge businesses for premium listings on your Tripadvisor clone and start making money too. We will show you exactly how to do all of this and more.
This Build A Site Like guide has 3 main steps to follow:
- Step 1. Why you should use a Website Platform (CMS) and which one to go for
- Step 2. How and where to purchase your Domain name & Hosting Service
- Step 3. How to Install your website platform & Tripadvisor WordPress theme.
Once completed, your Tripadvisor website will be ready to accept listings and user reviews from the word GO!
In no more than 30 minutes this website could be yours!!
Launching a new website is such an exciting journey, and good on you for jumping in. Now its time to take a look at step number 1…
Step 1: Choosing a Website Platform (CMS)
One of the easiest ways to make a site like Tripadvisor in 2018 is to use a fully built website platform. These commonly come in the form of a “Content Management System” or CMS for short.
Why a Content Management System (CMS) is a must for any website owner?
A Content Management System takes all the complication out of building and running a website. This makes them perfect for beginners and experts alike; they make life simple for website owners.
Also, a good CMS will remove the many things that make web design seem difficult to the absolute beginner. At its heart the CMS is there to provide a simple interface for you to manage every aspect of your site.
It also means that anyone can get started online. There’s no longer any need to spend several years learning complex programming languages.
And best of all, the most popular CMS on the internet, (a system called WordPress) is absolutely free to use.
Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of WordPress, let’s take a closer look at what a content management system actually does.
What does a Content Management System (CMS) do?
As we have already stated, the CMS allows you to manage your website from a simple to use admin area.
A good way to think about this is to compare it to when you login to your Facebook account. Once there, you can post text and image updates, create galleries, change your profile and header images and a whole lot more.
The interface is mostly point, scroll and click.
The content management system of your website works in much the same way. You login and using the interface you can add new posts and pages, add images, create galleries, control all the content for your site basically.
Furthermore, you can alter the whole look of your website by choosing which theme to use. (The theme is the ‘skin’ of your website. It is the overall design and style of your site.)
The CMS also allows you to install plugins that will increase the overall functionality of your website.
For our Tripadvisor website we will choose a theme and plugins that replicate all the functionality of the famous holiday, listings review site.
This will allow your users to post reviews; businesses to post listings and all the other things you need to run a successful website.
And remember, we can do all of that without needing to learn a single line of code.
This is why the CMS is so important.
Why choose WordPress as the CMS for your listings review site?
There are many reasons you should use WordPress when building a site like Tripadvisor:
- WordPress is absolutely FREE and as we have explained, perfect for beginners.
- There are an almost unlimited supply of WordPress guides and tutorials available online to help you.
- Thousands of themes available to contriol the way your website looks with just a few clicks of a button.
- WordPress plugins allow you to increase the functionality of your website making it suitable for any type of online business.
- The right WordPress theme will mean your website will look great on all screen sizes and formats
- WordPress provides superior website performance, functionality and security and is constantly being updated in order to maintain this.
In this tutorial, we will show you how to create a review website like Tripadvisor using WordPress
So we have covered some of theory behind your website and why the CMS is so important. The rest of this guide is where you will need to roll your sleeves up and start creating. We will now dive into the process of building your website. The steps will include:
- Choosing the best Web Hosting for WordPress
- How to Register a FREE Domain Name
- How to Install WordPress on to your hosting plan
- How to Install a Business Directory Theme into WordPress
- How to Upload the demo content that Builds your Website
Step 2: Hosting & Domain Name
Step 2 is where it all starts happening. It is time to choose our hosting and Domain name.
As our guide is designed for absolute beginners, let’s spend a brief moment describing those terms.
- Domain Name – The domain name is the web address that people will type into their browser in order to visit your website. www.tripadvisor.com is a good example of a domain name.
- Web Hosting – All websites need hosting. It is the service that stores all the data of your website so it is available online 24/7.
Note: If you sign up by using our links, we will earn a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you. We use those funds to run Buildasitelike.com as a completly free resource. We aim to continuing improving the site, adding more valuable guides and helping beginners get started online.
In our opinion, iPage is the best beginner hosting service online today.
The service provides excellent hosting with readily available live support, starting at an extremely low $1.99/month.
Not only that, iPage will give you a FREE years domain registration as well as $500 worth of extras on sign up. It really is one of the best hosting deals around.
So let’s go ahead and purchase our iPage Hosting plan and register our FREE Domain Name.
Once you have reached the iPage home screen, click the Get Started Now Button.
This will take you to the screen below where you will be asked to choose your domain name.
For this tutorial I have typed in “ThisIsMyExample.com”. After typing in the domain name I pressed search to see if my idea was available to use.
Nice, the domain name is available!
This is what you want to see. However, don’t be disappointed if the name you try is already taken. Many popular .com names are being used by other websites.
However, you will find that there are still many variations available.
For instance, the results page will display a list of alternatives with extensions such as “yourdomainname.net“, or .site etc.
You might even want to try “yourdomainname.review“, the choice really is up to you.
Once you have decided on a domain name that you can use click Next, choose my term.
Now it is time to choose whether you would like a 1, 2 or 3 year term for your hosting plan.
Again the choice is yours. Your budget and how long you would like to own the website for can all be determing factors.
In our examples we chose a two year plan. (The plan total price will appear in the box to the right of the screen).
After choosing your term length press Next, customize my plan.
Now you will be given a list extras you can select for your website hosting plan. They are as follows:
- Domain Privacy – We recommend you select yes here. Domain Privacy will stop your details being readily available online. This means you should not be inundated with spam phone calls and texts trying to sell you web design services.
- Website Security & Daily Backup – We recommend you select this too. Having these taken care of by your hosting is the most benginner friendly way of ensuring your site stays backed up and virus free.
- All in One WordPress Bundle – This is unneccessary.
- SSL Certificate – Say yes to this. From July 2018 Google will start showing warnings on websites in search that do not have valid security certificates.
After customizing your plan, click Continue to Payment.
(Note, iPage will display more offer pages before you reach the payment page. Click ‘no thanks’ at the bottom of each page until you see the payment screen).
Well done, Step 2 is almost finished!
After entering your payment details and completing your purchase, you will reach a screen asking you to create a username, login password and other security details.
Once done, you will be able to login to your iPage hosting account by clicking the login button at the top right side of the screen.
Now things are really starting to happen; it is time to installing WordPress and a new listings review theme.
Step 3: Installing WordPress & a Tripadvisor theme
i. Installing WordPress Using the iPage SimpleScripts
After logging in to your iPage control panel you will see something very similar to the screenshot below.
Click My Installs (SimpleScripts).
On the next page Click WordPress.
On the screen you reach, leave the default settings as they are.
Click Install and iPage will start doing all the heavy lifting.
It is a fast process however, so there will not be much time to make a cup of coffee.
Furthermore, during the install process you will be asked to create some login details for the actual WordPress admin area.
Finally, say yes to the WordPress terms and conditions, click complete and…
Your WordPress Installation is complete.
Now, if you head to the front page of your website (by entering the domain name; example: mydomain.com), you will see a live version of your website.
It will look underwhelming to say the least.
With little content and only the default WordPress theme installed things will be very barren. There is still an important step to go through before your site will look anything like Tripadvisor.
However, don’t worry, we are very nearly there.
It is now time to purchase and install your Tripadvisor style WordPress Theme!
ii. How to install a Trip Advisor WordPress Theme
With WordPress fully installed its now time to add a theme that will transform your website into a working Tripadvisor style site.
To do this we first need to login to the WordPress admin panel.
This is done by adding /wp-admin after your domain name.
Using our mydomain.com as an example; the admin URL would be: mydomain.com/wp-admin
The screen you reach will ask you to enter the username and password. This is the one you created during the iPage SimpleScripts WordPress installation.
After you are logged you will be sent to the main WordPress admin dashboard.
This is where all the magic is conjured.
As we discussed earlier in the article, the CMS admin area will allow you to publish new content, install plugins, change your menus and styling and much, much more.
Our first step however, is to check out the theme installation page.
This can be reached by locating the left sidebar menu; hovering over Appearance, and clicking on Themes.
You will now find yourself looking at a similar screen to the one above.
The screenshot here is taken from Buildasitelike.com.
Like most new websites we have have many of the default WordPress themes installed. Only one theme is currently active however. We are using a Child Theme because we have customized the site so heavily.
However, standard themes would not provide the functionality required to launch a Tripadvisor style website. For that we need to purchase a premium theme.
Best Place to Buy Premium WordPress Themes online
[Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.]
You do not need to look far to find WordPress themes. The competition is fierce with theme marketplaces littered all over the web.
However, this does make it a buyer’s market. It doesn’t matter what type of site you want to create, there will be a theme out there to cater for it, (a quick Google search will definitely tell you that much).
That being said, you should choose the most reputable theme marketplaces to make your purchase. As a beginner, a theme vendor offering good support and regular updates is a must.
Market places with strict guidelines on the types of themes they sell are also worth hunting down. In essence, they have done their due diligence for you.
Or you can rely on our recommendations. 🙂
In our opinion some ofd the best Premium WordPress Themes can be found here:
- Elegant Themes
- Template Monster
- Engine Themes
- Thrive Themes
- Theme Fuse
- Theme Furnace
What’s the best Tripadvisor WordPress Theme
To create a website like Tripadvisor we fully endorse a theme called, MyListing – one of the most advanced directory WordPress themes available. You will be able to purchase this at one of the most reputable marketplaces online, ThemeForest.
Our choice comes from much trail and error on the many Tripadvisor template themes currently available. We want to ensure we are recommending only the best as part of our guide.
The reviews and customer feedback on Mylisting are also worth mentioning; at the time of writing the theme has an average of 4.91 stars out of 5, (with almost 5000 sales).
So let’s head over to ThemeForest so we can purchase our new theme.
The link above will take you to the main MyListings Theme sales page.
Click the Buy Now button.
On the checkout page, fill in your First name, last name & email address then click Next.
If you are not an existing member of ThemeForest, you will be asked to create a username and password.
Verify the captcha, click the Create account & Continue Button.
This next step will ask for your billing details.
After completing these, click Save and continue.
Available Payment Methods
3 secure payment methods are available when you use the Envato marketplace: Debit/Credit card, PayPal and Envato Credit.
Debit/Credit Cards and Paypal will incurr a 2$ surcharge however these are the most convenient payment methods for the first time buyer.
That being said, if you think you’ll be buying a number of themes it does make sense to add credit to your Envato account. There is no surcharge with that particular method of payment.
A confirmation success message will appear once you have made payment.
Now the exciting part – time to download your MyListings vacation directory theme!
Hover over your username (you will find this in the top right corner of the screen) and click downloads.
The above screen will appear and your Quibla theme will be ready for access.
Click the green download button.
Two options will be revealed:
- All files and Documentation – Here you have access to the theme, licence information and other related documentation, all in one zip file.
- Installable WordPress files only – Just the theme files only, in one single .zip file.
We will be selecting option number 2; the installable WordPress files only.
Click and download the zip file onto your computer.
Now, head to your main WordPress dashboard again (mywebsite.com/wp-admin).
We will now be returning to the WordPress theme selection page we checked out earlier.
Instead of a boring old WordPress default template, we are going to install our wonderful MyListing theme.
To do this, hover over Appearance and then click on Themes.
Installing the MyListings Theme into WordPress
This is where your new vacation directory will really start to take shape.
Very soon we will have your very own Tripadvisor clone.
To make life easy for the beginner, the authors of MyListing have created a video showing you exactly how to install your theme, and all the demo content to get started.
With your downloaded theme file ready on your desktop, follow the video above to quickly and easily, launch your new vacation listings directory.
An overview of the final steps
To make sure we take you to the very end of the process of setting up your new website, here’s a look at what the installation video will cover:
- Exactly how to install the MyListing theme into your WordPress website.
- How to install all the necessary plugins that came packaged with the MyListing theme.
- How you can upload all the demo content to have the same website as the one we showed you at the beginning of this guide.
Remember, installing the demo content means your website will be fully setup, ready for you to begin entering your own content too.
Essentially, you will be fully ready to accept listing from customers as well as reviews.
With the demo framework in place you can easily begin building your site until you have a finished product that is uniquely yours.
Move aside Tripadvisor, there’s a newcomer in town.
Congratulations you’ve just built your very own Tripadvsior listings website
- 9 Essential WordPress Plugins for All Beginners
- Official Theme Author Youtube Channel – Lots of helpful guides from the theme authors showing you all you need to know about the ListingsPro theme.
How was your experience building this site like Tripadvisor? Was the guide easy to follow? Is there anything you would like to see added? Post your comments in the message section below as we would love to hear your feedback.
And finally, if you like what you found here please Share it with friends. It will help us get the word out on what we are trying to do here; getting absolute beginners started online so they can buildaSitelike… 🙂