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How to Make an Auction Website in WordPress

How to Make an Auction Website in WordPress

As a process of selling goods up for bid, the auction is widely accepted by the selling party to make money online. The goods will be sold to the highest bidder thereby maximizing the profit. Thus, running an auction website has become a new trend for webmasters who wish to accelerate the development of business.

The discussion around how to make an auction website in WordPress is mentioned in this guide clearly, which helps you create a great auction site comparable with eBay. We are going to settle the matter with a WordPress auction plugin to hit the mark in an easy manner.

Finish Some Preparations

Before starting the creation of an auction website, you need to finish 5 preparatory tasks as discussed in the following.

Choose the Quality Web Host for WordPress

You have to make sure that people can have a stable and fast auction experience from your site. In this case, a fast and reliable web host for WordPress is critical for the success of your auction site. Selecting such a hosting provider among massive options online can drain off your patience and energy. Therefore, we have listed the top 3 choices in the following chart, each of which ensures the well optimized hosting environment for WordPress.

Decide a Proper Domain Name and Website Title

The proper domain and website title directly influence the first sight impression and professionalism of your auction site. In this case, when deciding these two aspects, we highly recommend you to use “auction” and some other keywords that can greatly indicate your website niche.

Install WordPress and Run the Website

Now, you need to install WordPress. There are various methods for achieving the purpose. Personally, however, the 1-click installer is really appreciated, for it saves you a lot of efforts and can hardly cause any error or issue during the installation process.

Choose a Professional Auction Template

This step is pretty essential to add better attraction to your auction site. You can choose either the paid option from some market platforms or the free one from WordPress directory. Chances are unlimited at present.

Select a Functional Auction Plugin

In fact, your WordPress site can work properly at present. And the next step is to select an auction plugin for integrating the full auction functions. In the following, we have listed some features you need to consider for a truly quality auction tool.

  • Allow users to place the bids or to list the items for sell easily.
  • Integrate the Buy It Now option with multiple payment methods.
  • Send the private messages or emails to all the bidders.
  • Entitle the ability to edit, stop and delete a live auction.
  • Enter the detailed information for each item, including the images and some media.

Install an Auction Plugin at Will

There are auction plugins released by WordPress developers, which can be searched via WordPress.org or WP admin. The selected one in this guide is Ultimate WordPress Auction plugin, which is the most popular method trusted by most webmasters running an auction site. Multiple advanced features of this plugin make everything go on wheels, and an Ajax admin panel enables an easy manner for management.

Ultimate WordPress Auction Plugin

Multiple images or videos can be uploaded to a product so as to help visitors have a better understanding of each item. The ability to edit, delete or end a live auction enables an easy management for all auctions created before. Set an expiration date for each auction consistent with your timezone or do it manually if needed.

Featuring the “Buy Now” option with PayPal, it is convenient for payment. More possibilities are available for you once installing this plugin on your website. Log into your WP admin and search for a result as below via Plugins > Add New. Upon activation, an item called Ultimate Auction appears on the sidebar.

Install Ultimate WordPress Auction Plugin

Note that, the free version of Ultimate WordPress Auction Plugin is selected here and that only allows registered users to place bids on your site. The pro version of this plugin enables registered users to add auction to your website.

Set Up Ultimate WordPress Auction Plugin

The Ultimate Auction further includes several settings for auction website setup. Go to Ultimate Auction > Settings and that is the initial page of this plugin for a general customization. There are three sections available in the Settings tab, including Payment, Auction and Email.

The Payment Settings is where to determine the currency and payment options. Select a default currency from the drop-down list, which includes all currencies around the world. If you are running an auction website with global concentration, you’d better add a currency converter on the web page for the convenience of currency conversion.

And then, check the payment options available for customers from PayPal, Wire Transfer, Cheque and Cash. More customizable settings for payment methods are available in the Payment tab.

Payment Settings

The Auction General Settings section includes a list of options for auction customization. Select your timezone from the drop-down list and then type how many auctions will be displayed on one feed page. Here requires you to enter the auction page URL and that is the page with inserted shortcode [wdm_auction_listing].

Create a new page named as Auction via Pages > Add New and insert the shortcode mentioned above in it. Once having this page published, copy and paste the page URL to “Auction Page URL” field. Type the login page URL and register page URL if you have any. Make a decision on the rest options as needed.

Auction Gneral Settings

By the way, we suggest you to add this auction page to the main menu of your website so as to make it at a glance. Go to Appearance > Menus and check the name of your auction page from the Pages mode. Click “Add to Menu” to add this page to the main menu and then save all changes.

Move to Email Settings section. Type an email address to receive all bid notification. It is a great method to get to know the latest bidding information in time.

Email Settings

Add the Payment Details

Now, you are required to add the detailed information for the payment methods you have enabled.

  • PayPal – For this method, you should offer your account email and choose the PayPal account type between Live and Sandbox.
  • Wire Transfer – Here, you should enter some wire transfer details that will be delivered to the highest bidders.
  • Cheque – This method requires you to enter your right mailing address so that you can receive the checks via mails.

Add the Payment Details

Add Your Auctions

Now, you can start adding your auctions by clicking the Add Auction button. Here, you firstly need to enter the title and the description of the selling item. Personally, you’d better add the information as detailed as possible to give people an incentive to bid.

In addition, you need to enter a short description for the product as well, which will be shown on the listing page for all the auctions.

Add Product Details

To add more diversity for your product introduction, you are allowed to add up to 4 product images or videos. In addition, for the better auction listing, the thumbnail image for each product is also required.

Product Images

Now, you can set the opening price and the incremental value between two bids. It is possible that you do not want to sell your product below a certain amount of money, so you can also decide the lowest price to accept.

In addition, if you want to apply the Buy Now option, you also should set the Buy Now price and choose the payment method. Here, do not forget to set the ending date of this auction.

Auction Prices

Now, you can save the changes. Note that you can repeat these steps to create as many auctions as you want.

In the front-end of your site, they will be showcased like this.

Auction List

Manage All Auction Items

Ultimate WordPress Auction Plugin allows you to view all existing auctions via Ultimate Auction > Manage Auctions. Each auction displayed in the Live Auctions list comes with specific ID number, title, creation date, ending date, starting price and bids placed. The “Expired Auctions” includes all auctions out of date.

Manage Auctions

If there is a need to modify an auction, click the “Edit” button following this item and access to the edit page. You are automatically directed to the auction settings page. Make a change to any details as needed and then confirm all changes by clicking “Save Changes” button.

Click “Delete” to delete an auction completely since it is of no value. If there is a need to close an auction with ending date non-arrival, click “End Auction” to end this auction manually and that will be moved to Expired Auctions list. The expired auctions can be reactivated if needed.

Expired Auctions

For any questions about this plugin, you can get an answer via Ultimate Auction > Support and that enables help & support links to numerous help guides. Once posing a question, you can get an answer from professional developers in real time.

In fact, some other auction plugins available in WordPress bare comparison with Ultimate WordPress Auction Plugin, including WordPress Auction Plugin, Dutch Auction Masters, WP Auction, and so on. Make a decision if you wish to get more possibilities.

Style Your Auction Site with a Premium Theme

If you get tired of the plain design of your auction website and desire for a new one with professional-looking, going with a premium auction theme seems a pretty useful idea in this case. We would like to introduce a popular theme provider specialized in auction website desgin, namely, SiteMile.

SiteMile enables a large number of premium WordPress themes for different purposes, coming with an array of advanced features, like fully-responsive layouts, monetization tools, auction expiration, and so on. The auction theme recommended here is Responsive WordPress Auction Theme, which is starting at $69. Complete payment and then upload this theme to your auction site.

Here is an auction sample created with SiteMile Responsive WordPress Auction Theme. The following guide makes an explanation for main features of this great auction theme.

SiteMile Sample

An item called Auction Theme appears on the sidebar and that further includes a list of options for theme customization. Go to Auction Theme > General Options and make some changes to the main auction settings, including AutoRenew option, HTML auction description, item count on categories/location, time limit on Buy Now, and so on. Make a decision according to personal needs and then save all changes.

SiteMile Gneral Settings

The Pricing Settings option includes 4 tabs for item pricing customization, namely, Main Details, Listing Fees, Other Fees and Custom Commission Fees. Go to Auction Theme > Pricing Settings Main Details and select site currency, currency symbol position, decimals sum separator and thousands sum separator from the drop-down list. Besides, the base fee, featured fee and sealed bidding fee should be set in Listing Fees tab.

SiteMile Pricing Settings

There is an array of payment gateways available for customers, like PayPal, Payza, MoneyBooker, Amazon, and so on. Modify settings for payment via Auction Theme > Payment gateways and that includes multiple payment settings. Focus on the first PayPal tab. Select “Yes” from the Enable drop-down list and customize the rest options as needed.

Having the API password, API username and application ID completed, click “Save Options” to confirm all settings. Enable other payment gateways and customize the given settings if needed.

SiteMile Payment Gateways

Since some webmasters have a higher demand on website design, the SiteMile Responsive WordPress Auction Theme enables various layout settings for homepage, header, footer and colors. Go to Auction Theme > Layout Settings and select a suitable layout for homepage from a list of options. Upload an attractive image and set it as the logo of your website. Replace the default footer to your own site information via Footer tab.

Turn to Change Colors tab and select a base color scheme from the drop-down list. If you wish to complete color matching by yourself, you are required to select “green” as the base color scheme and then type any color code as needed in the below boxes. Click “Save Options” button to confirm all settings.

SiteMile Layout Settings

In addition to what we’ve mentioned above, more settings are available for you to customize your auction site. All auctions can be assigned to different categories and each category comes with a specific image. You can set fees for each category and make a change at any time. Buy this theme now and explore more possibilities to have a great look on your auction website.


Lucy has been a very experienced SEOer, technical writer, web developer, c# developer since 2002. Now she owns a startup in San Francisco, CA, focusing on running a couple of blogs to share knowledge and experience with global readers and deliver exceptional results to global sponsors by leveraging the power of Internet.