Auto dealer websites have become increasingly important in today’s digital age, as consumers are more likely to research and purchase vehicles online. However, with so many options and features available, it can be difficult for auto dealerships to create an effective website that stands out from the competition. That’s why our team of experienced web designers has researched and analyzed hundreds of auto dealer websites to compile a list of the top 40 sites.
Our rankings are based on factors such as design, functionality, creativity, user experience, and more. We tried to find a variety of examples, from small to large auto dealerships that offered new and used vehicles.
By exploring these websites, auto dealers can gain inspiration and insights for their own site. To ensure your car website is helpful for visitors, it’s important to have clear and detailed information about your inventory, user-friendly search and filter options, easy navigation on both desktop and mobile devices, and engaging visuals that showcase your vehicles.
For web design examples across other business sectors, check our top rated websites article!
Top Auto Dealer Website Designs
5. Dorsch Ford
6. Drive Straub
7. Modern Auto
9. Bumble Auto
14. 77 Auto
16. Fairless Motors
20. Boyle Auto Sales
21. Chesrown Auto
22. Queens Auto Mall
26. Rolls Royce
27. Byers Auto
31. Anderson Lincoln
33. Regency Toyota
34. Land Rover Tampa
36. Pierre Ford
37. Adamson Motors
40. Murray Motors
How to Build a Great Auto Dealership Website
Are you in the process of building a new website for your auto dealership? How exciting!
Let’s walk through some of the most important steps in building a new, or redesigning an existing, auto dealership website.
Feel free to skip the first few sections if you already have a domain name, hosting service, and website platform picked out!
1.) Purchasing a Domain Name
Choosing the right domain name for your auto dealership website is a crucial step in establishing your online identity. It serves as the address that visitors will use to access your website, and it plays a significant role in branding and recognition of your dealership.
Here’s a step-by-step process to help you choose the perfect domain name:
- Brainstorm: Start by brainstorming ideas for your domain name, considering the name of your dealership, the type of cars you sell, and your location.
- Simplicity: Try to keep your domain name simple, easy to spell, and pronounce. Avoid using complex words, hyphens, or numbers.
- Consistency: If your dealership has an established brand name, it’s generally a good idea to include it in your domain name. For example, if your business name is Emerald Valley Auto, don’t register a domain name such as AffordableCarSolutions.biz.
- Availability: Check the availability of your desired domain names before proceeding. Many common domain names may already be taken. If that’s the case, see if your desired domain name is being used and available for sale. However, be cautious about investing too much money in purchasing a domain name that’s for sale.
- Domain Extensions: Consider which domain name extension best suits your website’s purpose. While .com is the most common and widely recognized extension, there are many other options available, such as .net, .org, or industry-specific extensions like .auto or .cars.
- Legal Considerations: Before registering your domain name, conduct a trademark search to ensure it doesn’t infringe upon someone else’s intellectual property. Avoid registering a domain name that includes another auto dealership’s business name or the name of a popular car manufacturer.
- Register the Domain: Once you’ve settled on an available domain name, it’s time to register it through a reputable domain registrar. We’ve found GoDaddy and Namecheap to be the easiest platforms for managing domain name registrations.
2.) Choosing a Website Platform
After figuring out your domain name, the next step is selecting a website platform for your next website.
Most auto dealers are going to build content-based websites with vehicle listing integrations that offer finance calculators and quick contact forms to drive conversions.
Most auto dealerships will find WordPress to be a reliable and robust platform. If you don’t choose a platform like WordPress, you’ll likely opt for a website through one of the popular vehicle marketing companies like DealerFire, DealerSpike, or Carsforsale.com.
- WordPress: WordPress is a versatile and widely used content management system (CMS) that offers tremendous flexibility and customization options. It caters to all types of auto dealership websites, from simple websites displaying inventory to more complex sites offering online appointment scheduling or lead generation. With a wide range of automotive-inspired themes and plugins available, WordPress allows you to create a highly customized website tailored to your auto dealership. It’s a great choice if you value control and want the ability to expand your website’s functionality over time. Although there is a hosted version of WordPress, most people who use WordPress have the open-source version installed on a web hosting account.
It isn’t common to see car dealerships selling vehicles online through platforms like WooCommerce or Shopify.
Web Hosting Requirements
If you choose a platform like WordPress or WooCommerce, you’ll need to find a reliable web hosting service.
While we highly recommend our own web hosting service for WordPress websites, there are other reputable options available. Consider the following recommendations:
- WP Engine: WP Engine is one of the preferred web hosting services for auto dealerships. WP Engine offers a user-friendly control panel for easy creation of staging websites. Their seamless backup process is commendable. The only drawback we’ve encountered is the PHP max_execution_time limits they impose. Keep in mind that their pricing can increase rapidly for upgraded services.
- SiteGround: We have consistently enjoyed working with SiteGround. Their responsive live chat and email support surpasses that of more well-known hosting companies. We have rarely encountered long waiting times and the first person we interacted with typically resolved the issue. Their backup tools are user-friendly, and they offer reasonable pricing for auto dealerships.
- Digital Ocean: Digital Ocean is an excellent choice for cloud hosting, although it may be more advanced than necessary for most auto dealership websites. We have experienced no issues with the Digital Ocean cloud network, unlike other cloud networks we’ve tried. Keep in mind that cloud hosting can become expensive when factoring in droplet (server instance) costs, operating system, control panel, server software, offsite backup, and server management fees. For server administration, consider seeking recommendations from AdminGeekZ.
3.) Choosing a Website Template
Most auto dealerships opt for purchasing and customizing a third-party website template to reduce web development costs and turnaround time. However, if your dealership prefers a custom design, you can always hire a custom web developer or custom ecommerce developer to create a theme tailored specifically to your needs.
For the purpose of setting up an auto dealership website, let’s focus on suggestions for finding a pre-built website template. Here are some links to the main theme marketplaces to consider:
WordPress Auto Themes
Autozone – Themeforest
Vrooom – Themeforest
Auto CarForYou – Themeforest
Harrier – Themeforest
Wix Auto Themes
You can browse through free and paid themes in their marketplace at wix.com, some of which are well-suited for auto dealerships.
4.) Creating Content & Adding Images
Now that you have your domain name, website platform, and theme sorted out, it’s time to start building content for your auto dealership website!
There are several tips you can follow to create engaging and effective website copy. Let’s go over a few:
- Know your target audience: Before writing a single word, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your target audience. Define their demographics, preferences, and needs. Tailor your content to address their pain points, provide value, and resonate with them. This will help ensure that your website ranks in search engines for relevant automotive searches.
- Define your key messages: Determine the main messages you want to convey through your website content. These should align with your brand, highlight your unique advantages, and clearly communicate the benefits of your auto dealership.
- Keep it concise and scannable: Online readers tend to skim content, so make sure your writing is concise and easy to digest. Use short paragraphs, bullet points, subheadings, and bold text to break up the content and improve readability.
- Create clear and compelling headlines: Craft attention-grabbing headlines that immediately convey the value and relevance of your auto dealership. A well-crafted headline can entice visitors to explore your website further.
- Incorporate keywords strategically: Conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords and incorporate them naturally throughout your content. This can improve your auto dealership website’s visibility in search engine results. However, avoid keyword stuffing, as it can negatively impact readability and user experience. Tools like Ahrefs or Semrush can assist with keyword research.
- Maintain a conversational tone: Write in a conversational manner that resonates with your audience. Avoid jargon or overly technical language unless your target audience specifically requires it. Engage your readers by addressing them directly and using a friendly, approachable style.
- Edit and proofread: Always edit and proofread your content before publishing. Check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Ensure the flow of your content is smooth and logical, and that it aligns with your brand voice and style guidelines. Tools like Grammarly can be helpful!
- Utilize ChatGPT for assistance: If you need help generating ideas or refining the content on your auto dealership website, consider leveraging AI tools like ChatGPT.
You’ll want to break up long sections of text by adding relevant, high-quality images to your content. Here are some tips:
- Use high-quality images: Opt for high-resolution images that are visually appealing and well-composed. Blurry or pixelated images can detract from the overall quality of your auto dealership website.
- Ensure relevance: Select images that are relevant to your content and help illustrate your message. The images should enhance the text and provide additional context or visual interest related to auto dealerships.
- Consider stock photo resources: Utilize reputable stock photo websites like Unsplash, Pixabay, or Shutterstock to find a wide range of professional-quality automotive-related images that match your theme. Be mindful of licensing requirements and attribute images as necessary.
- Customize images when possible: If you have the skills or resources, consider customizing or branding images to align with your auto dealership’s brand. This can help create a cohesive visual experience for your visitors. Tools like Adobe Photoshop or Canva can be useful.
- Optimize image file sizes: Compress images to optimize their file sizes without sacrificing quality. Large image files can slow down your auto dealership website’s page speed, impacting user experience and SEO. Tools like TinyPNG can help with image compression.
5.) Post Launch Tasks and Optimization
Once you have built and launched your auto dealership website, there are several important tasks and services to consider for maximizing its effectiveness. Here are some basic suggestions to help you navigate post-launch activities:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Implementing SEO strategies is crucial to improving your auto dealership’s visibility in local search results. Conduct keyword research, optimize your content, and ensure your website has a solid internal linking structure. Regularly update and create fresh, high-quality content to attract organic traffic. Consider hiring our SEO team or checking out third-party providers like The HOTH for assistance.
- Paid Advertising: Drive targeted traffic to your auto dealership by utilizing paid advertising platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads. Consider hiring our PPC management services or finding talented professionals on websites like Mayple for effective campaign management.
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): Analyze your website’s performance and user behavior using tools like Google Analytics. Identify areas where users may drop off or encounter barriers to conversion. Conduct A/B testing with tools like VWO to make data-driven changes that improve your website’s conversion rates and overall user experience.
- Website Security: Protect your auto dealership website from malware and exploits by implementing robust security measures. Ensure you have SSL certificates, web application firewalls (such as Sucuri), and regular backups in place. Keep your CMS, plugins, and themes up to date to minimize vulnerabilities. Monitor your website for potential security risks and promptly address any issues. Consider using a website uptime monitoring service like UptimeRobot to ensure uninterrupted availability.
- Website Maintenance: Regularly maintain your auto dealership website to ensure optimal performance. If you are using WordPress, this includes updating plugins and themes, monitoring website speed and performance, and resolving any broken links or errors. Consider hiring our website maintenance services or finding freelancers on platforms like Upwork. Regularly back up your auto dealership website to safeguard against data loss or technical issues.
- User Feedback and Testing: Actively seek user feedback to understand visitor experiences and identify areas for improvement. Implement user testing and gather insights on how users interact with your website. Use this feedback to make iterative enhancements and continuously optimize the user experience.
- Content Updates: Keep your website content fresh and up to date. Regularly publish new blog posts related to the auto industry, update product or service information, and ensure all information is accurate and relevant. Engaging and valuable content not only attracts visitors but also encourages them to return and share your content with others interested in automobiles.
Remember, post-launch digital marketing activities are crucial for the long-term success of your auto dealership website. Stay proactive, monitor performance, and adapt your strategies to achieve your business goals and meet the needs of your audience.