Designing a Classifieds website

When beggining to design a new classifieds website there are some very important aspects to consider before starting. The biggest decison of all is which classifieds script to use as there are quite a few to chose from. Let's take a look at some of the more popular scripts as well as the positive and negative aspects of them all. Unlike most other articles similar to this let me assure you that I have no vested interest in any of them and this is purely based on many years of playing around with the various classifieds scripts and trying to work out what's script best fits my needs.


One thing that I wil share with you is that a stand alone, dedicated script will almost always be more flexible than a script that has been made to run on a CMS platform such as Wordpress or Joomla etc. This is not to say that some of the scripts used on these platforms are not very well built and perform extremely well but I just believe that many of them are not flexible enough without them being recoded and heavily modified. In saying this if you are an expert in PHP and html etc then you could still perform wonders with many of these scripts.


When looking at developing a classifieds website it is crucial that the site loads fast and that it is SEO friendly and also user friendly. So lets take a look at some of the most popular classifieds scripts and look at the pros and cons of each one. 


1. Classipress - while this is actually a wordpress plugin rather than a stand alone script it is still a worthy contender to consider using. The layout is clean, it is easy to navigate and it has a reasonably good search function which allows you to find ads within certain distances of your location. The cons are that it isn't as fast loading as some of the other wordpress plugin scripts and it doesnt have the SEO flexibility that many of the other scripts offer.


As with most other classifieds scripts it takes some skill to be able to modify the script to customise it's looks and functionality. If you wish to make modifications to this theme then it is advisable to create a child theme and add the modifications to it. By doing this the modifications won't get overwritten if there is an update applied to the plugin.


2. OsClass - is a dedicated classifieds that is stable and works as expected. The script really becomes a winner when 3rd party plugins and themes are installed. These 3rd party plugins add such things as social log ins, radius search, SEO improvements and a load of usability fo the user.


To enhance OsClass some of the best plugins and themes are available from OsClasspoint, they are simple to install and in general work straight out of the box. The most beneficial plugin for better rankings is the SEO module as long as it is configured correctly. Once this is installed you can change the titles etc to include the category and location etc which is great for rankings.


OsClass also has some really high quality themes available which are fast loading and very well designed. As we all know "Page Speed" is now a major factor in search engine rankings so I highly recommend the WebP Images Generator Plugin as it decreases the overall page size which in turn results in faster load times.


3. Flynax - is another dedicated classifieds script that has been around for a long time and also has a number of very well designed themes available to purchase. The layout of the platform is very clean and easy to navigate while offering a radius search and auto location default setting.


One thing that makes Flynax a winner is that they have lowered their price considerably on the Software Licence which also includes a huge range of plugins to go with it. As well as being well priced Flynax offers great support which is one thing I found the others are lacking, this makes it well worth considering over the other scripts available.


Flynax also offer a basic SEO setup for beginners which is $95 USD and is highly recommended if you are serious about getting the site to rank well. Also available is a "Bot Blocker" plugin which is a MUST for any classifieds website. Considering the number of plugins this software has available as well as the support and Robust design this script is definitely worth considering for your classifieds site.


4. DJ-Classifieds - is actually an extension for Joomla which turns the script into a fully functional classifieds site. Although DJ-Classifieds does not have all of the features of some of the above scripts it is a worthwhile alternative. To those who have an understanding of Joomla then this extension is worth a look however it is not a free but a premium extension.


Some of the features include advanced search functions, regions/locations and a map module. You can chose from a variety of themes or else customise your own design. The overall look of the extension is clean and well laid out however I personally feel that the default themes do not look as proffessional as some of the above mentioned scripts. Unless you are an expert Joomla user then I would most likely opt for one of the other scripts mentioned above.

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