how to make website like craigslist

Craigslist kicked off back in 1995 as an email listing of San Francisco events. It has grown to become a reliable network where people post ads for housing, job vacancies, and many other listings. People use it to sell and buy mobile and immovable properties and even meet new people for dating and other personal matters. Craigslist also holds many forums for various sorts of discussions. Know more about how to make a website like craigslist yourself.

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On the Craigslist website, many categories are sorted by topics, locations, and dates. It supports 13 languages, but users can put up ads in whichever language they wish. Craigslist has various features that set it apart from its competition, and they include the following;

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Simple with a Newspaper-like Appearance


Since 1995, Craigslist has stuck to its design, which has ads looking very similar to those you’d find in a newspaper. This makes them easy to understand by everyone, even older readers. It refrains from using animations, images, and themes and instead goes with links within various categories. This makes it easy for customers to access what they need quickly.

Diversity of Ads

Craigslist supports 13 languages and is used in about 70 countries. It has hundreds of ad categories and forums on which people engage in all sorts of discussions. Each month, Craigslist sees about 60 million ads, 1 million of which are job postings.

Free or Cheap Ads

Most of the postings on Craigslist are entirely free. Users who aren’t within the US don’t even need to register on the site. Anyone can access the website and create their ad with a few clicks. The only ads that cost money are job ads, to-let apartments, and some therapy services. Even then, these services only cost a thing in particular locations, such as New York City, San Francisco, and other large cities. Nevertheless, the most expensive listings on Craigslist – which range between $15 and $75 – are still cheaper than those on job board websites.

how to make your own website like craigslist

When considering creating a site like Craigslist, you should choose between two alternatives: starting from scratch and using open source tools, such as WordPress. We will compare the two options, and you can go with the one that you like.

Developing From Scratch

When you build a website from scratch, you can be sure that every feature you need and the design you fancy will be incorporated. This website will have as many users as you want, and you can scale it easily if the need arises.

As you customize the design, you can also take care of the features that comprehensively enhance user experience and satisfaction. You can do this by crafting the architecture of your site to the needs of your target audience. What’s more, you can make adjustments to your website later depending on customer reaction.

The most perceivable downside to this option is the steep price of accomplishing it. Creating your site from scratch will consume more time and money. The total cost will depend on how complex you want it to be, the features you want to include, the technologies you will use, and the team you hire to do it for you.

When building the site from scratch, you have to be ready for a longer development time. Development typically accounts for more than a third of the total time spent on the site before its launching. The rest of the time will be spent on planning. Planning ensures that your vision and the operations of the team are completely aligned. This is where you know about the pitfalls and challenges before attempting to solving them.

Using Open Source Tools

Building a website using an open-source tool, such as WordPress, typically implies utilizing a premade theme that comes with the functionalities you want. If a theme lacks certain functions that you need, you can extend the functions by adding plugins. This method is cheap and saves you time since you need no development time. Above all other advantages is the lack of need for coding skills. You can launch a website without needing any coding skills.

Follow the Steps to make a website like craigslist

1. Choose a Domain Name


The first thing you do is choose a domain name. A domain name should describe your brand and be as memorable to your users as possible. The domain name is the part of a web address that mentions the identity of the site owner.

You should then choose an extension that will come at the end of your domain name, such as ‘.com’ or one that is restrictive to your country, such as ‘.au’ is for Australia. Choosing a country-specific extension will limit your users to those of that country.

The next step is registering your domain name and extension with a domain registrar or web hosts like Godaddy, DreamHost, and HostGator, among others.

2. Choose Hosting Plan


SiteGround offer various plans so that you can choose the one that satisfies your needs best. If you need around-the-clock support, you should ensure that your host offers it. Read the reviews of their support to figure out whether it is worth your time.

Web hosts provide backup services in case you want something that you’ve lost or need a restoration of your entire website. Choosing a hosting service that has been optimized for WordPress is a shrewd move since you’ll receive a pre-installation of WordPress along with the service. Furthermore, your site will be optimized for speed and security and could have free backup plans.

3. Choose WordPress as Your Content Management System

WordPress offers access to many features that aren’t available elsewhere. All you have to do is go to a search engine like Google and search for or

4. Choose and Install a Theme

Classima - Classified ads WordPress theme

A classified theme is the easiest way to personalize your classified website. Since there are many themes out there, we chose one of the best and used it to create our own trial website, and it was fantastic. Classima- classified ads WordPress theme promises to deliver what you need and much more.

Classima comes with many pages with variations. All you have to do is pick the ones you like before customizing them. The unlimited range of colors available with Classima is perfect for imprinting your brand on the website. It offers the Redux admin panel, which is the best tool for customizing your site. This theme has the Child Theme, an addition that keeps versions of your website safe as you customize others.

The membership and payment options at your disposal are perfect for user interaction and revenue collection. Classima avails social interaction features too.

If you want to earn from some of your ads, like with Craigslist, you’ll need to have bump up ads, pricing tables, reviews, currency control, image controls, custom field settings, and ad posting settings. The Classified Listing premium plugin offers all these features and many more. Rather than purchase the plugin, you can get Classima, which comes with the plugin at no extra cost.

Since Classima has full Ajax capabilities, the user experience on your site will be outstanding. If you want to have an online platform that offers various store details, such as opening hours, you can purchase the Classified Listing Pro addon. The other option is purchasing Classima and getting it for free. The addon also enhances the control you have over membership and category-based memberships.

5. Customize Your Website and Give It a Structure

Customizing your site once you have Classima is very easy. It enables you to add and edit pages easily. The only tasks you’ll have are adding content and overseeing operations. You will have to create categories for your ads, complete with menus and sub-menus. The structure that comes with Classima is as perfect as you can find on an ad listing website.

6. Add Products and Services

You can allow or prevent your users from adding images to their listings. They can add product descriptions, pricing, locations, and call-to-action buttons, such as ‘buy now’ buttons.

7. Monetization of Your Site

If you want to earn from your website, you can place ad banners on your site. You can charge for expensive listings and receive money through any payment avenue you want. Classima supports various payment gateways and will therefore save you much trouble.

8. Promote Your Ads Site

You will need to gather as many users as possible, and Google AdWords presents the best path of action. It does cost money, but it gets you the right audience. Optimizing your website further for SEO will increase your traffic and users. There are many more techniques for increasing the traffic on your website.

Final Thoughts

Having a website like Craigslist isn’t easy without the right tools. However, the guide we have outlined here should give you a head start. To resemble Craigslist, your website should have a registration function, personal accounts, search filters, calendars, easy ad posting, communication channels, ad moderation, and forums for communities. Almost all of these features come with Classima already, so your job will be straightforward.

You might be interested to know how to create a classified website in WordPress.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at RadiusTheme is a team of WordPress experts lead by Mamunur Rashid. We have been developing WordPress Themes and Plugins from 2016, Also creating various WordPress tutorials.