We have previously written different articles on how to start a jobs site, mobile site, private blogs etc and this time iam going to write down a detailed article on how to start a free classifieds site, what are advantages of starting classifieds site and how to setup one of these.
How Free Classifieds Sites Work?
Classified Ads sites are one of the best ways in finding good deals and also a way where you can promote your services or sell your products. Considered as a good way to market your business, the free classified sites would just your time to list the business products and smart marketing lines for getting good sales. If you are looking to sell your old laptop on the Internet, websites like ebay.in are quite useful but these would charge you listing fees and also would need you to add your Bank Details and other stuff like account verifications, payment setup etc but the free classified sites are something like public billboards where you can just register, login and then list a advertisement with your contact details which prospective buyers would read and follow up with you. This is something similar to Newspapers Classified Ads which are charged on line basis and the newspaper agency would charge you for Bold, Large, Small size based listings and also this is normally just for a single day advertisement, but the classified listings are normally permanent listings which are never deleted. The site owners would just delete illegal, again their TOS listings and approve all the normal ads and also allow few featured listings.
How Classified Ad Site Owners Make Money?
This is most important question because ultimately you would be looking to know how the website owner would be making money through this system. Many people would think that when the ad site owner is offering free listings, then how could he generate money through this system, but the answer is quite simple. There are mainly three different ways to make money through these kind of websites.
- Through Contextual Advertisements – There are different ad networks like Google Adsense, Chitika, Yahoo Publisher Network, MSN Adcenter etc which display advertisements related to the content you have on your website. Since the classified websites are totally free they receive a lot of visitors both who are service providers, business owners or buyer. They would click a lot on these advertisements since they are contextual ie related to the listing page they are visiting offering the site owner a decent amount of revenue.
- Through Affiliate Programs – If your classifieds site is based on a single niche, offering links to different services and websites on the name of recommendations would allow you to make a good amount of money. This is because the visitors would directly click on the links you have published within the content or on the email newsletters you send and buy the products or services and help you make money in the form of commissions.
- Through Featured Listings - All the ad listings are displayed under different categories and whenever there is a new ad posted on the site the previous one is pushed down and the chances of getting viewers also gets low. Hence the site owner can offer a service like featured listings which would be limited to certain number per category, but would always keep the classified posting on the top of the category for a certain period and this can be charged based on the time the listing should be kept on the top. This would offer the buyers more belief on the ad poster as he has paid for the listing, hence that would mean that he is a serious party and also get him the highest views, making all the 3 parties a better deal.
Classifieds Website Scripts Paid & Free
There are numerous scripts available for starting your own free classifieds website but based on your requirements and the customizations you can decide whether you would opt for a free script or a paid script. Here is a small list of all the available options for you which you can search, compare and then implement.
- Free Scripts : You can just login to your Hosting Cpanel > Fantastico section and find a free classifieds website scripts called as ‘Noahs Classifieds’. You can find a live demo here which displays a small thumbnail and description of all the main categories on the homepage. Once you enter any categories the same system is implemented for Sub-Categories and also the advertisements are listed with few relevant details like Price, Product Details, Pictures etc. You can click on the picture to get a complete listing detail, to which you can click on the button which says ‘Reply to posting’ in order to contact the listing poster and get in touch with him. The script is quite powerful from the admin end and simple from the front-end which can make it one of the best recommendations in the free classified site script category, though there are hundreds of different free scripts which you can find by doing a quick search.
- Paid Scripts : This is the point where you need to do the maximum research because here in you are going to select a script which will cost you money, hence its important to select one which can be useful for your long run business. Here are a few scripts which are paid as well as have different features.
- 68 Classifieds – A Professional looking classifieds site script which offers a large range of features like Unlimited number of categories & packages, Insert title, keywords, and description, The ability to allow ads or not, Set the number of days a listing will run, Limit the number of photos for each package, Setup coupons and discounts for individuals, user groups, or for everyone, A number of pre-installed payment providers, Auto Delete Expired Listings, Lots of included plugins, Easy to change and redesign etc. The script is offered in different modes like Hosted version which costs 39.99$ to a developer version which is a lifetime copy costing 249.99$ along with complete features in any versions.
- Php Classifieds Script – This is another PHP based Classifieds Script which allows you to offer listing of any type of ads including Real Estate, Rentals, Lots/Land, Jobs, General For Sale, Autos, Pets, and more. The script comes preloaded with different ad types and easy and understandable installation wizard. The license costs 74.95$ and offers you with LifeTime Updates with options to rate the ads, print the ad detail fliers and also send the ad information through Fax to their contacts which can be a excellent addon to the viewers. The final look of the site is not really good looking when compared to the 68Classifieds site which offers a clean and understandable navigation.
- Classified Script – This can be another excellent option for you because the final demo looks professional with Categories & Sub-Categories on the Homepage below Thumbnail based ads and a clean navigation menu on the top. The listing pages are all Search Engine Optimized which means that they dont have any session id’s nor any confusing URL along with the title in the URL. The script allows you to easily add your own advertisements on the website pages and also a small contact form on each listing page which would allow the visitors to directly contact the poster by email – this option would easily build a connection between both the parties and complete the transaction quickly. The script costs 99$ for a full version and is currently offered at 5$ for a 7 days trial version under whch you can download a full package, try it out and then upgrade to the full version by paying the balance 94$ and continue using it.