Insights for Entrepreneurs

How to Create A Classifieds Website Like Craigslist in 2023?

create a website like craigslist

5 min read

We all grew up reading newspapers and the tiny advertisement slots where businesses promote their products/services.

Until the advent of the internet and its widespread use, it remained the same. After the internet revolution, businesses started advertising their services online using various platforms.

One such online advertisement website is called Craigslist. In this article, we will discuss how as an entrepreneur, you can create a website like Craigslist and start earning money from it in 2023.

Let’s begin.

What is Craigslist and how does it work?

Craigslist is an online classifieds marketplace platform where people can advertise job postings, housing, services, products, and more. It was launched in 1995 by Craig Newmark.

People can create their Craigslist accounts and start posting their adverts on the platform for free. They can also participate in various community forums.

Also, people can apply for gigs, or take advantage of deals they’re interested in.

How do classified websites like Craigslist make money?

Most classified websites like Craigslist are free to use for most adverts posting. But they also charge fees for special features people can use on the platform.

Here are some of the ways that classified websites can make money;

Special posting fee

In this model, people have to pay a certain amount to get their advertisement on top of the chosen category. If people know that a lot of potential buyers are visiting your site, they’d be happy to pay the fee.

Transactional fee

Customers should pay a certain percentage of commission fee for every transaction that they perform on the platform. Whenever a seller gets money from the buyer through the platform, the seller has to pay a certain percentage of it.

Banner ads

Banner ads are a great way to generate money from your classifieds platform. People have to pay an amount to get their ads on the banner ads section.

How do you create a website like Craigslist?

Here are the actionable steps that you can follow to create a website like Craigslist and get started with your online classifieds business.

1. Decide what you want to offer

There are two different types of classified websites out there – horizontal and vertical. Depending on what you want to offer, you can choose between them.

Horizontal marketplace offers diversified services where people can post any type of ad whether that can be job posting, sales, housing, etc.

The vertical marketplace is dedicated to a single-use niche like a job posting.

2. Collate features to incorporate

A feature-rich platform will help you attract and retain customers on your platform. Here are some of the features that you can add to your classified ad website.

User registration

Registration is not required for a classified website. But if you want to collect user information, you can do it by letting your customers register via email.

Search and filters

Filters and tags will help users to post their advertisements in the correct categories for their customers to find and make a purchase. Also, people can use the filters to search through the products or services by their price range and other attributes.

Product analytics

Users can track the performance of the advertisement they posted on the platform. They can track the number of views, likes, comments, and other engagement metrics.


Buyers and sellers can communicate directly using the chat system available on the platform to discuss the product or services.

Posting an advertisement

Here people can post ads for their products or services using the in-built form available on the platform.

Advert page

Here the people can view the particular product or listing they are interested in to get more details about that.

3. Design your website

After picking up the features, now you have to give instructions to your designer to create the web and mobile app design for your Craigslist-like business. The design does not necessarily have to be more intense. You can go with a minimalistic approach to provide a better user experience.

4. Code your Craigslist-like app

Hurray! Now it’s time to give life to your idea. You are all set to code your Craigslist-like website and app. You have two different options to consider; out-of-box readymade solutions and custom development.

A lot of Craigslist clone scripts are available in the market. You can use the best readymade script to get started with your business instantly. And the benefit of picking this option is that you can save almost 60 to 70% of your time and money.

You can use that time and money on other important aspects of your business. Whereas, creating an app from scratch is tedious and often costs tons of money.

5. Publish the app/website

To let your customers use your app or website, you have to make it available publicly on the internet. To make your app available for download, you have to publish them on the respective stores of Android and iOS.

That’s it. Now you just have to market your business to get customers onboard.

Tech stack that you can use to build a Craigslist alternative

Tech stack plays a huge role in the application’s scalability and performance. A better tech stack also helps in the maintenance of your application.

You can use PHP for a web application, MySQL for database management, Swift for iOS app development, and Java for Android app development.

How much does it cost to create a classified website?

The cost of classifieds website development depends on various factors such as;

  • Complexity.
  • Technology.
  • Features.
  • Platforms.
  • And the geography.

So combining all these factors, you might have to spend around $10000 to $30000 to create a classifieds marketplace platform from scratch.

But that’s a lot of money to invest if you are a startup. But a readymade out-of-box solution like a Craigslist clone would cost 60 to 70% less than the actual custom development cost.


Thanks for reading the guide. We hope this would help you get an overview of what you can do to create a website like Craigslist.

But you are responsible for putting your idea into motion to achieve your business goal. Let us help you build your dream classifieds platform for you.

Ping us on WhatsApp right away! or Schedule a meeting with us!

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Natheem has prolific experience creating content that resonates with the audience and ranks on search engines. He specializes in SEO marketing. His work has been published in YourStory and other reputable publications.