What is the big fuss about Craigslist and Letgo? Why do so many entrepreneurs want to know how to make a website like Craigslist? Team at Excellent Webworld understands entrepreneurs’ pain points and has come up with this blog.

For starters, are you wondering how did Craigslist start? From being a free email service for upcoming event information for San Francisco residents, people began using the list for non-event purposes all over the United States. Built in the 90s when the internet was just pacing up, Craigslist has come a long way.

Why Create a Website Like Craigslist?

Before we discover the methods of how to make a website like craigslist, let us first peep into why one should create a website like Craigslist or OLX!!

It is a classified ad buying and selling app and website where users list stuff for purchasing and sales purposes. Be it buying a spoon or selling off an old carpet, Letgo vs Offerup vs Craigslist has always been a cut-throat competition. It is time to go green! Prevent print ads and go for classified ads.

  • Do you think blue color hyperlinked text could catch the below traffic? The Craigslist website claims to have a traffic value of more than 360M monthly visitors and an estimated annual revenue of $1B.
  • According to SimilarWeb, the OLX website claims to have 28.8M monthly visitors on their website.

Well, this is the truth!!!

Beware of Competition – Classified Ad Websites

The classified advertisement websites sector is not free of competition. Well, actually, there are a handful of rivals in the market. But, it is as important to be aware of the market competition. This will further help you in planning your moves in the market to build such a website.

We researched for you! Along with the classified websites names, we have also mentioned the inception years. Some were developed from scratch while others chose website builders using different WordPress themes. Here you go:

  • Craigslist (1995)
  • GumTree (2000)
  • Oodle (2004)
  • Kijiji (2005)
  • OLX (2006)
  • Quikr (2008)
  • OfferUp (2011)
  • Letgo (2015) (OfferUp acquired Letgo in 2020)
  • eBay Classifieds website

Doubting our recommendation? Check out for yourself – Letgo App – App of the Week feature article.

Should You Dare to Compete With Classifieds Website Like Letgo & Craigslist?

Before we guide you through how to make a website like Craigslist, let us first fixate on the decision of whether competing with the existing competitors is a good idea or not. Just how the forest is the natural habitat for animals to live. Similarly, competition is the natural order in businesses.

When you create a classified ad website, you would also prefer to be at the top of the market.

Come on, let’s face it!!! – it is not an impossible task to outmaneuver Craigslist, Letgo, or Offerup. In fact, Craigslist is not using its market potential to the fullest. Hence, this leaves a large room for other opportunistic entrepreneurs to utilize this loophole to its fullest right in the very beginning of their journey.

Do you know why Craigslist is one of the 20 most visited websites in the USA? Because it caters to so many needs altogether. You can create Craigslist like websites too! Consult the experts for custom website development.

Jotting USP in How to Make a Website Like Craigslist!??

USPs are like magic wands in the hands of business owners. An assertive USP is a way to go when you want to attract the competitor’s users towards yours. The way you penetrate the market and position yourself will directly impact your final revenue.

  • Design perspective plays an important role. Some websites are like eye candies to attract users. When it comes to Craigslist, their design is at least ten years out of date. Therefore, you must consider all the eCommerce app design factors to get the desired website design result.
  • “Some would call it ugly, others intuitive.” Craigslist hasn’t changed its design since its launch back in 1995. However, in our opinion, you should offer customer support and take care of the comfort of your target audience. Adding more to this, the category classification can be defined a little better and made more apparent on the website. If you see Letgo vs Craigslist, the former has a more defined sub-division than the latter.

This one’s a pro tip! Jot down a Customer Journey Map for creating a bang on user experience in your new website like Craigslist.

How to Make a Website like Craigslist? – Step by Step Process

Since this is quite a hot question, we have simplified explaining two ways of achieving the end results.
1. Custom website development from scratch.
2. Using website builders like WordPress for quick classifieds ad website solution.

Let us quickly glance through the details of both ways:

1. Website Development from Scratch

This section will guide you with the steps to build ‘buy and sell websites like Craigslist’.

steps to build 'buy and sell websites like Craigslist

2. WordPress Website Development

WordPress is a great CMS for developing a website like Letgo or Craigslist. Our developers are experts at creating and modifying customized plugins and themes and responsive designs in WordPress. Simply hire dedicated WordPress developers and choose a 40-hour trial first!

Main Pages on Your Website Like Craigslist & OfferUp

Content is the King! Every web page a site holds its importance. Good content is something that will set your website apart from others. While deciding upon the pages, it’s a must to analyze Offerup vs Letgo. Although your website is more about the ads, the content still has to be apt.

When thinking about how to make a website like Craigslist, here are a few must-have pages on your website:

1. Home page
2. About Us
3. Buyer/Seller profile
4. Listings category
5. Contact Us page
6. Terms of Use or How to Use?
7. Forums for discussion
8. FAQs about the Platform

Map & Create Unique Features to Add in an MVP Version or WordPress Site

Website MVP is a basic yet sufficient solution for a new launch of selling sites like Craigslist and OfferUp. Later, after measuring the user interest, you can add more functionalities as per their feedback. It is always a smart decision to deploy the basic solution and then invest more resources to incorporate premium features into it.

Below is a chart to explain the importance of how to make a website like Craigslist.

importance of how to make a website like Craigslist

Now, coming to the features that a classified ads website like Craigslist should have:

  • User sign up & registration – Be it a buyer or a seller, it is crucial to at least make them register on the app and enter their basic details for whatever purpose. Not only for you, but the users can also benefit from the profile they maintain on the website to track their past transactions in the future.
  • Search filters option – This feature is a blessing for all buyers. They can choose the categories from the available filters. This will aid them in getting to the product or service they are looking for easily. Adding more to this, this will also reduce the bounce rate.
  • Ad moderation – This is very similar to the ads we see on websites while using the net. Letting the user switch the annoying, repetitive, and offensive ads off and it will make them like your platform.
  • Ad posting – The ’Post Ad’ feature should be easily visible on the screens. This will make the ad posting process possible within a few clicks.
  • Event calendar – For any event tickets posted on the platform, an event calendar is an excellent element to add. This will help the users go through the calendar and check out the dates and days.
  • Forum – As the name suggests, the forums and communities allow the users to talk among themselves. They can discuss, debate, ask questions, and exchange information on familiar topics. This feature will help you in retaining users to your platform.
  • On-site chat – To support user privacy, you should enable the buyers and sellers to chat with each other. This will prevent them from exchanging additional vital contact information, reducing the chances of anything going wrong.

Challenges You Might Face While How to Make a Website Like Craigslist

Starting and running a business is a journey of roller-coaster. There will be n number of hurdles that you will face as an entrepreneur.

Here are a few barriers that will stand on your way before you take your classified ads website to mountains of success:

1. Attracting Users – Compelling users to actually choose your classifieds website amongst all other classified websites is no less than a task. But, the website’s content and design resources should be so good that it not only brings new users but also makes them want to visit again.

2. Drafting a clear & strict policy – Well, there is no limit to people who cannot think straight. We are pointing towards those harmful users who might post illegal ads which can turn out to be a nightmare! Your privacy and ad posting policy should clearly mention the heavy penalty for such unlawful actions.

3. Providing Customer Support – Gathering a team who can attend to the queries and resolve the customer grief can be a task to achieve. You must ensure to find only highly dedicated employees for the same.

4. Accessibility – You ought to focus on how accessible the platform is. This implies that all functions of the website are easy to access for the users. The typography, placement of different elements, everything makes a lot of difference.

Advantages of Building Your Ad Venture Like Craigslist Via Custom WordPress Development or from Scratch

Rather than using a Shopify or a WordPress template, experts at Excellent Webworld recommend that you should go for custom wordPress Development.

1. Scalability – The best part about building your classified ads website MVP is seeing how it performs in the market and adding more features and functionalities. The website MVP product can be scaled to handle more user traffic easily.

2 .CustomizationCustomization is a synonym for flexibility in website development. Well, it is always a brilliant idea to first launch an MVP, observe the user feedback, and then make the changes accordingly.

3. Security – A website developed from scratch allows the developers to add layers of security while programming.

Discover more reasons to choose custom WordPress development services at Excellent Webworld. You won’t regret your choice, and that’s a promise!

Business Model Canvas of Classified Website Craigslist

Business models are the key to organizational innovations.

Analogically, just how a student needs a timetable to get all his studies done. In the same way, a business needs a model as per which it can function. Here’s the Craigslist business model.

Business Model Canvas of Classified Website Craigslist

Read Also!Why Choose Custom Website Development for Your Startup/Enterprise?

How Does the Owner of Craigslist Make Money?

From being one of the local businesses based in San Francisco to becoming one of the world’s most visited websites — Craigslist has come a very long way.

Cost of Developing a Website Like Craigslist

Craigslist actually earns huge amounts of revenue that foots the bill for all its free services. Posting on Craigslist is absolutely free. But, for job postings in the USA and selective areas of California, there is a fee ranging from a minimum of $7 to a maximum of $75.

Also, you must note that to become a millionaire, you don’t need to only earn. Saving well is also important. Their team’s total strength was barely 50 people during its inception. They grew the team size only with a growth in their total strength. This implies that they don’t really have any large overhead expenses to take care of.

In short, it not only makes money but also earns profit. On this note, let us give you some insights on how to not just survive but rule the online classified advertisements industry.

Some Monetization Streams for YOU To Earn!

Money drives a business! The revenue model of a company plays a vital role because without it; a business cannot survive.

In fact, you all will agree that earning revenue is not the only goal. Earning profits is the ultimate goal. You are developing a marketplace website or app like Craigslist to make money, right?

When you study how does Craigslist make money, this should include deciding which revenue source should be prioritized, understanding target customers, and how to price their products. Revenue models often get conflated with revenue streams, but they are still pretty different from each other.

We are mentioning below a few streams through which you can earn revenues. Let’s go!!

Featured ads – You can charge a fee from the businesses whose ads you choose to feature at the top of your website. Also, you can moderate ads according to your preferences since you know the flow structure of your website the best.

Subscription – Subscribing to the platform for regular updates in a particular category is also a great way to earn money. You should send your users newsletters regularly.

Premium membership – You can definitely introduce your platform with various packages.

Pay to post – The Craigslist free ads invite numerous unnecessary spam posts? Hence, to filter out the unnecessary and fake online ads, you can make posting chargeable.

Affiliate Links – Google ads and adsense ads are also a good way to earn some extra bucks while your users also get to buy something.

What is the Cost of Developing a Website Like Craigslist Or Classified ($)

There used to be a time when building a website was an expensive venture. But, not anymore!

The figures completely depend on your choice:
Whether you want to try out an MVP site built in WordPress and then scale up.
You want to directly go with a custom website development from scratch, which is more reliable, secure, and scalable for apparent reasons.

You can create a classified website by spending around 15000 USD to a maximum of 35000 USD. Like you might have guessed already, these figures are very roughly stated. Feel free to reach out to us to get a detailed quotation to get a better idea.

The choice is entirely yours. However, if you want to weigh the pros of one against the cons of the other, feel free to get in touch with the business analysis team at Excellent Webworld.

How to Make a Website Like Craigslist or Letgo? – A Wrap Up!

Having looked at the insights on the USP, main pages, and the must-have features of the Craigslist website MVP, we have come to the end of our guide blog about how to make a website like Craigslist.

There are ample reasons to choose Excellent Webworld for building your marketplace app and website like Craigslist/Letgo/OfferUp. We are a leading software, app, and website development company with 900+ successfully delivered projects.

Developers at Excellent Webworld are known for delivering domain-driven solutions and simultaneously considering the latest technology trends.

Contact Excellent Webworld

Consult the experts to build a user-centric marketplace platform (website/app) for online classified ads.

Frequently Asked Questions – How to Make a Website Like Craigslist?

Craigslist alternative applications and websites serving areas of San Francisco are – eBay classifieds, OfferUp, Letgo, etc. Some of them are made in WordPress themes while others are built from scratch.

The top and most popular classified ad websites in the United Kingdom are – Craigslist, Nola, Gumtree, Jagran Classifieds, OLX, Quikr, ClassifiedAds.

The importance of money is not unknown to us. To build a Craigslist-like website on a budget, you should know where it is worth spending the money and where it isn’t. Hire a custom website development company that will understand your needs to the core and provide you with reliable solutions.

There are two approaches to developing and designing an app like Craigslist. If you want to build a basic MVP, it should cost you between $20000 and $25000. On the other hand, if you’re going to create a fully-functional app with and feature rich themes, you would have to spend around $25000 to $35000. However, contact an app development company like Excellent Webworld for more details.

Paresh Sagar

Article By

Paresh Sagar

Paresh Sagar is the CEO of Excellent Webworld. He firmly believes in using technology to solve challenges. His dedication and attention to detail make him an expert in helping startups in different industries digitalize their businesses globally.