I have been running a used car sales classifieds website since 2003, the site has been redesigned twice (programming as well as the layout), now I am at a point that I simply don’t have the time to maintain and write script therefore it’s time I start looking for a WordPress Classifieds plugin so I can just convert my existing custom made website to WordPress along with a classifieds Plugin so I don’t have to worry about script compatible as well as updates.
Everyone has something they want when it comes to choosing the right classifieds plugin, my requirement is pretty simple and must contain the following:
- No registration required to post ad however…
- Double Opt-in, email validation before an ad becomes active
- Localize and region search ability
- Custom fields for form
- History and background and Software reliability (constant updates)
- Adsense ready
- CSV mass import
As you know, looking for the ‘right’ wordpress plugin or theme is a challenge, there are so many out there that it’s not even funny and you simply don’t know where and what to look for. Just like many of you, I started looking by searching ‘wordpress classifieds theme’ in Google and looked through the first few results. The search returned a bunch of results but I managed to filter it down to 3 which I think if you are serious about running a classifieds website, you should check it out:
Classipress by Appthemes ($99)
Classipress appears to have ton of functionality if you check out their feature page. What caught my attention really is their slick designs and layouts. Without looking their codes so I can’t comment but they claim to have a clean and well commended frame work for easy modification if you want to make it work for your business need. Also, the code is not encrypted so you can actually do your own customization but typically this needs to be carefully planned as all changes obviously will get wiped out in the case of updates.
At this point, I am unable to know if they have ‘Email validation an ad becomes active’ feature as the forum somehow does not allow unregistered or non customer to view portion of the questions. So at this stage, by searching their forum as well as Google, it does not appear they have that feature. One thing to say though is at the time of my visit to their forum, they had 337 users online, 58 being the customers and the rest were visitors. This kind of proof that they have an active community which of course is a good thing for those who care about the popularity of the plugin.
The demo page will give you a good understanding of what you get both front and back end. So dig in and see if this is something that will work for you.
Another WordPress Classifieds (Free to all modules $199)
AWPCP (Another WordPress Classifieds Plugin) offer free download to the basic plugin. If you aren’t looking for something too complex and only want a simple classifieds site, this is probably the one for you. If you are looking for more advanced features such as the ability to feature an ad or being able to charge your users for listing or wanting to add an extra fields to your form, there is an option to pay for addon modules which cost anywhere between $10.99 to $34.99 for a single module to having a multisite license which consists all modules for $199. Now going through the demo, only the frontend user interface is shown and I couldn’t find anywhere within the demo area that links to the admin section. This is kind of disappointing as I was hoping to see more in the admin area to see what exactly I could do with the premium modules.
The support forum, appears to be active and that the support person seems to be dedicated and do their best answering any questions its visitors may have.
Classifieds Theme ($79)
Upon checking out the functionality of Classifieds Theme, I realized that it’s pretty limited when it comes to getting a full exposure of what you can do. First of all, the admin demo wasn’t available at the time I visited the site (required license key), secondly the community forum is only for customer only so again I didn’t get a chance to find out what it is all about and if they actually have an active community. Their Features page however lists all the plugin features which look pretty promising. They also have a series of video tutorials to help you get started. Their FAQ section however isn’t as useful as I like it to be because it’s very brief and I couldn’t find what I was looking for. They do however have a 60 page theme manual which shows you how the admin area looks like. At first glance, this plugin appeared very simple but later I realized just how much it had to offer. If you are a designer and understand wordpress template system, you will probably want to go with this plugin.
Below is a table basically showing a list of comparison for my must have items.
|Price||$99.00||Free to $199||$79.00||Free|
|Localize search||No||Yes ($21.99)||No||Yes|
|Custom fields||Yes||Yes ($34.99)||Yes||No|
As you can see, none of these meet my requirements perfectly; nevertheless, I am really interested in what Classipress has to offer. So I am going to dig in more on Classipress and write a detailed review when I have a chance. If you have any other WordPress classified theme or plugin you think I should include and consider, leave your comment.