Building a Successful Classified Ads Site: A Case Study of Lalafo and Our Development Team’s Expertise

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November 29, 2023


November 29, 2023

In today’s digital age, classified ads sites have become powerful platforms for individuals and businesses to connect, buy, sell, and trade a wide range of goods and services. These online marketplaces provide convenience, efficiency, and a vast reach for users worldwide. However, to stand out in a competitive market, a classified ads site must offer key features that enhance user experience, promote engagement, and drive successful transactions.

This article will discuss key features of classified ads sites, their categories, and how to develop a successful classified ads website.

What is a classified ads site?

A classified ads site is a platform or website where individuals or businesses can post advertisements to buy, sell, or trade various goods and services. It allows users to create listings or classifieds that contain relevant information about what they are offering or seeking. Such sites typically organize the listings into different categories and subcategories, making it easier for users to browse and find the specific items or services they are interested in.

These websites are popular for various purposes, such as selling used items, advertising job openings, promoting real estate listings, offering services like tutoring or home repairs, and much more. Users can typically interact with the ads by contacting the advertiser directly through email, phone, or other specified methods. In some cases, classified ads sites may also include additional features like location-based searches, price filters, and photo uploads to enhance the user experience and help buyers and sellers connect more effectively.

Examples of well-known classified ads sites include Craigslist, Kijiji, OLX, and Gumtree. These platforms have become popular online marketplaces where people can connect and engage in various transactions locally, nationally, or even internationally.

Key features of classified ads sites

Key features of classified ads sites can vary depending on the specific requirements and niche of the site. However, here are some common features that are typically found in classified ads sites:

  • User registration and profiles. The site must allow users to create accounts and manage their profiles. This enables them to post, edit, and manage their listings, as well as track their activities and communication on the site.
  • Ad posting. The site must provide users with the ability to create and publish ads. This includes title, description, price, location, contact details, and images or videos to showcase the advertised item or service.
  • Search and filter options. The site must allow users to search for specific ads based on keywords, categories, location, price range, or other relevant criteria. Filter options help users narrow down their search results to find relevant listings more efficiently.
  • Categories and subcategories. Your classified ads site should organize ads into various categories and subcategories to facilitate easy navigation and browsing for users. This allows them to quickly explore specific interest sections and find relevant ads.
  • Location-based search. The site must enable users to search for ads within a specific location or radius. This feature is handy for users looking for local services, events, or items for sale in their area.
  • Messaging and communication. You can facilitate communication between buyers and sellers by providing a messaging system or contact forms within the site. This lets users inquire about listings, negotiate prices, and arrange transactions securely.
  • Ad Management. You must provide users with options to manage their ads, including editing, renewing, marking as sold or expired, and deleting listings when they are no longer relevant.
  • User reviews and ratings. Implementing a system where users can leave reviews and ratings for sellers or service providers is desirable. This builds trust and credibility among users and helps them make informed decisions when engaging with others on the site.
  • Admin panel and moderation. You must include an admin panel with moderation tools to manage user accounts, review and approve ads, handle reported content, and enforce site policies and guidelines.
  • Analytics and reporting. You should implement tracking and analytics tools to gather insights on user behavior, ad performance, site traffic, and other relevant metrics. This information can be used to optimize the site, improve user experience, and make informed business decisions.

These are just some key features commonly found in classified ads sites. Depending on your specific requirements, you can customize and add additional features to enhance your site’s functionality and user experience.

Five types of classified ad sites with real-world examples

Classified ad sites can be categorized based on the type of goods or services they specialize in. Here are some common categories of classified ad websites:

  1. General classified ads sites:
    • Craigslist. It is one of the most popular online classifieds platforms, offering various categories such as jobs, housing, personals, services, and items for sale.
    • Gumtree. It is a classified ads site that covers various categories, including jobs, real estate, vehicles, services, and community-related ads. It is particularly popular in the UK, Australia, and South Africa.
  2. Job classified ads sites:
    • Indeed. It is a leading job search engine that aggregates job listings from various sources, allowing job seekers to find employment opportunities in their desired fields.
    • Glassdoor. It is a thriving community for workplace conversations, driven by a simple mission: helping people everywhere find jobs and companies they love.
  3. Real estate classified ads sites:
    • Zillow. It is a prominent online real estate marketplace that allows users to search for properties, apartments, and houses for sale or rent in specific locations.
    • It is a platform dedicated to providing listings of residential properties for sale or rent, focusing on helping users find real estate agents.
  4. Auto classified ads sites:
    • AutoTrader. It is a comprehensive platform for buying and selling new and used vehicles, offering various search filters and detailed vehicle information.
    • It is a popular online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers, providing listings of new and used cars, as well as research tools and reviews.
  5. Pet classified ads sites:
    • Petfinder. It is a platform powered by PURINA that helps users find adoptable pets, connecting animal shelters and rescue organizations with potential pet owners.
    • PuppyFind. This online marketplace specializes in selling puppies, connecting breeders with individuals interested in buying a specific breed.

These are just a few examples of classified ad sites categorized by type. Each platform focuses on specific industries, allowing users to find relevant listings and connect with buyers or sellers in their desired sectors.

Case study: developing a cost-effective photo area for classified ads site Lalafo

At SoloWay Tech, our team has a diverse experience in over 15 domains, including classified ads websites. One of the last projects where we worked with a classified ads site was Lalafo.

Lalafo is a C2C classified ads site powered by AI. It applies computer vision and NLP to re-imagine how people sell second-hand items and cars and find real estate, jobs, and services.

The client approached us to create an easy-to-scale photo area requiring minimal costs to improve its inventory management processes in the warehouse. He struggled with shooting all the items that arrived at the warehouse and their placement.

Our key task was to create applications for the photo zone that connect via a local WIFI network. The first device was a smartphone that acts as a camera attached to the photo zone and sends photos to the server. The second device was a tablet that controls the entire process, from taking a photo of the item to attaching it to the product. After that, the person can add a few tags that describe the item and store the product on the server.

Before our work, the photo zone used a full-fledged DSLR camera and a desktop computer. To simplify the rapid increase of photo zone quantity for our client, we needed to reduce the price of one photo zone. We replaced full-fledged DSLR cameras with fairly cheap Android mobile devices. Thus, we managed to reduce the cost of a photo zone by about 2 times.

The workflow and architecture of the application were taken from the finished program on the PC. The UX/UI stayed the same. To realize the connection between the two devices, we immediately implemented a WebSocket connection, and WebRTC technology was used to send video in real-time. The entire backend part was already implemented on the client side, so their API was used entirely. 

Since this is not a direct commercial but a warehouse product, the project does not use Google Play for updates. It was decided to update via AWS Storage provided by the client. The apps first download the meta files, compare the versions of the apps, and if they are different, download the APK and install the new version.

Our photo area allowed the warehouse employees to:

  • Take photos of items with the necessary resolution and in the required position.
  • Immediately choose tags defining their state, size, etc.
  • Instantly print the barcode with the unique data for placement in the warehouse.

The diverse experience allowed us to solve all the pitfalls during our work. As a result, our development team helped our client to optimize their warehouse processes regarding new item butches receiving and placing on the shelves.

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How to build a classified ads website?

Building a classified ads website involves eight steps:

  1. Defining objectives. You must determine the purpose and goals of your classified ads website. Consider the target audience, the types of listings, and the unique value proposition you plan to offer.
  2. Planning website structure and features. Outline the categories, subcategories, and features you want to include in your website. Consider user registration, ad posting, search and filtering options, messaging system, user profiles, and any additional functionalities specific to your niche.
  3. Choosing a development approach. Decide whether you want to build the website from scratch using programming languages and frameworks or utilize a content management system (CMS) that offers ready-made templates and functionality.
  4. Designing UI. Create a visually appealing, user-friendly interface that aligns with your branding and enhances the user experience. Pay attention to intuitive navigation, clear call-to-action buttons, and responsive design for mobile devices.
  5. Developing the website. If building from scratch, hire an experienced web development team like SoloWay Tech. Ensure they have expertise in the required programming languages, frameworks, and databases to develop the functionality outlined in your planning phase.
  6. Debugging. Thoroughly test the website to identify and resolve technical issues, usability problems, or security vulnerabilities. Test features, responsiveness, and compatibility across different devices and browsers and perform rigorous user testing.
  7. Deploying the website. Choose a reliable web hosting provider and deploy your classified ads site on a secure server. Configure the necessary domains, SSL certificates, and DNS settings to ensure the website is accessible to users.
  8. Optimizing for search engines. Implement search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve the visibility of your classified ads website in search engine results. Optimize metadata, use relevant keywords, and focus on generating quality content.

Remember that building a successful classified ads website is an ongoing process. Stay updated with market trends, adapt to user needs, and provide exceptional customer support to foster trust and build a thriving online community of buyers and sellers.


As you build or improve your classified ads site, remember to prioritize user experience, security, and scalability. Regularly analyze user behavior and feedback, adapt to evolving market trends, and continuously enhance your platform to stay ahead of the competition.

With a well-designed and feature-rich classified ads site, you have the potential to create a thriving online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers, fosters trust, and facilitates successful transactions. Embrace the power of classified ads sites and unlock the opportunities they offer in the dynamic world of e-commerce and online marketplaces. Contact us if you need a reliable classified ads site development partner.


Why are classified ads sites important in modern e-commerce and online marketplaces?

Classified ads sites have revolutionized how people engage in online commerce by providing a platform that connects buyers and sellers, promotes local economies, and offers opportunities for individuals and businesses to buy, sell, or trade goods and services conveniently and efficiently.

How do you choose the right development team to build a classified ads site?

It's recommended to contact multiple development teams, discuss your project requirements in detail, and ask for proposals or quotes. This will help you compare their offerings, evaluate their suitability, and make an informed decision. Factors that you should consider include expertise and experience, technical skills, reviews and references, and pricing.

How long does it typically take to build a classified ads site?

The time it takes to build a classified ads site can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the site, the features and functionalities required, the size of the development team, and the development approach being used. A basic classified ads site with standard features takes 1-3 months to develop. More complex classified ads sites with advanced features, customization, integrations with third-party services, and mobile app development may take up to 1 year to develop.

How can I monetize my classified ads site?

There are many ways to monetize a classified ads site: advertisements, paid listings, membership or subscription plans, featured businesses or services, affiliate marketing, and more. When implementing monetization strategies, it's important to carefully consider your target audience, site traffic, and user experience. Striking a balance between generating revenue and maintaining a positive user experience is key to the long-term success of your classified ads site.

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