Sunday, October 08, 2006


There are now many classified advert sites online.
Some, mostly those owned by larger companies, charge a fee to place an advert on their site.
When you consider how cheap they actually are to own and operate, it makes you wonder what these guys do with all the money they are making. Look at and try to estimate how much they are making. At £25.00 per fortnight per ad, it's a lot.

Whilst the internet is essentially public domain, it should be appreciated that we should indeed be able to make money from the sites we have created, especially if that site is of value to the community. After all there is some work and costs involved.

So I am going to discuss ways of keeping such a site free to the end user, whilst still making some money from it.

There are many commercial classified ad scripts available, but they are not flexible enough to completely customise. In addition, if you want more than just basic functionality like adding multiple pictures, creating thumb nails etc, then you will have to pay a fee, which can be considerable. Also, there's not much satisfaction to be gained from such a thing.

Classified Advertising sites can be as complex as you want, but they are not beyond the scope of anyone who can read, write and has a moderate amount of intelligence.

In a series of blogs over the next several months, I intend to discuss in detail, the methods I have used to create such sites.
In the process, we will create another new one, to prove how easy it really is.

The new site will be called YFORS, standing for Yachts for sale..
The detail will have enough information to allow you to develop your own Internet classified advertising site for any purpose you wish.

Once the site has been coded, tested and uploaded as a live site, there is still a lot of work to do to make the site popular. But when this is achieved you will be amazed, the site will become almost alive, as users upload and amend their own adverts.

Other sites I am responsible for are - aircraft for sale and motorcycles for sale and respectively. So you can see, the code could be used for any classified items, Including houses.

The sites essentially use the same core code, which is written in PHP, and the database is MySql. The sites also take advantage of the Smarty Template engine, which allows complete separation of the PHP programming code, from the HTML template Code. This is a very big advantage as it simplifies things considerably, as you will discover in later posts.
The PHP code is written using modern programming techniques. i.e. utilising classes.

The HTML templates are not completely without some programming skills, but these are reduced to a very basic level. If you can write HTML, you can also do Smarty.

If you are new to Internet programming, then this will be a very good learning experience. Most of the code is beginner to intermediate level, but there are some advanced bits, like parsing XML data from AMAZON, and creating static pages from dynamic data, but I will explain these comprehensively and carefully.

It's going to take a while though, as there is a lot to cover.



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