This post is written by Navjot Tomer, the owner of Tuffclassified.
When I started tuffclassified.com I needed a simple, easy-to-use script to build a classifieds portal, and I came across ClassiPress. For 2-3 years everything went reasonably well, and I learned a lot of amazing things through being a webmaster. But after some time, I came to the realization that ClassiPress is not able to cope with the high volume of traffic and listings that came with my site’s growth. So I started the search for another classifieds script, and I found a free open-source classifieds script called OSClass. It was exactly what I was looking for. Tuffclassifieds is now running on OSClass, and I’m able to provide a comparison and explain why I chose OSClass over ClassiPress.
- The biggest advantage of ClassiPress is its WordPress backend. You can customize your ClassiPress installation and add features with just a few clicks thanks to the thousands of plugins that are in the WordPress ecosystem.
- ClassiPress has very well commented and structured code, so a novice PHP developer can easily customize it to his/her needs.
- Integrated Google Checkout/ PayPal payment gateways, manageable through an easy-to-understand dashboard. Customizable ad posting form and custom fields, as well as a multistep category selection.
- ClassiPress has very advanced search options necessary for any classified portal.
- The WordPress database structure is not optimized for heavy transaction based database queries. Too much of the information is in a single table, which is ok for blog publishing purposes but can prove disastrous for a classifieds platform, which uses mainly transactional queries as opposed to selective queries.
- An aggressive database abstraction layer is great for newbie and non-technical users, but it’s also slow. With a high volume of ads and visits, a WordPRess database can become too busy and cluttered.
- Dependence on the WordPress platform. ClassiPress can’t increase its performance because it has to deal with WordPress’ database structure, whereas OSClass developers can deal with performance issues head-on.
- It’s not just a theme that will be based on any third-party CMS system. Actually, the whole CMS is created to be used for the needs of any general classifieds system. It supports a growing collection of plugins and themes, built by community members.
- It’s quite a bit faster than its WordPress counterpart. It has a well-structured database, queries are fast and pages are quick to generate.
- OSClass is open-source and free, that’s hard to resist! And it includes all the features that any general classifieds portal needs.
- The dashboard is easy-to-use: it allows you to effortlessly manage all your plugins, listings, comments and OSClass itself.
- The UI where you manage listings and comments could use some improvement. It’s manageable for listings (and much better than WordPress) but comment moderation is not as good as it could be, especially when managing hundreds of comments.
- Search result accuracy could improve as well. It’s a very important feature for classifieds sites. Integration with Sphinx Search server like is used at Craigslist could be an option.
- User roles would be appreciated, in order to establish different tasks for different users. A single administration option is ok if the site is managed by a single person, but when managing single-handedly is not possible, multiple user roles would be great.
In my three-year experience with ClassiPress, everything was manageable until we hit 400,000 listings. After that, I switched to OSClass and it’s handling +19,000 users daily (generating over 56,000 pageviews a day) and over a thousand new listings every day with minimal resources. ClassiPress is adequate for sites with a local or small community, and WordPress backend and features are unparalleled, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a large-scale project. For my needs, OSClass is the best solution for a highly active and popular classifieds portal, due to its well-structured database and scaling.