Classifieds Theme

classifieds-mainClassifieds Theme is a complete classified ads system for WordPress. Meaning you do not need to adapt your current site using a wordpress classifieds plugin.

According to the publishers of the theme it ‘allows anyone to easily turn a standard wordpress blog into a powerful community driven classified ads serving platform’ its basically a piece of classifieds website software.

The look of the theme is very basic and if you are running a classified ads site or want to take your classifieds online then this is a very good thing indeed. You need the focus of your site to be your customers ads not the surrounding graphics and banners, this theme achieves this very well. The ads are nicely separated with alternating background colours, and can easily catagorised and tagged by the customer, making them easy to find by visitors.

The demo site which is viewable here
charges its users $3 per 99 days for each advert. You can easily change this to any amount you want, we would recommend using a $1 / £1 per 14 days ratio for maximum profit and affordability. All payments are collected via paypal and there is no need for your customers to go through the annoying join / sign up process before they can place an ad. However if you are an avid mailing list collector then there is plenty of opportunity for your customers to sign up.

Classifieds Theme. Simple layout. Maximum Profit
Classifieds Theme. Simple layout. Maximum Profit

The scope for this theme is huge. For example coupon code and promo code sites are becoming big business in the current economic climate and this theme is perfect for that use, it already looks very similar to a lot of the major players sites.

Free classified websites like Gumtree, Freecycle and Craigslist are some of the biggest in the classifieds market and although they offer many of their postings for free they make up the rest of their income from on site advertising. Why not use this theme for a similar use? It has built in adsense and plenty of banner space.

The developers of Classifieds Theme have paid a lot of attention to how other similar sites work. More importantly they have picked out the most important ‘pros’ of these sites while avoiding their ‘cons’ like the plague! This theme has far too many features to go into detail here but here is a list of just some of them:

Features

  • Paypal integration
  • Lightbox style gallery for product images
  • Ad Tagging
  • Auto pruning
  • Featured classifieds
  • Adsense integration
  • Ad rotation (avoid banner blindness)
  • Category specific advertising ready
  • Advanced ads management
  • Auto payments
  • Email notifications for newly submitted ads
  • Email notifications for payments received
  • Contact seller form
  • Email a friend button
  • Print view button
  • Custom login bo
  • Theme options panel
  • Theme support
  • Unlimited theme customization (open source)
  • RSS feed displays latest classifieds
  • All necessary plugins are included with the theme

See what we mean? This is a serious tool and it is very intuitive, for instance take a look at the individual ad page for an iPhone below.

Individual ad page. Note the Adsense banners and contact seller form
Individual ad page. Note the Adsense banners and contact seller form

See how the banners and Adsense have changed to be relevant to the product the seller is advertising without disturbing the look of the theme or becoming dominant over the sellers ad. The one thing we would change here is the positioning of the product images. They are too far down the page and need to be close to the top to become more of a feature. This is a big shame because when clicked the product images open full screen in a lightbox style gallery overlay with easy navigation to browse all the different angles and views the seller has uploaded. Note that this page also has an ‘ask the seller a question’ form as well as a comments form. Both very important when building a classifieds community.

If you do run a classifieds based business (or similar) then you really need to consider this theme if you want to maximise your profits and make usage easy for your customers. If you already have a website then this should be a big wake up call to upgrade if your existing site does not meet the full spec of this one.

Buying this theme reveals an interesting option. As well as the usual single license and multi user license (if you wish to install on more than one site). The developers also offer a reseller option. If you are a web developer, sell themes or simply have many clients who would be interested in this theme then you can pay a one off fee and then resell the classifieds theme for as much as you want and as many times as you want. You can also redevelop it and sell it with no comeback. Click here to see all the different options available.

If you are not a developer and simply need this theme installed for you then please click the ‘install’ link below.

Proximity News Theme

proximity-thumbDeveloped by Nathan Rice Proximity News Theme is one of the major players in the news theme market. But is it actually any good?

Well for a start the entire CMS for this wp theme has been built to prevent you from ever having to alter any code or styles during customization. Everything is configurable through your admin interface. If you are not sure how to use any of these options then  Proximity comes with full support forums, tutorials and training videos. If you have never used a CMS (content management system) site before then this level of support is invaluable, a factor you should take into consideration when choosing which news theme is right for your publication.

Features:

  • Google Adsense built in
  • Social bookmarking
  • Video ready
  • RSS
  • Author archives / Information
  • Gravatar ready
  • “Smart” Home page
  • Advanced side bar
  • Dropdown menus
  • Printer ready
  • Breadcrumb  Navigation

The front end of this website is just as impressive, with broadsheet style and keeping the illusion of being minimal while actually providing your reader with a lot of options. We were very impressed with the author archives which allows readers to see all the articles published by a particular author including a small biography and gravatar. All this information is pulled in from the users (authors) options in the admin! We also really liked the featured video system, but it is not obvious if this can be included with each article.

Click to see full size pages
Click to see full size pages

The theme also has the ability to prevent duplicate content on the front page using what the developer has dubbed “Smart” home page technology. This is a very important feature as normally a number of plugins have to be configured to stop this happening.

Publishing with this theme could not be easier, all image handling is controlled through your admin, including cropping and uploading. No more hours of photoshop and ftp usage before you can get your article out. Writing could not be easier either, if your authors can use microsoft word then they can use this system with no additional training.

When a reader clicks through to a stories page they get social bookmarking options (Digg, Stumble Upon, Facebook etc) and they also get a print button. This has been specially developed so that the story will be printer friendly and print perfectly, printing is usually an overlooked problem with news websites.

Navigation could not be easier with the inclusion of breadcrumb navigation, intelligent links within stories and archive pages, not to mention drop down menus and advanced sidebar features like most popular, most commented and recent posts.

The overall look of the theme could do with some improvements though, it is always difficult to tell when looking at a demo website exactly how it will look until your branding is applied. If the developers boasts are true though any problems with aesthetics should be very easy to ammend. If this is the case then we cannot recommend this theme enough if you are serious about online publishing.

The New Yorker

newyorkerThis is a huge, huge site. If you ever wanted to run an online newspaper with retro broadsheet style then here is your chance. This is a WordPress compatible ‘theme’ and comes complete with all the widgets and plugins that you will need to have complete control over your newspaper without ever having to resort to using code. This is basically a ready to go CMS newspaper site.

If reto is not quite your thing then the fonts and styles used are pretty easy to customize aswell as colours etc.

Features

  • Comprehensive theme control panel (136 settings)
  • 37 Widgetised areas
  • Dynamic drop-down navigational menu
  • Advertisement banner management
  • Dynamic video block
  • Compatible on all major browsers
  • Suitable for magazine sites as an entry page or complete site
  • Painstakingly validated code (XHTML and CSS)

If you are going to manage and update this site yourself then we would recommend reading through the homepage and demo (links below) very carefully if you are not familiar with WordPress. This is probably not the best site for newbies, however for the price ($39) it stands head and shoulders over other traditional newspaper solutions available.