Webbed Feet UK are expert classified website developers based in the UK. We regularly get enquiries about classified websites, so thought we'd answer a few questions in an article.
Our greatest assest is our experience working with classified business owners to achieve dominance in their niche. We can give you strategic advice, gained from a decade of experience with classified sites, on how to grow both the site and your business.
It should be noted at this stage that although we will consider any classified website, it is highly unlikely that we'll set one up in direct competition to any of our current clients. Although this is not usually within our contract, it would've unethical especially if high levels of search engine optimisation or online marketing were involved. Every project and client will be considered on a case-by-case basis. To honour your intellectual property, we will happily sign a non-disclosure agreement and can provide one if required.
Our classified systems themselves are completely bespoke, this means that they can function and look exactly how you desire. Typical functionality would be user logins, perhaps with differences between private and trade accounts, online purchasing including subscriptions, advanced search capabilities including distance by postcode and keyword searches, spam and scam detection and filters, bulk email capability, interactive maps, data input from external sources including data feeds, administrator approval systems, and extras such as forums, spare part systems and dealer directories.
We can also add comprehensive advertising systems allowing you to allocate advertising space to companies bringing in additional revenue. We can advise on different methods of utilising this space to maximise its potential.
It is important that classified websites are easy to use, so we offer usability testing (known as UI or UX) to make the user process as simple as possible. We can also make mobile responsive classified websites so that they work effectively on smart phones and tablets.
There are lots of search engine optimisation (SEO) companies in the UK, but only a small proportion have the expertise on working with large websites with hundreds of thousands of pages, and even fewer who know how to optimise classified websites where a lot of the pages can have similar content (and therefore get penalised by Google's Panda algorithm). Due to our experience in this sector we offer SEO for classified websites that will be a success; in the past our clients have typically beaten the industry leaders to the top spot in Google for their desired keywords.
One of our classified websites received around 30,000 - 35,000 unique visitors a day, the vast majority of this traffic through search engines and our online marketing.
The biggest problem that a new classified website will face is critical mass; Sellers will not want to advertise their items until you have buyers, and of course buyers will not frequent the website until you have items for them to buy, a catch-22 situation. A classified website will need enough sellers to achieve critical mass and will need to sustain this for long enough for the buyers to come. Once the website has buyers, and sellers, it should sustain itself. The difficult part is of course how this critical mass is achieved, and we can offer help and advice and use the experience of our existing classified websites to make new ones a success.
So here is the critical question, how much does a classified website cost? We'll this varies, depending on the features and complexities of what is required. But as a rule of thumb, allocating £30,000 - £70,000 wouldn't be far wrong. Ongoing costs depend mainly on the level of SEO required, the traffic, and the features that need improving, but could be anything from £500 - £5,000 a month. However we've had websites that have received more than this in advert revenue alone, and are firm believers in making websites that sustain themselves financially. Timescales are also dependent on a lot of factors, but 6 months would be realistic.
There is a lot to take in, and bespoke classified websites are not simple, so if you have any questions, or would like examples, please do not hesitate in contacting us.
All prices are subject to contract and exclude VAT.