CMS · Classifieds

Is joomla sufficient to build classified ads website?

syed riyaz uddin Chief Technology Officer

November 15th, 2018

Is Joomla CMS sufficient for classifieds? If not, which CMS you'd suggest?

Furthermore, what about clone scripts such as LaraClassified?

Gabriel Inbuon Senior Software Engineer, Solution Architect, Tech Lead

Last updated on November 20th, 2018

Let me try to answer in short.

1. Stay away from Joomla - security issue and very less developer and support.

2. Stay away from Wordpress - plugins plugins plugins

Plan -> Design -> Build your own is the best/easiest. Things I consider if I am building

eCommerce and High Traffic Application/Website:

  • Frontend - Angular, ReactJS, Vuejs
  • PHP Backend (API): Slim / Lumen Framework
  • Nodejs Backend

Why Angular, ReactJS, Vuejs for frontend instead of PHP?

JavaScript Library and Framework are built for doing frontend rendering works with using clients resource, while PHP is server side scripting language. In the end, performance matters and that is exactly what you will gain following this pattern.

Kalman Gacs Creative Director at ViV Web Solutions

November 15th, 2018

It seems like Joomla has been on a downward trajectory as a CMS. I don’t know about classifieds, specifically. We built some classifieds using WordPress and have great luck with it. If you tell me more about what you are looking to do, I may be able to advise further. classifieds is one we built. It is a combo of a number or plugins and some custom elements.

Steve Skura, MBA Looking for a social media manager for my magazine startup.

November 16th, 2018

Don’t use Joomla. It’s too specialized. Use Wordpress. There are a hundred times more developers. It will save you money long term.

Darren Moss Infrastructure Architect, Broadcast Specialist, Content Patron, Business Owner

November 16th, 2018

I'd be staying away from Joomla, it's an older styled technology and in my experience full of security holes. Since you are planning a classifieds site, no doubt you will want to drive traffic to see content and generate revenue from banners, etc, Joomla will be a challenge to scale and cope with traffic. I'd look at something custom (ie: PHP developed) or even WordPress with a suitable theme that you could develop or enhance. HTH.

Fayssal Fertakh Cofounder, Founder

Last updated on November 16th, 2018

I agree with all the commenters that Wordpress is a much better option. However, you can still have it better than that.

Short note
Web technologies have evolved and PHP (the language ruling in classic CMS such as Wordpress and Joomla) is being outperformed by new Javascript frameworks. You can still have your CMS back-end as Wordpress but I would advice you to make the front-end totally Javascript (Vue.js, React.js or Angular) if you want a successful classified ad website (or any website or app for that matter). A matter of fact is that even the new Wordpress Gutenberg admin editor is made with React.js. The same is true for this very same website of cofounderslab and its comment section.

You'd better have a headless CMS (or rightly a decoupled one) than a CMS nowadays. The advantages are many just to name a few- depending on which option you decide :

  • Have a super fast load with minimal resources
  • Have your website perform -and look- like an app. You can use the same code for both the website and the app if you want

Long note
You will have many options to choose from.

  • Option (a) - the simpliest

Integrate vue.js by linking to its cdn - just like you would include jQuery. Vue.js is very easy to learn if you have basic knowledge of Javascript. You will gain a bit in performance but a more better user interactivity or if you want to do some actions without the need to make extra calls to the server. You can forget about WP_QUERY if you want and can make calls via WordPress REST API. You then use Vue.js to receive and display content.

  • Option (b) - the good one

You can make your website even much more faster if you use GraphQl instead of WordPress REST API. The differences between the two are many but the relevant one is that you can make custom queries (reducing thus enormously the size of the data). You wouldn't need more than a dozen of fields to display your classified ad (you can even make one GQ call for many metas by nesting queries. You can do that by installing WP-Graphql plugin in your Wordpress back-end and make custom calls/queries from wherever you want -whether from inside your WP theme or outside of your domain. You may need to set up the data to be consumed by Graphql... just follow the plugin instructions.

  • Option (c) - the best one

An ideal setup will be as follows :

* Wordpress in the back-end as usual

* GraphQl (to make custom WP queries from the front-end in simple syntax). You may need Apollo if you decide to make the back-end totally separate from the fron-end... a good idea if you want to have the same code base for different scenarios (website, app, etc). Here is how you can do that in a few lines. Note that you should install WP-Graphql and set up the data to be consumed by Graphql.

* Vue.js (to make your front-end behave, look and perform just like an app)

* Axios, a promise based HTTP client for the browser and node.js

* Nuxt.js (to make static super fast front-end pages and classifieds). No more page refreshes. Nuxt.js may need a few days to get through it - especially if you want to render pages in the server (see SSR). There are many tutorials, boilerplates and snippets out there to get your started.


If you want a competitive, performant and professional business... Wordpress is an excellent choice but you better limit it to the back-end chores because it is good at that. The front-end is another matter and it seems that modern web users are fed-up with slow and 2000's looking websites... I recommend you opt for any of the options outlined above. This a demo of a decoupled architecture (Wordpress back-end with a Vue.js front-end). Between the two you have GraphQl queries. You can see what I meant by "super-fast-no-refresh-app-like" advantages. If you want to test it have a look at the project repo at Github here (you have to install this plugin in your WP plugins directory to make it work).

Good luck!

syed riyaz uddin Chief Technology Officer

November 16th, 2018

Got so much to learn here. Thanks @Fayssal Fertakh for your invaluable help. Well, now I am confident that it is also possible for me to create a web app instead of a dynamic website. What do you think about mobile compatibility?

P.S.: I like Vue as it is proved to be easier and faster to implement (as you mentioned). However, I want to know the reason you like this framework the most in front of Angular/React/Vanilla.....?

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

November 16th, 2018

I would not use any boxed web site builder for a classifieds web site if you expect to build a ton of traffic. They typically have serious performance issues under heavy load. If you want to be the next Craigslist for example, you need to be super-lightweight and fast. The database you will use also needs to be lightning fast. CL is built in Perl. Twitter had to spend a ton of money to rebuild from Ruby on Rails to Scala and JVM. Picking the wrong programming language is very expensive.

It would also benefit you to examine the back end scalability and file caching, for example Fakoli and Linode, where you have instant on-demand scalability during heavy use times.

Keep clear of WP and Joomla if you want to ever have tens of thousands of users. While I'm not saying it's impossible, it's troublesome. You do not want a system that you have to "hack" to get it to do what you want. And it doesn't matter whether finding developers is easy or hard, the money you waste in poor performance and starting over from scratch will outweigh any of that.

Fayssal Fertakh Cofounder, Founder

Last updated on November 19th, 2018

The reasons for Vue.js... My choice was based on my situation. I am not a front-end dev and everytime I needed something I'd use JQuery out of the box. I had never coded JS until I was obliged to look for a solution to a highly interactive website. I had first discovered Angular and then React.js and tested both of them before deciding to go with React.js but was still stuck with the learning curve especially with Next.js. Then I found out about Vue.js and Nuxt.js with SSR and have never looked back since. It was just the ideal framework/architecture that satisfy my needs and capacities. So if you are at ease with fron-end development you can use React.js or Angular. I like the idea of Single File Components in Vue.js which comes out of the box. But again, that's me and my capacities. If you are an experienced JS dev that would not matter much.

P.S. I learned JS very quickly with Vue.js than with Angular or React.js. Just like I learned PHP with Wordpress than with Joomla a while ago.

syed riyaz uddin Chief Technology Officer

November 16th, 2018

Thank you all for your suggestions. I am (honestly) in love with Wordpress and I am pretty sure I can hack towards its core.

I just wanted to experience Joomla since it was regarded as "Award winning CMS". However, I am back to Wordpress now.

syed riyaz uddin Chief Technology Officer

November 20th, 2018

Another question here, can I start with ready made scripts (like one mentioned : LaraClassified) or is it better to start off from scratch?