Craiglist is a very good website. It features a homepage with no pictures that is not responsive for smartphone. The homepage is made of columns and table. Like me, users love craiglist because you can see all the categories right from the beginning without scrolling your page. You don’t need to click on a category to reach a sub-category.
Users love craiglist. This means that those classified ads website templates with fancy pictures, sliders, layouts are just useless and even counterproductive (see below).
I mean that most of time the authors of classified ad templates who sell on envatomarket got it wrong. They all focus on “the beauty” of the page without thinking about accessibility. For example, when it takes more than 3 clicks to reach an ad, it should be a problem for a classified ad template.
Notice that there is no automated geo-targeting. Also there are no map on every webpage.
The page structure of craiglist is very clever, first you click on a subject, then you click on an item of a listing. It takes two clicks to reach an ad. It is straightforward and fast for the user and googlebot too. On a page, there are only the most important required pieces of information.
It is clever because of bandwidth. Without fancy layouts and pictures, every page is fast to load and on top of that it does not consume a lot of bandwidth. That’s also why many classified ad templates aren’t good. If you have a slider or big pictures on the pages and 10000 daily users, it is going to pressure your web server. That is very important for a classified ad website.
Also there is content at the top of the webpage. You may perhaps know that Google “penalizes” webpages where the content is positioned really low in the page. If you look at classified ad templates from envatomarket.com you will see that all the template authors makes this mistake.
Behind the simple aspect of craiglist, there is a very well designed website. Rather than trying to seduce users by looking good, it provides accurate information quickly.
It is not a surprise that backpage.com and vivastreet.com copied the Craiglist approach. It is also not a surprise that backpage.com have been successful in the classified ads niche.