How to Create a Website Like Gumtree? 10 Steps Revealed!

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Classified sites are all the rage nowadays! More and more people are flocking to these online marketplaces to score sweet deals on used stuff. Global revenue from classifieds platforms has skyrocketed to a whopping $13.5 billion annually as per the latest figures.

Leading this online trading frenzy in the UK is Gumtree, the veritable hub for buying and selling secondhand goods. With over 1.6 million daily listings spanning everything from cars to antiques and 50 million obsessed monthly users, Gumtree has become a national sensation!

In this guide, we’ll let you in on the secrets behind constructing your very own website like Gumtree. We’ll equip you with the magic ingredients to cook up an online marketplace oozing listings and bustling with engaged users.

So get ready to dive in as we unlock the step-by-step formula for developing a successful classifieds platform similar to the UK’s favorite, Gumtree! Let’s get this show on the road, shall we?

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Gumtree History and Overview

Early beginnings

It all started in 2000 when British entrepreneurs Simon Crookall and Michael Pennington noticed a gap in the UK’s online classifieds space. While Craigslist was dominating in the US, the UK market lacked a major platform for individuals to buy and sell secondhand goods online.

Sensing the opportunity, Simon and Michael set out to create a community-driven classifieds site for UK users. And that’s how the idea of Gumtree was born!

The founders chose the quirky name ‘Gumtree’ to represent their vision of an online community that facilitated the exchange of goods and services. Unlike today, Gumtree started off focusing exclusively on the UK audience and growing organically.

Organic growth in the UK

In the early days, Gumtree attracted users purely through word-of-mouth without any paid marketing campaigns. By 2004, over 1 million monthly visitors were already using Gumtree to search through more than 120,000 free classified ads.

As one of the first digital marketplaces of its kind in the UK, Gumtree offered enormous convenience and selection under one roof. Users took to this new online channel rapidly, cementing Gumtree’s position as the country’s leading classifieds hub.

Acquisition by eBay

Riding the waves of exponential growth, Gumtree soon captured the attention of the global e-commerce giant eBay. In 2005, eBay acquired Gumtree to ramp up its classifieds portfolio.

The acquisition provided Gumtree with additional resources and technology to aid expansion. But eBay allowed it to operate independently under its eBay Classifieds Group. This gave Gumtree the freedom to grow while benefiting from eBay’s expertise.

International expansion

In the following years, Gumtree broadened its horizons beyond the UK through targeted European expansion. Localized sites were launched in Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, and other countries.

In 2010, they entered Australia and New Zealand by acquiring a 75% stake in TradingPost, the top classifieds platform down under. This move established Gumtree as the leader of the classifieds across major English-speaking markets globally.

Today's scale and popularity

Today, Gumtree continues to cement its status as the go-to digital marketplace across the UK, Australia, and South Africa. Some mind-boggling stats about Gumtree’s popularity:

  • Over 50 million monthly users globally
  • 1.6 million new ads are posted every single day
  • 63% of UK internet users visit every month
  • Peak traffic times of 100,000+ users per minute

Gumtree's Business Model

Gumtree has crafted an appealing business model that relies predominantly on free listings to gain scale and liquidity. Users can post ads across categories like used cars, furniture, jobs, etc. completely free of charge. This attracts high listing volumes and buyer traffic to the platform.

Gumtree then monetizes this traffic and engagement using multiple strategies:

  • Allowing premium ad placements and featured listings for a fee
  • Charging commission on transactions facilitated through the site
  • Displaying Google/search ads and earning revenues
  • Offering paid value-added services like custom packages to motor dealerships

By maintaining a free, frictionless experience for regular users while offering paid promotions and services, They strike the perfect balance between value and monetization. This strategic business model underpins its immense popularity and profitability.

10 Steps to Build a Website Like Gumtree

Step 1: Choose a Suitable Platform

The foundation of any great website is the underlying platform you build it on. When creating a classifieds site like Gumtree, we recommend using WordPress along with a tailored classifieds theme.

WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system powering over 40% of all websites. Here’s why it’s an ideal platform for building a Gumtree-like site:

  • Open source – Free to use with 100% ownership of content
  • Scalable – Can handle heavy traffic and usage loads
  • Secure – Regular updates and patches to address vulnerabilities
  • Search engine friendly – Optimized for SEO right out of the box
  • Flexible – Works with thousands of plugins and themes
  • Active community – Access to abundant resources and support

Next, you need a classified theme that is purpose-built for marketplace sites. Zipprr enables you to get a Gumtree clone up and running quickly while also being customizable.

Step 2: Purchase Domain and Hosting

Every website needs its own domain name and web hosting server to be accessible online.

When purchasing a domain, it’s best to keep it short, memorable, and relevant to your brand. For example, Gumtree uses the domain Gumtree. com.

Make sure the domain extension matches your target country. Popular domain extensions include: – International sites – United Kingdom – Australia

For web hosting, choose a reliable provider that offers optimized WordPress hosting plans.

Key factors to evaluate include:

  • Server configuration – SSD storage, PHP 7+
  • Speed and uptime – Fast load times with 99% uptime
  • Scalability – Ability to handle traffic surges
  • Security – Regular system updates and backups
  • Technical support – 24/7 customer service

Expect to spend around $100 – $200 per year for a quality hosting plan.

Step 3: Install WordPress and the Classifieds Theme

With the domain and hosting set up, it’s time to install WordPress and the classifieds theme you purchased.

The installation process is straightforward for most hosts with a few clicks. Refer to the theme documentation for detailed installation instructions.

During installation, you will set up the database, create an admin user, and configure basic settings. Once installed, log into your WordPress admin dashboard to manage everything.

Activate the classifieds theme you purchased to change the design and add marketplace functionality. The theme will provide different demos – select one close to your vision for the site.

Step 4: Set Up Site Structure and Categories

Now it’s time to think about your site’s structure and product categories. Plan how you want to organize the listings on your marketplace.

Analyze established sites like Gumtree to see how their categories and subcategories are structured. You can start with core verticals like:

  • Motors
  • Property
  • Jobs
  • Services
  • Pets
  • Fashion
  • Electronics
  • Hobbies

Within each vertical, break it down into subcategories. For example, under motors, you can have used cars, motorcycles, car parts, etc.

The goal is to make it easy for buyers to navigate and find relevant listings quickly. Set up the categories on your site by customizing the theme’s options.

Step 5: Allow User Registration and Listing Creation

To start attracting listings, you need to allow user registration and the ability to post classified ads.

Have a simple registration form asking for details like name, email, location, etc. Send a verification email to validate the account.

For listing creation, let users select a category, and add title, description, price, photos, and other details. Use custom fields relevant to each category.

Make the listing creation process quick and seamless for users. The easier you make it, the more ads you will attract.

Step 6: Build Robust Search and Filtering

Finding relevant listings quickly is critical for any classified site. Implement a powerful search and filtering system like Gumtree.

Include a search bar at the top allowing keyword searches across all listings. Show suggested results as users type to improve discovery.

Add filtering functionality to narrow down searches by factors like price, location, seller type, etc. Display filters contextually based on the category.

Advanced features like location-based radii search further enhance the user experience. Sorting options are also useful for viewing results by date, price, relevance, etc.

Step 7: Integrate Payment Processing

While listing creation can be free, you will want to charge commissions on transactions. This requires integrating payment processing into your marketplace.

Use payment gateways like Stripe or PayPal to securely process payments on your site. Most classifieds themes have built-in support and options to activate the gateways.

You can charge a percentage fee on the transaction value. This commission should be clearly displayed upfront to buyers and sellers.

For added functionality, consider supporting escrow services to securely hold payments until buyers confirm receipt of items.

Step 8: Optimize for SEO

Driving qualified organic traffic to your site through search engines is vital for any business. Optimizing for SEO should be an ongoing focus.

  • Pick descriptive page titles, meta descriptions, URLs
  • Create text-rich, useful content
  • Structure data using standards
  • Get high-quality backlinks from relevant sites
  • Optimize site speed and technical aspects
  • Produce localized content for target countries

Also, submit XML site maps to index new pages faster and leverage SEO plugins for WordPress.

Step 9: Enable Advertising and Promotions

Additional monetization avenues beyond listing commissions include advertising and promotions.

You can sell text, image, and video ads on your site targeted by location, category, or audience. Top banner spots tend to have maximum visibility.

Offer paid upgrades like featured listings, bumping up listings, spotlight placements, etc. These provide more exposure.

Partnerships with relevant services provide another income stream. For example, integrating legal/finance partners for property purchases.

Step 10: Build Mobile Apps

Consider developing mobile apps to complement your website for iOS and Android devices. This provides more accessibility to users on the go.

Apps can start with core functionality like browsing listings, search, communication, and payments. Gradually augment with more advanced features.

The app development process includes conceptualizing features, UI/UX design, development, testing, and launch. Work with an experienced mobile app development company to bring your apps to fruition.

How Much Does it Cost to Create a Website Like Gumtree?

Bringing a full-fledged classifieds platform like Gumtree to life requires a reasonable investment to get right. Here’s a breakdown of the typical costs involved:

Domain registration and web hosting will run you around $100 – $200 annually.

For custom WordPress development including the classifieds theme customization and feature implementation, budget between $15,000 – $30,000 based on complexity.

You’ll need a cloud-based server infrastructure that can scale as your traffic grows. Allocate at least $5,000 and upwards for this.

Additional costs for graphic design, content creation, digital marketing, etc. can tally up to $10,000 or more.

So in total, expect to invest around $30,000 to $60,000+ to build, launch and market a website on par with Gumtree’s offerings.

With careful planning and phased execution, you can control costs effectively. Start with an MVP focusing on core features, then expand over time. The results are well worth the investment if you execute correctly and attract an engaged user base.

Final Thoughts

Creating a classifieds marketplace similar to Gumtree takes careful planning and execution across factors like platform, design, development, marketing, and monetization.

As outlined in this guide, you need to invest upfront in the technology, user experience, and safety features that will drive growth. Promotions and customer service are also vital for scaling successfully.

The costs can range from $30,000 to $60,000+ based on the platform’s features and complexity. But the returns from owning a popular classifieds site make it well worth the effort and financials.

Hope this gives you a 360-degree understanding of what it takes to build a website like Gumtree. Start classifieds site with our Gumtree clone script. The team at Zipprr has experience creating many successful classified platforms worldwide. Feel free to check out our work and discuss your project if you need an expert partner to bring your online marketplace vision to life.

Time to put that entrepreneurial spark into action! Wishing you the best of luck in your classifieds endeavor.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Gumtree earns revenues through paid ads, featured listings, commissions on transactions, and value-added services.

Offer free listings, focus on user experience, targeted marketing, build a mobile app, and partner with relevant services.

Major competitors are Craigslist, eBay Classifieds, Facebook Marketplace, Olx, Quikr, and Wallapop.

Promote through SEO, social media marketing, influencer outreach, paid ads, email marketing, and offline marketing channels.

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    Gauri Pandian

    Gauri Pandian is a seasoned Business Development Manager with 9 years of experience in sales and client relations. Currently, she is responsible for business growth and client acquisition as a BD Manager at Zipprr, a leading custom software development firm. Prior to this, she has worked with Early-stage startups helping them scale through strategic partnerships. Gauri has a crack for understanding customer pain points and unlocking new opportunities.