WildKatana Design

How to Build a Paid Classified Ads Site using Drupal


In this tutorial, I am going to show you step by step how to set up a Paid Classified Ads system using Drupal. Up until now, this has been quite a difficult thing to do, but since the release of my new module Paypal Nodes, it is very straightforward and easy. Using a module like this, you can easily set up a site similar to Craigslist, or any other similar site, such as a Job Listing site, Help Wanted, etc. Here are some of the goals that we want from a Paid Classifieds Site:
  1. Easy to Use for both Users and Admins
  2. Users must pay to publish their ads
  3. Users can choose from different pay plans
  4. Ads will expire after a certain number of days
  5. Users are able to renew expired ads, and extend current ads by paying
  6. Payment will be processed by Paypal
  7. Users will have a screen which displays all of their ads
  8. Ads can support images, videos, location, and whatever else is offered by CCK

Setting Things Up

For those of you who don't want to set this all up manually (it CAN get kinda complex) you can buy my installer which will install all of the things needed in this tutorial, and set up all of the configuration options automatically for you, including creating roles, installing modules, and setting up subscriptions. Just visit my site to get the installer: http://www.moneyscripts.net

Here is a list of modules you will need for this tutorial:

Step 1: Add Plans

Next, you will need to add some new Plans. Go to 'admin/build/paypal_node/list' and click 'Add Plan'. Fill in the fields and click 'Save' to save your plan. Make as many plans as you want to offer your users.

Add the Plans here

Next, you will need to create a new Content-Type for your Classified Ads. The page for adding Content Types is 'admin/content/types'. We'll call it 'Classified Ad'. Fill in all the settings. Two things to make sure you do here are:

  1. Choose the Plans you want to offer for publishing this content type
  2. Uncheck the 'Published' field in the Workflow Settings area

Step 2: Content Type

Create the Classified Ad content type

Add Fields (Optional)

Once this content-type has been created, you can add any Fields to it that you want. For this tutorial, we will add a simple Upload Image field. Click on 'Manage Fields' for your new content-type, and then in the New Field area, add the new image field like so:

Add the Image field

Set Up Taxonomy (Optional)

If you want users to be able to categorize your ads (recommended), then you will need to use the Taxonomy module. Create a new Vocabulary called 'Classified Categories' and add as many categories to it as you want:

Set up the Taxonomy Terms

Set Up Views (Optional)

To make it easier for your users to see the Classified Ads, you can se up a View for the Classified Ads. Go to 'admin/build/views/' and click Add New view. Name the View Classifieds, and create a new Page Display:

Settings for the View

Step 3: Permissions

The next thing to do is set the Permissions. Go to 'admin/user/permissions' and set the 'authenticated user' role to have the 'create classified_ad content' (In the Node section, not shown in picture below), 'renew own paypal nodes' and 'view own paypal nodes' permissions:

Set the Permissions


Beleive it or not, you are now done! Your site is set up properly. Now any user can publish classified ads to your site by paying. For an example, create an account at the demo site: http://classifieds.leightonwhiting.com/ . Just create a new account or use the 'testuser' (pw: test) account and give it a test! Here are some examples:

Create Classified Ad

Fill in the Form and Upload an Image

View the Ad

The Ad will not be published until it is paid for.
Ad Not Yet Published

Choose Your Plan

Choose which Plan to use for Publishing. This will then go to Paypal and once the payment is received, the node is published.


I hope that this guide and module will help you in your Classified Ads site. It can also be adapted for use with any kind of Pay to Publish website, and it is very straightforward and reliable. If you wish to see more screenshots, go here: Drupal Paypal Nodes - Pay to Publish



Leighton Whiting was an incredible asset to building some of our most prominent web spaces.


Why Use Us?

  • Website Design & Development
  • Valid XHTML/CSS Coding
  • Affordable and Honest Pricing
  • E-Commerce Shopping Carts
  • Great Communication
  • Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed!