Want to turn your WordPress site into Craigslist (or something similar)?
uListing is a brand new listing and classified ads plugin from StylemixThemes, a popular ThemeForest author, that helps you do just that.
Built with Vue.js, uListing helps you create and display listings for any niche. And what’s even better is that the core version is free, and the premium add-ons are also super affordable (like “the cheapest WordPress add-ons that I’ve ever seen” levels of affordable).
In our uListing review, we’ll go hands-on with this new offering, show you how everything works, and share our thoughts on it.
For a quick overview you can check their video:
uListing Review: The Feature List
Ok, so you know that, at a basic level, uListing helps you create your own classified ads or listing site. That is, you can create a list of items for people to browse through – like potential apartments for rent. Here’s an example:
For each listing, you can customize the form fields to control exactly what information to collect for each listing. Then, to display those listings, you can use a drag-and-drop builder to control how different parts of your classified ads look, including:
- Inventory grid
For example, you’ll be able to use the drag-and-drop builder to control how the custom fields are arranged on the front-end.
And, as you’d hope for, uListing includes a detailed and customizable search feature that lets you choose exactly which custom fields can be searched on.
Then, uListing also includes features to help you accept listings from other users…
To accomplish this, uListing lets you create a front-end listing submission form (again, with the option to customize exactly which fields appear). You can also charge people for listings using either PayPal or Stripe. And there are some neat features, like limiting how many uploads a user can have based on their fee plan.
Users can also register for an account and manage their listings from a front-end profile. They’ll also be able to buy new plans and manage their existing payment plans from that profile, as well.
Hands-on With the uListing Plugin
Next, let’s go hands-on with uListing and I’ll show you how everything works on my test site.
For this uListing review, I took advantage of uListing’s built-in demo import feature to import some sample data.
When you install and activate uListing, it divides its settings into three areas:
- Listing Type – this is where you add the different types of items you want people to be able to submit. For example, you could have separate listing types for “Car”, “Motorcycle”, “Bicycle” etc.
- Listings – these are the individual listings that go inside those listing types. Most of the time, users will submit these from the front-end of your site – but you can manage them from the backend.
- Pricing Plans – these let you define the settings for paid listings.
Let’s go through the process of creating a new listing type first…
Creating a New Listing Type
Let’s say you want to create a new listing type for “Vacation Rental”
To create a new listing type, you go to Listing Types → Add New. uListing adds listings as their own custom post type, so you’ll see what is basically the WordPress editor at the top where you can add the title and description:
Then, you’ll configure everything else in that new uListing meta box you can see poking out at the bottom.
First, you can set up the Attributes. These are the information fields you want to collect for this listing type (i.e. custom fields). You can either choose from the existing list, or add your own on the right:
When you add a new attribute, you can select the “type” from the drop-down, which lets you handle different kinds of information (e.g. number vs location vs text). You can also add a dedicated icon or image for each attribute.
For a vacation rental, you’d probably want things like:
You can use drag-and-drop to arrange the order, and choose which are required:
One thing that could be improved here is the design. While it works great when I hide the editor sidebar, all the information gets cut off if you don’t hide the sidebar. Given that it’s not as easy to hide the sidebar in the Classic Editor, I think this is something the devs should improve on. For example, here’s what it looks like if I add the sidebar back again:
In the Search Forms tab, you can configure which attributes people can search by on the front-end. For example, you could let people filter by the number of bathrooms or bedrooms:
The Listing Order tab lets you configure the options for the front-end “Order by” options. For example, you could let people sort by distance from a location:
The Preview item tab lets you use a drag-and-drop builder to control how the listing will look on the archive pages (i.e. the page with a list of all the listings). This is convenient because it lets you control the front-end display without needing to use code:
The Single Page tab lets you do the same thing – but for the single page layout (i.e. the dedicated page for each listing). And the Inventory Layout lets you choose the overall layout for your archive page (more on this in a second):
Finally, the Submit Form tab lets you control the form fields that are available to users on the front-end listing submission form:
And that’s it for creating a listing!
Configuring Settings (Including Creating the Listing Layout)
Beyond the Add New interface, there’s also a separate uListing Settings area where you can:
- Configure currency options
- Choose the pages for important actions, like the front-end profile page or the add listing page
- Configure payment integrations – PayPal Standard or Stripe
- Create an Inventory layout
The last option lets you use another drag-and-drop builder to control the design of the archive page (which you can then apply to different listing types):
The Preview Item design you created before slots into this inventory layout.
Creating a New Pricing Plan
If you want to charge for listings, you’ll do that with pricing plans. To create a new pricing plan, you go to Pricing Plans → Add New Plan.
You can add a name and title at the top, then you’ll use the Pricing plans manager to configure the options. You can either charge for:
- Regular listings
- Featured listings
And that’s it for most of the backend stuff. Next, let me show you how things work on the frontend for your visitors.
How uListing Works for Visitors
When visitors go to your site, they’ll see your listings according to your inventory list and use the available search forms and sort options to find what they want:
If they click on an individual listing, they’ll see the single page design that you created with the drag-and-drop builder.
If they want to add a new listing, they’ll first need to register for an account or login:
Then, they’ll see their profile page, where they can manage their payment plans, buy new plans, or create and manage their listings:
When they go to add a new listing, they’ll choose from the various listing types. Then, they’ll fill out all the information for the frontend form you configured when you created your listing type:
You might need to add some custom CSS to pretty things up – but the basic functionality is all there.
uListing Add-ons: Extend the Free Core Functionality
Everything that I showed you above is 100% free and available in the core version at WordPress.org.
However, if you want more functionality, StylemixThemes currently sells three super affordable add-ons (and I’m guessing they might add more in the future as the plugin matures). By super affordable, I mean the most expensive one is just $4.99!
Here are the three premium add-ons:
- Subscription– $4.99 – lets you create and sell subscription plans, instead of one-time payments. You can let users create a certain number of listings per month for a certain price, including setting a separate limit for how many featured listings they can create. For example – create X regular listings and Y featured listings.
- User Roles – $2.99 – create different user roles, each with separate listing limits. You can also choose whether each role requires moderation before their listings appear.
- Compare– $1.99 – lets visitors compare two separate listings based on attributes that you define. That is, you can choose exactly which custom fields are included in the comparison.
So for less than $10 (total), you can add all of that functionality.
Final Thoughts on uListing
One thing I really like about uListing is how much control it gives you over the front-end display of your information. Using the drag-and-drop builder, you can control the:
- Overall archive layout
- Individual listing information that displays on the archive page
- Single listing page
And you can do all that without writing any code, which is really nice.
Beyond the front-end display, you also have control over the front-end search forms and add listing forms – again, without the need to write a single line of code.
There is one thing I’d like to see improve.
While I can forgive this a bit because the plugin is brand new, I’d like to see more documentation (and to have that documentation be available inside the interface). While playing around with uListing, I sometimes wasn’t sure what certain options meant. Some documentation and smart microcopy would make it a lot more user-friendly. For example – what’s the difference between an advanced form and a basic form?
Still, that’s easy enough to fix going forward.
All in all, you get a ton of functionality in one free package, which is tough to argue with. Beyond that, the premium extensions are still incredibly cheap.
So, while it is brand new, uListing is one you should consider if you’re building a WordPress classifieds site: