Update – 7/28/2012: It appears that the free version of Noah’s Classifieds is no longer being updated or offered for download on the site. They appear to be going completely commercial going forward. However, the old free version can still be downloaded via the free installer scripts such as Fantastico.

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Noah’s Classifieds is a classifieds website script that comes in both a free and paid version. I first became award of this site when I was browsing through the Fantastico one click software list at my web host.

The demo looks like it’s fairly well laid out and overall it’s pretty easy to navigate. I think the images you can associate with a specific category really draws your attention in that direction. It’s a good thing too since the header and footer menus seem to almost blend into the background with a faded, cloudy gray color scheme.

The script has a feature rich administration area which includes the ability to create custom pages, customize your logo and header, and add premium services with the integration of a couple of popular payment processing gateways. Another feature that I find to be very important when evaluating a classified script is the flexibility to create custom fields based on the category.

The script also has some impressive built in SEO tactics such as being able to select page titles, keywords, and description tags for your entire site by either category or by individual advertisement. You can also create more search friendly urls for better indexing by including category names or ad titles in the url.

Of course with any dual option piece of software, the free version always leaves you yearning for more. I’m not a big fan on this kind of tactic where you get a little taste for free, but if you want the whole enchilada, it’s going to cost you. I can get that kind of sample from a good, working demo.

I’m much more black and white when it comes to new website software. If it’s free, then keep it free. If it’s commercial, let’s see the prices so I can figure out what it costs and how much the add-ons will set me back. Of course, this is just my opinion because the approach obviously works. I can only imagine how many backlinks the site is generating by all the free versions running out there.

If I were interested in starting a classified site and chose Noah’s to power it, I’d simply buy the software and any add-ons and themes right from day one. You’ll be much happier with greater control of your new site. Again, that’s just me. If you want to check out the differences between the two versions, there used to be (see Update above) a forum post that explains what each one offers, but I no longer see it on the site.

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