Helping Classified Ads Business Go Digital


Our customer is one of the oldest advertising publication in existence. It started out as a primarily classifieds-driven paper, to be later transformed into one of the leading classifieds online portals in the country.


Originally, the customer’s product offered to the public was the classified ad space in the paper, and when they first launched their website a number of years ago, clients – individuals and businesses like – had the option to have the ad also placed online at an additional cost. The customer realized that these older workflows and the existing systems were not enough to support a viable digital business, and contracted First Line to build a completely new classifieds website.

First Line’s Solution

In order to enable our customer’s strategic pivot towards a “web first” strategy, and the eventual abandonment of the print in favor of the online classifieds business, our team designed and implemented a brand new website that automated the entire lifecycle for buying, creating and managing classified ads online. A user could now create an account, decide on a category where they would like to place their classified ad, create the ad and submit it to the editors. After going through the moderation process moderated, the ad would be published. Apart from placing free classified ads, users also had their choice of various paid promotional options: larger size ad, color highlighting, enhanced search results, etc.

The solution also had to meet the customer’s strict performance requirements: the site was supposed to be able to handle 100,000 unique visitors and 2 million views daily, and up to 100 requests per second at peak load.

An innovative feature implemented by First Line’s engineers was the video classifieds: in addition to images, users could now attach videos to their ads. We implemented developed a specialized video transcoding engine (developed earlier for another project for the same company) to serve video streams to users, dynamically optimizing bitrate and quality to the available bandwidth.

To enable stores that carry large nomenclatures of goods to do business through the site, our team implemented an API for bulk upload. Another key feature was the integration with Yandex for PPC advertising, so that ads placed on the site would also automatically appear on Yandex.


Thanks to the collaboration with First Line’s software engineering team, the customer was able to completely modernize its business model and focus exclusively on the online classifieds business, eventually discontinuing the print edition. The site is now among the top 3 classifieds portals in the country.  


Drupal, PHP, PostgreSQL

Project statistics

Team size: 3

Total effort: 35 person-months

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