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Backpage Vs. Craigslist

Craigslist and Backpage are the two largest free online classified advertising sites on the Internet today. Here are the major differences between the two sites.

The two best and largest free classified ad sites on the Internet today are and Both are similar in many aspects but a few key things do standout when comparing the two. First I'll discuss the similarities.

Both Backpage and Craigslist are free to join and use. And both are very easy to sign up to. Just give each one your email address and a password and they will send you a confirmation email. Once you confirm your accounts you can start using both sites.

The sites are also similar in their setup. They both list all the major cities and areas in the United States. If you want to place a free ad you just choose your city or area and the category your ad should be placed under. Then you fill out your ad info and correctly repeat the Captcha and your ad will appear live in a few minutes and you will receive a confirmation email.

Now here are the major differences between the two classified ad sites.

Craigslist has a much large user base ranks Craigslist as the 36th most used website on the Internet worldwide and 10th most visited website in the United States.

Backpage ranks 679th in the world and 157th in the United States.

Image Source by Sierra Communications (Craig Newmark is the founder of Craigslist)

So clearly the number of people using Craigslist is far greater than the number of people using Backpage daily. Your ads on Craigslist will reach more people and you are also much more likely to find ads for what you are looking for on Craigslist. This is true in general but for specific cities in the United States like Phoenix, Miami and Houston where Backpage is well used the difference in traffic is small and sometimes could even favor Backpage.

In general Craigslist is more popular and has more users except for specific cities. A simple solution to having to choose which site is better for you is to experiment using both sites.

Backpage has far fewer rules to follow than Craigslist

In general Craigslist has more rules users must follow in order to stay in good standing on the site. For example if one wants to advertise a service on Craigslist one is usually required to confirm their account by phone.

So before you can place an ad for certain services on Craigslist one must give them your phone number. They will then auto-call you and give you a code which you must then enter at your account on Craigslist. As soon as they have your phone number confirmed which happens instantly you are approved to place your ads for services.

Also on Craigslist the rules for where ads are placed are strict. If you place an ad for a service on a Community page your ad will likely get flagged and removed. The rules are community enforced and the community can be very tough.

On Backpage the rules for placing ads are much less strict and no phone numbers are required to be confirmed. In general it is much harder to run afoul of the rules on Backpage than it is on Craigslist.

My Own Personal Experience Using both Craigslist and Backpage

I've used both Craigslist and Backpage to place many classified ads for a number of years. Overall without any doubt Craigslist has been far more effective for me. Nevertheless I still use both sites to reach as many people as possible with my classified ads.

I've also used many other classified ad sites and while Craigslist is clearly number one there is also no doubt that Backpage is clearly number two. No other online classified ad site except for Craigslist has delivered the results that Backpage has for me.

Craigslist has more rules to follow and is much more strict about placing your ads than Backpage is but it's well worth the extra time to make sure you are using Craigslist properly because the site delivers results. Backpage is far less strict and therefore easier to use and because it also delivers results it is a no-brainer for me to use both sites for my free online classified ads and using both sites is what I would recommend to you.




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Comments (19)

Craigslist is popular in US, I think.

Great to know this Joe, thanks.

Hassan Raza

Hi there....!

Man I am a poster of craigslist and backpage.One thing more it is not it's think backpage should be most popular but it is not because craigslist is not a good site because it requires many tools to post the ads.


Ranked #3 in Advertising

Yes, Craigslist is .org, but if you use .com it goes to the same place. It is harder to post on craigslist because they have more rules, but they also have many more users. It's a trade-off.

Hassan Raza

Hi there...!

man listen I am currently posting in both craigslist and backpage.According to my thinking backpage should be in top not craigslist.Craigslist have too many rules and craigslist is just a bloody thing.

I hate craigslist but working on it because I earn more then backpage by craigslist but also doing backpage.

I want backpage to become the first because craigslist requires much tools ok craigslist should remove one tool RDSL because it's cost 500$ a month and PVA and IP is right.

When there was no usage of tools for posting on craigslist then I was much happy with craigslist but not now.


Backpage\'s claim on working towards fighting child exploitation is a gimmick. We\'ve personally contacted backpage on three separate occasions and offered for them to utilize our office to screen advertisers in the Las Vegas area. Backpage has not responded. The fact of the matter is that they don\'t care and put in the smallest bit of effort only when it means that it will keep the public or press off of them. Here\'s a the actual press release we had planned to release: stated in late 2011 that they have “spent millions of dollars and dedicated countless resources to protecting children from those who would misuse an adult site” (The Blog, 2011). Now, over a year after making these types of “reassuring statements”, the same kinds of terrible cases are popping up all over the U.S.


Will Bourne, The Village Voice Newspaper’s Editor in Chief, had this to say about’s editors, Micheal Lacey and Jim Larkin, when they decided to leave the newspaper:


“For the editorial staff at The Voice, the departure of Backpage was a beautiful thing.”


There are many more people besides this New York paper’s staff all across the country who feel the same way; that this online gathering place for pimps, rapists, and robbers should be stripped from the web for good. A recent study at Arizona State University tried to determine whether or not the sex ads on Backpage could be screened to help authorities find out who was trying to pimp minors online. In a short twelve-hour period, they found 1,332 ads in 5 major U.S. cities. The operators of have offered to use their office as a place where advertisers on can come in and be verified prior to posting ads and have encouraged other licensed outcall entertainment providers to follow suit in other cities where Village Voice Media’s escort classified website operates.


One of the reasons that’s easily accessed classified section for adult entertainment should be eliminated is because of the exploitations of pimps like Deangelo Jones from Lauderhill, FL. This sick minded 20-year-old used the website to persuade young girls into posting exotic solicitations. He even had sex with them himself, including a 12-year-old that he beat up in a hotel room because she wouldn’t give him $20. Backpage has made it so much simpler for these types of so-called men to lure runaway girls into a life of prostitution.


These disturbing stories are happening all over the nation. There was one sex ring in Colorado that operated in Denver, Commerce City, Aurora, Parker, Lakewood, and Colorado Springs. 12 people were involved, and they used the dangerously convenient Backpage site to offer up underage girls to have sex with whoever would call the number that was posted next to their explicit pictures. Colorado’s Attorney General, John Suthers, has been making ongoing efforts to take down the adult section of the site. He got together with a group of other attorneys general and started a campaign to get it removed, but reported that the owners of Backpage still haven’t responded.


Village Voice Media makes around $26 million annually from the ads that promote trafficking of prostitutes who are many times minors. Senator Mark Kirk from Illinois along with a large band of other senators sent a letter to 40 major advertisers, hoping that they would use their financial influence to pressure Backpage. Only 8 of them responded.


The more reports that get published about this terrible trend, the sicker to the stomach we all become, especially when the disgusting figures that have used Backpage’s dating format to pimp out young women end up getting a reduced sentence. Travis Johnson, Joshua Harry, and Amanda Stuart committed what reportedly were the first human trafficking crimes in Grand Forks County North Dakota from 2010-2011. Sadly, all three of these prisoners could get their time dropped from life down to 5 years. Johnson (who was somewhat the leader of the trio) used to post a 17-year-old girl and other women in half-naked photos so that they could prostitute themselves. The teen said that she’d even had intercourse with a high school counselor and a University of North Dakota professor.


That’s right. Even our most trusted school officials are using’s filthiest section of the site. Dr. Patrick Martin from Missouri resigned from his position as Platte County R-3 High School Principal as soon as he was caught. The police planted a photo in the adult ads and the former school administrator ended up trying to buy sex from an undercover female officer for $150.


Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act guards shared online services from being accountable for content that’s posted by the public. There was a state law in effect in Washington that would make Backpage have to get authentic age verification of the people in their sex ads, but the Legislature had to abolish it since the way that it was worded went against the Constitution. 


Backpage is giving a bad name to decent classified ads across the board. If it’s not the sickening child solicitation strategists lurking within their dating pages, it’s the rapists and robbers that hang there waiting on their prey. These vile marauders almost effortlessly find victim after victim there. Micheal Chess, a rapist from Irondequoit, NY, had no trouble locating female targets on the website. He went to jail for it, then got out on bail and raped two more women.


Another recent example of how Backpage helps out these violent predators is an awful incident that happened in Virginia. 24-year-old Joshua Franklin got one 18 and another 25-year-old woman to meet him at the Extended Stay America Hotel in Springfield. Once they got inside of the room, he pulled a gun out on the ladies and made them have sex with him.


Those who visit the site don’t have any idea what they could be getting themselves into. Backpage’s easy-access to its adult dating section allowed Javonte Johnson, Bobby Peele and one underage female accomplice to set-up and rob potential “customers” who were responding to the escort service ad that the three of them posted in the Fresno and Clovis, CA sections of the website. These cunning delinquents used the website’s select-a-city type setup to narrow down their options until deciding exactly which location in their local area they wanted to attack. 


Another state law in Tennessee that went against Backpage’s adult section is also sadly being threatened. The website filed a lawsuit against all 31 of the district attorneys in the state (along with the State Attorney) saying that the law violated their right to provide forums for free public speech. This means that even though there are obviously illegal activities going on the site, people who are posting these ads unfortunately have every right to do so.


It’s so easy for women who willingly want to prostitute themselves to take action with sites like this one around. All they have to do is post an ad with revealing, erotic photos in Backpage’s limited security classifieds for their phones to start blowing up. That’s what Brianna Cerrillo did. This teenager from Canandiagua, NY like so many other young females posted her ad on the site, but eventually got a call from an undercover cop and was arrested. The police similarly called Angelao Cook, a Richfield, MN woman who was also selling sex through In fact, she had plenty of ads on the site with the same number. This particular 28-year-old female pimp was actually bold enough to arrange for the girls to meet with guys from her own apartment’s telephone. This laid back attitude shows how much more comfortable many of these criminals are beginning to feel when they are using this very unsafe website.


Even though a lot of horrible damage has been done by this menace to online classified adult dating sites, the fight against goes on.

You can catch up on more at

I\\\'ve used Cariglist for a few items and worked well, then they wanted me to Verify my Account with a telephone number.  I use prepaid Tracfone and Ooma with a Google Voice number.   Craiglist won\\\'t \\\'Verify\\\' using Voip, Prepaid phones, or Skype.  Thta has pretty much shut down my use of Carigslist.   I\\\'m now left to try Backpage.

Too bad Craigslist doesn\\\'t come into the 21st century and recognize how many people are no longer on hardwire or contract phones ;-(

great to know that

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We moved from Craigslist to Backpage.  Craigslist is too difficult to use now.  Look at google trends, backpage is moving up quick and we are doing very well there.

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