How to Build a Real-Estate Website using WordPress?
Most people believe that WordPress is just a simple Content Management System for blogs. Because some programmers and web designers are using it to create real-estate websites, users observed how useful the classic WordPress is. You can use WordPress to create any type of websites, including a real-estate sites.
In this article I will show you three ways that you can use to build a real-estate website using WordPress:
- using a theme
- using a plugin
- using a theme and plugin (not recommended)
Building the Website with a Theme
On the Internet, you can find specific WordPress themes for real-estate websites, but also for general classified ads, which can be used for real-estate purposes. If you want to use a theme for your real-estate WordPress website, I recommend you to buy one. You shouldn’t use free themes because they either aren’t fully developed or complex enough for a real-estate website and they are full of bugs. Of course, they don’t have a proper support either. However, if you want to test the market of real-estate websites you can use a free theme from the WordPress website.
To choose a good theme you can look after comments from other users, number of sales, grades and the last date when the theme was updated.
To install a theme, you only need to go to your WordPress Dashboard, at Appearance and then at Themes. Here, you press the Add New button, choose the Upload option and Choose file to search the theme you want to upload. After selecting the theme, you need to press Enter and Install Now button. Attention: the theme needs to be archived in a zip format, otherwise errors might occur.
WP Residence is a great theme that costs only $54 and has all the features that are needed to build a professional real-estate website. This theme has been sold more than 4800 times on ThemeForest. It has the following features: Property Unit slider with lazy loading, taxonomies for agents, agent list shortcode, customizable taxonomies pages with images and content, shortcode for list of cities/areas, page views statistics with charts, fully responsive, retina ready, it works on all known devices, Google maps, GEO location, AJAX filtering & search over map, custom pins, spidery, front end submission of listings, PayPal or Stripe Payments, advanced membership system, direct payment via wire transfer, Contact Form 7 integration, powerful admin panel, unlimited property details, add floor plans, attach PDF to property, pin management, custom property fields, custom advanced search, boxed or wide layout, save search & email alert, RTL ready, search by features and amenities, custom widgets and unlimited sidebars. It also comes together with some useful plugins: Visual Composer, for designing the pages and Slider Revolution for a professional slideshow. Both plugins are premium and they cost extra if you purchase them separately, but they are included for free with this theme.
Premium Press Real-Estate theme costs $79 and has multiple features such as 100+ admin options, it is fully responsive and retina ready, have agent and member profiles, custom Fields, is open source, easy to install, no additional plugins required, more than 20 payment gateways, customizable, online payments, SEO friendly, contact forms, Google maps, geo-location & distances, custom search fields & search by location, customizable listing packages, members area and management tools, user favorites & share link buttons, video, images, music & other files uploads, drag & drop home page layouts and ease text & color changes.
A WordPress general classified ads theme that you can use at a real-estate website is Classipress. This theme is very popular and costs $99. It can be used at different types of classified ads and comes with the following premium features: multiple pricing models, custom fields & forms, membership packs, customer ad management, fully customizable front page, auto-complete & suggest search, social networks login, advanced search, easy administration, Facebook friends widget, dedicated blog, ad listing visitor stats, SEO friendly, child Themes & plugins, AppThemes API, compatible with WPML, multiple color schemes, themed login & signup pages, Google Analytics, Twitter support, ShareThis support, upload a custom logo, multi-language support and more.
Building the Site with a Plugin
If you can use a theme for real-estate websites that also comes integrated with several plugins, you can also use plugins without a proper theme for real-estate. It’s not the best solution to build a real-estate WordPress website, especially because in this case more than one team will work for your website: one team made the theme you already have on your website and another theme will work for the selected real-estate plugin. Often, in this case, a lot of errors or warnings can appear, especially if you install multiple plugins that do the same think. Plugins can share same PHP function and you will see that some of them aren’t working because a conflict appeared. You can install plugins in almost the same way you install themes. At your WordPress Dashboard you choose Plugins and then you need to upload and install one from your computer. These also need to be archived in a zip format.
You can find free versions of real-estate plugins on the official WordPress website, but most of them are bugged and aren’t too popular.
If you really need a free real-estate/classifieds ads plugin you can try Another WordPress Classifieds Plugin (AWCP). AWCP is used on more than 10.000 active websites and offers interesting and useful features such as search ads by city, state, country, username or keyword, AdSense ads, control over HTML use in ads, limit the text size of ad postings, automatic expiration of ads, configurable ad display for AdSense placement, ads can imported via CSV files, ads can have a Share on Facebook button, ads can be edited via front end, allow posters to be notified of expiring ads, allows for paid or free ads, supports PayPal, PayPal Pro, PayFast, Authorize.net and 2Checkout, supports, a credit system, support for ad subscriptions, ad posting controls, multiple image features and so on.
I advise you to use premium plugins. AWCP has a premium version that includes the following features: category icons, extra fields, regions control, RSS feeds, featured ads, fee per category, coupons/discounts, subscriptions, comments/ratings, attachments, BuddyPress, mark as sold, restricted categories, ad campaign manager and other.
My second premium recommendation is Web 2.0 Directory that can add various features to your theme. The plugin costs 34$ and has the possibility to restrict ads by listings level, Stripe and PayPal payments service, front end dashboard for users, invoices management, sticky and featured listings options, ability to raise up, renew or upgrade/downgrade listings, ratings, content fields, advanced search, icons for categories, SEO friendly, locations search in radius, Google maps, custom map markers, print option, bookmarks, integration with Contact Form 7, YouTube and AJAX attachments, responsive design, 5 types of widgets, 12 types of shortcodes and so on.
With a Combination of Two: Theme + Plugin
This is the worst way you can build a real-estate WordPress website because of PHP conflicts that can appear between your real-estate theme and your real-estate plugins. If you stay a little and think, both your theme and your plugin will have almost the same features so they will be built in the same way using the same PHP function. A PHP function can be called only once, but which PHP function will the plugin/theme recall if there are at least two with the same name? None of them. Even if in this case there are a lot of fatal errors, some persons install a real-estate theme and also one or more real-estate plugins just to “improve the functionality” of their website, as they said.
There are some possible combinations, but I don’t recommend them at all. You can try installing Another WordPress Classifieds Plugin (AWCP) and Classipress. The theme, in this case, will offer you the proper design for a real-estate website and also some features. In addition, the plugin will offer other features, but keep in mind that both software have almost the same features.
At the end, I want to recommend you the first solution even if is the expensive one, but you can get a business theme with a lot of features and some premium plugins in one package.
If you really want to start a real-estate WordPress website, you should consider creating some tutorials for add listing and additional information regarding your website. If you have money, you can hire agents to make photos to real-estates and talk to owners regarding their ad listing. You can make a real-estate agency that works together with your real-estate website.
Don’t forget to make the website for real-estate agency but also for simple owners. In this case you will get more content so more traffic and a bigger page rank.
Whatever you choose a theme or a plugin to create a real-estate website using WordPress, you should keep in mind, that it is not enough to choose the best software. You will also need a reliable WordPress hosting service. Fort this purpose I have 3 recommendations:
from $3.95 / month is the perfect choice for hosting any WordPress website (including real-estate)
#2 InMotion Hosting
from $4.19 / month is another great hosting provider to host any WordPress site
from $3.96 / month; great for hosting small to medium sized WordPress websites