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Building a real estate website using WordPress

We've finally finished developing a Australian Real Estate Package for WordPress. It's a plugin + theme together in a single package. Find out more about it now.

One of our latest projects at Anansi Web Development was to build a real estate website with a simple CMS. And I thought, rather than building something from the scratch, why don't we use WordPress as a CMS and add necessary functionalities. And therefore, here are the steps involved in building a real estate website using WordPress.

1. Install WordPress
Download the latest WordPress software from WordPress website and install it on your development server/ local machine.

2. Develop the backend
This step is more about enhancing the existing WordPress admin rather than building a custom bespoke CMS. Our goal here is to make the backend as simple as possible for the content admin who will be looking after the website and uploading listings on a day-to-day basis. There are 2 real estate plugins available for WordPress, however, data required for Australia Real Estate listing and US Real Estate listing are significantly different, which means it is impossible to use those plugins for our project without modifying a lot of code. Therefore, we decided to build our own in WordPress. We referred to Standard Real Estate XML Format for Australia - REAXML1 to get the structure of a standard real estate listing data.

3. Install necessary plugins
Rather than reinventing the wheel, we installed the following plugins on the website.
Lightbox Gallery
Post Gallery
All in One SEO Pack

4. Develop the frontend
As we have the designs from our client, the next step is to develop the frontend for the WordPress real estate website. Using the design mocks, we look at how each page looks like and how various real estate information will be displayed to the users of the website. The good thing about WordPress is that you can basically have a different look and feel for every single page on the website using Template. In our case, we needed 5 templates; homepage template, listings category template (for Properties for Sale and Properties for Lease), listing template (for listing pages), page template (for the rest of the content like Our Team, Contact Us, Privacy Policy, etc) and default template (for fallback and any other pages).

5. Test, deploy, release
The last and final step of building a Real Estate website (or any other website, for that matter) is test, deploy and release. Here, we tested the website by populating content and property listings into the database via the WordPress admin, viewing the site on a few different browsers, and ensuring that everything works and displays as expected. We then deployed the website onto the live server, tested some more and made it available to the general public.

The final result
I have to say it saves us a lot of time using WordPress as a CMS compared to building a custom application and we were able to deliver the website with a complete CMS (using WordPress) at a very low cost within a week. Many features, such as RSS, Search, Login, Registration, etc are already available in WordPress. It also aligns with our overall development objectives as we are a big fan of using open source technologies. And it works perfectly in this case because our client is already familiar with WordPress and he was able to step into uploading content and listings with minimal training.

If you are trying to build a similar real estate website in WordPress, have a look at Elegant Real Estate WordPress Theme. It comes with built in basic real estate listing filtering, featured slider banner, admin options to control settings and PSD file to customise the theme design if required.

If you are interested in hiring us to build a real estate website in WordPress, please contact us to obtain a quote.


Related Links
Real Estate templates
Standard Real Estate XML Format for Australia
Elegant Real Estate Theme for WordPress

5 thoughts on “Building a real estate website using WordPress

  1. I’m interested in buying templates but it would be good if I could see a live site and how smoothly actually the site works.

  2. I love WordPress, however I have a hell of a time integrating an easy-to-use backend for Realtors. I’ve pretty much called it quits; I have virtually no time to tinker with a website lately. If you are still available to recreate a website, please send me an E-mail. We’re looking for an easy-to-use and SEO friendly site for our listings.


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