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How to Create a Real Estate Site Like MLS.com

Real estate sites like Craigslist, Kijiji and MLS.com are popping up everywhere on the net.  While these sites look very simple, like Craigslist, it takes lots of content management.  I also thought I could easily create a front page like Craigslist using html and a few css style sheets but the ability to manage changing content everyday and post user submissions was more than a 10 man job, let alone 1 girl.  So content management sites like Joomla have Components that will help create the content and manage the front page for you.   While I am very PRO Joomla, there are some features that are lacking.  I couldn’t find a suitable Real Estate Template or component for what I wanted.    I wanted a component that was easy to use and if it was a paid component, something I could install and use right away.  I didn’t want to tinker around with the code in order to get it working.

For example – I looked at the Joomla component – Almond Classified.    Upon looking at the demo site I already was not impressed.  Nothing jumped out at me and said WOW.  I really need to get this component.  Besides the front page having a directly listing of all the categories and sublinks to all the Classified Ads, it didn’t offer much more.  After playing around with the site I realized that the Almond Classified didn’t offer any search capability and there was no way easy way for users to submit their own Classified Ads.  The backend admin page is not intuitive and easy to use.  There is a huge learning curve upon installation.  I was not impressed.  Although yes, the developers did put a lot of work into creating this classified ads component, it is still in it’s infancy and not worth the purchase.  The enterprise edition which looks almost like a craigslist model is almost worth looking into but I was turned away by the $400 price tag.

The alternative is WordpressWordpress offers many different themes and one that stands out is the Templatic Classified ads template.  The Templatic Classified has a very sleek and elegant design without having a feeling of being overcrowded.  The top part of the template showcases featured ads which you want to highlight.   If you want to charge for posting certain ads to certain categories such as “condos” or maybe areas in the city like “Hollywood” you have an option in this template to make certain categories as paid listings only.   You can have a coupon page, google maps for each listing, inquiry form for each ad.   Users can post, print, or email about any listing they want.  The best part of the template is that it’s simple and easy to use.   You can install it in minutes and has a file that stores Sample Data if necessary.  Sometimes I install the Sample Data in Wordpress templates for the first use so I know how the content is managed what details are needed to complete an article.    The price tag on the Templatic Classfied is $65!

Another option is the WordPress Classipress Ads template which I’ve mentioned already in the past.  The newer version is a surprisingly very much different from where it first started.  I was immediately pulled into the New Features of the Classipress template.  It has all the features of what a classified ads site should have including user submission,  google map points, email or print ad listing facilities.  The main difference is that is has a sliding featured ads section at the top which is pretty awesome.   This one really caught my eye again.  ClassiPress again is still one of my top pics.

In summary, I would check out the Templatic Classified ads or the ClassiPress if you want to create a site that looks like craigslist.org, Kijiji.com or MLS.com.  Check out the Templatic Classified ads here or the ClassiPress template here.

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