Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.
Today, many have the desire to use a real estate builder process such as WordPress rather than hiring a web designer. Both are fine. Each comes with its own pros and cons. Here’s a step by step guide for building your own WordPress Real Estate Website.
Hiring a Web Designer:
When you hire a web designer, they will set up the platform, hosting, IDX integration, branding, web hosting Plugins, and other applications that are appropriate to the functionality of a website.
- They do the setup work
- They find the integrations
- They provide support
- Less Hassle
- Set it up and go at your pace
- You may or may not own the asset (Have to ask)
- They may limit certain plugins, numbers of pages, etc. (Ask them)
- You may lose the website or pieces of it if you stop paying the monthly fee
- Generally more expensive
- Have to wait for the website to be set up
My brothers at Ballen Brands build real estate WordPress IDX websites with no limits, and you own the asset. 702-917-0755
Do It Yourself
- Work at Your Pace
- You set up and control each integration
- You own the assets
- More Choices
- Can be harder for some than imagined
- Each integration has a process
- Perfectionists may struggle with getting it “just right”
Step by Step Process
You can visit my step by step videos anytime to set up your WordPress Website on WP Engine.
1. How to Set Up a WordPress Website Platform and Host: https://youtu.be/kgc8FbLxDqU
2. How to Register a Domain and Change the DNS: https://youtu.be/mL1Rn2FTZYY
3. How to Set Up The SSL Certificate: https://youtu.be/ZDcp0PHlwL8
4. WordPress Settings: https://youtu.be/ZDcp0PHlwL8
Time needed: 7 days.
In this guide, I’m going to include a specific real estate website, builder platform (WordPress), a specific IDX Provider (IDX Broker) and other integrations.
Remember, at each step, you have choices and can research who you like. These are the choices I have made for my real estate business here in Las Vegas. As an affiliate, I do benefit from purchases made through my links.
For some, this can be set up in a matter of hours, and others may take days, weeks, or months to complete it.
I included a 1 week time because you will have to submit for IDX Approval.
- Register Your Domain Name
- Set Up Your WordPress Web Host
- Point your Domain To The New Website
Edit the DNS Nameservers inside manage your domain at GoDaddy to change to the WP Engine Nameservers. Video: https://youtu.be/mL1Rn2FTZYY | WP Engine Instructions with more domain registrants.
- Set Up Your SSL Certificate
With WP Engine, your SSL Certificate is included. This changes your website address from an http:// prefix to an https:// prefix providing security for your users. If your website is to appear on Google’s search results without warning, you need https://
- Set up your WordPress Settings
In this video, I show you how to set up some basic settings in WordPress. Personally, I would also make sure Content Blocks are enabled allowing you to use the new WordPress Gutenberg features. https://youtu.be/ZDcp0PHlwL8
- Choose and Install a Theme
Studiopress themes on Genesis Framework are generally pretty easy to install and set up. All of my websites are build on these themes. In this video, I show you how to set up the Agentpress Pro Theme.
- Add Legal Disclaimers, Footers, And Widgets
Be sure to use any legal requirements, disclosures, disclaimers, license numbers, logos, etc. that your area requires. You can change or add to any widget or block later as well.
- Apply for IDX
I use IDX Broker for my real estate websites. You can see an example at https://ballenvegas.com and https://gosummerlin.com. Who you choose an IDX provider matter. It changes the look and feel of the grids of homes, sliders, carousels and so forth. How the back end functions for the user is important. Data for tracking is important to many (me included!). When you sign up for IDX Broker with my link, you’ll save the $99 and then Ballen Brands, an IDX Broker Developer, becomes an on-call support team. They do charge for project work and are happy to help where needed. Your broker will need to sign a form for IDX Approval.
- Set-Up IDX
You’ll need to set up an IDX Wrapper so that the look and design of your IDX subdomain pages look like your main website.
- Install Analytics (Optional)
If you like to track visitors, how content performs, inbound links from other referrers and so forth, you’ll want to set up Google Analytics (free) and I personally like the paid tool Clicky.
- Set-Up Google Search Console (Optional)
Google Search Console, formally known as Google Webmaster tools is where Google will communicate with you regarding your website. You can also submit a sitemap and new pages as you create them for indexing. There is also valuable data here in regards to what search terms people are using to find your website, the click-through rate, bounce rate, and more. This is a good tool for those focused on SEO and ranking on Google and other search engines like Yahoo and Bing.
- Add Yoast SEO Plugin [Optional]
Yoast SEO is a Free plugin that allows you to follow certain steps to optimize your blog and pages with on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies. The premium paid version is great for those that want to set up cornerstone content pages, monitor orphaned content, and use automatic redirects to avoid 404 error pages. Most start with a free version and work up to a paid if they need it. To Install, log-in to your WordPress Website, click Plugins, Click Add New and browse for YOAST. Click Install and then Activate.
- Add in Listings To Leads Home Valuation Calculator [Optional]
- Submit Your Sitemap to Google Search Console [SEO Strategy]
Go to your Yoast Plugin, Click on general, find XML sitemap and click on the question mark to grab your sitemap. You’ll see one for posts and pages and possibly others. You can submit each. This helps Google create a better flow for indexing and ranking your pages and posts. [Video Tutorial: https://youtu.be/VQjPie4__fw]
- Create a Lead Magnet [Advanced Lead Generation Strategy]
Create a home buyers guide, home sellers guide, home investors guide, market report, checklist, video series or some sort of item of value you can offer to visitors on your website. Check out Optinmonster for this strategy.
Need Help with your Content Strategy? Here are a couple of options for growth and help in this area.
- Join Lori Ballen’s Ballen Method Group Coaching Program
- Talk to Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands about how they can help provide content for your real estate agent website. 702-917-0755.