Open Door ThemeReal Estate WordPress Theme

Looking for a professional real estate WordPress theme?  Of course you are!  I originally wrote this post in 2009, but since then a lot of the theme listed on this page had disappeared… so I’ve updated it with the one theme that has still been going strong.  All of the essential features of the OpenHouse theme have been included in the Open Door theme.  The Open Door theme is a fully responsive real estate theme.

Pretty much all of the best features of Openhouse/Automotiv have been ported over to OpenDoor. But there are some notable differences. The following are features OpenDoor has that OpenHouse/Automotiv doesn’t.

  • OpenDoor is Responsive. (view on a mobile device to see it change layout)
  • Has more layout and appearance options. (independent control over header, footer, background colors/images), change header height, etc.
  • Has more homepage widget areas, and option for latest blog posts
  • Allows you to easily add your own image-less banner types in Theme Options. Even define a color tip for each banner type.
  • Has option to choose between row or grid layout for search results, browse by results, and latest listings. (the one setting applies to all 3 places)
  • Has more search parameters. And each search parameter can be included or excluded in Theme Options.
  • ‘Browse by’ feature is now grouped along with the search, instead of in the menu bar
  • Secondary small header menu bar at top right of header
  • More advanced homepage slideshow. Slideshow expands to full width of site.
  • Both real estate mode (standard and dsIDXpress version) and car dealer mode, are built into this single theme. No more separate versions for me to maintain.
  • Mark a listing as ‘Sold’, and then have site filter out all sold listings from the site without you needing to Delete the listing.
  • Have a page of all ‘Sold’ listings.
  • Better translation support. Now no more .po and .mo requirement. Do all your language translations in Theme Options, in the same section you would customize text in a single language. See documentation to explain how this is done. (documentation is in demo secondary menu bar)
  • Documentation is now a public Google Docs document, where you can post comments if you find something is inclear or missing. To post comments, you must be logged into your Google account. But you don’t need a Google account to view the documentation.

Why You Shouldn’t Use A Free WordPress Theme For Your Real Estate Website.

If you’re in business and I’m assuming you are your website is the last place you should be cutting costs. Using a free wordpress template to power your businesses website is just plain negligent in my opinion. I’ve seen the majority of free wordpress templates that are supposedly for agents and I’m being fairly nice when I say they are hideous at best. Design matters to people. Good design says something about you. If your site shouts “Amatuer!” people are going to leave with a negative feeling about you and your business. That’s not what you want.

Main reasons to NOT use free wordpress templates:

  1. Zero Support: Free templates don’t come with support, so if you have a question you’ll be looking long and hard to find an answer. Not so with premium themes.
  2. Author Credit: This is usually by the means of a link(s) in the footer of your site. I’m all for giving credit where credit is due but I’d rather not be obligated to link to someone if I don’t want to.
  3. Clumsy Coding: On screen many wordpress themes look ok, but underneath in the actual PHP/HTML/CSS the coding may not be as well written as it could be.
  4. SEO Neglect: I can’t honestly name one free theme that was designed as SEO friendly as say Thesis has been. When you look under the hood at some of these free wordpress templates floating around you’ll be amazed at what’s going on behind the scenes.

Anyway, that’s my two cents on using free themes. I know, I know… all wordpress themes can be fixed (it’s something I offer as a service) or customized. Even the premium wordpress themes listed above will need some kind of customization.. ie. logo design, color scheme change, possibly even PHP or CSS tweaking to get it to do exactly what you want. That’s just part of the process. Don’t be hindered though,, using wordpress with a nice premium real estate theme will pay off in the end. Trust me.

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