How to Build an IDX Real Estate Website with WordPress



IDX stands for internet data exchange and is what allows listings from a multiple listing service (MLS) to be displayed through your individual website. Custom Realtor sites that include IDX drive leads but are expensive. We’ll show you how to build an IDX real estate website from scratch — from choosing a domain name to installing the final navigation bar.

We built a website for the purpose of walking you through the process in this guide. Here is a screenshot of the IDX feature that we integrated for illustration.

IDX Real Estate Websites - screenshot revolution slider

IDX feature of our constructed website, Best Lake Gaston Homes, built using Diverse Solutions.

Now that you understand what IDX is, and the essential element that it adds to your website, here is the process to start building your own.

1. Choose a Domain Name

A domain name is the web address where potential customers will find you. Choose something that reflects what you do, that’s easily searchable and be sure to end it in .com if possible. Here’s how to see what domain names are available, what type to select and how to set it up.

Sign Up for a Bluehost Account

First, go to Bluehost and select an account plan. The “basic” account should be sufficient for most small businesses. You get 50GB website storage and up to five business email addresses, which we show you how to set up in this article. If you do need more than five email addresses, or want additional website space, consider the “plus” plan instead.

Choose a Domain Name

If you have an existing brand, you want to select a domain that is as close to that brand as possible so that you can be found or others can remember you easily. If you do not have an existing brand, now is the time to create one.

Consider Brand and Searchability

Selecting a domain name, one suggestion is to have your website address reflect what you do and where you do it. This can both help you rank on Google and establish authority in your farm area. If you want some other tips for real estate branding before you search, check out The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Branding.

Use a .com if You Can

The gold standard of IDX real estate website names remains using a .com to optimize lead generation. Even though there has been a lot of hype around the “.realtor” domain names, generally speaking, you should always go with a .com domain.

Consumers typically enter “.com” when entering a web address, so choosing an alternate domain like “.net” can cause you to lose leads who typed the “.com” version instead. If your first choice isn’t available as a “.com,” it’s worth brainstorming for more ideas. For inspiration, check out our guide on how to choose a real estate domain name.

Check Availability of Your Domain Name

Once you have a few names you want to explore, you can check to see if those names are available for you to purchase and start building upon. To get started choosing the domain name of your IDX real estate website, enter your preferred domain name below to see if it’s available through Bluehost:

Purchase Your Domain Name and Plan

Once you’ve found an available domain name that suits your business, you’ll move onto checkout. Bluehost will ask you to choose your account plan of either 12, 24 or 36 months and select any add-ons.

IDX Real Estate Websites - bluehost screenshot

Bluehost package options.

You’ll notice the $2.95 per month pricing is reserved for the 36-month plan. Further below, you’ll notice a few add-ons. We recommend adding “Domain Privacy Protection” if you work in a home office to prevent your home address from being publicly displayed on your domain record.

By law, your business’ contact information has to be posted publicly after registering a domain. With “Domain Privacy Protection,” Bluehost will hide your personal contact information and keep your inbox far more protected from the spam new domains often get from this public posting.

Set Your Bluehost Password

Bluehost will now prompt you to set a password. This will have to be a combination of letters, numbers and at least one special character. Once you’ve completed your password, you can start building your IDX real estate website and now officially have an address.

2. Install WordPress

While Bluehost does not give you the tools to build a website directly, you can integrate a variety of website builders easily. This guide will show you how to use our recommended content management system, WordPress, and it comes free with your Bluehost account.

See our review comparing the performance of Bluehost with other competitors in the space.

Go To Your Bluehost Account

On your Bluehost account homepage, you will see a control panel full of different menu options. While you can establish your business email address right away through this guide, we are going to show you how to start from here to build your website.

Go to the Website Box on Your Dashboard

To get started with WordPress, click the option “Install WordPress” on the website menu. Then click “Install” at the top.

IDX Real Estate Websites - bluehost screenshot

Bluehost website dashboard.

Next, you’ll specify which domain you’re installing WordPress on.

IDX Real Estate Websites -WordPress screenshot - domain

Bluehost WordPress Installation screen.

On the next menu, make sure you enter a new password.

IDX Real Estate Websites -WordPress Screenshot - install

Bluehost WordPress Installation screen.

After this, the installation will begin and complete automatically. This can take up to a few minutes. Once it’s complete, you’ll see a button appear at the top “View Credentials here.” Click this, and you’ll find your new website login details.

Further down the page after your WordPress installation, you’ll be asked to select a theme. Don’t worry about this just yet. In the next step, we’ll show you how to find a free theme after logging into your new website.

3. Choose, Download & Install a Real Estate WordPress Theme

WordPress offers you the ability to use partially created websites called themes that you customize with your own logo, text, photos and pages. The next step is to select a WordPress theme and install it onto your web property to start the process of customizing your IDX real estate website.

Throughout the rest of this guide, we’ll be using the Houzez WordPress theme to illustrate concepts. As a preview to what your IDX website can look like, here is the demo website that we created, built on the Houzez real estate WordPress theme. Although this is only one type of theme available, the design, layout and general strategy we will be reviewing will be the same no matter what theme you choose.

How to Choose a WordPress Theme

While you can always change themes later, taking the time to choose the right theme now will save you time and effort down the road. If you choose not to use the Houzez WordPress theme, here are some general guidelines for selecting a theme of your own.

Ignore the Photography

The first rule to choosing a real estate WordPress theme is to ignore the imagery. Almost every single real estate WordPress theme you’ll find online has gorgeous pictures of mansions and exotic locales to show off the site. Usually, however, these photos are not included with the theme.

When examining a WordPress theme, try to imagine replacing the images with listing pictures from your own MLS or pictures that make sense for your farm area.

Make Sure it Works Well on Mobile

Be sure to keep focused on features as well as general aesthetics — fonts, colors and layout. Features like mobile responsiveness — having functionality when a visitor comes to the site from a phone — are a must-have item, so be sure to put that on your list when evaluating themes.

Check Compatibility with IDX Real Estate Plug-ins

While most WordPress themes should be compatible with popular IDX providers, starting with a theme that you know is compatible is always a good idea. Look for themes that say they work with dsIDXpress, IDX Broker and Ihomefinder specifically.

Don’t Be Fooled by Listing Functions

As a general rule of thumb, most listing functions touted in real estate WordPress themes won’t work with IDX listings. Almost all of the advanced listing features and even layouts for listings searches, mapping and more will not work with IDX and are meant for developers, not the do-it-yourself builder.

IDX Real Estate Websites - theme laptops screenshot

Illustration of mobile responsiveness when selecting a theme

To take advantage of the listing features, most themes will require that you manually enter your own listings or get an XML feed from your MLS and hire a programmer to install it. There are some significant problems with this approach. Hiring a programmer can be very expensive, but getting an XML feed from your MLS may not be possible unless you’re a brokerage or large team.

The Price of WordPress Themes

WordPress real estate themes are very affordable for what they offer. In general, you can expect to pay between $30 to $90 to purchase the theme. When you think about it, you can buy your own theme for what you would pay most IDX real estate website companies every month. So, while there is certainly a learning curve to getting it set up, at the end of the day, you will own your site rather than renting it from a third party.

Where to Buy Real Estate WordPress Themes

After you know what you are looking for, now is the time to start scouting for themes you think will work for you. There are a few sites to look for themes that we recommend, have a good reputation, provide quality themes and have secure transactions.

  • Themeforest. An exclusive provider of WordPress themes for a variety of professional websites
  • Template Monster. Template Monster is one of the largest suppliers of online website templates, including templates for various types of sites such as WordPress, Joomla and others
  • Agent Evolution. Agent Evolution provides a variety of WordPress themes along with a turnkey option in which you can pay $99 per month, along with a $299.99 set up fee and have a literal turnkey IDX enabled customizable real estate website

When you find a theme you like and one that meets your qualifications, feel free to download it to your computer for use in the next step.

Install Your Theme into WordPress

After selecting and downloading a theme to your computer, you will need to install it into the WordPress platform to be able to customize it for your business. This section will teach you how to install the downloaded theme and create a functioning platform at your website address.

Open the .zip File

To get started, navigate to the .zip file you downloaded for your theme, which will contain the layouts, code and plug-ins for your WordPress site. Next, right-click on the theme, and choose “Extract Here.”

Upload to Your WordPress Dashboard

To add a theme to your website, open your WordPress dashboard, scroll down and click “Appearance,” and then “Themes” on the left-hand toolbar. Then, click on “Add New,” and then “Upload.”

Activate Your Theme

To install your theme, simply navigate to the .zip file of the theme you downloaded. Click “Install,” and then click “Activate.”

4. Install Any Plug-ins Your Theme Needs to Run

Some themes require you to install certain free plug-ins for the theme to function properly. Installing plug-ins is a simple process once your theme is up, involving not much more than a few clicks. We are going to show you how to install three plug-ins: Visual Composer, Slider Revolution and WP Forms Lite.

These are solid plug-ins to install on any theme.

  • Visual Composer: Visual Composer is a WordPress plug-in that makes it much easier to create and edit the layout of pages in WordPress; it uses a simple table-based layout system
  • Slider Revolution: Slider Revolution is the animation program that lets you create those cool sliding animations you see in the header of many websites these days
  • WP Forms Lite: WP Forms Lite is a simple form creator that we’ll use to create a basic contact form for our home valuation page we’ll use to generate seller leads

Steps to Install Plug-ins

Since Houzez is a sophisticated theme with multiple layouts, it requires you to install a few plug-ins to run properly. Be aware that installing a lot of plug-ins on WordPress can slow down your website dramatically, so be sure to install only one plug-in at a time.

  • Click on “Plugins” then “Add New”
  • Once you’re on the Plugins page, click on the drop-down menu labeled “Bulk Options”
  • From the Bulk Options menu, click “Install”

Activate the plug-ins by returning to the Plugins page and choosing “Activate” from the same drop-down menu.

IDX Real Estate Websites -WordPress plugins

Plug-ins within your WordPress theme.

5. Choose & Install Your IDX Plug-in into WordPress

Setting up your IDX provider allows you to get an updated feed of listings from your MLS onto your website. While getting listings onto your site is fairly easy, choosing and configuring each IDX plug-in can be challenging.

If you want to explore learning more about IDX Providers, check out our in-depth buyer’s guide. For simplicity’s sake, and for the purposes of our website construction in this tutorial, we’re going to use Diverse Solutions Mapping IDX. In our buyer’s guide review, we found Diverse Solutions to be the most affordable and trusted IDX solution for websites with an included CRM.

IDX Real Estate Websites -DSidxpress screenshot map

Screenshot of Diverse Solutions Mapping IDX.

Much like installing a theme as we did earlier, you can install plug-ins straight from your WordPress dashboard.

  • Head to “Plugins,” then click “Add New” on the left-hand menu bar
  • Enter the name of the IDX plug-in you’d like to install. For our demo site, we installed the dsIDXpress plug-in
IDX Real Estate Websites -select plugins

See dsIDXpress IDX plug-in.

Note that if you decide to install the demo versions from WordPress, they will not connect to your MLS and only offer demo listings. To hook up an IDX plug-in to your MLS, you need to contact each company before installing the plug-in.

To install the dsIDXpress plug-in, click “Install” and “Activate.”

6. Import the Demo Content from Your Theme

After installing your IDX plug-in, you need to install the demo content from your theme into WordPress so that you can begin the customization process. This portion will show you how to get the foundation to begin personalizing the pages already created for your theme.

Most WordPress themes have a number of different demos or versions to choose from that each have different layouts, fonts and features. For our example site, we chose the “Luxury Real Estate” demo of Houzez. Look over your theme and choose the demo you think will work best with your brand. You can always change fonts, colors and layouts later, but it makes the process far easier to start with something you really like.

To install the demo content:

  • Go to your Dashboard
  • Click on “Theme Options”
  • Find and click on “Demo Importer” in the sidebar
  • Navigate to the demo you’d like to install
  • Click on “Import Demo” to install it into WordPress

7. Choose Your Header Style, Add Images & Text

The next phase of the building process involves selecting which header and top bar you’d like to use on your website. This section will show you how to set up a professional header and top bar as well as add touches that customize the initial impression on your website.

For the purpose of this demonstration, we used the Slider Revolution header because we appreciated the appearance, and it is easy to install. As a word of warning, please be aware that any headers that have Google maps or listings will not work with IDX listings. You cannot use these unless you want to add your own exclusive listings manually or can get an XML feed from your MLS and hire a programmer to set it up.

If you’d like to do the process yourself, such as in this tutorial, you will have to choose either the slider revolution header or the full-screen header with video. You can see the Slider Revolution header on our site here. The video header will look similar but will have a large background video like the screenshot below:

IDX Real Estate Websites -houzez

Video header example.

How you customize your header will depend on which style header you choose, and how you want your site to look. Wanting our site to look fresh and modern, we selected the Slider Revolution header. This allows us to have two huge, beautiful images with animated copy sliding in for each image.

If you choose the Slider Revolution header, you will need professional high-resolution images to present in the header. To create our header, we chose free stock images from Unsplash, and then changed their size using GIMP, a free graphic design program that works a lot like Adobe Photoshop. Using GIMP, we cropped the images to 1024×648 pixels and uploaded them to the Slider Revolution plug-in and changed the copy. The more images you use in your slider, the longer it will take to load. To make sure our page loads quickly, we only selected two images, and it is recommended you limit your photos as well.

Since Slider Revolution is a powerful and highly customizable plug-in, a full tutorial would be beyond the scope of this guide. Instead, we recommend you take the time to familiarize yourself with Slider Revolution by checking out the beginner videos on the plug-in designer’s website. The tutorials are thorough, but if you ever find yourself stuck with an unanswered question you can either reach out to Houzez or use the Themepunch forums for support.

8. Customize Your Logo & Contact Information

After having your theme and demo content installed as well as a header selected, you can start customizing your site by changing your logo and contact information. We’ll tell you how to find a logo if you don’t already have one and how to install it across your website.

If you don’t already have a logo, there are plenty of ways to get an affordable, professional looking logo.

Canva

Canva offers free templates to design a professional looking logo quickly. This is the site we used to create our logo for Lake Country Realty below.

There are a few caveats to using Canva. First, in order to create a transparent logo, which you’re going to need for most themes, you need to sign up for an account which is $10 per month. The secondary issue is that you will never be able to trademark your logo, which can be a concern for some.

99 Designs

99 Designs isn’t free, but you can trademark the logo they design for you and, best of all, have multiple designers submit preliminary designs so you can choose what works best for you. Usually, 99 Designs will bring forth a solid logo design, but their base pricing starts at $299.

Fiverr

On Fiverr, you can search for graphic designers who can design your logo for an affordable price. While the quality may not be as high as on 99Designs, you can get a logo for as little as $5. Depending on the type of logo you are looking for, this might be a wonderful placeholder until your business scales.

If you need some design inspiration as you are creating a logo, check out our definitive guide to the best real estate logos in the industry today.

Add Logo & Contact Information to WordPress

Prior to adding your logo to any pages, you want to be sure that your logo can display properly on different backgrounds, as well as be of proper size to appear sharp and crisp. Here are a few things to be sure to get done prior to adding your logo to WordPress.

Create a Few Logo Variations

You want to be sure that your logo can be seen well despite any background it is displayed on. Here are some logo variations to have on hand.

  • A light-colored logo version that will display clearly on dark backgrounds.
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Our white logo with a transparent background.

  • A dark-colored logo version that will display clearly on light backgrounds.
IDX Real Estate Websites

Our dark logo with a transparent background.

How to Create Logos with Transparent Backgrounds

You may have noticed that both of the logos we created for our site have transparent backgrounds. In other words, they don’t have the white background you get when you save a graphic in most design programs. Here’s how to create different versions of your logos with transparent backgrounds.

IDX Real Estate Websites - GIMP logo

Transparent background.

The best way to create logos with transparent backgrounds is to use Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. If you don’t have access to Photoshop or Illustrator, you can create logos with transparent backgrounds by using the paid version of Canva for $10 per month, or hire a graphic designer on Fiverr or 99 Designs to design your logo or create the versions you’ll need for your website.

Logo Sizing

Most logos will work best on websites with specific size proportions. The theme we chose is a good representation of common sizing. For example, you’re going to want to create your logos to be around 200 pixels wide by around 75 pixels tall to work well with the Houzez theme.

Adding Your Logo to Your WordPress Theme

Instead of adding your logo and contact information on every new pages or widgets you create, themes like Houzez allow you to change them once and have them auto populate on new pages or widgets you create.

Now that you have a few different logos ready to go, you can add your them to Houzez.

  • Go to your WordPress dashboard
  • Click on “Appearance”
  • Click on “Customize”
  • Click on “Logos and Favicon”

Adding Your Contact Information to the Site’s Footer

Next, add your contact information and social media information to the header and footer of the site. Since Houzez is a very customizable theme, there are a few different places where you can add your contact information.

For our site, we chose to add our contact information in the footer of the site. Here is how to add contact info to the footer of your site:

  • Click on “Appearance”
  • Click on “Widgets” in the sidebar (your contact information is listed under “Footer Area Two”)
  • Click on the “Contact us” bar under “Footer Area Two,” and enter your contact information
  • Click “Save” once you’re done
IDX Real Estate Websites -contact us screenshot

Adding Footers to Your WordPress theme.

9. Create a Site Map of the Pages You Want on Your Website

What type of pages will largely depend on what kind of work you are in, whether you are creating your IDX real estate website for yourself, team, or brokerage, and what your goals are with your potential customers. This section will give you general page ideas to get you started.

These are typical pages that most real estate websites would include.

About Us Page

An About Us page introduces visitors to your business. Typically, in real estate, these pages would start with a quick two to three sentences introduction about what makes your real estate agency or brokerage unique followed by a brief back story.

This About Us page is also a good space to embed a Google Map with your office location. This not only encourages drop-ins, but it can help establish credibility for your real estate business by showing your connection to the area/neighborhood.

Contact Us Page

A Contact Us page is a simple page that includes all of your key contact information like phone, email and office address. Some people also add a contact form to save potential leads the hassle of having to exit the screen to reach out.

Seller Lead Generation Landing Page

Since most of your website so far is buyer-oriented, you should create a separate page if you hope to attract potential sellers. Sometimes, a simple contact page that offers a free comparative market analysis (CMA) in exchange for contact info can be an easy and classic strategy to get seller leads.

Another way to get seller leads that some people prefer is to try using instant home valuation landing pages from companies like Listings to Leads, Cloud Attract or Home Value Leads. The theory behind using instant home valuations is that more people are willing to click a link than give you their contact information. How home valuations work is that once potential sellers get the valuation, they will be given the option to reach out for a more accurate CMA. These are leads that you can also track through the process and use retargeting to show them ads on other websites.

The home valuation page can also be invaluable once you start advertising on Facebook or Google to generate seller leads. Many Realtors will create an ad on Facebook that sends your leads to the home valuation page once they click on the ad. Once there, it will give you their contact information for a free CMA or instant home valuation.

Your Blog Page

Your blog is one the best ways you have to increase your real estate website’s ranking on Google so that you are discovered by someone searching there. Write useful articles and neighborhood guides that will show up for very specific searches on Google to increase the chances of discovery. For example, someone might be searching for “the prettiest blocks on the Upper West Side.” If you have a great article talking about the prettiest blocks on the Upper West Side, you’ll likely get a site visitor and possibly a new lead.

In order to learn more about using search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to get your website to rank on Google, check out our Ultimate Guide to Real Estate SEO here.

Testimonials Page

Testimonials can be incredibly powerful to your brand and reputation. A testimonials page will have all the great reviews and testimonials you’ve received from past clients displaying the various ways your expertise has helped them. You can use a widget from an advanced theme like Houzez to add them.

If you are looking to get more reviews in general, feel free to check out our guide on using social proof to get more leads.

Neighborhood Pages

One of the best ways to get your IDX real estate website to rank well on Google is to create specific neighborhood pages with listings, neighborhood market data, school info and as much interesting information as you can.

This technique of being a neighborhood authority works especially well for small micro-neighborhoods, waterfront homes, golf course homes, homes in certain school districts or even specific types of homes like Victorian or mid-century homes. The more niche keywords you can rank for, the more Google traffic you can build to your site.

When creating effective neighborhood pages, the key is to figure out what people in your farm area are searching for and offer them a useful page with updated listings for that search. One way to do this is to create entire pages quickly and easily with custom search results from your Diverse Solutions IDX plug-in to populate them. You can create hundreds of these neighborhood pages to rank for as many niche keywords as you’d like.

In order to do this properly, you’re going to have to learn about finding what people in your farm area are searching for using keyword research. To learn more, check out our guide on real estate keyword research.

Map Search Page

Having a map search allows potential clients to search in ways they are accustomed to with other search engines. Since many homebuyers are used to using sites like Zillow or Realtor.com to search for homes, they’re probably used to using map searches to find homes in specific areas.

Using our IDX provider Diverse Solutions, you can copy and paste a searchable Google Map with all the listings in your MLS quickly and easily onto a blank page to create a search by map page. To see a live demo, check out our Map Search page, or click the link below to visit Diverse Solutions to download a free demo:

Visit Diverse Solutions

10. Create Your IDX Website Pages

After having a framework of which pages you would like to include in your website, the next step is actually building them out. We will show you how to build out your site using the template pages that come with your theme.

There are two ways to build out pages on your IDX real estate website:

  • Use the template pages that came with your theme
  • Create new pages from scratch

The theme that we are using for this demonstration, Houzez, comes with enough page templates that you really shouldn’t have to create many pages from scratch. Instead of creating these pages from scratch, you will just need to edit the testimonials page, blog, about us page and homepage. The one page that we suggest you create that Houzez doesn’t offer are the neighborhood pages.

Here’s a quick walkthrough of building new pages for your IDX website:

  • Go to your dashboard and click on “Pages” in the sidebar
  • To edit a page from a template, click on “All pages” and choose the page you want to edit. Note that Houzez uses Visual Composer, which is a What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor that makes it very easy to edit pages
IDX Real Estate Websites -homepage - edit - screenshot

What our homepage looks like in Visual Composer.

  • Change the title of the page. To edit the title, click in the text box right above the Visual Composer Icons
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Area to change the title of the page.

  • Drag-and-drop new “elements” into the page through Visual Composer that you can then customize with your own copy, videos, pictures or code. For example, the “Welcome Home” text in the middle of the page is in a textbox element. To edit the text, hover over the green bar, and click on the pencil icon which will open up a Microsoft Word like text editor. Here, you can edit your copy just like you would using Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
IDX Real Estate Websites -screenshot - text block

Welcome Home text that can be edited.

  • If you want to add pictures, click the “Add Media” button
  • If you’d like to add a contact form, click the “Add Form” button
  • The little blue icons are from the Diverse Solutions IDX plug-in that we installed; you can either insert a single listing from the MLS, insert listings from a custom search like houses in a particular ZIP code or in a certain price range or insert an IDX search form so your site visitors can search for properties on their own
  • When you’re done, click “Save Changes,” and you’ll be returned to the Visual Composer view

Adding New Elements to Your Page With Visual Composer

Adding new elements to your page is easy once you understand how the composer works and how you can place the elements where you like. For example, once you have your copy edited in your text box, you can drag-and-drop the text box to be above or below other elements on the page by hovering over it and clicking the move icon in the green bar. You can also add new elements to the page by clicking the “+” icon at the top of each column.

You can choose to add a new textbox or one of the dozens of elements available from Visual Composer through your theme. You can add raw HTML, Google Maps, a video player, single images, social media buttons, a testimonials slider and much more in this manner.

Previewing, Saving & Publishing Your New Page

Once you have copy and page elements where you want them, click on the “Preview” button on the right side of the page to see what it will look like on your website. If you’re happy with the way it looks, go back to your Visual Composer page editor and click on “Publish.”

If you’ve clicked “Publish,” congratulations! You now have a new page on your IDX real estate website.

11. Create Menus for the Navigation Bar in Your Site’s Header

After your pages are complete, it is important to start building out the navigation bar in your header. This section is called your “top bar” and will be instrumental to how visitors find the content they are looking for. We’ll show you how to create a top bar that is clear and simple to use.

Here’s what our top bar looks like.

IDX Real Estate Websites -screenshot - header

Example of our Top Bar element.

Here’s how to build the menu in the top bar:

  • Go back to your dashboard and click on “Appearance” in the sidebar
  • Click on “Menus” to go to the edit menus page
IDX Real Estate Websites -screenshot - pages

Selecting menus to edit.

  • Select a menu you want to edit. You will have four options here, main menu, footer menu, pages menu, and help menu; for today, we’re only going to worry about the main menu; this is the menu that appears on our homepage and every other page we create automatically unless we change that in WordPress
  • Select “Main Menu” from the drop-down box
  • Click “Select”; now we can edit just the main menu for our site
  • On the left-hand side of the page, we have the “Pages” tab; this area will show all the pages you’ve created for your website; to add a page to your main menu, click on “View All,” then check the box next to the page you want to add and click “Add to Menu”
  • Now, the page you’ve added to your menu will show up on the right-hand side of the page under “Menu Structure”
  • Keep adding pages from the “Pages” tab until you have all the pages you want in your menu

Editing Names & Adjusting the Order of Pages in Your Menu

Once you have all the pages you want in your menu, you can now drag the pages up or down to determine what order they show up in your menu. By default, WordPress uses the name of the page as the name that will show up in your menu. For example, let’s say the title of your map search page is “Search Lake Gaston Properties by Map” that is what it will say in the menu. While that may work great for the title, it’s a little too long for the menu.

If you’d like to use a shorter name in your menu, like “Map Search,” rather than “Search Lake Gaston Properties by Map,” click on the little arrow on the right side of the page name in the “Menu Structure” tab.

IDX Real Estate Websites -screenshot - menus

Menu Structure tab.

In the text box under where it says “Navigation Label,” edit the name to whatever you think works for your menu.

Creating Nested Menus

You can also create nested menus from the menu editor. To create a nested menu, just add a page to your menu, and drag it to the page you’d like to nest it under and hover over it. Once you let go of the mouse, the page will be nested under another page in your menu. If you mess up and want to delete the page or move it under another page, just click on the little arrow on the right side of the page and click “Remove.”

IDX Real Estate Websites -screenshot - submenus

Nested menus

Nested menus are a great place to add your newly created neighborhood pages with IDX listings. For example, you might create a menu page called “Listings,” and then nest each neighborhood page you’ve created under it.

Test Your Finished Product

After you have made your final edits and tweaks to your new website, take a step back and navigate around it as if you were your targeted user. Be sure to test the functionality by selecting different menu components, looking at the website on your cellphone, and send your friends a copy to share once you have content that makes it look robust and completed.

Sample created website by FitSmallBusiness.

The Bottom Line

Learning to build your own IDX real estate website with WordPress takes time and persistence but certainly helps you to generate leads less expensively than renting a site every month that you never own. Feel free to venture out on your own to create neighborhood pages, instructional content for buyers and sellers and landing pages.

As your real estate website is constructed, if you need a CRM to manage all your new incoming leads, we reviewed the top three real estate CRMs for relationship building and referrals.

 

 

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