I am working on a new real estate for a client. She had previously used the ihomefinder idx plugin for a non WordPress site.
The transition was remarkably smooth but I did encounter a few bumps along the way. The support staff was superb in addressing my issues and responded quickly and effectively.
I am so happy I chose this plugin and my client is even happier!
Thanks ihomefinder for a great product!
I currently use this plugin on my site [ link redacted, please do not post links in reviews ] In the past year they've really demonstrated that they understand what some of the challenges are that face real estate agents/brokers that want to leverage the power of WordPress SEO in their IDX/RETS solution.
Although there exists NO PERFECT WORDPRESS IDX/RETS PLUG IN SOLUTION available yet, Optima Express by iHomefinder is without a doubt the best of what is out there and currently available.
There are MANY things about the process of using Optima Express on your WordPress site that will absolutely frustrate you. But there are also many things you'll enjoy.
They recently worked on allowing this plugin to play nicely with Yoast. This is a HUGE development as before, using Yoast SEO with Optima Express would cause the single property pages that have been indexed by Google to display missing or incorrect meta data. This was especially devastating to users who's intention upon purchasing Optima Express was to benefit from it's search engine index'able virtual pages.
1] Optima Express must take their clients SEO sensitivities more seriously. The recent upgrade broke the City SEO pages I had on my main landing page. It resulted in a system without a 404 or any other redirect. They acknowledged the bug within minutes, but sent me an email saying the fix would have to be considered as a candidate among many other bug fixes for the next plugin update....?....When I pressed the question, they emailed me back and said, "Oh, just create a link and repost it. That should fix it."....one must ask, "Why didn't you say that in the first email response as opposed to making me thing that I'm waiting for the next version update???"
2] A unified login widget that allows social login and ties into both the iHomefinder search update/alerts and the WordPress user functionality.
3] META SHORTCODES, META SHORTCODES, META SHORTCODES!!! Meta shortcodes that allow the user to build long tail urls and meta descriptions that are unique and interesting to Google's crawlers. [%sq_ft%] [%acres%] [%beds%] [%baths%] [%city%] [%street%]
1] Optima Express must provide a unified login widget that allows Facebook
We have developed real estate websites for more than 15 years and iHomefinder has continually impressed us with their solution. This is clearly one of the best plugins we have used to add IDX data to our clients sites.
It takes a little tinkering to get it to work perfectly with whatever theme you decide to use, but this IDX was a breeze to setup, is super simple to use, and there are a ton of great features (lead capture, email sign-ups, etc) that we haven't even gotten into yet.
Best thing is all the SEO juice stays on your website (as opposed to building iFrames or sending clicks elsewhere like other IDX's do).
I'll be recommending this to all of my Real Estate clients.
5 Stars - Having used various IDX products over 10 years we know what's a good IDX product. We just switched to Optima Express and find it a superior product to the non-responsive or poorly updated competiting IDX product we formerly used which was just bought out by a big company.
Had no problem with featured listings scrolling and displaying on our website. Another review claimed this is an issue but it's not for us. Optima Express is very responsive on a mobile device too.
Room for improvement? Always with any product but iHomeFinder tech support unlike other IDX firms we've used does respond to you on a timely basis. Tech support has also listened well to our enhancement suggestions.
Would like more specific data sent to Top Producer so we can identify the account from which the lead originated plus more details. Also would like to see additional SEO parameters added to fine tune SEO such as title and other fields.
*Update: See iHomeFinder's response. An API is available to get properties in PHP. It's called "Web Services": http://support.ihomefinder.com/index.php?/partners/Knowledgebase/Article/View/87/52/featured-listings-web-service
If you need what is presented by this plugin out of the box, then this plugin is a good choice. It works well and isn't difficult to set up.
But a lot of the interface is ugly. Some design choices are really silly, like putting the next/previous arrows ABOVE the gallery slider. The CSS is also pretty bad. They style everything their own way. Links are blue, overruling your theme with their ID tags. Many elements have really obscure padding and margin values that are not consistent cross-browser.
And if you want to create your own widget to show say, 4 featured properties, you can't just use a PHP call like "get_featured_properties(4)" and build it yourself. The HTML is generated on their servers and sent to your website. This means you cannot use a custom template unless you scrape data from their HTML. They do offer a shortcode but you're stuck with their default layout - which is also silly. Address, then photo, then price, then details. Not configurable at all.
Overall, I might still consider this plugin in the future for basic IDX-based sites. I'm very disappointed that there is no API in the plugin. That's kind of the point of WordPress, customizing everything...
tech Support is helpful every single time.
they keep upgrading their apps.
Check out the latest integration we did at http://www.brownwindle.com
not sure why anyone has had anything other than great experience. we are very demanding
This is a good plugin and the price is affordable, but the code is very bad. It's giving much validation errors. Developers of this plugin is just making silly mistakes, like not giving 'alt' attribute in image tag. There are also missing end tags of some, inserting CSS files with in body. So horrible code. I Have used 1.1.6 and also used latest version. In both validation errors are available. This is not expected.
The wordpress plugin is just plain bad. The code is horrible. Missing beginnings and endings of tags. Injects the meta-description and css files in the body of the page instead of the header. I can't believe that they can sell this. This does not have anything to do with the theme you are using. I have emailed and called. Still waiting for a response regarding the bad code.
Great IDX plugin. It is easy to install and implement into WordPress. Also very easy to customize and code into any custom HTML.
The map and functionality is more simplistic than many other IDX companies. Some find that to be a fault. I find that to be more simplistic for the average, perhaps novice, internet users.
Great SEO value and lead generation capabilities if used properly.
Looking forward to improved map features. I would like to see a method of drawing a boundary within the map to view homes for sale within that boundary.
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