[Video] A Walkthrough of the Placester Developer Platform
The Placester team recently released a new developer platform for real estate websites. To illustrate how you can use this platform to build fully integrated and customizable websites, we’ve put together this quick walkthrough, which highlights the platform’s main features and components.
Shortcodes: A shortcode is a small snippet of code that allows you to quickly and easily add an object or embed a file on any WordPress webpage or post. From a real estate perspective, shortcodes are revolutionary because they allow you to add IDX and real estate search functionality to a site without having to dive into complex PHP. They’re perfect for getting something beautiful up and running quickly.
Placester shortcodes are part of our Builder plugin. The truly amazing thing about our shortcodes (and the reason why we chose to highlight them first) is that you can use them to add IDX to any WordPress theme and you can use them to build a totally custom IDX. Instead of using the same tired IDX, you can create an IDX that truly reflects your experience and expertise. With our shortcodes, you can customize which fields users can search with, as well as what listing information appears in search results and on property detail pages.
Theme Gallery: Our gallery of real estate themes makes it super simple for you to launch beautiful real estate websites. We design each one of our themes to have a unique perspective in the market, from the typography and color palette to the hand-coded widgets that insure a cohesive brand message. Our responsive themes are perfect for ensuring that users always have a great search and browsing experience, regardless of the devices they’re using. Whether it’s a computer, tablet, or smartphone, our responsive themes automatically adapt to the different screen sizes. Best of all, developers are free to modify and resell all of our themes, even with their own branding.
The Placester Platform is where all of the magic happens. Whether you want to create a custom theme, design unique IDX functionality, or integrate an IDX into a new environment, our platform has got you covered. You can learn about three distinct components of the Placester platform below: a theme framework (Blueprint), an IDX plugin (Builder), and a RESTful API.
Blueprint: For developers seeking more flexibility and fine-grain control beyond shortcodes, there’s Blueprint, Placester’s theme framework. Blueprint allows developers to build custom real estate themes using PHP, Java, HTML, and CSS. With Blueprint’s high-level libraries, you don’t need to start from scratch to get something custom built.
Builder: Builder is our IDX plugin that allows you to integrate real-time listing data from 90 percent of the MLSs in the United States directly into WordPress. Unlike other IDX plugins, Builder allows developers to create completely custom functionality on top of IDX data, without restrictions. Specifically, with Builder you can:
- Manage property listings: create, edit, tag, etc.
- Manage map-based search
- Create areas or neighborhoods of focus
- Customize property search
- Create custom landing pages with elements including maps, search forms, listings, areas & neighborhoods, and slideshows
API: The last pillar of our platform, Placester’s IDX API is a RESTful API, which allows you to integrate an agent’s IDX data in any environment, mobile or web, through a series of fast, intuitive endpoints. Placester’s API allows you to build off our platform’s foundation, helping you develop new functionality or bring IDX to a completely new platform.
With the Placester developer platform, there’s no glass ceiling: you have access to all of the same tools we use internally. This means you can implement all of the best features in Placester’s themes, like the custom drawn areas in Franklin, or the pop-up navigation in Plymouth. It also means you can create new, innovative features we haven’t even thought of yet.
To learn more about the Placester developer platform, visit our developer portal, where you’ll find how-to articles, tutorial videos, and reference materials. When you’re ready to start building, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call at 1-800-728-8391.
Published on July 29, 2013
Written by Matt Barba
Matt Barba is the co-founder and CEO of Placester, a real estate technology company based in Boston. Placester makes it inexpensive and simple for real estate professionals, developers, and their partners to create real estate websites. Matt is a 8-year real estate industry veteran; initially an agent and more recently as a technologist and author of the most widely used real estate WordPress plugin Builder.