Steve Zehngut has seen it all in web development. After founding his first web firm in 1995, Steve has been explaining internet technologies to business and real estate for long enough to know which trends will fade and which will be here tomorrow. At NAR Annual 2010, he’s set his sights on WordPress, the popular blogging and web publishing platform that enables non-technical professionals to build lasting, useful and profitable interactive platforms.
An essential benefit to WordPress is ability to add functions to it. These additions, called plugins, are designed to enhance the function of your blog, making it more attractive to your readers, or making it easier to control your blog. The number of plugins geared toward real estate blogs is in the thousands – plugins that enable display of listings, maps, locations, street views, database searches, news, videos – if it’s real estate-related information, you can publish it on your WordPress blog, and Steve knows the best ways:
Videos With VVQ: Adding videos to your blog can cause problems unless you use a tool that helps smooth things out. Several of these exist, but Steve recommends Viper’s Video Quicktags, aka VVQ. Install VVQ on your WordPress blog, then use the plugin menu to control the display of videos on a post, including size, type and play controls.
Listings: Powerful, attractive and useful displays of property listings are central to the success of any real estate blog. Bringing listing data from a data source into your blog is made much easier and successful (certainly for residential) by Diverse Solutions IDX plugin.
Feeds: Adding fresh content to your blog is a constant challenge. That’s why RSS syndication is so popular, by allowing you to republish content automatically using plugins. Steve recommends Feed-O-Matic.
Forms: Need to build forms for collecting input from prospects at your blog? Steve’s favorite for this task is Gravity Forms.
Get all the supporting material from this session online at NAR’s site wordpresscamp.blogs.realtor.org