How To

Estate Overview

The Estate theme is a hugely powerful WordPress extension that enables your site to list real estate properties effectively and index them efficiently with an advanced search system. Estate has been coded taking full advantage of WordPress 3.0’s custom post type’s functionality.

Explaining the Estate taxonomies

A taxonomy is way of classifying data in WordPress. What this means is that you can better separate your data in both the frontend and backend. Until WP 3.0, there were only 2 major built in taxonomies – categories and tags, both of these for posts. However, with WP 3.0 you can not only create new taxonomies for posts, but you can also create new Post Types such as Properties. In WooTheme’s Estate, we have created a Properties post type and 3 custom taxonomies – locations, property types, and additional features. This allows you to manage your data more efficiently and to extend the default usage of WordPress to include new powerful features.

Once you’ve installed the Estate theme you’ll notice two new panels become available to you in the WordPress backend.

The "Estate" properties custom post types

Important installation note

Please note there is an important first step after installing with Estate theme. You need to navigate to Settings > Permalinks and click on the “Save Changes” button, even if you haven’t made any changes. This is to register the custom post types used in the Estate theme.

Navigate to Settings > Permalinks. Click on "Save Changes" to register the custom post types.

Setting up your layouts

With Estate you have a certain amount of flexibility with the page layouts for the home page, property single page, property archive page, property search page and property author page. In the screenshot below you will see you can choose a layout with or without the sidebar for these various pages.

Make sure you select your layout option for each of the pages when setting up your Estate website.

Setting up your Estate layouts
Estate home page with a sidebar
Estate home page without sidebar

Setting up the homepage

The homepage of Estate can have 3 widgetized regions available for placement of custom woo widgets in the sidebar, if the sidebar is enabled under the “Layouts” theme options documented above. Also remember to add the footer widgets, the widgets you add to these footer widgetized regions will be used across all the site pages.

See our demo’s theme option’s set here – http://woocommerce.test/demo/estate/?options=woo

The widgetized regions of Estate

Adding a property post

Adding a property to your website is very similar to adding an ordinary blog post, although you must navigate to the “Properties” custom post type panel in the WordPress backend. Then click on “Add New” and fill in the WYSIWYG editor with the property name and details about the property in the editor. Then make sure you fill in the Estate custom settings, like number of rooms, size of property, price, etc.

Adding a property custom post type. Remember to fill in the "Estate Custom Settings" panel.

The features content is pulled from the “Additional Features” form next to the WYSIWYG editor when adding a property post. The rest of the content can be added via the normal post editor shown above.

Additional "features" content is added via this form
Additional "features" content is added via this form

Adding images to your property posts

Estate has an intelligent image management system. Adding your images to your property listing is done in a two step process. The main featured image that displays as per default for the archive pages, search results and as the first image viewable in the slideshow on the single property listing page must be uploaded via the “Estate Custom Settings” panel.

Estate Custom Settings

The other images just need to be uploaded via the WordPress “Add an image” uploader. You do not need to add these images into the post as a gallery, however you must click the “Save All” button once you have uploaded the images for them to be placed correctly. They are automatically arranged and resized for the property image slideshow.

The "Add an image" to access the upload manager
Adding images via WordPress for the property listings

Setting up the featured properties on the homepage

The home page featured panel can be used to display noteworthy property listings – this is because it is tag based. Once you have specified the tag it must loop through to display posts, make sure you add that tag to the blog posts you want to feature. It will display the title of the property, the excerpt, the property listing info, and the optional, but important, custom image which is the focal point of the panel.

Estate Featured Panel Theme Options

Adding the tag to the property is important, as is specifying the image to use in the “Estate Custom Settings” panel below the WYSIWYG editor on the Add/Edit post form.

Adding the featured tag to a post

Adding agents to your Estate site

Once your Estate theme has been installed you’ll have the option to set a new user type to your site users. Once a user has been created and the “Agent” role has been selected in the WordPress backend you can can add the telephone number, as well as the email address to their profile. This will then be displayed on the property listing posts.

First things first - Setting up the agent theme options
Setting up an "Agent" WordPress user under "Users" in the WordPress backend. Remember to fill in the user's contact telephone number and email address.

Then once you’ve assigned the agent to a property, when adding/editing a property, there details will appear on the property listing, allowing site visitors to contact the agent expressing interest for a property.

Assigning an agent to a property when adding/editing a property
The property listing page with the "Contact Agent" selected

Setting up the agent’s contact forms

When a visitor clicks on the “Contact Agent”, they can “Email this agent” directly from the site using a contact form if this functionality is enabled in the theme options, as can be seen below:

Setting up the agent contact form

The Property ID

The Estate theme gives each property entry a unique property ID which can be given to prospective buyers by the agent for them to search directly for a property online using the home page search facility.

The auto-generated property reference

You have the ability to change the prefix of the property web references in the theme options, under the “Property Labels” tab.

Changing the web reference prefix

You can also remove the property reference from showing on the backend properties page. There is currently no option to remove it from showing on the single property listing pages though.

Removing the web reference column from the backend property listings.

Fine tuning the Estate search module

Within the theme options you have the ability to specify whether the search module must function and display results only if the exact search criteria is matched to the user’s input, or whether it will display search results if any of the search criteria is matched, i.e. a 3 bedroom house on sale for $295,000 listing will be displayed to the user even if they entered a 3 bedroom house in their search requirements on sale for $240,000.

Exact match vs minimum value search results

Customizing the icons for the taxomomies

With Estate you have the ability to add custom icons to display for the various taxonomies you are using, i.e. you can change the icon used to identify how many garages a listing has.

Adding your own icons to the taxonomy listings

Adding MLS functionality to your Estate powered website

We’ve teamed up with the impressive team at dsIDXpress to provide you with indexable property listings on your domain, thanks to MLS (multi-listing service – the standardised service for property data feeds. Find out more here) . This plugin should almost certainly give you a massive increase in your website visitors and colossal boost in your search engine rankings.

This allows a site visitor to search either your listings added via your WordPress installation, OR the complete database of MLS.

Installing the dsIDXpress plugin

The plugin can be found when searching for “dsIDXpress” in the WordPress repository from your plugin page. See screenshot below.

dsIDXpress plugin in the WordPress repository

Once installed you’ll see a new dsIDXpress panel become available in the WordPress backend sidebar menu system. You will however need to visit the dsIDXpress site to purchase a license key, required for the activation of the plugin. More pricing details available on their site.

Visit the dsIDXpress website to purchase a license and activate the plugin

Setting up the dsIDXpress options

After you have installed and activated the theme the options menu item becomes available. Here you must assign the specific page templates we have created for the Estate dsIDXpress integration. As can be seen in the screenshot below:

Setting up the page templates in the options panel

You can find out more further information about the options on the dsIDXpress website.

You’ll also find further options to set up within the “Estate” theme options panel. Once dslDXpress has been activated a new panel will become available, as seen below:

The Estate theme options for dsIDXpress. Remember to enable the IDX plugin search!

You can specify cities and communities you would like to pull listings for, just type in the names of the cities and communities after reviewing the extensive listings dsIDXpress cater for using the hyperlinks next to the input boxes.

Again you can find out more further information about the cities/communities/tracts/zips options on the dsIDXpress website.


The theme includes 13 custom widgets that you can add to the widgetized areas (primary sidebar, secondary left sidebar, secondary right sidebar, or footer 1, 2 and 3). Some widgets are for the homepage regions only.

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Page Templates

Page Templates

This theme comes bundled with unique page templates for some additional functionality to your WooThemes powered website. Below is a list of some of the page templates available across our themes. Please note they are not all bundled with all our themes.