When real estate agent, Jennifer Springer, contacted Blue Turtle Graphics about building a creative website for her with IDX/MLS integration, we were definitely up to the challenge. This would be the first website we built with IDX integration and Jennifer wanted the site to be built with WordPress since she was familiar with it’s blogging capabilities. I immediately began researching options for IDX services that would work well with WordPress. There are several services that claim WordPress capability, however, I was concerned about how well they handled responsive design. If you aren’t familiar with this buzzword, ‘responsive web design’, it’s a new(-ish) way of building websites where the layout adapts to the device (phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop) it’s viewed on. Rather than build multiple websites for various mobile devices, we build one site that adapts to all devices.
In searching for an IDX service, I had reached out to a couple of web developers who build primarily real estate websites and had more knowledge about the services available. I was told about IDX Broker and how their new Platinum service, which is still in beta, would be totally responsive. This was great news because it meant that the search and listing pages generated by IDX Broker would be responsive and it would require a lot less work and coding than trying to make some of the other services responsive. Once we got signed up for IDX Broker Platinum, we were in business. I was very impressed with the IDX system and ease of learning the control panel as well as the support staff. When I got stuck or had a question, I made a simple phone call to support and their friendly staff would help me find the solution. Kudos to IBX Broker for their product and fantastic support!
With this website, I also got to try out new responsive framework. I have been building most of my websites with Woothemes’ Canvas theme, which has been responsive since version 5.0. With the recommendation from another web developer, I decided to give Cayalyst a try and I was very impressed. I like that it is a bare-bones framework to work with which is perfect for me since I design my websites from scratch and start with a Photoshop mockup. I won’t go into too much detail since this isn’t a review, but I liked that it is much simpler and less bloated with code than other themes. For this project, Catalyst + IDX Broker was a huge WIN!
The website has all the necessary tools needed to search the MLS for homes and allows you to create an account to save listings and be updated when new listings are added for your search criteria. Local Homeowner Resources are also available and detailed community descriptions and neighborhood listings will help you explore the various areas of Southwest Florida. So, check out PropertySWFlorida.com and let us know what you think!