- You can build an entire real estate company website using WordPress.
- You would do this by installing WordPress into your root directory.
- After that, you can use themes and plugins to customize the site.
- There are many advantages to making a real estate website in WordPress.
- And we will cover all of this in great detail throughout this tutorial.
In a previous tutorial, I described the steps needed to add a WordPress blog onto an existing real estate website, as an extension of the main site. Today, I’ll explain how you can build an entire real estate company website around WordPress—and why you should consider it.
Some agents are surprised to learn that the WordPress content management system (CMS) can be used to power a complete real estate website, and not just a blog. But it’s true!
Here’s how to do it the right way…
Building a Real Estate Website in WordPress
WordPress is a highly versatile content management system that allows you to create and manage a website without any knowledge of coding or web development. And when I say “versatile,” I mean you can configure it in many ways to suit almost any purpose.
If you have an existing real estate website, you could add WordPress as a subfolder or subdirectory extension of that site. In that scenario, WordPress would power your blog but not the main website. Design-wise, they would be two separate entities (though connected under the same domain).
Alternately, you could use it to run an entire real estate website, including a blog section. In this scenario, you would use WordPress to create your home page, company and staff pages, property listings, and a real estate blog.
One of the major benefits of building a real estate company website around WordPress is the fact that it’s open source software. This means you can install it on your server and customize the program as needed to suit your business needs.
WordPress Development Terms You Need to Know
If you want to build your entire real estate website around WordPress, you’ll need to understand some important terminology. Here are some terms worth knowing.
WordPress: A popular content management system (CMS) that allows users to create and manage websites without extensive knowledge of coding or web development.
Root directory: The top-level directory of a website’s file structure. It typically contains the main website files, such as index.php and style.css.
Subdirectory: A folder located within another directory. It is used to organize website files in a hierarchical manner.
URL: A web address that identifies a specific webpage or resource on the internet. For example, “www.example.com” is a URL that points to the homepage of the website example.com.
Domain: A unique name that identifies a website on the internet. For example, “example.com” is a domain name.
WordPress theme: A set of files that controls the look and feel of a WordPress website. It includes templates for pages, posts, and other website elements.
WordPress plugin: An extension for WordPress that adds new features or functionality to a website. For example, there are plugins for creating contact forms, integrating social media, displaying property listings, and more.
Hosting: A service that provides storage space and bandwidth for a website’s files. Hosting servers allow you to make your real estate website accessible to visitors online.
IDX: Internet Data Exchange (IDX) are systems and services that allow real estate agents to share MLS property listings on their websites, including on WordPress-powered sites.
Be Careful How and Where You Install It
If you want to use WordPress to run your entire real estate company website, you’ll have to pay close attention to where you upload and install the program.
As mentioned earlier, you have a couple of options here:
1. Subdirectory / subfolder installation
You can install WordPress as an extension of an existing site by putting it into a subdirectory of its own. If your website is “myrealtysite.com,” you could create a subdirectory or subfolder called “blog” and install WordPress there. In this example, your blog would appear at www.myrealtysite.com/blog. But the main site would be unaffected by the installation.
2. Root directory installation
If you install the program into your main or root directory, your entire site will be powered by the WordPress CMS. This includes your home page and all of the other “main pages.” In this case, you could either display your blog posts separately (myrealtysite.com/blog) or on the home page (myrealtysite.com). You have options.
Here’s the key difference to keep in mind here:
- If you want to build a new real estate company website around WordPress (from scratch), you will need to install the program into your main or root directory.
- If you already have an existing real estate website and want to keep it separate from WordPress, you should install the CMS into a subdirectory and make it an extension of the main site.
Installing the program itself is pretty straightforward, especially if you have your website hosting company do it for you. But relocating it from a subdirectory to the root directory is much more complicated, as you can see in this detailed tutorial.
So give it some careful consideration and try to get it right the first time.
Customizing Your Site With Themes and Plugins
Once you’ve created a real estate website using WordPress, you can use themes and plugins to customize and enhance the site.
As mentioned above, a WordPress “theme” is a set of files that control the design, layout and appearance of your site. Using themes, you can change your real estate website’s design at the click of a button, literally.
You can also use plugins to give your WordPress site additional functionality. It’s basically a tool that gives your website some new capability that it didn’t already have.
For instance, you could install a property listings plugin (like “Easy Property Listings” or “Realtyna IDX”) to display listings on your real estate website. Install the plugin, adjust the settings as needed, and you’re ready to go.
How to Organize Your Real Estate Website
WordPress makes it really easy to add new pages to a real estate website, or to modify existing pages. It also simplifies the navigation and menu creation process. Because of this, you can rearrange your website as needed to include new pages and sections.
Even so, it helps to have a plan on paper before you start creating your pages and menus. What’s the best way to do this? Paper and pencil!
Spend some time sketching out the basic organization of your WordPress-powered real estate website. Make a list of all the important pages you want to include on the site, and think about how they relate and connect to each other.
Depending on your business model, your website might include the following:
- Home page
- About page
- Services page
- Property listings
- Community information
- Articles or resources
- Agent or team profiles
- Contact information
- Real estate blog
You can also create subpages “below” the main pages, with a drop-down style menu that reflects your website’s organization. For example, a real estate company’s “About” page might include subpages for company history, careers, awards, etc.
Before attempting to build a real estate website in WordPress, think about the way you want to present the site to your visitors. Consider the overall organization, the navigation menu, and the basic pages that are needed to get the site up and running.
A little planning could save you countless hours of development work down the road!
Content Considerations and Blogging
So, you’ve built your real estate company around WordPress. You installed a theme and customized the layout and color scheme to match your branding. You’ve created some basic pages to help visitors get to know your company.
What’s the next step?
Now, it’s time to develop a content and publishing strategy (my specialty).
One of the great things about WordPress is the way it simplifies the publishing process. If you can draft an email, you have the technical “skills” needed to publish blog posts. It really is that simple. And you should take full advantage of that simplicity.
Publishing high-quality content relating to your local real estate market can help you attract potential clients to your site. And the WordPress content management system makes all of this a lot easier.
Here are the basic steps to creating a real estate content strategy:
- Identify your target audience and the kind of information they need.
- Establish a publishing frequency and try to stick with it, weekly at least.
- Create useful, original and comprehensive articles that help your audience.
- Make your content better than anything else that’s currently out there.
- Use your website analytics program to gain insights and adjust your strategy.
- Follow the best practices recommended by Google to maximize visibility.
Need Help Developing a WordPress Website?
Do you have questions about how to build a real estate website in WordPress? I’m here to help.
I can assist you in two ways: consultations and development.
If you just want to talk through the process and handle it on your own, you can schedule a one-on-one consultation for guidance. If you want me to help get your WordPress website up and running, check out my WordPress services page.