The following is a step by step process I took while reviewing the Realocation theme for real estate by aviators
To see how this site ranks compared to the other WordPress themes I’ve reviewed click here.
Appearance & Design
How does the site look?
What I like:
I love the overall look of the site, the interface and layout is very attractive and eye catching. The map filtering is especially outstanding when compared to maps on other themes.
I like the price range slider on the vertical properties page.
What I don’t like:
I don’t like the slider on the property pages, specifically, In order to scroll through photos, I have to actually click on the thumbnail below or on the arrows that pop up when the mouse hovers. This isn’t the end of the world, but other themes allow for me to see the next video simply by just clicking on the image.
The contact options on the header (phone & email) are pretty small and don’t draw very much attention.
Is it responsive (mobile/tablet friendly)?
Yes, the site does very well on both tablets and mobile devices. It’s also consistent with the main desktop versions overall look.
Devices I tested it on: Google Nexus 5, Blackberry Q10, Samsung Galaxy Tab 7
How easy is it to customize the design?
This is really the most important aspect of choosing a real estate theme, you may or may not like certain areas of the site and how the developer chose to display it. But if it’s simple things just like changing the color or font on a certain widget or section, WP Estate theme does a pretty good job on making it easy for you to make the change.
Review plugins, included functionality, and premium add-ons.
What I really like:
- This theme does a great job in providing a custom back-end solution that allows a real-estate agent to easily create and manage very advanced contact and property search forms.
- I really like their use of what they call sublocations, it’s a great way to create neighbourhood and areas, outside of the listings default city.
- Their built in translation (wpml) module is great if you’re looking to create a site that attracts users who speak a different language
Does the site integrate with Google Maps?
Yes, but it doesn’t have any built in options to interact with Google Street View. Also it has clustering which is nice but it’s problematic for when you are listing more than one listing at the same building (apartments etc.) On the plus side though, it does allow you change the display of the map (select from 6 different options)
Does the site allow user subscriptions?
Yes, they’ve got a pretty nice system that allows for users to subscribe (paid and non paid), but they do not have any social sign up options available like WP Estate theme.
Does it work well with RETS/IDX ?
So-so, I wasn’t able to get listings from a RETS or IDX feed to work with the mapping features without some additional work (outside developer needed for most).
Is the site easy to use for the end user?
- Yes and quite well. The layout is attractive, the filtering of properties is great, and nicely put together.
- 99% rating by Google page-speed insights for mobile user experience! not too shabby…
Note that for these sites, the developer is more focused on presenting really high quality HD content, than they are for the performance, some of these scores will drastically improve when put on your own website with properly optimized images. Also your hosting environment and server capabilities will largely impact how your site performs. This review is only testing how the basic themes perform side by side on the Theme Forest servers.
How fast does the site load?
Based off of a reports I ran on GTmetrix and Pingdom, the sites hosted demo on Theme Forest returned these results.
5.06 seconds — GTMetrix Page Load Time (from Vancouver, using Google Chrome)
2.35 seconds — Pingdom Page Load Time (from New York )
72% C — YSlow Grade
84% B — Google Page Speed
If there is a mobile site, has it been optimized for tablets and phones?
Mobile Google PageSpeed Insights Score: 50/100
Does the site do well across all major browsers?
Yes, verified it works well with
- Internet Explorer 9,10 & 11
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
Does it work well with popular WordPress SEO and Performance Plugins?
Yes, I personally haven’t run into any hiccups
- WordPress SEO by Yoast
- W3 Total Cache — this configured properly and combined with a solid hosting environment will fix most of the issues I listed above in the performance section.
Does the site do well with Search Engines (sitemaps, on page structure, etc.) ?
- This theme does not come packaged with an HTML sitemap (usually something that’s good to include for your users + some kudos points from Google
- You can install WordPress SEO by Yoast which will build an automated Google friendly sitemap, to make sure you’re indexing properly.
Ease of Use
How easy is it for a real estate agent to manage and update the site?
Yes, it does a pretty good job. I really like the inclusion of hydraforms on their backend, it makes it easier to create custom post types and assists with further customizing the theme if you’re up for the challenge yourself, and/or makes it easier for developers to work with.
Is it well documented? Video tutorials, provided instructions, and in theme support?
No video tutorials, but the overall theme documentation and the support provided by aviators on the forum is both fast and excellent.