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From the four new demos that we released along with the new WP Residence version, the most appreciated demo is Paris. For the Homepage, we chose as header Google Maps with a special design from snazzy maps. Using the Recent Items shortcode from Visual Composer plugin, we added the Latest Properties for sale and for rent sections. With the List Cities and Areas shortcode we displayed the cities where we have properties. paris-demo-shortcode For the property unit and property page we used custom templates. property-unit-paris-demo We hope that you will enjoy our new demos.
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Along with the release of the new WP Residence version, we have created 4 new demos. For the London demo, we have built 4 homepages with Visual Composer/Ultimate Addons shortcodes. We used as header Google Maps, Theme Slider and Image. london-demo-facebook The demo contains custom property units, that show the title of the property, the description, number of rooms and baths, the price, favorites and share icons and the agent image. london-property-unit-facebook We hope that you will enjoy the new update and new demos.  
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We have decided to make a theme version focused on design and using the new features, we created 4 new demos: New York, Paris, London, Los Angels.

New York demo

In New York demo, we focused on making a modern and clean design, simple but with a high impact. On the homepage, we chose a transparent header with a Revolution Slider. new-york-demo We have created a new property card that contains that basic elements from a listing. proprety-card-new-york For the properties pages, we kept the content of the property page simple and easy to follow.property-page-new-yourk Please check our new demo here.
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News, WP Residence Help
We have finished the 1.16 version of WP Residence. The new theme version includes many new features and some fixes. The most important feature in the new version is the Property Custom template. This feature offers each WP Residence client endless possibilities when designing the property page. We have made a video tutorial to show you how the shortcodes and custom template work, you can watch it here. Also, you can find more details about Property Page Custom Template Shortcodes and Property Page Custom Templates in our help manual. Among the other new features you will find: -reCaptcha for registration -iHomefinder Optima Express IDX support -Limit the number of images that be uploaded in submission form. The complete list can be found here. Please update your theme so you can enjoy all new features.
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In the next couple of months we will release our own managed hosting solution dedicated to non tech users who don’t want to worry about servers, PHP versions & libraries, updates and other tech related issues. Basically, for $50 per month per website (first month free if you own a theme license) you receive: 1. Hosting account on our servers. The servers will be fine tuned to work with WordPress  and our themes (WPResidence, WPRentals and WPEstate). Some of the servers features are listed next:
  • Will run on PHP 7 – the latest and fastest version
  • Will be TSL 1.2 ready for PayPal payments – (sandbox payments are not working if you don’t have TSL 1.2 while live payments will stop working in 2017 unless you have TSL 1.2)
  • Enough memory
  • No limitation on server
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Storage will be limited to  7gigs
  • On demand we will give cpanel access
  • Dedicated IP for $1 extra fee
And these servers will be constantly under our watch to prevent any problems or overloading. 2. We will install WordPress, the Theme with a demo you choose + we will install the child theme in case you want to do some changes. 3. We will handle WordPress updates: WordPress releases a new version every 4-6 weeks. We will handle the WordPress update as soon as we confirm there are no incompatibility issues. If there are any problems we update the theme and do the WordPress upgrade after. 4. We will handle theme updates. We release a new version approximately 1 time per month, and once the version is tested and ready to go we will update your website. That’s why any changes you make to the theme must be done in a child theme. 5. We will handle plugins updates for the 3 plugins that come with the theme. The plugins are Revolution Slider, Visual Composer and Ultimate Addons for Visual Composer. There are new versions of these plugins released every 2-3 weeks, and sometimes they release important security patches that you want to be live asap. We will handle that part. 6. Malware scan: an antivirus will run on server making sure you have no malware problems 7. Daily backups 8. Not confirmed yet : Cloudflare CDN setup with ssl 9. License for the theme will be included in the pack as “rented”. We will transfer the license to you, for free, after 3 months. If you already have a licence you get the first month free. 10. Paypal & Stripe  payments setup. Also Facebook and Google login  setup – if client provides accounts and/or api keys. If you are not happy with the service, you get the money back (except first month for those of you who don’t own a theme license). Payments will be made via Paypal, month by month. And other possible features – here we are open to your suggestions. All the above details are still under review and may change before the actual release. We may add, change or remove items until that date. Why it costs $50: A similar hosting package (for example on WPEngine) is around $20 to $30. Because it is a managed hosting account, there is a very limited no of accounts per server and everything is fine tuned to work with WordPress. Also, an engineer is always watching over the server performance. Beside that we are doing monthly updates on your website – WordPress, theme and plugins.  Some of the updates are done automatically but some will be done manually and we will check to see that everything is on order after these updates.   What do you think about this kind of service/hosting solution?
Would you be interested in getting such package for your business? If yes, please let us know. We must get in touch with you to make sure your website is suited for this service.
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News
For the past 2 years we’ve sold over 9k licenses of our themes and we are proud of what we’ve succeeded to achieve. Our themes are very competitive, have a LOT of features and they also have very good ratings when it comes to loading speed. Nevertheless, over the past 2 years, some clients have complained that their website is slow. Sometimes it is a just a matter of settings, images too large or other small tweaks. But most of the times site slowness is simply just a consequence of poor hosting choice. There are several big names on the market that sell shared monthly hosting packages from $2 to $10. But  these packages come with serious problems and limits. The business model of such a company is: they add/buy/rent a server in a data center (you can rent one for $60-$70 a month), and then add shared accounts on it. Hundreds of them.  They need that in order to be profitable and keep the low prices. The only way this setup can work is by limiting the resources for each shared account. They have to limit the bandwidth, storage, memory, process etc. When our clients have a speed issue problem, and report it to the hosting company, they will always answer: “The theme you are using consumes too much resources”.  They don’t even bother to check if the theme consumes those resources or if there are 3rd party plugins that do that (for example WPML is a well known memory eater). At this point, it is very difficult for us to explain to the client that his hosting company just give a sh** answer and that their support staff is either incompetent or just doesn’t care. We usually show our demos and show live how fast is loading there. We have a demo with 2500 listings that can be found here: http://demo3.wpresidence.net/ and that according to gtmeritx has a loading time of around 4.4 sec. But our demos are on the company dedicated server and some may argue that they don’t know how to setup & maintain such a server, that they don’t need one or that we do something “special” to the demos to load fast. To help these clients, we’ve decided to do a market research, test some hosting companies and come with 3rd party solution for those who want a good & tested option. After doing several tests, we picked our winner. And we chose WP Engine WP Engine is a company that focuses on hosting wordpress only and, very important, offers managed solutions. Managed hosting means there is someone to take care of your website. The only complaint you may have about it is that they have more expensive offers than other big hosting companies. Their start pack is $29 per month (you get 4 months off if you go for the annual purchase). That is 2-3 times more money than you usually pay for what you consider to be a good shared hosting. But you get 10 times more value in return. Since we wanted to test their platform before recommending it to our clients, we contacted a sale representative and asked for a free account. We did not get one 🙂 But in the end this was a good thing since we were forced to do the test as any regular user would do. So we signed up, filled all the forms and paid for the first month via credit card. We were a little disappointed that there was no Paypal option, but we moved on since this was not an important detail. The test plan was pretty simple – get the content of the 2.5k demo from here http://demo3.wpresidence.net, move it to the WP Engine, install and test the site speed.  Naturally, we were prepared for some long hours to move all that data (there are almost 6GB of images and data + a large database). But we were pleasantly surprised to find our that WP Engine had a migration plugin that was very simple to setup and use. I will not go into much details about how this is working, but they do have a nice video presentation that you can watch if you need this. Here is a screencapture from the migration plugin page migration_plugin We installed that plugin on the demo3.wpresidence.org, filled up some details like the new server address, password etc. and started the move. We were expecting some problems, but the whole process was very smooth. It took around 2-3 hours for the whole site to be copied and installed at the new location. We didn’t have to do anything  else!!! From time to time we just watched the progress bar moving and, after a while, boom: everything was done. The database was moved, properties & images were moved, our theme and plugins were installed and activated just like on the original website. That was the best experience I’ve ever had with a hosting company. Here is a screenshot during the actual install Screenshot_4 Next step was to check the speed of the website.  The testing domain on WP Engine is http://crerem.wpengine.com/ (they offer you a free subdomain  until you move the DNS  of your domain.). Visually, the site was loading fast – same speed as we have on our dedicated server. But since visual confirmation is not enough, we did a test with gtmetrix. And it was fast :3.1 seconds, even better than our demo3.wpresidence.org. Here is the testing link https://gtmetrix.com/reports/crerem.wpengine.com/3Xrf63Qg. crerem-wpegines demo3-wpengine The 3.1 sec loading time of the WP Engine demo was actually obtained after we activated the built in cache. Without that cache enabled we got a 4 sec loading time. Here is a screen capture from our account with the cache option: cache   After these initial results we tested several pages –  from properties list, to search results, properties page etc. All were loaded fast and with no problems. We also have activated the 3 plugins that come with the theme along with other monitor plugins. You can see it in this screenshot. Screenshot_7 The php version from this test is 5.5.9 and mysql is 5.6.28. Memory Usage for this setup was 46,347,984 bytes – (data reported by debug bar plugin). Also please note – that the domain crerem.wpengine.com will stay active for a limited period of time. We cannot keep it since it is just for testing. To summarize: I’m not saying that all shared hosting packages are bad and you should stay away from them. But many of them are, and there are big chances you are using one. If you have problems with your site speed using one of our themes please consider looking over this article first : http://help.wpresidence.net/2015/12/09/how-to-improve-my-website-speed-my-website-is-too-slow/. If you still have problems after doing every item on the list, and you are on a shared hosting account, you should move to WP Engine, get a virtual private server, a dedicated server or just move to another company that you trust. Also, the shared hosting packages are good if you have a simple website or blog that does not have too much traffic. But in our themes you have tons of features, google maps, complex search algorithms etc and all of these require a little more. Disclaimer: since we are thrilled about our experience with WP Engine we decided to promote them. So the links that point to their site may contain affiliate code and that means we will get a commission if you signup to their services using these link Also you may want to read this article before doing signing up: https://wpengine.com/support/email-recommendations-from-wp-engine/ 20% Off WP Engine
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News
We have added a new shortcode Google Map with Property Marker. The shortcode is added from back-end. Map shortcode You only need to add the ID of the property that you wish to be displayed. Map shortcode prop id This how the shortcode looks on front end. art map If Full Width Header will be used on property page, this shortcode will appear automatically. map on property page See more in our theme help – http://help.wpresidence.net/2016/03/25/1-15-google-map-with-property-marker-shortcode/
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We are currently working on the new version of WP RESIDENCE, version 1.15. One of the things that we added to the new version is a new design for Admin Dashboard.  We have arranged all features to be user friendly and more organized. Here is how the new Dashboard looks: art1 Hope that all of our clients will find this interesting and we will be expecting your opinion this.
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News
We will release WP Residence 1.12 this week with a new feature you may find useful. As explained in a previous post, you can attach an image to a city or area. Based on that feature, we created a new shortcode called “places shortcode”. With this add-on you will be able to list the cities/neighborhoods your site/agency covers. Here is an image with the shortcode in action. places_shortcode
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The 1.12 version of the WpResidence will come with a new & exciting feature for taxonomies pages. In admin you would be able to set a header image and a tagline for each  property taxonomy. Beside that , and this is the most interesting part , you would be able to “include” a page in the space between header and the list of properties. image_taxonomy_admin This option will open new horizons for your taxonomy page. For example you can build a “Manhattan” taxonomy page with a custom header and tagline , put a extended description of this area, insert some shortcodes there and of course list the properties in that area. This options will do wonders for your SEO In the end i want to mention that the taxonomy description (the one you set in admin) will be set as description meta tag in the header of the page (also very good for SEO). image_taxonomy
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