Performance Lab and Other WordPress Real Estate Plugins

If you run a real estate website on WordPress, you are probably already familiar with the bulk of the plugins used to manage listings, leads, and SEO. Granted, proper free WordPress real estate plugins are rare. Therefore, you should never rely on them (after all, the commission from one sale alone could afford you a custom site and reliable subscription-based services), but when in need, WordPress delivers. 

Before delving forward, install the official WordPress Performance Lab plugin to enhance your site’s performance. It is a modular plugin with elements that will eventually merge into the WordPress core, but until they do, you should install them:

  • WebP Uploads: Converts JPEG images into WebP files (if supported by the server) which are the new standard of images for the web, 26% smaller in size than PNGs.
  • WebP Support: Checks if your server shows WebP files and displays a warning when it doesn’t.
  • Persistent Object Cache Health Check: This site health module for object caching stores database query results to display them promptly, without sending multiple requests to a database.
  • Audit Enqueued Assets: Helps you speed up your site by identifying unnecessary CSS and JS resources. 

Performance Lab is a must-have plugin for any website, but you could consider more plugins if you run a real estate website on WordPress.

wordpressperformancelab
The Performance Lab plugin is a collection of modules focused on enhancing your site’s performance, most of which should eventually be merged into WordPress core. 

WordPress Real Estate Plugins

Plugins extend or add functionality to your website; they are not mandatory and sometimes conflict with each other, causing site crashes and database errors. It would be helpful if you had a website developer scrutinizing the process every time you want to install a new plugin.

  • dsIDXpress adds SEO-friendly MLS listings to your real estate website to convert visitors into leads. Features include unique indexable listings pages, Google XML sitemaps, and optimized page titles.
  • Estatik is an option if you want to create real estate websites for small real estate agencies and single agents with a low listing inventory. It has a load of free features and much more with pro (paid).
  • Realtyna Organic IDX plugin + WPL Real Estate is excellent for integrating MLS / IDX / RETS / VOW / XML / DDF servers into WPL – WordPress directly.
  • Easy Property Listings is a rich real estate plugin that works with Genesis framework, Headway, iThemes Builder, and Avada. You can start with the free version and activate add-ons as your business grows. In addition, it has multiple agent details built-in, so you can use it if you are a solo agent or an agency with more employees.
  • WP VR – 360 Panorama and Virtual Tour Builder is the plugin you need to create virtual tours without breaking the bank. It features auto-rotation effects, scene fade animation, gyroscope support on mobile devices, etc.
  • Draw Attention is a plugin that allows you to create interactive image maps. The image map can contain more information such as images, text, shortcodes, gallery, video, audio, and more. Use it for floor plans, for example. 
  • Essential Real Estate allows you to do more than just manage property listings. Among its features, you will find flexible search, property comparison, featured and related listings, geolocation search, map directions, nearby places (attractions, landmarks, etc.), gallery, video, 360 virtual tours, contact agent, and much more.
drawattentionwordpressplugin
From the plugin page: “Draw Attention makes it easy to create interactive image maps. Highlight sections of your images with hotspots so that users can click/tap or hover to read more information about each image map area. Show more content or direct the user to another URL upon clicking or hovering your hotspot.”

Conclusion

All of the listed plugins have above-average user reviews and can enhance the functionality of a real estate site. However, essential plugins include Performance Lab, WP VR – 360 Panorama and Virtual Tour Builder, and Draw Attention. If your theme doesn’t come with one, I recommend a Google Maps plugin. This WP Google Map Plugin works well on most servers. Of course, you could opt to embed the map straight from Google onto your site. Whatever you choose, remember that plugins are meant to enhance websites for visitors but also search engines. Use plugins that don’t drain your server’s resources, and make sure they are compatible with the WordPress theme you use.

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