Just to prove how versatile WordPress themes can be along comes ‘The Bel Air Real Estate Theme‘ This is not just a theme but a complete setup for any property based company wanting to reach a wider audience. All the features you could need for sales or property rental are installed with the theme, including an impressive payment or mortgage calculator (easily converted to any currency), photo galleries for each property and even profiles for the ‘agents’ who do the selling.
In essence you will be able to start selling straight away, the backend or ‘CMS’ admin area is very easy to use so entering and publishing each properties details is painless, making it a powerful piece of real estate software. If you or your client are a real estate agency then this theme should be a serious consideration.
Bel Air comes with a choice of five different colour schemes and it is easy to add your own branding. It is also advert ready with a built in ad banner management system so you can monetize your site or if thats not your cup of tea then use these areas to promote featured properties and services. There’s the obvious areas where details of different rooms etc can be entered. But what really caught our eye was the auto thumbnailing of images (when clcked they open in a lightbox style gallery), and the ‘no custom fields’ ease of use when publishing. The authors of this design have gone to a lot of trouble to make sure that publishing is a breeze and that you (or your client) never have to deal with code or anything tricky.
Five colour schemes built in (sea blue, red, navy blue, gold and black)
Easy to brand and change the colours (if you don’t like any of the above)
Mortgage / payments calculator
Image auto thumbnailer
Lightbox style photo galleries for each property
Featured properties rotated on home page
Easy search drop down menus (price, location and type)
Ad banner management
Our only frustration with this theme is that it is not yet using google maps, which is not exactly new technology and would be a perfect addition to its features. The sites authors WP-Realtor are currently considering adding google maps into a future update of the site. Our advice would be to use one of the many Google Maps plugins availible for WordPress until this update is ready to avoid frustrated customers. Actually there is another ‘bug-bear’ with this theme, you have to by either buy a ‘single agent’ or ‘multi agent’ version. The latter being more expensive. Ok so we haven’t had that much experience with real estate software, well actally we’ve had none at all!! So maybe this is normal in the world of property (let us know below if it is!!) but it does seem strange. However neither ‘agent’ version will break the bank and if you find that you need to upgrade then you can do so easily.
Although The Bel Air Real Estate Theme is limited to estate agents, realtors and property companies (public and commercial) we couldn’t resist featuring it. We think this theme is a fine example of how to turn WordPress into an individualised e-commerce platform, something which WordPress developers and designers have been getting better and better at over the last few years (thanks to amazing advances in WordPress itself) and it is finally blasting the fated osCommerce out of the water, not only in aesthetics and functionality but most importantly with innovation.
We have only just discovered Graph Paper Press and are very impressed. They are a company who specialize in making WordPress themes and who put a lot of effort into helping their users with as much support as possible.
But what’s really important is ‘how good are their themes?’ Well lets find out!
The first wp theme from Graph Paper Press we have decided to review is the High-Def theme. Mimimal and stylish the name gives a big clue as to what this theme should be used for! High-Def features a built in HD video player with with full-screen capabilities, perfect for those who dont want to rely on others to host their content i.e. the good: vimeo, or the very bad: youtubes new HD player. But that not all its got! A well designed ‘mac’ style sliding content region and a powerful automatic thumbnail creator for posts (no more custom fields!!).
A theme settings page with makes every element on the homepage optional and configurable
Five separate widget areas
Automatic thumbnail creator
HD player with full screen option
Advertising ready (if you want it)
RSS built in
Easy to change to your branding
Free support forums
Suitable for multi-media use, magazines, review sites and too many more to list here!
Need an example of just how much support Graph Paper Press give you? Check out these screen casts:
The minimal design ensures that visitors wont be lost on your site, and also makes it very easy for you to organise your content. The theme itself is very easy to brand and comes with
‘A theme settings page with makes every element on the homepage optional and configurable’
It is easy to monetize this theme aswell with a nice none intrusive space for adverts at the side. All in all a very nice theme and a great debut on our site from Graph Paper Press. Try it out with the theme demo below or go straight to the High-Def home page for more information, comments from other users and forums!
Developed by Blog Oh Blog
this is a premium technology based wordpress theme. If you love gadget and technology websites as much as we do and have ever wanted to run your own then this could be the site for you! Not sure? Take a look at some of our favourite sites on the net for some inspiration Notcot, OhGizmo!, Boing Boing Gadgets, Gizmondo and Ektopia. The basics are also all there to run a games blog or review site.
There are a few tweeks that we feel could improve this site, for instance the sleek looking product showcase section at the top would be much better as a menu and could be easily customized to work as one. Also the jQuery based Accordian feature on the homepage could do with some re-vamping
There’s also an area for 125 x 125 ads so you can monetize you blog, and with a technology blog or site there’s plenty of opportunity to advertise.
Inbuilt Gravatar support
Stylish formatted tags making it nice and easy to navigate
Custom products scroller (easily turned into a stylish menu)
Very easy to monetize with banner and ad support
Custom Author information for every post
Complete with all the widgets needed to run the site
Complete demo of the site is availible from the homepage (link below) and it is worth checking out before you make a decision. Blog Oh Blog offer complete support after purchase and are well known for quality in both code and style.