Using the Widgets

Installing and activating the flexmls IDX plugin will make several new widgets available for you to use in your WordPress site.  There are three places where you can install these widgets:

  1. Sidebars;
  2. Pages; and
  3. Posts.

 

Sidebars

Depending on the theme of your blog, you likely will have one or more sidebars available.  You can install the flexmls IDX widgets to your sidebars by:

  • Click on the Appearance menu option in WordPress; and
  • Click on the Widgets option under the Appearance menu.

appearance-widgets

You will now be on the widgets screen and you can drag and drop widgets from the left side of the screen onto one or more of your sidebars on the right side of the screen.  To help you find the flexmls widgets, they are all labeled starting with flexmls.

Some of the best widgets for use in your sidebars are:

  • IDX Search — Provides your customers an introductory search form.
  • 1-Click Location and Custom Searches — Include panels of 1-click search links in your sidebars to highlight for your visitors the popular locations (cities, zips, or map overlays you’ve created in flexmls Web) or searches (e.g., foreclosures).
  • Contact Me — This widget is a form that asks for name and email from your customer and will create an entry directly in your flexmls contact manager.
  • My Listings Slideshow — Use the slideshow widget to highlight your listings.

Settings for these and the other widgets are explained in more detail here.

Pages and Posts

pages-posts-wp-menuYou can include flexmls IDX widgets in your blog posts or pages by using what are called short codes.  Short codes are bracketed text that tells WordPress to display one of the flexmls IDX widgets.  We’ve tried to make inserting these short codes easy by including a short code generator in the Visual editor included in WordPress for pages and posts.  When on the Visual editor tab, you will see an icon with the flexmls logo that, when clicked, will open the short code generator.

 

 

 

You use the short code generator as you are writing your blog post or creating a page.  For example, if you’re writing a market analysis, you can insert a market stats graph in the post

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  • Make sure the cursor is placed in the page where you want the graph or other widget to be inserted.
  • Click on the flexmls IDX icon;
  • Select the widget you want and complete the form for that widget; and
  • Click the Insert Widget button.

A short code will then be inserted where you had your cursor in the post or page.

An example short code looks like this:

[[market_stats title="Home Price Trends" width="400" height="300" type="price" display="SoldMedianListPrice,SoldMedianSoldPrice" property_type="A"]]

Now that you have the short code entered in your post, you can edit it by changing the values to what you want or you can delete the entire short code and use the short code generator to create a new one with different settings.

Using the widgets in your posts and pages is a very powerful way to create compelling content for visitors to your site.  For example, you can create pages focusing on specific neighborhoods or blog posts with market statistics.  The slideshow widget in particular will provide search engines (SEO or search engine optimization) with listing content they can index to your blog relative to the locations in which you specialize, making it more likely consumers searching for homes in those areas will find your site.  As stated earlier, the primary advantage of including the widgets in your posts and pages, however, is that they will lead your customers to your flexmls IDX search, where they can register to become your customer.

Next: Details on each of the widgets and their settings.

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