Install Buying Buddy on PHP

The Buying Buddy widgets work with any CSS framework such as Bootstrap.

There are 4 steps to install and setup Buying Buddy on your PHP website:

  1. Get a Google Map API Key.
  2. Install the Buying Buddy plugin as JavaScript.
  3. Create 2 new web pages and add the "results" and "details" widget short codes to them.
  4. Confirm that the websites settings in your buying buddy account match the pages you just created.

This article provides detailed instructions to guide you through these steps.

Get SEO Indexable Content with Buying Buddy PHP Class

An optional PHP Class is available for advanced PHP programmers that allows you to update the page HTML with values coming from the API.

See Buying Buddy PHP Class and API

This method provides the benefits of allowing you to make pages very SEO friendly and also pre-populate fields and forms with MLS field values.

Step 1: Get your Google Map API Key

A Google Map API key is required.

  1. Follow these instructions to get a Google Map API key.

When you have created your Key, make sure it is added to Website Settings in your Buying Buddy account before proceeding with the next step.

Step 2: Add Buying Buddy Plugin to your Site

Step 2a: Get the Buying Buddy JavaScript Library Code

If you have not added the Google Map API key to your Buying Buddy account (Website Settings), then the JavaScript plugin code will not be shown.

  1. Login to your Buying Buddy dashboard at leadsandcontacts.com.
  2. Navigate to: Websites & Widgets / Getting Started
    Then click the "Plugin Installation" button to view the installation instructions.
  3. Select the appropriate website. Make sure that in Website Settings your site is set as a PHP site. For a PHP website you will be shown the JavaScript that is your Buying Buddy Plugin.
  4. COPY the plugin code.

Step 2b: Add The Plugin to Your Site

  1. Edit your PHP site and add this JavaScript to your PHP site so that it loads at the end of the <head> section on every page.

    This ensures that the Buying Buddy JavaScript is loaded on every page in your website. DO NOT MODIFY THE CODE.

Ensure that the Buying Buddy JavaScript is ONLY added once using this approach.

Step 3: Add Foundation Pages with Widgets

The following steps are important, they will guide you to:
* Create 2 pages that are NOT in your menus (they are reserved for use by Buying Buddy).
* Add the correct widget specified to each page. Only add one widget to each page.
* Ensure that the 2 page addresses are added to Website Settings in your Buying Buddy account.
* You must add a DNS record to enable social sharing of properties.

Step 3a: Add 2 Foundation Pages

You need to create and identify 2 key pages to be in your Buying Buddy account:

  • Results Page (which will show the "Results" widget)
  • Property Details Page (which will show the "Property Details" widget)

Plus, you will also need to add a Search Form widget on any other different page too for testing.

  1. Go back to your PHP editor and create 2 extra BLANK PAGES.
    We suggest you give them appropriate titles, such as "results" and "details".

    These pages should NOT be added to your Main Navigation Menu (i.e. they are under the "Not linked" heading)

Step 3b: Insert Buying Buddy Widget Code to Display Widgets

  1. EDIT the new "results" page..
  2. Paste the following short code for the Buying Buddy "Results" widget:
    <div id="MBBv3_ListingResults"></div>
  3. SAVE your page.
  4. VERIFY. Once you have SAVED this page, preview it to see Buying Buddy results widget being displayed on the authorized domain (this will not display if you are using a sandbox development domain).
    Excellent! You have set up the Results Foundation Page.
  5. NOW REPEAT the above steps to setup your Details page ** Do not forget to do this! **
    The Widget short code to use is:
    <div id="MBBv3_SearchDetails"></div>

    Note: The details widget may display a SQL error if you preview it - ignore this.
    Excellent! You have now set up the Details Foundation Page.
  6. Finally, paste the Search Form widget to any other page using the process described above (this is for testing the search - this is not a foundation page).
    The Search form short code is:
    <div id="MBBv3_SearchForm"></div>

    Before testing - complete the next step!

Step 3c: Configure your Buying Buddy account so that page names match

It's important that the Buying Buddy system knows the page address you used for your Foundation Pages, as Buying Buddy needs to know where to go to show search results, and where to direct your leads (via emails etc.) to see search results and details of a specific property.
So, in this step, you will add the page addresses to the Website Settings in Buying Buddy.

  1. In your Buying Buddy dashboard, from the current "Get Widgets" page, click the link at the top of the page to go to Website Settings.
    Or, Navigate to: Widgets > Website & Settings
    Then click the "Website Settings" link for your website.
  2. Scroll down to section "4. WIDGET FOUNDATION PAGES" to review the page addresses of the Widget Foundation pages.
  3. Check the page names shown and update them if needed.
  4. You will see that they are probably shown as just results and details - in which case you need to change these to say the actual names of the pages you created, for example - these might be results.php and details.php.

    NOTE: Use the actual page names for YOUR site - don't assume that they are the same as shown in this example!

Step 4: Enable Property Sharing

Social Sharing settings is required if you are NOT using the advanced PHP Class.
The PHP Class will enable the writing of META data on the server to create property details pages with relevant META data that is needed for Social Share (and SEO).

If you are using the PHP class then SKIP this section.

Stay in the Website Settings panel in your Buying Buddy account for this next step!

To ensure that the social share options can be used to share properties from your website on Facebook etc, you must add an A RECORD to your domain's DNS records.

  1. In Website Settings, scroll to review section "3. SOCIAL SHARE OPTIONS".
    Or, Navigate to: Widgets > Website & Settings
    Then click the "Website Settings" link for your website. and then scroll down.
  2. Modify the DNS records for your domain mybuyingbuddy.com as follows:
    Add an A-RECORD for the subdomain "bb"
    to point to: 52.206.194.238
  3. Once you have added your A-RECORD, set the 'Social Share Option' (below) to be YES, and SAVE SETTINGS.

Troubleshooting

"SQL Error" on Details Page

If you see this message then this is because you are attempting to view the Property Details widget on a page on its own without a reference to a property! Ignore this, the widget is installed correctly and this error is never seen.

"Sorry this domain is not authorized"

If you see a message that says "Sorry this domain is not authorized", then this means that the Widgets and Plugin JavaScript are indeed working correctly, BUT that your page address is a domain that is not authorized to display Buying Buddy Widgets. It is probably a sandbox domain you are using for development.

There are two options for dealing with this:

  1. Make sure your actual domain name is applied and working - and then view the "live" site in which case widgets will be displayed correctly. You can then choose to ignore this message while in development.
  2. If you need to do more extensive development then you can request (via Help Desk) to add your development domain as an extra (free) "authorized" domain on your account.
    We call this a 'sandbox' development URL and it would be authorized temporarily while you do development.

Step 5: Doing More

You can use PHP to create custom search forms and use all the capabilities of the Buying Buddy widgets.

Some example that you may like to consider include;

  • Adding a Featured Listings page to display your own listings
  • Showing your Sold properties
  • Creating neighborhood pages with properties for neighborhoods
  • Adding lead capture forms that send leads directly to the Buying Buddy CRM
  • Adding a general contact form widget
  • and a lot more!

You can now use Widget Themes to style widgets - or even add custom CSS too if you wish to.

See our demonstration websites for ideas and inspiration

If you need more help please contact us.

Updated on March 1, 2022

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