Get Ready to Install

Before you roll up your sleeves and start installing, review the following checklist to make sure you are ready to go!

Buying Buddy DOES NOT WORK IN AN IFRAME.
Do not place Buying Buddy widgets in an Iframe or in a fixed height container.

What You Need to Get Started

To get Buying Buddy working on your website, you will need the following:

  • A "Google Maps API Key" that is valid for your domain(s).
    You should get your Google Maps API Key straight away. We will need you send this to us so that we can add to your account and send you the Welcome Email
    See these instructions to get your Google API Key
  • The "Welcome Email" sent to you with login access to your Leads and Contacts account
  • A live website (authorized in your account - i.e. IDX approved by your MLS), that allows you to
    • For WordPress - install the Buying Buddy WordPress plugin
    • For all other websites - add the plugin JavaScript library
  • You will need to add designated two Foundation Pages to your website AND register these as Website Configuration settings in your Leads and Contacts account, where you can put:
    • Results widget (this needs to be its own unique page)
    • Property Details widget (this needs to be its own unique page
  • Installation must be on an "Authorized Domain" which is setup in your Leads and Contacts account. This is the domain that your MLS has approved for IDX display. If you see a "Sorry this domain is not authorized" message, then yo are attempting to display widgets on an unauthorized domain. See notes below

"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. This can occur because you are using a development or sandbox domain, or your website system (Squarespace etc) is showing you a preview using a development subdomain etc.

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 subdomain 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.

How To Block "You Must Register" Messages while Installing

When you are installing the Buying Buddy widgets and trying to get them all working, there is nothing more annoying than seeing "Please Register!" messages all the time!
These messages are showing because of the "Lead Capture Settings" set up in your Buying Buddy account.

There are 2 methods for dealing with this:

  1. Adjust your Lead Capture Settings to allow "unlimited searches" and "unlimited property views" etc. See this article for details.
    Of course, this will then need to be reset when you go live.
  2. To temporarily prevent the system from requiring you to register / login, you can specify a URL parameter to turn lead capture off as you browse and test your website.
    ?bfg_user=true will turn OFF forced signup for your current session.

    For example:
http://www.mysite.com/?bfg_user=true

Do Not Defer Loading of the Buying Buddy Plugin

Do not defer loading or "lazy load" the Buying Buddy plugin.
Beware of using third party 'optimizing tools' that will promise speed gains by optimizing your site (these are extremely common in WordPress).

If you use such add-ons or plugins, always make sure that the Buying Buddy is NEVER deferred and always excluded from manipulation by such systems.

Beware of Caching and Cache systems

There are many ways to implement page caching - from CDN systems like Cloudflare and other 3rd party systems, to various website plugins. These are all designed to store a version of your page so that load time is reduced when requested.

Although Cache systems will not affect the results of an actual "search" being made, Cache systems will interfere with the accuracy of results shown on the various "Display" widgets, for example if you have a page to show your features listings, or a landing page for a city etc.

Any type of Cache can have a serious effect on the way Buying Buddy functions and includes at least these types of issues:

  • Photos not updating for your listings
  • Open House times and dates not accurate
  • Prices inaccurate
  • Property status inaccurate (e.g. it sold but still shows active)
  • Disclaimer text shows incorrect update dates and times
  • Search engines will not see the latest listings and will therefore impact the indexing of listing pages for SEO (WordPress / PHP)

We recommend the following types of action:
- configure your caching system to not cache pages with Buying Buddy display widgets.
- adjust settings for your cache to reduce the time of caching to a few hours rather than days.

Beware Using "!important" in Your CSS

If you working on your site design and creating CSS then be aware of the impact this can have on Buying Buddy layouts if you use !important in your CSS.
Using !important will override all and any CSS settings in the Buying Buddy widgets too. We strongly recommend that you create more specific CSS rules rather than use this method.

If you do see broken layouts, fonts or icons that are the wrong sizes or anything weird and strange like this, then please report this to us so that we can take a look and get such issues fixed.

We want Buying Buddy to look AWESOME on your website!

Page Layout Considerations

For BEST results we recommend that you have a website that is fully Mobile Responsive.

Although widgets are fully mobile responsive, we suggest that you may want to create containing <div> sections for the widgets in your site. If the widget has a general height and width, then make sure this is accommodated and defined in the containing <div>.

If you have a WordPress site then review the various page templates available and choose page layouts that are appropriate for the Buying Buddy widget being displayed. For example, a wide page layout is best when showing search results.

Buying Buddy Widgets in Tabs

If you have a tabbed section on a page and you are placing Buying Buddy widgets in the tabs, then you will need to use some extra JavaScript to force the Widget to reload when the tab is clicked. See Displaying Widgets in Tabs for details on how to do this.

Special Notes for For WordPress

If you use WordPress builder plugins, always paste in Buying Buddy widgets into a text block.

Using Widgets
In WordPress, widgets are shortcodes.
Always use the specified WordPress shortcodes for a widget if it is available as this will ensure the full SEO capabilities of Buying Buddy are incorporated when pages load.

DIVI Builder plugin
The DIVI Theme and Divi Builder plugin has been tested and found compatible at the following version.
Divi Theme 3.0.98
Divi Builder 2.0.60

Javo Home THEME
The JAVO Home Theme 2.06 appears to include a "defer' method that is applied to all JavaScript libraries
This causes the Buying Buddy plugin to fail in some areas. We were unable to fully investigate the issue for resolution, and in the end the client changed the Theme.

UberMenu Plugin
(Jan 2019) The "UberMenu" plugin (wpmegamenu.com) loads Google Maps API, and this should be disabled in settings for this plugin to (1) prevent code errors from the Maps API loading multiple times, and (2) allow the MBB Plugin to manage Google Maps functions.

For Non-WordPress

DOCTYPE HTML 5 - Recommended.
Buying Buddy widgets utilize JavaScript and for mobile responsive support and best results, the DOCTYPE needs to reference HTML5.

WARNING!
If your website has JavaScript errors then the Buying Buddy plugin may not work! Click here to learn more.

Updated on July 20, 2022

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