Before you roll up your sleeves and start installing, review the following checklist to make sure you are ready to go!
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
- 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"
There are two options for dealing with this:
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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=truewill turn OFF forced signup for your current session.
Look and Feel / Design
If you use !important in your CSS this 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.
Cache and Caching
There are many ways to implement page caching - from CDN systems like Cloudflare, to website plugins. These are all designed to store a version of your page so that load time is reduced when requested.
However, a cache can interfere with the results shown on the various "Display" widgets (will not affecting searching).
Typical issues might include not seeing a recently listed property, or out of date thumbnail images.
To avoid these issues:
We recommend the following types of action:
- configure your caching system to not cache pages with Buying Buddy display widgets.
- or, adjust settings for your cache to reduce the time of caching to a few hours rather than days.
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 use WordPress builder plugins, always paste in Buying Buddy widgets into a text block.
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
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.
(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.
DOCTYPE HTML 5 - Recommended.