Thank you Gail Robsinson for such a thorough and enlightening post about taking that extra step "outside" of AR to set up an external blog through Wordpress! I was facing the same decision, and because of your great tutorial, I'm getting ready to publish one too!
Here's to a great 2013!
Locally-grown DC area native and licensed Realtor
I finally broke down and created an external real estate blog using WordPress. I know, I'm one of the final holdouts, but at least I finally did it. I then had to decide what Theme to use. After reading through a few posts on AR, I decided on the AgentPress theme which is actualy a subtheme of the Genesis theme (Genesis is the parent theme, AgentPress is the child theme). I thought I would document the steps I took to set up this blog as there isn't a good step-by-step guide. There are some tutorials on AgentPress on the vendor's website, but they assume you know Genesis and some basics about HTML coding, so the process was a little scary, kind of like skydiving, but I took the plunge and am pleased with the results so far. The site is still a work in progress.
You can check it out at www.blackrockhomesforsale.com
It had the features I was looking for in a real estate site as well as visual appeal. I liked the Featured Property Posts at the top followed by Real Estate News (or Tips).
I also liked the static pages that could be added (see menu under Header). The slide show of my Featured Listings added a little action to the site (referred to as Sliders in AgentPress).
SETTING UP WORDPRESS
I started by creating an account at a web hosting service called BlueHost (www.bluehost.com) and then obtained a domain name and used their wizard to install the basic WordPress site. They were having a special so I paid ahead for two years and monthly costs will average out to $3.50/month.
I then visited the StudioPress site (www.studiopress.com ) and purchased both the Genesis and AgentPress themes as a package for $99.95. I followed the directions to download the themes onto my computer. Then I had to upload the themes into the Wordpress site on BlueHost using a dashboard called a CPanel. On the CPanel I clicked on the File Manager and then navigated my way over to where I needed to upload the themes. I can't remember the details, but the directions were very clear, so this was no problem.
File Manager on the CPanel will become important as you set up your WordPress blog as this is where you will upload your header image, if you choose to have one. Otherwise, you can use the text box that is provided as a default. I chose an image for the header, so I had to upload it. Almost everything else can be done from within the Dashboard of the WordPress site.
OPTIONAL - FULL WIDTH HEADER IMAGE
If you prefer text in the header, ignore this section. There really is no need to put an image in, since there will be a slide show of your Featured Home images just beneath the header. I just happen to like the image of Black Rock Harbor and wanted it in the background to highlight that we are a water community. I created the header image using Photoshop Elements and resized it to 960 x 130. I saved it as logo.png (this is important, you must use that exact name and extension or you will not be able to replace the default logo.png file).
When you have the image the way you like it, navigate over to where the default logo.png file is and replace it with the one you just created. Here is the navigation route:
All the HTML code for WordPress can be accessed through File Manager on the CPanel. You may not ever need to replace any of the code, but if you do, that's where it is located.
In my next post, Step 2, I'll explain how to set up the Home Page for AgentPress.