Edward Thomas is an Australian real estate agent specializing in high-end properties. When he decided to start his own firm, he turned to Jason Solo and myself to build an online presence that matched the high-calibre real estate market he serves.
This website needed to be easy to update frequently and capable of aggregating property listing data from several providers.
Speed and ease of use are a must for any website, but when near constant updates are also a requirement, usability of the administrative tools is paramount. Based on these needs I chose Concrete5, a highly customizable front-end CMS written in PHP, as the platform on which to build.
When it came to integrating property listings from third party service providers there were some issues. Working with such APIs can often be cumbersome. Inconsistency, poor performance and lack of documentation were just some of the hurdles I had to clear.
This API integration took the form of a custom Concrete5 package. On a regular basis the package goes out, gathers API data, parses it into a consistent format and caches it. It took a good deal of time to develop a system that could take into account all of possible API edge cases, but with a solid abstraction strategy I built a package that was simple to integrate into the Concrete5 ecosystem.
Once the listings could be properly added to the website, I built a custom Concrete5 theme tailored to the design provided by Jason Solo. Using Require.js I constructed a custom set of AMD modules to power the multi page website. Two different kinds of slideshows, four different forms and lazy-loading thumbnail imagery are just some of the functionality added from scratch.
The launch of this website was extremely time-sensitive because Edward was rebranding his business overnight. With only a little over a month to construct such a complex website, I had to pull out all the stops.
In the end, the client was very happy with the site and how well it performed. With almost 30,000 unique pageviews in six months, the site has continued to perform very well.
Edward Thomas has already opened a second branch and is continuing to grow steadily. Chalk that up to an excellent sales team, a favorable market and a well-tailored website.