Bellaina – A Powerful WordPress Theme for a Real Estate Website

Choosing the right WordPress theme is essential when taking your business online and withstanding the competition. The wide variety of themes on the market makes it hard to make the right choice.  There are lots of multipurpose templates out there that you can customize for any type of business. But there are cases when it is better to choose a niche template designed specifically for your business. Today we are going to review such a template. Meet Bellaina – a revolutionary real estate WordPress theme from TemplateMonster. This brand new template was designed specifically to meet the needs of those who buy or sell property online. Its extraordinary and uncluttered external look is enhanced by powerful inner functionality.

Bellaina Real Estate WordPress Theme

What makes Bellaina stand out? Its sleek, modern design uses colors that please the eye. The clean white background and sky-blue elements make effective use of whitespace, focusing attention on the content.

Scrolling down the homepage, you’ll uncover a full-width slider where you can showcase your hottest deals or other important information. Just under the slider you will find an advanced search form and Google Maps widget, showing the location of selected properties.

Next, there are functional blocks leading to the property pages for more detailed information. Then, the Our Agents section provides users with quick access to contact information. Testimonials from satisfied clients help to raise the trust level of your company. A handy contact form is also located here. The theme also has an informative footer, featuring an About Us section, links to the recent posts on your blog, a newsletter subscription form and social buttons. The dropdown menu and back-to-top button make navigation easy.

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The theme’s inner workings certainly don’t detract from its outer look. It is built on Cherry Framework – the powerful foundation providing you with loads of advantages. Even better, it is licensed under GPL v3.0. So you can use it for your projects without any limitations. The theme is fully responsive and retina ready to perform flawlessly on any screen. Bellaina is written with clean, valid code and is SEO friendly. With such a powerful foundation it should be easy for you to bring your website to the top of the search engine results.

TemplateMonster provides free, lifetime 24/7 support for all their premium products and Bellaina is no exception.  This means you can turn to professionals at any time, day or night, if you are faced with a problem at any stage. This company also creates a lot of free useful stuff, like free eBooks, YouTube video tutorials and so much more.

The invention of Cherry Team’s Cherry Real Estate Plugin will truly turn any website into a professional one. It was designed to benefit both you and your clients. It allows you to seamlessly add properties online and home buyers can find ones which match their criteria perfectly. Thanks to advanced live search, users will be able to set the parameters, filter the results and see the property location on a map with preview markers. There is also an opportunity to submit a property by filling the respective form and assigning the submission to one of the agents.

Cherry Real Estate Plugin's Advanced Search

Another Cherry feature is Cherry Projects Plugin. It provides you with numerous opportunities to present your projects in a stunning manner using different layouts, filtering and sorting options. You can easily set up your creative portfolio using 5 variations of the project listing layout, pagination mode, hover and loading animations, along with many other features.

With the help of TemplateMonster’s Power Builder, you can build pages without touching a single line of code. This flexible tool allows you to arrange elements on the page by simply dragging and dropping them. Also at your disposal is a library of presets. Advanced configuration options allow you to customize the design of the theme and observe the changes on the fly using the WordPress Customizer.

TemplateMonster’s Power Builder

Bellaina fully supports the dsIDXpress plugin. It allows you to embed live real estate information from the MLS into your website or a blog post with a shortcode. This plugin is not included in the package, but you can get it for free by following this link.

To diversify information on your website, use Content Modules. They allow you to present multiple content types such as buttons, audio and video materials, images, contact forms, maps and many others. You can edit each module to fit your website’s style.

Content Modules

Custom Widgets will enhance the functionality of your website. Take advantage of the simple slider, post carousel, social media widget and many others. RE Search Widget will be appreciated by your customers due to its combination of advanced search and map functionality. You can also present recently added properties through a special widget.

On the property page, your clients will find all the detailed information about their selection: the preview marker shows the property location, a gallery presents stunning photos and to learn more about the property there is contact information for the agent. The sidebar of this page is an ideal place for the Recently Added Property widget to keep your clients updated.

On the agents’ page, you can present a list of the agents with whom you currently work. There, your visitors will be able to access the agent’s work experience, biographical information, contacts and links to social media profiles. The markers on the map show the properties assigned to the agent.

Bellaina Agent Page

The simplified registration process will make your clients happy. Nobody likes filling out long forms. To sign up here, your clients only need to provide their e-mail address. To connect with any specific agent they can use a special contact form. It is extremely handy and easy to use, which will save time both for the client and the agent.

The theme features a fully functional blog to provide you with an opportunity to share interesting and useful posts with your clients. You can personalize its look by choosing between 6 blog layouts and 6 different post types. Different header and footer styles are also available.

Taking into account all of great features mentioned above, Bellaina seems to be the perfect foundation for your real estate website. Its uniquely powerful functionality takes into consideration all the requirements of the real estate industry and helps you to save your time and effort.

For those who are interested in buying this theme, there is an opportunity to save 10%.  Use the code SPC10 before the checkout and get your discount. This code is valid until November 30th, 2016

Check Out Bellaina

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These Tools Will Improve Your Website Proofreading In No Time

Your website design needs to be top notch, no question about it. If it doesn’t look good, no one will want to check it out. However, you need to remember that your content needs to be properly vetted, too. Poorly written or spelled copy will put readers off, no matter how interesting your subject matter is.

If the thought of proofreading fills you with dread, don’t worry. There are lots of services out there that can help you out. Here are the best tools out there to get your copy proofread quickly and efficiently.

Online Tools

If you need instant feedback on what you’re writing, these are the tools you’re going to want to use. They’re simple, easy to use, and you’ll get accurate feedback right away.

Proofread Bot

Proofread Bot looks basic, but it can be a lifesaver when you’re trying to get good copy out in a hurry. Paste in what you’ve written into their text box, and it’ll mark up any errors you’ve made in your work.

You can then quickly edit them and paste them back into your copy. It can be used in almost any text editor, including Microsoft Word, Google Drive and WordPress.

Slick Write

If you like your tools with all the bells and whistles, Slick Write is the one for you. Start writing in its text editor, and it will underline any errors that occur on the way. Dig a little deeper though, and you’ll find a wealth of data on what you’ve written.

Want to know what words you’re overusing, or the readability score of your copy? This site can tell you. It even has a word association tool, if you’re looking to replace your most often used words.

1Checker

1Checker is a downloadable plugin you use to check your writing. If you prefer to do your writing outside of a web browser, this could be the proofreading tool for you.

It will check your spelling and grammar, and return with suggestions for edits if it finds any errors in your work. The best part is that it’s totally free to use. If you’re looking to save some cash, this could be the way to go.

Services

The freelancers sounded good, but maybe you have too much work for one person to take on. If you need a more dedicated proofreading service, one of the following may be the best bet for you.

Wordy

When you’re creating content online, you often need to get it out in a hurry. Keeping up with the latest trends you need to be seen quickly while they’re still relevant. When this is the case, it’s easy to start making mistakes.

When you’re in a hurry, try Wordy. You can upload your wiring and have it proofread within 20 minutes. When you get it back, it’ll be ready for publication. It really is that easy.

Write My Paper

Sometimes the problem isn’t even with proofreading, it’s getting the copy written in the first place. You’re busy, you have deadlines, and you can’t keep up. When this is the case, Write My Paper can help you out.

When you’re short on time, you can send your work over to the professional writers here. They’ll be able to craft top quality content for you, ready for publication as soon as you receive it. When time is of the essence, they could be the best way to go.

Assignment Help

As a website writer, you’re probably putting out a huge amount of content every day. When you’re trying to keep up with deadlines, how do you find time to proofread all your work before submitting it? It can feel like it’s far too difficult to keep up.

The writers at Assignment Help can proofread your writing for you, taking the stress out of the process. Just send your completed copy to them, and they’ll check it over for you. They’ll even edit it if they find any errors, meaning you’ll have to do nothing with it when you get it back. There’s no easier way of getting it done.

Freelance Marketplaces

Don’t want to do your own proofreading? Maybe you don’t have the time to do it, or you feel you don’t have the skills necessary for the task. Not to worry, because there’s plenty of freelancers out there who can do it for you. Here’s a few marketplaces for proofreaders if you want to hire someone for the job.

Upwork

Upwork is good if you need to make some specifications before you go looking for a proofreader.

When you put out a job request, you can specify whether you pay hourly or by articles checked, you can define a budget up front, and you can even ask for a proofreader with a certain level of experience. With that level of customisation, you’re sure to find someone for the job.

Outsource

Outsource: This website makes it easy to compare potential proofreaders. No more sifting through applications that may not even be suitable for you!

All you have to do is put out your advert and wait for the bids to come in. You can specify exactly what you need from someone, making it easier for the right people to apply. Then, you can easily compare the best people and pick someone you feel is suitable. It’s as easy as that.

People Per Hour

People Per Hour offers what it says in the name. There’s many big names, such as CNN, the BBC, and Tech Crunch, who all use their services.

You can browse their directory of available freelancers, and offer work to someone you feel would do the job best for you. Alternatively, you can put out an advert and let proofreaders bid for the job. It offers a lot of flexibility in getting it done, and you’ll always get the right person.

Next time you’re struggling to get your proofreading done, try out one of these tools. They’re the best way of getting the job done quickly, but properly.

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The 10 Golden Rules of Simple, Clean Design

There’s a lot more to simple design than you think. A product such as the iPhone may appear clean and unobtrusive to the naked eye, but there’s a lot going on beneath the surface that most people don’t know about. Nor do they need to. They only need to know that it will do what they need it to do, when they need it to do it.

That’s the underlying principle of Apple-style minimal design. Not necessarily to “strip” something down, but to make sure it’s easy to figure out and access with as few distractions as possible.

Here are what I like to call the 10 Golden Rules of Simple, Clean Design. They are based loosely on the 10 Principles of Good Design proposed by master product designer Dieter Rams, but I’ve modified them a bit to fit with a more general goal of design simplicity.

Less, but Better

Dieter Rams said it first, and it’s first on this list for a reason. Simple design isn’t just about subtracting things from a design willy-nilly. It has to improve the design’s overall effectiveness. Rams’ aim is to strip away the “non-essentials” of a design, to return it to a pure, simple state. However, too many designers seem to think that one has to keep stripping things away even past the point where it’s practical for the design.

To this designer, the goal isn’t complete and utter white space. If something is essential, but makes the design look clunky or inelegant, your job as a designer isn’t to eliminate it anyway, but to figure out how to “make it work.”


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Be Neutral

This doesn’t mean your design has to be completely devoid of personality, but if accessibility is your goal, your design should provide an easy way for your viewer to make sense of the content. Remember, the number one goal of graphic and web design is to present content, to feed people the information they’re looking for in the least headache-producing way possible.

Be Honest

Your design needs to communicate the intent of your content clearly and honestly. If your viewer has the wrong idea of what your content is trying to tell them, your design isn’t honest enough.

No tricks are necessary here – everything about the design of your website, flyer, brochure, or poster, from the graphics down to the colors, should be suggestive of the product being sold or the information being conveyed.


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Go For Timelessness

Of course it’s not for us to say, right now, what will become timeless and what will fade into obscurity. But there are certain rules you can follow to make sure your designs steer clear of fads and trends which will destroy their longevity. First of all, if something feels like a trend, it probably is. The thing that will help you most here is reading. I’m not talking about design blogs and websites either, though those are great resources for keeping up to speed with your fellow designers.

But certain design fundamentals are basic and important enough to be printed in a book and referred to over and over in your permanent library. The closer you stick to those fundamentals, the more classic your designs will be.

illustrated inspired Braun Speaker by Andrew McClintock
Braun Speaker by Andrew McClintock

Don’t think that just because something is “classic” that it has to be boring, either. It’s true that certain approaches work better than others when creating designs that will speak to both present and future audiences, but keep in mind that classic work is being produced every day by creative professionals. It may be “contemporary” today, but give it a decade or two. It’ll be right alongside the greats in design libraries the world over.

Less “Design”

If you mention the word “design” in just the wrong context, some people will get a mental picture of something that’s fussy and overdone. That’s not what you want. Your job as a designer is to get out of the way of the content. Yes, design can be beautiful and an art form and all that warm, fuzzy stuff. However, the priority is always the content.

A helpful way to think of it is “assembly” versus “ornamentation.” Sushi, with its clear, separate components – each important to the whole in its own way – is a perfect example of an assembly type of design. The fish, rice, wasabi, Japanese mayonnaise (if you’re into that), and seaweed are like blocks of content in a design, which must be arranged to form a complete, concise, delicious bite.


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There are endless ways a skilled sushi chef can assemble and arrange these blocks of content, and this same type of creativity can serve you as well in the creation of a clean design.

Ornamentation, on the other hand, is like the sprinkles on a cupcake. Or, to keep with the sushi theme (because I just love sushi), it’s the little bowl of soy sauce or the leaf used to hold the extra wasabi on the side. Nice to have, but essential? Unless you’re extra-hardcore about little wasabi leaves, I think not.

Be Thorough

Just because your design is simple, doesn’t mean you can get sloppy with the details. Remember that, in a minimal design, the end result your viewer will be seeing will highlight any and all flaws in your work. Quite mercilessly, I might add. When most of your design is white space, there are very few places to “hide” bad composition or an unfortunate typography choice.

Be Conservative

I don’t mean your design has to look like a frumpy, old librarian (apologies to any frumpy and/or old librarians out there), but it should be conservative in terms of the resources it uses. “Green” design is all the rage these days, but conserving your resources as a designer goes much deeper than that. It’s also about your personal resources – your time, your manual effort, your hard drive space.

A note I should make here is that, when you’re striving to create a simple, minimalist design, the majority of your resources should be spent in the beginning stages. Think of it like baking a cake, since my favorite kinds of analogies involve baked goods of some sort. When you lay out all the ingredients on your kitchen counter, it can be messy and confusing at first.


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Then, once you slowly begin to combine things in the proper order, and the batter comes together in a single bowl that you can then transfer to the cake pan, you know that all that energy you spent in the preparation stages was worth it. You won’t see all that early work in the finished product, of course, but you’ll know it’s there.

Design is the same way. When you make your initial plans, sketches, and studies, you’re just like the baker in the kitchen, producing a clean, simple, singular design that reveals very little about the work that went into it.

Take Your Time

In order to give the details of your designs your full attention, you need to take your time and get them just right. This may seem like common sense, but I’m always surprised at the opinion many designers seem to have that simple design is somehow “easier,” or that it takes less time.

illustrated inspired Braun AW20 Watch by Barry Lachapelle
Braun AW20 Watch by Barry Lachapelle

Minimalist design is like an optical illusion. The end result might look clean and simple, but that’s the point. It’s like ballet – the whole intent is to trick the viewer into thinking they’re seeing something easy and effortless. If you do, then the ruse was successful. But don’t think that it takes less time or effort to achieve those results. If anything it takes more time.

Be Understood

Good design doesn’t need to be explained. You know this, even if you’ve never consciously thought about it before. Think of all the items you use on a daily basis. Odds are good that you didn’t have to read a manual to learn how to use them. Your designs can be that straightforward as well. Note that I didn’t say they “will” be that straightforward – only that they “can” be.

It takes work to arrive at a place of such simplicity, but one way to approach it is to make a note of exactly what appeals to you about your favorite simple designs. Is it the ease of use? The approachability? The absence of clutter? Chances are good that straightforwardness has something to do with what makes these designs work.

Make It Pretty

Dieter Rams says that good design must be beautiful as well as useful. Why? Because “the aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being.” That means the more you look at something, the more of an impact it has on your senses.

If you’re looking at a hideous design day in and day out, you’re going to internalize some of that hideousness, and it’s going to affect your interaction with the world in some way. Maybe you’ll be a little more irritable to the barista at the coffee shop in the morning, or you’ll frown a little deeper and grip your steering wheel a little tighter when you’re stuck in traffic.


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If you’re a designer, that ugliness might affect you in even worse ways (well, worse for designers at least). If all you’re looking at is bad design, your taste – or what Rams calls the “aesthetic” – will reflect that, and it will skew your perception of what “good” design looks like. After an onslaught of crappy designs, your own output will suffer, and pretty soon you might catch yourself actually contributing to the crap pile instead of fighting against it.

Don’t do this to your fellow designers. Take care with your aesthetics and inspire others to be and produce their best as well.

In Conclusion

Simple is a lifestyle. You have to think very hard about what you’re going to leave out of a design, and how you’re going to go about it. It’s not an easy process, but the more you continue to attempt it, the more you’ll discover what works and what doesn’t.

Your Thoughts?

What do you think is essential to simple, clean design? What techniques or approaches do you use to communicate with your viewers and make sure they have the optimum response to your content?

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