Vantage 4.0 Preview

We’re finally ready to reveal the new look and key features coming in Vantage 4.0! It’s by far our most advanced theme yet. In addition to a design refresh, the code under the hood has been almost completely rewritten.

Our main goal was to update the design and make the theme much easier to customize and use.

Promotional Video

Live Demo   

Update Mar 22, 2017 – Vantage 4.0.1 has been released and is available for purchase! We’re still updating our marketing material and docs so things will slowly be rolled out. Existing customers can use 4.0.x but won’t be able to upgrade an old 3.x site until 4.1.0 has been released (mid April). It will contain the migration script to ensure everything gets transferred over properly. Note: You won’t lose any data if you activate 4.0.x on your old site. Things like reviews and search will just not work properly.

We had our own punch list of items to enhance but also took constructive criticism from our customers. The most common requests were:

  • Update the outdated design
  • Make it easier to customize the look and layout
  • Better compatibility with plugins
  • More action and filter hooks for developers

We took this feedback to heart and did our best to include these requests (in addition to other items). Here’s a high-level list of what has changed.

  • Refreshed the UI to adopt modern aesthetics
  • Improved overall theme customization options
  • Better support for popular WordPress plugins
  • Improved extendability for 3rd party developers
  • Removed modules better fit as plugins (events, maps api, reviews, etc)
  • Stripped out features that caused option bloat
  • Added the Foundation Framework (v6)
  • Enhanced Google Maps with auto-complete location search, new marker options, and geocoding features
  • Replaced schema.org microdata with json-ld structured data format
  • Adopts WordPress theme best practices

We’re using the native WordPress customizer for easy color changes. Each page module can be moved to any position you like. For example, on the single listings page, you can move the photo gallery above the main content module or move the comments/reviews modules to the top of the page. In addition, sidebars can be moved to the left or right side…or even removed completely.

We’ve basically made it super easy to drag and drop content blocks (modules) into whatever location you like!

Also, we’ve added a nifty new feature to allow cover photo (aka large header photos) to be added to many different locations. These include the home page, single listings & categories, blog posts & categories, author profile pages, etc).

When Will this be Available?

There’s still a lot of work to be done and bugs keep popping up but we’re targeting an end of the year release launch.

Update Mar 18, 2017 – We’ve patched up the Updater API and fixed some bugs in 4.0. Look for 4.0.1 to appear next week for download. Note: Existing customers will be able to download it but the migration script from 3.x will not be available until 4.1.0. That means you can install it on a fresh copy of WordPress and everything will be setup correctly but using it on your existing 3.x site, it won’t work properly.

Update Mar 11, 2017 – We had to pull the Vantage 4.0 release down due to some unforeseen issues with our Updater API. The plan was to allow existing customers using 3.x (who didn’t want to upgrade) to manually download 4.x so the auto update wouldn’t notify them of an update and on click, blow away their existing site. Turns out it wasn’t working correctly and the API needs some additional work. We chose to err on the side of caution so more customers wouldn’t be affected. We apologize for this “false start” and will be working the next several days to resolve the issue. If all goes well, we will re-release 4.0 later next week.

Update Mar 9, 2017 – Vantage 4.0.0 has been released! We’re still updating our marketing material and docs so things will slowly be rolled out. In the meantime, you can download it and tinker with it.

Update Feb 22, 2017 – We’re back to Vantage work after a few weeks off. Unfortunately during these past few days our Jenkins CI server crashed and we had to completely rebuild it. Artem and I spent several days working on that instead of Vantage code. 🙁 That server is very important as it runs tests and automatically builds our products into .zip files (from our Github repos) to deploy to our file hosting server (where you download things from). Without this server working, we couldn’t release any of our themes. So….we’re back online finally. So from here, we expect another two more weeks of development time before release. That puts us at March 9th, 2017.

Update Jan 29, 2017 – I’m going to be honest. We’re completely burnt out and need a break. The stress, pressure, anxiety and lack of sleep is taking a toll on our bodies. Our dev team (myself and Artem) have been working so hard on this release non-stop for months and we physically cannot continue coding and testing until we get a few weeks break. I hope everyone understands and is able to wait a bit longer (two weeks break plus one-two weeks more dev time). It’s painful, I know but we’re actually human and need some time to recover. Thank you for understanding.

Update Jan 14, 2017 – We’re really really trying to get this launched and we’re sooo close….however, last minute bugs keep popping up which push back our launch date (sorry sorry sorry!). We also have some personal things that are taking us away from work time (e.g. my 11 month old daughter is teething so sleep = very little).

Sorry to disappoint — especially for those waiting to start their new site. Don’t worry, we’ll have a special promotion for you once we launch! Keep checking back on this post for updates.

Jan 6th, 2017 Update – The Vantage 4.0 demo is now live! Disclaimer: It’s a work in progress so things may change as we make updates or fixes. The official demo with access to a user account and the backend, will be available once we launch later this month.

Update Dec 21, 2016 – With the holiday season in full swing and some technical setbacks, we won’t be able to deliver 4.0 before year-end. We are very disappointed as we hoped to release it next week. The good news is, we’ll have a public demo available soon for everyone to check out. New ETA? With Christmas and New Year holidays this week and next, our team will be taking a much needed break. We’ve been working ’round the clock on 4.0 so it’s time to recharge our batteries and then return for a final sprint to finish up the theme. With that being said, January 15th is our new target date.

Is it a Free Upgrade?

Yes, if you’ve got an active subscription to either Vantage or Club or are a legacy customer (with lifetime updates), the upgrade will be free. If your subscription has lapsed, you can easily renew once 4.0 comes out and get access right away.

Here are some screenshots (subject to change):

Single Listing Page

vantage-40-single-listing

Single Listing Contact Owner

vantage-40-contact-owner

Listings Category Page

vantage-40-category-results

Single Blog Post

vantage-40-single-post

Manage Listings Page

vantage-40-my-listings

Edit Profile Page

vantage-40-edit-profile

Public Profile Page

vantage-40-view-profile

Responsive Design View

vantage-40-responsive

Admin Setup Guide Page

vantage-40-admin-splash-page

So what do you think? We’d love to hear your feedback!

Your rating: 5
Rating: 4.4 - 36 votes

 Comments (457)

  • Patrick

    I just read your answer to the question of timing.

    I agree you don’t want to Microsoft it and have your users debug it for you. But, having been the founder and CEO of a multinational company I had projects and project managers. You should be able to give a date and stick to it.

    Yes, on occasion things happen, but for the most part you should be able to do that.

    So, when is it launching.

    Thank you, Patrick

    • author
      David

      We’re a small shop with no dedicated project managers so it’s not that easy. Myself and one other developer are all we got and we’re working long hours as it is. We’re doing our best to ship it by the end of the year!

      Like
      6 people like this.
      • Michael

        well i hope sales of the new version allow you to grow a little David.

        thanks to both of you for working hard behind the scenes.

        Like
        2 people like this.
  • Alex

    Hi David,
    The preview of 4.0 looks great.

    I have one important question. We’re in the process of purchasing the current version available on your site, for a brand new website, and need to make some minor customization to the theme.
    You mentioned in your articles that “the code under the hood has been almost completely rewritten”. Is that going to cause any issues when 4.0 comes out and we want to update our site to the latest version?

    Like
    David likes this.
    • author
      David

      It’s not worth customizing anything until 4.0 comes out. The code you change likely won’t even exist in 4.0. Who knows, the changes you want to make might even be in 4.0. 😉

      What are you looking to do?

      FYI, instead of making changes directly to the theme code, we highly recommend creating a “WordPress Theme Specific Plugin“. That way, your changes will not be blown away the next time a new version is released.

  • guiadelamujer

    Hi David,

    as a must feature i suggest integrate some kind of offer or coupons functionality inside every single listing, i know that could hit the sales on clipper, but right now it could give Vantage a great upgrade.

    my site is https://www.guiamujer.mx and as you can see im using both clipper and vantage, but its not very professional or functional to try to combine the both platforms.

    so i suggest you could take a look to this

    Congratulations on your new release

  • customer
    malkie

    David Is a “WordPress Theme Specific Plugin“ a better or newer way of making changes rather than a Child Theme ?

    • author
      David

      It’s an easier way to make incremental changes vs building out an entire child theme. It’s also portable if you ever use a child theme later.

      For example, if you just want to change some minor css items or add a few custom functions, a WordPress theme specific plugin is the way to go.

      Like
      malkie likes this.
      • customer
        André

        After releasing Vantage 4.0, could you think about releasing a tutorial about plug-ins and attach an “empty plugin template” for people that are interested to develop one or just change some minor css items or add a few custom functions?

  • netprofit

    The ‘end of the year’ is coming. We are waiting for it. Hopefully it will be ready in time. *fingers crossed*

    Like
    2 people like this.
  • customer
    Rajveer

    Hi, can i see live demo for Vantage 4.0?

    • author
      David

      No live demo ready yet. We’ll be working on updating our marketing material and building out the demo content soon.

      Like
      5 people like this.
      • Mark

        Thanks David to working hard to give us this new upgrade.
        Hope to try it soon.

        Like
        David likes this.
  • irh

    I’m curious how many of the “core” features of Vantage you will be stripping out – or moving to plugins – per some of what is intimated above? (e.g. – Vantage events integration was one of the obvious competitive advantages you offered over similar themes and frameworks – and “reviews” are obviously a standard piece of any directory theme – notwithstanding that some of the WP-manager driven directories are using premium plugins to “enhance” the user experience – having this built in to Vantage (as it has been thus far) feels like an intuitive decision – while moving this (and any other previously core features) to plugins – feels like a pretty follow the pack oriented intuition to maximize plugin sales.

    Can you shed some light on whether this is the direction you are doing – e.g. – offering a much more stripped down product – with 4.0 negating features that your customers have come to expect in the core – with this functionality being added on in on an a la carte basis going forward?

    Thanks – and am looking forward to seeing what the new version looks like – while the vantage looks have been dated for some time – the functionality has been superior to most of the alternatives – hoping that doesnt’ change or become a pay per piece puzzle going forward.

    • author
      David

      Thanks for the questions, irh.

      We decided it was best to strip out some modules that work better as plugins. Not for monetization reasons but rather to open up the opportunity for more 3rd party plugins and child themes. Also from a technical standpoint, it makes maintaining and testing the codebase that much easier.

      Events was an obvious one since it was so unwieldy and something not used by a lot of our customers. With reviews, we already had a separate plugin so pulling that out of Vantage core made sense as well.

      We’re trying to align ourselves more with the core WordPress philosophy.


      Decisions, not Options.
      Clean, Lean, and Mean.
      Striving for Simplicity.

  • Garfield McCormick

    Hi David,

    This is very exciting. I have a plan for Vantage 4.0 but can’t talk about it here, however I have a question: Will there be child themes available from existing suppliers on release day?

    • author
      David

      Not on day one. Our sellers are aware of 4.0 but their waiting for it to be released before they build any child themes. We expect more plugins to be built in the future. We’ll see.

    • aj2703

      There are at least two main developers that I know who will not be releasing themes or updating current ones for the 4.0 theme.

  • customer
    hazgalaxy

    Hi David,

    Hope all is going well. I work mainly with events how do you plan to go about accommodating events functionality / front end user submission?

    Best Regards,

    • author
      David

      4.0 won’t support events so in your case, it’s best not to upgrade. Depending on the demand for the events module will determine if we build the events plugin.

      • irh

        Hi David – I’m sure you’ve done this already – but if not – I’d encourage you to peek at the comments on all of the popular TF directory themes threads – you’ll see that the lack of EVENTS – something you guys have baked into Vantage from the beginning – is the largest source of user frustration (from a “feature omission” standpoint) – with quite literally – tens (if not hundreds, in total) of individual users lamenting the lack thereof. Why you would decide that this is not important to folks who are serious about building a directory based business (especially hyper local/geo based communities) escapes me a bit – and I do think when you release – the folks in general who are past clients – and expecting it – are going to be a bit bumfuzzled at it’s omission.

        • author
          David

          The reason it’s not included is due to the complexity. Events is a huge module (it’s not just a little feature) so baking it into themes makes it tough to manage.

          For us, it caused lots of problems which is part of the reason we yanked it out.

          It’s much better off as a plugin and there wasn’t enough time to port it over before the 4.0 launch, unfortunately. We also want to see demand before we spend 3-6 months working on it.

    • michael

      I’ll be looking at http://wp-events-plugin.com/features/. Hopefully with the leaner approach access to more common WP plugins is opened right up

  • Chris

    Hi,
    Will ship with custom map markers and support mapquest/bing maps at the same time ?
    I know these are marketplace items currently but every other directory theme has custom markers built in. I dont see a vertical map / half page map in the screenshots but I hope it will do that also. Why has this taken a million years to update ?

    Like
    4 people like this.
    • author
      David

      We only support Google maps in 4.0. The other map provider plugins we sell have already been removed from the Marketplace.

      You can change the map marker color but the icon won’t be customizable by launch. It uses Font Awesome so changes will be easy in the future.

      It does come with 15 different map canvas color schemes and developers can even add their own via hooks. Here’s an example of one of the color schemes.

  • Garfield McCormick

    Me again. We host our sites with Media Temple (www.mediatemple.net) and I know they have a WordPress package that we might take advantage of. Are there special requirements for hosting your version 4.0? If so I’d like to tell them now so they can be prepared.

    Garfield

  • barccc

    Hello!

    I know this probably has a zero percent chance of happening, but will any services be built in for the listings? For example, if a company offers any services, could someone go to the listing, buy the service and the website owner get a percentage?

    I love vantage and I have used it as a Freelance Designer directory, but would love to have a way for customers to pay thru the website.

    Thanks,
    Clay

    Like
    André likes this.
    • author
      David

      Glad you like Vantage. 🙂 Your idea is something that would fit better as a plugin. Maybe one of our Marketplace sellers will build it.

      Like
      André likes this.
  • customer
    websmart

    What about reviews/comments or facebook comments?

    Thanks

    • author
      David

      Comments are built in. There are plugins out there which can add Facebook comments.

      Reviews will be available separately as a plugin (Critic).

      • customer
        websmart

        Hello David,
        this plugin require users to be logged in before submitting a review; our site is for service providers only and they need a code to register on our site after the have certified as a professional service provider, so users that are just leaving a reviews/comments DO NOT need to be logged in or create an account, does this make sense? is it possible to just allow them to leaving a review/comment and approve by admin?

  • customer
    André

    Hi David,

    I’d like to ask you why you do not plan to deliver a autocomplete function for “Near field” allowing searching for addresses/streets?

    Why do you limit google places only for cities?

    var autoComplete = new google.maps.places.Autocomplete(
    input, {
    types: [ ‘(cities)’ ]
    }
    );

    It would be great if we have a feature to autocomplete addresses there, allowing users to locate/filter listings near a specific area/address and not only inside countries and cities. E.g.: Autocomplete example (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B83hLNyHZ5eBWFM0UHJSZEFCdkU).

    In addition, the field could let users to identify his position (IP/GPS). This kind of search is important because when users are on the street searching for a business, searching inside a city will not help them. A good plugin that have done in the past and is no longer available for sale is User Locator for Vantage (https://marketplace.appthemes.com/plugins/user-locator-vantage/).

    • author
      David

      We’re starting with city auto complete but plan on adding the “near by” functionality. We actually tried to implement it in 4.0 but couldn’t get it working in time.

      There’s going to be plenty of opportunity to expand features on Vantage further. 😉

      Like
      André likes this.
      • customer
        André

        Why not letting a developer do this “for/with you”. I was discussing this functionality with a developer before Vantage 4.0 announcement and he was really interested to develop such plugin.

        Maybe, he could help on this improving the behavior and extending Appthemes functionalities “supervised” by you and your team and delivering a well developed plugin, robustly integrated with Vantage and the most important that is new “certified” by you.

        What do you think?

  • Chris

    Is this page still in use and will updates in 2017 be more frequent than 2016 ?
    https://www.appthemes.com/releases/

    • author
      David

      As you can tell, we haven’t kept that page very current. We’ll either remove it or start updating it again next year. Thanks for pointing it out, Chris!

  • customer
    craberryace

    can i use other event plugins with this site like event expresso or event manager?

  • customer
    g2eat

    Can Classipress user/owners expect a 4.0 upgrade in the near future also ??

    • author
      David

      Yes, but not in the near future. All our focus is on Vantage right now as we just don’t have enough resources to work on both at the same time.

  • barccc

    Do you have a date for release yet?

    Thanks!

  • Martin

    Hi,
    I’m using Vantage with the Child-Theme “Flat Page”, which I had bought at AppThemes market. Is Flat Page going to work with Vantage 4.0? I just renewed both licences in August 2016!

    thx

    • author
      David

      You’ll need to contact the child theme owner to ask if it’ll work in 4.0. Initially, most child themes will not since 4.0 is structurally very different.

  • David

    Hi Guys. I know, I know – I’m very impatient (BUT I LOVE YOU)!!!! Is there any way to get a hold of a beta version and we promise to understand that it’s beta and not a fully fleshed-out out version.

    • author
      David

      We love you too, David! 😉 We don’t have a beta ready yet but might release it to a select few once it’s available.

      Like
      danyz likes this.
      • customer
        ianross

        Hi David – if you have a beta version available that you may offer up in advance – (or even a live demo without a beta) – I’d love to take a look – we run a number of directories and I have a pretty large audience of folks reading various case studies, best practices, etc – (including some thoughts on Vantage, in comparison to other solutions – that get a good amount of daily traffic – with a lot of requests for best theme/framework to buy) – I also just signed up for your affiliate program as well – so if you have a beta version coming soon (even a live demo is enough) – i’d be happy to check out and refer some traffic your way. Thanks – you can see one (of many) posts in my directory theme series below 🙂

        https://karmicconsulting.net/2015/12/how-to-choosing-the-best-wordpress-directory-theme-for-you/

        Like
        Anonymous likes this.
      • customer
        danyz

        Hi David, can’t wait to get my hands on the 4.0 release! My entire project is stopped until this release comes out. Any news on the release date?

        BTW, please take very good care of the search function because right now it has some HUGE problems!

        Like
        André likes this.
        • author
          David

          Sorry to keep you waiting but it’ll be worth it. 🙂 The search will definitely be much improved.

          Like
          André likes this.
  • n2rga

    Hi
    You mentioned that you took out some modules to put into plugins.
    will you be including those plugins with the theme when they come out.
    We purchase the theme with those modules, It would not be far to pull them out and leave us having to buy plugins or wait for a developer to create those plugin then have to buy them.
    Mitch

    • author
      David

      Any customer who purchased Vantage prior to 4.0 will get the plugins for free. For example, we removed the reviews module and it will be sold separately (Critic plugin). You would receive that without charge.

      Like
      6 people like this.
  • customer
    Rajveer

    Hello,

    when we can download 4.0?

    Thank you

    • author
      David

      Once we’re done building it. 😉 Please see the bottom of the blog post for a timeframe.

  • Garfield McCormick

    Well I for one am very excited. How fitting to release near Christmas. David and his team are working through the holidays to bring us this exciting new release. I have a whole business model wrapped around it.

    Thank you David and Team AppThemes.

    Garfield

  • Garfield McCormick

    What a pleasant surprise I just got last night. I thought it was going to cost $200 to renew my Club package. Apparently it’s only $79!! I had paid $200 back last September but never did anything with my themes.

    Like
    David likes this.
  • customer
    emaschietto

    David Sorry to bother you 🙂 but any news about the 4.0? All my projects are frozen waiting the new release! Thanks for all efforts!

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.
    • author
      David

      I’ve just updated the end of the blog post with a new target date. With the holidays and some technical issues, we had no choice but to push back the release. 🙁

Discussion is closed.