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  • Update the outdated design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. πŸ™ 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)

  • customer
    xpose

    Morning David

    Browsed the demo – looks good.

    Question 1.

    All our addresses in South Africa are generally entered as ‘Street Number and Street’, ‘Suburb’, ‘Town/City’ and ‘Postal Code’.

    During a search, does the “Near” field automatically search the entire content of the business address?

    If not, do we have to rearrange our fields in the address to match your search criteria?

    Question 2.

    Not all business listings are loaded with images.

    How will these listings display if no image is uploaded?

    Have an awesome day – from Cape Town in sunny South Africa.

    Denzil

    • author
      David

      Hi Denzil! Sunny South Africa? Man, I wish I was hanging out with you. lol I’m dealing with rain and cold weather. πŸ˜‰

      1) The “Near” field uses Google maps data for the auto-complete feature. Then it does a radius search based on latitude and longitude so there’s no business address matching required.

      2) Vantage 4.0 is designed to be more visual and use business location photos. At the minimum, you should have one (for the main header cover photo) otherwise a gray background will appear. The photo gallery below the main content area is a widget so you can easily remove that. In a future version, we could possibly add another page template for listings without any photos or a plugin/child theme could do that as well.

      Like
      xpose likes this.
  • guiadelamujer

    Wow, nice job ! looks great

    just a question, the download our app links refer to something? are you planning to launch some app?

    • author
      David

      Thanks. Nope, it’s just placeholder demo content which customers can replace with real links or completely remove (it’s a widget).

  • customer
    Rajveer

    Looks awesome!! I saw you guys mention “Download our App” on homepage, is that possible to make apps for classipress or directory sites?

  • Djamel

    Hello,

    the magnifying glass icon search does not work with firefox,
    with chrome ok but when I enter for example New York it displays listings of San Francisco.

  • Cary

    What happened to the ‘Event’ Category/Section?
    Is it your intention to have Event Listings like the old version?

    • author
      David

      @Cary, please read the entire blog post. πŸ˜‰ We removed events in 4.0. It might come back as a plugin someday.

      • Astrit-SM

        So practically.. you’ve removed google maps api, events and reviews … what is left in the theme (sorry for asking, just interested in acquiring the theme because of all the features that it really had) … ? I get the feeling that sooner or later to get all the features that the original vantage theme had, we’ll need to acquire these plugins?

        • author
          David

          No, Google maps api is still there and now the main and only map provider used. We removed the generic maps api since add-on maps were not very popular.

          If you’re an existing Vantage customer, you’ll receive any features we pulled out and converted into plugins for free. That includes the reviews module and events (if and when we convert this).

    • Garfield McCormick

      Cary you should read back through the blog. This has been explained a few times and that will really help you. Lots of POVs.

  • Janusz

    I hope there is an option to change searching radius from miles to kilometers?

    • author
      David

      @Janusz, yes definitely.

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • insight_solutions

    Hi there super excited about this version. Do you have an exact launch date yet?

    • author
      David

      Not yet. Still feverishly working to get it done. Last minute bugs keep popping up which delays our launch. πŸ™

      Like
      insight_solutions likes this.
  • customer
    ichris

    This looks really nice, im looking forward to the release.

    Is the URL structure any better? so instead of http://www.website.com/listings/business/ for a individual listing page it can have the category in there too e.g. http://www.website.com/listings/category/business/ or even http://www.website.com/category/business/ ?

    Thanks.

    • author
      David

      A listing can belong to multiple categories so that structure wouldn’t work very well. The shorter url structure is also better for SEO.

      You do have the ability to rename each part (e.g. /listings/ to /business/).

  • chris

    when you can buy? towards the end of January? thanks

    • Garfield McCormick

      Hi Chris,

      I’d suggest buying your license now so you can be a “current” customer when the product launches whic may be any day now. Don’t wait to buy after the product launch. You may find yourself paying for extras that you’d get as a current license holder.

      Like
      styki likes this.
      • author
        David

        @Garfield, we haven’t announced an official launch date nor any special promotion for buying early.

        As you can tell from the demo site, we’re very close to completion. However, we’re still at least a few weeks away due to bugs that keep popping up. It’s frustrating for us!

        I recommend everyone wait until we actually launch before making their purchase. That way you get the full 12 months of support and updates once you actually start using the theme. πŸ™‚

        Like
    • author
      David

      Hopefully. Fingers crossed!

  • customer
    khuya

    Looks awesome. Just quick concern…

    On the current Vantage, get directions keeps the use on the same website but i noticed that on this theme it takes users out of website to google. Can the get directions function work as it does on the current version where the driving directions are returned in the side bar and users can even print the directions all without leaving the website.

    Really looks great! Thanks,

    Like
    David likes this.
    • author
      David

      Thanks khuya. It made better sense for Google Maps to handle the actual directions instead of being embedded in Vantage.

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
      • customer
        khuya

        Thanks David. Please would you include a widget for the side bar for those of us that like it the old way ensuring we keep used on our website and not take them to google? It’s a selling feature for us right now and works very well;)

        • author
          David

          @khuya, sorry but we’ve already made the decision. Maybe a Marketplace seller will build something to replace it.

  • Garfield McCormick

    I am buying a new Toyota Sienna and it is not nearly as exciting as this product launch.

    Like
    David likes this.
  • ian hollander

    Hey there David – just a little piece of marketing advice to avoid confusing folks who are reading the blog comment updates – you have a comment posted (above) by Garfield – that for those not paying super close attention – appears to be suggest that 1) the theme will be released any day, and 2) there are going to be things one gets now, if purchased early – that one won’t get after it’s release.

    This may or not be true – but I’ve sent some readers from my own blog to check out your release page (on a review post about WP directory themes) – and multiple folks report back, mis-reading Garfield’s comments/statements above – as if they are coming from appthemes – and not a random person on a thread. If not true – and just let to sit there – to the uninitiated who don’t know who is who – they are confusing and doomed to disappoint at best – and for those expecting the theme to be released “any day now” with pre-purchase offering significant value over waiting – misleading at worst.

    Like
    2 people like this.
    • author
      David

      Hi Ian, thanks for the note. Just to clarify, Garfield does not work for AppThemes. He’s just a passionate guy excited about the 4.0 release. πŸ˜‰

      I’ll respond to his comment so others know as well. Sorry for the confusion.

  • David

    Hi

    I have to say that I prefer your current theme over the new one.

    I am after a business directory theme but sadly I am finding that all the latest html and wordpress theme designs are very much looking the same. Where has the creativity gone on the WWW.

    I guess this is happening due to mobile user devices but it is very sad.

    Like
    3 people like this.
  • customer
    vippt

    Hello

    Any estimated time when the new release will come out?

    Thank you

  • customer
    valuser

    Hope you’ve bben able to catch some sleep!! Happy days!!!

    Will there be a zoom / full-screen facilty in the maps module ?

    • author
      David

      Thanks. Having kids (especially a new baby) makes sleep and life very tough…but worth it! lol πŸ˜‰

      Yes, there is a full screen link on each map. Zoom in/out works just like regular Google Maps.

  • cocol

    Hello David

    What about Woocommerce support?

    I buy a license, buy I did not use it, because woocommerce did not work.

    I like your product, but Woocommerce is a “must have” for me.

    Please give good news!

    Thanks

    • author
      David

      Yes, it supports WooCommerce, WPML, WordPress SEO, and most other popular plugins.

      Like
      2 people like this.
  • customer
    dthutchins

    Hi David. No disrespect but …. it was end of year, then Jan 15 … now “in a few weeks!” Any updates? Can you at least help us manage our expectations?

    We love you. D

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.
    • author
      David

      I’ve posted updates above in the post and will continue to do so. We love you too! πŸ˜‰

  • barccc

    Hello,

    I have a few more questions.

    The old theme had a nice setup for Featured listings. The new theme seems that there is not much of an incentive to get the Featured Listing as you have to scroll through them, only showing one at a time. Will there be a way to list them differently?

    Also, for Woocommerce, would I be able to implement Woocommerce with WC Vendors?

    I am looking to use the new theme as a directory for Designers and also allow them to sell digital products.

    Thanks!

    • author
      David

      The home page featured listings are now setup as a slider (random order). With the old version, too many featured listings clogged up the first page. 3rd party sellers and developers can build different widgets to bridge that gap.

      Not familiar with WooCommerce Vendors. Could you explain more what you’re trying to accomplish?

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
      • ian hollander

        Hi David – I just took a peek at this comment – and wanted to chime in on both the featured listing front – and the WC vendors front – from the perspective of folks who want to build a marketplace – and allow their users to sell products from their listings – as a way of extending the value that we (as the site owners) provide to both the public – and the professionals who are listed/featured on the directory itself.

        1 – The idea of not having robust support for “featured” listings – because they “clog up” the front page – is going to be an anathema to most of your prospective buyers. (especially as it’s a core function of selling the virtues of paying for a listing now to our members – and many of the folks who will be UPGRADING to 4.0 – already have members who have paid to be featured on categories, localities/etc – as is. If this isn’t baked in to the new version of the theme (e.g. – those featured listings in local categories or packages don’t pass to the new version – it’s going to be a significant burden for many) Simply stated – omitting this from the next version is a puzzling choice -and one that runs counter to how most of your customers monetize their sites as is.

        2 – I’m also surprised – that the WC vendors integration feels like something that needs clarification on your end. The most popular directories now – the ones that are clearly the ones you’ll be competing with – are integrating with WC vendors (or other marketplace style WC extensions) that allow our listings (the folks we want to submit their businesses to our site) SELL products alongside their listings – as a further way of extending the value proposition to induce, excite, enthuse and inspire them to choose “our” community (your vantage buyers) over the panapole of other communities/directories or portals that are available. This still CAN be achieved by dint of using external products links in the base WooCommerce (allowing members to list products in the store) – but having a more refined integration is obviously preferable.

        I’m a bit surprised that this isn’t something you’ve thought deeply about already with regard to re-conceptualizing the theme – as it feels like a pretty obvious marketing intuition you’d want to have thought through – and…… it’s already something that is pretty easily achievable (and super appealing) to directory builders who are using Woocommerce already, on tens of thousands of directory sites as is πŸ™‚ (in other words – this is already something that is “standard” – because it’s so popular with users – on the major directory frameworks being sold everywhere else)

        I’m a bit weary of how you are re-thinking the theme – predicated on real world use cases- on the drips and drabs I’ve read here – and on what I would hope would be your base intuition – to improve upon – and enhance – and push the envelope a bit beyond what is already out there – or at a minimum at least – not to strip out what made the original Vantage an appealing option to begin with.

        I’m going to buy it either way as it looks good and I want to support your launch – but I’m hoping that you’ve spent as much time understanding what IS in fact working well now in this space for thousands of people who are running directory style businesses – and not cutting out essential features (nor omitting or failing to identify very conventional use cases already in the wild – e.g. – why one would ask about WC vendors ) – as ultimately – these are the things that will delight, or disappoint your users when the theme goes live.

        • author
          David

          Ian, thanks for the positive feedback.

          Keep in mind, we’re just launching a completely rebuilt product that is 100x more flexible than any previous version and it’s features are by no means “permanently” set. We will continue to iterate and change things based on customer feedback in future releases. This is just the beginning.

          All our modules are widgets so if customers don’t like the featured slider, they can remove it and we could potentially make an option to move them into the main “New Listings” section. Or, a new home page template could be built by us or a 3rd party developer to solve this.

          Regarding WooCommerce, our first step was making sure it integrated with Vantage. Check. WooCommerce Vendors is one of their plugins which we could certainly take a look at integrating in a future version.

          If we tried to add everything now, it would take even longer to release it.

          Please keep the feedback coming and thanks for your understanding.

          • ian hollander

            No worries, David – this makes sense to me – the more I look at the new version, the more appealing it becomes and the more unique advantages I can see – I, like everyone else – am looking forward to seeing it released, but – in light of your update earlier today – take your time – don’t stress – I understand the invisible personal toll deadlines and due dates can take when they’re published for the world to see and the price that can be paid thereafter…..so hang in there, and when it gets done – it gets done – we’ll all be here when it is. πŸ™‚

          • author
            David

            Thanks @Ian. I’ll certainly look for more feedback from you once we’ve launched.

  • Sohail

    Hi

    Any update on release date? Really need to update my tour site, and would like to stay with vantage.

    Also looking for a more custom filter option to allow users to list by price or package type. E.g. Luxury , budget etc.

    • author
      David

      See my release date notes above in the blog post. πŸ™‚

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • Chaim

    Any news? release date?

    Like
    6 people like this.
  • Arjun

    One suggestion (just my opinion): Please make the search bar stand out. In demo, the search boxes are not so attractive. I guess a little bit bigger header will be fine.
    Anyways, really nice new look. Hope to get it soon.

  • customer
    Colin

    The demo link is giving me this error:

    An error occurred.

    Sorry, the page you are looking for is currently unavailable.
    Please try again later.

    If you are the system administrator of this resource then you should check the error log for details.

    Faithfully yours, nginx.

  • LJ

    How do we sign-up for email alerts on the release and/or updates for the Vantage 4.0? Given the level of interest it would make sense than fielding these repeated questions to your post.

  • customer
    khuya

    Here is a thought David. Why don’t you release the new vantage as another theme because you will find those of us that really want a directory in the truest sense are happier with the current theme;) I like the current vantage because of it’s simplicity and it’s really a directory of business and events. Very simple yet effective. And you can list businesses from many sectors without compromising on the look and feel. It just seems this new theme has stripped away the very functions that made some of us appthemes clients in the first place;) curious to hear your thoughts on this;)

    • author
      David

      Then we have to maintain two different themes which serve the same purpose.

      Existing customers certainly aren’t required to upgrade if you don’t want to lose the events or look/feel of version 3.0 or earlier.

  • cursal

    Reviews will be a paid plugin?
    Events are gone!
    What will happen to the current events and other events that are scheduled out for months and even years from now?
    How could you remove the while feature and not have an upgrade path for an entire function of the theme.
    Is there really no plan to add events back in, I loved that this then did all three, listings reviews and events.
    This do not seem the right direction for this theme.
    What am I to do with my events. Do I never get to update/upgrade my theme?

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.

Discussion is closed.