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  • Update the outdated design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)

  • customer
    northampton

    Hi, Thought you might like to know the link to the Demo is not working for me.

    Please could I ask that you have already created a child theme file so that we can make changes quickly. The WP instructions are complicated for a non-tech like me.

    Regards
    PS, Any day now?

    Like
    David likes this.
    • customer
      dsffenny

      Yes Same here – Can’t wait for Vantage 4.0 hoping we can see it by March 9th, 2017

  • politz

    Hi David,

    The theme looks great!! any news on the Release ? I happened to click on the theme demo and it looks to be down. Let us know.

    Thanks,

    Like
    2 people like this.
  • LC

    Good day!

    Are you aware that the demo site is down? I’ve tried for a few days now and nothing there 🙁 Error message:

    Hope baby is doing great and that you’re getting more sleep. 🙂

    Like
    David likes this.
  • michelle

    I’m really really scared with this update. See I use vantage with a focus of Events. It’s the map of events that really drives traffic to my sites. How will events be incorporated? Will you create a separate theme for this type?

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.
    • author
      David

      Don’t upgrade to 4.0 if you want to continue using the events module.

      • customer
        dutchman

        Hi David,

        I would like to keep being up to date, so if we do upgrade to 4.0 will there be a add-on available for events?

  • sergio

    I look forward to this update, will you be compatible with the Spanish language?

    • author
      David

      Yes, it will be compatible with any language.

      Like
      2 people like this.
  • H M

    Hi David,

    Hope we will have a promotion for the bundle too !

    Thanks

  • author
    David

    I’ve added a status update for an expected release date in the blog post above.

    In short, we’re completely burnt out and need a break before we can finish this release.

    Sorry to push it out again but it’s physically not possible for us to continue without resting our minds and bodies a bit first. 🙁

    If you don’t want to continue checking this post for updates, Just subscribe to our email list (in the footer below) and you’ll be notified once we launch. If you’re an existing subscriber or customer, you’re already on our list.

    Thank you all for understanding.

    Like
    4 people like this.
    • customer
      plato

      I’ve been quietly checking in and have a project just waiting for this release. BUT, completely understand and wanted to congratulate your family on your new baby. For those of us that have been there,.. I was putting in 80 hr weeks when some of my kids were born. You. don’t. get. that. time. back. I’ll just add some encouraging words that maybe it’s time to get a third wheel on your team? Have a great vacation and I hope to have a pleasant surprise in my inbox in about 4 weeks!

      • author
        David

        Thanks, Plato. 80 hours/week? Wow, you can definitely relate!

        Another developer would be nice but we need to increase our revenue stream first. 🙂

  • Garfield McCormick

    You guys turn off your monitors and go rest. Party, walk the beach and clear your minds. If the demo is any indication of what’s coming, it’s going to be a great product.

    You are worth more to us rested than stressed. We have to live with this product for the next how many years so a little stress release now will be worth the world later.

    We’ll be here when you get back. In the end, it’s all about our customers, and I want mine to be thrilled with the new product.

    Go play now.

    Like
    10 people like this.
    • author
      David

      @Garfield, thanks a lot. I was expecting moans and groans so your comment (and Ian’s) were welcome surprises.

      I wish a party and beach were part of those plans. Maybe the snow with the wife and kids for a few days instead. 🙂

      Like
      9 people like this.
  • carsten

    Hi David,
    Thanks for being honest. And I wish you a nice vacation .

    I think many of us using Vantage theme are willing to pay a one-time fee for upgrading, so you get Money to hire one more developer – consider this.

    thanks Carsten http://www.kirkepartner.dk

    Like
    David likes this.
  • sam

    Hi David,

    is it possible to make it so that the listing owners do not have to enter new contact details for each new listing they make and can show a widget of their profile on the listing page.

    • author
      David

      Not at this time. They’d have to re-enter the listing contact info (which actually isn’t very much data).

      In 4.0, listing owners have their own profile page which also displays their listings.

  • Terrence

    I updated my subscription couple months ago in anticipation of the theme upgrade. I checked back here frequently for updates and told just a bit longer each time, that’s what makes it frustrating. Now your asking for another month. I understand your just human but it would have saved a lot of frustration if you could have foreseen it would have taken a few months longer than your original deadline. Anyways I stopped working on my site a few months ago waiting for this update. Question, if I work on my site will the listing info carry over to the new updated theme or will I have to reenter them?
    Thank you

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.
    • author
      David

      We don’t mean to mislead you and it’s frustrating for us as well.

      Firstly, I’ll be first to admit that I’m a horrible time estimator (I’m to optimistic!).

      Secondly, unexpected things happen (site goes down, fixes take longer than expected, etc) which push deadlines out further.

      For example, recently our site went offline for almost a full day. We’ve got nine different servers (which I personally manage) so I spent 1-2 days troubleshooting & fixing and then at least a day dealing with customer support and potential customers who were trying to purchase something during the outage.

      Being a small team, little things like that take 50% of our development resources (me) off the project which inevitably delay our launch.

      To answer your question: yes your listings will carry over just fine. Upgrades will likely need to perform a couple of steps manually though which we’ll document.

  • sergio

    Hi I hope and the whole team has an excellent month of February. I would like to know if they intend to improve the search bar since one of the options that I would like to add is this: that a user to perform a search in google and when our web page appears below the title will also appear the search bar, For example to put seccion amarilla in google, appears the page of the seccion amarilla and below the search bar of its web page. I hope and I give myself to understand, thank you.

    Like
    David likes this.
    • author
      David

      We don’t have any plans to change the 4.0 search bar further. Maybe a child theme will do something like that.

  • David

    Any plans for a beta release?

    I’d be using it on a new website anyway, so the theme *potentially* breaking or anything going wrong would hardly be the end of the World to me anyway.

    Also changes and updates to the theme, things being added, updated or removed entirely would be understandable too…

    Who knows, you may even get a chance to squash those bugs a little quicker…

    • author
      David

      As noted above in a previous response, we decided to bypass a public beta due to time constraints.

  • Roar

    I prefer the existing theme. I like the look and all the features. That’s why I chose it in the first place. If I stick to that, does it mean that I can never upgrade any longer? That there will be no more upgrades in the future?…

    Like
    2 people like this.
    • author
      David

      That’s fine if you want to stay with the current version.

      Eventually version 3.x will no longer be maintained (and going forward only security & critical bug fixes will be released).

  • customer
    wzoj

    Vai ficar muito bom!

    Não tem como me enviar a versão beta?

  • Dan

    Vantage 4.0 looks very promising. Great job David!

    While you’re recharging your batteries in the snow with wife & kids, would you consider sharing a BETA with Vantage subscribers? I would love to take a test drive.

    Dan

    Like
    David likes this.
    • author
      David

      Thanks. We’re only doing an internal beta. If we did a public one, it would take us another month before we could release 4.0 so we decided against it.

  • customer
    carpediemtim

    I know you guys are on break at the moment, but when you get back, would you please let me know if this issue is resolved in the new version of the Vantage theme?

    That is ?wc-ajax=get_refreshed_fragments causing long delays (around 800ms) on page load times.

    I’ve been told this is a deprecated function and to ask the developer (you folks) why it’s still being used. So your insights would be appreciated.

    In the meantime, I hope you’re getting some much-needed rest.

    Cheers,
    Tim G.

    Like
    David likes this.
  • author
    David

    The AppThemes dev team is back after a much needed break! Programming on Vantage 4.0 has been picked up where we left off in Jan. Status update has been posted above.

    Like
    12 people like this.
  • Josh

    Great to hear. Waiting on this to rebuild my existing directory.

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.
  • customer
    bmllcat7642

    Hello…

    We’re very excited about the update to Vantage, and look forward to testing once it’s released. Quick question. Will the homepage header area support video? We are going to be producing a lot of video content soon, and would like to show clips when people land on the site.

    Thanks for the response, and good luck with everything!

    • author
      David

      No homepage header video support in this initial version. It’s something we’d like to eventually add though.

  • Ludovic.

    Hello,

    will there be an event suport on your new version?

    Thx.

    Ludo.

  • Iosif

    If everything is upgraded as well be possible following :
    – The number of pictures for each customer to be possible to fix the admin (as Dining eg Engine.) Not only – Is to little only 4 images.
    -To be able to the upload to select a list of 10, 20 or 30 images.
    -To automatically optimize images
    – Score Pagespeed do not forget to be more than 80

  • sp

    Any update on possible release date ? Within March?

  • customer
    thesoi6

    Hello nice that u are updating Vantage.
    But sincerly its not any more compact like the previous one… the new version looks more like a BLOG theme of wordpress it self…. for me i dont like this blog style i love the old one, i just was thinking to buy it but when i saw the new version with this style i think i will not…
    If u put different styles into the theme to choose ok but with this one im not happy at all.

    thank u
    Martin

    • author
      David

      Thanks for your feedback. You can certainly keep the old look (version 3.x). Initially, both will be available for download and the Updater plugin won’t overwrite version 3.x with version 4.0. So anyone who wants to start using 4.0 will need to manually download it from their dashboard once it’s available.

  • customer
    plato

    Are we still on track for March 9th?

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.

Discussion is closed.