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  • Update the outdated design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)

  • Alex

    Hi, are we still on target for the release on the 9th of March for the Vantage theme?

    Like
    dsffenny likes this.
    • author
      David

      Yep! We plan on releasing it tomorrow in the evening (the 9th in the US).

      Like
      7 people like this.
      • Garfield McCormick

        I’m very proud of you guys. You stayed the course, went through a little hell and back, produced the product to YOUR quality levels and are on your big day. For everything you ever did wrong in life, somebody will ask if there’s an Events plugin for 4.0. Consider it your penance! I am very excited and can start my new business.

        Like
        3 people like this.
  • customer
    dthutchins

    tomorrow’s the big day?

    Like
    dsffenny likes this.
  • Josh

    Release day today?

    Like
    dsffenny likes this.
  • customer
    bmllcat7642

    It’s the 9th! We’re excited about the release of Vantage 4.0! How will you announce that it is ready to download?

  • kennyfoster

    David hi
    I’m Kenny just wanna be sure today is the day right ? So I check my account under the download tab but I still can’t see that link to the 4.0 please advised how to download it

    • author
      David

      We’re getting everything ready. Will announce here once it’s available for download.

      Unlike
      You and 6 others like this.
  • author
    David

    Vantage 4.0 is now available for download and purchase!!

    Existing customers can grab it from their Downloads page. New customers can purchase it from the Vantage marketing page.

    Important note:
    We’re still in the process of updating our Marketing material and documentation so things will slowly be rolled out. At this time, there is NO install guide for 4.0. Most of the 3.x install notes are still valid but we’re working on a new 4.0 doc section which will make things much more clear.

    EXTRA IMPORTANT:
    If you’re an existing Vantage customer, you should install 4.0 on a test server first b/c it’s very different than 3.x!

    Ok, back to work. Just wanted to let the early birds know that the .zip is available for download! Enjoy tinkering with it over the weekend! πŸ˜‰

    Like
    5 people like this.
  • Colin

    That’s great news David! I’m really looking forward to setting it up. Thanks to you and your team for all your hard work πŸ™‚

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.
  • customer
    weiching

    Can provide a demo account?

    • author
      David

      Not right now. Eventually the demo will move to the official demo site where you’re automatically logged in as an admin. Hopefully we can complete the migration next week.

      Like
      weiching likes this.
  • customer
    vippt

    Hello
    I know this is not a support blog!

    Please check https://gyazo.com/67934442c8f45ad875f750ffd3f546b0 it shows up 2 times ” Comments ” word.
    Just when no comments are added. Just to let you know.

    Also 2 questions if and when you have time.

    1 – If listing owner add no image, is there a way to show on top the listing location map instead?
    2- Normally a company just has a logo and not big images like 1200×600 or something like that, will be here a way to add just small logo?

    Thank you

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.
    • author
      David

      You are correct. πŸ™‚ Support is provided in our Vantage forum.

      I’ll give you one freebie here though: The comments block is a widget so you can just change or remove the title.

      • customer
        vippt

        Hello

        I would appreciate if you could answer to my questions that are not about support.

        1 – If listing owner add no image, is there a way to show on top the listing location map instead?
        2- Normally a company has just a logo and not big images like 1200Γ—600 or something like that, will be here a way to add just small logo?

        Thank you

        • author
          David

          1 – Nope
          2 – Nope. The design of the theme has an emphasis on photos for the business.

        • Garfield McCormick

          I’d like to help if I can here. Many small businesses do not have product images–that’s true. However, if they sell a product like a machine or whatever, the manufacturer will have high quality images and would gladly allow the business to use them instead of snapping pics with an iPhone. They’ll use those same photos for Yelp and the Yellow Pages etc etc etc. Google is also a great source for images.

          Like
          Anonymous likes this.
          • customer
            ianross

            Hi Garfield – I’m not worried about the way images are handled in the theme – but I think the use case you mention – machines or equipment – is not going to be the typical audience for a successful directory or niche community. (e.g. – local restaurants – or lawyers – insurance agents or life coaches – or yogis or B & B’s – or any typical service style business that are typically well suited for a hyper local – or wider niche directory – aren’t going to be posting pics of backhoes or freezers on their listings, or generic images they’ll find via Google (or any other) search. There ARE in fact issues with image quality in many directories I’ve worked on – folks typically don’t have high quality images of their own vanity businesses – and this can degrade the aesthetic on a directory pretty quickly. (especially when the overall framework or theme looks great – bad quality brand photos look especially bad on a good looking site) I think one of the best things that directory owners can do – with this sort of issue reliably arising – is having some sort of brand building/image enhancement/graphic design oriented service as a back end – it’s easy to outsource if you don’t do it yourself – and a great way of adding value to a premium listing package, too. (the same is even more true with web design or other brand building offers – 65% plus of the folks who will pay for a featured listing, often need a lot of other online help – and I’ve found bundling these sorts of services in a back end offer, is a great way of monetizing your community with much higher end offers – and deepening relationships with those who are listed/featured as well.

            Like
            2 people like this.
          • customer
            vippt

            Garfield McCormick thank you to let us know your point of view, but … We do not all live in a big city, a small town has many small business and many business that are just starting have not even a logo to setup, a Business Directory is most like to let people know about business location, and some info about that business, in my case a small town where are several business like:
            lawyer office, accounting office, Insurance office, newspaper office, translator office, and several others that are not selling products but just a service. Advantage 3x had that option for us it was great, now seems like it’s time to move on to another theme/plugin.
            Thank you David and your teme, maybe someone will make a plugin / theme where we can use same features like on Vantage 3x.

        • Garfield McCormick

          See Ian’s excellent contribution to your earlier questions, Vippt. I don’t think there’s a finer directory than Vantage and leaving now without fully exploring options might not serve you as we as you think it might. My examples were hurried and not as good as Ian’s but so you know, I live in a small farming community 60 miles from the Big City. You can do this for your clients. They’ll need those product and service images in other advertising as well. Best of luck in what you decide.

  • Sp

    Hi

    Is it possible to access admin in demo? Would like to review before updating membership which only ran out a few days ago, unfortunately.

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.
  • customer
    bhargavitr

    Hi!
    The new upgrade to the vantage theme looks absolutely great! Congratulations!

    Just one question though…the previous one had event listings, which I don’t see here. Are you going to incorporate them or do you have other plans?

    • author
      David

      We removed the events module in 4.0. It might eventually make it’s way into a plugin but not plans at this time.

      • customer
        malkie

        The Events feature was very good, I though, much better than some add-on plugins for WordPress I have tried.

        Like
        Anonymous likes this.
      • cocol

        I don’t like it…. events module is a “must have”.
        What if I use only version 3… will you give us support any way in the future?
        I’m launching a business next month, and charge for events is part of my business plan, using vantage with events module, of course.

  • customer
    tallis1970

    Hello I do not see any links on my download page for 4.0

  • guiadelamujer

    Hi, in my downloads page i dont see vantage 4.0

    only this

    Vantage Developer Edition
    Expires: Aug 10, 2017 3.0.9

    i have a club license, so it must be there,or is this the right package? the 3.0.9??

  • customer
    ravxvx

    Hi how you can updated ??

  • customer
    Rajveer

    what a beautiful theme, great work, salute you guys

    thank you very much πŸ™‚

    Like
    4 people like this.
  • guiadelamujer

    The feel and looks is stunning, pretty impressive, i will go ahead and ask the obvious, so many of the users will get this doubt for sure

    How will the listings imports work, or i can install this on an existing project using vantage 3.X and just override the theme? therefore the existing listings will appear here in the new version?

    Congratulations, its really a great looking theme, more intuitive and straight forward

  • customer
    ianross

    Really impressed thus far, David. Looks great – feels really intuitive, looking forward to exploring more….and putting it to good use. πŸ™‚

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.
  • customer
    artagnan2013

    I am going to use the theme for EVENTS more than business listing πŸ™ How can I do that?

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.
  • author
    David

    We had to pull Vantage 4.0 for the time being due to an unforeseen issue with our Updater API. Please read the status update above for more details. πŸ™

    • Garfield McCormick

      I downloaded 4.0 but haven’t installed it. I planned a fresh install anyway. Will it install or should I just wait?

  • Mark

    Hi David,

    Congrats for the new Vantage it’s a good looking template. But could you give us the demo user and password to try the demo Vantage theme?
    Based on the different challenges you met in the Vantage, I thought you should be able to upgrade the other themes faster!
    What will be the next candidate in your list for this year? The Clipper or the Classipress or both.

    Anyway I vote to have these two ones as next candidates.

    Thanks to reply and consider my request.

  • Mark Hampshire

    Changing over from V3 to V4.

    How will the export / import work?. I have yet to see this theme. Will it just copy straight over via the xml file?.

    Have you actually tested any scenarios?.

    • author
      David

      Our dev team tested the importer and it was working. I recommend testing it before trying to migrate your entire site. With migrations in general, you never know what could go wrong.

  • customer
    Ercios Lo

    Hello

    It is good that you are updating this theme but I like the old interface much better. Homepage is very simple to engage. You can see many listings at once in a not-attentive way.

    Anyways, I am sure you are doing a good job. I have several suggestions:

    1. Can you please integrate a “related listings” just below the listing page or as a widget?

    2. Can you please give us an option to show NEARBY listings as a widget (with distances from the listing viewed) ?

    3. Why am I paying for some (no offense) low level child themes for vantage? Can you please ofefr us 5-10 child themes along with Vantage?

    4. Map of the listing should also be included below the listing

    5- We should have many map types to choose from

    6- We should have an option to include street map

    7. I need more tabs to add but why do I have to buy a plugin for such a simple feature? I need to have opening hours, videos and a calendar tabs and as you know I can’t do that πŸ™‚ . Why not integrate such a simple but very useful feature with the new version?

    I hope they are not hard to integrate. There are several other directory themes have those features. And I believe you are way better than them.

    Thanks

  • customer
    cmpessoa

    I am testing the theme.
    So far, it looks awesome and it seems to works perfectly except for “create listing” it doesn’t work. It just shows the page title.
    I’ve already tested in two domains. Neither work.
    I think I have all set: Vantage settings, payment settings, Listing plans,…
    What could be wrong?

    • author
      David

      Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like you don’t have the correct page setup. Please post your question in our Vantage 4.0 support forum so someone can help.

      Like
      cmpessoa likes this.
  • customer
    crsisk

    Since the new Vantage 4.0 does not have the events module, I would like a recommendation as to what events plugin will work best with the new theme?

Discussion is closed.