Vantage Beta Launched

Ladies and gentlemen, Vantage beta is now available to all AppThemes Club members and beta testers. We are truly happy that we can finally pull the curtain back to give everyone a peek at this long-awaited and much anticipated theme. Here it is folks…Vantage, the business directory theme for WordPress.

So let’s get to it and see what this theme is all about.

Vantage Home Page Vantage Single Listing Vantage Create Listing Vantage Dashboard

What’s in Beta?

All the basics of what you would expect from a business directory theme.

  • Business listings with business address, contact, website, social links and description
  • Pictures including a thumbnail / featured image – pictures open in a lightbox
  • Vantage Single Listing Lightbox

    Listing tags and categories (custom taxonomies)

  • Reviews and ratings (custom comment type)
  • Editable user accounts
  • User dashboard to manage reviews and listings
  • Keyword and location-based search using Google Maps API
  • Multi-tier categorization system
  • Search engine optimized
  • Multiple page templates
  • Editable menus in header and footer
  • Email notifications for new listings and reviews
  • Localization support
Vantage Custom Form

Vantage Extras

  • All new custom forms and custom fields with an even easier to use AppThemes form builder (custom taxonomy)
  • Refine search features with search radius, category and sorting filters
  • User admin bar that leverages the power of the WordPress admin bar
  • Easy log in form on every page

Sidebars and Custom Vantage Widgets

  • Four fully widgetized sidebars: main, single listing, search results and single page
  • Four widgetized spots in the global footer
  • Vantage Widgets and Sidebars

    One widgetized spot in the global header, perfect for a 468×60 ad banner

  • Create listing button is widgetized so you control where it is placed on a page
  • Sidebar map widget with exact location of business listing
  • Recent reviews
  • Recent listings
  • Popular and related categories
  • Sidebar and footer ad widget
  • Vantage social connect widget for footer
Vantage Payment Options

Monetizing Vantage

  • Charge a fee for business listings
  • View all transactions via admin panel
  • Additional fee for home page and category featured listings
  • Standard ad widget can be used in four pre-installed sidebars and four slots in the global page footer
  • Widgetized location in the header that is perfect for a 468×60 banner

Taking Payments

  • Vantage PayPal Options with PDT

    All payment gateways created as plugins

  • Comes prepackaged with PayPal
  • Uses PayPal Payment Data Transfer for greater security
  • Test gateway for testing transactions on your site (available version 1.0)

What’s Planned for 1.0?

There are a handful of items that did not make beta but are planned for the first full release of Vantage.

  • Completion of sidebar map widget
  • Menu item that displays all categories
  • Integration with ShareThis plugin
  • Theme color options
  • Themed log in, register and recover password pages
  • Vantage help tab in admin
  • Business listings tag widget
  • Separate blog to promote your directory

What’s Planned for 1.1?

  • User defined favorite listings
  • Ability to add more than five images
  • Allow business listing owners to reply to reviews
  • Custom fields for user profiles
  • Bank transfer payments plugin
  • Coupons and discount codes for business listings
  • Ability for business owners to claim existing business listings
  • Responsive design for better viewing on desktops, laptops, tablets and phones

Beyond Vantage 1.1

  • Improved map and location based search features
  • Facebook log in, and potentially a Google log in, too
  • More pricing options
  • Child themes
  • Contact business owner form

When Will All of This Become Available?

The beta testers are already hard at work and we’ll give them a week to see what they discover. While we anticipate beta testing to continue past next week, the development team will meet next Monday (Mar 12) to review the ticket list at that time. We will then create an estimated release date for Vantage 1.0.

Any release dates for 1.1 or beyond would be completely speculative at this point. We can only say that we want to release everything as quickly as we possibly can. As always, we will keep you updated as we get new information.

Until then, have a gander at our Vantage live demo. This demo will be updated regularly. As new features are added, you’ll see them in the demo.

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 Comments (189)

  • customer

    This is definitely worth the wait.

    First congratulations go to the entire team at Appthemes. Second one to both the club members and the prospective clients who have kept the Apthemes team focused on the job at hand.

    All in all, the appthemes team pulled through and I sincerely hope that this has given you guys the courage to even go bolder but focused on the next theme.

    Am so proud that I wisely invested on this project.

    My only request is that, like jobroller, appthemes must comb every corner to get good and wise certified partners willing to help clients develop fantastic stuff. Tiny Giant studios, you are very much on the right truck just keep focused on it.

    • author

      Thanks sammwan. We will continue to develop strategic partnerships for all our themes, including Vantage.

    • Tiny Giant Studios

      Hey Sammwan,

      Thanks for the vote of confidence! We’ve just grabbed our copy of Vantage and will start bug testing soon.

      That being said, we’ve already started the planning process for a few Vantage child themes… Watch this space πŸ™‚

      • WP Themes

        Do you have any Child Themes for Classipress? There’s not many good looking themes for ClassiPress.

        • author

          If you check out the forums, Rubencio and Mr_Green both sell ClassiPress child themes. We do not make any ourselves, yet.

      • wppete

        @ Tiny Giant Studios. Look forward to seeing your Child themes for Vanatage. Please keep me posted with any developments. Would like to see a minimilism look similar to what you have done with prima. I think a look similar to citysearch would be great.

  • customer

    Thanks for the clear blog Shannon

  • author

    We just released a beta2. Club members please check your customer dashboard for download. Beta testers will receive theirs in an email.

  • customer

    Is there some sort of time frame for 1.1? We want to already have facebook connect as we launch our website. Thanks!

    • author

      @kjaonline: I wish I could tell you that there was a definite release date but I cannot. Honestly, we are doing everything we can to get everything done as quickly as possible.

  • customer

    Awesome, this its starting to get in shape..

    Looking forward to 1.1!!

  • customer

    I can’t add any listings…. it sends me to a 404 page.

    any idead? or this feature is not working yet?

  • customer

    Would you think implement of Sort(filtering) business listing by highest reviews, number of comments, or top rated of category for monthly(at widget)?
    Grid view listing also might looks better.

    • author

      Grid would be great. Mr_Green makes a very nice grid plugin for ClassiPress. Perhaps we can get him to do the same for Vantage.

  • Sarah Smith

    What has happened to the events
    functionality that was originally planned?

  • customer

    Really?! Yeah i knew Appthemes wont let us down haha! Will install immediatly and test! And wil start the Dutch translation process asap!
    So this wil be a good day afterall πŸ˜‰

  • customer

    Finaly some good news, maybe next time you shouldnt release on mondays πŸ˜‰

    Can you please open the vantage forum so we can fire our questions and share our experience.

  • customer

    Congratulations guys finally !! Vantage got released ! Thanks for your hardwork and effort put in !! Looking forward for 1.1 All the Best

  • Tiny Giant Studios

    Ooooh, lookie lookie… it’s Vantage child theme time πŸ˜‰

  • binarybiscuit

    Great news, i’ve been waiting on this one for a while, nice to know it’s nearing completion. The main page of vantage looks a bit flat to me and thats the only thing that’s dissapointing about the theme, do you have any plans to make the front page look more like the Vantage teaser on the app themes website?

    • author

      @binarybiscuit: We removed a little shadowing and highlights in anticipation of making the theme more responsive. As is, the theme should resize fairly well to even the smallest tablets. By v1.1, it should resize very nicely for phones, too. Other design elements were streamlined to produce a cleaner design and interface. Finally, some of the elements are missing because of a feature that is not yet in the theme. This is likely the only thing change the look and feel between now and the next couple of releases.

      But fear not, I hear that others (ahem…TinyGiant) are already working on child themes.

  • customer

    This shows all the signs of a theme that will definitely become best of breed. Fully appreciate this is a Beta release but anyone with plans to implement a business directory should remain patient and watch with interest as Vantage moves towards final release. We are running a test here on a UK based site and noticing issues with return of search results. This isn’t a complaint as we appreciate the Beta status of the project but would just like to know whether there will be a forum section for those of us club members who are testing to send in their bug reports … thank you and keep up the great work !

    • author

      Thanks getawaydigital. We appreciate the comments. We will open the Vantage forums at some point but we are primarily focusing on the working with and supporting the beta testing group. We look forward to seeing what you have when we do open the forums.

      • customer

        Thanks for the reply Shannon, will look forward to the forum opening up, can understand why you are initially concentrating on the beta testing group …

  • Dario

    Is it possible with “Vantage” enable recurring payments with PayPal?

    • author

      Not yet but likely something that will be considered for the future.

      • customer

        With the potential of long term companies listings, unlike the short term job or classified listing, it would be great to at least have the option of setting recurring payment, having to get folks to pay each year or 6 months to re-list will take time and the conversion rate maybe terrible. A great feature to add in future versions…almost a must in my book.

        Like what I see so far. Keep up the good work and look forward to beta 3.

        • author

          Thanks sherpaguy. See my other comment on recurring payment. We did this with JobRoller and learned that it is not so easy, especially with PayPal.

  • Matthew O’Gara

    Woo-hoo! I’ve been waiting for this with tremendous anticipation! How do I get hold of it?

    • author

      Matthew O’Gara, Vantage is available to Club members via the AppThemes customer dashboard. It will be available to non-members upon the release of v1.0.

  • Takemura

    Finally! We’re getting nearer, but in the time that this theme was first conceived nearly 2 years ago, the web has changed somewhat. The design, whilst competent is a little dated, so I am keen to see what people come up with for child themes.

    The custom form screens look a little light-weight in comparison to Gravity Forms. Is it possible to override Vantage’s custom forms and use Gravity instead?

    Capturing data from users is the single most important aspect of these type of sites.

    However, the most impressive aspect of Vantage (and Classipress) is the ability to charge to post and for listers to manage their accounts via the dashboard.

    I’ve always felt this feature is the jewel in the crown for AppThemes and should be a stand-alone plugin not a theme. As a ‘theme’ it’s all fluff and pretty worthless in my opinion.

    • author

      Takemura, a pay-to-list plugin is a consideration.

      • Takemura

        That’s very encouraging to hear, Shannon. Bottle that beauty up, so that it’s theme agnostic, charge a premium with a recurring annual license like Gravity and you’ll have a very in demand product.

    • wppete

      Yes Exciting. I agree with Takemura when it comes to the design. The design is a little dated would like to see a more updated clean look.

      Look forward to V1.0 and V1.1

  • Pie

    Thx for the update, what do you mean with discount codes and coupons
    That a business can put discount offers on there page whenever they want??
    If so i will buy the 1.1 πŸ™‚
    Gr and good luck

    • author

      Thanks for asking for clarification, Pie. Discount codes and coupons refers to the ability to offer discounts on the price of a business listing. Allowing businesses to put up offers is something we will consider for the future.

  • Chris

    Will there be a sort of moderation from the admin to accept businesses against a confirmation to be sure that the business owner is the actual one listing his business or at least is authorized by the owner to add the listing.

    I like the copouns / offer idea.

    What about integrating the jobs / coupon site with this too for business to create one account for example on the jobs site and get it listed on vantage too… saves loads of time for the users while it makes you sell all three templates to anyone interested in having all services.. LIKE US πŸ™‚

    please contact me if you need further exploitation of my idea.


    • author

      Thanks for the input, Chris. I don’t know if we would be integrating our products like that anytime soon, but it is a good idea. To answer your other question, you can choose to moderate business listings when they are created. There is no automated confirmation. Not sure what could be done to automatically confirm that a listing comes from the appropriate people. That would likely be something that would need to be done manually.

      • Chris

        Great. Yes we will have to that manually but at least we have control in deciding what goes online before being published. Will look forward for the day you launch and grab the script.

        thanks again and well done!

  • customer

    Are you we going to have searching by zipcodes available?

    • author

      Absolutely, circlecity. Vantage also has refine search options that will allow search location by radial distance. We introduced this in ClassiPress but the implementation in Vantage is far more robust and works great!

  • customer

    Congrats on getting Vantage Beta launched. Although I’m not a tester, it sure is looking good from the info. that’s available publicly.

    I know it’s a busy time and this comment may be premature, but I would like to put in a vote for the ability to have recurring payments. I think having that functionality would make the theme even more attractive.

    Good luck!


    • author

      Thanks appfan. We will consider recurring payments but we would need to introduce other payment gateways first. PayPal requires an extra $20 per month to take recurring payments with a credit card.

  • customer

    So excited about the launch! Is there a support forum?

    Are we able to add in a slider on the homepage?

    • author

      There is not a support forum yet. We are concentrating our resources on working with the beta testing group. There is not a slider that is packaged with the theme. Might be a job for one of the many enterprising members community.

  • customer

    I can’t post unless I have Featured listing option enabled, otherwise I get a 404.
    Any ideas?

  • customer

    Also will we be able to allow reviewing without requiring visitors to login?

  • Jacob Antony

    Thanks all teams, those work hard behind Vantage. Finally Vantage got released ! When It will be ready to buy. Can`t wait !!!!

Discussion is closed.