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)

  • Sarah Smith

    Hi Shannon, does the theme offer the ability for only admin to be able to add listings and also disable the pricing package function so it is invisible to users?

    • author

      Admin can add listings from the front end but not the back end. You can edit listings from WP admin. You can disable pricing.

  • Anupam

    Are you we going to have searching by City and location ( E.g New York City and Manhattan )

  • Chris

    Hello Shannon,
    is it included or planned to have different payment packages? For example: Free Listing, Medium Listing and Premium Listing. With different prices and different functions?

    Best regards,

  • customer


    How about the ability for business to post their menus or literature? either as an attachment or even better give them access to a page linked to their listing where they can add menu items or list specials on their own.

    So if a restaurant has a business listing they can go in daily and edit their menus page in Vantage.

    This would be a biggie!

    • author

      Well, Vantage already allows business listing owners the ability to edit their listing at anytime. The menu could be posted as text in the description area or added as an image. Allowing other types of media attachments, like PDFs, would be a strong consideration.

      • customer

        Maybe I wasn’t clear on the menu page. This would be a page linked to the listing which would be maintained by the business owner. Many businesses have special deals, food menus, offers and so on, which change on daily basis. This type of information cannot be contained on the listing page by itself, rather it should be separately accessible (for a premium price). Makes sense?


    how much time will it take to release vantage final 1.1 ??? i need launch my portals, if you guys plan to take long time, i should use others themes available…

    • author

      We do not have a timetable for that. If you need to purchase another theme, I hope You will check out Vantage in the future. We’re confident that it will mature into the powerful and useful theme that originally envisioned. We will be making every effort to push it to that point as quickly as possible.

      • WEBGUY

        thanx shannon for quick reply,

        but will you guys offer any discount for testing vantage…

        at the mean time i think should be using other theme for sure… and then shift to vantage in future if required….

        • author

          You’re welcome, webguy. Between the beta test group and the many club members that are waiting for the Vantage forums to open up, I think we have testing covered.

          On that note, we want to thank everyone of our beta testers and the many club members who have who have helped out on Vantage. Your effort is deeply appreciated.

  • Sarah Smith

    Hi Shannon, I had the following question from yesterday still showing as waiting to be moderated…

    does the theme offer the ability for only admin to be able to add listings and also disable the pricing package function so it is invisible to users?

    • author

      Sorry, Sarah. You can add listings via admin although it might be easier for even the admin to do that via the ‘create a listing’ page.

      You can opt to not charge for creating a listing but that would make listing a business free. If you wanted to prevent users from making a business listing, you could unpublish the ‘create a listing’ page and remove links to it (like the “Add a Business Now” button, which is a widget).

  • customer

    Regarding error noted by Adrian above: Call to undefined method WP_Query::is_main_query()

    Make sure you’re running the latest version of WordPress. The particular server I was testing on was a little out of date and I experienced the same error 🙂 Upgrading WP to 3.3.1 resolved that particular issue.

  • KM-Line

    Hello Shannon, do you have german language-file for that template and what do you think, when is it possible to buy the Vantage ?
    Maybe I can translate into German language.

    • author

      We do not have a time estimate for 1.0 at this time. we hope to have info on that soon. We will not have the .pot files available for at least a couple of weeks, but anyone who wants to offer a translation, please email We will definitely have an offer that makes it worth your time.

  • customer

    1- For some reason I can not post this issue on the Forum right now, is anyone else having that problem. I can not post to any of the forums.

    2- I uploaded beta2 after having issues creating a listing. Beta2 still is not letting me create a listing, which is a major issue. I am running a child theme with very minor changes to css, header, and footer.

    Here is the message I get:
    Sorry, Page Not Found
    The page or listing you are trying to reach no longer exists or has expired.

  • DF

    Will there be an option for business owners to claim their listings? This may be a dumb question but how do you change the logo in the theme or can it only be done by modifying the code?

    • author

      Yes, DF, there will be an option to claim listings. We are also considering an admin option to change logo. If that is not instituted, You would simply replace the images with your own – you would need to keep the same file names.

  • Web Guy

    Hi shannon,
    i was not able to drag the google map marker… in the demo ???

    • author

      I’m not sure I follow. You were not able to drag the map to see surrounding areas or you were not able to drag the marker.

  • Web Guy

    Shannon i was looking at your offers… am interested in buying the club membership, but the offer say buy hosting from and get 50% off… as i live in india i would to buy hosting from, so please help for this or give me a discount… and mail at (email address removed)

  • shreddie

    … with all the bells and whistles of a quality business directory theme.

    … oh dear! Where’s the bells and where’s the whistles? At the moment it’s a very watered down business listings template. For me to part with my hard earned cash it will at least need the Event listings functionality you talked about and the “First to Review” reward system. It seems these are for future releases but with no release details/time plan?? Are they definite’s or maybe’s?

    • author

      Shreddie, the bells and whistles will come. Sorry we do not have exact dates on adding these things. We are simply doing everything we can to deliver as quickly as possible. More details to follow. Thanks.

  • Gaffer


    • The design looks incredibly dull & dated (& potential customers shouldn’t have to rely on third-party developers to come up with more appealing ‘child themes’)

    • If you can match all the functionality of & offer that on a WordPress platform, you may well have a real hit on your hands!

    • I wouldn’t object to paying even $3-500 for a good-looking, feature-rich directory theme.

    • author

      Some people like the design and some do not. With child themes, everyone will have more options.

      We should be able to at least match what eDirectory offers. We believe that Vantage will be the the best business directory theme available for WordPress and possibly one of the best for any platform. Stay tuned.

      • Matthew O’Gara

        Kinda like to add that the differences in price between eDirectory and Advantage is huge. Gaffer might quite happily pay $3-500 but I’m keeping my margins small.

      • Stephen O’Donnell

        I would have to agree on the design Shannon. I’m assuming the current dull design is just for the beta, and can easily be improved upon. I buy themes regularly from Themeforest, and all have the backend functionality to customise the look of each site. Most people here are not coding developers, so have no ability to build and customise a Child Theme.

        Even if the Vantage design did look good, everyone would want to tweak it to their own choice of colours, logos and backgrounds. Those are the very minimum requirements.

        I’m assuming too that the theme is fully responsive, and is designed for display on a variety of mobile devices and browsers?

        I think I speak for many, when I say we really want the functionality of Vantage, but not the current demo design. In fact Vantage as a Premium Plugin would be very attractive.

        • author

          Thanks for the feedback Stephen. There will be some ability to customize Vantage via admin. It will include the ability to change colors, background and logo as you suggest. The theme will also be fully responsive, as will all our themes.

          While offering Vantage or any of our themes as a plugin would be “very attractive”, it would be pretty difficult. Our themes are already time consuming to build and maintain. Delivering all of the functionality of our themes in a plugin that is compatible with other themes would create an extra layer of complexity. That said, we are considering plugins that would provide some of the features found in our application themes.

          • Stephen O’Donnell

            That’s great to hear Shonnon. For me, WordPress is all about the customisation.

            No-one wants a website that looks like any other, or like it’s an off-the-shelf theme either.

        • Takemura

          I have to agree, Stephen. This would be better as a plugin, same for Classipress, than a theme.

  • customer

    This looks like it has potential but has some way to go. I’m currently using Directorypress which whilst limited has some great features including recurring payments and the ability to claim listings.

    The design though does seem outdated given that it was mooted 2 years ago now. Hopefully its gets a fresh look when its launched…..

    • author

      2 years ago? I thought it was three (Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself). The design will not change for 1.0. It will be the same design that you see in the demo and screenshots on this blog post.

      Somehow, the design of Vantage has become a point of contention for a handful of people. We received generally positive reviews of the design when we first announced the product. We considered this to be a vote of confidence and went ahead with the design as is. Although some time has passed, it has not been so long that design trends have radically changed enough to outdate the look of Vantage.

      We realize that not everyone is going to love the design of every theme we produce. We have been blessed to have some good designers and developers create child themes for our other products. Some of the same people are already doing the same for Vantage. This is the path we will be taking in order to provide more choice for our customers. In fact, we will be creating a space on our website to feature plugins and child themes built to work with our products.

      So we do hear you about the design and we – and other people – are working on creating options that might be more to your liking.

      • Takemura

        Although some time has passed, it has not been so long that design trends have radically changed enough to outdate the look of Vantage

        Possibly, but the way in which we build websites has changed. For example, we would like to build our sites upon the Twitter Bootstrap framework but this becomes problematic with WP themes. And I don’t even wanna go there with Classipress!

        The fact that I think the design of Vantage is tired, is probably irrelevant as I’m in the minority. The same minority that doesn’t think Coldplay is a vital, fresh and cutting edge band. If they listened to the likes of me then they’d never make any records, but sadly they don’t and they do!

        But the problem with your model is you are shackling this great functionality to a theme and the design of the theme is part of the equation when buying it. The design of Vantage and Classipress, or whatever other theme, is of no value to me personally.

    • wppete

      I agree, would like to see a more up to date clean look design of vantage. Something similar to

      Unfortunately the design at the moment looks out date.

      Thank you

  • Kiran Chikkala

    Is there any plan for google maps business listing display with flexible navigation as in

    Can you please provide a similar approach for business navigation in vantage theme.

  • customer

    Disappointed yet impatiently hopeful about Vantage…where’s the beef?

  • Gloyns

    Are you any closer to announcing a release date? I’m very keen to be moving my phpLD site over to WordPress and been waiting for vantage since you announced development!

  • customer

    Are you still taking beta testers for Vantage? If so, how do you become a Club member?

  • customer

    The release of the beta on March 5th was a waste of time. The beta2 is equally not worth even attempting to work with. Just when is any workable release coming out!?! This can’t get any more disappointing from a loyal customers point of view. Work 7 days a week and get it done! Seriously dozens of people are begging you!

  • TJ

    Anyone comparing Geo Themes v3 to Vantage yet? I’m new to wordpress and just trying to get some feedback on what you guys think. Funny how Geo Themes sent me an email announcing v3 around the same time as Vantage’s release.

  • customer

    hola, felicitaciones muy bueno…

    Cuanto cuesta???.

    Se puede utilizar con classiexpress????

    • author

      Forgive me if I do not understand the question, but I believe you are asking if Vantage could be used with ClassiPress. You could use both in a multisite environment.

  • Jeremy

    Please add me to the notification list when Vantage is ready. I’d like to get it asap for a project that is just getting started.

  • customer


    Do you know when the first version will be ready ?

  • Darren

    I am currently thinking about installing Vantage, but one of the things I have been waiting for is the events section. I like the design of Vantage, although some tweaking will be in order, but without the events section I am unsure whether to install or not. I don’t mind installing if the events section will be coming later as an added feature, but if it’s not planned at all then I need to reconsider. Could you please just state if it will be part of future releases or not.


Discussion is closed.