Vantage Business Directory Theme Preview

Update! We’ve released Vantage. Please make sure you view the following blog posts to see the current state of this theme and future plans:

We’ve been quietly working away on a special theme which will be our most advanced WordPress App to-date. Vantage is not your typical business directory. It’s a powerful social networking business directory and can be better explained by breaking it down into three primary pieces:

Local Search

Vantage provides online local search capabilities for site visitors. Typically a visitor will search for a specific thing (i.e. a sandwich shop) and the location (i.e. a specific address, city, state, or zip code). This is all done using the Google Maps API and leveraging geo coordinates since they are the most accurate measure of distance.

Each business listing result contains details such as the business address, hours, website, description, etc. It also includes a 5-point rating system and reviews from other site members which are built up over time.Β The business owners can directly update their own business’ listing information via the Vantage customer account area.

Listings are organized by city/state and a multi-tier categorization system. Content and listings can also be discovered through categorized reviews or via Vantage member profiles and their review lists.


Having a solid community will help your site grow in leaps and bounds. Vantage automatically does this for you as it ties together user reviews and social networking functionality to create a local online community. Allowing your members to keep track of their reviews and displaying popular reviews on your site helps motivate contributors.

Vantage also plans on including a “First to Review” reward system to create a competition among contributing members, further motivating the creation of reviews and adding more unique content to your site.


Besides local business listings, an events system is also an important feature to have. Not only does it allow your members to create and advertise their offline events (i.e. car show, bbq, WordPress meetup, etc) it further helps to grow and involve your community.

Each event will have specific details like location, date/time, description, etc. Members can view the event and “Attend” so the event creator knows how many people to expect. This system will use an events custom post type and specific taxonomies to keep it separate from business listings and blog posts.

Now that should give you a much better picture of what to expect from Vantage. We’d also like to list out the high-level features to help answer some of your other questions.

Feature highlights include:

  • Monetizing your site by selling business listings
  • Build and foster your own user community
  • Business reviews and rating system
  • Allow your members to create event listings
  • Home page & category featured listing system
  • Custom post types & taxonomies for business listings
  • Custom post types & taxonomies for events
  • Save this and favorites bookmarking
  • Twitter & Facebook integration
  • Customer account area to manage business listing
  • Separate blog to promote your directory
  • Create your own custom fields and business listing forms
  • Search by keyword and/or location
  • Interactive Google maps for business listings & events
  • Multiple advertising spaces
  • Fully widgetized sidebar & footer
  • and much more!

Launch Date

We’ve spent the last couple of months on the design and getting the layout just right which has taken longer than we expected. In turn, it has pushed back the development so we just recently got underway. We know how important this theme is to everyone which is why we are doing our best to get it completed asap.

In order to do so, we have pushed back the release date back a few extra weeks to November 5th see our theme release status page for the latest status on Vantage. We know, you of course want it now but a product this advanced takes time to build correctly. πŸ™‚

Here are some screenshots of Vantage:

Our development team is doing their best to get this built quickly. We are always open to your feedback and suggestions but any new feature requests will have to wait for the next release since everything is already locked in for v1.0.

Your rating: none
Rating: 4 - 1 vote

 Comments (213)

  • customer
    Michael Papst

    Are you release also a standalone business directory plugin so users who own classipress will be able to run both together on one template / site ?

  • Lilian

    Will it feature a comprehensive search feature i.e. search by city, category, business name, postal code etc?
    Throw some additional resources into Vantage alot of people are interested in it.


    • Jerry

      The current search displayed in the images above has 2 fields named SEARCH FOR and NEAR.

      Will you be able to simply type in a Zip Code or City Name in the NEAR field and then type in a business category such as Electronics in the SEARCH FOR field, click search and be presented with all Electronics businesses located in the specified Zip Code or City?

      Just what EXACTLY does NEAR mean?

      Will we have a RADIUS meter that can be adjusted 1-5-10 miles?

  • Jim

    I guess there is no change of asking for larger screen shots maybe? Or even an update on the theme – I know there is a release page but would be good to know if any of the talked about features have been considered – I feel this is a popular theme.

  • Alvin

    The progress bar is stuck at 60% for some time now… I surely hope it will be done this 4th quarter, the sooner the better because we have 5 different businesses depending on this release.
    Could you update us a bit more ?

  • House

    Any update on the release? I was emailed end of October now it says January on the development cycle…

    Just curious – excited to buy but want to make sure beta testing is done before purchase. Let me know.

    THX – H

    • Dario

      I am very disappointed with this new change of date had been told
      was completed in late October, after the end of November and now
      between January and February?

      I think Vantage is a superior product, but I have no guarantee to wait until February and change the date again.

  • Jason

    The lack of responses from Appthemes indicates to me that they are extremely understaffed, or there is a communication gap between the spokespeople and their dev staff.

  • customer

    Come on guys!! i would really like to have this theme from you, i dont want to spend money in other similar products!!

  • Stewart

    OMG Jan – Feb! Disappointed in such a drastic change in release date. Business waiting to go online in time for New Year, don’ think we can wait that long. Don’t want to have to look elsewhere, but might not have a choice.

    • Carlos Takemura

      Thanks for that link Alvin. We’re customising phpLinkDirectory, great new product with incredible support, and they’re not too stuff about doing customisations for you.

      • Baxter

        Write about link directory on the link directory site. Thats just plain rude……

        • Carlos Takemura

          Yeah well, linkdirectory is an actual product that you can buy and in fact, should buy. It’s a mature product and they haven’t changed their model halfway through their business. The actual core team do the customisations themselves.

          • Baxter

            Great so you go buy it. This is a site about app themes and their products. And FYI linkdirevtory looks tacky.

          • jim

            I think id agree with baxter, this site is about appthemes and I guess its simple really – if your not interested in vantage then go on over to the other site…. not really sure why you would post that information here really to be honest about it.

          • Carlos Takemura

            Already got it, dude. Don’t let the tacky look put you off – that’s the beauty of html/css, we can make it look any which way we want.

            I’m not really sure why Vantage is being previewed. It’s way behind schedule and it doesn’t actually exist, yet.

          • Jim

            Well it does exist in design stage and hence the screenshots – this is a preview am I wrong – this is the point of the post – maybe I am wrong but i dont think it says anywhere that you can demo this as this is a preview, and is stated quite clearly on the post!!!!

          • Carlos Takemura

            Aware of that, thanks for pointing it out though.

          • author

            As Jim stated, yes this post is just a preview and the design has been completed. Development has begun but we’re still a few months away from completion since our entire production schedule was pushed back due to ClassiPress delays and a shortage of dev resources.

          • author

            @Carlos, was the iPad released the same day it was announced?

            Just like Apple and thousands of other companies, we announce products ahead of time so people can get excited and have a better idea of what’s slated next.

            Besides, what’s the fun of announcing a product the same day you release it? πŸ˜‰

          • jon

            Carlos is link directory called


  • House

    that link is elegant themes – they have nothing like Vantage theme – here on app.

    • bellboy

      The designs are great but I don’t see anything with the functionality of ClassiPress, JobRoller or the other upcoming Appthemes templates.

  • author

    Hey all, we’ve had to pull our development resources from Vantage to help finish ClassiPress v3.0.5 and Clipper v1.0.

    Since those releases are running behind, we had to push back the release date of Vantage as well.

    We hope to get back on track by the end of the month.

    • customer
      Alvin Koetsier

      I surely hope so David, many people are looking forward to this release.
      Christmas is on its way and i bet many people (like myself) wanted to get their businesses up by that time.
      But ofcourse a complex theme takes time to build correctly, go go go !! (sorry old counterstrike habit…)

    • Inspiron1525

      This is sad.

      A similar theme from another rival site seem very tempting right now.

    • Dario

      Hi David!

      I think it was a better idea to put the whole team working on the release of Vantage and then get finish ClassiPress v3.0.5 and Clipper v1.0.

  • Mark Dayley

    I’m building this theme from scratch right now… When I happen chanced coming across this theme site. I’d love to purchase this Theme! I’ve got hours of coding ahead just to get to this point.

    Let me if you need any beta testers… I’d be happy to contribute.

  • Jerry

    Will this work in the UK?

  • Chump

    I made the mistake of purchasing a rival theme called Geo Places. Support is awful and it is riddled with bugs. I’m out $90. The fact is, as of right now, there is not an adequate directory theme for WordPress.

  • dave_t

    Will Vanatge be available in Spanish?

  • Jake

    Hi Guys,

    Thank you for all your hard work on these apps. I cant wait for vantage to be released.

    Quick question, would I be able to integrate the classipress classieds into vantage as an added bonus to my directory site?

    Thanks again

  • Titus

    To the complainers:

    PEOPLE…..BE PATIENT……David and his crew do not have to notify of us of a single thing if they don’t want to. Do you want a solid final product from AppThemes or not??? Would you rather him sit there crying his eyes out over your complaints and throw in the towel??? Evidently, manipulative comments will not make them hurry. Besides, many of us do NOT want them to hurry….always causes product problems. Seems David is doing his best to update us ALL. Why not just be patient for the best to release a solid product? I’m new to, but I’ve been taking notes on how they react to their customers and prospects. Compared to the so-called *competition, David’s answers are always specific and courteous even towards the bratty folks who write “I’m disappointed….I don’t wanna wait….I’m looking at your competitor now….” If you’re gonna go, then GO. Otherwise, show them some respect and wait….then we ALL will benefit from a solid product in the end. I’m waiting for this product too, but can’t stand it when the brats whine about David’s efforts.

    BIG ups to David and his team for THEIR patience.

    Cheers! πŸ™‚

  • Kathir

    Hi David,

    why is the release of vantage pushed by 3months. That is very disappointing…you an still shipit and upgrade us later.


    • Baxter

      If it was good enough they would. It does more damage to ship a product that’s buggy just to get it out.

  • customer
    James O’Sullivan

    I know your working hard to get back on track with Vantage so I said Id post a few features I feel could be handy.

    1. Initially to get the site going I know alot of early grunt work could be carried out to get the site going with some initial listings so as to populate it with at least a few listings. But of course when you do this it means those business listings are not claimed by the owner and are probably under some dummy account one would create in order to do this. I know on if you go onto a listing page there is a link “Own this business?” and when clicked gives you a nice form to claim the listing. This means us owners of the theme could do alot of grunt work to get the site going and build up the information and listings and then let business owners claim the pages after we create them, which I think could be a well worth while feature.

    2. Now I know this next one would be a bit of an ask!! but I might aswell ask. Currently you mention that there will be offline events listed on the site which is great. I know another thing that eventually would encourage more return visits from businesses would be offers/deals that each business is offering directly from there business page. Now basically I guess alot of this functionality is probably in the theme clipper for coupons/deals and I understand that this is a theme in itself and separate to vantage. But if there was a way for business owners to list events (which you have) and list offers/deals then I think this could be an extremely powerful site. I dont mind explaining this further or sending a mail on it. I just think that because members are expected to write reviews – they would do this much more pro-actively if they were receiving deals from the site too. Maybe this is more of a one for the future – but I do feel its a hugh one if done right with some thought.

    3. Ability to manage advertising on the site according to the specific category of business listing. Therefore you could just show certain types of adverts for the auto section of the site and then other types of adverts for the fashion business on the site.

    4. Because again this type of site is about at least some kind of scale and having a good few business listed even if its a niche I think some kind of INVITE tool would be handy as you filling out your profile. I know there will be share buttons and the usual tweet and facebook but I do feel and actual invite tool as you submit your business would be handy. Therefore when you submit your business you would have ad least asked a few friends to write some early reviews etc. Yelp has this feature which is nice even if its kept really simple for starters.

    5. A great feature I have noticed on a few sites now is when you are already logged into facebook (which most of us are now all day!!!!) then a bar at the top of the page recognises you as you just visit the site. Yelp again has this but I guess we would also settle for facebook and twitter connect πŸ™‚

    6. Last but not least is the ability for the site to go mobile. Again this type of site (much more than most) would be great if it could adapt well to the iphone or smart phone. The reason is most of us now would look up this type of business directory site while on the move (to get directions or phone numbers etc) – I use yelp much more from my phone on the move than I would use it from a standard browser in the office. Now I know there is WPtouch and maybe Obox for wordpress but I guess down the line something customized to the custom post types would be nice πŸ™‚

    Obviously I’m not expecting all this or anything on a V1.0!!!! I just thought I’d put it out for debate and see what people think and maybe how to refine these some more. Look forward to hearing if these are in the pipeline David. Looking forward to clipper and JR V1.2 πŸ™‚

    • Valencia

      I agree with all your points, especially with the ability to go mobile. It think it will separate your brand with other guys who don’t have it.

    • Carlos Solorzano

      I think some of the Facebook connect features you’re talking about are on a pilot basis right now. Meaning some sites–notably CNN–have a deal with Facebook where that is implemented. I don’t think it’s something appthemes can do on their own.

      The Like button is different, but that’s just a plugin.

      I like the “own this business?” option. As well as a mobile theme, though I know there are others out there but how many will have google maps api built-in?

      • Baxter

        Face book connect actually can be done quite easily. There is plenty of information on it one the facebook developer page. There are even a few word press plugins for it.

        • jim

          I think the comments I made above are more of a “where it needs to go” – obviously appthemes have a plan as to where it can go first but I think all these points need some thought for the future and coming year as certainly it needs to keep pass in these areas. I also feel maybe a way to import content through a .csv file or something would be nice. As I currently have a spreadsheet of a niche directory of 500 vetted businesses I would like to display and a way to import them would be great. But of course as I say “A claim your page” option is then a must for these buinesses.

    • Aaron

      Great Suggestions James, I believe each one of them will be crucial to the success of a business directory, you have obviously put a lot of thought into this area.

      Coupons and limited time discount deals offered by the likes of Groupon are gaining in popularity at a massive speed. Its reported that Groupon is growing at a faster rate than any other company in history, including facebook. Allowing businesses to publish these deals on their pages. This shouldn’t be to hard with wordpress 3.0+ custom post taxonomies, using scheduling to automate promotion dates and post pruning to make them time sensitive.

  • Legacy

    I know I’m late to the party – I just found your site last night. You guys do wonderful work! Since you are still in development, I’d like to see the following (maybe even in an upgrade):

    – Video Support (so local business can upload or link commercials to their profile from youtube/vimeo, etc.). It could be right in their rotating picture portfolio. I’d would like to charge extra to enable that feature too (maybe even on a per video basis if possible).

    – Menu Support.
    I noticed from your business detail screenshot that you had two tabs, one for OVERVIEW and the other for REVIEWS. I’d like to see at least a third tab (which I would like to attach an up-charge to) for MENU or the tab title could be customizable. But it would be better if it were properly formatted for menu on the backend to be easily edited by novice users to include: Menu Item, Description, Price, and A few category Pictures with captions beneath.

    Thanks for listening.

  • customer

    Just so you know you have interest here from another prospective client. Keep working hard guys and I’m sure it will pay off – the sooner the launch the better!

  • Legacy

    Don’t waist your time replying to Carlos Takemura’s comments. He is obviously a forum troll trying to generate more business back to link directory or an over-excited fanboy whose design aesthetic has not progressed beyond the early 90’s. Why else would he be here if he LOVED link directory so much. Besides, Link Directory looks horrid and misses the point as to what Vantage is trying to achieve. There really isn’t much of a comparison unless you use a lot of imagination and post purchase elbow grease.

    We can, however, thank Carlos for one thing: The existence of his off topic posts on this site clearly show the folks at app themes are NOT reading this comment section. If they were, his comments would have been addressed or removed by now.

    …Brace yourselves – we maybe waiting longer than expected.

    Ok now…I’m done waisting my breath.

    • Carlos Takemura

      @Legacy, thanks for the personal swipe. Design aesthetics haven’t progressed since the early 90s? If only you knew me πŸ˜‰

      FYI, I haven’t linked to the linkdirectory script and no more of a fanboy than many on here who are fanboys of a non-existent product that is Vantage.

      The LD is what you make of it. Yes, it looks horrid, but the functionality is sound and is capable of running many types of sites, can even have the functionality that David is proposing with Vantage. Their support is rock solid too.

      Can I use Vantage to run my site? No. Can I customise LD run my site? Yes. Why? Because the product currently exists.

      With design skills, which I have, coupled with html/css, we can make LD look any way we want. I’m more interested in functionality, which LD has in spades. Add some imagination and voila! We’ll have a kickin’ website (by the way, voila is a French word and France is a country in Europe, for those of you geographically challenged)

      p.s. it’s ‘waste’, not ‘waist’.

      • Jim

        I really am confused by this “exists” statement!!!! Vantage does not exist this is a PREVIEW, david and appthemes state its a PREVIEW, and they have never compared themselves to this other directory because its a PREVIEW! wow hard to see what your point even is to be honest.

        • Carlos Takemura

          Yes Jim, we know it’s a PREVIEW, and one that was posted nearly 2 months ago, and was spoken about long before that. David should’ve just kept it quiet and released the damned thing.

          • Jim

            haha Carlos in fairness you gotta read your last statement again πŸ™‚ I presume you are joking here of course so yes I agree with you but I like the preview and look forward to the real deal when it does come.

      • Legacy


        You’re right. I don’t know you. I only know of you by your statements, which don’t explain why you are here in the first place. If you like LD so much and you already purchased it, WHY ARE YOU HERE?

        Except to generate more LD business, brag, or stir up trouble, you’ve done nothing to add to the conversation. We already know Vantage does publicly “exist” – We are commenting on a post called “Vantage Business Directory THEME Preview”.

        Personally, I’m glad the developer posted the preview, regardless of where they are in the development cycle. They didn’t have to do that. But, just seeing the screenshots allows me to plan better for when the product is released. After seeing this preview, viewing AppTheme’s other demos, and comparing Vantage to other available directories including your beloved LD I’d rather wait for Vantage to be complete. AppTheme seems to be on the right path to what many of us are looking for in a directory site, which is why everyone is so anxious. Other than that I have no other allegiance or stock in Vantage.

        In your mind you clearly have a superior product in LD and you should continue posting about it – on the LD site where people can truly appreciate your comments. Forgive the rest of us if we don’t agree with you on the APPTHEMES SITE. After all, you are flaming a product that doesn’t “exist” (according to you) and you really don’t need us to validate your purchase of LD. Do you?

        Besides, we can wait a little and so could you. By the time Vantage is released you will probably still be working on your design and you still won’t have the tight integration with WP that many of us are looking for in the Vantage THEME.

        Of course, I could be wrong and you could prove it to us by providing your site’s link. But probably not, since like the Vantage theme your site doesn’t “exist”.

        P.S. Instead of checking my spelling you should have checked the post title first. πŸ˜‰

        • Yeti

          I agree, at this point it seems that Carlos is a LD advocate just dumping on Classipress.

          Love what David and team are doing, it will come up roses in the not too distant future, keep up great work team and thank you.

  • customer
    Marc Beharry

    me wantee! I can help test and debug on trafficked domains

  • Carson

    I was attracted to AppThemes because of the prospect of Vantage… but I recently tried Jobroller and have to say that I am impressed by the quality and attention to detail.

    I am happy to wait if it means that vantage will be developed at the same level. It is better to release a product that works very well rather than a buggy one.

    A pretty design is important, but if you expect to actually use it for making money, ease of workflow and user experience (throughout the transaction) and maintenance is extremely important. Appthemes is doing this well with Jobroller.

  • jon

    Any idea when this will be out? I would like to buy

  • Evo

    Hi David, I have a Feature Request for Vantage.
    Ability to sort Reviews according to positive or negative responses. This could be accomplished by a simple thumbs up or thumbs down, and the ability to sort them.
    I`ve noticed a lot of websites feature reviews now and some sometimes have hundreds, so it would be so much easier to take a quick look at the positive reviews and then negative reviews instead of searching through hundreds.

Discussion is closed.