IDX/RETS Vendor Selection Criteria
The selection if the IDX/RETS vendor and product for this site was largely driven by a several factors:
- The product had to be from an established vendor in the real estate IDX/RETS marketplace. Having extensive past experience with custom development firms and their services, a “start from scratch” approach was deemed to be too time and expense intensive.
- Ability of the IDX/RETS product to integrate with other site content, specifically that the IDX product appears to both users and search engines as content within the same domain, and not on the IDX vendors domain, including not as a sub-domain of the vendor’s site. This requirement eliminated all iframed IDX/RETS products, and reduced the product candidates to four.
- Ability to customize the search form, summary search results and property detail pages to conform to and take advantage of the fields available in any particular MLS, and based on my own preferences and user experience. This requirement reduced the available candidates to two.
- Ability to integrate the IDX/RETS product into an open source CMS, specifically Joomla or WordPress. Both remaining vendors met this requirement, with each vendor having pros and cons about how this was technically accomplished.
- Full cPanel or equivalent access to allow flexible site management, database management, and uploading of whatever content needed to be made available to consumers. Management of robots.txt and .htaccess files was also part of this requirement. Both of the remaining vendors also provided that capability.
- Ability of the vendor to host both website and IDX/RETS database at a reasonable cost. Self hosting was not an option, and even if it were, the severe restrictions and technical infrastructure requirements of the Denver MetroList IDX rules were prohibitively costly. This final requirement left only one fully qualified vendor and product.