Should you use or

  • Updated



Check out this quick breakdown that summarizes both options for WordPress websites courtesy of

At Showcase IDX, we recommend building a website on So, why and not 

Let’s approach this decision with an open mind and consider all the reasons why is actually way better for real estate websites and can be a more cost-efficient option when compared to the VIP option offered through is self-hosted (this means – you need a domain name and a web hosting platform to operate on this version of the platform), but it gives you all the freedom and flexibility needed to operate effectively and be compatible with the necessary technologies (IDX and CRM tools) to be successful in your real estate business as a real estate agent.

What are the benefits of

  • Gives full control over your website, allowing owners to customize as they please
  • Access to all real estate plugins
  • Access to any WordPress theme you want (check out our article on the best WordPress themes for real estate)
  • Full control means you can use any analytics software that’s compatible with WordPress sites and run your own ads (owned or as an affiliate), and if you have or want an e-commerce store option, you can use any SSL and payment gateway you wish.
  • Rewards members with access to premium listings or exclusive content by setting up restricted pages or registration pages for VIP or top member communities
  • When used with the right IDX solution, and proper SEO practices, it improves your website’s ability to rank on search engines like Google and Bing.

What are the cons of

  • You’ll need to pay a hosting fee. (Much like a fee for cloud storage – the more storage you have, the more your cost increases). This may only run you $8 – $40 per month depending on the host you pick but you should be aware of the additional investment.
  • You’ll need to manage your own updates and backup your site. Thankfully, this is now super easy when you opt-in to automatic updates, plus you have a number of real estate plugins to choose from that you can use to back up your website.

You may enjoy our article on the 17 Common Real Estate Website Mistakes (and How to Fix Them).

Why not to use for my Real Estate website? is the simple service version of and comes in 5 versions to meet different needs. It’s perfect for blogging and has a few costly adaptations that make it fairly functional but not effective for real estate business websites. offers:

  • A free version, good option but restricts access to a lot of features.
  • A personal version, lightweight but strong upgrade from the free version and costs $48 annually.
  • A premium version, costing $96 annually.
  • A business version, costing $300 annually. If you insist on using the version, you will need to be running at least this version in order to utilize the Showcase IDX plugin or other real estate technologies.
  • An e-commerce version, costing $540 annually.
  • A VIP version, with an initial price point of $5000 monthly.

What are the benefits of

  • Great for blogging, if you just want a site to host your blogs look no further than the free version, plus it offers up to 3GB of space.
  • The other different versions certainly require more space and offer a bit more – you can also purchase additional space as needed.
  • Small perk, you don’t have to be concerned about updating your site and real estate plugins or backing up your data. takes care of that for you and really has good options to handle this as well

What are the cons of

In its infancy and at the core of its framework, a real estate WordPress website needs to accomplish the main objective of being a digital touchpoint where realtors showcase information to potential buyers, and homebuyers can find and access that information. It must encourage integration. You don’t want your clients going to Zillow, and you need to build a site that your clients will actually use for their home buying/selling experience.

Check out our article on Designing a Real Estate Website With a WordPress IDX Plugin: A Step-By-Step Guide.

Almost every website does this, and in order to do it really well, they’ll need support from external plugins and third-party applications, internal tools such as themes and extensions. Most industries have their dream team, or unique combination of internal and external pieces that are “must-haves”. In real estate that team consists of a website and the Showcase IDX plugin.

Your real estate website needs to allow flexibility and full control, have a framework for search, search engine optimization, mobile responsiveness, security, and fast loading times.

In our modern digital age where the real estate market is so fluid, with technology advancing and constantly improving the home-buying process, you need an IDX solution best suited for your MLS to display your listings and a website to showcase your business, attract visitors, and keep them searching on your website.


Wondering how you can achieve this hassle-free?

Check out our list of approved Showcase IDX website developers, who can help you with improving your current website or building a new one and point you to the best IDX solution for your website.