I was pretty lazy about updating my website from Joomla 2.5 to a newer version - I didn't get it done until August 2015. The layout of the back end's first page had changed quite a bit most notably a listing of the most popular articles, something I'd never taken much notice of before, was on display in the centre. I was completely surprised to find that my article entitled "Open Realty 2.5.8 and mobile sites" had over 450,000 hits! My first thought was if I'd just gotten a euro for each hit, I'd be able retire. Of course I had written the article as a public service in order to help others who might need the information and I was glad I could be of help but there was definitely a part of me which wished that somehow I could be getting something back from it as I know many people make money from their blogs and I hated to see the opportunity go to waste. But I did nothing about it.
I had not found a better real estate script than OR since I stopped using it for new websites in 2013. I had looked at a number of Joomla real estate extensions, one of which was quite good for both property sales and rentals but didn't happen to suit the client I was working with at the time so I didn't end up using it, but I always thought I should investigate it further as it was the best alternative I'd found. However until recently I haven't had a huge need to look into it again and when I did finally have the need I found that the woman who was the sole developer of the extension had fallen ill and was no longer supporting the product nor even able to answer her emails. It is such a shame not only because it was, from what I had seen, such a good script, but also from the contact I'd had with her years before I knew her to be a helpful, honest, and generous person.
So I started looking again and found an article about recommendations for Joomla real estate extensions and tried a few of the scripts which had been mentioned in this article. One of them I dismissed quite quickly as it was very limited in what could be done. The next one I tried I used on one of my existing website which needed an update and also, coincidentally, got a new client who already had a website which used the same extension. It is an adequate extension for a fairly simple real estate website and the support was very good but it isn't a patch on Open Realty and wouldn't do for my more complex real estate clients.
The final one I tried will be the subject of a lengthy article that I'll be doing a little later. In fact, I plan to discuss all of the Joomla real estate extensions I tried in this upcoming article but the last one, which was the most expensive, the most complex and the most riddled with problems, will be the main subject of that article.
But in the meantime I want to get back to Open Realty 2.5.8 and my article about it and mobile websites. After my initial surprise at seeing the 450,000 plus hits on that article back in August 2015, I kept closer track of it. As of this afternoon 23 February 2016 the hits are now at 480,634 which means that it is currently averaging about 5,000 hits per month. Additionally in the past couple of weeks I have gotten 2 people sending me an email about it, asking if I'd found a good alternative. These emails are what has spurred me on to write this article. And, of course, I've had to answer "no" to that.
My hope had been that Orodha, the fork of OR 2.5.8 which I'd mentioned in my article and whose forum I'd found the first solution for a mobile template, would start up again as it had been all but abandoned. Unfortunately this hasn't happened. The latest version is from back in 2014 and, quite surprisingly, didn't include a responsive template. They don't even have a demo and the last post on the forum is from back in September 2015 and was never properly answered. There is a post on 15 March 2015 saying that they need a forum administrator but no one has showed any interest. I have just sent an email to one of the main people involved in Orodha, offering my help to try to get interest back in the project again. If I can get the primary people involved in the project back in action or possibly doing a fork from Orodha/OR 2.5.8 then I will be happy to put some time and effort into it, minimally doing a demo which desperately needs to be done.
In closing I'll say that as it stands now if Orodha can be revived or another OR 2.5.8 fork started then this would be the best alternative to that I can find for OR 2.5.8.
In the meantime if anyone would like a responsive template for OR 2.5.8 or would like to find out about the PHP fixes I've done to get it to continue working on my existing clients, I can help, although I can't do it for free as I find I give away too much of my time as is and I do need to make a little money.
Open Realty 2.5.8 - the saga continues
- Category: Information for Developers