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How to Automatically Import Centris Data to Your Website

In recent years, we have worked on several broker projects that involved automatically importing data from Centris. After several tests and validations, we were finally able to establish an easy and generalized import approach. In this article, we will see how to do automatic import on WordPress websites. You can also apply this approach on any website using the Cron Job module.

Overview and need for using Centris

Centris is a web-based solution for real estate brokers widely used in Canada. It is certainly the most popular database that brokers use to offer properties for sale or for rent to their client.

How it works (Technically)

Brokers have access to their information from the Centris website. They can either copy and add them manually or import them. If using the information manually, adding the data may take some time.

  1. In the case of manually adding information, the broker or his team will take the data from the Centris site or from their server location to insert it into the website.
  2. To automatically import data from Centris to a website, it will be necessary to program a code which will be responsible for finding the information on the location of your server. The code will take care of importing into the database to finally create the pages.

We had the opportunity to experiment with both approaches in various projects. In this article, we present the second approach.

Some difficulties in manually adding data

According to the remarks of several brokers, the manual addition of data has several disadvantages. Below are a few:

  • An investment of time. It can take quite a considerable amount of time to enter registrations manually on a website.
  • The risk of not being up to date on its website. Data on the Centris website may constantly change. To this end, if the broker does not put the information on his website in time, his clients could have erroneous data.
  • Several risks of errors when adding data. Manual work usually has errors in that one can forget to enter the correct information or put all the data.

How to automatically import data from Centris to your website?

For importing data from Centris to WordPress, we have developed a module which you will find via this link. Before we start explaining the steps to follow, we will first talk about the prerequisites:

  • Have your website on WordPress (Open-source version). We did not install on the wordpress.com version. In addition, wordpress.com would not give you access to the server to do your configuration.
  • You should have access to a web server. Via your server, we will have to configure the Cron Job functionality. It is a tool that allows you to automatically execute the codes according to a time frequency.
  • Download our extension from our online store .
  • Install the extension and perform the configuration.

Below we look at how the extension works and the steps to Automatically import data from Centris

Steps 1 – Installing the Extension

After ordering and downloading the extension, you must follow the standard procedure for installing the extension. It will be among other issues of:

  1. Import the extension to your website from the extension tab
  2. Install and activate.
  3. Make some configurations first.

For the basic configuration, you must provide the path to your Centris repository folder, the name of the folder where you want to extract the data from and the key for the automatic import.

  • Your Centris deposit file. This is the path to the folder in which Centris deposits your registrations at a certain frequency. We will briefly explain how it works. However, if you are familiar with a web server, you will easily understand.
  • Name of the folder where you want to extract. The plugin extracts the zip file to a folder in your current theme before running the import. You can give any name.
  • The key for automatic import . This is a secret key that you will use with the server functionality to perform the data import.

You will also have to fill in some fields such as the types of publications of your listings (Properties, Advisors and Agencies). How to Automatically Import Centris Data to Your Website Plugin Setup How to Automatically Import Centris Data to Your Website Post Types

Step 2 – Create a "Cron Job" for the automatic import of your data

The cron Job is a server feature that is used to automatically execute codes. You can set a certain execution frequency and let the server do the work. After installing the extension, you will have the link to add in your Cron Job configuration. Below is an example of what this might look like. Cron job creation

Step 3: Use WordPress Blocks to Insert Data on Your Website

We chose shortcode option and use of blocks simply because you don't need advanced skill to understand how it works. You will be able to insert the elements on your web pages. You might see in the documentation different block names depending on usage. For example, to display the list of registrations, we have provided the block for this purpose.

Advanced options

If you have web development skills, you will be able to easily make design changes by adding CSS and JS. We will provide you with documentation to this effect.

Conclusion

With our plugin, importing Centris data into a WordPress website is relatively easy. If you wanted to save time, it would be a pleasure to assist you in the initial configuration. Contact us to find out more . You can consult our achievements from this page .

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