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In the Spotlight: Romain Gelez of Best Deals Punta Cana

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Team Templatic chats with Romain Gelez, real estate agent, scuba diver and founder of property search website, www.bestdealspuntacana.com.


Over our 10+ year journey, we have had the privilege of supporting the entrepreneurial dreams of thousands of online businesses owners in virtually every corner of the world. We discovered that they had a wealth of knowledge and experience to share that could be of value to our larger community of users. We felt compelled to contribute to your journey of growth in some way and that is how the idea for this interview series was born.

We discussed:

  • Why Romain chose the WordPress themes and plugins he did and how it made a difference
  • His go-to sources for the latest information on building and maintaining WordPress websites
  • Romain’s future plans to drive traffic to his website and grow his business

Interview Q&A:

Hello and welcome to a brand new series where we bring you customer stories and interviews packed with insights on how real people like you have gone on to build their own websites and  create engaging experiences for their audiences. In this edition, we talk to Romain Gelez, a second-generation real estate agent based in Punta Cana, a beautiful sea-side town in the Dominican Republic.

Romain was an avid video game enthusiast in his childhood and built his first website so that he could share his passion with friends and family. Years later, he found the task of website maintenance rather difficult as a busy real estate agent. On the advice of his web hosting provider, Romain switched to WordPress about a year ago and now gets up to 25 unique visitors a day. We decided to catch up with Romain and ask him a few questions about the biggest challenges he has faced in running his website and any workarounds that he’d found useful.

Map on the homepage of www.bestdealspuntacana.com.

Templatic: Can you tell us something about your business? How did you get started? How did you hear about WordPress and how have things been different since?

Romain: I have been associated with the travel and tourism industry in various positions ranging from sales to operations management for many years now. I am also a certified scuba diver but my true calling in life has always been real estate. Last year, I started my own real estate business, helping homeowners and investors get great returns on their investment. I learned how to build websites after years of trial and error and was never quite satisfied with the outcome until I began using WordPress.

Honestly speaking, I was driven by my love for video games to build my first website as a teenager. The idea was to share my best tips on some of the most popular games back in the day. I’d send updates to my friends and clients via a simple weblink that they could access on any device.

But, I must admit that building a website isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. Bringing together all the different elements – from the graphics to the overall interface – requires loads of patience and persistence. You guys make it all seem so easy!

Property listing on the website

Templatic: What do you do to find clients? Have you gotten your first five paying customers yet? When did you decide you needed WordPress? What platforms did you start with?

Romain: My family has been in the real estate business for nearly 2 decades now and we have been able to build a solid reputation for ourselves in our neighbourhood and beyond.  Most of our clients come from word of mouth referrals and good ol’ cold calling, although we have been trying to leverage online marketing to reach potential buyers abroad in regions like Eastern Europe, for example. The real estate market in the Dominican Republic had been growing rapidly until the pandemic struck. So, there is a bit of uncertainty right now. However, I’m optimistic about the potential of the real estate market here in the long term.

WordPress was a revelation after some of the other alternatives I’d used. I bought it as part of my web hosting plan with GoDaddy.com and there has been no looking back. The older French platforms I’d been using up until then simply did not have the flexibility I needed in terms of making modifications which took up a whole lot of my time. WordPress gives you complete control over the look and feel of your website. For me, nothing else comes close!

Templatic: What themes do you use to build websites? Why have you chosen those themes? What is the most common change you have to make to a theme to get it ‘ready’? What features / functionality do you wish all themes had?

Romain: HomeQuest was a natural choice given the nature of my business.  It looks very beautiful, professional and is easy to use. The home page has to look as perfect as possible since is the first thing seen by the visitor.

HomeQuest Real Estate Theme

A quiz at the begging with basic questions on how the theme should be setup would be perfect. It would be great if we could skip the programming of basic configurations when starting from scratch. Theme creators can help customers until just one point because there are too many possibilities, but there could be a few more samples to start from rather than just the main theme as purchased.

Templatic: What about plugins? What plugins do you wish existed, but don’t?

Romain: A key priority for us has been to improve www.bestdealpuntacana.com’s visibility in search engine result pages. To that end, we have been using Yoast SEO for over a year now but it hasn’t done much for our search rankings in Google. We also use WordPress File Manager, if not Filezilla.

A more-friendly user SEO app manager, for sure; there are some good plugins out there but a bit hard to use.

Templatic: How long have you been a Templatic customer? What is the best Templatic theme that you use?

Romain: I have been using your HomeQuest theme for about a year now.

Strategically placed property search form on homepage

Templatic: What is something that Templatic does better than anyone else? What is something that we could do better?

Romain: I have to say that i am very happy with your service so far, the support is really fast and amazing. There are always some small things to improve there and there, especially when building websites that can be used for similar but different purposes.

You might find it interesting to know that we use the HomeQuest theme a bit differently than you would have intended for a real estate directory theme. We do the listings ourselves on behalf of our customers and business associates. However, it just goes to show the versatility of your theme and the thought behind it.

Templatic: If someone wanted to build websites like you do, what skills should they have?

Romain: Be open-minded, look how other professionals do it, see as many tutorials on the web to keep learning more about the endless possibilities when creating a website.

Templatic: If someone was interested in starting to build websites, what’s the best online resource you’d direct them to check out?

Romain: My top recommendation would be for them to get a Templatic theme for WordPress! Besides Templatic.com, I’ve also found resources on www.websitebuilderexpert.com , www.wpexplorer.com and www.wpfixit.com to be very useful.

Templatic: How do you check and monitor the speed of your websites?

Romain: Site speed is also something we pay a lot of attention to. We use getmetrix.com for tracking.

Templatic: What tools do you use for making backups of your websites?

Romain: I am very satisfied with the export option of WordPress in combination with WP Database Backup.

Templatic: What are some ideas you’re working on to get new business post-pandemic?

Romain: We’ve been exploring running paid ad campaigns on social media to grow our traffic. Listing on other popular search engines like Yandex Search to engage with our East European audience – as I mentioned earlier – is also on the cards.

Templatic: It was great chatting with you, Romain! Where can our readers find you online?

Romain: Thanks! Hey, we have a presence on almost every known social media platform and search engine on the planet: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, – you name it!

Templatic: Thank you, Romain! For all you hustlers out there, Templatic’s array of themes and plug-ins can save you time, money and hassle and – as with Romain Gelez- help you turn your passion into a money-making business. Watch this space for more! Bye for now!

In the Spotlight: Dave Bonynge of Greenbriar Oceanaire

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Over our 10+ year journey, we have had the privilege of supporting thousands of online businesses owners and communities get their message out to the world. We discovered that many of our customers had a wealth of knowledge and experience to share that could be of value to our larger audience. We felt compelled to contribute to their journey of growth in some way and that is how the idea for this interview series was born.

Greenbriar Oceanaire by Dave Bonynge (using the Directory theme)

Our guest today has worn many different hats across a professional career of more than 43 years. Dave Bonynge is a former banker, realtor and most recently handled software marketing at Suburban Guides Inc, a company he helped co-found. He is also the author of 4 books on everyday home automation hacks. Dave and his wife Kathy live in the Township of Ocean (Waretown), NJ and have two daughters.

WEbsite built with Directory Theme


He currently manages www.mygocc.com , an online portal for Greenbriar Oceanaire (GO), a premier lifestyle community where he puts his many skills to good use in helping people discover and participate in events around the neighbourhood.

We talked about:

  • Why Dave recommended WordPress when he was approached for advice on a mobile-friendly and scalable solution to manage the GO website
  • How town websites play a vital role in promoting local businesses in terms of SEO
  • What made Dave choose the theme and plugins that he did

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In the Spotlight: Wongel Alemayehu of Zemenayad.com, An Online Job Board

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Over our 10+ year journey, we have had the privilege of supporting the entrepreneurial dreams of thousands of online businesses owners in virtually every corner of the world.

We discovered that they had a wealth of knowledge and experience to share that could be of value to our larger community of users. We felt compelled to contribute to your journey of growth in some way and that is how the idea for this interview series was born.

Interview Q&A:

Credit analyst by day, online recruiter by night, Ethiopia-based Wongel Alemayehu has been running , a job listing site for over 2 years now.

Mr. Wongel’s Job Listing Website

Our team caught up with him for a quick chat about how his business was shaping up. As you’ll see through our conversation, Wongel is justifiably proud about his side hustle which is helping him create a lifestyle he loves. He’s confident about switching to online recruiting full time in the near future.

An avid book lover and hiker, Wongel loves building websites and has been at it since 2017. WordPress introduced him to a world of possibilities he never knew existed. He credits it with saving him lots of time and effort as he pursued his passion of building an audience. With layoffs becoming common around the world, he’s currently providing free service to job seekers as a way of giving back to the community, building brand awareness at the same time. Want to know some of Wongel’s top business hacks? Read on to find out.

We talked about:

  • Wongel’s step-by-step process for building a WordPress site from scratch
  • The critical importance of professional support for online business owners
  • Wongel’s favourite plug-ins and site management tools

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How to create classifieds website in 30 minutes – A quick guide

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create classifieds website wordpress

Do you want to get started with your online classifieds website, quick and easy?

You might think, “Is it even possible??”

It is possible!

Here, is the step by step procedure on how you can create, manage, and maintain a classified website on your own, without writing a line of code, in less than 45 minutes!

We’ll also see some money making tactics to earn through your online classifieds website, some tips for a perfect site and learn about the most common mistakes and misconceptions that may hinder the success of your classifieds website.

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How to Start Online Directory site in 30 Minutes – Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

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create an online directory website with WordPress

Are you ready to start an online directory website, but you don’t know where to begin?

Don’t worry because you’re not alone! These steps are designed to be simple to follow, but please note – building any business is not easy.

Starting a new business can be confusing or difficult to get off the ground, but not when you’ve got a direction to move! Again, these steps are simple – but not easy.

There are many ways to build an online directory business – and WordPress is by far the easiest platform to use to build your new directory website. We’re going to walk through the steps, one at a time, to ensure you can launch your directory website with WordPress. Depending on your site’s complexity, you may also be able to do this without consulting any programmers or designers. Of course, if you want that extra spark – a WordPress programmer / designer can help get your site off the ground.

This guide is here to give beginners and entrepreneurs a fast, foolproof guide to launch a Directory site. You can get started without wasting your time exploring a thousand possibilities.

We will also help you avoid all the expensive mistakes that most people do while creating an online directory website. After all, it’s not just a website but a business that you develop. And in business, you want to make a profit – which is what is left of your income after you pay all of your expenses.

P.S. This guide is several thousand words long – which means roughly 30 minutes of reading. So grab yourself a tea, coffee or juice (whichever you prefer) and start with STEP 1.

Step-by-step walk-through to start an Online Directory Site

We have divided the guide into 7 steps. To get the ball rolling you will need a few things to be set up.

  1. Decide the Niche or Domain
  2. Get Domain and Hosting
  3. Get a WordPress Directory theme
  4. Content, Traffic & Get Paid For Listings
  5. Get Paid For Advertises
  6. Branding
  7. Defend and Expand

…and once you’ve set up your online directory website, I’ve also put together couple of additional guides for SEO marketing.

And, there’s a video as well of this entire process, at the end of this guide.

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How to create real estate website in 30 minutes

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How to create a real estate website with WordPress?

Are you about to create a real estate website, but wondering how to get started?

This is the step wise guide on how to create real estate website in 30 minutes.

It is quite normal to be confused at first when you start an online business, but with proper guidance, it becomes easier and simpler.

This article is for the beginners who want to take their real estate business to the next level. It intends to help you create feature rich and vivid real estate directory without ever needing the help from technical experts to solve your problems.

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Quick Guide To Create A Website For Your Small Hotel Or Any Rental Property In 30 Minutes

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small hotel website wordpress

Create a website for your small hotel, B&B, motels or a rental apartment to make your online presence felt.It’s a great way to attract more audience and win more customers.

In this article, I will show you how you can create a website for your small hotel on your own, and in just 30 minutes.

We’ll also discuss a few mistakes that you should avoid and a few tips that can help your website (and ultimately your hotel business) grow significantly.

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How to Build a Successful Niche Blog for a Consistent Monthly Income

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There’s a reason more and more people are turning towards blogging as a secondary source of income. In fact, many have become full-time bloggers and doing much better than they did working a traditional job.

We are living in the digital age and there aren’t many professions that offer a better combination of freedom, work-life balance, and income growth than blogging. And to succeed with blogging as a beginner, starting a niche blog is probably one of easiest ways.

So this post will be your complete guide to building a successful niche blog that generates a significant income from you consistently, month after month.

We are sure that has got you excited, so let’s cut right to the chase.

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New Version: WordPress 5.5 & Templatic Themes

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Released on August 11th, the latest WordPress version is 5.5 and called ‘Eckstine’. The major improvement areas in this update are speed, visibility as well as security and you can download it from here or backup your existing website and update through your dashboard.

The new version is updated with several new and interesting features for your websites based on WordPress.

What’s new in the new WordPress update?

Every new version of WordPress aims to make it better in terms of user experience and ease of use. The most important changes are:

Lazy loading images for speedier pages

Images are one of the most common culprits slowing down your website. Even though they intend to improve the user experience by making your website more intuitive and interesting, they obviously take longer to load and may result into slower page load times sometimes.

The images will now wait to be loaded until they are to be viewed, which means lesser load on the servers, quicker response and avoiding loading of images that are not meant for the device.

Better visibility for your websites

This newer version includes an XML sitemap. And this facilitates the discovery of your new pages as soon as they are published live.

Therefore, more people will find your website and you can have more chances to convert the visitors. You can make the best of the visibility to retain visitors and make them return in future.

Easy & secure auto-updates for plugins

Now, you can choose the plugins and themes that you want to auto-update. Therefore, you can always have your website up-to-date with the latest versions of all the components.

Moreover, if you don’t want a particular plugin to be auto-updates, you can simply turn it off! You can also manually update your plugins by uploading the zip.

New features for the block editor

There are many improvements in the block editor, but here are few of the main addition to the block editor are listed below:

Block pattern: This will let you use a combination of text and media to create beautiful layouts with the editor.

Block Directory: This feature will enable you to install new blocks into your website without actually leaving the editor as it is built right into the editor.

Image editing: Image editing is made easier with the inline image editing feature added with the new WordPress 5.5 . You can now edit your images right into your image block and resize, crop, or rotate it.

These new features will make editing with your block editor more interesting with new updates. Besides there are many other changes that makes the user interface much better than it already is. The new borders and highlights around the options will make editing easier and intuitive.

Moreover, the block directory with the search feature will let you find if there are any blocks based on your requirements. If there isn’t a block that you have already installed, it will show you all the options for the feature to let you easily integrate it into your block editor.

New WordPress version & Templatic themes

We have started by updating our Directory WordPress Theme for the new WordPress version. The latest version of the Directory theme and the Tevolution plugin has been updated with the required changes to make sure it works well with your updated WordPress environment.

We are already testing all of our other themes, and till now, most of them turned out to be compatible with the latest version of WordPress.

So are you ready to update your WordPress now? Know more about the new features of WordPress 5.5