MLS Import Plugin or an IDX Plugin? Which one is more efficient?

When talking to our real estate agents’ customers from the USA and Canada, a common question emerges: “How is MLS Import better than an IDX plugin?”

IDX plugins have been significant players in the real estate industry for a while. While we agree that using an IDX plugin may be more accessible, MLS Import is a much easier and more efficient way to build a Real Estate WordPress website without having to limit yourself to an IDX plugin.

There are some critical differences between IDX Plugins and MLS Import, which might sway your decision about which is the more efficient solution for you.

Let’s take a look at some of these main differences.

How IDX Plugins and MLS Import work

Both solutions allow real estate agents or brokers to get MLS data from their MLS into their WordPress-based real estate website.

Both solutions work as an addition to a WordPress Real Estate theme.

MLS Import gives you full control over MLS data, allowing you to import and manage content as if you were adding the properties manually. With our plugin, you can use any compatible WordPress theme with all its features, design, and flexibility.

With IDX plugins, even if you decide to buy a Premium WordPress theme for its design and features, you cannot use the theme options out of the box. IDX plugins keep the MLS data on their servers, and they serve information through the plugin shortcodes and search options only. Your options are limited to what you get with the IDX plugin.

MLS Import with WpResidence Real Estate WordPress theme

MLS Import gets your MLS information directly from MLS through RESO API in your WordPress installation, eliminating intermediary solutions and giving you full flexibility with the imported data.

IDX plugins work with RETS feed to add MLS data to their server and then serve that data to you through their IDX plugin from their servers.

How to Install MLS Import and an IDX plugin

MLS Import is fully set up for you by our staff. You only have to provide us the MLS credentials to access your MLS database, which you get from your MLS.

An IDX plugin installation process goes pretty much the same way.

The difference is that MLS Import gives you full control over what property fields to import and what properties you wish to show on your website.

MLS Import -> Select the Extra Fields you want to import

For example, you may want to create a website only for luxury real estate, and you need to work exclusively with properties over a certain price and from a specific MLS Category.

MLS Import gives you full control over what listings you will showcase on your real estate website.

Speed in MLS import vs. an IDX Plugin

MLS Import imports the listings in your database to give you full control over design, search, and all the theme’s options.  However, the plugin serves MLS property images from the MLS server.

Speed-wise, all the themes tested with MLS Import can handle thousands of properties and will have an excellent speed score.

IDX plugins serve properties and images from their server, but they also limit what kind of operations you can do with that data.

You can only use the plugin design, search, and property features.

There is no flexibility in using an IDX plugin with your choice of real estate theme features for search, shortcodes, and other themes’ options.

How is data synced with MLS import vs. an IDX plugin

MLS Import does automatic synchronization of listing data between your MLS and the MLS Import installation.

​There is a cron built-in that syncs data from MLS hourly.

MLS Import deletes properties automatically from the database when MLS status changes to

  • Closed
  • Delete
  • Pending
  • Expired
  • Withdrawn

IDX plugins also sync on their server, but they don’t do it hourly.

Why is MLS Import more efficient than any IDX plugin

Full control over data

MLS Import gives you full control over your chosen WordPress Real Estate theme’s features, design, and functionality.

Many clients buy a real estate theme expecting it to work with IDX plugins as if the IDX properties sync automatically with the theme features.

They hope to get the same search as in demos with the same design and theme options.

Unfortunately, this is impossible with an IDX plugin because that data is unavailable to the theme developer.

Real Estate WordPress themes usually have a disclaimer mentioning that IDX plugin compatibility translates to being able to use the IDX plugin as it is, with its design and functionality.

Some developers may be able to overwrite the IDX plugin styling, but the features are still not in the developer’s control.

With properties in your database, you get more flexibility to use the theme features you purchase and like, the same in demos.

And this is best demonstrated when you check our live demos with MLS Import.

If you want to see the possible Real Estate themes that work with MLS Import at work, please follow the below links:

Remember, you get full control over your database! If you want to add some listings manually besides those imported, you can. They will work with the same design, search, etc.

Each real estate theme has hundreds of features developed for real estate. Creating a modern and unique website with MLS listings is effortless and does not have to be limited to an IDX provider design.

Optimized speed

Speed is better without intermediary plugins like IDX because there are fewer scripts to load.

And you get to optimize everything from your server speed-wise as well. Plus, with images serving from your MLS over MLS CDN, you get excellent performance, too.

SEO Optimization is in your control

WordPress is already optimized for SEO by default, but the beauty of the entire MLS Import -> WordPress integration is that you have more control over SEO optimization if you wish.

Your chosen WordPress theme lets you create content and optimized SEO for each page, list, and landing page with powerful SEO plugins such as SEO YOAST or All-In-One SEO.

MLS Import adds listings through RESO API

MLS Import works for all MLSs that have switched to RESO API to share their data.

If you’re not sure how RESO API is essential to you and what RESO is the future of MLS data management, check this article.

Some MLSs don’t even use RETS feed anymore and have stopped sharing data through this kind of channel, so it’s mandatory to get access to a solution that allows you to use RESO (which is the present and the future of how MLS data is shared)

Affordable price

MLS Import pricing is affordable, and it’s the best deal you can get for a RESO API-based import solution. Import applications cost much more to be adapted to your chosen real estate theme, and support fees are usually extra. With MLS Import, you get a full package: full support from expert developers in WordPress & RESO-based solutions and the most flexible MLS listings import tool on the market.

It is also a strong competitor to any IDX Plugin pricing solution, which is usually in the same price range (or ll such plugins ask you to pay extra for services such as a responsive website or SEO optimized. MLS Import as you get the full package from the chosen WordPress theme.

Plugin Updates

MLS Import plugin updates cover everything you need in terms of functionality updates related to MLS servers and WordPress compatibility updates. We offer full assistance with plugin updates and maintenance if needed.

Customer Support

The MLS Import support team is available to you for any questions you have. You can reach us through chat, email, or through private client support, where all customers get access after becoming MLS Import buyers.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, the above has answered your question on the difference between MLS Import and other IDX plugins.

If MLS Import sounds like the solution you’re interested in testing, we offer you full support to test MLS Import with your chosen theme. It’s effortless to confirm for yourself how flexible and useful MLS import is. Contact us, and we’ll help you right away!


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