EZ Autos is an easy-to-use vehicle listing component for the Joomla! content management system, and it's over 7 years since its very first version was released. So much has changed over the years - and what began as a really simple component for the single-dealer business now forms the cornerstone of a range of components to meet a range of business models.
The upgrade of EZ Autos for Joomla 1.7x/2.5x compatibility has been a major upgrade for us, as we've taken the opportunity to restructure EZ Autos into an extensible system of components - so you only need to install what you need to use. This means your site no longer needs to carry the hefty bulk of features you don't need. The new EZ Autos is lean and fast - and the rewrite of its front-end operations gives you a system which your site visitors will find easy to use and navigate. The outcome has been a highly flexible system which you can configure via the admin configuration settings - so you can achieve a variety of layouts to meet your particular needs and preferences.
EZ Autos Features
It takes a minute to install EZ Autos on your web server - and another couple to install the modules. Yes, it's that quick - and installation is just point a matter of point and click with your mouse.
Everyone is different when it comes to what they want in terms of page layouts, so EZ Autos makes it simple for you - as the entire front-end is coded to give you a range of configurable options for the listings pages and full details page.
EZ Autos now has search filters built into its listings pages, which allows your site visitors to quickly and easily refine their search preferences based on results. They can then reorder listings based on the variety of column headings on the page. This makes EZ Autos a very easy to use system for your site visitors.
EZ Autos has the great Joomla SEF URL system for people-friendly links, and meta tag support for added search engine optimization - so you don't need to use any external SEF systems for clean URL's.
We've built Google mapping support into all of the EZ Autos front-end areas now - so you can configure the listings pages to display results on a map as you search for vehicles - and you've got Google streetview support on the full vehicle details page.
Embed an externally hosted video of the vehicle you've got listed using videos stored over at Youtube, or upload a PDF information brochure about the vehicle or its specifications which site visitors can download and read at their leisure.
PDF Print Support
Allow your site members to print out the full vehicle listings page, or save the page details in PDF format. If you've got EZ Portal integration enabled - your site members can display their business banner across the top of the top of the print page.
Captcha Antispam Integration
Everyone wants to cut down on the amount of spam sent from their site, so EZ Autos has antispam support available. Just install the OSOL Captcha plugin which is a free Joomla addon - enable it, configure EZ Autos to use it - and all of the EZ Autos forms will have captcha antispam protection.
Dual Configuration System
EZ Autos now has global configuration settings at the component level - and local configuration settings at the menu link level. This will allow you to configure page displays individually - based on the needs of the data displayed. For example - configure the listings page layout to hide display of auction dates - but you can then configure the auction listings menu link to display the auction dates.
Multiple currency support
Flexible multi-currency support, which allows you to run your site listings with a default currency set via the EZ Autos configuration area - or multiple currencies - selected individually for the needs of the specific vehicle listing. Such flexibility is a necessity if you sell vehicles in a country that uses multiple currencies.
RSS 2.0 feeds are built into all of the front-end EZ Autos listings areas, so site visitors can subscribe to a feed of specific relevance to them.
Save to shortlist function, recommend to friend email, and print vehicle details functions are available. The print vehicle details function now produces output in PDF format - which allows your customers to save the full vehicle details page as a PDF file.
Dealer Details Management
If you employ multiple dealers - their details are managed via the profile manager in the admin area. This allows you to display the dealers contact details along with the vehicle details, so that potential buyer enquiries can be directed to the dealer managing the vehicle listing.
Multiple Image Layouts Available
EZ Autos has multi-lingual support - meaning it is coded with language tags and has a language file system to enable the translation of embedded page text, incorporates the core Joomla translation system for database content - and has a set of Falang content element files available if you use that component to handle the translation of database content.
9 assorted modules with a multitude of display configurations
EZAutos also comes with 9 assorted modules - including the multidisplay module, Google map module, image carousel, content slider, panorama slideshow, patchwork wall, and a calculator with both loan, mortgage and size conversion calculation functionality available - as well as a search module and a lists module which allows the display of categories and vehicle makes. There's plenty to choose from when it comes to setting up your Joomla! site - so much so - you may start to wonder where you're going to fit them all in!
EZ Autos is not a stand-alone script. It's a component developed for use with the Joomla! content management systems. As a "database-driven" PHP script, EZ Autos requires:-
- Joomla! 1.7x or Joomla! 2.5x content management system
- MySQL database - tested on servers running versions 5.1.53
- PHP scripting support - tested on servers running 5.3x
Who is EZ Autos right for?
EZ Autos has been designed as an extensible system of components - to be used in combination depending on your business model and needs. The cornerstone of this is the EZ Autos package - which consists of the EZ Autos component and its 7 modules. This is the basic set of extensions you'd install on your Joomla site - and it would meet the following types of needs:-
The private vehicle seller
If you're someone who likes to buy and sell vehicles privately on a regular basis, or if you like to restore and display your vehicles on the web - you'll find the core EZ Autos package is the perfect solution for your site.
The single dealer business
If you're a single dealer business, you'll find you don't need an advanced degree in web development to build your site with EZ Autos. The core EZ Autos package will be perfect for your needs - as it'll enable you to enter and manage your listings via the admin back-end - and provides an easy-to-use front-end for your site visitors.
The multi-dealer business
For bigger automotive dealerships employing multiple sales personnel - your needs are also met by the core EZ Autos package. Setup details of your dealers in the profile manager, and they can then add and manage their listings via the admin back-end - or your assigned data entry staff can perform this task.
The multi-location dealership
If you've expanded your business to multiple locations, you may still find the core EZ Autos system to be suitable for your needs. Rather than setting up dealers in the profile manager - setup these as your dealership locations. Then add and manage the vehicles via the admin backend, and assign the appropriate dealership profile to the listing - so potential customers know which of your dealerships to contact.
Maybe your business is vehicle rentals rather than sales - eg. limousines, high-end vehicles for weddings etc. If so - EZ Autos will be a perfect solution to show-case your inventory - and won't overload your site with unnecessary or unwanted features.
Expanding your business model
Once your business needs extend beyond the standard business models supported by the core EZ Autos system - it's time to consider some of the other separately available add-ons - for added features and functionality.
EZ Portal expansion package for FSBO sites
We've moved the FSBO functionality out of the old J1.5x EZ Autos system and into its own component - to enable better development of the seller profiling system, and expansion of the paid listings system from the simple 2-tier per listing system it used to be - into a more flexible system of packages that you can define yourself.
Auto Adverts expansion package for HTML and print adverts
Auto Adverts has been developed to enable you to produce HTML and print advertisements of your vehicle listings - so you can post them to online listings sites such as Craigs List, or print up details of vehicle listings for window displays or car shows etc. It comes with 25 different designs for use in online advertising, and 4 different plain print layouts for use with your printer. If you need to produce HTML or print advertisements of your vehicle listings - you'll find Auto Adverts to be a quick and easy way to achieve this.
Autos Bookings expansion package for availability calendars
One of the new companion components we've developed this year is the Autos Bookings system - designed for those who list rental vehicles which need an availability calendar. It'll support the management of availability calendar entries via the admin backend, and it'll support frontend management of available dates if you're running a FSBO portal. Autos Bookings isn't a bookings system though - it's currently only an availability calendar.
EZ Feeds expansion package for data exports
EZ Feeds has been developed for the site owner who likes to export their vehicle listings out to other listings sites and social media sites. It'll support exports in a range of XML and RSS 2.0 feed formats for a number of sites, as well as smaller feeds suitable for use when exporting to sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
EZ Watchlists expansion package for VIP Buyer management
The VIP Buyer's system has been moved out of the old J1.5x EZ Autos system and developed into a new component - to support better development of the range of features possible for this type of system. As a result of this change - EZ Watchlists now allows for site members or visitors to create and manage their own "watch items" via the frontend, and receive notifications when vehicle listings matching their requirements become available. EZ Watchlists now uses a HTML templating system for the email formatting, and supports auto-sending of notifications via a cronjob.
...and for those with imagination
If you've got the imagination to see beyond mere field labels and page layouts - you may find EZ Autos is suitable for more than just the conventional automotive listings. Consider other types of listings such as motorcycles, boats, trucks and buses, heavy mining equipment, planes and helicopters and more. The potential is there and sometimes it just takes a little time editing the language file to change the wording of something. When the imagination really takes hold though - remember EZ Autos is full source code - so there won't be any barriers between your imaginative genius and the code! It's fully accessible if you need to customize it.