Building a quality hotel website on WordPress isn’t as obvious as it may at first seem.
On the one hand, WordPress is really easy to use … picking a theme and launching a site takes only minutes.
But on the other, it’s also easy to get sidetracked and start worrying about things that don’t actually matter for a hotel website, while at the same time neglecting the ones that do.
To make this all a bit more easy to grasp, here’s our take on the things to consider when building a hotel website on WordPress.
1. What makes a quality hotel website on WordPress?
By far, the #1 goal for a hotel website is to convince people to book rooms, and thus generate some direct income for your business.
A hotel website can be beautiful, it can be fun, but if it doesn’t get people to your doorstep then it’s utterly worthless. Sorry to be this harsh about it, but that’s simply the case.
Now, the trick here is to build a hotel website on WordPress that would: (a) bring you new customers, and also (b) be a good representation of your brand on the web (in other words, you don’t want a website you’d be ashamed to look at).
2. What’s the perfect design for your hotel site?
Hotel websites tend to be very trend-dependent. What I mean is that if your website looks like it was built 5-10 years ago then this can have a negative impact on the number of reservations.
A good hotel website design is about three things:
- The feeling that the visitor gets when they first see the site. Does it make them feel calm or excited? Does it “wow” them? Do they feel repelled and even start wondering if the site’s up-to-date? The best way to convey a positive vibe is to go with the trends and simply use a design that’s modern and that is going to be familiar to your visitors.
- The design’s brandability. In other words, can you make the design “yours” by including your own branding elements, pictures of your place, your own color scheme, etc? Having a fully customizable homepage helps here too. With it, you can align your most important information freely, and you’re not restricted by the theme’s default structures (super handy!).
- The design’s mobile friendliness. These days there’s no way around being mobile-friendly. It’s in fact reported that 80 percent of people use mobiles as their main device for accessing the web. If you’re not catering to those people, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
Lesson? When picking your next hotel WordPress theme, make sure that:
- it conveys the right emotion when your prospective customer sees it,
- it’s easily brandable,
- it’s optimized for mobiles.
3. What features you need on a hotel site
Let’s just run through them one by one.
Note. I encourage you to keep this list somewhere nearby when you’re shopping for a hotel WordPress theme.
- A booking system. This is, by far, the most important feature on any hotel website – built on WordPress or otherwise. If you want to make your site usable to anyone, you need to provide an option to book rooms directly through the site, without sending the person over to other, third-party systems. Some WordPress themes provide this functionality already built-in. If not, you can always use an external solution, like Discoveroom for example.
- Online payments. If you’re letting people book rooms, you might as well let them pay for those rooms directly through your website too. The easiest way to make that possible is to integrate the site with PayPal or some other payment gateway.
- Mobile optimization. I really can’t emphasize the importance of this enough … that’s why I’m mentioning it here again.
- Good SEO settings. You want people to be able to find you directly through Google, and no matter if they’re searching for the name of the hotel, the location, the room details, or even the available dates. Your theme might offer this built-in, but if it doesn’t, install Yoast SEO and set good descriptions for individual rooms, pages, and promotions.
- Options to add your own logo, backgrounds, and other branding. Without these elements, you won’t make the website feel truly yours.
- An option to present room facilities in a nice way. Every customer is interested in something different when they’re looking for a room. For some no WiFi is a deal breaker. For others it’s bathroom not in the room. In the end, whatever facilities your rooms offer, you need to make that clear.
- Coupon codes and discounts. Really useful for occasional promotions, or for simply welcoming back repeat customers.
- Seasonal prices. Depending on the location, your place might be more expensive/cheaper during certain time of the year.
4. Building the perfect homepage
With a homepage that’s somewhat independent of the rest of the site’s design, you can put focus right where it matters, and showcase the most important details about your hotel.
In a way, a custom homepage is your secret weapon when it comes to giving the visitor a nice welcome.
As for the “how.” Use high-quality pictures of your place, both as the background of the whole page and as individual small pictures through the page. Always bet on real-world visuals instead of stock photography – most people can see through stocks right away.
If you’re lucky, your WordPress theme will provide you with a drag-and-drop builder (no design skills needed to use such a thing).
5. Social media integration
It’s hard to imagine any website these days without social media integration of some kind.
The basic idea is to let people spread the word about your hotel to their friends and followers.
To make that happen:
- You need social media buttons on your individual pages – the simplest integration.
- Include pre-written tweets within your reservation pages and encourage people to use them. With a plugin like Click To Tweet, you can turn any phrase on the page into a tweet, so the visitor only needs to click it to have it sent out.
- Last but not least, you need to be active on social media yourself, promoting your hotel proactively and interacting with whoever mentions it. But that’s a topic for a whole new post probably…
What’s your take?
Are you working on a new hotel website on WordPress right now? Struggling with anything in particular? Feel free to leave your comment here … maybe we can help.
Great and informative article..thanks for sharing. About to launch my 2nd Hotel website from one of your themes
That’s fantastic! Let us know about the final result.
Also need 3D panorama for interior.
Good idea. I guess we could write a tutorial on how to add a 3D panorama on a hotel website.
hi guys! thanks for a detailed article! Let us suggest one more alternative for WordPress hotel room booking plugin – http://www.getmotopress.com/plugins/hotel-booking/ Your customers can easily integrate it with your hotel theme.
Sweet. Looks good!