What is a WordPress website builder?
A WordPress website builder is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) that is used by almost half of all websites on the internet. However, when many people talk about the WordPress site builder they’re actually talking about WordPress.com; an easy-to-use, no code platform, underpinned by WordPress technology – which makes website building easy.
A website is one of the most important investments for a modern hotel. It can do things that OTA listings and social media profiles can’t: offer detailed information, show up as a result on Google, and facilitate valuable direct bookings that make you more money. It is also key to maximising your online presence, ensuring your hotel is widely known and attracts as many guests – and the right type of hotel guests – as possible.
The question isn’t whether your hotel needs a website (it does). The question is how to build your website, and perhaps the most common answer is WordPress, the world’s most popular website building technology, which powers more than 40% of all websites on the internet.
But should a small, independent hotel use WordPress to build its website?
In this guide we’ll be focusing on WordPress.com, the WordPress website creation platform, as this is what most small, independent hoteliers will consider using to create their site.
Is a WordPress website builder good for small hotels?
While WordPress is the most popular website building platform on the planet, it’s not necessarily the best choice for independent hoteliers.
Between blogs, online stores and hotel websites, different sites have very different aims and requirements. When choosing a hotel website builder, you shouldn’t just choose a tool that makes website creation simple and effective. You should choose a tool that makes hotel website creation simple and effective.
At the time of writing this article, typing the word ‘hotel’ into the ‘theme’ (template) finder on WordPress.com offers up two options: one that suggests it is designed for art galleries, and one that appears to be designed for cafes.
Sure, these templates are flexible, and you can be push, pull and sculpt them in all manner of ways, but it shows you that unlike Little Hotelier’s website builder, the WordPress website creation tool is not designed with hotels in mind.
Can I build a hotel website on WordPress?
Yes, a hotelier can certainly use the WordPress website builder to create a hotel website. But before making this decision, you should be aware of the challenges that come with choosing a general website builder over a hotel-specific tool.
- Templates: WordPress.com is lacking in hotel-specific templates – you’ll need to either adapt a template that was designed for another purpose, or create your site from scratch.
- Direct bookings: Direct booking functionality doesn’t come as standard on WordPress.com – in order to take direct bookings through your WordPress hotel website you’ll need to install and use a hotel booking plugin.
- Property management integration: The best hotel websites are those that integrate seamlessly with your property management system. This ensures, amongst other things, that as soon as a direct booking is made, the availability of your rooms is automatically updated. While it may be possible, there’s no guarantee of integration between your WordPress site and PMS.
Should I build a hotel website on WordPress?
Consider using a hotel-specific website builder like Little Hotelier to build your website, given how it compares with WordPress:
- Templates: Little Hotelier offers a wealth of stunning templates designed specifically for small, independent hotels.
- Direct bookings: The Little Hotelier direct booking engine is a key feature of websites built using our tool. You can cut out the OTA middleman, and make more money while offering customers your very best price.
- Property management integration: The Little Hotelier website builder creates websites that integrate seamlessly with the Little Hotelier property management system. With your site and PMS in constant communication, you can automate much of the busywork and spend more time enhancing your guest experience and building your business.
How do I make a hotel website on WordPress?
You can create your WordPress.com website in five simple steps.
1. Set up your account and choose your domain
Create a WordPress.com account. Begin the website creation process by choosing your plan and domain.
2. Select a template and create your homepage
You can be your own page builder for WordPress, and begin by building a website from scratch. Alternatively, and more commonly, you can shop WordPress.com themes – the templates that will give your web pages structure. Once you’ve chosen a template, design your homepage.
3. Build out your site
Homepage complete, it’s time to create more web pages for your site, such as ‘Rooms’, ‘About’ and ‘Contact’. From your dashboard, navigate to Pages > Add New Page.
4. Create a navigation menu
Once you’ve built your site with multiple web pages, you’ll need a menu so that visitors can navigate it easily. Navigate to Appearance > Editor, then add a Navigation Block.
5. Link to social media
The final step before you launch your site is to add your social media links. This is a critical step in the world of travel, where people are always looking for holiday inspiration. Add all applicable icons to every web page with the social icons block.
How much does WordPress hotel website cost to make?
As an easy to use tool, WordPress.com allows almost anyone, no matter their technical ability, to create their own website. This means that the cost of creating your own site using WordPress.com will be defined by how much time it takes you, and how much you value that time.
As to ongoing costs, WordPress.com websites are charged on a subscription basis. WordPress.com offers two plans suitable for small, independent businesses:
- Business: AU$33/month
- Commerce: AU$59/month
The Commerce plan offers a number of features that the Business plan doesn’t, with store customisation, an easy checkout experience and the ability to take payments in 60+ countries potentially valuable for hoteliers.
By way of comparison, Little Hotelier’s website builder comes FREE with the Pro version of our comprehensive property management solution. This starts at as little as AU$139/month.
What is the best website builder for hotels?
There’s no doubt that WordPress.com is an excellent website builder – there’s a reason it’s the most popular in the world. But it may not be able to meet the unique requirements of hotel website design, PMS integration and functionality.
There are no such worries if you choose a specialised hotel website builder like Little Hotelier. Given the success that thousands of hotels have experienced with our tool, we’re confident it will be right for you. Sign up today to enjoy your fully-featured and 100% FREE trial!
By Dean Elphick
Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).
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