In the past, hotel owners relied on mountains of paperwork, phonebooks, and physical space for bookings. Needless to say, while that system might have worked before, using it today would be impractical and unwise.
Web-based content registration is the choice that all major hotels make to accommodate their guests. Online business management is easier, quicker, and almost free of errors. Plus, it provides potential customers with an attractive and convenient interface.
However, there’s a lot more to it than just choosing a web host, getting a website, and putting your offers online. Curating a virtual hotel booking system takes time and skill which eCommerce services can help you with, and you should absolutely seek this help.
You need the right platform as well as the ideal plugin to design the perfect website. Only then will you have something to offer as a brand and grow your enterprise.
If you’re somehow not familiar with WordPress, it’s safe to assume you’re new to the internet at large. WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that creators and businesses worldwide use as the foundation for their websites.
Nearly a third of all websites on the internet use WordPress. Of course, you might be wondering why that is the case? Are there no other options for creating online interfaces for your reservation and hotel booking?
There are indeed a variety of choices available on the internet for that very purpose. But for the most part, there are a few reasons why WordPress is the overwhelming favorite for websites for hotel booking and many other uses.
Not everyone using the internet to earn a living is a tech expert. The world wide web is an avenue where people of all skills and know-how can thrive. WordPress is no different. As it provides both newcomers and experienced users with the resources to build and boost their online business with little effort.
For hotel booking systems, the sheer variety of plugins enables users to create webpages with all the basic needs as well as some cool added features.
Platforms with built-in features and existing booking plugins have their benefits, they can be quite restricting. WordPress, on the other hand, ensures compatibility with several of plugins with both wide-ranging and laser-focused capabilities.
Free plugins allow for a more minimalist, low-maintenance approach to web design. Meanwhile, larger businesses can invest in premium features based on their preferences. This allows users a range of options that provide their website with their desired features.
Preventing fraud and ensuring customer safety is a must for service providers. Most websites accomplish that through basics like encryption and SSL certification.
While these are freely accessible for WordPress websites, they also need to guarantee safe payment. For that, WordPress employs protected payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal through its plugins. This allows clients to safely transfer their money and for their payments to be overseen and managed effectively.
Alternatively, the WooCommerce extension can be employed to perform safe local transactions through WordPress as well. This is a common feature in hotel booking systems and plugins.
The expenses of running a decent website on WordPress are some of the lowest on the web. Whether you’re choosing a theme or selecting software, the budget will never be a concern.
Also, not just is the pricing stable, but also available in package deals for web designers. Once bought, users can customize their software as they please.
For lucrative businesses like travel and hotel booking agencies, the number of affordable options is seemingly endless.
As you’ve realized by now, WordPress is known for its use of various plugins. Without them, running a website just isn’t the same. For reservation and hotel booking systems, these plugins are a must. But the issue isn’t that these plugins are hard to find. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The dozens of WordPress plugins that are made specifically for booking systems can make decisions difficult. Even if you narrow down your choices based on specific features, there’s still much to select from.
Nevertheless, reservation pages for travel or hotel services need to make these decisions carefully. To do so, we’ll discuss a few of the main considerations about what they bring to the table. That way, it’s easier to decide which plugins are better than others for booking systems.
This is a more general field, but there is a lot to think about here. But in a nutshell, your website needs to present a convenient set of features for users. Therefore, you need a hotel booking system that provides as many utilities as possible.
Does your website need drop-down menus for different service packages? Is there a way for customers to view their bookings? Can you manage multiple bookings simultaneously with it? Is the website’s search feature, complete with tags and filters?
Booking services aren’t just made for one person. They employ entire teams of experts and office staff that are constantly monitoring the company’s operations. As such, they’ll need resources to make their job easier.
Therefore, many plugins offer staff-centered support, where each member of the team has their own role. This enables division of labor and allows large businesses to run their hotel booking systems like a well-oiled machine.
The basic principle of reserving hotel space is based on providing the date and time for a booking. For that reason, the best plugins provide a calendar service that allows the receptionist to provide openings on specific days.
But booking calendars aren’t just for the customers, but the hoteliers themselves. Hotel calendars allow staff members to request quotes and booking requests during business hours. For maximum convenience, requests can be received in specific slots based on urgency.
If built-in planners are unavailable, Google Calendar integration can still work.
This is a more sophisticated way of preventing excessive bookings compared to a calendar. This system allows booking plugins to accept appointment requests only during office hours. From there, they can be processed manually and slots can be given accordingly.
Preventing hotel booking appointments during breaks, personal time, or off days isn’t just for employee wellness.
It helps hotel booking systems avoid overbooking due to excessive requests. Two-way synchronization is how clients like iCal and Outlook enable this so-called “holiday blocking”
Not everyone has the time to whip out a laptop to make a booking. Most people just prefer to use their phones to confirm availability while on the way to work or during their lunch breaks.
Therefore, the top-used hotel booking systems value plugins that work equally well for mobile sites, if not better, as they do for desktops. Many hotel websites have already achieved this, so not doing the same is simply not an option from a competitive angle.
Whether you’re accepting payment in advance or after a booking, a safe yet convenient transfer system is important. Payment gateways allow clients to send timely fees with minimal restriction or delay.
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Many plugins partner with third-party gateways to accept payment through PayPal, Stripe, and others. Some, by contrast, host their own local gateways through WordPress’s WooCommerce extension for safer transactions, as discussed earlier.
Different reservations must be priced differently, based on the duration of stay, room type, and other factors. To manage this effectively, you’ll need a plugin that accurately calculates individual receipts and presents them effectively. This is especially helpful for providing discount offers to hotel residents.
With hotel booking systems, there are endless possibilities in terms of choosing the best plugin for the job. But depending on what the job is, it’s best to focus on the best ones.
The following is a short but informed list of some of the best hotel booking plugins, along with their important applications and features.
Best for: All-in-one hotel booking and rental management
This is one of the strongest players in the game and a favorite among web designers for booking systems. In particular, pretty much all rental services can benefit from this extension. This doesn’t just include hotels, but also vacation villas, campsites, lodges, dorms, and other reservation-based businesses.
MotoPress’s WordPress plugin for hotel booking systems is designed to include all the necessary features in one package. It currently offers its services in a basic “single” tier for $99, as well as an “unlimited” $199 package.
It offers a two-way sync system that compares availability data listed on multiple travel sites, ensuring that overbooking is not an issue. Other features include effective property presentation and searchable results and even allow customers to make multiple bookings in one appointment.
Pricing is perhaps the flagship feature of this plugin, as it enables reservations based on seasonal pricing, room and service tiers, refund availability, and appropriate tax rates.
The one issue that users might experience is the technical skills needed for proper backend use. Then again, that’s just a testament to what MotoPress is capable of in the right hands. In any case, you can easily hire web design services to optimize your hotel website setup at reasonable prices, so that’s not a major issue.
- Two-way iCal synchronization
- Instant booking
- Real-time availability updates through calendars
- Customer dashboards for tracking reservations
- Charts and CSV spreadsheets for viewing progress
- Straightforward pricing; no hidden fees or taxes
- Local and third-party payment gateway integration
- Custom search fields
- Mobile-friendly presentation; phone app available
Best for: Business-wide staff use
This is another plugin that encompasses many nifty features fit for hotel booking systems. But with substance, it also brings styles through its sleek, polished interface. Bookly is available in free and paid versions, with the latter costing about $89 for “lifetime” use. However, it’s still great value for money compared to the non-premium version which offers much less.
Bookly is favored by appointment-based services rather than rentals. This means that, along with hotels, it is also favored among restaurants, ticket vendors, clinics, massage parlors, and health clubs.
The main selling point of Bookly is that businesses can use it to mobilize their entire staff through it. For companies that are constantly hiring, this is important.
Bookly allows each worker to sync their Google Calendars to the booking page and manage multiple requests at once. Plus, it allows individual members of your team to customize their itineraries by squeezing in vacations, paid leaves, and avoiding confusion while accepting bookings.
- Amazingly-designed homepage and booking pages
- Quick response
- Syncs with Google Calendar
- Booking analytics
- Free 6-month plugin support with Bookly Pro
- Staff-oriented operation
- Payment gateway integration (Stripe, PayPal, etc.)
Best for: Ensuring quick and reliable payments
Like Bookly, BirchPress also specializes in reservation-only services like medical, spa, wellness, or legal appointments. Nonetheless, it is just as great a choice for hoteliers. Why? It is an easy-to-use software made to serve your business with straightforward yet very handy features. Pricing is three-tiered, ranging from $99 to $249.
You can coordinate your Google Calendar to manage bookings through the BirchPress Scheduler plugin. Furthermore, with iCal and Outlook synchronization, you can block requests outside office hours.
But the main reason it’s on this list is due to its most prized ability: effective payment handling. The uncertainty of online transactions is why people can be hesitant to engage with online hotel booking systems and services.
BirchPress offers hotel-goers a number of ways to ensure timely, quick, and easy payments. This includes third-party gateways like PayPal as well as in-built transaction portals through WooCommerce. Even credit cards are readily accepted for a truly smooth experience.
- Diverse payment methods
- Third-party gateways
- Credit card payment
- Easy to set up
- Customer dashboards
- Outlook, iCal, and Google Calendar sync
- Works with iPhone and Android
- Booking notifications and updates via email
Best for: Breathtaking visual design
At $29, this is the lowest-priced plugin on this list. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s nothing to offer compared to the costlier alternatives. Far from it, as Booki offers a great deal in exchange for a price tag this ridiculously small.
For one thing, you get the basics like booking calendars, Google Calendar integration, real-time and cancellable appointments, customizable forms, seasonal rate adjustment, and payments through PayPal’s gateway. You even get statistical analyses for monitoring hotel bookings.
But the thing that really sets it apart from the others is its unparalleled web design capabilities. Specifically, not only do you get multiple booking calendars and drop-down menus but more than 20 color themes.
This might not seem like the most necessary or relevant feature. It’s worth noting, however, that selecting the right color theme alone can improve your website’s prospects by 80%. Thus, Bookli’s seamless combination of visuals and practical features is ideal for emerging businesses looking for less costly software for their hotel booking system.
- Remarkable page and calendar design
- 20+ color themes
- Dashboard for tracking reservations
- Stats pages for monitoring bookings
- Google Calendar sync
- Adjustable rates
- PayPal payment gateway
With so many products, it’s safe to say the WordPress plugins that we have discussed are the best in their own way. Depending on what they can manage or afford, different companies can benefit from any one of them.
For effective payment capturing, you have BirchPress, while Bookly is the better software for coordinating a team effort. Booki certainly helps create websites with suitable baseline qualities and over-the-top web design, though some might argue that it prioritizes style over substance.
The MotoPress plugin for WordPress doesn’t really specialize in one area. But as we discussed earlier, a good hotel booking system needs a plugin that fits a few important criteria. On that note, MotoPress manages to tick pretty much all the important boxes, making it the prime choice for booking sites.
Whatever choice you make, establishing an online hotel reservation service is a significant undertaking. If you as a business owner are not sure about what to do here, services like WeLoveWeb offer just the solutions for your web development needs.
For WordPress users, things like safe use, convenience, and user-friendly features should determine which plugins are the best for their website. For hotel booking systems, we believe that the aforementioned examples are the best choices for the best results.