If you’re operating a hotel, bed & breakfast or vacation rental home, then you understand how important it is to have a website not only to showcase your properties to potential renters, but also offer them an easy way to book / reserve a unit and an easy way for you to collect payments.
There are a number of options for you if you want to create a bed and breakfast hotel website – and most of them are quite expensive.
You can hire a designer and coder to custom-build a website for you, but that will run you into the thousands of dollars very easily (and quickly). And if you want to make any edits, it will cost you more money.
There are services out there that offer you a setup fee that runs from hundreds of dollars to a couple of thousands of dollars, then a recurring monthly fee to keep the website up.
It almost feels as if you have to pay an arm and a leg, and / or be held hostage to pricey developers or programs just to have a B&B / hotel website so you can grow your business.
But, with the help of website builders, for example Wix, you can build your own hotel website cheaply and quickly by dragging and dropping text, images, slideshows, contact forms, maps and more into your site. Keep reading to find out how!
The answer is using a website builder! These are user-friendly tools that allow you to create a website without needing to know even one single line of code.
They host your website for you, and you don’t have to worry about anything else other than running your business. Let’s just say they’re non-tech people friendly!
Check out this table of our favorites:
These website builders don’t cost thousands of dollars to set up – their monthly plans usually start from around $5 and go up to around $25. Why? Well, it’s because you’ll be building it yourself (it’s quite easy, relatively fast, and fun too).
But you need more than just the ability to build a website yourself without any codes. You need hospitality related tools to power your business.
What About Room Reservation Systems & Payment Tools To Help Me Manage?
Yes, these drag & drop website builders enable you to easily create your own site without hiring costly developers.
But what’s missing?
The challenge is that not all website builders offer you an automated, stylish and functional way to offer your hotel / bed & breakfast units to your potential customers!
Sure you can drag in an image of your room, then insert an “add to cart” ecommerce button. But what about reservation systems for you to manage bookings and room inventory?
What about taking reservations 24/7 on your behalf? What about an attractive property / room description layout so your website actually looks like a professionally built hotel website? What about automated emails to notify your customers about their bookings?
You need an easy to use website builder that includes bed & breakfast hotel related tools, and this is where Wix comes in.
Wix is great as it offers you an internal reservation system to help you manage your bookings and collect payments, while also powering your website.
Before we delve deeper into the features that can help make your life a lot easier in operating your bed & breakfast / hotel business, here’s a short video that will show you what Wix can do for you:
What really rocks is that Wix has over 500 premium templates for you to choose from, and in among these, they have a lot of great looking hotel / bed & breakfast focused templates.
One of the first steps you’ll need to take when creating your bed & breakfast website is picking a template. Then you’ll need to customize it by dragging and dropping elements and populating it with your own content. After that, you’re almost there!
Here’s an example of a hotel website that was built using Wix’s builder:
I’ll go into more detail about how simple it is to use in just a minute.
The burning question in your mind is – how much? Right? Cost is an important factor to consider in business, so let’s get right into this.
Wix is absolutely free for you to try (to test drive to see if you like their user interface).
This is quite important (just so you get comfortable with what you’re getting into). It’s also good to know that they don’t impose any time limits to your trial – so you can create a fully functioning website for free, without having to rush.
Take a look at the benefits of upgrading to a more comprehensive plan:
There are a few plans, ranging from $5 per month to $25 per month, depending on what you need.
Keep in mind that you can always upgrade if you need more, downgrade if you need less, or even cancel. So you’re not tied up in a long-term contract in any way.
Check out a more detailed version of what you get with each plan:
You can add the Wix Hotels app onto your website for free. If you want to upgrade to a premium version of the app and gain access to more advanced features to improve your hotel’s website, the price is $9.99 a month.
It’s important that you add the app to your website to transform it from a normal website to one that enables you to power your hotel / bed & breakfast business.
Even if you add on the monthly fee of using Wix (from $5 to $25 per month), it’s not a very expensive tool to power your online booking system.
Now that we know that Wix is a much cheaper alternative to other solutions, such as hiring a designer, let’s get into what you get with Wix Hotels (to see if it can actually work for you).
We’ve seen in an image above what your website can potentially look like, but how do you actually go about it?
One thing to know is that Wix is very flexible when it comes to dragging and dropping content around your website. So you can definitely style / design your website the way you want to, changing colors, font styles, images, to reflect your brand – all by a few mouse clicks without ever touching codes.
Creating your bed and breakfast / hotel website with Wix is relatively straightforward – there are 3 main steps:
Step 1: Adding Rooms
When you are adding rooms to your website in Wix, you can name your rooms (i.e. Deluxe, Twin), add the number of guests, room size, the number of beds and room descriptions.
You can also outline what sort of amenities come with each room. As you know, this very important when it comes to selecting hotels – at least that’s one of the first things I look for when I reserve rooms!
Next, it’s time to upload photos of your rooms, you can upload up to 10 for each. Make sure you upload very high-quality images!
Lastly, you can insert your room prices. Wix Hotels allow you to set different rack rates for weekdays and weekends. You can also set up weekly and monthly rates for rooms if you have more long term guests.
You even have the ability to control seasonal prices as well!
Step 2: Editing Settings
You need to make sure your guests can find you, so in this step you need to add the address of your property and your contact details.
The contact information you input will automatically appear in your guests’ booking confirmation emails – a really helpful feature from Wix here.
Step 3: Setting Up Payments
Wix offers you 4 ways to get paid:
- Mercado Pago
- Offline payments
When a guest makes an online reservation with your website, you can choose to collect payment up front using PayPal, Stripe (also a very popular payment processor), or Mercado Pago (to accept payments from a number of Latin American countries).
These are tightly integrated with Wix Hotels so you don’t have to worry about the technical side of things.
There is also an option to get offline payments. This way, your guests don’t settle the bill until they arrive. It’s really up to you which option you like to have.
You can also add in taxes to your bookings as well.
Here is what your backend reservation will look like. The reservation system is automatically updated when someone makes a booking, or you can manually insert reservations.
Room Search Bar
An important and useful tool that Wix offers you is a search bar that’s dedicated for your potential guests to quickly find available rooms for their travel dates.
This offers two main benefits – provides great user experiences where your guests can quickly find available rooms, and you don’t have to answer emails or phone calls from people asking you if there is anything available!
All the data is automatically updated, which can free up so much of your time and automatically provide your visitors with accurate information.
There are also multiple design options to choose from so you can customize your hotel website to look exactly how you want.
For example, you can move the search bar from horizontal to sideways and place it either side of the page.
Wix also offers you the ability to style the format of the search bar (date format, font color, font style, font size, background, etc).
One of Wix’s helpful tools, Wix ShoutOut, enables you to send your guests newsletter updates.
Once your guests book rooms, you’ll have their email address in your Wix system. Here, you can use Wix ShoutOut (Wix’s newsletter service which you can use for free) to email them about any new updates about your hotel / bed & breakfast, special promotions, or just to keep in touch.
We all know that the easiest way to grow your business is to get repeat customers!
Moreover, your newsletter recipients can also forward your newsletter to their friends and family! That’s an absolutely free way to get some trusted marketing without costing you a pretty penny.
Wix ShoutOut allows you to style your email newsletter so you can maintain your brand identity in your newsletters.
Wix and its Wix Hotels tools are mobile friendly. What this means is that your visitors can book rooms with any device that’s connected to the internet.
They can use their computer desktop, tablets, or mobile phones.
They can also make reservations 24/7 a day. They can check for availability, review room details, and reserve and pay for the rooms – even when you’re not working (or when you’re sleeping!)
The platform powers everything on the internet for you.
Integration With TripAdvisor
Wix Hotels allows TripAdvisor’s visitors to book rooms to your hotel, directly on TripAdvisor’s website. This enables you to grow your business by acquiring more bookings directly from the world’s largest travel website.
With Wix Hotels, you can also tap into TripAdvisor’s price search results, to further help you promote your business. This feature is available to you with Wix Hotels without you messing around with complicated setup procedures. Wix has done most of the hard work for you!
Using Wix and its Wix Hotels add-on gives you the most control over your business website (without the need to have any technical skills), and is the most economical in the long term for your business.
You don’t need to hire anyone to create the site for you, you don’t need to pay them for making tiny changes that you can quickly do yourself. Getting things done is just so much faster this way.
Wix enables you to build a full website about your business, and its Wix Hotels tool allows you to take reservations online and collect payments 24/7, automatically. Your guests can search for available rooms by date, and your inventory is always updated.
Gone are the days where you have to rely on expensive service providers that respond very slowly when you need to update details about your rooms or businesses.
With Wix, you can just log into your website, and make those changes easily by yourself.