If you’ve landed yourself here, chances are you’re operating a hotel and need an awesome hotel booking website to get a smooth system going. You’ll also understand just how important it is to have a website; not only to showcase your luxurious rooms to potential guests, but also to offer a super easy way for them to book in – and for you to get booked up!
It’s good to know that Wix Hotels partnered with HotelRunner in 2022 to create the ultimate tool for those building a hotel website. What that means is you can now manage more sales channels, inventory, front desk operations, and bookings with Wix.
Letting you sell rooms to guests directly from your Wix website.
So, there’s no need to run yourself thousands of dollars into the ground by hiring a web developer and a separate management program, you can get them both in one!
There are a lot of top website building platforms out there, but after putting them all through some pretty rigorous testing, Wix proved deserving of our number one choice!
This has been particularly true since it began its collaboration with HotelRunner, which is a SaaS management platform that has loads of agency and travel partners around the world.
It’s super easy to set up an account with Wix, too. Simply:
- Head over to Wix.com to sign up with your email address and chosen password
- Let Wix know what kind of website you’re looking to create (i.e. a hotel booking site)
- Decide what features you want to add to your website (Wix shows you the ones it would recommend for you, like a chat box, bookings tab or table reservations)
- You’ll then be brought to the Wix templates page – this is where the creativity begins! (We’ll go into more detail about how to choose the right template in just a moment, so no need to worry if you’re not sure which one to pick at this time)
- Wix Editor will then open up, and you’ll have access to a bunch of tools and elements for you to drag and drop wherever you like on the page!
Wix is absolutely free for you to try out to see if you like its user interface.
This is very important, because you can get a taste of what you’re getting into. It’s also good to know that Wix doesn’t impose any time limits to your trial – so you can create a fully functioning website for free, without having to rush.
Here’s what you can expect when going beyond the free Wix 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 site to one that is able to power your hotel business.
Your domain name is the address people type into a browser to reach your site. It plays such a crucial role in establishing your site’s branding, trustworthiness and reputation – so it’s worth learning how to choose the best one!
Here’s some general tips to keep in mind when searching for and selecting a domain name:
- Keep it snappy! Your domain name should be easy to remember and engaging
- Keep it relevant – use your brand name, or include related keywords
- Keep away from punctuation – hyphens are not a domain name’s best friend!
Wix makes it easy for you to find the perfect domain name. These are the three easy steps to follow:
- Enter relevant keywords into Wix Domain Name Generator
- Choose a custom domain
- Register and connect your domain to your site
- By using Wix’s domain name generator, you can simply insert relevant keywords and phrases, and Wix will let you know which domains have been taken – and which ones you can purchase!
5. Once you’ve explored the names Wix has generated, make sure to select a top-level domain. Top-level domains just refer to the domain extension, such as .com, .net, and .org. Extensions are simply used to categorize your website by type, location and business model!
We know that .com is by far the most popular and valued extension any domain name can have. We’d recommend choosing a .com domain name because of the high levels of credibility it will offer your hotel booking website.
6. So now that you’re standing as the proud owner of this awesome domain name, it’s time to purchase and connect it. In order to connect a domain to your Wix site, you have to be on a premium plan, so make sure to upgrade your site if you haven’t already!
Let’s get into the numbers – Wix charges $14.95 per year for a domain name, and an extra $9.90 a year for domain privacy.
Some good news is that you get a free domain name for the first year if you choose an annual plan with Wix.
All you have to do is enter your payment details and account information, and the domain is all yours!
Want to know more about domains?Here are our five easy steps to getting and registering a domain name to guide you a little further through the process.
Now that all the technical stuff has satisfyingly been ticked off, let’s start the fun! Designing your hotel website is what will really separate it from the rest. This is where your business’s personality gets a chance to take center stage.
Thankfully, Wix has an impressive 800+ design templates to choose from. While they’re all professional, it’s important for you to have a look through to get a feel for which one suits your style. Set some time aside to browse before committing to one template, because Wix doesn’t let you switch designs once your site has gone live.
Of course, you’ll want to know which of these design templates are hotel-specific, right?
You’ll find that all of the Wix hotel templates are pretty image-focused, which is ideal for transporting users to a luxurious hotel getaway just by visiting the site.
You also won’t have to worry about optimizing your website for mobile phones or tablets, because all of Wix’s templates are completely mobile responsive.
We got to work choosing a template and customizing it to fit our imaginary “Ocean View Hotel.” This is the template we chose:
And this is how our website started to look when we used the drag-and-drop editor to move some elements around, and changed the background image to make it more unique:
When creating your hotel website, these are some best practices to keep in mind for awesome website design:
- Put Your Images Front and Center
Click onto any of the best hotel booking websites, and they’ll all have one thing in common – a dreamy, scenic image of their hotel view covering the page. Think blue skies, mountain backgrounds, or sunsets on the beach – it’s like love at first web-sight! The visuals on your website really set the unique tone of your hotel. We recommend taking some striking images to get a professional gallery going.
- Make It Easy to Navigate
The last thing you’ll want is for users to become frustrated not knowing how to navigate your site. Using well-labeled menus, such as “Contact,” “About,” and “Pricing,” will really boost your site’s user experience (UX). You don’t want to lose any potential customers just because they can’t find what they’re looking for!
- Provide an Instant Booking Tab
This refers to the tab you’ll find at the top of most hotel websites, where users can quickly type in their arrival and departure times, as well as how many rooms they’re looking for. Seeing this as soon as they click on a hotel website means users won’t need to surf the whole site before getting some answers on availability and prices.
- Add Multilingual Options
This one is a must in the hotel business! Remember, your customers are all over the world, so creating a multilingual site makes your hotel stand out as super inclusive and friendly.
All of the design tips above are super easy to implement with the Wix drag-and-drop editor. In fact, all of the hotel templates come with an instant booking tab, so you can just move that wherever you like on the page.
Adding Key Website Pages
Every website has unofficial expectations to live up to when it comes to meeting the needs of visitors – and one of them is the ability to split content up into several simple categories.
We’d recommend including the following pages on your hotel website:
- About Us
Below, we’ve broken down each of these pages, so you can see how they add value to your site. Just click on the plus sign next to each page name to find out more.
Think of it this way – the lobby area of your hotel is the central hub of people coming and going. It’s the first impression that guests get when they arrive, so you work hard to make sure it really shows off your style and brand, right?
The same goes for your homepage!
As the first page that visitors land on, this should be the place that says the most about your hotel – think scenic images of its rooms and views.
The About Us page is a really important and sometimes underestimated element of branding for any site. This is where we’d recommend highlighting your hotel’s core values and mission statement.
Whether it explores the story of how your business grew, or talks about the exciting benefits your hotel has to offer, the About Us page is a great place for this information to reside.
A crucial function of your website is showcasing which types of rooms your hotel has on offer. Whether it’s traveling with young children, or just looking for an individual overnight stay, every person that visits your site will most likely have different situations to accommodate for.
You’ll want to have a separate website page exclusively discussing what each room comes with and at what price.
We’ll talk about how you can add rooms to your website with Wix in just a moment! It’s super easy to do with the Wix Hotels app, and you have a ton of flexibility when it comes to controlling seasonal prices, too.
None of us can deny how much we love special offers on pretty much anything – and so do your visitors, believe us!
A page dedicated to the offers you currently have available is a great way to draw readers in. We know that offers and deals are a huge hit when you want to encourage more bookings and revenue.
If you know a specific event is taking place near your hotel and you’re expecting increased bookings with a specific group of people, updating your offers to suit them will really help drive your SEO success. You can target keywords in your titles that are related to the local event to show people (and search engines) what you’re offering. This can drive a lot more traffic to your site.
Visual marketing is a super effective way of advertising in general.
You really want to show the best sides of your hotel business, and using a gallery page to highlight stunning images of the hotel, its surrounding area, and its key features is a great way to do this.
An added advantage of doing this is that you create transparency with your visitors and they can get an idea – instantly from your hotel website – of what to expect when they arrive.
Don’t be afraid to add as many images as possible, or even 360-degree image views for a virtual reality experience!
Don’t forget to create a page letting visitors know exactly how to reach you.
There’s something suspicious about a website that doesn’t make it clear how to get in touch. Make sure to stay away from giving this impression about your own hotel, by including as many forms of contact as possible.
Telephone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses and a registered business name are all good starting points if you’re not sure what to include on this page.
Contact forms are also super handy to include on your website to let visitors briefly mention their queries and receive a response from your end.
You’ll be pleased to know that creating your hotel booking website with Wix means you’ll have an array of Wix apps available to you. There are over 200 apps in total, with specific ones made for specific industries, such as Wix Hotels and Wix Bookings.
We’ll talk a little more on what the Wix Hotels app can do for you in just a moment, but for now, here are some other awesome Wix apps that could be useful for your website:
Social Media Icons App
Social Media Icons app lets you link your social media accounts to your Wix site so that you can
maximise growth and really connect with your online audience.
You can even create custom icons to link to any webpage and work with platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and loads more.
This is great for your hotel site, because it offers more ways for visitors to view galleries and find information about your hotel via social media. You can also make use of social sharing. Twitter’s “Retweet” button and Pinterest’s “Pin it” button both allow users to share your hotel content with friends and family – and nothing says effective marketing like word of mouth!
Customer Reviews App
This Wix app is a perfect integration for your hotel booking website if you’re looking to build trust with both potential and existing customers.
When people are on the hunt for a good hotel, chances are they’ll turn to the reviews to get the real low-down on how previous customers have felt about the service. The Customer Reviews app lets you show your best client reviews after you’ve checked them over first.
What we love about this app is how well it works with Google, too! The starred reviews you receive on Customer Reviews will show on Google – this helps increase the organic traffic to your site and boosts search engine rankings.
Located Map App
Want to make it easier for customers to locate your hotel? You can add the Located Map app to your Wix site to make your hotel searchable by zip code or address.
The mobile optimized app lets you choose from several themes and customize fonts and map colours to keep it consistent with your branding.
This is a really awesome added feature if you want to showcase the best local places your guests can visit when staying at your hotel.
Is your hotel a 15 minute walk from the city center, or a short taxi ride to the beach? Make sure to use the map markers to display all the popular hot spots!
So we’ve seen how flexible Wix is when it comes to dragging and dropping content around your website. But how do you really take your hotel booking website to the next level?
Wix Hotels lets you add rooms, set up payment methods, and edit your hotel policies in real time. And the best part is, there’s a free plan available, so you can get to work without any stress.
Step 1. Adding Rooms
When you’re adding rooms to your website in the Wix editor, you can name your rooms (i.e. Deluxe, Twin), and add the number of guests and beds, room size, and room descriptions.
You can also outline what sort of amenities come with each room. As you know, this is 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 room. Make sure you upload very high-quality images.
Lastly, you can insert your room prices. Wix Hotels allows you to set different rates for weekdays and weekends. You can also set up weekly and monthly rates for rooms if you have more long-term guests.
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.
Step 3. Setting Up Payments
Wix offers you four ways to get paid:
- Mercado Pago
- Offline payments
When a guest makes an online reservation with your website, you can choose to collect the 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 options are tightly integrated with Wix Hotels, so you don’t have to worry about the technical side of things.
There’s also an option to receive offline payments. This way, your guests don’t settle the bill until they arrive. It’s really up to you which option you’d like to have. You can also add in taxes to your bookings, should you wish!
Wix, as well as Wix Hotels, is completely mobile responsive. This means that your visitors can even book rooms with the touch of a button on their phones and tablets.
We’ve all fallen victim to late-night online shopping on our phones at some point – and now customers can make reservations 24/7. Whether they’re checking room availability and details or setting up payments, customers can use your Wix Hotels website around the clock (even when you’re sleeping!).
Here’s what your backend reservations calendar will look like. The reservation system is automatically updated when someone makes a booking, but you can also manually insert reservations if you like.
Room Search Bar
This is a popular feature that Wix offers through the Wix Hotels app. Having a room search bar integrated into your website means potential guests can quickly find available rooms by simply inserting their travel dates.
This is great for two main reasons:
- A room search bar provides an awesome user experience (UX) because guests have the ability to quickly see room availability without any complicated or long-winded processes.
- You don’t have to keep answering phone calls or emails from people asking for availability!
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 on either side of the page.
Given that online bookings now represent one of the biggest market shares in the tourism industry, it’s no surprise that making sure your hotel website ranks high on search engines is really important.
But what does this mean exactly? – Search engine optimization is the practice of improving your website so it has a better chance of being seen on Google, Bing, etc.
Most potential guests start their travel planning using a search engine before they come across any actual websites. As a website owner, search engines work in your favor because they help drive organic traffic without any costs on your end.
It’s okay if this still sounds a little confusing – we’ll break down the main ways you can optimize your hotel booking website:
1. Targeting Keywords… Always!
Targeting keywords means using words in your website copy and headings that are completely relevant to your business and industry.
Search engines look out for three main things when it comes to keywords:
- Relevance – Keep words relevant to your brand and sector so that your website content matches what the searcher is looking for
- Authority – Enrich your site with useful information and keywords that prove your website to be an authoritative source for readers
- Volume – Check the number of times your keywords have been searched for per month. If you’re using specific keywords that no one searches for when looking to book a hotel room, it won’t help your visibility because Google won’t deem it as relevant!
2. Providing Specialized Information
Search engines tend to love snippets of specialized data. As a hotel booking website, this is an SEO technique that definitely holds up.
By specialized data, we mean stuff like star ratings, recipes, and so on. Integrating the Customer Reviews app we spoke about earlier on is an easy way for you to get star ratings onto your page and stand out to the likes of Google, Bing and Yahoo!.
3. Optimizing Your Website’s Metadata
Metadata is the content that your website provides for search engines to display to web users. There are two main types of metadata:
- Meta titles
These are the headings that are instantly shown to searchers. The meta title reflects the subject of a page, so it’s really important to be clear and concise here. If you operate a premium hotel in Beverly Hills, make sure to include all the relevant keywords to convey that you are a luxury hotel in the heart of Los Angeles!
- Meta descriptions
These are shown directly under the title when search results appear. A meta description is like a small summary, which provides potential guests with enough information about your hotel without overdoing it. Again, if you’re targeting luxury consumers, use similar keywords to your meta title here.
Wix Hotels, now powered by HotelRunner, offers an exceptional user experience for users building a hotel business website, all in one platform and without you needing any technical skills; it’s what we at WebsiteBuilderExpert would recommend as the most economical long-term solution for your business.
You don’t need to hire anyone to create the site for you, and you don’t need to pay a developer to make tiny changes that you can quickly do yourself. You also don’t need a seperate management platform for the running of your hotel day-to-day. 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 up to date.
So with everything we’ve been through, we only have one thing left to say – Best of luck in your hotel business!
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