Why Low-Cost Website Design Solutions Hurt a Hotel's Bottom Line
February 17, 2015 9:02am
PARSIPPANY, N.J. - FEBRUARY 17, 2015 - With an increased emphasis on courting the mobile traveler and appealing to Millennials, many hoteliers require a responsive website that provides all of the tools necessary to catch the attention of potential guests searching for the best deal amid a sea of local competition and an ever-growing list of Online Travel Agents (OTAs).
Then why would hoteliers invest a significant amount of time, energy and money into creating a website that is not truly unique and that they do not truly own? The allure of lower costs drives some hoteliers to opt for "renting" their hotel's site instead of investing in one.
Recently, some agencies have begun promising a solution that still has all of the technical bells and whistles of any other site for a fraction of the cost. Many hoteliers are intrigued by this trend, however, the trade off for a lower bottom line is a big one. Hoteliers will no longer own their site or have the flexibility of operating it with another agency due to the proprietary Content Management System (CMS) rental websites run on. Also, rental sites are nowhere near as unique as the properties they aim to represent as they are based on prefabricated templates.
Here are a few myths about rental websites debunked:
1. Proprietary CMS Provides Ultimate Control
This is not true.
Having a proprietary CMS only assures hoteliers will never have control of their website as it only works with the back end CMS. If one day a property decides to leave this vendor, the website CMS cannot go with them. At that point the website is rendered useless and all the costs sunk into it are for naught. Having a clear idea of who owns the digital assets is key to safeguarding this investment. To be safe, always select an open source platform CMS such as WordPress. Open source CMS platforms ensure any agency can operate your website in the future.
2. Website Design Based on Prefabricated Templates
This is not a good idea.
Each hotel is unique, offering a service and experience specific to that property. These are what separate a particular hotel from its competitive set. Shouldn't a hotel's website be unique as well, emphasizing these points of differentiation? This could be an issue as rental websites are designed from prefabricated templates used by hundreds, if not thousands, of other properties -- maybe the very properties they are trying to stand out from.
3. Renting is the Low-Cost Solution
This could mean low ROI.
It may be true that startup costs are likely minimal, usually a few hundred dollars. However, with a prefabricated design and no actual stake in the ownership of the site itself, there is likely little invested in marketing or driving business to a rental site. If the adage "You get what you pay for" is true, how much attention can hoteliers expect?
"When choosing the low cost option of renting a site, hoteliers have to consider 'How much time and energy will be invested in my site?'" said DJ Vallauri, Founder and President of Lodging Interactive. "The answer is clear to me, not nearly as much time as if a developer was building a site you bought and spending hours each month to market it. Time is money and hoteliers cannot expect a service pushing extremely low costs and a prefabricated website to give you personalized attention and service."
Online marketing is an absolute necessity in an era where past, future and potential guests do an exceptional amount of planning and searching for deals online before and during travel. Realizing that low cost cannot be the ultimate decision maker in renting a hotel website versus investing in one is the only way to protect a property's bottom line.
Contact Lodging Interactive to learn more about investing in a customized, responsive site made for your property.
Tags: lodging interactive,
hotel website design,
renting vs buying website
Through its CoMMingle Social Media Marketing Agency operating division, the company offers hospitality focused and fully managed outsourced hotel social media marketing customized solutions. In addition the company offers Social Voices, the hospitality industry's first 24/7/365 day a year Social Customer Care service (www.socialvoices.com).
The International Academy of Visual Arts, Interactive Media Awards, Web Marketing Association and Travel Weekly's Magellan Awards have recognized Lodging Interactive as an industry leader. Lodging Interactive is a proud supporter of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and is a Preferred Vendor for Best Western International. Lodging Interactive is a member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA). For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-291-4411 ext. 701. The company's website is lodginginteractive.com.
Contact: Nicole McGovern
(877) 291-4411 ext. 715
Contact: DJ Vallauri
(877) 291-4411 ext. 704
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