When you think about creating a vacation rental website, you may be calculating huge costs. You would need a decent calendar booking system, payment area, real-time chat system, and most importantly of all the website needs to be fully mobile responsive with limited bugs or maintenance needed. You would not be wrong in thinking that to achieve such a splendid website, you would need upwards of $1,000 to $2,000 plus once the site is built, there are the monthly maintenance costs.
Well, think again because all the above can be achieved for a fraction of these costs. Today we are in the age of the website builder!
We know about Shopify targeting e-comm sites, and Weebly targeting bloggers as well as Wix targeting business websites. There are also a number of vacation rental website builders that are available too.
Below we will make some comparisons between having your own custom built vacation rental website by a web development company versus using a website builder. Once you have read our view on this subject, then it is down to you to decide which option is best for you.
You can read more about website builders at the world’s leading website information company in the website.com what are website builders article.
Two Points To Make Before We Begin:
- The great thing is that if you are thinking of hiring a web development company, then you can suggest that they help you with the website builder if you are pressed for time.
- Web development companies can take note of these advantages and gain a new set of customers by using a business model that incorporates helping vacation rental companies develop an online presence via a website builder.
What Are The Advantages To Vacation Rental Builder Websites?
We are only a short way through this article, and we have probably covered most of the basics in the first few paragraphs. However, we can extend on some of the points mentioned in our intro section.
Monthly Fee For A Prebuilt Website
pay a monthly fee and get all the benefits that we are going to cover in the points below. Check out an example of a leading vacation rental website builder company where their monthly pricing can be found here: Lodgify pricing.
This is one example of a website builder that is fully mobile responsive, requires no website coding skill whatsoever, comes with 24/7 support, built-in payment system, chat functions, calendars, and just about every other tool you need to run a vacation rental or bed and breakfast website.
You do not pay for any website builds. In fact, you are given a choice of websites to choose from. They are pre-built and free.
Therefore, the key advantages here are:
- You get a free pre-built mobile responsive website
- The website has all the functions needed to run a vacation rental website
- The monthly fee you pay is likely less than the monthly maintenance fee you would pay to a web development company that custom built a vacation rental website for you
Just make sure you understand that you will need to pay for your own logo designer and other branding. Furthermore, you will still need to invest in written content, professional photography, editing, and graphic designs because website builders do not provide these services for you.
For the most part, you can take most of the $1,000 to $2,000 budget suggested for a custom built vacation rental website mentioned in our intro and spend that cash on something else to enhance your business.
Continuous Mobile Responsive Updates
It is a changing world out there when it comes to technology. New mobile devices with different screen resolutions, browsers, operating systems (and operating system updates), plus other hardware changes to devices used to connect to the web are play coming out.
Once again, the costs of maintenance to modify your website falls down to your support contract with your web development company. Alternatively, using a website builder means that the company that provides you with your website will always be monitoring changes in technology. Included in your monthly fee is automatic updates to your website that you don’t even have to know about.
In short, the changes to the code on your site are made automatically by the website builder company to make sure that your website visitors are getting the best mobile experience possible.
There is a great article about keeping your website up to date, which applies to website builders too. You can read the iWeb 9 Reasons You Should Keep Your Website Up To Date. The points that you should focus on in this article are numbers 6 and 7. Now a website builder company will do this for you as part of the service.
Around the Clock Support
Now usually if you have your own custom-designed vacation rental website, then the web company you used pretty much have you tied in. The chances are they do not offer 24/7 support and instead are only contactable during office hours Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm – obviously, this is just an example.
The vacation rental business is 24/7 because people will be making bookings from around the world, so while you are in the USA on a Friday at 8 pm and someone is unable to book your property because of a glitch, you may not be able to have the issue fixed until Monday. By that time your potential guest has booked another place.
With a vacation rental website builder company offering 24/7 support, the issue will be fixed immediately or at least there will be a team working on the issue as soon as you log a support call. You may be lucky and have a web dev company that is available out of office hours, but this could end up costing you dearly as they may have to pay their employees overtime, which as part of the support contract those costs are invoiced back to you with a profit for the web company obviously!
Continuously Working Built-in Vacation Rental Technology
One of the biggest issues with custom built websites is bugs. They always happen whether the website uses WordPress or has its own custom code. This means payment systems, calendars, and chat functions can malfunction. Most of the time this is because of changes made to the CSS or other areas of the website that affect the critical functions needed to take bookings, process payments, and stay in touch with guests.
When it comes to WordPress, most of the time it is the plug-in that malfunction. With a website builder, the same problems can occur, but because there are so many other people also signed up to the website builder technology, the issues are reported by other users before you even notice there is a problem. The website builder provider will immediately have their support team fix the issue.
On the other hand, you may not know about an issue on your website unless you are testing it every day, which is highly unlikely and unproductive. Sometimes issues on custom websites are not spotted for days or weeks in which time several visitors came to your site, but left because of the error.
You may wonder why these visitors do not report the issues but then think about your own web browsing habits. How often would you report an issue to a website that you have just visited?
Website builders are far more reliable than having your own ebsite designed. If money is your concern, then they are also much cheaper. The webite designs are fully mobile responsive and continuously updated to adapt to new mobile technology without you having to worry about hether or not your website is suitable for all types of mobile devices and operating systems.
If you are looking to save money, go for reliability and give your vacation rental website vistiors a first rate booking experience, then test out a vacation rental website for yourself.