Is it possible to create a cheap website for a hotel that will cost less than, for example, 100 pounds?
In short, yes, it is.
We know that website is a significant investment for many independent and smaller hotels, but if you can and want, it is possible to DIY it on a tight budget – and in this article, I will show you how.
I will also talk about the dangers of cheap websites and how they can jeopardise your hotel as well as some tips on how you can lower the costs of your website without compromising on the quality.
So let’s get started!
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How to DIY a cheap hotel website for 100 pounds
To get your hotel website up and running, you will need to have a domain and hosting, and then you need to design and build the actual website.
Let’s go through all of them.
Domain and hosting
I like this explanation of the differences between domain and hosting, that at the same time perfectly shows their importance as well – hosting is like a plot of land for your website, and the domain is the street address.
The domain will help people to find your website while hosting will actually store it and make it accessible.
Usually, you will get a domain and hosting from the same provider, and there are plenty of them to choose from. GoDaddy is probably one of the most popular ones, with different pricing options and plans.
However, the one we personally use and recommend to all our clients is smaller, but in our opinion, a better provider is StablePoint. They have affordable plans available, amazing customer support, and high-quality service. Currently, they run an offer so you get the first month for only 1eur, so it’s a good time to check them out!
Designing and building the website
For this, you will need WordPress and Elementor.
WordPress is a content management system (CMS), or in simple words, a platform that allows you to create and manage your website, with or without coding needed. It’s completely free to use.
Depending on your coding knowledge and skills, you can go down the line of custom coding the website, or some parts of it. But a majority of people choose WordPress mainly because you can create a stunning website without having to write a line of code – but for that, you need a website builder tool, which is where Elementor comes in.
Elementor is a website-building tool specifically designed for WordPress that enables you to easily drag and drop elements and create a website. They have a big library of templates and widgets you can use to create different types of pages.
From a design perspective, probably the most useful are their website kits – complete website templates – that you can then tweak and add your brand colours, and fonts, change content, add or remove pages, and fully adapt it.
For any additional graphics you might need for the website, like banners, you can use Canva which is free, and again, has plenty of templates that you can use.
Elementor has a free version, but to create a hotel website, and get access to the entire library of their templates, you will need to invest in a pro version, which is 59$.
So when we add the cost of Elementor, domain and hosting, we bring our costs to approximately 98.50 pounds, which is within our 100-pound budget!
Dangers of a cheap hotel website
Now that you know you can make a cheap website by yourself – and how you can do it – it still doesn’t mean that you should do it.
There are some serious downsides of cheap hotel websites that should be aware of before jumping too quickly to DIY your own hotel website.
Let’s start with security. Cheap websites don’t have adequate security measures in place to protect your website and your guests’ personal information from hackers and cyber-attacks. This can make your hotel website especially vulnerable if you are planning to have an online booking and payment system in place.
In addition, they can have very limited functionality, making your booking process more complicated for your guests than it should be.
As your hotel grows and your website traffic increases, a cheap website may not be able to handle the increased load, resulting in a slow or crashing website, which will lose your bookings.
Finally, a cheap-looking website can leave a bad first impression on visitors and negatively impact your hotel’s reputation and brand image.
When you sum up the impact of all those downsides, you will see that a cheap website not only won’t help you grow your hotel, but it can actually contribute to losing guests and money.
Three tips to lower the cost of a hotel website
So how do you get a solid website for your hotel that you can also afford if you are on a budget?
Here are my three tips:
1. Opt for a template-based design rather than a custom one
Custom-designed websites cost more because, simply, they require more resources.
So if they are out of your budget, you can still have an amazing website by asking the agency to create you based on a template.
What this means is that the agency has a set of web designs already created that they can use as a base to create your website. They are completely customisable and adaptable to different brands and businesses, and the best part is nobody will really notice they are created using the same template.
The reason template-based websites are an affordable option is that they cut the resources the agency needs to put into creating a website. So they end up being much more affordable than custom-designed ones, but without compromising the quality.
Just take a look at these examples. We have created all these websites using templates as a base, that we have fully customised to the brand’s needs.
We offer a perfect starter package that includes a template-based website with a basic booking engine included, together with everything your website needs to start generating direct bookings without having to break your budget – find out more here!
2. Choose a solid hosting provider
This is a money-saving tip in the long term. Good hosting will make sure that your website is working perfectly 24/7, and that your guests can book their stay without any technical issues.
If you cut corners with hosting, what can happen is it won’t be able to cope with higher traffic, resulting in slow loading time. According to statistics, if it takes longer than 3 seconds for a page to load, people will leave. So you can be losing a lot of money in the long term if your potential guests are abandoning your website because it doesn’t load properly, or even worse, keeps crashing.
3. Choose a booking system that fits your current hotel size and occupancy
The booking system is probably the most important part of a hotel website, and it needs to be functional, safe and easy to use.
Nowadays, there are plenty of booking systems softwares you can choose from, from cheaper and more basic options to more advanced and expensive ones.
Depending on your hotel size, number of rooms, and your booking capacities, you can choose a booking software that has more basic features, and therefore is cheaper.
Then once you expand and grow your booking rate, you can switch to more advanced software.
Let’s set your hotel website up for success!
Whether you want a brand new site, or to improve your existing one, you are in the right place.
From small, family-owned businesses to travel behemoths, we have worked with countless travel, tourism and hospitality businesses over the years. We’ve taken their websites to the next level – and we can do the same for you!
Get in touch with us and let’s turn your hotel website into a booking machine!
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Until next time,