NB This is a viewpoint by Ann Taylor, a WordPress blogger. If you're thinking about building a hotel website with a real-time property reservation system, you are probably not even considering that it can be done without tech help and with a modest budget. The hospitality business market is overwhelmed with proprietary software for accommodation reservation.

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10 months ago

Ann: A great post and so thorough! We run templates and more and more WP blended sites. The reason we love WP is that the direction of a website design is often at the mercy of an owner or manager, as templates even with CSS control are not flexible enough (not that most owners can understand CSS anyway).

Even Wix, Squarepace cannot accommodate the granularity needed. Embedded silo CMS systems also create captive customers who may be dissatisfied and take up more time than needed when significant changes are required. WP can do this for small businesses. However more and more people need to think API, data exchange and specialist tools as well. OK with a single small unit, but for bigger businesses more developed connections may be needed.

WP has so many content design and promotional benefits but does not scale with large data and exchange of such, so a blend of two technologies is perfect for those with extended marketing needs and complex financial needs. Unfortunately many plugins are not great for scaling businesses.

There are lots of comments on here and from what we see, about 10% of users want any deep involvement as they have no interest, time or even computer skills, but they do know what they like and its oh so personal. This is one of the reasons why the OTA's have so much power and are accepted as a necessary evil. Its hard work and on-top of every other part of a hospitality business is yet another learning curve and continual development to keep abreast of the marketing needs.

Most hotels have 20+ rooms I believe so quite a complex environment and most use OTA's so all this needs addressing. In the rental world many of these same rules apply but with more complex pricing, stay times, extras, etc and also data exchange (our research shows each manager is using 2.5 channels)

There is no single solution for everybody, but if one was offered it would include WP as the front end and "choose your designer" approach and contracted content writers and social "pushers". Small businesses can use plugins and basic systems for managing small booking numbers for sure, but in our experience most people want a simple effective working solution. What they don't realize is the work needed to promote it and create a micro-brand. This is 100x what it was 10 years ago. "Build it and they will" come is only a line from a film these days.

Once you start scaling inventory this adoption of a WP approach would be blended with true purposeful separate data handling for bookings, payments, financial management, caching, filtering, sorting searching, etc.

Seriously good plugins that provide flexibility of design and assimilation of a theme and hooked to good cloud based data management systems are the true destiny of WP web business.

Oh I posted this earlier - but I am curious has anyone used this?

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