CMS or Content Management System is a very important decision before deciding to launch your travel website – whether for a hotel, service apartment, tour company or a real estate venture. A good or bad CMS can make or break your potential sites – and it is the most important decision you can make before you start building your website. You should know which CMS is suitable and comfortable for your work. Every CMS have its own pros and cons that should be considered before you opt for any of them. There are dozens of CMS present which you can choose but when it comes to choosing the best one, you might be come little confused. This is the main reason behind writing this article here you are going to learn about the best CMS for your hotel website or travel business.
Travel Content Management System (CMS), should enable you to:-
> Add multiple properties in a structured manner.Airbnb is a great example of what an ideal Content Management System must contain. This includes photos, descriptions, tags, prices,amenities etc.
> Add and change your content and tags, change the menus and re-order content
> Modify elements of the design, eg change the images, logos, colors etc
> Allowing modification of the design and content with search engine friendly web addresses(urls)
> Basic SEO principles, as well as ability to add meta tags, descriptions
> SSL Security, backup and speed (Especially as Google is moving to a mobile first ranking)
> Schema for reviews – especially if you would like to show your stars in Google Search just like TripAdvisor
> Booking engine integration and ability to show your prices and inventory online for easy bookings· Ability to integrate chat facility or Messenger,WhatsApp for easy client conversations
> Last but not the least – easy to manage and modify!
WordPress – The Big Daddy of CMS is Still Relevant for Travel Sites
Pros of WordPress for a Hotel, Service Apartment, or Tour Website
> Word Press is one of the most popular CMS for all type of websites the main benefit of this CMS platform is that it is flexible enough to work easily. You will get thousands of template sand plugins to make your site look beautiful and attractive for your viewers.
> WordPress sites are mostly secure and allow avast degree of customization as they have multiple themes and some of them are built for hotels, service apartments
> WordPress is SEO friendly and even Google recommends it. So you cant go wrong as far as building your website is concerned
> Price – WordPress is virtually free to get started with but everything on top will cost money (SSL<Hosting, development, migration)
Cons of WordPress·
> Hard to manage and you need to be almost a coder to set it up, especially setting up SSL, figuring out hosting
> Figuring out theme and booking engine integration can be very hard. This is fine if you are only looking to get enquiries from your website but not suitable if looking for high performance
> You will need to rely on developers in case you need to do any back end work
> Integrating channel manager, booking engine is rather hard (E- Commerce integration is rather easy, but travel booking engines are really hard)
Webflow– A CMS Built for Gorgeous Websites and High Performance
Pros of Webflow for Travel Websites
> Webflow is built for designers and can make gorgeous websites without being tied down to any set templates as in the case of WordPress
> Webflow allows databases to be defined in “Collections”which makes it easy to setup multiple properties – Eg – Each collection could be one property and the fields in the collection could be Rates, Photos, etc
> Webflow is a visual editor unlike WordPress and hence modifying things is a lot simpler than in the case of WordPress
> Webflow is built using modern React technology and hence the front end could be extremely modern looking
> Webflow allows multiple languages and this would be relevant to travel sites catering to non English speaking guests as well
Cons of Webflow for Travel Websites
> Like any bespoke system,Webflow takes some getting used to – the visual designer needs Photo shop like skills to change elements·
> Webflow likeWordpress is a generic website builder and hence does not have any travelspecific integrations like channel manager and booking engines – these need to be custom built
> Webflow does not have any native CRM and this will need to be integrated into it. Although not very difficult, this takes some doing
> Webflow templates and not free and usually need an expert to setup and deploy. Plus they are not reusable
> Webflow does not have great customer support although their forums are easy to navigate and for answering any questions
> Webflow hosting is not free and costs USD 20 per month unless you are looking to export code andrehost – which is technically hard
Consider Nodal – A CMS Built Exclusively for Travel Websites
Nodal Platform is owned by nodal.direct itself launched in 2016 and still growing to be one of the best CMS for hotel website and travel business. The admin panel of this tool is beautiful and it has neat dashboard widgets that showcase website stats elegantly. You can integrate your own channel manager and booking engine (currently works with Siteminder, Booking jini, Tokeet, Djubo, Guesty, Innkey PMS, Resavenue and a whole lot more). It creates a deep focus for a better content by its features.
It comes indifferent price plans starting just USD 20 per month for everything:
> Single Property: Single Property is up to a 20 room property
> Multi Property: Price increases with number of properties. Handle all properties in 1 place – whether its a multi city setup, or its single city with multiple property types
> Custom: Ideal for complex businesses or big Hotel or Service Apartment Companies.
Standard Inclusions – SSL, AWS hosting, complementary booking engine, Google My Business Reviews, Hubspot CRM integration, Mailchimp integrations and heaps more