How to Build a Hotel Website in Magento?
If you are searching for a manageable online booking platform for your hotel booking website or just a web builder requiring a solution for setting up a hotel site in Magento?
You have come to the right place.
So how can you know which is the most suitable choice for you? And where to start?
Let’s read in detail to know whether Magento is a suitable option for your hotel site. If It’s yes, this article will provide you with a useful web building checklist for a successful hotel website in Magento.
What do you know about Magento?
In 2020, Magento is considered one of the most sought-after e-commerce platforms because of its user-friendliness, high compatibility with 3rd parties, and excellent capability. Plus, it’s tailored for enhancing customer experience, and so on.
Yet, you might think those words above are too banal and seem unsound. These Magento statistics below can give you an overall view of essential aspects related to this platform:
- Approximately 250,000 sites are running Magento (Source: Magento.com)
- Among the top 10K web stores, Magento accounts for 16% (Source: Magestore)
- It has a share of 12% of all e-commerce sites (Source: CloudWays)
- Over 20% of the top 1000 e-retailers in the US and Canada use Magento (Source: Magento.com)
- Many Magento users have seen a whopping 200% increase in growth (Source: Magento)
Magento doesn’t merely create online stores; it does it in a way that enhances user engagement, makes navigation a breeze. And most importantly, for store owners, the platform is born to specialize in increasing conversion rates and optimizing online customers’ experience.
What is a quality website?
Before having any in-depth talking about the Magento platform and its functionality for your hotel site, let’s have a quick look at all the estimating standards for a quality.
Through it, you can set up more specific goals for your web development project before determining whether to build your hotel web in Magento.
As websites are the backbone of any modern business, almost every reputable company these days has at least one to make things feasible for its clients.
However, having a website and a high-quality website are two different things.
Here are 7 qualities that a great website will need:
- Well-orphaned homepage & navigation: Engage your visitors with useful content & design. Don’t clutter your homepage – or any page for that matter. Provide only relevant information and in easily digestible bits
- Branding: Good webs can make visual connections between your logo and brick-and-mortar location via total design (theme color, logo positioning, etc)
- Powerful booking and reservation: The most vital element converting a basic web into a dynamic event-driven one. Allow creating new bookings with different time slots
- Available SEO support: Most effective factor to improve your website rank and push it to the top positions in the search results (exp: Google, Yahoo, Bing)
- Mobile-friendliness: 67.11% of the world’s population owns a mobile device. A mobile site is modified to fit a user’s mobile device with clear text, easily navigable site, and well-organized layout
- Innovative design: The template that the website uses should be simple. Simultaneously, the booking engine is colorful and significant to grab your attention in an instant.
- Intuitiveness: A great website anticipates what your visitor is thinking and caters directly to their needs, and has elements arranged in a way that makes sense.
By knowing a quality hotel website’s requirements, you can choose the best e-commerce platform serving your needs.
Is Magento the best choice for an e-commerce site?
Although Magento offers the most optimized functionalities for an e-commerce web, you should be conscious about using it.
To give you some ideas to make your final decision, I will list down some Magento’s advantages.
Have a look at the benefits that stem from using Magento:
- Multiple website management: Magento is preferred by numerous online shops for a multi-store strategy so you can manage your e-store from one dashboard
- Affordable website development: The cost for a Magento web is very much dependent on the number of your wanted features and Magento version you choose.
- Excellent performance: Magento’s a winner when it comes to reducing page load time, and high customization. Ensure you a high-quality web’s performance
- Large Magento community: More than 360,000 forum members associated with the community, supporting you with tailored guidelines and fixes for a particular issue
- Open-source platform: Give e-commerce retailers full control of their webs to customize their web aligned with their business preferences
- SEO-friendly platform: An SEO friendly platform packed with features such as URL structure, sitemaps, URL requires, etc.
- A wide range of payment options: Integrate reliable payment methods (PayPal, Authorize.net, Google checkout, etc.). Get rid of customer’s hesitation when making online payments and secure your web data better
- Great mobile experience: Supports HTML5 to enhance the shopping experience on mobile devices
- Third-party compatibility: Able to integrate a various number of 3rd-party services, ranging from payment gateways, multi-language to built-in Google tools, etc.
Should you choose Magento for a hotel website?
Absolutely, Magento is one of the best choices for developers and widely used content management systems to build e-store. And the success of it is undeniable.
However, could you use Magento to build a hotel website?
The answer is that It could work, indeed. But Is it the best platform for that job? Well, not necessarily.
First, I’d ask what your reasons are for using Magento.
Here’re some scenarios I would recommend you to build hotel web using Magento:
- If you have an in-house developer
- You have experience with programming to develop a Magento store by yourself
- You are running a Magento store and intend to turn it into a hotel booking site
Those are pretty compelling reasons to make it work as you could save yourself a lot of money and effort.
However, if you intend to build a hotel website from scratch or need to pay someone else to make the site, then I’d suggest there are better choices of platforms out there.
The reasons that hoteliers are not the ideal target audience for Magento are:
- Hotel sites have to be pretty content-led to compete, while Magento is primarily a shopping cart and not a regular CMS. Require more technical expertise to create well-designed content.
- To operate with maximum efficiency, Magento needs strong and heavy servers. Hence, this makes the costs increased
- Magento’s benefits are optimized shopping cart and checkout model which may not be ideal for a hotel business (the cart is probably an unnecessary step as people tend to buy one holiday at a time)
- If you’re a smaller or mid-sized business with limited finance and you have little or no experience with coding opt for an out-of-the-box solution, then you only waste your money and effort for Magento
- Certainly, there are ways around all these issues, but they will cost extra money and time than using a different platform or other paid/ free booking engines.
Which Magento version is the best for your hotel site?
If you still keep your decision about using Magento and believe it the most suitable platform that can give you a profitable stream of revenue, let’s get started.
With time, the popularity and influence of Magento have risen exponentially, paving the way for the development of various editions. Magento Community and Magento Enterprise are designed to meet the needs of 2 different groups of customers.
So what group are you in, and which Magento version do you need for your hotel web?
Enterprise Edition (EE) is the right solution for you when:
- Your priory for security solution is PCI
- Requires advanced marketing and promotion functionality
- 24/7 customer support
- Need more out-of-the-box features than what is available in Magento CE
- The store sells worldwide, using multiple currencies and languages
- The sites need different payment methods (check & purchase orders, PayPal)
EE version of Magento is more suitable for larger business or enterprise-level organizations. Appointment booking is generally pretty complicated, so this version allows you to customize to fit your business requirements.
However, Enterprise Edition requires a license fee, which guarantees higher security for your Magento store and includes more built-in features. In return, it generates more sales.
Magento Community Edition (CE) will work when:
- Store only operates within one country, in local currency
- Don’t need 24/7 support and own a team of developers for your own
- Require a very basic use of Magento
- You have no expanding intention for your e-store in the future
Magento CE version is entirely free to download and includes the same core features as its Enterprise equivalent. However, CE is built for a small eCommerce company whose website does not require all the outstanding extensive features.
What to do when building a hotel website in Magento Platform
Magento technology stack requirements
Your system needs to meet the below requirements to install the Magento store:
- Operating system: Linux x86-64
- Web Server: Either Apache 2.4 or Nginx 1.x
- Memory: Requires 2GB of RAM (recommend a swap file if less than 2GB of RAM)
- Database: MySQL 5.6 and 5.7
- PHP: Recommend using PHP 7.3
- SLL: Require Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates
- Technologies: Redis versions 3.2, 4.0, 5.0; Varnish version 6.x (tested with 6.3.1); Elasticsearch version 6.8
A domain name is a website’s address.
At first glance, choosing a domain name seems like an easy and straightforward task.
However, it may not be as simple as plugging in the name of your company. Especially with the real estate business, you should give it some thought before you take the plunge.
Step 1: Decide domain name
Some pieces of advice when choosing a domain name for hotel web:
- Keep it short & simple with only 6-14 characters
- Dot-com (.com) extension is priority, then it comes to (.net) and (.org)
- Make it easy to spell and pronounce and avoid hyphenated domain names
- Focus on local: People don’t just search for hotels; they look for hotels in specific places. Consider incorporating the name of your city or neighborhood into your domain
- Be descriptive: Your hotel web should be crystal clear about the sort of business you’re serving. For exp, a URL like Hanoihotel.com.vn is proper
To make it easier for you to imagine, here’re a few real hotel domain names examples.
Location term + Realtor term:
- This formula aims at targeting your audience. The result will be brief, easy to remember, and what’s more, sound professional
- Examples: Hanoihotel.com.vn; Hotelboston.com
Your name + Realtor term:
- You can also choose a domain name with a nature term
- Examples: Caravellehotel.com; Lottehotel.com; Silkpathhotel.com
Step 2: Register domain name
Once you’ve chosen a domain name for your web, you will need to get to a domain registrar to register your domain name. Through it, that domain name can officially belong to your brand, and no one else can use it.
There are 2 options for you when coming to this step:
- Register your domain name via a domain registrar (For example: Domain.com, GoDaddy.com, Namecheap.com)
- Buy and register domain names via your hosting provider (which I will go through below)
Contact hosting provider
Imagine when creating a website, you mostly have to make a bunch of different files. And they need to be stored somewhere to be accessible on the Internet. You hire a reliable hosting provider to “host” those files for you on one of their servers.
Now, you know what a hosting provider is with their functionality. However, it’s quite complicated for a beginner or inexperienced one to start working with it.
To help you get it done well, I will provide you some small tips to get a good hosting provider:
- Break down in detail about your business requirements (complete analysis, the number of server requests, etc)
- Determine the hosting plan that will be most suitable for your Magento site based on your company’s needs
- Choosing a server location close to your target audience
- Draw out your sitemap with a specific number of web pages and products on each one to decide the power of hosting your web requires
- Consider the web’s speed of server and support policy are 2 most crucial elements when choosing a hosting provider
- Contact with the hosting provider to set up your hosting account (Some highly recommended providers: Cloudways, SiteGround, BlueHost, Inmotion Hosting)
Trustworthy and high-performing web hosting is the one of business solutions which can boost your sales effectively. If you intend to build a new website, your host’s choice has a significant impact on your website and your business.
Download & install Magento
Now, you’re ready to start creating your e-store.
After the download process is complete, unzip and move the downloaded folder in the root directory (public_html directory) to move further.
Then, to install Magento, you will need a database. So, create a database on your hosting server and name it whatever you like.
Once the database is created, you can move to the installation step. Go to your web browser and enter the URL of the Magento folder.
Finally, you will see a window like the one shown below. Click on the Agree and Setup Magento button to move ahead.
Below is a brief instruction on the installation process:
- Server Readiness Check: When you host your website on a modern server, you should be able to proceed to the next step right away
- Database addition: Provide the database details that you created for your online shop
- Web configuration: Set a unique path to your store’s admin panel to prevent it from hackers
- Store customization: Select your wanted time zone, default currency, and web languages
- Admin account creation: Set the store owner account details
- Magento installation: Click ‘Install Now’ and wait for the process to complete
When you’ve finished installing Magento, personalize your e-commerce site’s setting by navigating to Stores > Settings > Configuration. There, you’re able to enter some important information on the web, such as location, timezone, email address, customer account settings, etc.
Once you’ve made changes, click on the Save config button to activate them.
Read more: How to Setup Multiple Stores in Magento 2
If you have already decided to work on the Magento platform, there’s no doubt that you have numerous theme options to choose from for your site.
What to keep in mind when selecting you a theme:
- User-friendly: The theme you choose should be easy to use for the most amount of visitors (For exp: easy to navigate, have simple and easy to use buttons, a functional search bar, etc.)
- High theme customization: You can personalize the site, place CMS custom blocks anywhere you want, change the colors, add extensions as desired
- Compatibility: Visitors may be visiting from a wide range of browsers, or platforms (desktop, mobile, tablet) and your job is to ensure you are using a theme utilizing responsive design
Get your custom themes that meet your brand’s requirements on Top 12 Best Magento 2 Mobile themes in 2020
With the main design displaying the entire hotel scene, Magento Hotel Theme will help guests get the most comprehensive view of the hotels.
After installing the new themes to your store, check it at Setting > Extension Manager > Review and Install. To work with your downloaded themes, go to the Admin panel > Content > Configuration > Edit.
Go to the Store > Configuration > Payment Methods to configure your payment options.
You can broaden the payment options for your store by buying the extension in the Marketplace to meet your target customer’s needs.
Read more: Top 6 Best Payment Gateway for Magento 2
Use booking and reservation modules for Magento
Must-have features on a hotel site:
- A booking and reservation system
- International online payments
- Mobile optimization and good SEO settings
- Option to display room facilities in an attractive way
- Changeable prices and available coupon codes
Among those features, the booking and reservation system by far is the most crucial one on any hotel website. Though Magento’s strongness is about the shopping cart mechanism and checkout process, those might not be necessary for a booking web.
The Magento Marketplace is a robust application exchange market that has more than 4,800 extensions offered by 3rd-party companies to resolve what you concern.
Magento booking and reservation is the module providing all the essential features that make your e-commerce store a full functionality hotel website.
3 Professional booking and reservation extensions in Magento
Booking And Reservation System by Magetop
The Magetop Booking and Reservation System module is a simple way to enable scheduling and reservations on your e-commerce website. Your customers can make their booking on your site with ease.
- Rich Features for Booking & Reservation
- Various time settings for different booking options
- Customers will be able to see the booking details of the product in the cart.
- Allow adding hotel’s address in google maps
- Ability to add discount coupons
- Flexible “exclude days”
Magento 2 Booking And Reservation System by Webkul
Booking & Reservation System for Magento 2 is designed to create a dynamic booking and reservation system. Provide users two types of bookings: Many Bookings in One Day and One Booking for Many Days.
Once the booking product is created, buyers can see it on the front-end and can book the product from there with specific chosen date and time
- Slot-based quantity measure has been used.
- Dynamic Event creation & display for booking.
- Active time setting and event creation
- Excellent UI and UX for event display and booking
Magento 2 Booking And Reservation Extension by Magebest
Magebest Booking and Reservation extension creates a dynamic booking and reservation system for your products. The admin can create bookings & reservations and can add booking slots.
- Offer various features for Booking & Reservation
- Fully support event creation & display for booking
- Visitors can view the booking details of the product in the Cart
- 100% Open-source, Support multi-store, and multi-language
- Install & customization with no difficulty
Read more: Install Magento 2 Extension
Do you have a project in mind
Any business needs to have a website. If you have a business and don’t own for yourself a website, you are losing out on many great opportunities. Magento is the solution that satisfies all the basic to advanced requirements of e-commerce merchants.
As a hotelier or web developer, be conscious of using Magento to build your web.
Start building the store of your dreams today!