How To: Build a Hotel Website with WordPress and the Hoteliour Theme
The Hoteliour theme has been developed by AitThemes for the purpose of building a hotel website with WordPress. The theme includes all the presentation features required to create a modern and inviting website for a hotel.
Hoteliour also integrates with the easyReservations plugin which is used to add the online booking and reservation system to your hotel website. This allows you to make use of the professional design and appearance of Hoteliour theme, alongside the tried and tested functionality of the easyReservations plugin.
In our Hoteliour review we will take a closer look at the features of this theme and find out if it really is up to the task of creating a website for a hotel with WordPress.
Hotel Specific Features
As Hoteliour has been designed to build websites for hotels using WordPress, it’s essential that is has a decent set of features that any good hotel website would need.
The hotel specific features of Hoteliour include:
- Online reservation system via easyReservation plugin
- Take bookings from guests via your website
- Admin reservation panel for managing bookings
- Display current room availability to potential guests
- Automated emails to confirm reservations
- Display room galleries and descriptions
- Publish hotel staff profiles
- Sell accommodation gift vouchers online
- Plus more hotel specific features unique to Hoteliour
As you can see, this theme does include all the features you would expect to see on a hotel website that also includes online booking and reservation handling abilities.
Multilingual out of the box
A nice feature of this theme is that the admin panel is already translated into 17 languages and it also includes built in multilingual support, there’s no need to purchase an addtioanl plugin for this (WPML plugin for example).
Supported languages are CN, FI, DE, ES, RU, HI, PT, FR, CZ, SK, PL, HU, NL, IT, ID, EN, SW. You can find out more about this here.
easyReservations Plugin Integration
The Hoteliour theme has been built to integrate closely with the easyReservations plugin. The plugin is available in two versions:
Although the plugin was not developed by AitThemes, it is their chosen tool for adding the hotel reservation system to their theme. When using Hoteliour you can choose to use either the free or the premium version of easyReservations, depending on your needs and budget.
The common features found in both versions include taking and managing reservations, creating reservation forms, showing availability, and the ability to setup flexible pricing.
The premium version offers such extra features as payment gateway integration, the ability to create invoices and automatically approve reservations, to name just a few.
So while you can offer an online reservation system with the free version of the easyReservations plugin, if you want access to all the advanced features, including integration with services like PayPal, then you will need to upgrade to the premium product.
General Theme Features
As well as having a good selection of features that help make Hoteliour a good choice for anyone building a website for a hotel, the theme also has plenty of useful more general theme features. These include:
- Six different homepage layouts
- Slider Revolution
- Custom widgets and shortcodes for displaying booking forms and availability
- Numerous widgetized areas
- Sidebar widget builders
- Custom post types
- Fully responsive layout
- Theme options control panel
- Drag and drop page builder tool
- List employment vacancies to hire new staff
- Theme and admin panel translated into 17 languages
- Demo content
- Child theme
- Plus many more great features
Slider Revolution Integration
By integrating the premium Slider Revolution plugin, you not only save money on the price of this plugin, but also get access to a popular and powerful slider tool which can be used throughout your site to showcase the rooms and facilities of your hotel.
Widgets and Shortcodes
The theme contains a number of custom widgets which can be used to display the booking forms and other reservation related elements on your site in locations of your choice.
As the theme also includes a widgetized header area you can add those widgets right into the header of your pages, making it very easy for your visitors to view the rooms and other information about your hotel.
These widgets can also be inserted into regular post and page content using shortcodes giving you even more flexibility. In addition to these widget shortcodes, Hoteliour includes a selection of other shortcodes for inserting page elements into your content such as buttons, lists, notifications, and other useful elements.
The developers of Hoteliour have made the seemingly difficult proposition of building a fully functioning hotel website with WordPress is fairly straightforward task. To help you get a better idea of how this theme works, here is an overview of the most important features.
The Hoteliour theme makes use of custom post types to handle the different types of content you might to publish on your hotel website. These custom post types include:
- Job Offers
- Plus many more
The custom post types and their custom fields and meta boxes make it very easy to add specific types of content to your site in a standardised and uniform way. This is helpful to those entering data on the back end, as well as those viewing the published content from the front end.
With the Hotelier theme, the portfolio custom post type is used for creating the individual hotel room profiles on your site. As well as the regular post features such as the content area and images, you can also add details such as room facilities, and pricing information.
You can also add an image gallery using the custom post type information and the additional fields on the new post screen. Thanks to the integration of the Slider Revolution plugin, you always have the option of adding one of many different types of slider to any post or page.
Due to the use of custom post types, adding new content to your site and organizing it in a user friendly way is very straightforward.
The Page Builder
Hoteliour includes the page builder from AitThemes which allows you to drag and drop a selection of page elements to your pages in order to create a custom layout.
While this isn’t a front end page builder tool, it’s still fairly easy to get an idea of how your page layout will look as you drag the different elements into position. You can also create custom sidebars for each page, and then drag elements into those sidebar areas too.
There is a good selection of page elements to choose from, including:
- Pricing tables
- Countdown timers
- Revolution Slider
- Opening hours
- Plus a many more
Clicking on an element from the page builder view allows you to then edit and customise that element to suit to the page you are building.
Once you are happy with your layout, you can click on the view icon to see how it will look to your visitors from the front end of your site.
Obviously there is a quite a big difference between the back and front end views, but that is generally the case with these page builders. Once you get familiar with the different elements and how they work, it will become easier to anticipate exactly how your final design will look from the front end of your site.
As mentioned earlier, this theme integrates with the easyReservations plugin which takes care of all the reservation and booking functionality on your hotel website.
Guests can easily make a reservation through the front end booking forms, and then depending on how you’ve configured the plugin, your site can either auto-accept the reservation depending on the availability of the chosen rooms, or wait for manual approval from a member of staff.
Once the reservations start coming in, they can be managed from the back end of the site. The use of the easyReservations plugin allows bookings to be taken over the phone, and then added to the system by hotel staff via the back end, allowing the online system to be easily kept up to date and in sync with bookings taken via other means.
Overall, using the hotel specific and reservation handling features of this theme is very straightforward. The decision to use a tried and tested third party plugin to add the reservation system to the site was a good one that has worked well.
Support and Documentation
AitThemes have put together a set of online documentation that covers the general features of their themes, with theme specific information available for the Hoteliour theme.
While there is Hoteliour-specific documentation alongside the generic theme documentation, there wasn’t much information on creating the different room types and adding the hotel facilities to the website.
The documentation for the easyReservations plugin which this theme uses for the online booking and reservation system is handled by the plugin developers, rather than AitThemes.
Technical support for Hoteliour is provided via the private support forums, with each purchase including one year of access to the forums. When purchasing a theme you also get one year of access to theme updates.
The Hoteliour WordPress theme and the other themes from AitThemes are available on three different pricing options:
- Single theme: $55
- Standard Membership: $115
- Business Membership: $165
By choosing the standard or business memberships you will get access to all the themes currently available from AitThemes plus any new themes that are added over the year. All plans also include one year of theme updates and technical support and your themes can be used on as many sites as you like.
While the prospect of building an attractive website for a hotel, complete with an online booking system with the ability to take bookings from visitors to the site might sound like a complicated task, Hoteliour and the easyReservations plugin make it surprisingly simple.
As well as having all the necessary features for a hotel website, this theme and plugin combination also look really good and make it easy to present a hotel online in a professional and attractive way.
By relying on an existing plugin to handle the online reservation system AitThemes have saved themselves the effort of reinventing the wheel, allowing them to focus on the design and user interface of the theme.
The decision to use a third party plugin is also good news for site owners as it means that should you need to change themes in the future for whatever reason, your online bookings and reservation system can remain in place, providing you keep the easyReservations plugin active on your site.
Hoteliour is a great choice for anyone who needs to build a hotel website with WordPress that can take and manage reservations and bookings online. If you like the design and appearance of the theme, then you will be pleased to know it has all the necessary features in place to help your website become a success.