This is a real-life scenario on just how helpful WordPress plug ins are. We had a huge issue with a website we had spent time and money on. In the end it was a WordPress plugin from a company that specialists in the industry that we were designing the website for.
The technical design aspect of many websites today means that people that want to design their own all singing, and all dancing website will have to pay a coder small fortune. This is not to mention the monthly maintenance that is needed to keep the website functioning and up to date. WordPress themes are continuously being coded and released to give people a cheaper option. However, it seems no matter which theme you pick, there is always a business-critical function that is missing – in comes, WordPress plugs in.
I was recently helping a customer create a vacation rental website to list multiple properties that he was managing for himself and on behalf of people that had invested in his business. In hindsight we wish we had heard of a company called Lodgify before we began the design. However, we did discover them, and what they had to offer changed the face of the entire project.
You can check out some vacation rental themes here. You will see that there is not much to choose from. Had we chosen Lodgify, we would have been able to have the site up in a matter of hours. Nonetheless, we were already 80% of our way into the WordPress design and didn’t want to change or undo all the hard work we had already put into this site.
Here are some of the biggest problems with WordPress Vacation Rental Websites:
- Built-in payment systems are tricky and tend not to work correctly
- The booking calendar does not always automate with bookings correctly
To overcome these problems, we needed something that would integrate into the WordPress site we had designed. It needed to be a solid calendar and payment systems that ran in sync. This is when we found the Lodgify WordPress plugin.
Lodgify WordPress Plugin Provided Us with Smooth Payments:
With the new plug in installed, this solved all the payment issues I was having during the testing phase. Listing were easily searched, payment activated, and I was able to make credit card, eWallet, and debit card payments with absolutely no problems at all.
An awesome plug in!
Channel Manager Made Life So Easy Managing Listings:
Another amazing feature we discovered from Lodgify was the ‘Channel Manager’. As we had several property listings on two vacation websites already, the one issue we had was syncing them all after a booking has been made. If one site takes a booking, then the calendars on the other sites need to have those dates blocked off. It can be a pain managing this – especially as we were expanding our listing by placing on 3 other popular vacation rental websites. You can imagine the headache of having to manage all the calendars.
However, the Channel Manager solves this problem. All you need to do is set the main calendar to sync with all the other websites that have the properties listed. As soon as a booking comes in, it comes back to the main website and syncs with the calendar telling it that the dates are now not available for other guests to book. After receiving this notification, it then pushes this out to the other websites, so they can all update their calendars. Absolutely ingenious!
There are tons of channel managers and booking systems out there as well as payment systems that are specific to each industry. There are booking systems for restaurants, banks to schedule appointments, businesses to arrange meetings, rental companies, cinemas, golf courses and so on. With the right plugin from a company that specialises in your industry, you can not only improve the way your website functions, but also find new ideas along the way.
Never give up, because there is always a solution out there.