Do I need a Vacation Rental Web Site?
More importantly ask yourself:
- why do you want to create a website?
- how much time, money and effort you are willing to spend creating your website?
- how much time, money and effort you are willing to spend maintaining your website?
I want to create a website to have a place outside of the listing sites to send my guest? But WHY? I want to be able to communicate with my guest directly and have control over my vacation rental. I want to be completely independent. That sounds great!!!! But are you willing to do the work? Have you thought about alternatives that might give you what you are looking for with less work?
Reality: creating a website by yourself can be challenging. Educating yourself about domains, hosting, widgets, word press, SEO, analytics, social, and security can be overwhelming. It took me a lot of time to create a website on my own, not including the time it took me to take professional photos, organize attractions in the area, and find all my guest reviews from various sources. But, I did it. I thought the hard work was over.......... Boy was I wrong.
Whether you created your website yourself or paid somebody to create your website, that is not the end of the story. It is so important to maintain and update your website. While your host has a lot of features that automatically update some features of your website, it is important to make sure your links are not broken, information is updated including your calendar and reviews, photos are up to date, you have the protection/security from hackers in place to make your site secure. Attractions and Restaurants will close and links will break, new widgets will be more useful, photos need to be updated, information and reviews need to continuously updated, and analytics need to be reviewed. Sure you could just leave your website go and only update occasionally 1-2 times a year, but what message is that sending your guest? My reviews are from 6 months ago, my photos are probable outdated too, that restaurant closed 12 months ago, the contact link is broken........................
ALTERNATIVES TO CREATING YOUR OWN WEBSITE
- Listing on a listing site that allows direct communication between owners and guest and allows the owner of control of their vacation rental. This will give the owner a secure link where they can send their guest to book their vacation. The listing site will have information, photos, calendars, owner contact information and most of the information the guest needs.
- Create a Website that is linked to a listing site, calendar, or other site. I have a HOUFY website, it is connected to HOUFY listing site. Houfy created the web site in 10 minutes, no work required for me outside of creating my listing. I can post my link www.EmeraldCoastDiamond.com. Anything, I update on my listing site automatically updates on my Houfy Website: updated photos, calendars, links, guides, post, stories. I know it is secure from hackers through Houfy and is visible on searches. It's a happy medium from having my own website and using a listing site.