Are you eager to enhance your WordPress website with the booking functionality? This article has got you covered! It highlights the best WordPress tools and the main steps on how to integrate them into your website. We’re keen to show you how to build a fully-featured booking system with dedicated software.
The online booking system enabled by the WordPress booking plugin has many advantages for vacation rental website owners, including:
Guests can make a reservation at any time of the day without calling an administrator.
Independence from third-party platforms such as Booking.com or Airbnb
No extra commissions for properties or bookings.
The ability to drive direct bookings to the website.
How to choose the best WordPress booking plugin?
As we’ve mentioned before, WordPress has dedicated booking solutions for vacation rental websites. How to choose the best plugin? You should find a plugin that has all the essential features and covers the needs of your business. For example, rental property owners are likely to have the benefit of:
A channel manager to handle bookings received from different channels;
The ability to add multiple properties;
Options to view and manage bookings on the backend;
The system of automated interaction with guests.
What tools do we use?
For our guide, we’ve found a plugin packed with all the above-mentioned essentials – the WordPress Hotel Booking plugin by MotoPress. Its feature list includes:
Support for unlimited properties and bookings;
Synchronization with OTAs;
Flexible booking rules;
Online and offline payment gateways;
Taxes and fees;
Different user roles;
Support for user dashboards;
An admin calendar to manage bookings;
A free Hotel Booking mobile application;
and more features that are handy for a perfect online property booking system.
Let’s get down to business!
How to add the booking functionality to your WordPress website: a step-by-step guide
Step 1: Install and activate
You can go with one of two options to create a WordPress vacation rental website with booking functionality:
1. Install and activate the WordPress booking plugin and adjust the theme’s style to its specialities.
2. The second option is to install and activate the WordPress theme with the booking plugin integrated. It may greatly save you time because you get ready templates adapted to the plugin’s functionality.
Note: if you create a website from scratch, you may import theme demo data. The settings will be set up to the recommended ones.
After the hotel booking plugin is installed, the ‘Accommodation’ and ‘Booking’ tabs should appear in the dashboard.
Step 2: Add rental units
You can come through settings in a preferable way, but you won’t be able to skip the step of adding accommodation types. Add details about the accommodation: a title, text description images.
In the ‘Accommodation Types’ subtab, you can choose or add an accommodation category, define the location, and add free amenities (bathroom essentials, towels, etc.):
Also, it’s possible to:
add bed types;
set room capacity (adults/children);
offer extra free & paid services (car rental, cleaning service, etc.), or add any other custom attribute.
Or else, you can edit content blocks via the visual interface:
Step 3: Create seasons
Before setting up rates, you should add ‘Seasons’: main season, summer, weekends, etc
Step 4: Set up dynamic rates
Go to Accommodation > Rates. You can set rates depending on the season, extra services that are included in the property rate, the number of guests, and duration length.
Step 5: Add coupon codes to provide discounts
Go to Bookings > Coupons to add the coupon details:
Step 6: Add taxes and fees to the final charge
You can add taxes and fees per accommodation or person. Thus, you make them visible at checkout. Some accommodations can be excluded from being charged
Step 7: Set up other settings
In the ‘Settings’ subtab you’ll find:
1. General settings (pages, bookings confirmation & cancellation, search options, disabling bookings, iCal synchronization).
2. Admin and Customer Emails (you can customize pre-made email templates for booking pending/approval/cancellation).
3. Email Settings (email sender data & styles).
4. Payment gateways (pay on arrival, direct bank transfer, PayPal, 2Checkout, Stripe, Braintree, Beanstream/Bambora).
5. Hotel Booking Extensions.
6. And Advanced Settings.
Step 8: Add booking functionality to your website
Once all the settings are configured, you are ready to power up your vacation rental website with booking functionality.
By default, the MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin by MotoPress generates shortcodes for:
Availability search forms;
Availability search results;
Accommodation types listing;
Single accommodation types;
Checkout & booking forms;
Accommodation rates list;
You should copy the needed shortcodes and paste them to the pages with the corresponding names.
Also, you can use Gutenberg blocks instead of shortcodes, for example:
Here is how a search availability calendar with a booking form might look like:
Step 9: Manage Bookings
The MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin lets you:
check payment history and each booking,
add new bookings manually,
and check bookings and payments in a centralized calendar.
What’s more, there is a free Hotel Booking mobile application available on Google Play and App Store. This way, you can manage reservations without logging into your WordPress website.
So, this was our tutorial on how to add the booking functionality to your WordPress vacation rental website with one of the most popular WordPress booking plugins. You can find more detailed information on the configuration steps in the well-prepared documentation.
It’s high time to arrange a fully-operating booking system on your website to drive online bookings and be independent of other platforms!