Tips & Tactics To Elevate Your Vacation Rental Business

Website Hosting For Vacation Rentals

If you're looking to start a website, you're going to need web hosting. There are a lot of options out there, and it can be overwhelming. Do you go with a popular option like WordPress or Wix? Or something more niche like Owner Rez? In this article, we'll break down the different types of web hosting and help you decide which is the best for your needs.
Vacation Rental website home page sample - Jodi Bourne, Vacation Rental Website Designer and Consultant

Every website needs a place to live online. This is who “hosts” the website. If you use an Owner Rez templated site, you are essentially paying for hosting through Owner Rez as part of your monthly fee which is a little bit higher than the fee without a website added on.

The address of your site is your domain. The www. part. You pay a fee for this either yearly or every two years. This usually runs about $20 per year. I suggest adding domain privacy which is about another $20 per year.

When you have a Wix site you have to use WIX hosting. You pay monthly or annually. I’m not sure which plan you would need but each Wix website would cost you about $25-$40 per month.

When you have a WordPress site, which is what I build and recommend, you have to have external hosting. You can buy this through a hosting company like GoDaddy (I DO NOT RECOMMEND) or Siteground or Cloudways or tons of other options. These can run from $150 per year to $1,500 per year – depending on the plan you get and the extra services you need.

For example, if you wanted three WordPress sites and you used Siteground as your host, you would pay about $400 per year, I believe. With this type of hosting, you need to do some site maintenance each month or two to make sure your site is running smoothly.

So, the person who is designing your website is correct. You must buy WIX hosting. You must pay for your domain and you must pay for Owner Rez of course. Additionally, you may want to pay for a Google email address (or Microsoft office mail). You may want to pay for someone to manage your website if you have multiple properties and make a lot of changes or want to have a blog.

Which is the best option for you?

If you use the Owner Rez templated site you have very few design options; they have a template. You can change a few things, but not a lot. I find it a good option for someone just getting started so they can get their site off the ground WHILE they are having a custom site built.

If you keep your site on Owner Rez and you then decide you want to move to a different PMS system then you have to redo your entire site. If you have A WordPress site you can have a designer change the coding for the new system. Most PMS systems integrate with WordPress (if they don’t, think again). Many of them would also integrate with WIX.

I build WordPress websites. I have some templated options and some more custom options. I believe almost everyone should have a WordPress site because of the additional tools and features for Search Engine Optimization, image optimization, speed, marketing, and other tools. This is especially true if you have a blog. Also, WIX sites are sometimes slower if you have a lot of pages or images.

But WordPress does take some knowledge and technical skill. If you get a WordPress site you want to work with someone who will train you to use the editor or provides additional support services (I do both).

WIX, however, has beautiful templates and is definitely easier for the layperson to use. So, if you only have a couple of properties and don’t intend to grow bigger than that and don’t intend to use a blog for SEO purposes, then WIX works fine. I have a friend Umi Haft Funke who designs beautiful WIX sites.

If you hire a website designer to build your site on Wix or WordPress, be sure that they either teach you how to make changes to the pages or they offer this as some additional service. Also, be sure they give you full access to manage your site and your domain.

I build elevated designed WordPress websites. You can find reviews of my WordPress design and additional marketing, coaching, and consulting services on my Facebook Page feel free to reach out to me. I give a free 30-minute business consult.

NOTE:

No matter which site you have – Owner Rez, WordPress, or WIX, you have to make some effort and have some knowledge in marketing your website for direct bookings. This can be challenging, especially in competitive destinations. I recommend starting with email marketing.

You can set this up with either a WordPress site or WIX site or, you can purchase (or use the free versions) of MailChimp or ConvertKit or a number of other email marketing providers to have an email marketing landing page.

If you are interested in learning more about email marketing, I am doing a podcast series with Heather Bayer right now on her Vacation Rental Formula Podcast.

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Jodi Bourne

Jodi Bourne

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I help vacation rental hosts elevate their guest experience, market their properties and destinations and get more bookings.

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