Having a well-designed, well-built vacation rental website is crucial for getting commission-free direct bookings.
However, if you’re using a generic website builder or WordPress theme, it may not have all the functionalities you need to take online bookings, accept secure payments and offer a great user experience to potential guests.
Luckily, you can make up for those missing features with plugins and widgets that you can embed into your vacation rental website. These will help you get direct bookings and increase your conversions.
We bring you our favourite website plugins just in time for the 4th Annual #BookDirect day. Which this year will be held on the 3rd Feb, find out how you can get involved here.
Here are the top 8 website widgets we recommend for vacation rental property managers:
Revyoos is a review aggregator widget for short-term rentals. It helps you automatically collect reviews from different platforms and display them on your website.
By showing potential guests the reviews you’ve collected, you can build trust and establish online credibility – which, in turn, will help to increase your bookings. What’s more, reviews contain lots of relevant keywords and help to increase your vacation rental website’s SEO, boosting your rankings in Google.
Revyoos is very easy to use: all you need to do is install the review widget and add the sources where you’d like to pull reviews from. These can be distribution channels like Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo and Tripadvisor, or social media platforms like Facebook. The tool will automatically synchronise new reviews so your website remains up-to-date.
Pricing: The Premium Plan costs €5.00 and the Business Plan costs €10.00, paid monthly.
Learn more about Revyoos in the video below:
DemandIQ is a website analytics plugin for vacation rentals that captures all of your consumer search behaviour. It gives you access to powerful real-time data including the arrival dates and lengths of stay that guests search for on your website.
This shows you where your demand is coming from, the dates guests are looking for, and the opportunities you have right now to drive revenue.
In a world where historical booking patterns are irrelevant to today’s traveler behaviours, DemandIQ empowers your team to make smart marketing, revenue management, and portfolio development decisions.
Pricing: DemandIQ is currently in Beta and it’s free to use!
3. Lodgify booking widget
The Lodgify booking widget is embeddable on any CMS (WordPress, Wix, Weebly, etc) and it allows you to take online reservations for your property on your vacation rental website.
By embedding their booking widget, you can turn any website into a booking engine and start accepting direct bookings and credit card payments.
If you currently own a WordPress website, you can easily embed Lodgify’s booking widget into your WordPress theme and allow potential guests to see your pricing, check your availability, and book and pay for their stays.
The widget works whether you have one property or manage several vacation rental units. To make browsing your website easier for guests, the widget comes with a search box, a search results page with a map, and separate listing pages for each of your properties.
Lodgify also offers a PMS and a channel manager that work seamlessly with the booking widget.
Pricing: Depends on the plan and the number of properties. More info on Lodgify’s website.
4. Hotel Booking Lite
Hotel Booking Lite is a standalone WordPress reservation plugin for hotels and vacation rentals. It allows you to to create simple vacation rental listings as well as complex booking websites.
By installing this plugin, you can take online bookings and payments, display your property details in a structured way, offer extra services to your guests, set up discounts and more.
The Hotel Booking Lite plugin is ideal for property managers with multiple rentals: it can handle unlimited properties and has a smart search function.
The paid version includes iCal sync with OTAs like Booking.com, Airbnb, TripAdvisor or HomeAway, and lots of other useful features.
Pricing: The Lite version is free. The Pro version costs $89.00 for a single site and $199.00 for unlimited sites.
5. Beds24 online booking widget
The Beds24 online booking widget is a powerful, customisable booking engine for any type of accommodation website, including hotels, motels, B&Bs, hostels, vacation rentals, holiday homes and campgrounds.
It allows you to take commission-free online bookings and display your real-time availability to potential customers on your website. You can set up multiple rates and discounts, and display your listings in 30+ languages.
You can customise the booking widget and the booking calendar to seamlessly fit into your website’s design.
Beds24 also has useful tools to manage your bookings, inventory and guest information.
Pricing: The plugin is free to use but you need a Beds24.com account.
WordPress Live Chat Plugin by LiveChat is a live chat support add-on for your WordPress website. It takes 5 minutes to install and gets you going quickly and effortlessly.
This plugin provides instant communication with your on-site visitors and potential guests, enabling you to provide a prompt resolution to their questions or concerns.
Increase your vacation rental sales and build stronger customer relationships with this fully functional WordPress live chat plugin.
Pricing: LiveChat offers a 14-day free trial for new customers and has tiered pricing from Starter to Enterprise starting at 16$ a month.
7. Ultimate FAQ
The Ultimate FAQ plugin strives to do it all when it comes to FAQs. With a WooCommerce integration and Block Editor optimisation, Ultimate FAQ is extremely flexible and can adapt to nearly any site and level of user ability.
A few key features include three FAQ-related blocks, an FAQ tab for product pages, FAQ categories and tags and a custom CSS styling options.
You can use it to preemptively answer your guests’ most common questions so you don’t need to spend as much time on guest communication.
Pricing: You can download Ultimate FAQ for free from the WordPress Plugin Directory or invest in the Premium version. Licenses start at $30 per year and you’ll gain access to advanced styling options and functionality.
8. Envira Gallery
Envira Gallery is one of the best WordPress gallery plugins. It features a drag-and-drop gallery builder, stylish pre-built gallery templates and social media integration. It’s easy to use and powerful.
This widget is great for property managers who need a simple way to add multiple photographs to their website.
Show off your property and use beautiful photos to help guests visualise themselves staying with you! This will ultimately increase your conversions.
Pricing: A Lite version of the Envira gallery is available to download from the WordPress repository, which offers limited features. For the Premium version, the basic package starts at 29$ a year.