The hospitality industry has seen a number of agencies offering hoteliers a low-cost, low-budget website that they can rent. It has been widely noted that these agencies, which promise all of the bells and whistles associated with investing thousands of dollars and development resources, often leave hoteliers in the lurch after the deal is done.
Why? A number of reasons, but perhaps the most important is that agencies that rent hotel websites do not provide hoteliers with true ownership of their content which becomes problematic as explained below.
It should come as no surprise that a hotel’s digital assets should be owned by the property, however, the subject of digital ownership seems to be overlooked by hoteliers doing business with rental agencies. Hoteliers’ ownership should reach past the physical ownership of their property to include their digital content and here is why:
Ownership Means Freedom
Not only do hoteliers have the flexibility of controlling their content, but they have the flexibility of taking an owned website and choosing which vendor or agency works with their property. An owned website that is not built using a proprietary Content Management System (CMS) gives hotel owners total freedom to take their website and work with any number of vendors. A hotel will not be confined to stick with the agreement strictly on the grounds that their website will cease to function if they opt to take their business elsewhere. Unlike websites that hotel owners own, properties cannot take their rental websites with them.
A CMS totally exclusive to any digital agency is only useful when the relationship with the vendor is strong. Outside of the relationship, if a hotel wishes to move to a different agency, they would be forced to start from scratch or pay a hefty amount of money to convert their site into one which can be moved to another digital agency. That is an exceptional amount of blind trust and control being placed in the hands of the digital agency, with hoteliers having little to no recourse if they are displeased with the service or product they receive.
Ownership Means A True Investment
While low cost and minimal fees are an appealing draw, rental websites are a classic example of a scenario in which one gets what one pays for, but in this case, possibly even less since the ownership of the site and what hoteliers are putting funds toward is not theirs at the end of the day. This doesn’t even take into account the additional shortcomings seen from rented hotel websites such as no search engine optimization, little service or support following the initial set-up, a limited number of site pages, photos or content and so on.
Website Ownership Can Be Affordable
At Lodging Interactive, our award-winning website development team does not believe in holding hotel websites hostage. To offer the industry an alternative solution to renting a property website, we’ve created HotelSiteXPRESS. HotelSiteXPRESS is a website design solution, beginning at just $425 per month, that offers hoteliers high-quality, responsive sites built using WordPress Content Management System that they 100% own. These sites can be up and running in less than 10 days and are the property of the hotel owners who can manage them independently of our service, if they choose.
“Investing in the creation and management of a hotel website should be an investment, the extent of which is to be determined by each property owner individually. However, this investment, no matter how large or small, should result in owning the digital assets of that property. Don’t give away the rights just to save a few dollars when there is a fair, affordable month-to-month solution that allows hoteliers to own their websites completely,” said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President.