I'm considering using OwnerRez for our B&B, and if I choose to do this, I would want to choose the option of including website building. I cannot seem to find any information about this, except for the price increase for the add-on.
Do you have any examples of websites built through OR?
Here's a few I like to give out when answering similar questions in the ticket system:
We just came onboard the platform. A big reason was to have a personal website, that's hosted/integrated with OwnerRez so we can start taking direct bookings.
How do we go about setting up our own site through Owner Rez?
For example, the website url we want is available, but we haven't yet purchased it. DO we purchase the website domain separately though something like GoDaddy and then it 's built through Owner Rez, or can we do all that from within the platform?
There are a lot of places you can get and store a domain name. I use Dynadot.com. Its under $10 for domain name and they give free domain privacy. I have been with them for quite a few years and no problems.
I also agree with keeping your website here on owner reservations. You basically get free tech support and your website gets updated when they do work elsewhere. A colleague of mine had their website hacked, which was WordPress. I become less convinced about do-it-yourself as time goes by. There's a lot more to do it yourself then just putting content and pictures on a site. It saves money and it's great until something goes wrong.
To start a site, go to your properties and set up the Location, Description, Amenities and Photos tabs. Those will drive the site. Then go to Settings > Hosted Websites and create one. All you need to enter when creating is the name of the site -- you can leave everything else alone to start.
Here's an article with more info: https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/hosted-websites
Diana D said:DO we purchase the website domain separately though something like GoDaddy and then it 's built through Owner Rez, or can we do all that from within the platform?
Yep, you'd purchase the domain separately and then link it to OwnerRez. That way you retain ownership of the domain and are in full control of it in case you want to add other things like email or move to a different host. You get a test location on our domain so you don't have to worry about linking your domain until you're ready to go live.
Are there any preexisting templates available in OwnerRez to use, or would I have to design my own site (or hire someone to design it) while using the OwnerRez plugins and widgets to create the functionality?
I understand that the bones of building a site are present, but what platform is used to achieve it? What design options do I have? Yes I need a website, but I also need it to be attractive, and that's the part I can't get any grasp of via the existing information.
Have you looked at the examples that Chris posted on Feb 12th in this thread? I imagine you could achieve similar look/feel. If none of those work, what feature(s) are you looking for?
I'm going through this myself right now but creating my own website. It's a lot more work and time since I don't do this professionally, but it's a fun project that interests me.
This is from the support page, good place to start
@Julie, did you have a look at the sites in the first comment above? That'll give you an idea of the design options you have built in. And then you can also customize it via CSS for further detail.
Any specific questions about what you're looking to do?
Thank you all for the responses. The example sites above all seem to be built off the same template, with only basic modifications. Are there any other layout choices? Is it based on a WordPress platform? If not, how does the owner interact with the template? Website building has changed a lot from the days when I was hand-coding with HTML and CSS, so I want to know what the guts look like and what my learning curve is going to be.
But mostly I'm interested in the design element. For example, Lodgify offers 19 different templates, with 4 different layouts, all of which are beautifully modern. https://www.lodgify.com/vacation-rental-website-templates/ (make sure you click "load more") They're clear about what they offer, they have visual representations, and it's attractive to me as an owner because I feel like I know what I'm going to get, and I know it's going to be attractive to my potential guests.
Now, there are features in OwnerRez that I want that Lodgify doesn't have, so it would be a no brainer EXCEPT the main point of me choosing a software is to market my property via my website, and encourage direct bookings. A gorgeous website *is a must* or the whole thing is a wasted effort to me. And ideally, working with that website will be relatively easy - but right now I'm finding it difficult to even learn HOW to interact with that website if I use OwnerRez, and that's a real bummer. (yes, I've seen the support page. Text-only walking me through links I don't have access to yet is not very informative. Screenshots of the interface of the website builder - or whatever it is - would at least provide a clue)
Julie - Can you just use a Lodgify template and add OwnerRez widgets with it? I use Wix with OR and enjoy having the flexibility of design. You can see the OR widgets on my site at HighviewCabins.com. I'm always tweaking my site as I learn more about Wix. They have great video tutorials, too.
Julie - the fact that you know what html and css are means you have much more knowledge about website building than the average person, and
I could have written your last post myself. You have the same questions and background as I do it seems.
In my opinion, getting a beautiful and modern looking website is going to have two essential parts. Professionally shot/edited photos and a modern/responsive platform.
I can't offer any suggestions about how to interact with the OwnerRez website, but I'm sure the OR support team or maybe other owners can answer your questions.
A few thoughts for you and anyone reading this...
1) I can't tell from your post whether you are still deciding whether to adopt the OR platform. If you are, I can share my experience as a new user (about 4 months) that it's been a terrific tool for me. Has taken a little learning curve, but I'm finding that all of the infrastructure is quite well done. I love the email Templates - this morning 5 different automated emails were sent to guests who are about to come, have just arrived, are leaving today or continuing their stay. No way could I do this manually, would take way too much time each day. All of these emails are detailed and personalized to the particular unit they are renting. Took me a lot of time to develop my email content, but now it's essential set in place and I don't have to think about it. Huge time saver. And the fact that my bookings/past guests are all safely in a system outside of VRBO and AirBnb means I will eventually have a large database for marketing. In any case, without being too pompous, I have a lot of experience developing systems like these and OR's is well done. And the team supporting it is responsive and I think headed in a great direction. So feel safe jumping in if you haven't already.
2) About the website, feel free to call me 512-913-8609 if you want to talk about alternatives. I'd say for 80-90% of new users they probably should use the OR provided website, because doing your own in another system is like the wild-wild west, there are lots of pitfalls related to *who* does the hosting and *which* platform you pick and there are no guarantees about key things like SEO, page response time, and suitability for viewing your page on phones, tablets or computers. I'm happy to talk about the various other platforms that are out there since I recently looked at them and picked one, and I find that I usually learn myself from talking with others.
Julie, I have built my site on sitelio using OR widgets and sitelio template . the plus is, that sitelio is simplified ( I personally hated when i had WP site), while at the same time allowing SEO, schema code , blog, etc . You can take a look at smoky-mountains-cabin.com