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2020

2019

Widgets - Prepopulating Widget Fields

Ever used a website where you have to enter the same information several times as you move around through the site?  Isn't that annoying?  You know they have the information already - you only just entered it, after all - so why don't they just remember and reuse it?

We've designed our OwnerRez Widgets and Hosted Websites to avoid this problem as much as possible.  If you are using a Hosted Website, this is taken care of for you automatically. If you're using our Widgets in your own website, though, you may have to do a little extra configuration.

Some of our widgets have parameters that you can use to prepopulate some of the field content. This is useful for communication between widgets, sending over prefilled property lists depending on availability dates, or for creating links for newsletters that have prefilled discount codes.

Let's break each of these use cases down.  There's also a reference of available fields at the end.

Communication between widgets

In a Hosted Website, the Search Property/Availability widget will automatically populate parameters like the or_arrival and or_departure fields when linking to the Details page for the property, so the Inquiry/Booking widget will be prepopulated with information like arrival/departure dates, that the guest already entered in the Search widget, when they arrive at the Details page.

If you've built your own search results page based on the /properties/lookup API call, you can add and use these parameters the same way.

Send a link with available properties

If you're posting an ad on social media, you can create a link to the page on your site containing the Search Property/Availability widget using the or_arrival and or_departure fields and that will show properties available for those dates.

For example, say you want to show properties available from 10 Jan 2021 to 15 Jan 2021 and your widget is on this page:

https://acmevacations.com/properties

Send the following link:

https://acmevacations.com/properties?or_arrival=2021-01-10&or_departure=2021-01-15

The widget in the page will pick up those parameters and pre-populate them, saving the guest the bother of having to do it themselves.

Send a link with a discount code

If you've created a discount code, you can link to a page on your site with the Inquiry/Booking widget on it and prefill the discount code.  This is particularly useful for newsletter links and social-media posts.

Say your code is SPRINGSPRUNG

and your widget is on this page:

https://acmevacations.com/beautiful-cabin

Send the following link:

https://acmevacations.com/beautiful-cabin?or_code=SPRINGSPRUNG

The code will automatically be pre-populated in the widget and the guest won't have to enter it themselves.

Even so, we recommend specifically stating the code in the newsletter as well, so the guest can type it in if they link from a different method.

Gotchas and Pitfalls

Double iFramed widgets.  Depending on what website building tools you may be using and how you have set up your site, sometimes the embed method for widgets will create an extra <iframe /> element around the OwnerRez widget-embedding code as a security measure. This prevents the OwnerRez widget from being able to see the parameters that you have passed on the URL  The widget won't automatically populate the data, even though you're apparently passing it in correctly.

The only way to fix this is to remove the extra <iframe /> element. Depending on what you're using to build your site, this may or may not be possible -- contact the site support team or your web developer and ask them how to embed the OwnerRez widget HTML directly on the main page so that it can access URL parameters.

Field Reference

Two widgets currently support parameters: Search Property/Availability and Inquiry/Booking.

All dates are formatted in YYYY-MM-DD style, meaning 10 June 2020 would be 2020-06-10.

All numbers are integers.

Search Property/Availability

or_arrival - Arrival date
or_departure - Departure date
or_guests - Number of guests
or_adults - Number of adults   
or_bedrooms - Number of bedrooms
or_bathrooms - Number of bathrooms
or_location - Location string.  This is what's displayed in the Location dropdown, if you're using that.

Inquiry/Booking

or_arrival - Arrival date
or_departure - Departure date
or_guests - Number of guests
or_adults - Number of adults
or_children - Number of children
or_pets - Number of pets
or_code - Discount code string