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7 Things To Consider When Investing In A New Hotel Website

If you're thinking about having your website redesigned, you're no doubt going to have lots of questions and you may even have some concerns when it comes to the cost, design and making sure to pick the right agency for your hotel or wedding venue.  

This guide should address all of those questions and concerns. By the time you’re finished reading, you're going to have a really detailed understanding about all the key considerations in getting your hotel website redesigned, and indeed whether a website redesign is right for you at this time. Let's get started.

1. What will it cost and what’s included?

The inevitable first question that you will no doubt want answered is what is the cost going to be? At DHM we charge £6,000 for our website package - this includes all of the key features that you should expect from your website, including:

  • Responsive design - your hotel website will work perfectly on a mobile, tablet or desktop device, so users can interact seamlessly with it across all formats.

  • Two rounds of revisions - at no extra cost, you’ll be able to request changes a couple of times at every stage of the process so if we don't get it quite right first time, we’ll have a bit of back and forth just to make sure that we're both aligned on how you want your website to look.

  • Drag and drop editing - Your hotel website will also have drag and drop editing so you won't need a degree in coding or have to fork out a fortune every time you want to change some text or imagery. You'll be able to jump in, move things around just as easily as if you were browsing around any normal website.

  • CRM & PMS integration - This price also includes full integration with the various software systems your business uses so things like your booking engine can be integrated directly onto the website.

  • SEO checklist - Search engine optimisation is such a crucial aspect of your hotel’s website. Our experts thoroughly research the areas that your website should be ranking highly for and ensure all the SEO boxes have been ticked.

  • Google Analytics - Your website will be set up with Google analytics so you can get access to all of the key stats: users, bounces, etc. All those things that you'll want to know about your website’s performance.

  • Sub 2.5-second load speed - Your website will load in under 2.5 seconds. No website leaves our studio without achieving a sub 2.5-second load time across all devices. Nobody wants to see that horrible spinning wheel of death when a website still hasn't loaded in after 10 seconds.

  • Up to 25 pages - For this price, your website can have up to 25 pages. Additional pages are charged at £50 each provided they follow an existing layout format.

The things that aren't included in that £6,000 investment are the creation of new digital assets - that’s your videography, photography and website copy.

2. How do DHM's prices compare to other agencies?

The best analogy to illustrate how our prices compare to other agencies is that of buying a mens suit. There are three types: 'Off The Peg', 'Made to Measure' and 'Bespoke'.

We offer a ‘made to measure’ website: perfect for hotels that really are looking for a website that can be built within a couple of months, but has lots of elements of customisation suited to their individual requirements.

If you're looking for something quick and cheap, an ‘off the peg’ solution would likely involve choosing from a small selection of templates and would be delivered to you with a very fast turnaround time, probably in just a few weeks. It’ll look great but there won’t be a great deal of customisation and there’s a good chance other hotels will have the same website.

If you're looking for a ‘bespoke’ website, it’ll be designed and developed from scratch which inevitably will take in excess of 4 months and be a great deal more expensive.

Our ‘made to measure’ approach combines the best of both worlds - affordable, customisable, robust and delivered in weeks, not months.

3. What are the ongoing costs?

Once your website is live on the internet, there are two ongoing costs that you’ll need to consider:

Hosting is effectively where your website lives. It needs to be maintained and looked after regularly to ensure that your website is operating efficiently and the performance is good for your users to interact and transact through your website. At DHM, we have a secure server which is safe, fast and efficient.

If you choose to have us design and build your website, you don't necessarily have to choose to host your website with us, but by doing so, we'll be able to diagnose problems much faster, if anything does happen within the hosting environment. Hosting on our server is £25 per month or you can choose to pay annually for £250.

A Content Management package ensures your website will never be out of date again. Your account manager will schedule a call with you to discuss the website’s content for the next three months. You can expect seasonal content such as Christmas offers to go up and come down at the right times, and importantly you’ll be asked (and chased!) for anything specific you’d like on your website at regular intervals.

Whilst the editing of websites we build is easy to do, you might find though that you’d prefer to not have to think about continually updating the website with offers and seasonal content. You can invest in website content management in three-month chunks, priced at £295. This includes a consultation call with your account manager who will subsequently arrange a calendar of content to be added/removed.

4. Editing the website

Updating the website’s content is an important aspect to consider and you’ll likely want to avoid hefty fees each time images, copy or offers need amending. That’s why all of our websites are built with a drag-and-drop page editor, which makes it really easy for your team to make content changes without asking your agency each time.

That said, we find that some clients do prefer us to manage that whole process for them which will involve us building a content plan where we collectively agree to add and remove content at set times to keep the website up-to-date. We offer hourly flexible packages for content editing and support packages start from £750 for 10 hours of support time.

5. The time and work required from you

Naturally we're going to be doing most of the heavy lifting in the designing and building of your new website, but obviously you’ll need to input occasionally and approve the design at various stages. To make it as simple for you as possible, we break down the process into four stages: planning, flat design, interactive design and live and we require your time and attention on three occasions:

A. Approve the Compass Document and Roadmap

The Compass Document lists out everything that you want from your website, but importantly, anything that you don't want as well. Your project manager works very closely with you to really nail down your specification so perfect website design comes out of our studio from a really detailed brief.

B. Approve the Flat Design

A flat design is effectively a PDF of your website and helps us nail down the page structure without getting into the granular detail such as colour schemes, images and copy - these things come in the next phase.

C. Approve the Interactive Design

The interactive design will be viewable on a password-protected staging website, where it will look and feel like a real world website. Normally after a few tweaks the website is then set live.

  6. Project timeline

When you start a new website project, it's all really exciting, but you need to keep in mind that it will take about six to eight weeks for your website to be fully completed and live on the internet for everyone to start browsing. At the start of the project you’ll be given a series of approval deadlines - keeping to these deadlines is really important if you have a launch date you need to keep. We'll be with you every step of the way, making sure as best we can that we're all on the right track to hit your website launch date.

  7. Website content

The final consideration that you're going to have when thinking about website redesign is what we call the digital assets e.g. the images, video and text that will populate the website.

Video

As you’re investing in a beautiful new website, having professionally-shot videography to greet people as they arrive can be a really nice touch. Drone shots of the exterior and room pans of the product itself can give a great first impression and can completely change the look and feel of the website.

Photography

Now you may have some fantastic photography of your product already but you may also want to consider having them redone to coincide with your website redesign. A recent study by the HRS showed that 78% of users to a hotel website are influenced directly by the quality of the imagery. Professionally shot photography is an absolute must if you're making any investment in a new website as it will have such an integral part on how the end product looks and performs.

Copy

This area is likely to be the most time-consuming aspect but shouldn’t be overlooked, not only from the perspective of finding the right tone of voice to suit your brand, but also from an SEO perspective, ensuring the most suitable keywords are included within the main copy, in the right places and not too often. You may want to do this in house or opt for a professional copywriter to find the balance of being informative, reflective of the brand and optimised appropriately.

The investment to have DHM produce your digital assets are as follows:

Video shoot and edit - £750

Photography shoot and edit - £650

Copywriting - from £750

  Summary

Inevitably, there’s lots to consider when investing in a new hotel website but above all, you should choose an agency that you believe will guide you through the process, explain the technical aspects of the build clearly and can deliver a website that will both look and perform well for your business. If you’d like to discuss your website requirements, you can get in touch with Adam at adam@dhm.agency.

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