Booking Widget

Does anyone know a gadget, functional but also cheap, for booking for a Bed & breackfast to be included in Blocs?

This might work for you

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I think @Flashman offers a good solution. I’ve used a number of the PHP jabbers scripts, including the booking systems. All of them integrate and work very well in Blocs. Never had any issues whatsoever. Essentially, theses are independent web applications that are set up on your server with MySQL and PHP. The installation is simple, but PHP Jabbers do offer an installation service if you’re uncomfortable with installing apps on your server. Once the apps are up and running, you incorporate them into your blocs project through a code snippet which the apps conveniently provide in their respective administration areas. In some apps, you have to give some pages a PHP extension (easy to do in Blocs) and you may have to add a piece of code in the head of some pages (normally before doctype) - again, simple in blocs.

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I was going to ask a similar question, however a search uncovered this thread. An existing client has come back asking for a second website. This time it’s for a bed & breakfast here in the UK and at present they can be booked through any of a dozen online services like expedia, tripadvisor, Priceline and others.

The client wants the ability to take online bookings direct through the website, but have them sync with these others to avoid double bookings. By booking direct he saves on the commission.

He mentioned synching with specifically, but having never built a site for a bed & breakfast or hotel I want to do a bit of research in advance before they come back and we talk money.

At this point we’ve only discussed my going there to take photos before they open their doors to tourists again in mid September and it looks like we’ll have a drone video as well. Can somebody point me in the right direction regarding a suitable plugin or script?

Ideally I’d do this in Blocs but if needs be I’ll use WordPress, which is the most likely to have a suitable plugin I would imagine. Knowing that Blocs will soon export to WordPress I want to learn more about that side anyway.

My own experience with third-party online reservation systems is that they can be a bit of a pain for property owners to deal with unless they have a very clear strategy. You can often see this “failure of the system” with companies like AirBnb. Often times, I’ve encountered a situation where a reservation is made on the AirBnb platform, but the property owner has been forced to offer an alternative property. This is the double booking situation coming into play. Unfortunately, small property owners are not really geared up to dealing with listing their property on multiple platforms. However, larger property owners do utilise strategies to minimise the possibility of double booking. Some of the hotels I’ve dealt with list on a few platforms simultaneously. However, because there is no automatic syncing between the various platforms, they have to manually sync their calendars. Many will do this several times a day just to minimise the issue.

One strategy that seems to be deployed frequently is to only list a certain quantity of accommodation types and dates on each platform. Then, as bookings come in from each platform, they are entered manually in the hotel’s own system. When the platform starts running out of accommodation, the hotel adds new rooms and dates based on its own availably calendar. Likewise, if he hotel reserves one of it’s allocated rooms on it’s own system, it removes the allocation from the booking platform.

It really can be a full time job for someone with a large number of properties, but given that many property owners have an occupancy rate of about 70%-80%, they do tend to have a bit of wiggle-room that makes the balancing act all worth while.

Thanks, no doubt I’ll learn some more when I speak to them again soon and I’ll keep looking in the meantime. In this case they actually operate from their own home, which is a very nice old farmhouse in Cornwall and have just three rooms available, however they are fully booked for when they re-open. He seemed to think there were plugins available for this sort of thing.

His primary aim here is to have people find the property through Google or elsewhere and book direct to save on the booking commission, which I gather is pretty high.

In view of the size of the property and its booking number potential, (probably no more than 150 reservations a year) the use of online booking platforms may be a false economy. The client may be better to deploy a pay per click system to get direct site referrals. I say this because even if booking platforms come up high on the search engine lists, they will tend to only display the type and location of the property the users has searched for. Even if they go to the main page of the platform and conduct a search from there, the search results will be dependent upon the search criteria entered. Therefore, it may be better to get the site SEO correct so that the property appears in more search results for those who know where and when they want to book - which most people do.

When deploying a pay per click SEM strategy, the client really needs to look at his booking history to see where most of his previous clients came from. This could help identify the geographic locations where clients generally originate from and focus the pay-per-click activity to those areas only. This generally results in fewer wasted clicks and more relevant clicks. I’m sure the cost of this type of SEM work would be far less than the commissions paid to the bigger platforms.