During our four-plus years in hotel marketing, we’ve always leveraged our tech backgrounds to push the boundaries of how efficient and effective a hotel website can be. Yet we’re still surprised how backward-facing the hotel marketing industry can be. Why are people locked into a 3-year contract for a website that they don’t even own?
We made a mistake.
From the start at Influence Society, we had the good fortune of working with many hospitality brands on their digital marketing campaigns. We avoided building websites. We thought they were too painful to build and manage and the website-building agency market was too crowded.
At the same time, the agencies in charge of our clients would often not be able to (or not want to) implement the powerful e-commerce tracking tools that would strengthen our advertising abilities.
So we decided to build a website, just to see.
One of our oldest clients, Maisons & Hotels Sibuet, asked us if we would build a custom CMS for them. Not on Wordpress or Wix– but an entirely custom CMS to be used by multiple properties. We said, “Sure!” and naively jumped into the project just like many other agencies did at the time, building our own backoffice.
After months of development, we finally released a V1 and 10 websites went live! We could track what we wanted and while it wasn’t sexy, it was efficient. However, it was still missing some of our desired functionality and features. This quickly turned into a terrible hamster wheel, with a neverending list of updates, improvements, and subsequent use of resources, time, and effort to keep up. It didn’t help that CMS backoffices looked nothing like the streamlined, easy-to-use backoffice most people are used to. Facebook, Instagram, and others make it super easy to upload, resize, and edit photos before sharing online.
The Hotel Webflow Switch
After 18 months and 50 websites developed, we pulled the plug. We wanted our clients to be able to be more independent, more flexible to design and build how they want, to be able to act faster and be more reactive to the latest developments in web design and technology. And we wanted to empower our guests with a website that was viable in the long-term without spending thousands of dollars a month on development.
In 2019, weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic, we switched to Webflow for hotels. We built our first site, www.tiamoresorts.com and we were thrilled. It took 1 week to design and 2 weeks to develop. It was faster, had better SEO, and the backoffice was amazingly user-friendly. From that point, we knew this would be big. We moved all of our clients’ sites over to Webflow.
Since then, we’ve built over 250 websites on Webflow for amazing hotels and restaurants, and the list is still growing. Check out some of the sites we’ve built here: webflow websites for hotels.
And that valued client, Maisons & Hotels Sibuet? We migrated all of their properties’ sites to Webflow, where they now have one dashboard to oversee all of their sites.
No-Code is the Next Generation of Web Design for the Hospitality Industry
Webflow is a “no-code” CMS. No-code means that users can build a website without using code or being a developer. It’s a movement that extends beyond web design, revolutionizing many parts of the developing world, and technology as a whole. The No-Code philosophy is a perfect match for what our industry needs: Agility, transparency, speed, and flexibility. This is even more true after two years of COVID slamming hospitality. And as the next generation of hoteliers comes to the forefront, with new concepts and younger teams, No-Code is especially suited to their way of doing things.
Making the switch to Webflow now gives you the chance to take full ownership of your site, use an easier back office (no matter what you use now, we guarantee this is easier!), gain autonomy in all your web design decisions, get ahead of the No-Code trend, and align yourselves with some of the top hospitality brands.
It’s not just a new website, it’s a new chapter!
So let’s grab a coffee and chat. We’d love to show you how it works.
Special offer: If you’d like a new website but are still locked into a monthly retainer for the next 6-8 months, let us know and we’ll convert what you have left to pay for that retainer into a voucher for a new website!