Planning to build a travel website and wondering what CMS (content management system) to use? You might want to consider Drupal as your preferred travel website building framework. It is considered to be one of the best CMS for a tourism website.
Unlike a normal business website, a travel website comes with multiple features specifically facilitating interaction not just between your customers and your website, but also between your customers themselves.
A Travel Website is usually a complete portal. It has hundreds of tourist and travel destination listings. Visitors and travellers can leave reviews of different destinations and also leave ratings.
A travel blog can be incorporated within the website and it can be managed by multiple authors and even by travellers themselves. You may have multiple photo albums and interactive slideshows. Basically, a travel website these days is a complete ecosystem in itself.
Long gone are the days when businesses would have websites constituting of just HTML pages. Even moderately-sized websites these days prefer to use a CMS.
You must be very careful when choosing a CMS for your travel website. You need to keep in mind that once you have built a website, for a long time, you will be stuck with your CMS unless you’re ready to spend more money, time and effort on a completely different CMS.
A CMS used to build a website doesn’t just give you a robust structure over which you can build your entire website, it also has all the essential components to facilitate long-term maintenance of the website. Every major CMS also accommodates themes or design templates that you can customise easily, according to your branding needs.
One of the oldest and the most popular open source CMSs is Drupal. It is believed to be one of the best CMS for a travel agency website.
Drupal – an Ideal CMS for your Travel Website
In fact, not just your upcoming travel website, even if you already have a travel website up and running and you are considering moving to a different CMS, you wouldn’t like to miss having a look at the various Drupal features.
Due to its flexibility and malleability, Drupal is a preferred choice for government agencies, business associations, non-profit websites and Fortune 500 companies. It can be as simple as you want and as powerful as you want. You can create highly user-friendly and accessible websites with Drupal.
Some of the biggest websites being run by Drupal include eBay, The Economist, Tesla Motors, Tesla Motors, Grammy and Pfizer. Some of the travel websites built with Drupal include Fiji Travel, Princess Cruises and Seychelles.
Here are 8 reasons why you should definitely use Drupal as your CMS for your travel website.
Mobile responsive out-of-the-box
One of the biggest concerns these days is can people access your website from their mobile phones? According to Statista, by October 2019, almost 50% of your traffic is coming from mobile devices, 48.91%, to be precise.
This is a big chunk of traffic you don’t want to ignore. Not just access your website for general information, people should be able to fully use your website to go through various travel destinations, to read reviews, to access coupons and offers, and also to make bookings. Everything people can do on your browser-based website on PCs and laptops, should also be able to do from their mobile phones.
Drupal is mobile-ready out-of-the-box. The framework simply works. It scales all the functions present within the CMS according to the size of the screen. You don’t have to worry about creating different layouts unless there is something really specific you want to achieve that is not present in the Drupal CMS.
Dedicated Booking Engine
A travel website without a booking engine is frankly, like a vehicle without an engine. People should be able to search for different travel destinations on your website and if they want, they should also be able to make bookings and make payments on the fly.
The strength of every CMS is gauged by its ability to facilitate add-ons, plug-ins and modules and this is what enables Drupal to incorporate cutting-edge travel booking engine just the way you want it. For Drupal, you have 2 options:
This is an extension. Once you have installed it within Drupal your visitors can make room reservations, contact hotel administration directly and avail special offers and discounts from within your interface. This extension is further powered by other two Drupal extensions namely Drupal Rooms and Drupal Commerce.
It’s main features include:
- Checking for online availability of rooms.
- Online booking with instant payments.
- Admin-controlled availability calendar.
- Liquid layout and responsive design.
- Easily works with Internet Explorer 8.
- You can easily integrate it with all major payment gateways and processors.
BAT is one of the most widely used booking and availability management tools for Drupal, especially on travel websites. Since its UI is minimal its power can only be leveraged by experienced Drupal developers. If you need to incorporate commerce and payment functionality or if you want to allow travellers to book resources on their own, a significant amount of coding will be required.
BAT for Drupal works with a standalone PHP library developed by Roomify, the original developers of BAT. You can also build a standalone direct online booking system using this Drupal module.
These modules allow you to run your business 24 x 7 by enabling your visitors to book travel destinations from your travel website round-the-clock. Even if you’re not necessarily an online travel agency, you can benefit from your online traffic by allowing people to make bookings using your website instead of spending time calling you and going through the nitty-gritty.
Completely Customisable Themes and Templates
For a basic website Drupal can work simply out-of-the-box, but no business can function using just the basic Drupal structure. There is practically an unending list of themes and templates that you can use with Drupal and then you can customise them according to your specific business needs.
Your customers expect your websites to look good, attractive and contemporary. From a wide selection of Drupal themes, you can choose a template that best suits your need.
Just remember that the Drupal theme that you choose must be able to accommodate all the sections that you want to feature on your website. It shouldn’t limit you and instead, it should allow you to do everything you want to do with your travel website. A capable Drupal development team can help you choose just the right theme for your travel website.
Enjoy Scalability with your Drupal-Powered Travel Website
The Drupal framework has a highly optimised source code. Your website will be easily able to scale according to the traffic. It won’t get bogged down if there is too much traffic during festive season or holiday season. Whether you get 100 visitors per day or 1 million visitors, your Drupal website will be able to handle the traffic easily.
Once your travel website is up and running its content will be managed by multiple authors. To maintain your search engine rankings and to maintain a buzz around your online presence, your team of writers will constantly need to write and publish highly engaging content on your website.
Drupal allows you to save different versions of your documents and each version can be separately tracked based on authors, writers, contributors and editors. The main administrator will be easily able to assign different roles to different contributors whether they are simple reviewers or reputed travel writers.
Once you start building webpages, review pages, online forum threads and blog posts, in just a couple of years, you may end up with thousands of links and sections on your website. You will need a robust navigation system to allow your visitors to find relevant information on your travel website.
Whether you want to generate an intuitive breadcrumbs interface for your navigation system or you want to allow your visitors to use a powerful inbuilt search engine, Drupal will allow your visitors to find relevant information or tourist destination sites within a few seconds.
Drupal allows you to dismantle the language barriers instantly. Allow your local travel business go global with a single Drupal installation. Your top tourists might be coming from non-English speaking countries and for them, not knowing English shouldn’t become a barrier. They should be able to decide in which language they would want to interact and transact on your travel website. There are core modules within Drupal 8 that allow full translation of every part of your travel website.
Power of Open Source Movement with Drupal
You don’t have to worry about your framework being costly. Drupal is a free, open source CMS entirely built from PHP. Your designers and developers just need to download the installation files from the Drupal website, upload them onto your FTP server and run the installation program. That said, the basic structure of your website will start functioning within a couple of hours. This is one thing.
The greatest benefit of using Drupal to build your travel website is that it is a constantly evolving CMS. It being open source, thousands of developers are constantly developing modules and add-ons. They are constantly extending the functionalities of Drupal. So, you can always have the most advanced version of your preferred CMS.
Are you excited about using Drupal to build your travel website? You will need a team of web developers who are adept at moulding Drupal in whichever way you need. We have worked on multiple Drupal installations, especially travel websites. If you want to know how we can help you build a highly successful travel website over the Drupal framework, do contact us today.