Creating a stunning holiday rental site with WordPress

Holidays… a topic that in the middle of the third national lockdown, we can still only dream of. But not for too much longer we hope! Most of us live in the hope for some form of holiday this year, after what seems like the longest 12 months we can remember. Many will be longing for an overseas trip and some guaranteed sunshine. Others will be planning a staycation this year instead. Although holidays within the UK won’t be allowed until 12th April at the earliest, there is a rush on booking before it’s too late. Eager to stand out from the crowd, our client took the opportunity to refresh their website.

The brief

The brief was simple. It was an existing client for which we built the original site back in 2007. Obviously a lot had changed and to coincide with marketing the apartment on all the well known holiday rental sites, it was time for a refresh. A modern site and with a big visual impact, but the budget was limited. No problem.

The approach

With budget in mind, again we looked to the Astra theme. With its pre-built starter templates and importable website demos, we can create something quickly, without compromising on quality. In this instance we used the Hotel and BnB starter template. If you own a rental property, this Elementor template is the perfect fit, with stunning background image areas and crisp, clear typography. Hotel and BnB is loaded with all the features you’d expect from a hotel or rental website, so your property will be shown at its best.

The main aspect here was working the client’s content into the template, but we also used the Elementor – Header Footer & Blocks Template plugin to rework the template’s homepage footer into one that worked sitewide. Talking of content, the key thing with any rental site is stunning imagery. The client already had professionally shot photos for use on the site. We supplemented this with some beautiful images of the local area from one of our go to sources of freely-usable images, Unsplash. We also used images from Wikimedia Commons in a feature of nearby attractions. One final touch was to utilise some icons to highlight the apartment’s amenities. The icons were sourced from Flaticon, the largest database of free icons available online. All we need to do is credit the author with a link back to their profile. We think that is more than a fair deal.

The crowning stroke

There wasn’t much more to this job to be fair, so it was nearly time to handover to the client for review. One last thing to do was to install and configure a caching plugin to make the site as fast as possible. It’s fair to say we were never quite happy with any of the caching plugins we had previously used. That’s not to say they are not good, they definitely are. However, there are various factors why one might work better than another and we’d never found a free one that worked perfectly with our website hosting. That is until now.

Comet Cache is an advanced caching plugin inspired by simplicity. In their own words, “Visitors demand a snappy response. They expect your site to be as fast as the search engine they discovered you with.” and this is very true. With Comet Cache, your pages can be generated in under a second! Further to that, it worked amazingly with our hosting to such an extent that we’ve swapped all our other sites to use it!

The client was so impressed with the first draft of the site, that they asked for only a few changes. We had designed the logo with a nod to water, inspired by the location, just minutes from the shores of Lake Windermere. However, what we didn’t realise was that the word Parnam – the name of the apartment – is Sanskrit for leaf. With that in mind, we agreed with the client that the logo should include a fern on oak leaf. A few other minor tweaks and the site was ready for launch.

The results

The results are in and the client loves it. A stunning website to go with the client’s stunning holiday rental in Bowness-On-Windermere in the Lake District.

It’s really lovely.
Thanks very very much. It looks good.
Up to date look, fresh as well, pictures work well.
We love the logo and the lettering.

Victor and Jane Hyman

We think it’s another great example of what can be done with WordPress on a modest budget. If you’re interested in a stunning website for a surprisingly cool £250contact us today.