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Buying A Vacation Rental Website Template?

7 Reasons Never To Buy Vacation Rental Website Templates

If you’ve been considering designing a vacation rentals website using a template, I urge you to first consider the problems vacation rental owners face when using templates.


To help me prove this point I will reference a vacation rental website we just redesigned. This site we built was for a vacation rental owner who was previously using templates. The owner Paul realized the template did not meet his needs after many failed attempts to make things work with the company who he bought the template from. The owners wanted to make adjustments to the template but just couldn’t. After some time Paul ended up redesigning their own vacation rental website after going around in circles a few times.

You can see the old site here where the client used a template previously  (old)

Here is the new design we created here  (new)

Big difference right?

I’m sure you can see the big difference between the two presentations and the image they portray. In this blog I would hope to save you from losing money, time and help you avoid aggravation. Learn from other owners and the professionals; design a website now that will meet your needs for today and tomorrow. There are some vacation rental templates that look nicer than one I show in the link, however nice the template ” looks” it comes with some issues.

I have included in this post “7 Reasons Never To Buy Vacation Rental Website Templates”. Review the list and you decide if buying a vacation rental template is the right choice for your vacation rental business.

1) You’ll Need To Do Some Website Customization Anyway. Vacation rental website templates don’t usually come out the box ready to go. There are several modifications that you’ll need to make, assuming of course, you know how to code a website in HTML or PHP. If not then you’ve got to hire and pay a website designer to help you anyway.

2) Your Vacation Rental Isn’t Unique In Anyway. Your vacation rentals website says a lot about you and your brand. Everyone in business has a brand. Even if their brand is a knock-off product with a white no frills label, it’s just called the “cheap” brand.

In the online world every owner’s goal is to make their vacation property stand out above the rest. Especially when you consider a traveler will search several websites before making their decision. It is important that your property’s website is not drowned out in the sea of rentals found in the online market. You’re much better off creating a website designed from scratch that will capture the look of your brand and the eye of your renters.

3) Vacation Rental Templates Have Restrictions
Website templates are often very difficult to tailor for your specific needs especially for vacation rentals. You may want to have automatic booking software on your site or maybe a special calendar or even review section. You’ll find it difficult to implement some of these tools you’ll want to have on your site because of design and coding restrictions. You’ll also need to consider there are usually licensing agreements enforced by the designer of the template that will govern your rights to use “your” vacation rentals website. You don’t want these restraints on your business do you?

4) Your Message Is Compromised. I want you to picture a box, now you have the idea of a template. The box has distinct parameters and restrictions if you want to go outside that box you can’t. These restrictions force you to compromise your website’s design. When using a vacation rental template for your site you’ll never get it to look exactly the way you want it. You just don’t get that custom look that gives a rental business the edge it needs in this competitive market. With a custom designed website for your vacation rental you get to deliver your message of relaxation, tranquility, value or luxury much more effectively.

5) Others Are Using The Same Website Template. The purpose for a designer to build and design a template is to sell that one template as many times as possible and make as much money as they can. This also means that hundreds or even thousands of other owners and businesses are also downloading that same template. What will your rental prospects think when they see you have the same website as another owner or business? This can even raise some red flags unnecessarily in the eyes of the weary renter.

6) Most Vacation Rental Website Templates Are Terrible For SEO. This really should’ve been number one because if your vacation rental website performs poorly in search engines like Google its costing you in rentals. The fact is most templates aren’t developed with SEO in mind. A designer and an SEO professional perform two completely different roles and designers of templates usually aren’t familiar with even basic SEO practices. Many templates make it hard for Googles search spiders to search and reference the website because of the coding.

7) Vacation Rental Website Templates Use Clunky Coding
Another reason you should avoid building a vacation rental website with a template is clunky code. Often times the code is bulky coding with errors and bad structure. All of these errors and coding issues leave behind a “foot print” for the search engines. These search engines can easily identify all the websites that are using the code. Here is where it can really hurt you; if those other websites that use the same template as yours are in the “bad neighborhoods” (as Google calls them) or if they are in other questionable businesses. It is very possible that your site can be bundled along with those bad websites and your site can be ranked lower than you ought to be.

This clunky coding will also make your vacation rental website load much slower. This is just annoying for your website visitors; this will also affect your websites search engine rankings. Google consider the load time of your website important for the user experience and therefore this has a big impact in your page rank and results.


This blog was originally only “7 reasons why never to buy a vacation rental website template”, but another reason just came across as a client was explaining their issues, so I figured I should put it up here. So here is the +1 reason why never to use templates.

You’re Always Behind In The Market. 

When a new marketing or website tool has just come into the market you’re likely not to get it, or at least you’ll have to wait for it. It will take some time for these vacation rental websites and template services to accomodate the new feature in their templates. When you have the power to control your own vacation rental site than you can call on someone…….say….. us for example, we could pop that cool new tool or that powerful form of marketing everyone is beginning to use into your website, no problem.  You’ll stay ahead of the pack when you control your websites destiny!

It is also important to find a good, reliable, professional and reasonable web design firm to help you.

Villa Marketers specializes in vacation rental website design and marketing services. We know how to design a vacation rental website to fit your needs and convert lookers into bookers. No more wasted time and effort!

Contact us today our website design packages are very powerful and reasonable.

Villa Marketers
Vacation Rental Marketing Experts