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Do Hotels Really Need A Bespoke Website in 2023?

First impressions are important for any business, but with hotels, it’s especially true. A hotel website needs to showcase the beauty and the character of the hotel, encouraging custom right from the very beginning.

Bespoke websites are often seen as the perfect way to showcase this uniqueness. Custom layouts, bespoke imagery, flexible features and a seamless user journey can all be tremendous deciding factors when a customer is browsing a website.

However, with the sophistication of certain self-build, template-based sites like Squarespace and WordPress, some may argue that this out-of-the-box solution can prove just as successful for hotel websites of all shapes and sizes. 

It’s important to note that the term ‘bespoke’ here doesn’t necessarily mean coding from the ground up. Although this is an option, bespoke sites can also make use of CMSs like WordPress. Bespoke just means that they’re customised, rather than entirely relying on out-of-the-box templates and designs provided by these builders.

This, therefore, begs the question, do hotels really need a bespoke website in 2023?


Bespoke hotel website advantages

There are many advantages to having a totally bespoke website for a hotel, some of which we’ve explored below.

Stand out from the crowd

A bespoke website will allow hotels to have a unique and professional online presence that differs from its competitors and other hotels within the space. At the end of the day, each independent hotel is unique and its website should be too.

A bespoke hotel website can help the hotel stand out in what is already a very competitive marketplace. 

A recent study showed that 46% of consumers base their decisions on the credibility of a website based on visual appeal and aesthetics - so having a template used by many probably won't help here - it’s going to be key to providing a different offering!

Fully customisable and flexible

Bespoke websites can be fully tailored to the hotel and its unique offerings. This means that whether the hotel offers the ability to purchase gift cards, spa treatments, golf slots, or restaurant bookings, a bespoke website can be built to accommodate each and every service the establishment provides, integrating seamlessly with other booking and reservation systems. It’s something that’s not always easy with generic, template-based sites.

This in turn provides a better online experience and user journey for visitors, keeping them on the one site and increasing the potential for upsells and bookings.


Although out-of-the-box solutions are becoming more sophisticated and are often very clever, a bespoke website can be fine-tuned to perform exactly where your customers will be using it. 

Nowadays, most people are browsing the internet on mobile devices and it’s imperative that websites are mobile-friendly to encourage conversions. A bespoke solution can be built with mobile design at the very forefront, encouraging mobile conversions and sales.

On Brand

It’s true, out-of-the-box solutions are very customisable, however, they don’t always stretch as far as you like.

Having a bespoke site allows you to customise every colour, every font and every pixel allowing you to portray your brand and its personality perfectly. After all, it takes just 0.05 seconds for users to form a design opinion so customizability of your brand can be the difference between someone staying, or bouncing.

Create a personalised experience

As it’s been stated that 71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience feels impersonal, having a bespoke website can keep visitors happy. A customised online journey based on your guests’ preferences can be built tailoring it to a unique customer base that you know converts.

Personalised support

Because the site has been built from the ground up, problem identification may be considerably easier as the company that built the site will know exactly where to look, thus saving a considerable amount of potential downtime! 

It also means you won't be left in the dark, you’ll likely have access to a variety of support channels from the people that actually built the site.

Bespoke hotel website disadvantages

Don’t get us wrong, bespoke hotel websites certainly aren’t for everyone, and there are a lot of situations where you shouldn’t go with this option.

Higher cost

The cost of websites usually varies a lot depending on the size and sophistication. Therefore, because of the customizability and complexity of a bespoke website build, the price is going to be much greater than what you would pay for an out-of-the-box solution. 

Longer time

As mentioned above, due to the increased complexity of a bespoke project, it’s likely that it’ll require more design and development time to create the perfect site.

Maintenance and updates

It’s well-known that maintaining and updating template-based sites is usually as easy as a click of a button and something anyone can do. 

Bespoke websites may be a little harder though. Depending on the platform and the technology used you may need help keeping your site up to date.

In this case, this is why most hotel website design agencies tend to offer support and maintenance packages to help their clients with any updates and maintenance that needs to be completed on the site.


In conclusion, you can see there are points for both sides. However, if budget and time allow, we’d always recommend going bespoke. 

The level of customizability and integration flexibility works particularly well in the hotel industry allowing developers to create a much more seamless user journey for guests.

If you’d like to find out more about the hotel website design and development services we offer here at Arise please get in touch!

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