The Current State of Hotel Websites
There are a lot of ways to build websites: static HTML files, free content management systems (CMS), licensed content management systems, proprietary (custom) website engines, etc.
This research includes data for 8 popular content management systems that are available to the general public:
BookingSuite (a service by Booking.com)
Additional Research Metrics
This research includes data for additional metrics:
- Percentage of hotel websites that link to their social media accounts
- Percentage of hotel websites that link to their TripAdvisor listings.
- Usage of Google Analytics.
- Usage of Facebook Pixel.
- Percentage of hotel websites with <meta name="robots" content="NOINDEX" />.
- Stats about the Homepage <title> tag: average length, most used words, etc.
MARKET SHARE BY CMS
WordPress is very comfortably in the lead with a 20% market share, with Joomla behind it with a 5,1% market share.
It is important to note that ~67% of hotel websites are not powered by any of these Top 8 CMS and website builders.
WordPress powers ~48% (43 out of 90) of hotel websites in St. Lucia, an island country in the Eastern Caribbean Sea.
In Europe, Estonia is in the lead with ~43%, with Lithuania, Iceland, Malta and Sweden with ~36%. Germany and Austria are at the bottom of the charts with 13-14%.
In North America, Canada leads with 22.5%, with USA and Mexico both with only 16%.
In Asia, Japan is close to 15% while WordPress is used only on ~3.3 of hotel websites in South Korea.
Joomla is the world’s second most popular CMS. It accomplishes that by being used all around the world, not in just specific regions.
Joomla is big in Venezuela, where it powers ~25% of hotel websites. It is also surprisingly popular in Greece and Kenya.
Even though Joomla powers only 1.25% of hotel websites in USA, that’s still an impressive number: 1,250 websites.
Belgium is Drupal’s “home-country”, which could be the reason why it is so strong in the neighboring countries of Denmark and France.
TYPO3 is a well-known fact that TYPO3 is mostly used in German-speaking countries. If you are a PHP developer starting out in one German-speaking country, then you can try giving it a chance. If you live/work elsewhere – convincing customers to try out TYPO3 can be challenging.
The same thing goes for end-customers: it might be difficult to find a local TYPO3 expert if you are located outside of this area.
I found TYPO3 websites only in 64 countries. In the USA I found only 3 distinct websites running on TYPO3.
Wix has the largest share of hotel websites in South America and different island countries.
A ranking by the total number of Wix websites would look like this:
USA, France, Brazil, Italy, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany.
Weebly has a relatively good share only in a handful of large countries, all of them English-speaking countries: New Zealand, Canada, Australia, USA.
Similar to Weebly, SquareSpace is doing well only in English-speaking countries: 1,245 websites in USA, 330 in United Kingdom, 300 in Australia, 200 in Canada.
Croatia is in the lead with over 450 websites powered by the BookingSuite (a service of Booking.com). Most of these are one-apartment properties, which seems to be the main customer base for the BookingSuite.
Taking in account both the market share and the raw number of websites, top countries for BookingSuite are Italy, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Chile, Greece, Mexico, Canada, USA.
HOTEL WEBSITES LINKING TO SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
Over one third of hotels link to their Facebook page, but only 9% link to their Instagram account/hashtag.
People in Germany are not too excited about Facebook, they are very concerned about privacy.
I was surprised to see that hotels bother with Twitter at all, I expected even lower numbers.
You would expect that hotels in some countries would focus more on Instagram Marketing, but it is what it is.
One explanation for the low numbers in certain countries is the total number of VERY outdated hotel websites. It is normal to find German hotel websites that haven’t been updated in more than 15 years. Static HTML websites with sparkling .gif animations, frames and other good stuff.
Hotels in countries like Madagascar, Romania, Cuba, Austria and even New Zealand should pick up the pace. Even if you think Instagram won’t get you direct hotel bookings, it will at least raise the country’s general reputation and image on the international level.
Many hotels use their TripAdvisor page as “social proof” of their good service and quality.
Many industry experts think that sending your website visitors out to other websites (even for social proof) is a good way to decrease your direct bookings and lose customers in the process.
The smaller countries are in a confident lead, with Germany confidently at the bottom of the chart, again.
TOOL USAGE: GOOGLE ANALYTICS
This one was probably one of the biggest surprises for me: Google Analytics is used on only 22% of hotel websites.
In an industry where every bit of intelligence and analytics can be used to improve your business, over 75% choose not to use this free tool from Google itself.
TOOL USAGE: FACEBOOK PIXEL
The Facebook Pixel is used for retargeting/remarketing.
It is somewhat of an advanced tool used by marketers to target and reengage visitors that were on your website in the past.
This is what the big shops use when you discover in your Facebook feed an ad for a pair of sandals that you were looking at only 20 minutes ago.
TOP 10 MOST POPULAR (ACTIVE) HOTEL WORDPRESS THEMES
These are the most popular WordPress themes used on the 141,300 WordPress hotel websites that were analyzed.
#5 HOTEL MASTER
#6 SOHO HOTEL
#7 BRIDGE QODE
#10 NICE HOTEL
Some may want to buy a Top 10 because of it’s popularity alone, but it also means that your website will look the same as other hotel websites.
Some may want to buy a less popular theme just to have a more unique design.
The number of hotel websites using outdated versions of WordPress is astonishing.
Only 66% of hotel websites are using one of the latest 3 major versions of WordPress (4.8, 4.7, 4.6). At the time of writing this (13/09/2017), the latest version of WordPress was 4.8.1