As the vacation rental market becomes more and more competitive, having your own website is an excellent way for your properties to stand out online. A direct booking website can also increase your profit margins (by removing booking fees from the equation), and give you independence from OTAs like Airbnb and VRBO.
Fortunately, it’s never been easier to create a website for your vacation rental. In this post, we’ve reviewed our top picks for the best vacation rental website builders. You’ll find a comparison of their pricing, features, and example websites, to help you find the one that matches your needs, budget, and style.
Here are our top picks:
- Lodgify – Best vacation rental website builder. Offers the best combination of vacation rental management and website builder features.
- OwnerRez – Great for property managers with lots of properties. Comes with tons of automation and integration features. Only pay for the features you want. Limited website builder features.
- Your Porter App – An affordable alternative to Lodgify. Comparable vacation rental management features, with fewer website customization options.
- Tokeet – Another alternative to Lodgify, with great website customization options, and a lower price.
- Uplisting – Best overall vacation rental management software. Excellent product, but virtually no ability to customize your website. Great if you want to add a booking site to an external website (e.g. Squarespace).
An Introduction to Vacation Rental Website Builders
In addition to the popular website builders (like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, WordPress, etc.), there are now an increasing number of vacation rental website builders to meet the demand of this growing industry. They’re built specifically for property rentals, and they come packaged with other features designed to help you manage your short-term rental business.
Using a vacation rental website builder is the easiest way to create a direct booking website, since direct booking is built right into the website (along with other vacation rental management features).
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a website builder.
- Additional vacation rental features – All of these website builders are actually just one feature in a larger property management system. You’ll want to look into their other features like channel management, automation, and others you might be interested in.
- Value for the price – The platforms here have a wide range of price points. Given that the website builder is just one of several features in these vacation rental management software platforms, it’s important to keep in mind what else you’re getting for the price.
- Ability to customize your website – How many templates do they have and how customizable are they? Can you change fonts and colors? Can you create additional pages?
- Design aesthetic – What do their websites look like? Depending on your priorities, this may be more or less important to you. As web designers, it’s important to us. 🙂
Comparison of the Best Vacation Rental Website Builders
Here’s a quick comparison of the price and features of the best vacation rental website builders.
|Price||Able to |
Additional features include things like channel management and calendar sync, guest messaging automation, Quickbooks accounting integration, and lots more.
Vacation Rental Website Builder Reviews
Now let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Lodgify is one of the most popular vacation rental website builders on the market today. They are trying to establish themselves as “the Shopify for vacation rentals.” Their strength is in their backend features, and not in their web design or blogging features. That said, you can find many examples of well designed Lodgify websites on the web. Here’s one example.
If you are looking for a basic website builder with a ton of automation features and integrations that will make your life easier, Lodgify is one of the best options available.
- Built-in booking engine and channel manager
- Tons of integrations and automation features
- Limited number of well designed website templates (Update: Lodgify recently updated their templates and have some great options)
- Relatively expensive, but still a good value for what’s included
Our Lodgify Recommendation
We think you should check out Lodgify if:
- You want to take direct bookings
- You are a property manager or owner of multiple properties
- You want a central hub (channel manager) where you can easily manage pricing and property details across all your listing sites
- You like the design of their website templates
If that sounds like you, start your Lodgify 7 day free trial.
OwnerReservations or OwnerRez is quietly growing a very committed user base because of their robust feature set, low price, and responsive customer service. Even more so than with Lodgify, their strength is in their backend features, and not in their web design. The website builder is quite basic, giving you a very simple (but clean and attractive) website. Here’s an example of an OwnerRez hosted website.
- Tons of automation features
- Excellent customer service
- Affordable price for the value, and only pay for the features you want
- Quickbooks integration
- Limited website builder features
- Bit of a learning curve to get set up
Our OwnerRez Recommendation
OwnerRez might be perfect for you if:
- You are a property manager who makes commission payouts to property owners – (check out the Propery Management feature)
- You want to automate a lot of your booking processes
- You are fine with a simple website template
As we said, OwnerRez users tend to be very satisfied, committed customers. If you like the sound of some of their features, then start your 14 day trial at OwnerRez.
Your Porter App
Your Porter App is a more affordable alternative to Lodgify. It comes with all the basic features you’d expect from a vacation rental management platform, and has an easy-to-setup ‘Single-Click Website‘ feature (you can try this out without even creating an account).
Their template is basic but professional, and you can change the fonts and colors, and create additional pages. Here’s an example of a Your Porter direct booking website.
Tokeet is another affordable alternative to Lodgify. It comes with multiple template options, and the ability to add pages and customize your design (you can even add custom CSS and JS). Here’s an example of a Tokeet direct booking website.
Visit Tokeet.com to learn more.
Uplisting is a premium, comprehensive vacation rental management software. It’s our top pick on our list of the best vacation rental channel managers. Their product is robust and reliable, and their customer support is excellent.
The Uplisting website builder is very basic. There’s only 1 template, and no ability to customize it or add additional pages. That said, we love the design of their booking website template. It’s modern, clean, and designed to get guests to book.
If you want to use Uplisting, but you also want to be able to customize your website, one option is to link to your booking website from an external website (like Squarespace). Here’s a beautiful example of a company doing just that.
Visit Uplisting.io to learn more.
Other Popular Website Builders
Here are some other popular website builders. These are some of the best website builders for vacation rentals, but require a bit more setup to take direct bookings.
Wix has exploded in popularity in recent years. They have a ton of templates, and features that can be added to make virtually any kind of website you can think of. For vacation rental owners and property managers, they have a range of “travel & tourism” related website templates that are perfect for showing off your properties and integrating a booking calendar. Check out our list of the best Wix vacation rental templates.
As one example, this template has everything you need to showcase your properties.
- Affordable price
- Lots of Wix vacation rental template options
- Tons of ways to customize and add features to your site
- Requires some set up to take direct bookings
- No built-in channel manager
Our Wix Recommendation
You should check out Wix if:
- You either have only a few properties to manage, you plan to integrate with another vacation rental software for direct bookings, or you aren’t planning to take direct bookings. Wix also has a channel manager, designed primarily for hotels, called Wix Hotels (but based on reviews we’ve read, we don’t recommend it).
- You’ve found a website template that you like
If Wix looks good to you, then get started with a 14 day Wix trial.
If you haven’t really loved any of the templates you’ve seen so far, then you might be interested in Squarespace. Squarespace is known for their beautiful design.
If you want the Squarespace aesthetic, but with more booking features, there are ways you can do this. You can either use Lodgify’s Squarespace integration, or you can add a “Book Now” button that links to any other direct booking software. This could be a Lodgify or Uplisting website, or any other booking software you choose. Here are some examples of Squarespace vacation rental websites for your inspiration.
- Beautiful website template designs
- Easy to use
- Requires third-party software (and an additional subscription) to take direct bookings
- No built-in channel manager
Our Squarespace Recommendation
Squarespace is probably the best fit for you if:
- You aren’t planning to take direct bookings (or you are planning to handle it with a separate vacation rental software)
- You like the look of Squarespace website templates
Choose a template and start your free Squarespace trial.
Last, but certainly not least, is WordPress. By some estimates, WordPress powers over 30% of the internet. It’s open source software, free to use, and has an incredibly large base of users and developers working to make it better all the time.
To set up a WordPress site for your vacation rental business, you need
- a hosting subscription (like SiteGround – somewhere your website can “live”)
- a vacation rental WordPress theme
- a direct booking WordPress plugin
Check out this post on the best WordPress vacation rental themes and plugins.
- Almost limitless options to customize your website
- Tons of plugins and themes to choose from
- Can be very inexpensive, depending on your hosting, theme, and plugins
- Requires technical know-how and setup work
Our WordPress Recommendation
We recommend WordPress if:
- You are willing to do some research and learning to set up your site (or you plan to hire someone to build a custom website for you)
- You want to truly “own” your website and be able to customize it with no limits
And if you’re looking for someone to build a custom website for you, we can help! Contact us for a no-pressure quote.
Which One is Best For You?
In our opinion, these are the best websites to create a short-term rental website. There are others, but one of these (or a combination of 2) should fit your needs. Learn more about how to create your own vacation rental website and how to optimize your website design for bookings.
And if you have questions or you’re interested in learning about our custom vacation rental websites, contact us and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have.