What makes a good Bed and Breakfast website?
So in light of our previous post Top Bed and Breakfast Website Mistakes we wanted to show the best bed and breakfast website designs. To go into more detail we wanted to show which specific features go into making an attractive, functional website with good usability.
Today there are many options to build your own website, many business owners make the mistake that just having a website is good enough. So the aim of this blog post, is to point out what aspects go into making a fantastic website.
To work out what makes the best bed and breakfast website designs, we decided to evaluate 3 key categories. The categories are Imagery, Usability and Design.
Not only is it key to have good images on your website, but its all about how you choose to display those images. While many websites have a gallery, websites which utilise the whole width of webpage to display a property, instantly gives the potential customer a window into where they could be staying and begins to build an experience in their mind, which includes staying at your property.
By displaying high quality images in a header or a background, you can entice customers before the gallery is even viewed. Be it the property surroundings, or one of the rooms, using images in this way is incredibly effective.
How the images are positioned along with the image width and height can make a huge difference. A narrow banner, compared to a banner with a larger height can change how a website looks. Viewing very small images is a waste of a good opportunity to entice potential customers.
While we feel the functionality could be improved, this is a fantastic example of utilising good imagery Especially the home page. The Coach House Norbury
The design of this website could be altered to maximise the stunning visuals but it still serves as a good example especially the gallery. Llwynhelyg Country House
If we compare the imagery used above to that on The Isle Estate website, you can see that the fantastic grounds and property is not maximised to its potential. The images in the header are small, and this is the same for the images at the bottom of the page. The Isle Estate
A prefect example of quality imagery displayed at the wrong size and under utilised. The Old School Bed and Breakfast
The main reason that usability is so important, is because there are so many similar websites users will click to the next site if the first one they visit is not usable. You can have the most beautiful website in the world, but people will leave immediately if they are unable to figure out how to navigate your site quickly.
Similarly, a user of a website will formulate a judgement about that company that is strongly correlated with the way they perceive its website. When good usability is implemented in conjunction with good web design characteristics, especially visual attractiveness, it results in a web site that positively affects users behaviour and the trust that a user has in the company to whom the web site belongs.
Websites which do not implement usability conventions, confuse users and result in a loss of revenue for the companies behind them. Improving usability is a great way to encourage users to visit your site instead of the sites that belong to your competitors and is often an approach that keeps customers coming back to your site again and again. High-quality websites that are easy to use, bring in customers and give a particular site the edge over the competition.
Top Tip – We recommend reading Steve Krug – Don’t make me think
This websites design is consistent throughout, its layout makes it very easy to read and navigate. Its also good to note there is more than one call to action on each page. Raglet House
Here is another good example of usability, as its very easy to read an navigate, which means the user is more likely to explore the site. St Agnells B&B
This websites navigation makes it very hard to browse the site. The menu is located towards the bottom of the page which means the menu position changes an is dependant on the content. When you browse through the site you will also notice that much of the content is not aligned and there is a poor use of space. All of these factors make for an unpleasant user experience. Mallard Grange
Good website design includes effective use of colours, space, typography, alignment, communication of key information and ties it all in with the brand. When navigating a good design, the user should be led around the screen by the designer.
A good website uses all of these elements to achieve its main objective, so for a Bed and Breakfast website this would be acquiring a booking from new customer. While each of these design elements could fill their own blog post many times over we summarised what each element brings to a good website.
Colours – Effective use of bold and subtle colours will tell users where to look. It will also be used to tie in with the brand.
Space – Spacing makes everything clearer, Apple and Google are masters of using the white space to draw your attention to the call to action buttons overall helping to achieve the main goal of the page/website.
Typography – Text is the most commonly looked over part of the design process, websites which understand the use of line spacing, font size, paragraphing and text hierarchy.
Alignment – Making sure all of the content fits on the page in a uniform manor.
The Bear bed & Breakfast is a great example of good design as you can see it makes good use of the space by having the background as images showing off the property. The colours are subtle and consistent throughout. The Bear B&B
Here is an example which shows poor usage of spacing and typography. The website is all contained within a small box which under values the content and imagery. The text is too small and the content is lost. The navigation is also at the bottom of the page and sometimes hidden with the text. Springwell Barn
So there you have it, I hope we have identified the qualities of what makes a great website. It would be good to see in the comments some of B&B websites which you feel are good examples of the best bed and breakfast web designs.