“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” says Lao Tzu.
If your wanderlust takes you places and you’re always passionate about trying new things at different destinations, you have enough reasons to build a travel website.
Being a successful travel blogger, sooner or later, you may get tons of opportunities to visit dream locations, take trips and meet new people.
Above all, you will have a chance to live the life you’ve always desired.
Whether you have been traveling for passion or yet to start a career as a traveler, having the knowhow to create a travel website will get you off to a fantastic start.
This article discusses how to make a travel website, promote it and cash in with different revenue-making techniques.
Anyone can create a travel website, but it is highly effective for:
- Solo travelers looking for ways to live a dream life and monetize their journeys
- A travel agency looking to start a travel blog and do content marketing to draw the attention of prospects
- A lead generation agency eyeing more leads for its tourism related clients
Though it sounds lucrative to be a part of the global tourism industry, which stands at around $1.67 trillion in 2022, you can’t disregard the challenges that will come your way throughout the traveling business.
Whether you are a seasoned traveler or just setting up a travel business, be prepared to work day and night, as it isn’t going to be sunshine and rainbows!
What should a travel website include?
Before you start thinking of producing a single piece of content, we think every travel website should have a few key components.
A travel website should ideally have a clean design. Here are 8 principles of web design you should know .
Secondly, a travel website must have the following core elements:
A responsive website can be easily viewed on any device regardless of size. While putting together a website, you should ensure that it scales everything automatically and loads correctly on every screen type, keeping your content right in front of users.
A responsive design is also a treat for search engines.
Google happily crawls responsive websites as it ends up consuming fewer resources. WordPress provides tremendous opportunities for creating responsive websites.
It’s always better to go with themes like Astra to build a responsive website in minutes.
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An image or video gallery
A camera is the best companion a traveler can have. You’re going to see amazing sights, meet fascinating people and create fantastic memories. It makes sense to capture as much as possible on camera
Your website should ideally offer tools to create albums and galleries and integrate them wherever you need them.
There are a number of good WordPress plugins, such as WP Portfolio, to achieve what you want. We will talk more about it in a while.
An online booking system can create immense opportunities for your travel business. It gives travelers the comfort of booking packages and making payments online without having to visit you.
Any time difference between you and your customers becomes a non-issue as the booking system works 24/7 even if you are not around.
An added advantage is that it can be scaled anytime to handle extra demand, especially during the holiday season.
You don’t need a huge staff to organize your business. An online booking system provides essential insights and creates reports whenever you want to help get the entire picture of your travel business.
How to create a travel website
For us, this is the most exciting part of every tutorial where we set up a website.
To create a travel website, follow each task step by step and you will have a stunning travel website ready in less than an hour.
Step 1: Name your travel website
Your website name will represent you throughout its business life.
You need to be creative enough to stand out in the crowd. Names like My Adventurous Life, Best Travel Tips, and similar others are too generic and may get mixed up among a gazillion travel sites on the internet.
Be specific, make it personal and try to ensure it describes what your travel website is about.
Keep it short and easily memorable too, so people can easily remember it.
Once you have selected a name, register it with a registrar of your choice. We recommend domain.com and namecheap.com as among the best in this field.
If you use Namecheap for example, enter the desired name in the search field and press the Search button.
If the name is available, proceed with the payment process to secure it before someone else does.
You can also buy a domain through your current web host. We will tell you about it in the following step.
Step 2: Get a web host
Next in line for you is to buy web hosting. Hosting is where you rent space on a server to host your website for a specific duration, which users can access from around the world.
You can choose one of the following web hosts, as we rate them for their reliability and performance. They offer plenty of plans suitable for almost every budget:
For this tutorial, we will go with SiteGround. They offer managed WordPress hosting which is ideal for our travel website.
On their homepage, choose the WordPress Hosting page from the Hosting menu and buy the GrowBig plan. It offers unlimited websites and carries lots of resources.
Press the blue Get Plan button to proceed with the buying process. SiteGround allows you to scale plans whenever you need.
On the next page, register the domain name if you haven’t already done so or enter an existing domain and complete the process.
SiteGround will automatically perform the groundwork for your new website without you having to do anything.
Step 3: Install WordPress
If you want to install WordPress on your website yourself, you can do it by accessing the SiteGround dashboard.
Go to the Websites page in the admin area and press the Add New button.
Select the Existing Domain option.
The next screen will ask you to Start a New Website or Migrate Website. Choose the first option and select WordPress from the applications.
Enter your login credentials and continue.
It will take a few minutes to get your website ready.
After the SiteGround installer finishes the process, you can log into your website admin area through the URL www.mytravelwebsite.com/wp-login.php.
Just change the URL above to your own and add /wp-login.php at the end to access the login screen.
Enter the credentials when the login screen appears.
While entering the WP admin area, you will come across a wizard to help you install a WordPress theme on your site.
Press the Exit link to ignore it.
You may need to remove a few plugins SiteGround adds during the installation process to help you add themes and manage pages.
Go to Plugins > Installed Plugins page and remove the ones you don’t need.
In our case, we will delete all three SiteGround plugins to restore the original look of the WordPress admin area.
Check the boxes, select Deactivate from the Bulk actions field and press the Apply button to deactivate the plugins.
Repeat the same process to delete them.
Step 4: Install a theme for your travel website
A WordPress theme is the face of your website and, combined with plugins, is responsible for the overall user experience.
We need a theme that will help us achieve our goals. It should ideally be lightweight, well coded, and fully customizable.
We will install Astra on our travel website. It has all the qualities we look for and performance that’s second to none.
Astra is our in-house developed theme, so we trust its features!
To install it, go to Appearance > Themes and press Add New button.
You can find Astra by using the search box. Press the Install button and activate it when the option appears.
Next, we need to install a travel website template.
We will import a template from the Starter Templates library Astra offers.
Step 5: Import a travel template
We need to install the Starter Templates plugin to access the library.
Go to Plugins > Add New and look for the Starter Templates plugin by typing the name in the search box.
Install and activate the plugin when it appears on your screen.
You will find a number of free templates to use, but complete access to the library comes with Essential Bundle and Growth Bundle plans.
You can open the template library from Appearance > Starter Templates.
Once there, select the page builder of your choice from the list that includes Standard (Gutenberg), Elementor and Beaver Builder.
You will find a huge variety of travel website templates to support your adventures as a traveler, a travel agency business, a hotel and resort and several others.
As the name suggests, this template is ideal for travel agency businesses and flexible enough to accommodate anything you require.
You can display your best travel offers, book tours, show the world your business partners and show off customer testimonials, all on the homepage. Adding a blog as a part of your marketing strategy is a completely painless process.
The template comes with all the essential goodies your business might need. You can always add and customize any part of the website, thanks to the power of Elementor page builder.
Travel Blogger and Influencer
For solo travelers who live an adventurous life but don’t want to stay away from their fans, this template is designed to tell the world about their travel experiences.
You can show off your pictures and videos and arrange them nicely in a gallery layout. The template also offers you to integrate your Instagram feed anywhere you want.
If you want to earn from your travel as an influencer, this template provides everything you need for your venture.
You can build a travel blog to market your business effectively in just a few clicks.
Travel and Tourism
If you are into the hotel and travel resort business and wish to highlight all the details your guests would like to know, this template has everything.
This is a modern flat layout on a white background prominently displaying everything your users need to find.
The elegantly designed contact page can show an aerial shot of the whole town and nicely integrates a Google map making it easy for your guests to spot your location.
Let’s import a template
Why did we choose the Travel Blog template?
It’s ideal for solo travelers and influencers who want to visit places and earn through being an affiliate. We can recommend it to those who like to stay with the default Gutenberg editor.
But it’s entirely up to you what template you use.
Once you select a template, an import wizard will walk you through a short import process.
You can upload a logo and change fonts and colors on your way to the final step.
The process may take just over a minute to import everything this template needs to run, including layout design, sample data, essential pages, and plugins.
With the default settings, your website should look similar to the image. This is how to create a travel website in just a few minutes!
This template is suitable for sharing your travel and adventure stories, but it can also support your personal travel business.
You can significantly improve your page design experience on Gutenberg by using the Spectra plugin, which adds features professionals use to design websites.
If you plan to go with Elementor page builder to create a travel website, we suggest you check out Ultimate Addons for Elementor (UAE) to fulfill all your design needs.
Essential plugins for travel websites
You can build any website with WordPress and add functions with the help of plugins.
For example, you will need a plugin to integrate a signup form on your website to grow subscribers.
Knowing which plugin you need on your site makes you more productive. We have an ultimate guide to tell you about the must-have plugins for your site to improve its overall performance.
Pictures create curiosity, which is why it’s an essential feature for a travel website.
Though WordPress has a built-in gallery management tool, you can use several photo gallery plugins to add real value to your images.
WP Portfolio is a powerful solution to present your images and videos in style and adds lots of interactive features and effects.
It’s a complete image management tool to help you add galleries anywhere on your website with the help of easy to understand and fully customizable shortcodes.
WP Portfolio is more than adding galleries to your website. You can select layouts for images or videos from hundreds of prebuilt and customizable templates that work with all popular page builders.
It is an ideal and versatile plugin for any travel website.
If you are a travel blogger and also plan to show off your photographic portfolio on your site, this plugin can help you create one.
WP Travel Engine
WP Travel Engine is an all-in-one tool for your travel business needs.
You can create itineraries, receive bookings, get customer reviews, convert currencies, and process payments through a variety of payment gateways.
You can embed trip widgets anywhere on the website, including blog posts. That’s an added advantage for travel influencers who want to generate affiliate income.
Google Maps Widget Pro
It’s much easier for users to plan their trips when they have complete information about a destination. This is why it’s essential to have accurate maps on your travel website.
Google Maps Widget Pro is easy to use and lets you add unlimited maps on the site, including posts, pages, sidebars and menus.
It’s a lightweight plugin that generates a single database request, a vital aspect that does not affect website speed.
This easy-to-use plugin can show street view, directions, and much more.
Yoast and Schema Pro
Though there are many options to choose from when it comes to SEO, these two plugins make a great combination for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You can get your travel website on track from the beginning by using the Yoast and Schema Pro plugins for their ability to handle on-page SEO.
Yoast is a great companion for assisting in the initial SEO settings, such as adding meta, integrating websites with search engines, generating XML sitemap and much more.
Yoast keeps an eye on every post and page you publish and helps you with excellent tips to optimize them.
With Schema Pro, you can outperform your competitors right off the bat. It implements schema on each post and page and makes it search engine friendly.
Search engines such as Google can better understand different types of content on your website, which can help rank your website better.
Backups are an essential part of your website security strategy. They make sure you have a good chance to restore the website should you ever need to.
UpdraftPlus makes it easy to take backups and store them in the cloud. It takes backup automatically at regular intervals, or you can do it manually anytime you need.
Marketing your travel website
Building a travel website is just the first step. You need content and a workable marketing strategy to promote it for a steady traffic flow.
Whether you intend to publish travel stories to share your experience with the world or establish a successful travel brand, you will need quality traffic.
A better way to start is by promoting it within your social network. People who know you personally will likely give you an early response.
Search engine optimization
Google, the largest search engine, is responsible for most of the organic traffic on your website. It’s better to be friends with the search engine from the beginning and take advantage of free traffic.
Check out our some interesting tips on SEO to be successful on Google.
Pick the few most relevant keywords to your website and stick with them for a while to rank in the search engines.
You can later add more keywords to your articles to target a wider audience.
Social media has a huge audience
Every platform has its own uniqueness. For example, you can go viral on Pinterest and Instagram with infographics and pictures, while YouTube and TikTok are more suitable for video stories.
Select a platform based on your target audience and the content you want to deliver.
With the proper techniques, you can grab a good number of followers for free.
Join travel groups, forums and communities
There are tons of groups out there where people share their travel experiences. If you are a frequent traveler, you can jump in with your valuable travel advice in a thread and show how you can be helpful to someone planning a trip.
Add a link to your website in your signature and link to any relevant content you have published.
Don’t overdo the promotion though. Be genuinely helpful and this will help you create some good links.
Be reliable, develop a positive reputation and gradually give the audience a reason to check out your profile. This should eventually draw people to your website.
Email is still the most effective email marketing strategy to establish engagement with your audience and drive traffic to your website.
You can ask people to sign up for the newsletter and, in return, promise them exclusive content, travel tips, or a few offers if you have cracked a few deals earlier based on your past travel experience.
Write guest posts
This might look time consuming , but guest posting is a great marketing tool. You write articles for other blogs and publications in your niche in return for a backlink to your website.
Having a chance to have your post published on a well-ranking blog involves a great deal of effort and convincing power initially, but it’s all worth it.
Run ad campaigns
Almost every platform provides ways to promote your brand. You can use Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads to bring traffic to your website.
Depending on the content you intend to promote, you can also use YouTube, Quora, and Twitter to market your website.
Remember, these are paid tools, so use them wisely to target the right audience!
How to make money from a travel website
Whether a solo traveler or an agency, you should use every opportunity to improve your earnings.
Do you know Kate from Adventurous Kate left her real 9-5 job 12 years ago, and ever since, she has traveled to 83 countries and counting.
As you start witnessing a nice flow of visitors to your website, it’s time to think about banner ads. You can put them in multiple places, but be careful with too many banners as it might ruin the user experience.
Play tactfully and place ads where they don’t interfere with the content.
Google Adsense, Media.net, Adversal, and Adsterra are just a few examples of ad networks to try.
Be an affiliate and sell products
As your audience trusts your opinion and enjoys your valuable travel content, they wouldn’t mind if you tried to make a commission out of a few affiliate links.
You can recommend products, including travel gadgets, tickets, tour plans, and hotel stays, on your website. If you are a photographer yourself, you can share with people which equipment you mostly prefer to take fantastic photos.
You can contact brands directly or join the affiliate networks.
Check out Travel Payouts and Booking.com affiliate program to get an idea.
A sponsored post is a kind of ad designed like a blog post to promote a brand or a specific product. It may be an interview, a review, or anything that suits the brand.
Be selective with the content that suits your style. We suggest always telling your audience about sponsored content. This way the audience will always respect your business needs.
You can start pitching different brands once you have enough visitors.
Google Analytics is a great free tool to accurately monitor and display your site’s traffic.
With traffic and influence in the community, there may come lots of added benefits.
You may get invitations from agencies and brands to visit places. These paid tours can often cover traveling costs, accommodation and food in exchange for something you can deliver – blog posts and social media posts.
Besides deliverables, such tours can be a great opportunity to create extra content for your website.
A travel website is a powerful platform to connect with hundreds and thousands of people and share stories about beautiful places in your own way.
As a hobbyist or solo traveler, you can help people know more about places of their interest. You can also use a travel website to promote your travel business.
Whatever the case, you need a platform easy enough to create a travel website effortlessly. We recommend having WordPress and Astra in your toolkit.
This powerful combination can help you create a travel website with all the essential features to fulfill any need.
The tutorial guides you step by step on how to build a travel website that stands out.
If you are done creating your travel website or in the process, we would love to hear about your experience in the comments below. Cheers!
Thanks for your informative article.
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