WordPress offers the use of plugins that add functionality and features to your hotel website in a matter of minutes.

Back in the olden days, programmers arrived at the blacksmith shop and began custom programming features into hotel websites that would provide valuable user tools and fancy flashing images with monkeys running across the page. Custom programming was expensive but necessary if a site needed to accept job applications, offer chat, integrate video or gather information in a form.

Today, WordPress web developers use a mix of free and paid plugins to build in functionality. Many free plugins work on a freemium model where limited features are offered at no cost with additional features available as part of a paid upgrade.

Properly vetting a plugin is critical. Some plugins will slow down your site, don’t get updated regularly, or will cause systemic problems with your other plugins. Get help from someone you trust if you are uncertain.

Here is a list of some of our favorites.

All-in-One Plugin Membership: WPMU DEV
A subscription to WPMU DEV includes access to a number of useful plugins which are vetted and safe.
One of the most popular WPMU DEV plugins is image optimizer WP Smush. This is a great tool for optimizing your images for fast loading and optimal clarity. If you upload new photos to your site on a frequent basis WP Smush is heaven sent, saving you time resizing and scaling down your images.

Comment Spam Plugin: Akismet
Considered by many WordPress community members as a must, Akismet (also run by Automattic) offers free anti-spam services but you also have the option to donate money for the plugin’s upkeep.

Web Forms Plugin: Gravity Forms
Gravity Forms is a premium web forms solution with a lot of useful add-ons. Note that in order to use anything but their basic add-ons, you’ll need a Pro or Elite license. Gravity forms offers the most flexibility in getting your forms to look the way you want them.
We especially like that Gravity forms integrates seamlessly with our marketing automation system Invio by delivering the form data straight into the Invio database where it can be handled with automated responses, follow ups and notifications to hotel management. It also sends form data to SalesForce, Constant Contact and HubSpot among others.

Security Plugin: iThemes
The iThemes Security Plugin is considered as one of the best WordPress security plugins, with claims of 30 ways to secure and protect your WordPre