Designing a Travel Website

Travel websites must evoke a certain atmophere about a place. Web design can utilize Flash movies and animation as well life style photographs to capture this aspect of creating a good travel website. Another important issue is decide the purpose of a website. If the travel website is intended to make money then the design must focus on getting a high conversion rate. The other major consideration in a travel website is good content.

Balancing all these needs in a travel website can be difficult. Too many sites seem to be focussed primarily on getting bookings for hotels, resorts and other accommodations. The sites typically feature a large call to action box that prompts the user to choose dates and a location. These travel websites often look good but they lack much content. The descriptions are all about the accommodation not about the location, its attractions, its history and travel tips. If the user just wants to book a place to stay in Koh Samui (for example) then that is fine. If, however, the user wants to know which is the best beach in Koh Samui or the times of boats to Koh Phangan then these sites can be irritating.

Similarly, the temptation to impress the visitor to the site with graphics and movies can lead to a lack of informative text as well as making page load times slow. People with poor internet connections are likely to give up on sites that take too long to load. Also Flash is not available for people browsing through iPhones. A balance needs to be struck between ’bells and whistles’ and providing good content.

Finally, many people are itnerested in first hand experience when it comes to travel websites. Incorporating a blog or reviews section allows visitors to the site to read first hand accounts of places rather than purple prose about a hotel or a beach. This is important for establishing the authority of a site. It will also encourage people to return to the site to look for updates.