Migrating From Drupal To WordPress For Enhanced Functionality

Industry

Travel & Accommodation

Services

Website Migration, Website Design, SEO Preservation 

Technology

WordPress

Client Objective

Established

Introduction

Recent trends have shown a tremendous increase in the temporary housing industry, with work-cations becoming popular with the millennial generation. This has led to bed and breakfasts, Homestays, and guesthouses cropping up, to cater to the changing demands of the modern traveler.

French apartment-hotel, set in a renovated farmhouse in the southern suburbs of Paris, is one such establishment. It offers the best self-catered facilities to tourists and locals alike. Pet friendly, equipped with a high-speed Wi-Fi network, it offers both apartments and suites, in addition to a common kitchenette and non-smoking rooms.  

They had a multilingual website on Drupal that provided information on the various categories of apartments, services, promotional events, stays, and other amenities the hotel offered to its customers. It helped in acquiring a distinct clientele for the hotel. 

Challenge

Lack Of Basic Functionality 

At the time of online booking, the Customer website only allowed customers to view the staying options. Booking was done manually, through a localized system.

Frequent Crashes And Bugs

The Drupal 7 CMS was approaching the end of life, and the website needed debugging. A website that crashes frequently is a deterrent to good business.

Facing a Challenge?

What We Did?

Initially approaching us to debug and fix their existing website, Customer soon saw the need to migrate to a superior content management system, owing to the increasing competition in the field of travel housing, as well as to boost their sales post covid pandemic.  

The website was the main source of lead generation and display of their product packages. It was very rudimentary, with its only purpose being to provide the business with an online presence. A contact form provided their front desk information, that potential customers could use to call and book offline.  

In an increasingly technological world, a business has to keep in mind the needs of their customers, as well as try to grab the attention of new customers. Most hotel bookings are done online nowadays. As booking and logging were maintained on a local system, it proved to be a hassle for people wishing to book online, prior to reaching the menu. Since payments weren’t made before check-in, last-minute cancellations were prevalent, which led to revenue loss.  

Hence the client opted to migrate to WordPress, with the help of our team of developers and designers. Their specifications were clear, they needed a simple and clean design for easy user journeys.  

Customer has a small business with no dedicated IT team to handle website management specifically. We decided to offer them an initial layout of a website with simple design, user flow, and functionality improvements.

Major improvements were made to the experience journey by adding the functionalities critical for the industry. The users could now not only view the packages of accommodation but book and pay online conveniently as well.   

Project Initiation

Requirement Gathering

Design

Project Planning

Development

The theme was designed keeping in mind current French sensibilities, with mostly somber hues and non-cluttered content placement. A plugin was installed to further engagement with the business newsletter subscription.   

Pop-ups were added for promotional offers and any current schemes the hotel wanted to emphasize. A check availability tab was added on the home page itself, to facilitate easy bookings and perusal of the hotel offerings. Promoted content was highlighted for easier visibility, a location widget was added to show the exact address for easier navigation.

The stays were divided into tourism, business, or health, with appropriate apartments and suites sorted accordingly. An added picture gallery made sure the website came across as trustworthy and its offerings were suitably advertised. 

We also included a page for events displaying upcoming exhibitions or fetes or other such attractions happening in and across Paris, which the customers could include in their itinerary. In tourism, incentivization goes a long way to attract clients.

Overall, we maintained the client’s initial outlook, yet the website was revamped to suit the current technological advances.  

In addition, we followed a certain additional set of steps to take care of the SEO, page speed, and performance. We included 301 redirects to maintain ranking with google, retain visitors and prevent loss of backlinks after migration. 

We created a new XML sitemap and optimized page headings, title tags, and meta descriptions.  We organized internal linking, caching to improve page speed, optimized images, no index tag pages & other low-value content, as well as removed unused JavaScript. We made sure to avoid multiple page redirects, compress JavaScript, and removed any unused CSS. In the end, we checked for the presence of 404 errors. 

After the front-end and back-end operations were complete, we shifted the website from staging to production and subsequently made it public upon the client’s final nod.

Outcome

We developed a bilingual website exactly as benefits a Parisian stay-at. With successful Migration to a new platform- WordPress we resolved the problem of bugs and crashes. The new customer website has all the industry-standard functionalities like online booking, payment, and for lead generation, we included an updated contact form.  

Our customer is satisfied with the new website and happy that now he can have a complete online system with an SEO score of 85 and 95 website accessibility score in the core web vitals. 

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