Looking for a campground manager software to implement direct campsite bookings on your WordPress camping website? You’ve landed on the right spot then.
The solution I’m going to introduce you to is the right match for the following cases:
- You’re an RV park / campground / motorhome club / caravan park / tent camp owner and want to rent out the units and gear through your own website online (and get paid quickly!)
- You want to rent out your own RV of any type.
- You need a suitable WordPress campground template for your business to let people know that you exist (optionally present your campsites in detail, feature calendars of availability, pricing, or anything else).
- You are in the search for an affordable RV park management software.
Please note that we are going to talk only about daily-based reservations! If you do need a solution for hourly bookings, we’ve already revised availability calendars that may help you.
WordPress reservation software for campgrounds: tools you need to get started
For this tutorial, we’ll be using:
- Our MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin, which is one of the most popular reservation solutions on the WordPress market for rental properties of any kind (don’t let a ‘hotel’ in the name confuse you).
- A dedicated Campterra campsite template for WordPress.
WordPress hosting and domain things need to be preinstalled for the two things above to work.
What’s also important, the MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin can serve as a campground management software when being used with absolutely any WordPress theme of your choosing.
However, opting for Campterra, you get everything consolidated in one place, for less money: the price of the theme covers the cost of the premium Hotel Booking plugin. The plugin is your all-in-one PMS for campsites: from accommodations to pricing and reservations.
To make this tutorial maximum beneficial and clear, I’m not going to document each step with tons of details since all of them are easily accessible via a portable PDF file with the official instructions.
Instead, you’ll learn more in a bird’s-eye view format of the steps involved into building a camp WP website, plus get a deeper understanding of the campground PMS functionalities by MotoPress.
A brief overview of the steps to create a WordPress camping website
First of all, install and activate the theme you want to use. Since we’re using the Campterra camp template for the tutorial, we have far less work to do: install the theme on your hosting space, and you’ll be offered to install the booking plugin and all relative pages automatically. Basically, immediately after this first step, you’ll get a sample website exactly like in this Campterra demo. Next, you need to give it your custom look and apply custom settings (thanks to the Elementor visual page builder, it’s an easy process for non-techs).
Good news: the plugin is translated into Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Swedish, Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Chinese, Dutch, French, Arabic and German. Your admin dashboard settings will be displayed in the language set in your WordPress language settings.
- Add campsite units with amenities, hookups, etc.
- Add pricing rates based on multiple rules: seasons, the length of stay, include tax and fee charges, etc.
- Optionally set up a system of bookable services.
- Apply payment settings.
- Designate custom booking rules: prevent booking on specific dates for chosen units.
- Configure all system settings.
- Optionally connect free or premium extra extensions for more functionality.
Now, let’s go ahead with the in-detail overview of the Campterra and MotoPress plugin features.
List campsite accommodations
You can build a list of any number and types of campsites / the units you want to rent out.
All of the units (tents, RV pitches, cottages, etc.) are added via the MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin – it’s really easy, you just need to tick the boxes, upload images, write text via a user-friendly dashboard, etc.
You can designate the type of each unit, set flexible rates, size and any other info. Here is an example of an accommodation in the directory:
Each unit has a dedicated page with all the details, a gallery of images, pricing, and the real-time availability calendar of this particular unit (the booked days are crossed out).
You can also optionally put a reservation form on each page so campers can check the availability and book a unit right away!
The campsite search form
If you’ve got a lot of sites or pitches to rent out, obviously, it’s not super convenient for campers to go through them one by one in order to find the best match.
To facilitate this process for guests, you can enable a traditional real-time property search form with check-in and check-out date fields, and optionally include the number of “Adults” and “Children” fields.
To help guests tailor the search, you may add custom search filters – as many as you need.
For example, for the default search form in Campterra, we removed default fields for the number of people and set a custom ‘unit type’ value:
Or you can make it even more advanced with more filters / fields:
In the dashboard, the plugin system comes with many agile features. For example, you can add a general “Guest” field for the total number of people, state the age of a child if you use the “Children” field, etc.
And of course, the system searches through all rental units in real time so campers always get up-to-date results in a few clicks.
Completely customizable reservation pricing
Thanks to the tiered system of rates, it’s really easy to set dynamic prices that vary based on the search parameters.
Here are the main variable pricing rules you are free to designate for your campground units:
- Conditions (access to hookups, water, refundability, etc.)
- The length of stay (set different pricing tags for different bookings duration for custom periods – a day, week, month, 8 days, etc.)
- The number of people (charge more or less depending on this criteria).
- Seasons – some basic periods with default prices.
Moreover, each campsite can have its own set of arrival and departure rules, such as minimum and maximum days to stay, days of the week available for check-in and check-out, time of arrival, etc.)
Want to impose required taxes and fees onto the final cost? No problem, set those extra charges via the plugin and they’ll be added to the chosen rate at checkout (displayed in the table of charges).
Offer discount coupons
It’s also quite easy to entice guests to come back for more by offering custom coupons; the system for them is already integrated.
To generate the needed coupons on your WordPress camping website, you can set monetary and percentage values for them. The plugin offers plenty of extra settings to shape coupons for your marketing purposes.
Online campground reservation system
First off, what makes this WordPress booking system different from the similar cloud-based reservation software?
You don’t need to pay any per-booking or per-unit fees. It never takes a share on sales.
Your website is your territory of direct bookings and the MotoPress campground PMS doesn’t affect your bank account anymore (so far, the plugin is a fixed price of $69 per year for one website, which is still not obligatory; a recurring yearly payment is charged only if you need updates from the plugin.)
Okay, so once a camper is ready to book a trailer / pitch / tent through your website, what does the process look like?
The Hotel Booking plugin by MotoPress allows you to opt for any of the following scenarios for your WordPress camping website:
- You can receive free reservation requests and then manually confirm them through the admin dashboard (may be suitable if you want to collect payments on arrival). Approve or reject the reservation easily.
- Allow users to confirm those free requests by themselves by clicking on the confirmation link in the email.
- Add bookings to the dashboard manually after getting a phone call or email requests.
- Set bookings on autopilot so they are confirmed automatically once the online payment is received. Get paid quickly!
In any case, it’s easy to change the status of each booking with a button click:
As to the last approach, the plugin allows you to enable the following payment gateways without being charged any extra money: PayPal, 2Checkout, Braintree, Stripe and Beanstream/Bambora.
At checkout, customers will see only those options you turned on in the settings:
If you operate in regions where other gateways are popular with travelers, you can opt for integrating those payment methods the easy way through the WooCommerce Payments add-on – our specialist extension for the MotoPress Hotel Booking.
Financial management: billing and invoicing
Online payments are automatically recorded by the system, you don’t lift a finger.
You can also choose to collect payments only after arrival: in this case, the website manager can manually add (record) a sum of money to the particular booking to keep all billing info the digital way:
For the online payments, you can require either full sum or just a deposit (fixed and monetary values are available).
No matter which booking confirmation mode you choose, you may still optionally automate the whole procedure for deposit or pay later options by using a dedicated Payment Request extension. It enables the system to send automated “Payment request” emails to allow guests to secure bookings before arrival by paying you online.
The extension allows you to schedule reminders and track the history of payments / actions automatically.
If you sell extra bookable services, they are also added to the dashboard and can be optionally added by guests during checkout.
As you can see, you have access to tons of tools under one roof – even if you deal with cash payments or wire transfers.
Automated guest and campground admin notifications
How do users stay informed?
Any change to booking details, confirmation emails, payment requests and other notifications are sent automatically to guests.
It’s also easy to create a custom look for the email templates that will be sent to your guests.
You as a website manager also receive notifications on preferable actions.
Schedule board: view all forthcoming reservations in a calendar
There are several handy menus to manage bookings: the Payment history to view all recent payments, plus a calendar view of all bookings. In a calendar, it’s easy to view details of each reservation.
It’s also quite easy to change details of a booking, not just view it: you can update them right in the dashboard of your WordPress camping website.
Each booking contains its real-time status (confirmed, pending payment, etc.), the history of actions on each client, guest details and billing information.
If you need to generate a spreadsheet document with all the bookings data (CSV format) to export elsewhere from your WordPress camping website, you can do that for all bookings or just work with the needed data selectively.
Receive bookings and payments from several websites / locations simultaneously
Over time, direct campground reservations can bring you tons of benefits and become your main source of income. However, you are not forced to be tied to your website only – you may optionally list your campground units on extra property rental marketplaces (OTAs) like Booking or Airbnb. The built-in iCal sync functionality can help you set up connection across your website and third-party websites!
That basically means you can receive bookings from different locations with zero duplication or overbooking. Make sure that the external platforms you use support iCal synchronization, though.
If you want to see how it works in detail, watch the OTAs sync video tutorial:
Optionally add campsite reviews
Want campers to rate your place? There is a specific paid extension for the Hotel Booking plugin you can implement for a five-star rating system and user-generates reviews.
Since it’s created specifically for the plugin, it’ll take a few clicks to switch on the system of rates and allow guests to share their experiences on your website.
Website design features with Campterra
You want to read this part only if you are interested in the Campterra theme! The theme is packed with lots of helpful elements designed specifically for camp businesses on WordPress.
Here are a few examples:
- An awesome frontpage hero slider (which is super SEO-friendly and light in terms of performance).
- An interactive camp map to visualize the locations of campsites.
- Special galleries and areas to present campsite surroundings, tell about all the things to do, share travel tips and more.
- The theme is built with Elementor – a top-rated WordPress Page Builder. It allows you to edit colors, shapes, animation, media, text, layout and other website essentials in a visual mode (a very user-friendly thing!).
- Visualize data about your camp with icons.
- A Subscribe to newsletter area to collect leads.
- Google maps.
- A history timeline to show your expertise and background.
- Testimonials area (an absolute must-have).
- Team showcase.
Final word: Probably the most effective and affordable campground booking software for WordPress
Now you know what it takes to get started with an environmentally friendly campground WordPress website, where clients can safely book sites online in advance and have a peace of mind before their next trip.
Using these tools, the MotoPress reservation and management software for camps and the Campetrra camping template in particular (created exclusively for campground and RV industry), you have odds to show campers the commitment to sustainability and innovation in your business, create unforgettable pre-vacation experiences for your guests, increase occupancy rates, and scale your business without any commissions – all on the independent website.
Should you have any questions on how to create a WordPress camping website, let us know!