Already running a successful sales and letting agency, Richardson Gill, Malcolm Gill and Andrew Richardson were increasingly asked about holiday lettings, and so formed Lyme Coast Holidays Ltd in 2010. After trialling desktop solutions from providers of holiday cottage booking software they decided to go with Total Accommodation Booking System (TABS) and also engaged the software house to create a website which integrated with their desktop software. While the software more than met their needs, they found the website lacked some integration features and flexibility, especially with regard to search engine optimisation. So when they heard TABS had developed a new RESTful application programming interface (API) to allow third party developers to access all the features available within the software, the founders approached Cognique.
Having already worked with the founders on their Richardson Gill website, Cognique were briefed with the task of creating a new TABS integrated responsive holiday lettings website. We worked closely with the business to design and develop a WordPress based website giving them full access to update the content themselves whenever they wished. WordPress is one of the easiest to use and flexible CMS platforms available, and Lyme Coast Holidays specifically asked for the new website to be built upon the framework due to the success they were having with the Richardson Gill website which was built upon the same system. An important feature for the new website was that it would work seamlessly on any sized computer, from mobile to desktop. Responsive holiday lettings websites such as this are now the industry standard as customers are increasingly booking their holidays from the comfort of their own sofa using a plethora of internet enabled devices.
At the heart of the new website is a custom built WordPress plug-in which integrates directly with the TABS API and allows customers to browse the full catalogue of cottages available and also make and pay for bookings online. A feature specifically asked for by Malcolm Gill was the facility to allow customers to have granular control over the properties displayed in searches, such as those with WIFI or those that allow pets, which is accomplished using custom attributes accessed by the API. In order to maintain speed, the plug-in caches the properties and books dates locally using WordPress custom lists and refreshes this data every hour. When the customer goes through to the booking stage, the plug-in accesses the API in real-time so that information is 100% accurate.
The end result is a website which allows Lyme Coast Holidays full control over the content, and customer the opportunity to browse and book properties with ease, freeing up the team’s time to concentrate on the job of running the business. View the new Lyme Coast Holidays website >
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