What is a CMS?
A CMS, or Content Management System, is an online software system designed to be user-friendly when it comes to creating a website, publishing and editing content, and adding multiple users to manage the specific website.
The main reason for the popularity of CMSs is that they offer starters and non-technical users a way of creating powerful websites that can handle lots of traffic. CMSs are also extremely adaptable, with thousands of extra plugins that can add every conceivable feature and function to a website.
What are the most popular CMSs for bloggers?
There are a tons of CMSs available, so it really depends on what you’re looking for. Here are some of the most preferred CMSs in the blogging world: WordPress.org, WordPress.com, Wix, Tumblr, Weebly, Squarespace, Ghost, Blogger, Medium and Joomla.
Among these, WordPress is the most popular CMS simply because you can find thousands of templates and plugins to make your blog look and feel unique. Many WordPress plugins can also be used to extend WordPress' functionality, allowing you to create online stores, communities and more.
Most WordPress themes provide:
- the overall design or style of your site
- font styling
- widget locations
- page layouts (or templates)
- styles for blog posts and blog archives
- additional stylistic details
Here at the Booking.com Affiliate Programme, we also recommend WordPress because we can support WordPress Plugins directly in the Partner Centre.
Checklist before starting a WordPress Blog:
- Set up web hosting. Your web host is provides the space where all your files will be live online.
- Install WordPress. You’ll need to install the software that will be managing your posts and pages.
- Choose a theme. It’s safer to use an official WordPress theme rather than browsing online for free themes that often contain malware. In case you’re not interested in any of the free themes and are looking for something more personalised and professional, you can opt for a premium theme or framework. However, this often requires a stronger development team.
- Create content. Great content is the most important factor to guarantee the success of your blog. Remember to be authentic, inspiring and relevant.
- Adding plugins & widgets. A plugin is an add-on for a programme that adds functionality to it. A widget is a component of an interface that enables you to perform a function or access a service.
How to use Booking.com WordPress plugins
We provide two customisable Booking.com plugins which can be very easily added to your WordPress site:
- Search Box WordPress Plugin
- Banner Creator WordPress Plugin
You can find a link to all of these plugins in the WordPress Plugins section of our Partner Centre. Here’s some more information about each one:
1. Search Box WordPress Plugin
With the Search Box WordPress Plugin, you can put a Booking.com affiliate search box on your website. The search box is completely customisable, giving you the option to change colour, size and even prefill specific destinations. When implemented, visitors can search for properties directly on your site and commission will be generated for each booking made through it.
To apply the search box, you just have to drag the plugin to the side column where the widget goes.
Features: easy to use, responsive design, flexible for destinations (you can select a pre-filled destination in the search box with the option to have different pre-filled destinations on different pages and posts) dates, customisable colour and size, local language option
Once installed, you can choose a pre-filled destination for the search box. This destination is linked to a Destination ID, avoiding potential issues for multiple cities with the same name.
For more information on your Destination ID, log in to the Partner Centre. Create your own city page in the Links section and after you click on ‘Show a list of links’, you’ll be able to find all Destination IDs (city=xxxxxxxx ) for your selected country. You can also change the pre-filled destination for each page or post where the search box is displaying, thanks to the meta box feature you'll find at the end of the editing area.
2. Banner Creator WordPress Plugin
Create personalised banners that match the design of your site and engage your audience with the Banner Creator WordPress Plugin. Banners can be created using your own images or selected ones, inspired by the most popular themes on Booking.com. All reservations made through this plugin will be tracked in the Partner Centre.
Easy tracking: with a tracking label, you can clearly see which reservations have come through the banner in the Partner Centre Individual Bookings Performance report