How to implement a hotel booking system with open source products

Written by jerry garner
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How to implement a hotel booking system with open source products
Open-source software can be used to implement a hotel booking system. (broadmoor hotel image by Ron Morris from Fotolia.com)

Whether you have a major 5-star hotel or a small bed and breakfast, it is possible to manage your hotel booking system without expensive software. A number of open-source products are available for free, and some can be modified by a programmer to be tailored specifically for your hotel.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Select an Internet domain name that corresponds to the name of your hotel. The domain name is the Internet address of your website. If the specific ".com" name of your hotel is being used by someone else, try a variation of the name.

  2. 2

    Choose a web host to manage the server for your website. The amount you pay will depend on how much disk space you require, as well as how much bandwidth transfer you will consume. Different hosts charge different amounts, so evaluate several options.

  3. 3

    Choose a content management system (CMS) to power your website. The CMS is the central piece of software that organises and manages your website. A number of free open-source CMS products are available on the market, including Joomla, which can be downloaded for free at Joomla.org.

  4. 4

    Install your CMS by logging into your web host and creating a MySQL database your CMS will use. Make note of the database name, user name and user password, then upload all the files to your server, and type in your domain name. The installation program for the CMS should start automatically. Follow the on-screen instructions. Delete the installation directory from your server--this is typically a folder named "install" or "installation."

  5. 5

    Select a template for your website that was engineered to work with your CMS. For example, if you're working with Joomla, you might browse through the available templates at RocketTheme.com or do a keyword search for "Joomla Templates" at your favourite search engine. Many of these templates have an installer that installs Joomla, the template and sample/demo data at once.

  6. 6

    Install your template. The company you buy your template from will provide you with detailed, step-by-step instructions for how to install the template into your CMS. The template maker may offer to install the template for you for a fee.

  7. 7

    Choose a hotel booking software. If you go to the library of extensions for the Joomla CMS (extensions.joomla.org), you can search "hotel booking" to return a list of available software add-ons. This software can be used for booking hotel rooms online, and you can use it in your front office as well. Browse through the available options for open-source hotel booking products, and select the one that best meets your needs.

  8. 8

    Install the hotel booking software by going to Installers>Modules and selecting the zip file you downloaded in the previous step. Note that some of these extensions may require you to log into your hosting account to create a MySQL database. Refer to the instructions for the specific open-source product you selected for details on how to install the hotel booking software.

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