Wonderful Widgets

Why your widget is so important to your business!

A sports car may be beautifully styled, but if it can’t go anywhere it’s just… well, a sculpture. In the same way, no matter how good your website looks – and no matter how much money you spend getting people to it – if it doesn’t have a robust “engine” under the hood, no-one is going to book on it. Your booking engine really is the “business end” of your website.

widgetWe’ve put a lot of thought and effort into making those bookings happen for you, but that can be wasted if you don’t spend a little extra time making sure your widget looks fantastic.  Your room details page is usually the 2nd most visited page on your website. Why? Because people, quite understandably, want to see what they’re getting for their hard-earned money!  Showing customers what they are getting whilst they’re considering prices and availability will increase their likelihood of booking….it’s as simple as that.

Here are our 5 top tips to making your widget wonderful!

  1. Room images that keep the customer in the “booking zone”
  2. A list of room facilities that avoids any doubts/delays (i.e. is there a hair dryer?)
  3. Short and clear room descriptions that sell the benefits (i.e. free WIFI, a view etc)
  4. An enticing breakfast description that reinforces the value
  5. A beautiful header image that says “you’ve found the perfect place….”

The right level of information at the right time with a clear “call to action” (i.e. “Book Now”) is what great marketing is all about. That’s what will get you more bookings. Guaranteed.

Your Online Bookings payment Icons – Update on system functionality

Payments against bookings – New Icons on your Diary page

We continue to upgrade and improve the freetobook online booking system. Many of you have asked for an easy way to see if bookings have been paid, we think we have achieved that for you. When you next login you will notice the new coloured icons showing on your “Diary” page. These can be used as a quick glance indication of payment against bookings. Red means no payment made against the booking, Amber shows that the booking is part-paid and Green is fully paid.

Online Booking System Payments
easy to read payment icons

As you can see each booking has a little coloured icon showing you the payment status. When you enter payments against the booking it will automatically change colour to tell you the new payment status.

Icons for payments against bookings on your online booking dairy
Each booking has an icon which will change colour as payments are allocated






The full page of your online booking diary shows like this. If you want to add a payment to any booking all you need to do is click on the booking and hit the payment button.

Online booking system with an easy to manage online diary
Online Booking Diary with easy access to your booking details

Freetobook is already a leader in online bookings systems, we are confident that online booking with us is already the best available, that said we continue to make it even better. Upgrades are usually a result of listening to “you” our customers. If you would like to engage and share with us check out our facebook or twitter pages.

“LOVE the new payments feature!!!  Everything you need to know at a glance on your diary….perfect!”

Heather at Craigend Bed and Breakfast http://www.craigendbandb.co.uk/

“We’re liking the coloured payments, part payments, non payments feature in the diary!”

Thorney How Hostel Grasmere http://www.thorneyhow.co.uk/





New Default Widget Search Date

Brand new functionality from Freetobook offers you even more flexibility by enabling you change the default search date on your booking widget.

In the past it was automatically set for 7 days in advance. Now you can set it to anything between 0 and 14 days in advance. If you choose to set it to 0 days in advance, potential customers will instantly see same-day availability just by hitting “search”.

You can find this functionality by going to the “Home” tab then the “Widget” subtab:

Click on “Edit” then, on the next page, go to option 4 in the left-hand column:




Now you can set your default number of days and the default length of stay.