• Hello, if you cannot log in, please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the page for assistance.

Acorn Internet Services Question

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

Help Support INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources:

Buckeye

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
We are turning over every stone before we change direction with our website/hosting/booking engine revision. While we CAN just purchase a template (WordPress/Responsive), upload to a host, and manage it from there, we have reviewed RezNexus and now we find an Acorn Internet Services.
We see from previous posts that some of you have history with Acorn, and often we are reading about "business doubling", "they know what they are doing", etc.
Can anyone give us an idea of what cost range this company is, and if you have them, how pleased are you?
Obviously, a basic hosted site with a personally-built template website, fairly well-managed by an individual B&B owner, takes time and effort to stay attuned to SEO changes. But I would guess that there is a point at which a "professionally"-produced site, hosted by a specialization company, pays for itself in increased sales.
Any thoughts or input as we sort through this?
 

Madeleine

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
7,990
Reaction score
0
I think it depends on how much you give them to work with. If you have all the photos, text and an idea what you want it might not be too bad. What you really want them for is the SEO side. I think a lot of inns that saw massive increases went from really bad websites to fantastic websites and/or no SEO policy to a well-thought-out policy. You can use the waybackmachine to see what old sites looked like before their make over.
If you go from being 10th on a valid Google search to being 1st, yeah, you're going to see a big jump. (IF you are providing what the searcher is looking for.)
All that to say the last price I heard for a full inn website (home page, rooms, breakfast, packages, things to do, directional maps and all that jazz) was $7k.
 

Buckeye

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Holy Cracker Jack...$7,000! Seriously? Even RezNexus is less than that....do the results actually validate the "investment" at THAT level? I cringed when I saw $2900 for the Platinum BnBwebsites plan...
I thought $149/month for RezNexus was too much.
I have a REAL hard time justifying the high end when I can buy a template for $100+-, copy/paste my content, upload my photos, fill in the ALT tags and H1s, and inject my keywords.
 

Copperhead

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
5,969
Reaction score
0
Holy Cracker Jack...$7,000! Seriously? Even RezNexus is less than that....do the results actually validate the "investment" at THAT level? I cringed when I saw $2900 for the Platinum BnBwebsites plan...
I thought $149/month for RezNexus was too much.
I have a REAL hard time justifying the high end when I can buy a template for $100+-, copy/paste my content, upload my photos, fill in the ALT tags and H1s, and inject my keywords..
hearthstoneinn said:
I have a REAL hard time justifying the high end when I can buy a template for $100+-, copy/paste my content, upload my photos, fill in the ALT tags and H1s, and inject my keywords.
Yes you would THINK it is that simple, here to tell you it is NOT. I think many on here can attest to this fact. But it can be done and considerably less than the 2 you mentioned. But depending on your knowledge and the template you buy you can spend lots of time getting it the way you want it and working out the bugs. If you have more time than money (like me/DH) you too may find this the best ave to take.

A B&B that I use to follow for ideas etc. went with Acorn for their new site ~ 2 yrs ago. They lost a lot of SEO ranking and have never come back to their top dog position in searches since. Needless to say I did not follow their lead with Acorn when I was looking to redo our site, I was not impressed with the style either and far less information than their previous site (led to less SEO) but the photos were/are TOPS!
 

Madeleine

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
7,990
Reaction score
0
Holy Cracker Jack...$7,000! Seriously? Even RezNexus is less than that....do the results actually validate the "investment" at THAT level? I cringed when I saw $2900 for the Platinum BnBwebsites plan...
I thought $149/month for RezNexus was too much.
I have a REAL hard time justifying the high end when I can buy a template for $100+-, copy/paste my content, upload my photos, fill in the ALT tags and H1s, and inject my keywords..
It all depends on your level of expertise, your comfort zone, your available time and your commitment to keeping up with the latest and greatest.
I wasn't aware RezNexus was a web developer. I thought they did booking software. Then again, I toss all their emails without reading them.
When we first bought this place the previous webmaster offered to maintain the site for us for $100/month and $25 per change, more for photos that needed to be sized. Seriously? $1200/year if I made no changes and who knows how much if I did make changes!
I change something on the website weekly. I'd be broke. So, I learned it myself in my spare time. And I've gotten help from lots of folks on here to keep me going.
But, I don't have the chops to develop my own site from scratch. I was amazed at the SEO plug in on WP that basically slapped me and said I wasn't meeting my page goals. (Not that it works 100%, there are a few pages that have my keywords exactly as I set them up and the plug in doesn't recognize them. So I don't get a gold star for that page.)
I don't know what $7k gets you for support after the site is launched. I do know there were times I wondered if I should just pay someone else to do my site. But, I had 75 pages to convert. It took a lot of time. I started in Jan and launched in May. It took a lot of time. I think I just took my last new room photo today. Altho, one room I still don't like. If I was paying someone to update the site it would bankrupt me.
 

Buckeye

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Keep the thoughts flowing folks. I just wonder what the reasonable "$weet $pot" is for someone who wants a web makeover with booking engine and doesn't want to spend days on end chasing bugs and keeping ahead of Google.
It SEEMS to me that there is a penny-wise/pound foolish element to current web management science - where a self-made site, more times than not, produces less sale conversion than a more "expensive" professional site, with the "professionally-built and SEO managed" site generating more verifiable result$. This is, of course, the contention of Acorn and RezNex. Can anyone out there confirm this from experience?
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
0
they do a "template" quick thing i think for 3,500! and it goes up from there for customized site i know some who have paid over 7,000!
Res Nexus just does reservation system, not web sites.
sorry but if you think you can find a cheap site, you are mistaken. You get what you pay for. If you have skills, buy responsive theme, and do it yourself.
 

Madeleine

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
7,990
Reaction score
0
Keep the thoughts flowing folks. I just wonder what the reasonable "$weet $pot" is for someone who wants a web makeover with booking engine and doesn't want to spend days on end chasing bugs and keeping ahead of Google.
It SEEMS to me that there is a penny-wise/pound foolish element to current web management science - where a self-made site, more times than not, produces less sale conversion than a more "expensive" professional site, with the "professionally-built and SEO managed" site generating more verifiable result$. This is, of course, the contention of Acorn and RezNex. Can anyone out there confirm this from experience?.
We did have some folks on here a few years ago who did the conversion from an older site to a new acorn site and they did say they had 6 new reservations within the first day of launching. Would they have had them without the new site? You just don't know. They also had prof photos taken and that may be the biggie right there.
But, folks with huge jumps probably had really old sites with unfocused photos and pink dancing fairies. Getting everything organized in a clean layout really makes a difference to the viewer. Fingers crossed I haven't lost any traction on Google since the changeover. But, I won't say I'm bringing in the bookings like crazy, either. Pretty even with the site I had before. But, it was a good site, just a bit sloppy.
 

Copperhead

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
5,969
Reaction score
0
they do a "template" quick thing i think for 3,500! and it goes up from there for customized site i know some who have paid over 7,000!
Res Nexus just does reservation system, not web sites.
sorry but if you think you can find a cheap site, you are mistaken. You get what you pay for. If you have skills, buy responsive theme, and do it yourself..
EmptyNest said:
they do a "template" quick thing i think for 3,500! and it goes up from there for customized site i know some who have paid over 7,000!
Res Nexus just does reservation system, not web sites.
sorry but if you think you can find a cheap site, you are mistaken. You get what you pay for. If you have skills, buy responsive theme, and do it yourself.
I did a quick look at Res Nex... and they are now offering website building.
 

Ice

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
760
Reaction score
0
Yep I use Acorn and so glad I did. If you don't know very much about the internet then I feel this is your best bet.
 

Buckeye

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Actually, RezNexus is in bed with BnBwebsites.com, both divisions of Convoyant, LLC, which also has Destination Nexus.
 

Buckeye

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Let's try this - our 1and1 website is hearthstone-inn.com with the re-directed Buuteeq booking engine.
I just created this above site 8 weeks ago to mimic the main Buuteeq site, hearthstoneinn.com with plans to jettison Buuteeq at $300/month and install an independent booking engine.
Does our site meet the grade as it is (improved photos is a given in spots) even without the fancy fades and scrolling scribble?
Honestly, by the looks of ALOT of other sites floating on the net, I think our 1and1 looks pretty snazzy.
 

Breakfast Diva

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
5,880
Reaction score
0
Truth in advertisement here. I'm an Acorn fan. They have done 2 websites for me and a mobile site... custom, not template. With the first site they did we saw a big increase in bookings and the SEO they did for us was terrific. It moved us from nowhere land to the top pages for our niche. With the second site, we saw an increase in bookings, but not as dramatic since we went from a slightly dated (but still good) to updated site.
I just read a couple of days ago that all new Acorn sites will be responsive sites.
One thing I really like about Acorn is that they have a ton of education for the innkeepers who want it. They encourage you do to as much with your site as you're comfortable with.
Yes, if you go to any of the b&b specialists for a new website you're going to pluck down at least $5,000 for a small site & much more to have a lot of pages. I took a look at both of your sites and see major problems with both. Look up at the title bar on both of your sites...totally wasted space. That should be filled with key words for your area! That's just a small example.
How many rooms do you have? I couldn't tell from your site(s). How many room nights would you need to increase to pay for a new professional site? Divide that over about 3 years (most sites need to be refreshed by then) and see if it's worth it.
Go to the Acorn site and click on "education". Read through all of them..if you're informed on most of what they're saying, then go ahead and do your own site, but if not, better have professional do it.
Your website is your single most valuable tool in your business. It's worth spending some money on it, just make sure they know what they're doing.
 

Madeleine

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
7,990
Reaction score
0
Truth in advertisement here. I'm an Acorn fan. They have done 2 websites for me and a mobile site... custom, not template. With the first site they did we saw a big increase in bookings and the SEO they did for us was terrific. It moved us from nowhere land to the top pages for our niche. With the second site, we saw an increase in bookings, but not as dramatic since we went from a slightly dated (but still good) to updated site.
I just read a couple of days ago that all new Acorn sites will be responsive sites.
One thing I really like about Acorn is that they have a ton of education for the innkeepers who want it. They encourage you do to as much with your site as you're comfortable with.
Yes, if you go to any of the b&b specialists for a new website you're going to pluck down at least $5,000 for a small site & much more to have a lot of pages. I took a look at both of your sites and see major problems with both. Look up at the title bar on both of your sites...totally wasted space. That should be filled with key words for your area! That's just a small example.
How many rooms do you have? I couldn't tell from your site(s). How many room nights would you need to increase to pay for a new professional site? Divide that over about 3 years (most sites need to be refreshed by then) and see if it's worth it.
Go to the Acorn site and click on "education". Read through all of them..if you're informed on most of what they're saying, then go ahead and do your own site, but if not, better have professional do it.
Your website is your single most valuable tool in your business. It's worth spending some money on it, just make sure they know what they're doing..
Breakfast Diva said:
I took a look at both of your sites and see major problems with both. Look up at the title bar on both of your sites...totally wasted space. That should be filled with key words for your area! That's just a small example.
I thought I said the same thing weeks ago.
If those changes haven't been made by now then Heart just doesn't have enough time to get the site done!
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
0
Truth in advertisement here. I'm an Acorn fan. They have done 2 websites for me and a mobile site... custom, not template. With the first site they did we saw a big increase in bookings and the SEO they did for us was terrific. It moved us from nowhere land to the top pages for our niche. With the second site, we saw an increase in bookings, but not as dramatic since we went from a slightly dated (but still good) to updated site.
I just read a couple of days ago that all new Acorn sites will be responsive sites.
One thing I really like about Acorn is that they have a ton of education for the innkeepers who want it. They encourage you do to as much with your site as you're comfortable with.
Yes, if you go to any of the b&b specialists for a new website you're going to pluck down at least $5,000 for a small site & much more to have a lot of pages. I took a look at both of your sites and see major problems with both. Look up at the title bar on both of your sites...totally wasted space. That should be filled with key words for your area! That's just a small example.
How many rooms do you have? I couldn't tell from your site(s). How many room nights would you need to increase to pay for a new professional site? Divide that over about 3 years (most sites need to be refreshed by then) and see if it's worth it.
Go to the Acorn site and click on "education". Read through all of them..if you're informed on most of what they're saying, then go ahead and do your own site, but if not, better have professional do it.
Your website is your single most valuable tool in your business. It's worth spending some money on it, just make sure they know what they're doing..
Breakfast Diva said:
I took a look at both of your sites and see major problems with both. Look up at the title bar on both of your sites...totally wasted space. That should be filled with key words for your area! That's just a small example.
I thought I said the same thing weeks ago.
If those changes haven't been made by now then Heart just doesn't have enough time to get the site done!
.
Title display in search engines is limited to 70 chars, anything else gets truncated. The meta description will be limited to 156 chars and then truncated. (So these should be chosen carefully to reflect what you want search engines to find you.
Keywords and phrases should be put into the text of the pages.
 

Buckeye

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
I am not sure what is meant by "[problems with both sites". For one, Buuteeq has control of the HTML so any Title Bar set up is according to to THEIR professional specs.
As for the secondary 1and1 site, I fail to see an issue with Title Bar content as it is fully descriptive of who, what, and where we are.
If you could please reply here with WHAT you believe should be in the Title Bar, that would help. At this point I am re-visiting the whole concept of our website management - fully self-managed vs. professionally set up with just CMS-based mods.
I made the recommended changes several weeks ago as well as notifying Buuteeq. Our 1and1 secondary site is not yet fully finished, as this is a work in progress. If our primary site has "problems" as has been stated, have a BIG problem with that too. They are getting the big bucks with their "expert digital marketing". I have no access to the mark-up, just the basic CMS they provide.
Keep chiming in. I am in the process of my head getting "paradigm-shifted" with regards to the present realities of quality websites and SEO. We have 20 rooms as an independent inn. Maybe it's time for us to move out of template-based website hosting and into the pro-arena where Acorn and Nexus abide? Like they say in Brooklyn....OY VEY!
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
Do you OWN the buut site? I mean you have the same background/color scheme etc on the new site, are they going to cause a stink about that? Just wondering.
 

Madeleine

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
7,990
Reaction score
0
I am not sure what is meant by "[problems with both sites". For one, Buuteeq has control of the HTML so any Title Bar set up is according to to THEIR professional specs.
As for the secondary 1and1 site, I fail to see an issue with Title Bar content as it is fully descriptive of who, what, and where we are.
If you could please reply here with WHAT you believe should be in the Title Bar, that would help. At this point I am re-visiting the whole concept of our website management - fully self-managed vs. professionally set up with just CMS-based mods.
I made the recommended changes several weeks ago as well as notifying Buuteeq. Our 1and1 secondary site is not yet fully finished, as this is a work in progress. If our primary site has "problems" as has been stated, have a BIG problem with that too. They are getting the big bucks with their "expert digital marketing". I have no access to the mark-up, just the basic CMS they provide.
Keep chiming in. I am in the process of my head getting "paradigm-shifted" with regards to the present realities of quality websites and SEO. We have 20 rooms as an independent inn. Maybe it's time for us to move out of template-based website hosting and into the pro-arena where Acorn and Nexus abide? Like they say in Brooklyn....OY VEY!.
Your title bars all say the same thing. So what. You need to use that space more creatively. Name of inn, location of inn, rooms is not creative. You can expand this to surrounding area info. 'Lodging close to ...' or 'Accommodations close to...' and insert some popular place nearby.
You can try to pull in some traffic from neighboring towns by using those town names in some of your title bars - Bike Trails in (name of town or name of bike trail). It looks like you did do some of that work compared with the comments I made previously.
Like EN said, you have 70 characters, use them!
BTW, it's not like your present hosting company doesn't know about this forum, they've been here a few times. Just saying.
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
0
I am not sure what is meant by "[problems with both sites". For one, Buuteeq has control of the HTML so any Title Bar set up is according to to THEIR professional specs.
As for the secondary 1and1 site, I fail to see an issue with Title Bar content as it is fully descriptive of who, what, and where we are.
If you could please reply here with WHAT you believe should be in the Title Bar, that would help. At this point I am re-visiting the whole concept of our website management - fully self-managed vs. professionally set up with just CMS-based mods.
I made the recommended changes several weeks ago as well as notifying Buuteeq. Our 1and1 secondary site is not yet fully finished, as this is a work in progress. If our primary site has "problems" as has been stated, have a BIG problem with that too. They are getting the big bucks with their "expert digital marketing". I have no access to the mark-up, just the basic CMS they provide.
Keep chiming in. I am in the process of my head getting "paradigm-shifted" with regards to the present realities of quality websites and SEO. We have 20 rooms as an independent inn. Maybe it's time for us to move out of template-based website hosting and into the pro-arena where Acorn and Nexus abide? Like they say in Brooklyn....OY VEY!.
Just because a company claims they are doing things right..doesn't mean they are. :-( I just saved one of my clients over $5000 this morning. She bit on a cold call for SEO...NOOOOOOOO!!!! Why she didn't call me to ask I don't know why..but I gave her the run down this morning along with the hosting company owner. I have already done what they told her they would do..except give her "crummy" backlinks every month :-(
Needless to say..she is cancelling her contract. Guess I will up my invoice for consultation now :)
 

Buckeye

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
The Buut CMS allows me to do my own bgd, pix, content, slideshow. Pretty basic though.
Oh....they control/own the platform. The 1and1 is a 1and1-controlled template also. But I have had more CMS tools to use - but AROUND the essential code.
Hence....I want again have own my own "portable" content and file as I did in "the old days" pre-Nov 2012. I built the site, managed the content, uploaded to a host, etc. However, it was "old-school" based on straight HTML 3.0 without any gee-whiz widgets, social, etc.
Enter Buut. And here we are now faced with this crossroad....
We also never used a BOOKING ENGINE of any type BTW...
 
Top