FAQ Q259: I want Planyo to manage bookings for many independent owners. Should I create a meta site?
There are many aspects to consider before deciding whether to create a metasite where each owner would have their own site or create a single planyo site where each owner would manage their resources as a resource admin. The most important aspect to consider is whether you prefer to give more flexibility and control in configuration and administration to the owners (meta-site solution is better), or if you prefer to make the administration very easy (but limited) for the owners (single-site solution is better).
Multi-site solution using a meta site
The meta admin will only see the reservations made through the meta site. They won't see the reservations made privately by the site admins or, if the site owner accepts reservations through their own website, these will not be accessible by the meta admin. The meta admin can be allowed moderator-level access which will give them full (or limited) administration permissions for the member sites.
Meta site - advantages:
- Each owner can use advanced integration to add Planyo to their own website. The meta site can be integrated on a collective website.
- Each owner can administer their site fully, including possibility to create their own templates, emails, invoices or translations.
- Each owner can set up their own payment gateway.
- If the commission-based PRO-COMM payment model is used, there is no extra fee compared to the other solution.
- Each owner can choose between the PRO-COMM commission-based an PRO subscription-based payment model.
- If owners have sites of different types (e.g. tours, hotels, transportation), they may customise the texts and the reservation process much better in this case.
Meta site - disadvantages:
- If the subscription-based PRO payment model is used or if any extensions are needed, this solution costs more.
- The configuration must be done separately for each site which involves much more initial work (note that you can easily make a duplicate of an existing site to assist with this process).
- The administration is more complex and non-technical persons may need help with some features.
Each owner gets the resource admin access to all their resources. Additionally the site admin can limit resource admins' access to many different functions. This means the configuration and administration will be very easy but limited at the same time. If you will be having many owners publishing their listing with you and/or if the listings change frequently, you may want to consider automation of the publishing/signup process for the listing owners using the Accept listings from new users
extension available in the Planyo store.
Single site - advantages:
- In case you have many owners, the configuration is much quicker because it only needs to be done once.
- Administration will be easier for the owners and the site admin can limit access of the resource admins to desired functions only. This limits the possibility of the owners to perform unwanted / accidental actions.
- The cost in case of the subscription-based PRO payment model will be much lower.
- You can use the extension "Accept listings from new users"
Single site - disadvantages:
- If the online payments from the customers need to go directly to each owner's account, then purchasing an extension is required and this extension is limited to a single payment gateway for the entire site (e.g. PayPal).
- If the owners want to add bookings to their own websites, they can only use simple integration (customers reserve on planyo.com).
- Not suitable when single owners menage a complex infrastructure involving many resources and additional products.
Please note that a mixture of the two solutions is possible in case you have owners with businesses of different types, e.g. a tourist area with holiday homes, tours, and transportation. In such case you can create 3 sites (holiday home site, tour site and transportation site) grouped together into a metasite. This way each site can be personalised to fit given business model, including the reservation process, emails sent to the customers and wording used (e.g. 'apartment' or 'tour' instead of a general 'resource').