Hermes Themes specializes in WordPress themes for hotels. Yes, it’s quite a niche, but Hermes Themes is a one-stop shop for anyone in the hotel industry who is interested in making their website top-notch and user-friendly. Its designs include features like a full-width slider, testimonials module, responsiveness for mobile devices, social media integration, and free installation.
It’s the brainchild of Dumitru Brînzan, who sat down with WPHub to talk about his rather unique journey and extensive experience in the hospitality industry. In Part 1 of our four-part interview, we’ll talk about the development of the site and the fear of many hoteliers that website creation will mean big bucks.
WPHub: Thanks for joining us. Tell us why you guys picked the hotel space.
Dumitru Brînzan: My first real job was at a travel agency. I was really young back then. I started in this travel agency as a simple tourism manager, but in a month or two, we started doing some internet projects for hotels for inbound travel. For about three years, I worked closely with hotels and the tourism industry, which pushed me into web development.
For the past four years, I have been involved with WPZoom and have been making a lot of commercial themes. Some themes were out of my comfort zone, so to speak, but recently I developed a couple of themes that can be easily used by travel agencies – themes that look best with beautiful travel photography.
During these years, I’ve been helping out some of my ex-colleagues in the hospitality business. Probably the thing that made me consider this new business was something that happened about a year ago. An ex-colleague from the hotel businesses opened his own luxury hotel, which was incredible. Even more incredible was the website that he got for it. After all of these years of experience with me and with everything we did, he ended up doing a website that I wouldn’t want, even for free.
His website ended up costing him about 750 Euros and took about six weeks to develop. It was a custom-made website by a local company. This is when I decided that these terrible things should not happen anymore. Hotels should have the ability to get beautiful websites at affordable prices – especially independent hotels, small and medium alike, that don’t have revenues of millions of dollars.
Mom and pop hotels that calculate and save every dollar should not end up in situations where they pay a thousand dollars and wait a month to get something that they have no control over. Thankfully, WordPress is just the solution they need.
WPHub: Why would hotels not do a god job of web design? Do they just overlook it?
Dumitru Brînzan: Most hotel owners and managers are people in their 40s and 50s. Many hotels are still reluctant to join the internet age. From my experience, there are luxury hotels around the world that don’t even check their e-mail, so when they do decide to get a website, they usually end up working with local web development companies that lock them into something expensive like a proprietary CMS that takes a month or two to develop, and obviously the costs are through the roof.
WPHub: Hotel owners and managers just assume that a website is supposed to be expensive and don’t think twice about it?
Dumitru Brînzan: Exactly. They assume, “The interwebs are expensive; it’s not for us.”
WPHub: Next time out, we’ll talk about whether being entrenched in the hotel industry only is too niche for a company like Hermes Themes. Can a WordPress theme shop exist only selling products to one industry? Stay tuned to find out.
Site Link: Hermes Themes