With the latest version of the Tour Operator plugin we’ve done a complete design overhaul. Take a look at a demo site using the plugin here.
The main functionality of the plugin remains the same, but its looks have vastly improved with keen attention being paid to how the plugin displayed on mobile devices. We took inspiration from major websites like Air BNB and themes like Listify to help us decide how to handle many of the mobile factors with the Tour Operator plugin.
Our designer Anke led most of design for the styles of the widgets on the homepage, which then got reused throughout the rest of the areas of the site where the various port type widgets appear. She made the main decisions regarding colour selection, while the fonts and typography were inherited from the LSX Theme.
Functionality improvements and additions
We have introduced advanced search on the homepage banner, allowing for filterable searches. We also upgraded the Search Extension to build attractive, intricate search results pages.
We’ve added options to enable or disable excerpts for all featured post type widgets. Whether you’re displaying a featured Review, Accommodation, Tour, or any other Tour Operator post type, you can choose whether or not the card shows the excerpt or not. All of the layouts on widgets have had lots of options added, which allows the user to customize what shows, depending on what is or isn’t available to them in terms of content.
By working on a site for one of our clients, Luxury Trips, we solved an issue for larger sites by adding an extra level to the information hierarchy, adding the “Continents” post type. The Destinations post type now covers Continents, Countries, and Regions, allowing for Tour operators who operate on more than one continent
All post types’ archive pages can now have an MP4 video used in the banner in place of an image.
The code for the plugin was tested by Travis CI. They provide build passing which is a set of automated tests that improved our code quality significantly.
You can check out a log of all the issues that are currently being worked on here.
As with all the Tour Operator post types, we’ve allowed users to select either a grid view or a list view for the accommodation archive. This was because we were paying particular attention to how the mobile views of our Tour Operator post types were displaying.
Users can also switch to a map view, where accommodation data is pulled in from WETU (assuming the user has a WETU account). Data imported WETU includes facilities, activities, descriptions, and images.
Accommodation singles can now be categorised by Accommodation Type, which you could use to split up types like Lodges, Camp Sites, En-suite, etc.
The Accommodation summary information was moved into a “fast facts” box at the beginning of the page, bringing it more front and centre and keeping the information all nicely visually contained.
Single posts can also display a full width map section, a connected gallery, related reviews and specials.
There is a new secondary sticky menu with anchor points that helps the user navigate through the various sections on the accommodation singles.
For the Destinations post type we added Continental groupings, which came as a result on our work on the Luxury Trips project.
The card wrappers for the Destinations were redesigned, in-line to be consistent with the same “Card” aesthetic used throughout the rest of the plugin.
Destinations now have the option to have a map in the banner with customizable clickable pins (as well as start/end pin markers for Tours) on destinations map banner, with customizable metadata and excerpts.
As with Accommodations, for Destinations the Fast Facts and summary box in the introduction section for shows the metadata in a more visually intuitive way, also showing a connected travel expert (Team Member) above a bright CTA button.
Connected regions display alongside Featured tours, featured specials, videos, related reviews & blog posts.
Again, secondary sticky menu with anchor/scroll points helps users to navigate through the various sections on the Destination singles.
As with Destinations and Accommodations archives pages, Tour Archives pages can now be viewed in either List or Grid view. With Tours there is the additional option of the Map view.
We’ve introduced customisable start/end pins for Tour singles, Users can now also customize in Settings what shows in the day-by-day itinerary in terms of metadata. Maybe you don’t want to show the accommodation type, or travel style for your itinerary – you don’t have to!
We’ve added the awesome functionality of importable KML files for Tours. The KML file is a list of GPS positions that is used to generate a route on the single tours map. This currently is only tested and working with KML files exported from Google Maps.
Again, this archive now offers users both a list and a grid view.
Single posts of the Review post types have had a serious visual overhaul, with a white wrapper box which contains all the trip details as well as the metadata related to the accommodation or tour being reviewed.
The Team archive has had a visual overhaul, with Team Members’ images now showing in circular images, with the option for a grid / card layout planned Can list blog posts writen by that team member
Their favourite destinations, tours, reviews
All in all the updates to the Tour Operator plugin have brought about a fresh, modern look to the core plugin as well as many of the essential extensions. Not only did we make sure that the plugin works well, we added in plenty of new functionality, and also ensured that sites using the plugin also look excellent on mobile devices.