The Baobab Student Properties is an accommodation provider in Cape Town, South Africa. The started their student accommodation business by renovating a derelict warehouse building in Salt River. They converted that property into 42 bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, and opened as The Baobab Student Accommodation in July 2010.
Their intention has always been to provide safe, comfortable and affordable accommodation to students from across the African continent who struggled to find welcoming student accommodation in Cape Town. Today, they have grown to 5 student properties across 3 suburbs noted for their large student population – Salt River, Observatory, and Mowbray.
The majority of The Baobab’s tenant come from across the 9 provinces of South Africa and other African countries. They are also welcoming to both full-year students and short-term interns from all over the world, but the majority of their tenants are from the rest of Africa.
The Baobab required a website that would help them establish an online presence within the increasingly competitive Cape Town student accommodation space. The site needed to showcase the different properties in the different suburbs, while providing clear information about the different rooms that were available to book. The site would also provide images of the various properties and rooms. This clarity of information would be especially useful to students coming from outside Cape Town, who were susceptible to scams and would be wary if not enough information was required. The website needed to be able to provide online booking for users, reducing a usually complicated process to just a few clicks. Finally, the site needed to be underpinned by modern design principles and be visible on search engines.
This features a responsive website with various live elements and includes an online booking system with credit card payment integration. It also shows live reports about which rooms are currently available and which were booked. The system implemented also generates reports of number of users, bookings, etc. The site features many customisations including custom theme development, e-commerce and custom developed plug-ins.
This site replaced an outdated Joomla site with more modern aspects a few years ago. A significant amount of the content was migrated from the Joomla site and reused in this site. The site can be accessed at www.thebaobab.co.za.
The site also has several security features, including a Firewall, Bot Detection, and Bruteforce Protection. It is fully compatible with all major internet browsers and features rich text, indexing of media, version control of blog posts, front end article submission, a content approval system and more.