Screenshot of the homepage of the relaunched Warmshowers website in 2024.

Warmshowers Launches New Website For 2024 (Hosts: Update Your Profiles!)

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A quick heads-up for anyone who – like me – continues to use the nonprofit hospitality platform Warmshowers to find local hosts when cycle touring and bikepacking, and/or to host fellow riders.

As the post title suggests, the all-new Warmshowers website was launched earlier this week, with implications for both tourers and hosts (to use Warmshowers’ own terminology).

Of all the site’s users, it is existing hosts who will see the most obvious changes. The official Warmshowers YouTube channel has a handy video overview for hosts, which I’ve also embedded below.

The official Warmshowers video overview for hosts explains the new activity calendar, among other features.

If you’re a Warmshowers host and you haven’t logged in since the website relaunch, your existing host profile will probably now appear incomplete or disordered.

Those who have been in the hospitality exchange platform scene for more than a decade or so might remember the Great Couchsurfing Relaunch, during which thousands of carefully-curated host profiles were butchered. The Warmshowers reboot is nowhere near as drastic, but some of the old profile fields have been merged and new ones have been added (including the ability to display a somewhat arbitrary selection of social media platform links, as well as custom links). The sleeping and facilities options have also been revised to be clearer for those browsing them. Community ‘badges’ have been implemented, which add to profile listing visual hints of each host’s participation in the Warmshowers community over time.

Warmshowers sent out various community emails warning people about upcoming changes, but I didn’t feel it was completely clear that action on the part of hosts would be necessary to keep their profiles up to date.

Besides profile formatting updates, the major new feature for hosts is the activity calendar. This allows hosts to set their future hosting availability on a day-to-day basis using a simple visual calendar and a couple of date pickers to block out date ranges as available or unavailable, which then reflect in host profile search results. (This is in addition to the overall available/unavailable host profile setting.)

The calendar also displays dates on which you have pending hosting requests, and dates on which you’ve confirmed a hosting request, helping busy hosts coordinate all their activity in one place. 

It’s a nice idea and seems well implemented, but I suspect hosts who prefer a flexible, open-door approach to hosting may ignore it, as it does introduce extra admin.

The official Warmshowers video intro to the platform for touring cyclists.

I haven’t been through the new functionality for touring users in any detail yet, but the Warmshowers team have made a handy video, embedded above (click here if you can’t see it).

All for now!