Some things in life require such as going to the dentist or going to your favourite restaurant. In the past, you will have to look up a phone number, then speak to someone on the phone. Then note down the date and time on a piece of paper which sometimes will get lost. But those days are long gone.
Also, it’s great to see these types of features regularly being added to online booking tools.
For those who run a business that requires appointments and reservations. It is important to find the best booking tool for you. That’s why in this WordPress Wednesday I want to outline the best booking plugins to choose from for your WordPress website.
What should you look for inside a WordPress booking plugin?
Initially, you may think that a booking engine is simply a calendar with a form. It all depends on what type of business you run. For example, a dentist office may need to show specific times and reveal the different types of services offered.
Hence, it is vital to look at the features of each WordPress booking plugin. This way, you will have all of the functionality you need. But also some flexibility to grow your business.
Some of the features that could be helpful for you:
- Customisable calendar, which can be placed anywhere on your site.
- Interfaces that are mobile-friendly for users to book appointments.
- Options for accepting payments for appointments. Plus, it is nice to have a way to remove payment processing.
- Support for multiple “providers.” Where each of your employees has their own profile and calendar, perfect for multiple doctors in one office.
- Sections where customers can view and edit their own online bookings.
- Filterable and searchable booking management module.
- Email confirmations and reminders for both parties.
But those are just a small sample of the features that you should expect in your booking plugin. Please make sure you test the ones that look interesting to you, also some of the settings and features may not apply to you and your business at all.
So now let’s take a look at the 6 Best WordPress Booking Plugins.
The first plugin in this list is Bookly. It has both free and a single paid version. The free version of Bookly is a basic booking tool. Unfortunately, you don’t get support for online payments and the use of having an unlimited number of staff users. Therefore, you can only use this plugin if you are accepting free bookings.
The front and back end of Bookly has a modern look. Also, you can customise many areas of the booking form without knowing how to code.
As hinted above the booking form is entirely customisable and is responsive. You have multiple views for both as an admin and customers.
Bookly has a module for you when you are in the need to create an unlimited number of staff members. You can create unique pricing and availabilities for each of your members. This module is great for those who run a gym with groups of personal trainers.
There’s also Google Calendar integration which supports multiple calendars from all of your workers. With additional add-ons which are sold, such as one for coupons or one for adding extras to your services. Also, you can send out automated email notifications, but it has an SMS system is built-in as well.
This plugin is a complete booking package you can find on the market right this moment. So, in short, the plugin is an excellent tool for those that may not be wanting to hire a developer. As it should provide you with most of the features that you need to run a booking system yourself.
Price: Free and $89.00 (for lifetime license)
The Amelia plugin is a simple and powerful automated booking that can work 24/7. This is great as it makes sure that your customers can make appointments and pay online or offline.
This plugin is free and is suitable for smaller businesses. But for larger businesses, I would recommend you to use the version as it comes with a lifetime license, also with 6 months of remarkably responsive support be included. You can extend the support for a small fee.
Choose this plugin if you want all your employees, types of services, extra services with integrated paying methods in one place.
Amelia has various built-in functions, such as SMS notifications that allow you to be in instant touch with your customers and employees. And with its Google Calendar Synchronisation, it lets your staff keep track of all appointments within their own Google calendar.
Both front-end and back-end have a nice modern design, the design can be customisable so it can match with your site design. It has WooCommerce integration, Graphs and diagrams for business performance KPIs.
Price: Free and from $59.00 for 1 domain/year
Booking Calendar is probably the oldest booking plugin for WordPress. And The ratings show that it hasn’t slowed down the quality of the plugin. after many years. The core of the plugin is free and it comes with most of the features that an average/small business would need.
Like many other booking plugins, there is a paid version that starts around $60 for a single site, but after that, the pricing is confusing to be mention here, but I would recommend that if you decide to use this plugin and purchase a “premium” version to research the other plans first.
Let’s get back to some of the features that you expect from this plugin. It includes automated email notifications, for letting your customers about their bookings. Additionally, the plugin integrates with tons of outside sites and calendar apps, it works in widgets for easy placement in sidebars, has multiple languages for reaching out to customers in various countries to some simple customisation.
Price: Free and $60.00 for a single site
Booking Plugin specifically for Hotels. The MotoPress Hotel Booking is a compelling reservation system. It allows accepting online reservations, creating real-time availability calendars for each accommodation. It also handles online payments, automatically synchronising booking calendars.
MotoPress Hotel Booking allows admin to handle incoming reservations on the back-end. And set preferable confirmation mode for them. While you can either confirm the bookings manually. Or accommodate the guests to confirm their reservations via email or payment. There’s payment gateways from PayPal, 2Checkout, Stripe, Braintree that can be added into the plugin.. While you can integrate it with WooCommerce.
Along in this plugin you can list and describe your accommodations or rooms. Optionally add extra service packages or facilities that will be available for reservation as well. Establishing flexible price rates such as seasonal prices or refundable/non-refundable rates, weekly or monthly rates and variable pricing.
If you like to use this plugin but wanting some previews of this plugin you can use the Demo that are available to test both the backend admin area and front-end performance.
Price: Single Site $89.00 to Unlimited Sites $199.00
WooCommerce Bookings extension lets you sell bookings either based on times or dates. But you still have the option to accept bookings free of charge. But the main purpose you would go with a WooCommerce extension like this is to activate the payment processing aspect.
This is the best extension for businesses that are already utilising the WooCommrce plugin. Still, it is also a nice and clean extension for new users out there. It allows for WordPress users to stick with the simple, modern layout or modify it with the help of CSS.
It also offers fields for descriptions, pricing, titles, and a calendar. Plus you can give reviews with this extension which can give credibility to potential bookers. WooCommerce Bookings provides tools for creating fixed time slots or open them up for selecting any time or date.
Every booking gets managed through your dashboard, where you receive filters and update buttons. And you can limit the number of people who book or even create discounts for a certain number of bookings.
Lastly, WooCommerce offers a full year of customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, test it out and see if you like this extension. 2
Price: $249 for a single site and goes up.
Simply Schedule Appointments is an easy-to-use scheduling plugin for WordPress. Offers within a free version but also three premium versions of their plugin. Get access to more advanced features and individual integrations. Their premium editions include features like Google Calendar sync, custom fields in your booking form, integration to Mailchimp. And with the ability to book classes and group events.
Also, this plugin provides WordPress sites with a simple way to add and manage their online appointment scheduling. Each of their versions integrates with popular page builders like Elementor which allow you to simply drag and drop. But as well as style and customise their booking form to match your site.
Price: Free and Starting at $99.00