Going to a place that you need to make a reservation such like a dentist is required; also it’s the same for your favourite restaurant or sometimes even signing up for a PT session at a local gym. Wayback in the past, a customer, would of have to look up a phone number and speak to someone, then write down the date and time on a piece of paper. Still, thankfully those days are long gone, and it’s incredible to see the types of features continually getting added into online booking tools.
So if you run a business that has WordPress running and it requires an appointments and reservations system, it is essential to find the best solution, that’s why this WordPress Wednesday features some absolute best WordPress booking plugins that you can choose from.
What Should You Look For in a Booking Plugin?
You may think that a booking engine is just a simple calendar with a form, but it depends on the type of business you run. For example, a gym could have multiple personal trainers, and each employee needs their own schedules on the website. While on the other hand, a dental office may need to show specific times and reveal the different types of services offered.
Therefore, it’s essential to look exactly at the features of each booking plugin, so this way, you’ll have all of the functionality that you need and some flexibility to grow your business.
Here are some of the features:
- A customisable calendar that can be placed on your website.
- Interfaces that has both desktop and mobile friendly interfaces for users to book appointments.
- Multiple options for accepting payments for appointments.
- Support for multiple “agents” or “service providers.”
- Sections for your customers to view and edit their bookings online.
- Features for customising your schedule.
- Email confirmations and reminders.
Some of these above features may not apply to your business, so make sure you try and test the ones that look appealing to you and your business.
The Amelia is a simple to use plugin that is a powerful automated booking, and this plugin is here to make sure your customers can make appointments and pay online or offline.
Amelia comes free of charge, which is suitable for small business while for larger companies, there’s a paid versions that comes with one year premium support, monthly updates and lets you have this plugin for 1 to unlimited domains.
So if you want all of your employees, types of services, extra services with integrated paying methods at one place then choosing Amelia Pro is for you.
This plugin has various built-in functions for the fixed life-time price. Amelia provides you SMS notifications which allow you to be in instant touch with your customers and employees, and Google Calendar Synchronisation so your employees can keep track of all appointments in Google calendar. The design is customisable, so it matches your website design by adding with a simple shortcode.
- Customers and employees will be notified and reminded of their appointments with SMS notifications.
- Amelia adds multiple employees with custom working hours and days off.
- Special Days support configure specific dates or date ranges with a different schedule.
- 2-Way Google Calendar Integration for each employee.
- WooCommerce integration.
- Multiple services, categories and extras.
- Multiple business locations.
- Adding coupons for a discount, easily made within the plugin.
Price: Free, also have paid versions starting at $59.00 per year
The Bookly plugin can be found with both free and premium versions, the free plugin is a basic booking plugin, but you won’t get support for online payments or allowing you have an unlimited number of staff users. So, unless you are accepting free bookings, the Bookly premium version is the best for you.
Bookly has a sleek design on both front and back end where you can customise various areas of the booking form. The booking form is entirely customisable and responsive. Bookly has multiple views for both admins and customers; also, it has a place for you to create unlimited number of staff members, where each member can create different pricing and availabilities.
- It is the closest to a complete booking package
- You can include numerous service providers in the booking schedule.
- You can send out automated email and SMS notifications.
- Google Calendar integration that supports multiple calendars
- Add-ons are sold, such as coupons or one for adding extras to your services.
The Bookly plugin lets you add an unlimited number of services in your booking page, and you can also categorise them for better organisation, payment and booking rules are available to make your schedules more flexible.
Price: Free, premium version is also avilable at $89.00
The Salon Booking System plugin is here to answer the daily needs of owners of salons, barbershops, hairdressers, beauty centers or any similar business. This plugin can be a good solution for those professionals that deliver their services upon reservation.
The Salon Booking System plugin has been equipped with a full set of notifications and reminders options using email and SMS, and it has an integration with WhatsApp.
The plugin is fully integrated with Google Calendar, so that means the reservations that get received from the website will automatically be published on the calendar salon owner, even the salon’s assistants can be notified of the upcoming bookings.
You can add reservations from the plugin back-end calendar or merely using their Google Calendar account. This plugin has been equipped with many features, such as an advanced discount system that allows the creation of coupon codes or discounts that can be automatically applied when specific conditions during the reservation process.
Also, the plugin has been equipped with a set of shortcodes that save you a lot of time on editing as they will pull out all the information about the salon services, the assistants and the reservations calendar.
Salon Booking System Features:
- Incredibly easy to set up and manage.
- Unlimited booking rules.
- Two-way synchronisation with Google Calendar.
- Online payments processing with full and partial with either PayPal and Stripe, other payments gateway can be used by purchasing add-ons.
- Full control over the appearance of the booking form.
- It is equipped with a set of APIs.
- Collect feedback from customers.
- Personal account page for customers.
- Reports section to control salon trends.
Price: Free, but like other plugins on this list there’s a paid version starting at $77.00 per year
The WooCommerce Appointments plugin integrates with WooCommerce., the plugin isn’t sold through WooCommerce, but instead it’s sold through the BookingWP developers who are reputable and known for quality products.
With the plugin itself, you can anticipate some great features, first it has integrations with WooCommerce and Google Calendar, where you can accept payments from customers and sync with your Google Calendar. While appointments and bookings can be accepted for free, but you also have settings for charging money.
One of the plugins main advantages is how quick and easy it is to set up and manage. You will notice that the interface is basic enough for beginners, but it also provides the flexibility you would need as an experienced coder. Also impressive is that your Google Calendar can be synced from your sites. This plugin comes in handy because of the integrations with extensions like WooCommerce Print Invoices, Gravity Forms, and Extra Product Options.
WooCommerce Appointments Features
- A two-way syncing system with Google Calendars.
- Integrates with popular WooCommerce extensions.
- Notifications and reminders will automatically be sent out to customers who had booked appointments.
- This plugin is white-label and developer-friendly.
- Shortcodes are available for inserting your booking forms.
- Gives you complete control over your schedule by padding time between appointments, lead times, scheduling windows, and multi-day scheduling.
- Set multiple Rules that can be used for pricing, capacity, and availability.
Price: Starting at $89.00
This Booked plugin is a premium plugin only, some of the types of bookings that you can use this plugin for includes guest, paid and registered bookings and you can present your time slots either in a calendar or list view. You can assign calendars to certain people in your organisation.
Along with multiple calendars, each user can create somewhat of a personal profile to stand out to customers, most of the customisation settings involve calendar colours and fields. The front-end interface looks modern, and you can integrate with this plugin with a range of add-ons such as payments with WooCommerce, frontend agents and calendar feeds.
- Ready to go straight out of the “box”.
- Pricing is only a one-time fee and cheaper than other booking plugins.
- Recieve a few add-ons for free.
- The plugin supports multiple employees calendars.
- You can change calendar colours.
- Guest booking is possible.
- Time slots can be useful for specifying things like days off or holidays.
- Receive handy shortcodes so you can place a booking calendar anywhere on your website.
The Appointment Booking Calendar plugin highlights two different elements. Firsts, it is one of the only booking plugins for WordPress that has a free PayPal integration, you’ll find there’s a premium version, but that is only if you want to remove the PayPal link and get some different features like coupons.
This plugin stands out not only because it is mainly used for showing an available set of times as opposed to an entire calendar. The calendar is still revealed on your site, but one primary feature is to cross-off the days that you aren’t available and show what the best times for you.
The free version looks different with much of the other plugins in this post. With the plugin, you will receive a built-in Captcha, availability verifications, and a multi-page calendar for people to scan the entire year.
Notifications and confirmations will be sent out to both the admin and the customer, while you can configure your calendars by importing a CSV or Excel file. With the interface and design, the back-end is easy to follow and manage your appointments. While you will notice that the front-end isn’t exactly the most up-to-date look, but you get to start designing with three of pre-built templates.
Appointment Booking Calendar Features:
- Comes with free PayPal integration, it will just send customers to a PayPal checkout, but it still does the trick.
- Feature of clearing out unavailable dates and times, making this plugin somewhat flexible when it comes to showing customers your availability.
- Receive a Captcha in the free version.
- This plugin has been translated into many other languages for more global reach.
- The multi-page calendar means that many months can be shown in a page.
- With CSV and Excel imports, the data can be pulled into calendar imports from places like Outlook and Google Calendar.
Price: Free or a premium version starting at $55.00