Many of the things we do today, from visiting the dentist, to going to eat at our favorite restaurant, or booking a personal training session at our gym, require a reservation. In the past, you would have to look up the business’ phone number in the Yellow Pages, call them on the phone, and then write down your reservation on a piece of paper. Now, we have online booking tools to automate this process and make it simpler for both the business and the customer. If you run a business that requires appointments or reservations, an excellent booking plugin is key. In this article, we will discuss the best WordPress booking plugins you can choose from.
WordPress Booking Plugin
You might think that a booking plugin is simply a calendar and that they are all the same. However, this is not the case. For example, a gym with several personal trainers will require an individual schedule for each trainer on their website. On the other hand, a doctor’s office might run a schedule based on the services offered at the office. That’s why it’s important to know all of the WordPress booking plugin options so you can choose the best one for you. After all, we know many of our clients consider WordPress to be the best website building platform.
What to Look for in a WordPress Booking Plugin
Here is a list of some features that you might want to look for when choosing the right booking plugin for your WordPress website.
- Customizable calendar that you can put anywhere on your website
- Mobile-friendly interface so visitors can book appointments on their phones
- Options for accepting payments for appointments
- Support of various agents or service providers to ensure that each employee has their own calendar, if you have more than one employee
- Areas for customers to view and edit their bookings
- A booking management module on the backend of your website that is filterable and searchable
- Features to customize your schedule, like blocking off holidays and setting free time in between appointments for lunch or breaks
- Email confirmation and reminders for admins and users
- Customizable fields and drop-down menus when you offer several services
These are just a few of the features we find helpful in booking software. You might have some of your own necessary features that aren’t on this list!
Top WordPress Booking Plugins of 2021
These are the top booking plugins for WordPress websites in 2021.
1. WooCommerce Bookings
The top WordPress booking plugin is WooCommerce Bookings. The main reason is that the core version of this plugin is free. However, you can also use one of dozens of extensions in order to accept payments. For instance, the WooCommerce Bookings extension allows you to sell bookings based on dates or times. You can still accept bookings for free, but the whole point of choosing this extension is to activate the payment processing function. WooCommerce Bookings is a great choice for companies that already use the WooCommerce plugin, but it is also a nice option for newcomers, too. WordPress users can either stick with the simple layout, or customize it with the assistance of CSS.
Once you activate the extension, it offers fields for descriptions, pricing, titles, and a calendar. For example, you can rent bedrooms in a bed and breakfast and leave options for the various rooms, pricing, and dates available. You can also allow reviews, which helps build trust with potential clients.
The WooCommerce Bookings extension starts at $249 for a single site, and maxes out at $449 for up to 25 sites. This makes it one of the more expensive plugins, aside from the base WooCommerce plugin, which is free. However, WooCommerce does offer a 30-day money back guarantee and a full year of customer support, so if you don’t like it, you can get your money back.
2. WooCommerce Appointments
The WooCommerce Appointments extension is another great choice that integrates with WooCommerce. It is similar to WooCommerce Bookings, but it is slightly cheaper, and starts at $89 per website. However, this does increase to about $200 for 25 websites. This extension is not sold through WooCommerce, but the BookingWP developers, who are known to be reliable.
The extension offers some great features, like integrations with WooCommerce and Google Calendar. This allows you to accept payments from clients and sync with your Google Calendar. The best feature of this plugin is its ease of setting up and managing. It is basic enough for beginners to use but is also flexible enough for a more advanced user.
The Bookly plugin offers both a free and a paid version. The free version is a basic booking tool, but there are no online payments. If you need paid bookings, you will need the paid version of Bookly. If you choose the premium version, you will pay a one-time fee of $89, unless you choose to pay continuously for customer support.
Bookly’s benefit is that it is by far the most modern-looking plugin, with a sleek design and plenty of opportunities for customization without knowing any code. It also has a module so you can create an unlimited number of staff members, each with their own pricing and availability. If you are a small business that does not have a custom developer on staff, Bookly might be the best choice for you.
The Booked plugin is sold by CodeCanyon and you can get it for the very affordable price of $49. It allows various types of bookings, including paid bookings, guest bookings, and registered bookings. You can offer time slots in both a calendar and list view, and translate it into other languages. You can also assign calendars to each person in your company. Each user can also complete a personal profile. You can customize your calendar colors and fields, and it offers an elegant and modern interface. You can also utilize several add-ons like Payments with WooCommerce, Front-end Agents, and Calendar Feeds.
The Amelia plugin is actually an automated booking specialist that works for you all hours of the day to ensure that your customers can make appointments and pay online or offline. This plugin is available for free, which makes it ideal for small businesses. There is also a paid version available for larger businesses with a lifetime license of $59 and six months of responsive customer support. Amelia Pro is ideal if you want all your employees, types of services, and extra services integrated with paying methods in one place. It also offers SMS notifications to hel;p you keep in touch with your customers and coworkers, and Google Calendar Synchronization to allow employees to track their appointments in their own calendars. Plus, it has a neat and modern design that is customizable.
6. Bookings for WooCommerce
Bookings for WooCommerce lets you accept bookings on your website using the WooCommerce plugin. It allows you all the benefits and flexibility of the internet’s largest ecommerce platform, including a choice of payment gateways. Bookings for WooCommerce allows you to sell bookable products, like vacation rentals, product hire, venue hire, and other kinds of rentals. Your customers can choose a start date and end date using separate calendars, and you can allow the bookable period to be daily, nightly, or weekly. You can also set different prices for different times of year, for instance, if you like to increase your prices in the summer due to higher demand. You can also block out dates or offer discounts on bookings over a certain date. This is an ideal WordPress booking plugin for those renting out properties.
7. Booking Calendar
One of the oldest booking plugins for WordPress is Booking Calendar. However, it hasn’t slowed down with developing and evolving over the years. Plus, the core plugin is free and comes with most of the functionality that the average small business needs. Or, they have plenty of larger business plans you can choose from, starting from about $60 per website. The Booking Calendar plugin includes automated email notifications for users, the ability to set a timeframe open for a certain number of days, and the ability to integrate with many outside sites and calendar apps.
8. Booking Calendar – Appointment Booking System
No, we didn’t accidentally list the same plugin twice! This plugin has a similar name as the earlier “Booking Calendar,” but this one is differentiated by the “Appointment Booking System” at the end. This plugin is free and offers several features like unlimited booking forms and widgets for reservation calendars to help you get started. It also offers customizations including changing the date formatting, adjusting the reservation fields, and more. There is also a Pro Version available and costs $60 to add a full payment system to your website. Or, you can choose a more advanced booking system without payments for $30. The paid versions offer editable reservations, discount tools, a ReCaptcha, and options for both minimum and maximum days reserved.
9. Appointment Booking Calendar
The Appointment Booking Calendar has two interesting features: first, it is one of the few WordPress booking plugins with a free PayPal integration. Second, it is typically used for showing an available set of time slots, rather than a whole calendar of choices. So, there is still a calendar on your website. You can cross off the days that aren’t available and show the times that work best for you. The free version also has a unique looks and offers a built-in Captcha, availability verifications, and a multi-page calendar that allows bookers to view the entire year. You can also set up notifications and confirmations for both users and admins, and it is easy to manage and understand.
10. Team Booking
The Team Booking plugin rings in at an affordable $28, and it allows you to connect to PayPal or Stripe for payment processing. It also offers several features like three built-in formats: one with a regular front-end booking calendar, another for unscheduled services, and yet another for upcoming events. You can also incorporate maps! Virtually any tools you might need are available in this plugin. The features, along with the price, make it another great option for a WordPress booking plugin for beginners.
Add a WordPress Booking Plugin with SEO Design Chicago
If you need assistance adding a booking plugin to your WordPress website, contact SEO Design Chicago today! Our web developers are experienced with WordPress sites and can help you choose the best plugin based on your business’ needs.
- What is a WordPress booking plugin?
- What is the best WordPress booking plugin?
- How much does Bookly cost?
- What is the best free WordPress booking plugin?
- What should I look for in a WordPress booking plugin?