Maintaining an appointments book or scheduling on spreadsheets is time-consuming and unproductive, to say the very least. Automating your appointments doesn’t have to be a costly alternative if you know where to look.
In this article, I’ll put some free and premium appointments plugins through their paces. We’ll look at the features they have on offer and identify the benefits your service based business can gain from installing them today. Let’s get started!
1. WooCommerce Appointments
Developed by the team at BizzThemes, WooCommerce Appointments is a fully featured premium appointment booking and scheduling plugin. One of it’s most distinguishing features is the two way sync with Google Calendar which will appeal if you already use Google Calendar to tracking your schedule.
It is deeply integrated with WooCommerce aswell which means you can process payments as well as accept bookings, and I really like that you can take advantage of the familiar and flexible email notification settings.
- Book and pay all at once, or just request appointments
- Deep integration with WooCommerce
- Flexible notifications for payment and confirmations
- Staff and calendar management (and sync with Google Calendar)
2. Appointments +
WPMU DEV’s Appointments + is a powerful, flexible, feature-rich plugin for accepting, setting and managing bookings on your site. With this plugin, your client’s will be able to book appointments in three clicks.
It lets you customize your appointments calendar using CSS to match your site’s branding and maintain consistency throughout. You can even add customizable profiles for your team members and display their available time slots in order to streamline internal scheduling.
Appointments + enables you to create unlimited services and staff profiles which are an absolute necessity for small businesses that are growing steadily. From a user’s perspective, features such as Form Autofill speeds up the booking process which consequently improves user experience.
Users and potential clients can quickly make their appointments with the plugin’s easy to traverse schedule that is available in weekly and monthly views.
- Clients can book appointments in three clicks.
- Customizable appointment calendar.
- Google Calendar Integration.
- Blackout dates and times.
- Display weekly and monthly schedules.
Bookly is a responsive appointment booking plugin for WordPress designed by Ladela and a best-seller on CodeCanyon. The plugin integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce which makes it possible for your site to benefit from their extensions and various payment gateways.
The plugin’s fully responsive design is user-friendly and comes with gesture support. It also features group bookings which enable customers to book services through your site for several people in one go. This makes it much faster and more convenient for groups to make appointments.
Instead of following and adapting to a pre-defined form, Bookly’s Form Builder feature lets users create their own customized fields and add them to their booking forms. Clients can make payments via PayPal, Authorize.net and Stripe as soon as you have Bookly set up. You can include more payment gateways by installing WooCommerce add-ons.
- Comprehensive admin area with an intuitive interface.
- Ability to create separate schedule for each staff member.
- Block holidays by freezing certain days.
- Customizable frontend booking form.
- Custom email notifications and reminders to increase client attendance.
4. Appointment Calendar
Appointment Calendar is a free plugin that lets you harness the power of an appointment calendar. Whether you’re a freelancer, a consultant or a dentist, this lightweight plugin will cater to your WordPress site’s booking needs.
The plugin features shortcode integration which makes it all the easier to add an appointment calendar to your site. There are two different shortcodes – one that you can enter into any page / post and the other one is for mobile devices
- Block timeslots for lunch breaks and holidays.
- Ability to translate plugin to different languages.
- Add/edit/manage booking from the admin interface.
- Insert booking calendar using shortcodes.
- Receive booking confirmation emails on admin’s approval.
5. Pinpoint Booking System
Pinpoint Booking System is an all-inclusive appointment booking system for WordPress. Its built-in booking system enables you to display calendars for your users to check availability and book dates and hours. The plugin integrates easily with popular e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce.
The plugin also offers excellent customer support if you need help setting up the Pinpoint Booking System on your site. The booking system enables you to create special discount packages and coupons for the services you offer. It also caters for tax and other fees. You can view a demo of the plugin through their test site.
- Fully responsive design.
- AJAX powered booking calendar.
- Support for a Terms and Conditions section.
- Any currency can be used with your booking calendar.
- Configure calendar availability, services, discounts etc. and attach it to a product.
Booked is a feature-rich premium plugin that offers advanced functionality to fit the needs of businesses of all sizes. BoxyStudio’s Booked has practically everything you need all tightly packed into a lightweight plugin for WordPress.
The plugin has a fully responsive design to cater for a growing number of smartphone users. Being the admin, you can add calendars to your WordPress site by inserting shortcodes. It enables you to add custom time slots for holidays and vacations through its blocked dates feature.
- Appointment buffering.
- Manage appointments from a powerful and intuitive backend interface.
- Custom fields for storing information for every booking.
- Color pickers to customize the calendar’s appearance.
Appointment and booking plugins are gaining popularity in the WordPress community as the establishment of service-based startups increases. Instead of spending time managing appointments and bookings for your clients, you should focus on improving their experience and branding your business. Let one of the plugins we discussed in this article handle all the appointments.
Which appointments and bookings plugin do you use? Let us know in the comments section below.