WordPress appointment booking plugins let you accept bookings and appointments directly through your website. Many businesses need a system to accept and manage bookings, reservations, and appointments. Hotels, restaurants, tattooists, beauty parlors, hair salons, gyms, therapists, doctors – the list is virtually endless. Mercifully, adding such a system to your website is easy when you install a WordPress booking plugin.
Choosing a WordPress Appointment Plugin
Having a booking system on your website can significantly improve your visitors’ experience. As with most things in the digital world we now live in, people increasingly prefer to make bookings and reservations online instead of doing it by telephone. That also means your staff will spend less time handling telephone appointments, so everyone is happy.
A quick search in Code Canyon or the WordPress plugin directory will reveal a bewildering choice of WordPress bookings plugins, making it hard to choose the right one for your business. To make the selection process more straightforward, it is a good idea to consider the following main criteria:
- The system should have a calendar that you can position precisely where you need it on your site.
- The system should have facilities for your customers to make, view, cancel, and amend bookings through the site’s front-end.
- A good range of customization features will allow you to tailor the system to look and act how you want it to, e.g., configure holidays, working hours, breaks between appointments, menus, etc.
- The facility to send confirmations, reminders, and other notifications to administrators and customers is highly desirable
- Robust booking management facilities in the back-end of your site, including filters and searches, plus the ability to add, amend, and cancel bookings
- If you employ staff, you probably will want to capture and manage bookings separately for each of them, e.g., different doctors at the same clinic, beauty therapists, gym trainers, etc.
- A method of capturing payments or deposits may be worth considering, especially if you run something like a vacation rental or hotel business
- The system should be mobile device friendly, given that most people nowadays book from their phones or tablets
Those are just the main criteria you need to consider when choosing a plugin, but there may be others depending on your specific business needs.
In this article, we will be suggesting some of the most popular and up-to-date booking plugins for WordPress to give you a flavor of what is available and what they can do for you. As always, we have checked that they are compatible with WordPress version 5.7.2, and many are compatible with the recent 5.8. update also. They are all regularly updated by the developers.
In its free ‘Lite’ version, Amelia is ideal for individuals and smaller businesses like hairstylists or tutors who depend on a robust appointment booking process. It includes the following handy features:
- Shortcode for embedding the booking system exactly where you need it
- Configurable general settings, provider details, and working schedule
- Back-end calendar view with a complete overview of appointments
- Add and manage bookings in the back-end
- Automatic customer email notifications when the status of an appointment changes
For larger businesses or anyone needing more functionality, you will want to upgrade to one of the paid plans. These cost between $59 and $249 per year, depending on the number of licenses you need. In addition to support and updates, these plans add the following features and more:
- Display an event calendar on your site
- Schedule recurring appointments, group bookings, special events, etc.
- Custom services schedule (working hours, breaks, etc., for each employee or globally, etc.)
- Custom booking form fields
- Booking wizard and search engine
- Unlimited appointments
- Unlimited staff members
- Automatic customer and staff email and SMS notifications
- WooCommerce, Zoom, and Google Meet integration
- Synchronize with Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar
- Front-end panel for customers to make and manage bookings themselves
- Employee panel which does not require WordPress admin access
- Payments and coupons
- Reports and analytics
- GDPR compliant
All-in-all, Amelia is an extremely useful bookings plugin suitable for a variety of applications, particularly if a paid plan is purchased.
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Hotel Booking Plugin
If you own a lodging business such as a hotel, B&B, or vacation rental property, you might wish to consider MotoPress’s Hotel Booking Plugin. It works with any theme and allows you to create anything from a simple vacation rental website up to a complete hotel booking system with features like online payment capture, inventory control, tax management, flexible pricing, and much more.
In its free form, the Hotel Booking Plugin brings an impressive repertoire of features for zero dollars:
- Unlimited properties, rooms, and beds
- Allow multiple bookings by one guest in one reservation
- Automatic inventory control – prevent reservations for fully booked properties or where maintenance, special events, etc., are taking place
- Several booking modes: manual by admin, via customer email, and automatic upon payment
- Real-time search availability with automated recommendations of the best accommodation options based on the number of guests
- Minimum and maximum stay periods
- Configurable pricing including free or paid extras and discount coupons
- Collect payments via PayPal with various payment timing options
- Back-end bookings calendar filterable by date, accommodation, or status.
- Automatic email notifications
- Mobile responsive
- Shortcodes, widgets, and blocks for setting up the system.
- User-friendly guest booking widget
- WPML compatible for multi-language support
- Various add-ons for WooCommerce payments, Elementor integration, etc.
You can upgrade to Hotel Booking Plugin Pro for $89 per year for a single site or $199 for unlimited domains. Additional features Pro brings to the table include:
- Synchronize bookings with Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, TripAdvisor, etc
- More payment gateways, such as Stripe, 2Checkout, Braintree
- Add and manage reservations in the back-end
- Edit original booking details: departure and arrival dates, services, rates, and accommodations
- Variable property prices depending on the number of guests and nights
- Updates and priority support
A whopping 10,000 active downloads of the Hotel Booking Plugin exist, and it has a 4.0/5.0 stars user rating.
Booknetic – Appointment Scheduling Plugin
Businesses may automate their online bookings with the help of Booknetic, a multi-purpose WordPress appointment plugin. Featuring a wide range of features, it may be used in a wide range of industries, including hotels, salons, dentists, legal firms, and individual consultants, such as:
- Zoom’s Optimized Appointment Booking technique, meetings can be organized and combined at multiple locations.
- Google Calendar sync helps to keep track of online appointments using Google Calendar sync.
- PayPal and Stripe Integration.
- Another major benefit is its WooCommerce sync method.
- SMS, email, and WhatsApp may be used to send notifications to clients.
- Multi-location scheduling solution.
- With Google ReCAPTCHA, Booknetic users will be able to stop spam scheduling.
- Convert into any language.
- Form-builder feature
- Sendable invoices
- Group appointments
- Gift cards
- Endless color possibilities
- Reports module
Booknetic provides two payment methods, depending on the size and requirements of the business:
$79 for the Regular. The Regular plan is designed for small enterprises and contains the following features:
- 1 Domain
- One-time payment for lifetime
- 6 months support
- Monthly updates
The SaaS version costs $489 per year. In addition to the regular edition’s functionality, SAAS version offers:
- Create Plans in Admin panel
- Fully customized Permissions/Limitations to Plan
- Monthly/Annually subscription
- Full access to registered Tenants
- Registration and Login form for Tenants
- Individual URL for each Tenant
- Billing page for each Tenant
- QR code for Tenant’s booking page
- Payment module in the Super Admin panel
Booknetic has all of the elements you’d expect from an appointment booking plugin. It also has more than 2800 sales and has 4.9 out of 5.0 stars from user ratings.
Through Bookly, your customers can easily make reservations online regardless of the type of device they are using. Once they make a booking, a confirmation email and SMS are automatically sent to them. It is also possible to send them an SMS reminder nearer to the appointment time.
Bookly is available in both free and paid versions. The free one has some pretty useful features, including:
- A customizable reservation form
- Add unlimited reservation forms to your site
- User-friendly administrator interface including monthly, weekly, or daily calendar views
- Customer list management
- The booking list can be filtered, sorted, and searched
- Variable booking slot durations
- Customizable notifications (SMS and email)
- Multi-language support via WPML integration
The paid version of Bookly is called Pro. That costs $89 for an annual license and adds the following extra features:
- Additional customization options
- Users can log in through social media
- Unlimited staff members, each of whom can have their own individual working schedule
- Option to accept payments through the website
- Additional email notification templates (e.g., reminders, birthday greetings, follow-up messages, etc.)
- Google Calendar integration
- Compatible with WooCommerce
- Customer lists, details of bookings, and payments can be imported and exported
- Analytics of the number of bookings, customers, and payments
- Further customization via paid add-ons
- Future updates and six months’ support (extendible to a year for an extra $31.50)
Bookly’s main attraction is its suitability for many different applications. Resultingly, it is immensely popular, with over 50,000 active downloads and an average user rating of 4.1/5.0 stars.
Webba Booking is targeted towards service providers to allow them to make the best use of their time and offer maximum convenience to their customers. So, whether you are an attorney, private tutor, beauty therapist, vehicle rental company, golf club, etc., this plugin could help you keep a firm grip on your appointments.
The free version of Webba Booking comes bundled with extensive features, including:
- Wide range of front-end customization options (design presets, editable text, etc.)
- Mobile responsive
- Two modes: basic mode with a fast, simple booking process, and extended mode, which has advanced time search
- Booked time slots can be hidden or visible, with the option to add customer data
- Option to hide the booking form or redirect the customer to another page after booking
- Customers can cancel bookings without needing to register
- Editable customer and administrator notification emails
- Customizable back-end with configurable access
- Manual booking creation and management in the back-end
- Admins can approve or cancel bookings without logging into the dashboard
- Administrator schedule for the next day
- Integrates with most popular SMTP mail plugins
- WPML integration for multi-language support
The Pro version of Webba Booking costs $59 to $189 per year, depending on how many site licenses you need. Lifetime subscriptions are also available, costing $149 to $569. Pro plans add the following features:
- Payment capture via PayPal or Stripe
- Coupons for special offers, discounts, etc.
- Export data to CSV
- WooCommerce integration
- Synchronization with iCal and Google Calendar
- SMS notifications and reminders
- Updates and support
Over 3,000 active downloads of Webba Booking are currently active, and the plugin has achieved great respect from users, as demonstrated by the excellent 4.8/5.0 star rating.
Like Bookly and Webba Booking, StartBooking is another excellent WordPress booking system plugin that is suited to a wide range of applications. Alongside accepting bookings, StartBooking also can help manage your staff schedules.
While the free version is pretty limited on features, it does allow you to take payments through your website. That is ideal if you require a deposit to secure bookings. Key features of the free version include:
- Unlimited bookings but limited to one bookable service
- Integrates with Google calendar
- Accessible by one administrator
- Accept payments via Stripe
- Gutenberg blocks and shortcodes
Two paid plans of StartBooking are available. The cheapest is ‘Basic’ at $25 per month or $240 per year, while the more expensive option, ‘Business,’ costs $75 per month or $720 per year. That may look a little pricey on paper, but they are good value when you consider the extra functionality you get. Depending on which plan is selected, expect to receive features like:
- Unlimited bookable services
- Form fields are fully customizable
- Group and class bookings
- Advanced availability
- Customizable emails
- Advanced reports
- Multiple users
- Designated room bookings, e.g., for function rooms
- Updates and priority support
Over 3,000 active downloads of StartBooking exist, and the plugin has an average user rating of 4.3/5.0 stars.
WP Simple Booking Calendar
If you are trying to find a plugin that is easy to use both in the front- and back-ends, WP Simple Booking Calendar could be the ideal plugin. It is super simple to set up and operate, thanks to a refreshing lack of frilly features that may never get used. It is perfect for owners of vacation rental properties, as even in its free guise, it includes all the functionality their business is likely to need:
- Ability to create a single, clear calendar displaying availability with a clear legend
- Simple to use interface
- Mobile responsive
- Add booking information for each day
- Multi-language support
- Data backup and restore
More features are available with the Premium version, which costs from $39 per year and adds:
- Unlimited booking calendars with a multi-calendar overview
- Create your own calendar legends
- iCal, Airbnb, Booking.com, HomeAway, etc. calendar synchronization
- Display options include highlighting the current day, multiple months, week numbers, and tooltips
- Configurable first day of the week and the start of the month and year
- Bulk editing
- User management
- Hide booking history from visitors
- Multiple calendar overview
- Data export
- Premium support and updates
WP Simple Booking Calendar is immensely popular, with an impressive user rating of 4.8/5.0 stars and over 10,000 active downloads.
Five Star Restaurant Reservations
As the name suggests, Five Star Restaurant Reservations targets restaurant businesses. It is hugely popular, with over 20,000 active downloads in operation and an excellent average user score of 4.8/5.0 stars
If you run a restaurant business, this plugin allows you to capture and manage table reservations through your website easily. The free version of Five Star Restaurant Reservations brings you the following great features:
- Create a customized, responsive reservation form which you can add to any page via Gutenberg block or shortcode
- Bookings can be quickly and easily confirmed or rejected
- Automatic email notifications (customizable) to customers and administrator
- Bookings can be added or amended in the admin panel
- Configurable times and dates for accepting reservations, including exceptions for holidays, special events, etc.
- Undesirable customers, e.g., abusive or no-shows, can be banned
- Configurable party sizes (minimum and maximum)
The features included with the free plugin may be ample for smaller restaurants. However, larger or expanding ones may wish to consider purchasing the Premium plan, as that adds features to help automate and streamline the reservation process further:
- More customization options for layout, styling, emails
- Custom fields for dietary requirements, seating requests, etc.
- Integrates with MailChimp
- PDF, CSV, or Excel export of bookings
- Configurable dining block length and maximum number of reservations.
- Front-end’ view bookings’ page to display upcoming reservations and check-in arriving guests
- Auto-confirmation of reservations
The Premium version costs between $59 and $299 per year, depending on how many restaurants you have.
If you want to send SMS or email reminders, accept deposits, or add table selection and assignment to the booking system, you will need to purchase an Ultimate plan costing $300 per year for one site.
The developers of VikRentCar create several WordPress booking plugins, each with a specific application. As you will have realized from the name, VikRentCar is squarely targeted at helping automotive rental businesses of any size capture and manage vehicle rentals, including online payment collection.
Free and paid (Pro) plans are available. The free version certainly does not skimp on features, offering goodies such as:
- A customizable front-end booking process with eight different views
- Seven types of shortcode for integrating the booking process into pages
- Vehicle availability overview with monthly calendars
- Pricing calendar overview and custom rate plans
- Fully featured back-end with rental order and vehicle management functions
- Multi-language support, including built-in translation
- Follows the OpenTravel Standards
It is possible to extend the functionality and versatility of the plugin with the additional features offered by the Pro version. For $120 per year, you will get things like:
- Seasonal pricing and rates calendar
- Configurable restrictions, e.g., minimum or maximum rental period, pick up and drop off days, etc.
- Custom fields for requesting specific billing information from customers
- Add extra services and options such as refueling and child seats to orders
- Levy additional fees for out of hours and premium locations
- Customer management window
- Statistics and analytics
- Custom payment methods
- Coupon codes
- Updates and support
Launched in 2019, VikRentCar is a relatively new plugin. However, since then, it has been scored 5.0/5.0 stars by users, and over 800 active downloads are already in operation. So, if you have a car rental business, it could be the perfect plugin for you.
Salon Booking System
Staying with application-specific booking plugins for a moment, we move on to Salon Booking System. While it clearly targets hairdressing and beauty salons, barbershops, and spas, it is also suited to other professions such as therapists and tutors.
The free version of Salon Booking System has a great feature list, including:
- Customizable front-end booking form, assistant and services lists, etc
- Back-end calendar with monthly, weekly, and daily views
- Add reservations and closeout time in the daily view
- Export bookings
- Basic, advanced, and high-end booking methods with multiple booking rules and options
- Configurable salon checkout options, e.g., limit number of bookable services, Facebook login, custom fields, etc.
- Assistants calendar management
- Customer archive
- Import users, services, and assistants from CSV
Online payments, including deposits, partial or complete payments, and gratuities, can be accepted if you upgrade to the Premium version. That costs between $79 and $299 per year, depending on how many sites you need to cover. As well as payment functionality, the Premium version also adds other features, for example:
- Unlimited staff members, services, and reservations
- Discounts and coupon codes
- Custom email, SMS, and WhatsApp notifications
- Two-way Google Calendar synchronization
- Mobile app (IOS and Android)
- Updates and priority support
Salon Booking System has over 8,000 active downloads in use. It is a highly versatile plugin that users have scored a very respectable 4.5/5.0 stars.
Simply Schedule Appointments
Are you looking for an effortless way of accepting appointments through your website? If so, Simply Schedule Appointments is the ideal plugin for you. Installation and setup are easy, and an intuitive front-end interface makes scheduling appointments straightforward for your clients and customers.
Features of the free version of this plugin are pretty impressive and may well be adequate for many smaller enterprises:
- Setup wizard for easy configuration
- Unlimited appointment types
- Dates can be blocked out, e.g., for vacations
- Advanced scheduling options
- Customizable notification emails
- Customizable styles
- Connect appointments to registered WordPress users
- Integrates with most popular page builders such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Divi
If you need more functionality, then you will need to upgrade to one of the paid plans. ‘Plus’ costs $99 per year and adds these extra features:
- Synchronize with Google Calendar
- Integrates with Google Meet, MailChimp, and popular form plugins
- Custom fields
- Add multiple bookings to the same time slot
If you wish to add email/SMS notifications and payment gateways, you will need to upgrade to the next plan, which is ‘Professional.’ That costs $199 per year and also includes live SSA support via Zoom and conversion and goal tracking. The top-tier plan is ‘Business,’ which costs $299 per year and includes tools to manage your team and resources.
Simply Schedule Appointments is very successful in that it has amassed over 10,000 active downloads while maintaining an unbeatable user rating of 5.0/5.0 stars. So, if you are a tutor, handyman, bakery, dress shop, or any other business that needs to add a straightforward appointment capturing system to your WordPress site, this plugin may be the answer to your prayers.
Do You Have a Favorite WordPress Booking Plugin?
There are quite literally dozens of booking plugins available, and we have listed just some of the excellent ones available in 2021. Do you have one that is your favorite that perhaps you are using already? Or are you looking to add one to your site soon? Will you be using a general ‘all purpose’ one, or have you found one specifically matched to your business? Drop us a comment or two below – we’d love to hear from you!