Modern business went online years ago. While many of tech-savvy Internet users think that every business in today’s world has to have a responsive website, an app, modern contact forms, and booking systems, the reality is far from that. Unfortunately, there is still a way to many (both small and large) companies which are still doing the old school business. Some don’t even have a website, while the other sites act as time machines showing you how things looked online ten years ago. This should be changed, don’t you think?
The first thing that comes to our minds when we think about booking is a hotel or restaurant business. That’s just us. Of course, there are so many other firms that need some kind of appointments to be done. It’s a busy world, and you can’t rely solely on phone calls and emails to schedule appointments. This can be time-consuming both for you and your customers, and something needs to be done if you don’t want to lose customers. If you don’t already have one, it’s time to install a booking module which can be easily accessible from your responsive website.
Showing you recipes online when starting a food blog, for example, is one thing, but, of course, programming a reservation system from scratch is something even a professional developer would struggle with for a longer period of time. If you aren’t a developer, you can forget about creating a booking plugin of your own, and unless you’re Richie Rich, you can forget about hiring someone to develop a custom one for you. Instead of all that, WordPress will take your worries away. While there are some fantastic plugins you can find all over the Internet, there are also dozens of booking plugins to be found in the WordPress plugins repository; and the good part is that those are free!
In the following lines, we’re about to introduce you to some of the best free booking and appointment plugins for WordPress which can modernize your business in a jiffy. All you will have to do is to find the one that suits you the best, install it and set up several things before you get your first scheduled appointment.
Booking Calendar is one of the oldest booking plugins for WordPress. It doesn’t surprise that it is also one of the most popular free plugins with more than 30,000 active installs at the moment. For starters, the plugin is responsive and very easy to install. It comes with some predefined options and descriptions so you can quickly modify it to your needs. Since it stores everything in WordPress’ databases, you won’t have to create additional accounts or to worry about a thing.
You can easily set up and customize your calendar which can be placed into a widget or you can use a shortcode to place the calendar on a page. Your clients will get a color-coded calendar so that they instantly see which dates/times are available for booking. Once a customer fills the form, you and your admins will get the details in an email, and you get to approve that booking.
All the reservations can are easy to manage through the admin panel which allows you to control practically everything; you get to search the bookings by different parameters, approve them, and do so much more.
Pinpoint Booking System
Although as not popular as the previously mentioned plugin, Pinpoint Booking System has more than 8,000 active installs and features several unique things which can help your business. The plugin is responsive and works great on every WordPress theme. If you want to do more than just WordPress, it is important to know that the plugin allows you to connect the booking system to your WooCommerce store. That means that you get to connect it to your shopping cart and take the advantage of all the payment methods WooCommerce offers.
A booking calendar looks nice, and it will allow your customers to view available dates, and in the end, to make an appointment through one page. It is important that everything works quickly and this is where the plugin excels.
Another great thing about Pinpoint Booking System is that it lets you share your business location with the world. You can do that with the help of Pinpoint.World. There are so many other great features, so make sure that you check them all out in the repository.
Appointment Booking Calendar
Appointment Booking Calendar is another free WordPress plugin which can help you get started with the online booking management. It has more than 6,000 active installations, and you can quickly add one number to that by downloading it from the official repository. If you decide to do so, you will be able to show customers a beautiful calendar with available time slots. Each slot is configurable, and the whole system is connected to the PayPal payment page so that you can automatize the entire process and make money more easily.
The calendar is easy to export to Google Calendar and Outlook, it includes captcha as an extra security step, and you can even print out the list if needed.
This free plugin is highly customizable so that you can quickly set time and date formats, define products, currencies, working days, and so much more.
Salon booking system
Even though this free plugin is created for salons, don’t let the name mislead you. Salon Booking System is perfect for businesses where one-to-one appointments are crucial. That means that you can use it for your hairdresser’s salon, barber shop, spa, beauty salon, car shop, therapist, tutor or any other business.
This plugin allows you to set booking rules which means that you can set the available dates, payment methods, confirmation options, and much, much more. You get to connect the plugin with your Google Calendar which is always an attractive option.
The plugin is very customizable so you can change colors and choose one of the three booking form sizes.
Salon Booking System allows you to set up email and SMS notifications so that you’re always up to date with the latest reservations. There is so much more you can do with this free plugin so make sure that you check it out.
Booking Ultra Pro Appointments Plugin
This plugin has more than 2,000 active installs at the moment, and the number of five-star ratings tells you how much people really liked Booking Ultra Pro Appointments Plugin. Its unique 4-step booking process will help you attract customers into booking your service online (we suggest that you check out the demo site to see how this works).
The plugin features PayPal integration and it lets you customize the payment options in details. You can use custom fields to create a unique booking form, you get to customize emails, working hours, time slots, and much more.
WooCommerce Booking and Appointment Plugin
The WordPress Booking Plugin for WooCommerce from PluginHive is one of the fastest growing booking plugins. Within a few months of its release, it has gained over 7000+ downloads.The opportunities are endless with this plugin finding its applications in various fields like-hotel room & accommodation bookings, car & bike rentals, appointments for doctors and many more.
Keeping the settings simple, the plugin offers a great set of features. You can set a fixed booking period of minutes, hours, days and even months. Or choose to offer multiple days of bookings. So, you could offer bookings for 30 mins dance-session or 7-day destination holiday package.
With a touch of comfort, the prices are calculated and displayed dynamically right next to the calendar. And there’s no limit to the number of bookings allowed.
Now, in order to bring in even more efficiency, the plugin allows you to set non-working hours/days. So your customers cannot book during the period you are unavailable.
Timezone conversion, search functionality, Google sync from the huge list are just some of the features offered by the pro version. Which clearly foretells the possibilities when using this plugin.
In the end, it doesn’t matter which one of the plugins you choose because all of them will be able to serve you as a good booking platform. Of course, there are PRO version of these plugins available so if you really want to step up your booking game, you will have to reach in your pocket to get extra features and premium support. Also, there are other free and premium plugins to be found but for starters, these five will serve you more than well.