Here’s the thing about booking plugins.
There are so many of them, and all of them appear equally good.
But as is true for every business, you have specific requirements from your booking system. Now, how do you pick that one plugin that works perfectly?
And soon, you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of pre-sale questions and confusion.
So, we’ve decided to come to your rescue! Here’s a list of popular booking plugins, all categorized by the industry they would be ideal for. Hopefully, it makes it easier to decide on the right plugin for your business.
Let’s take a look!
A. WordPress Hotel Booking plugins ( Room/Hotel Reservation)
In the hospitality industry, online booking systems are a necessity. You see, people booking hotels are often traveling to a different country – with a different spoken language, currency, time zones. Here, it would be a lot more convenient to book rooms online.
What you need out of your Hotel Booking System:
Starting with the obvious, customers should be able to make bookings for several days. Often booking plugins only offer bookable time slots for a single day, which doesn’t suffice in this case.
Additionally, people often check in with a partner or family. They should be able to add multiple people to the same booking.
And of course, you need to be able to show off your hotel or resort with an image gallery.
Booking plugins for creating a Hotel Reservation System
1. Hotel Booking by MotoPress
This plugin is a complete booking solution for your hospitality business. As this is a dedicated plugin for hotel bookings, it is customized to the requirements of the industry. For example, you can add pricing by ‘Seasons’- specific time in the year for holidays, tourist season, etc. Take a look at the key features:
- You can add a full photo gallery.
- Decide on room rates based on conditions for eg. refundability.
- Add booking rules and send confirmation upon payment.
- Provide a list of hotel services and attractions.
- Manage bookings from a separate tab – add, delete, give discounts, add charges, sync with iCal.
What we love about Hotel Booking by MotoPress:
- It is made with hotels & resorts in mind.
- You have better control with booking rules, seasonal and conditional pricing options and more.
- It allows you to add activities that you offer, ideal for resorts.
Free version available
Single-site license – $79
2. HBook by Maestrel
This is a versatile hotel booking plugin with lots of functionalities to offer. It ensures a smooth booking process for your customers — from selecting the accommodation to booking to payments. It makes it really simple to make a booking with a friendly interface, clear pricing breakdown, and multiple payment options.
- Advanced booking rule system to handle complex pricing.
- Customize the booking form and text to your business needs.
- View all your bookings at a glance using a calendar view & manage them with ease.
- Automatically send email notifications to your customers.
- Sync bookings across sites you’re listed at- Air BnB, booking.com, etc.
What we love about HBook by Maestrel:
- The ability to add ‘Preparation time’ in-between bookings & linking accommodations.
- Automatic price updates, if the customer decides to upgrade or extend their stay.
- Compatible with multilingual plugins like WPML and Polylang. It also offers back end and front end translations.
Regular license – $49
3. WP Hotel Booking
WP Hotel Booking is a simple, easy to use booking plugin by ThimPress. The core plugin has all the basic features needed to set up a hotel reservation system. Additionally, there are 8 add ons you can use to extend the functionalities of the plugin like Stripe payment, Coupons, Statistics etc. The core plugin, as well as the add-ons, are completely free.
- Add different rooms or accommodation types with details & images.
- Manage bookings from a convenient dashboard.
- Add information about facilities that come with the room like Wifi, parking, etc.
- Set up custom pricing plans based on date ranges or even day-wise.
What we love about WP Hotel Booking:
- It’s not overly complicated and sufficient for a smaller establishment.
- You can choose to add extra features as you need using add-ons.
B. WordPress Doctor Appointment plugins
Your clinic is already a place that is full of busy staff and a long line of patients. An online booking system can help ease the headache of handling appointments.
It gives customers an easy way to book appointments, and you, an easy way to track them. It also simplifies things a lot, as people can see the availability of the specialist they want. Additionally, they can see available time slots and conveniently make appointments accordingly.
What you need out of your clinic appointment system:
Unlike a hotel booking system, for clinic appointments, you need to have bookable timeslots, rather than days. And these timeslots need to be divided throughout the working hours.
On top of that, you need it to work for all the different schedules of all the different doctors.
Additionally, customers should be able to see the services that are offered by each specialist. The customer can then make an appointment for the service they need.
Booking plugins for creating a Clinic Booking System:
Bookly is a beginner-friendly booking plugin. It is ideal for any establishment that offers services from multiple professionals. You can manage availability, working hours, consultation fee for all the doctors that work in the clinic. This makes keeping track of all appointments a breeze.
- Step by step booking process for ease of use for the customer.
- Add in working hours, schedule and day-offs for every staff member.
- Send out SMS and Email notifications about the appointment.
- Customize the appearance of the booking form, edit text for fields as you need.
- Easily keep track of payments.
What we love about Bookly:
- It makes the booking process very simple to follow.
- Users see details as they need to, in a step by step manner. They can even make ‘Chain Bookings’ for different services.
- Additional features like the ability to send out promotional messages and see stats about your business.
Free version available
Regular License: $53
Amelia makes it easy for your customers to book appointments with its Booking Wizard. It takes the user through the booking process by selecting one parameter at a time. You also have a lot of options to limit the user’s booking ability. Customers are only able to get appointments in accordance with each employee’s schedule.
- Booking Wizard to guide the customer through the booking process
- Manage multiple locations and employees
- Send out notifications to customers and employees automatically
- Offer multiple payment options to customers
- Put up general booking forms or personal booking forms for an employee/service
What we love about Amelia:
- It makes the booking process extremely easy for your customer
- You have a lot of control over setting up schedules, managing and keeping track of all appointments
- It comes with a lot of payments & notification options
Free version available
1 site license – $59
Recommended Reading: Amelia vs Bookly – compare the two booking plugins in detail.
3. Start Booking
Start booking is an easy, beginner-friendly way to start scheduling appointments online. It is a WordPress plugin with a cloud-based dashboard. So, it does require you to create an account on their website. But it comes with a lot of functionalities to help you set up a seamless booking system.
- Accept bookings easily with a customer-friendly interface.
- Customers can create bookings including multiple people.
- Accept online payments for the bookings using Stripe.
- Responsive design for a seamless experience on every device.
- Send email and text reminders to customers and avoid cancellations.
What we love about Start Booking:
- It makes it really easy to manage both the staff as well as customers. With individual accounts, personalization, appointment history & profiles for customers.
- It allows you to assign and put up for booking physical locations like rooms or tables
WordPress plugin – Free
Start Booking plan – $7.99/ month
4. Easy! appointments
With Easy! Appointments, you start with setting up services as well as teams/employees. The services can then be assigned those services. Each employee has its own schedule and each service can be added as it makes sense for your business. The user interface is translated into many languages to be accessible for businesses & customers around the world.
- It allows you to set up booking rules that work around each employee’s schedule
- Flexible calendar view helps you manage all your bookings easily
- Send out email notifications to remind customers of appointments
- Configure settings for services and service providers
- Sync everything with your Google Calendar
Why we love Easy! Appointments
- You can use dedicated URLs. These can guide customers to a specific service or provider.
- It does a good job of improving user experience. It has a completely responsive design and translations available for multiple languages.
- You can add the booking form anywhere on your website and customize dimensions, color, etc to your liking
C. Salon WordPress Booking plugins
Salons, Spas, Gyms are all places that employ multiple people. All of whom specialize in different services and skills. It is not unlike a doctor’s office, where you have multiple specialists working for one establishment.
An online booking system helps manage everyone’s schedule. Not only that, but it also helps customers see services offered and make bookings accordingly.
On top of that, Salons and Spas often sell packages for their services or offer discounts. These can also be booked using the booking system.
What you need from your Salon or Spa booking system:
Like a clinic booking system, customers should be able to book appointments. Adding profiles for specialists will also help customers easily make decisions. The profile could include qualifications as well as the services they offer.
The system should be able to handle the schedules of all the employees. This includes blocking off unavailable days and managing all appointments.
Additionally, a preferred feature would be the ability to sell bookable service packages. And inhouse products like essential oils, creams, hair products, etc
Booking plugins for creating a Salon or Spa Booking System:
1. Salon Booking System
This is a dedicated Salon booking plugin but can be also adapted to other businesses like spas or hairdressers. You can configure it to suit your schedule by adding booking rules, days off, working hours and more. Keep a complete registry of all your clients and see statistics for analysis. This plugin also allows you to create discounts, coupon codes to offer on services.
- Create unlimited booking rules either for the whole shop or individual services/ staff.
- Back end calendar to help you easily manage appointments.
- Add services with all the details. Also, give options to book secondary services within the same booking.
- Service providers can sync up their google calendars and see their individual schedules.
- Send out a notification to customers, and keep complete track of all your customers with the customer registry.
Why we love Salon Booking System:
- It allows customers to make their own account. So, they can come back and easily re-book services.
- Customize the checkout process to your liking. Limit no. of reservation per customer, give options to check out as a guest or using facebook login, etc
- Customers can leave valuable feedback for your services which can help you improve your business.
Free version available
With BirchPress, you can easily set up your booking system. There are 3 things you need to configure – Locations, Services, and Providers.
There is a myriad of options to help you set them up and customize to suit your needs. The booking system can be tweaked based on services, work schedules and more. You can also add a complete staff profile, so customers can choose the required specialist.
Recommended Reading: Check out this article to see how to set up a complete booking system using BirchPress
- Manage bookings for multiple locations of your establishment.
- Add work schedule, days off, hours for each staff member.
- Accept payments for your booking online.
- Easy cancellation and rescheduling.
- Customizable booking form.
- Send out email notifications.
Why we love BirchPress:
- You can display a public calendar on your website. So, people can see which time slots are already booked up and plan accordingly.
- It is compatible with WooCommerce. So, you can sell services as a package, sell in house products and more
- Regular customers can create accounts and re-book services easily. Each staff member also has a personal login.
Single site license- $99
3. WooCommerce Appointments
WooCommerce Appointments is an appointment plugin that is completely integrated with WooCommerce. So it has all the great functionalities of WooCommerce, and it can make bookings!
It is an easy way to extend your shop to also include bookings. It is very flexible when it comes to booking rules, scheduling, cancellation or confirmation. This helps you set up a flawless system that caters to your business needs.
- Add availability, capacity, pricing rules for your booking system.
- Easily manage staff and assign everyone their own login.
- Allow customers to cancel appointments. Or require confirmation for booking.
- Customize booking form by adding extra fields relevant to your business.
- 2-way Google Calendar syncing.
Why we love WooCommerce Appointments :
- If you have a WooCommerce shop, and you also need to add a booking functionality, this is the perfect plugin
- Automatic time zone conversion for whichever location your business is based in
- It is very flexible, you have more control over your booking system
Single site license – $89
Booked is a simple appointment plugin. With this plugin, it is easy to set up your booking system in no time. Customers can conveniently use a calendar to view the number of available slots for a particular day, allowing them to plan accordingly. Instead of a calendar, you can also display a list view.
- Create as many calendars as required and them assign each calendar to a particular staff member.
- Flexibly create time slots of varying length depending on the service.
- Color picker and custom fields to tailor-make the booking form to your liking.
- Display a big or small front-end calendar using a widget or shortcode.
- Customers can manage their appointments from their own profiles.
Why we love Booked:
- It is simple and easy to use with a clean interface. Even a beginner user will have no problem navigating it.
- It comes with lots of Addons. Including payments with WooCommerce, front-end profile for your staff/agents, calendar feeds. You can use them to add in only the functionalities you need.
- You can use a handy builder to completely custom make your calendar.
Regular license- $49
D. WordPress Events Booking plugins
Whether you’re a fitness center that offers rock climbing, Zumba, yoga classes. Or a camp with an array of outdoor activities. Or kids resort with classes as well as activities people can sign up for.
Having an online booking system is something you should consider. It makes you easily accessible. Not only that but it also allows you to keep track of bookings and make arrangements accordingly.
What you need from your camp /activities/ classes booking system
With your booking system, the user should have the option to select from a list of activities.
The customer should also be able to select a particular instructor/guide.
For camps or resorts, booking should be offered for days and activities by time slot.
1. Booking Calendar
Booking Calendar is the complete booking solution for your business. You can flexibly set availability for a particular season. It also has the ability to handle complex pricing. You can add season rates, rates dependent on days and more. Also, add the ability to book days as well as time slots.
Key Features :
- Add independent booking calendars for each property or service.
- Intuitive admin pane to help you flawlessly manage your bookings.
- Change booking form structure at will, choose from many sleek designs.
- Set a limit for days selection – single, multiple, half-day.
- Support WPML and qTranslate for a multilingual website.
Why we love Booking Calendar:
- It is very flexible and accommodating of your requirements. You can set advanced pricing, availability rules, number of days, season-wise pricing.
- Not only can customers make bookings for days, but also specific time slots on a selected day.
- Search feature to allow customers to look up availability.
Single site license – $59.25
2. WP Booking System
It is easy to use but still comes with a lot of customization options so you can create a full-fledged booking system for your business. You have a separate lot of calendar features, form features, booking features as well as payment features. WP Booking system also comes with separate Add-ons for advanced features in an effort to keep the core plugin lightweight.
- Create an unlimited number of fully-responsive, customized calendars.
- Intuitive backend calendar management interface. You can also assign certain calendars to other user accounts.
- Highly customizable booking form with advanced options.
- Control over bookings with minimum-maximum limit, blocked booked dates and more.
- Multiple payment options with options to add taxes and fees.
Why we love WP Booking System:
- It packs a lot of features but is really easy to use with a clean interface
- You can add advanced elements like booking summary to your booking form, or Google ReCaptcha to avoid spam.
- Comes with Add-ons to enhance your booking system, including a search feature, payment options, Discount coupons, etc.
Free version available
1-site license: $49
Booki is a versatile booking plugin. You can use it to manage bookings, appointments or events. Aa a result, it’s easily adaptable to your business. Each ‘Booking project’, this could be a rental or activity has its own calendar and customization options. You can also add service providers who can manage their individual booking projects.
- Add an unlimited number of booking projects and service providers
- Create, cancel, confirm, and manage bookings.
- Provide a single day, multi-day, or time slot wise booking options.
- Display a list of attendees in the booking form.
- Set up varying costs for different days and also set up coupons.
- Send out email reminders to the customer before the booking date/time.
Why we love Booki:
- It allows you to manage event type bookings well. You can set up a minimum notice period which gives you time to make arrangements, display all the attendees in the booking form, offer coupons people can avail at checkout.
- Set up seasons and season-wise rates.
- Extra options for your booking form like cascading lists, dropdown lists, checkboxes, etc.
Regular license – $29
4. WooCommerce bookings + Accommodation bookings add on
WooCommerce Bookings allows you to offer appointments or bookings as a bookable product. With Accommodations Bookings add-on you can allow customers to book overnight stays and multi-day bookings. You can also put up special rates for rooms and add check-in & check-out times.
- Let customers make appointments & reservations. Add multi-day bookings with the add-on.
- Book multi-person events or single person appointments
- Block off booked slots and send out reminder emails to customers
- Manage your calendar easily. Additionally, set up two-way sync with your Google Calendar
- Offer special pricing based on group bookings or for specific days
- Require confirmation for bookings. Set up cancellation policies.
- It is an easy-to-setup and use booking plugin with the added reliability of WooCommerce.
- It is versatile in terms of duration of bookings, you can allow customers to book a time slot, multiple nights or just a single day
Single site license -$249
Recommended Reading: WooCommerce Bookings vs BirchPress – Compare the two on various parameters
Any of the above plugins are sure to help you set up a standard booking system. Having said that, we know that every business is different. Requirements for each are bound to be different.
Obviously, your final choice will depend on a lot of factors like your budget or your requirements. This list is just a way to help you narrow down your choices a smidge.
So, over to you now! What is it that you’re looking for in your booking plugin? Do you recommend any other plugin, not on the list? Let us know in the comments which plugin you end up with it and how it works out for you!
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