arrow45 Comments
  1. donnacha
    Jun 22 - 23:01

    This is definitely the best gathering together of all the current WordPress booking options and people are going to find this useful for years to come. Thank you Jean, amazing work.

    Of course, this article should just be a starting point – anyone seriously searching for a booking option needs to do their own deep research because, sadly, a lot of plugins that look great turn out to have a lot of problems. In particular, search for support forums (it they don’t make them publicly viewable, why?) and, most important, search for actual, real-world examples of real businesses using the plugin you are interested in.

  2. Ron The Website Guy
    Jun 24 - 10:39

    I took a look at Appointments + once. It seemed like a good plugin, but their official demo… looked like crap. I ended up looking elsewhere.

    • Jean Galea
      Jun 24 - 10:47

      What did you end up going for Ron?

    • Joe
      May 20 - 06:18

      I ended up going with Appointments+ and I must say, compared to the other options out there, it was by the far the best in terms of what it can do, simplicity and easiness to use out-of-the-box. The price at $19 was by far better than any other options out there. My only complaint, which is rather minor, is that the only payment integration is PayPal, as I use and prefer Stripe.

  3. Marcel
    Jun 24 - 19:23

    Excellent list. Some I have looked at, others I had no idea even existed. The main problem I find is that many of these booking systems (at least for the travel and hospitality industry) are coded by ehem… coders who have little or no knowledge of the industry requirements. So yes, in most cases, while some of these plugins can actually “fill in the gap” for a while, from the looks of things a serious business would need to have a custom development done. Certainly none of these plugins justify the several hundreds, which some times run into thousands of dollars that they are asking for.

    • Jean Galea
      Jul 06 - 21:40

      I agree with that Marcel, but I have a feeling that this niche will become a hot one this year :)

  4. Brent
    Jul 02 - 23:55

    Excellent summary Jean. I didn’t realise there were so many booking plugins available!

    Hopefully some of them will integrate with WooCommerce soon to make these folks happy.

  5. Caspar
    Jul 19 - 08:01

    Excellent overview, particularly the way you refer to how those plugin integrate with the default WordPress UI. I too think plugins should rely on the default UI, so this post was extra helpful. Thanks! Haven’t picked one so far, but most likely will try WP Simple Booking Calendar.

    • Jean Galea
      Sep 24 - 15:11

      Great, let us know your experience after picking up a plugin.

  6. ashokrane Rane
    Jul 31 - 20:43

    You could have a look at the WooCommerce Booking & Appointment Plugin for appointment scheduling. It is developed to work only with the WooCommerce platform. It is the only Appointment plugin out there that is fully integrated with WooCommerce. Check out it’s features at:

    http://www.tychesoftwares.com/store/premium-plugins/woocommerce-booking-plugin

    You could also checkout on Jean’s review of the plugin at:

    http://www.wpmayor.com/plugin-reviews/woocommerce-booking-appointment-plugin-review/

    • Tania
      Nov 01 - 05:17

      Hi, I am wanting to know if WooCommerce Booking & Appointment Plugin would allow me to collect the name of each attendee. My application is for class bookings which parents would book on behalf of their children and I really must be able to know each child’s name, especially as it is unlikely that parents will be bringing tickets along to each class. Would I have to use Gravity Forms?
      Thanks

      • ashokrane
        Nov 01 - 05:48

        Hi Tania,

        Currently it is not possible to collect names of the people attending each class. We are currently working on an addon that will allow to do that.

        I’ve also replied to your email on this.

        Yes, you can use gravity forms along with our plugin to achieve that too.

        :Ashok

  7. kelly
    Sep 02 - 03:50

    What a fantastic review and at a glance of all the possible booking/events plugins! Ideally, I would love a plugin that can do 2 or 3 things:

    1. Allow people to book an appointment with me, and a calender to show when I am free or unavailable.

    2. For me to set up events and for people to confirm if they are attending, down to paying to RSVP and for them to download printable tickets, maps, freebies, etc.

    3. I show several vacation deals that people can book by dates.

  8. leokoo
    Sep 11 - 10:46

    Thanks, how does these compare to the recently released Woocommerce Booking plugin by Ashok? =) Would you update the list?

    • Jean Galea
      Sep 12 - 18:06

      You can check out our review of Woocommerce Booking, it’s a great plugin for those who are using Woocommerce.

      • leokoo
        Sep 13 - 14:51

        Thanks. bought it =)

  9. Redondo
    Sep 12 - 17:24

    I don’t know if it bothers anyone else, but it really bothers me that BirchPress Scheduler lifted their Form Builder under Admin > Scheduler > Settings straight from the Form Builder of Gravity Forms. For a plugin that’s charging up to $499 for a Pro version, you’d think that the developers could have come up with their own version.

    • Jean Galea
      Sep 12 - 18:05

      Redondo, the guys at BirchPress are perfectly entitled to do so under the GPL licence. Whether they could have coded something up themselves which would be better is another discussion altogether.

  10. Thanks for breakdown Jean. Do you know if any of the event booking plug-ins provide a means of integrating qualifier questions/forms? I want to allow users to book appointments, but only if they the answers to a series of custom form questions meet specific criteria. Been looking for months for something that will allow this with no luck. I have Formidable Forms but have not yet figured a way to integrate it with many of the event plugins like this. Thanks in advance for any info.

    • Jean Galea
      Sep 24 - 15:10

      Welcome, unfortunately I don’t know if any of the event booking plugins support this out of the box.

  11. Laura Cavalli
    Sep 19 - 08:59

    Thanking you for the time you are devoting to read this email, I have the pleasure to contact you to propose a system of economic management Booking on-line

    If your web agency was looking for a booking system for Hotel B & B Farm, for your clients, here is an easy, inexpensive technology based on wordpress.

    The system includes a graphical “responsive” and a system of online booking with payment plypal, multilingual, with the possibility of post offers discounted prices lists and customizable without any commissions and so much more.

    To better examine our proposal, you can also view browsing the page from his smartphone. http://www.pluginwordpressbooking.com/

  12. Randall Taylor Carroll
    Sep 25 - 22:55

    I’m pulling my hair out trying to find a plugin that would allow certain user roles (i.e., service providers) their own calendars to display their availability for services defined by an administrator, while also allowing other users to browse available time slots and book with them. The closest (I think) I’ve been able to find is CP Appointment Calendar…because I’m very hesitant to purchase a plugin that I cannot trial in its entirety first. Does anyone have any insight into another that I might be able to get working for my use case? Thanks much.

    • Ryan
      Mar 05 - 13:21

      Did you ever find a better solution? Did you go with CP appointment calendar? I’m looking for similar functionality.

  13. Darleen Witmer
    Nov 27 - 17:57

    The mindbody application looks the best for many service providers of classes according to instructor and times – starts at $75/month and only allows credit cards it seems to me. We don’t want to use paypal due to the added cost per transaction.

  14. I’m looking for a Equipment Rental plugin for one of our customers. Any idea?

  15. Arup Ghosh
    Dec 01 - 00:08

    Thanks for the plugins.

  16. EL
    Jan 12 - 01:05

    Hello there!

    So we have a site which we plan on developing in wordpress which create one calendar instance for each service provider. It’s like ZOCDOC but for another industry…

    It’s a single wordpress installation and so far we only see that WPBOOKINGCALENDAR is capable of providing this functionality. What are your thoughts? Would be most helpful!

    Thanks

  17. Hemant
    Jan 28 - 00:08

    Hi,

    This article is really helpful, thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to read more articles in future. Keep writing!!! cheers.

  18. jennifersteinbachsnd
    Feb 03 - 21:41

    Really, most of these developers have no clue about the realities in various industries. I’m looking for a scheduling software that allows me to offer the same services at 2 different locations and a skype “location” (obviously, i’m not at all locations simultaneously), and one that accepts payment from a variety of sources. On top of that, I would like to not enter the services and their metadata more than once.

    We started with Birchpress but while the Business Pro is good, it certainly lacks polish and payment flexibility, making me question its price tag.

    We then tried playing with Appointments+ and other plugins from that group. Oy, the Marketpress plugin does not play well with Appointments+ — my clients would have to stand on their heads, spin around, and rub their noses in order to book their multiple appointments and make their payment. On top of that, the Appointments+ plugin is very buggy. The statements in the support forum, “We’ll have our lead developer look into that,” from a year ago (for some of the bugs) just do not give me warm fuzzies.

    What is a microbusiness to do?

    • Jean Galea
      Feb 26 - 23:08

      Have you settled on a plugin in the end Jennifer?

  19. Bill Habicht
    Mar 06 - 14:26

    Any suggestions for an appointments calendar that works for multiple “vendors”? I have a site set-up that enables anyone living in our town to sell items online (using Matt Gates Vendors plugin). Many of the artisans also offer classes. What I need is a plugin that allows for the vendors to schedule their own events and be paid directly if they charge for their class, just as the Matt Gates Vendors plugin does for products. Anyone know of something that can accomplish this?

  20. Thank you very much for this Jean. I have a client who searched around himself, found and liked Checkfront. http://www.checkfront.com/

    I wonder what you think of it.

    I am building the WordPress site his reservations system will go on. This is a single service provider. The price of the service varies by what the client requests. The system should show what slots are available and take payments. It should be easy to interact with. Each reservation is for just one person (it could be a family or group but he only needs the record of the one person signing up).

    It is not built specifically for WordPress but it has a WordPress plug-in. http://www.checkfront.com/wordpress 1200 bookings a year for $49/month is adequate for him.

    They are not a payment processor but their payment options are far wider than the plug-ins you list here.

    Birchwood looks pretty good, I liked the iCal integration, except for the limited payment options. I prefer not to use WooCommerce.

    • I need to give you the update that Checkfront responded to me by phone saying that their service is NOT suited to my needs. They wanted to warn me because they have gotten service providers similar to the type addressed in this article and after doing the “trial” Checkfront offers, they were not happy.

  21. anders83
    May 07 - 17:22

    I actually need a simple booking calender where i can define “slots” during a day. For example “Morning” and “Afternoon”, sure the slots could also be from 06:00 – 14:00 and from 14:00 to 22:00. So far nothing special, the tricky part and where i fail to find a suitable plugin is that i want for example to be able to book the 06:00 – 14:00 slot at 09:00 on the same day.

    I want to be able to let the members of my association book a boat available during two time slots a day. And if its available to book it even if the slots start time has passed.

    It does not have to be free but since this is a non profit association we cannot handle montly fees.

    • Ankit
      May 08 - 13:23

      HI anders83,

      My name is Ankit and I am founder of Appointzilla.com . As the name suggests , it is an appointment booking plugin for WordPress.

      We have currently developed a class booking version of Appointzilla which might be suitable for your need. It will allow you selectively open up booking slots and accept bookings at any time of the day.

      Would you like to try it out? We are currently looking for beta users and would love to have you on board :-)

  22. Yorke
    May 07 - 23:59

    Does anyone know of a reservation/booking plugin that would be suitable for a wedding/event product hire site? Ideally it needs a feature where you set the date require at the start and then all the products would indicate if available for that date and then be able to be added to the cart. All the ones I’ve found so far require you to select the date for every item which is just a time consuming hassle for customers when they want to add say 50 different products.

    I got my hopes up with the new Woocommerce Bookings Extension however it doesn’t have that feature built in.
    One feature that it does come with that we would need is the booking confirmation control so the customer can submit to you for approval and then bookings that require approval won’t be invoiced until you confirm the booking.

  23. mitch popilchak
    Jun 04 - 03:36

    What a frustrating search! Thanks for this post.

    Birchpress, to get any features is $150/yr – which sucks considering it isn’t that great to begin with.

    Appointment+ is way over-priced for what you get. Sure it is $19 to buy but then $19/month for updates which come out monthly (ironic). It isn’t worth $240/year!!

    Has anyone tried http://simplybook.me/ ??
    I’m looking at it for a client who just has services to offer.

    • Ankit
      Jun 04 - 08:27

      Hi MItch,

      I would suggest you to try out Appointzilla. We were among the first to develop Appointment Booking Plugin for WordPress. Here is the link: http://appointzilla.com

      Disclosure: I am founder of Appointzilla

  24. Kris Jolls
    Jun 26 - 07:32

    As everyone says this is unbelievably the biggest pain in the ass search ever for a WP plugin. I was very hopeful the Gravity Forms had a compatible plug-in but it doesn’t. In the end this is not for me but a client so were going to go with BirchPress.

    Thanks for the post and will return to leave feedback when I can.

    P.S. I looked at appointzilla already thank you.

    P.S.S. this is the hugest gap in the WP plugin arena. Someone should really jump on it. :)

    • What did you end up with @kris jolls? If BirchPress how was it?

      My client found Booking System Pro by Code Canyon. Have you tried that? Definitely would love to integrate with Gravity Forms as you indicated. And 100% agree with your P.S.S.

      Chris Lema did a great write-up on WooCommerce Bookings but based on the comments, if you don’t already have a WooTheme or love WooCommerce it is not attractive to go that route. He also mentions the SaaS solution, BookFresh.

      • I want to add that in a separate discussion in a WordPress community on Facebook, initiated by Jon Brown kindly posting your article there; Corrine is using Acuity Scheduling to do nutrition counseling. This is her site: http://www.thefoodcop.com/services/ Acuity Scheduling is not WordPress specific, it also integrates with Drupal, SquareSpace and a few others. The sync is with Google not the iCal sync that BirchPress offers. Payment through Paypal, Strip or Authorize.net $228/year for Premium or $120/year for Professional. Would love to know others opinions of this. Corrine said: “I don’t really like the method for purchasing packages of appointments but it seems to offer most everything else. The support is also pretty good and it’s inexpensive”

      • This appears to be a useful review of BookFresh, the SaaS solution that I mentioned Chris Lema liked at one point. The latest update on this review is June 2014 and it has been bought by Square so there may be improvements in the future. Thorough history of the company and detailed points. Comments through June would indicate rather scary customer service. http://www.merchantmaverick.com/reviews/bookfresh-review/

  25. Dominic Wells
    Aug 21 - 06:27

    It would have been good to see your thoughts on ResRes (restaurant reservation plugin). The free version https://wordpress.org/plugins/resres-restaurant-reservations/ is great as free plugins go, but the premium version is a lot better than things like Open Table or Food Press. It just needs more words spread about it.

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