If you are looking for a good reservation plugin for WordPress that allows you to offer on your website the possibility that users can make an appointment, you have come to the right article.
In this guide I will reveal to you which is the best plugin to create a reservation system in WordPress and I will teach you how to configure it step by step so that you can integrate an online reservation and appointment manager on your website easily and quickly. You can even link appointments to your Google calendar automatically when a client makes a reservation on your website to have everything automated.
And it is that the WordPress reservation plugin that I am going to show you, will allow you to create a calendar with the appointments that you establish in less than 5 minutes and it serves for all types of businesses: Hairdressers, beauty centers, psychology consultations, academies, physiotherapy clinics, restaurants…
It doesn’t matter what your business is, since using a booking plugin on your website will bring many advantages to you and your clients:
- You offer the possibility of making a quick reservation by selecting the available date and time that best suits each client.
- You increase the conversion rate, since customers can book directly without having to fill out a form that you then have to answer with availability.
- It saves you time on calls to make appointments with your clients.
- It allows you to have a better organization of your business.
- You can include a payment gateway so that the client can book and pay for their appointment online.
What is the best online booking plugin in WordPress?
Today there are dozens of WordPress reservation plugins. Some of them are free and others are paid. And as usual, the free ones have many limitations in terms of functionality and design. In fact, many of the free WordPress reservation plugins are not really such a thing, since normally when you want to add a calendar with reservations so that the user can choose the day and time, they ask you to go to the version premium (paid of course).
Therefore, after having tried a few free and premium WordPress plugins and reservation systems, there is one that from my point of view stands out above the rest for its simplicity, for its modern and customizable design and because it lets you create a calendar of reservations for days, hours, and even minutes. I ‘m talking about Booked – Appointment Booking for WordPress.
You can even create a small client area so that the user can view and manage their reservations online from your website. Simply a plugin to create impressive WordPress booking calendars that I will show you how to use in this tutorial.
Guide to create an online booking and appointment system in WordPress
The first thing we should do is go to this website and download the reservation plugin for WordPress Booked. Now go to Plugins> Add New. A button will appear that says “Upload plugin” so click and choose the zip you just downloaded and click install. Once this is done, activate it and you will be ready to create your online reservation system in WordPress.
# 1 Create a reservation calendar
The first step is to create a booking calendar in your WordPress. For this you will see that in the menu on the left there is a new section called “Appointments” and below another called “Calendars”. Put the name you want and hit the blue button to create a new reservation calendar.
Now that you have the calendar created, go to Appointments> Settings> Short codes and you will see that several short codes appear. The first one, called [booked-calendar], is used to show all the calendars you have created. The second is the one that interests us, since it is the code of the calendar that we just created in the previous step. In my case it is called [booked-calendar calendar = 115], in your case it will be the same but the number will surely vary.
Copy it and paste it on the page or section of your website where you want it to appear so that your clients can book their appointment. You can go to Pages> Add new and paste it as is or, if you use a layout such as Visual Composer , Diva or Elementor , just add a block of text and paste the code as is.
As you can see, when you paste the code and preview it, the WordPress booking calendar already appears. You can paste it on an empty page that you are going to dedicate so that users only book their appointment online or, if you prefer, you can paste it somewhere in a section that you already have created.
# 2 General configuration of the booked reservation plugin
Now it’s time to start configuring it so click on Appointments> General> Settings and a window will appear with all the plugin settings like this:
We are going to see each section in detail and step by step so that you can configure it even if you have never created a reservation calendar on your website before:
▷ Booking Type
Here you must decide if you want users to be able to book freely by leaving their contact information or, if on the contrary, you prefer to force them to register and create a customer account on your website. I like the second option better, since this way clients will have their private area where they can see their reservations at all times, as well as cancel them if they cannot attend. To do this, mark «Registered Booking»
When you have done this, save changes, leave the plugin configuration for a moment and go to Settings> General and check the box to allow users to register on your website as shown in this screenshot.
Go back to the settings section and let’s continue with the configuration.
▷ Booking Options
Here you must choose the fields that the user must fill in when making an online reservation on your website. In my case, select Name and surname in order to distinguish clients with the same name.
▷ Appointment Booking Redirect
In this section you have to choose what you want the WordPress reservation system to do after the user has selected and booked an appointment on your calendar. Normally, it is best to take you to your personal profile page where you can see your appointment with all the data, so you can select the second or third option.
▷ Login Redirect
If you have allowed users to register on your website to view and manage their reservations online, here you must decide where to take them once they have logged into their account. The normal thing will be to take you to your profile or make the web reload again.
▷ Custom Login Tab Content
Here you can simply choose to put a personalized message that will appear in the login form. I usually leave it blank so that the form appears as clean as possible.
▷ Time Slot Intervals
Here you have to choose the time intervals between appointment and appointment. Imagine that you have a psychology consultation and your appointments last 1 hour. In that case, the previous appointments will appear in the calendar 1 by 1 hour between the times you choose a little later. If you had a hairdresser and each haircut is 20 minutes, then you would put 20 minutes so that users could book an appointment every 20 minutes (10:00, 10:20, 10:40, etc.)
However, if you want you can also add the appointments manually with different intervals depending on the day and time in the section that we will see next called “Time Slots”.
▷ Appointment Buffer
If you want to prevent your clients from booking appointments too close to the current date / time, you can set it here. For example, if you select a 24-hour appointment buffer window, you would make it impossible for users to book their appointments less than a day in advance.
▷ Prevent Appointments Before and After Date
Here you can decide from which dates you do not want to allow reservations. For example, you can make the booking calendar only show appointments in the next 2 months.
▷ Cancellation Buffer
This section serves to prevent customers who have already booked a prior appointment through your website from canceling them too close to the current date / time. For example, a 1 hour buffer window would prevent clients from canceling their appointments less than an hour in advance.
▷ Appointment limit
This option can be used to limit the number of active appointments that a user can have at the same time. This does not include past appointments, only the upcoming ones you may have.
▷ Display Options and other options
In these sections there are several boxes that allow you to control some buttons and calendar options, such as eliminating weekends so that they cannot book or allow cancellations.
▷ Front-End Color Settings
Here you can select the colors in which you want the calendar and the login board to appear for your clients. Here I recommend you choose the corporate colors of your website so that the WordPress Booked reservation plugin integrates perfectly.
# 3 add the previous appointments in the online booking calendar
Once you have this section configured to your liking, it is time to put the appointments and available times on the calendar. To do this, you just have to go to the «Time Slots» section of the booked reservation plugin as you see in the screenshot.
Here you will see that you can add the appointments with their hours and available spaces. Simply choose the day of the week, the time the appointment or session begins, the time it ends, and the number of available slots.
You can add each session one by one by clicking on “single”, or several at once by clicking on “bulk”. Be that as it may, you will have to add the appointments to the booking plugin calendar and indicate the availability of each hour and day.
Once you have added all the appointments, if you go to the page you created previously (where you put the short code [booked-calendar calendar = 115]) you will see that they are already available in the calendar for the user to reserve.
When he clicks on book, a small box will open for him to enter his data (name, surname, email, etc.) or, if you have marked in the Booking Type section so that only registered users can book, a window will appear to login or register if it is the first time they enter your website.
# 4 modify the reservation fields that the user must complete
If you want to modify the fields that appear in the reservation form or add additional fields, go to the Custom Fields section and you will see that you can add more. In this way, you will make the client have to fill in or select the fields that you choose before making the reservation.
You can add:
- Radio buttons.
- Text fields so that the user can write annotations before the reservation.
- Single text field.
- Once the person has made their reservation, the WordPress Booked reservation plugin will automatically send you a confirmation email with the complete information of the appointment and the user.
- But not only to you, since Booked will also send the client a reminder of the appointment at the time of booking and, if you want, a second email the same day a few hours before to remind them so that they can attend the appointment without fail. .
- These emails are already created and you just have to decide which ones are sent and on what occasions. You can also modify its content from the “Emails” section of the booked reservation plugin as I indicate in the next screenshot of this tutorial.
# 5 create a customer page
The last thing you have to do is create a page so that registered customers can see their appointments, request others or cancel them if you have enabled this option. You can also add it to your Google calendar by clicking on a button.
To do this, you just have to go to Pages> Add new and put the short code [booked-profile]. You can paste it as is or into a text block element with the layout maker you use. Once you put it, you will see that a small box appears in which the client can see all his pending appointments.
And if you want to go a step further, I recommend that you add this page to the menu of your website so that your customers can easily access it.
Where can I see the reservations via the web?
Something I really like about this WordPress reservation plugin is that it has a specific section with a calendar where you can see all the appointments you have pending within your website.
To see the reservations go to the “Appointments” section and a calendar will appear with certain dates in red. You will see that if you click all the details of it come out that you can see and modify if necessary.
Additional features of the best WordPress booking plugin
As you can see, this WordPress plugin for reservations by hours and days in the calendar is very complete and will allow you to manage all kinds of appointments and sessions in a fast and efficient way. However, there are several free add-ons that you can download and install to add some additional functionality.
Add your reservations to your Google Calendar automatically
If you don’t like having to enter the WordPress booking plugin to see the appointments you have and you prefer to have all the appointments linked to your Google Calendar , just install the free extension that is included with the Booked plugin and links your Google calendar with the booked plugin.
Add employees to your booking calendars in WordPress
If you are not alone attending the reservations and there are several people working with you, such as in a hairdresser, you can add several employee profiles so that the client can select with which person they want to make the appointment and that each employee has their own calendar with all the information of each appointment.
All you have to do is install the Front-End Agents Add-on that is included, create the employee profiles and add a calendar to each one as we did at the beginning of the tutorial. Once you have done this, each employee will have their own calendar with their schedules and appointments.
Employees will be able to access your website to see pending appointments and the booked booking plugin will send them an automatic email every time someone makes a reservation just like it would with you as we have seen above.
Add a payment gateway to the booked reservation plugin
Thanks to this free Add-on called Payments with Woo Commerce, you will be able to make users pay for their appointments at the time of booking. In this way, when the client selects a date and time in the plugin reservation calendar, the payment method of your choice will appear (PayPal, Stripe, card, etc.).
To do this, all you have to do is install Woo Commerce and create a simple product for your appointment by following these simple steps:
- Go to Products> Add product and give it a name, such as “Woman haircut” and a price
- Next, check the » Booked Appointment Service» option to tell Woo Commerce that it is not a physical product, but rather a reservation
- Now go to Appointments> Settings and go to the custom fields area. Just click on the “Paid Service Selector” and add the product you just created (the haircut).
And if you have variable products that can change the price according to certain attributes, you have to do it the same way but when creating the product, you have to select variable type. If you don’t know how to do it, here is a link.
Conclusion: The Best WordPress Booking Plugin
As you can see, Booked is a very complete reservation plugin for WordPress to create a reservation system and online appointment calendar on your website. In fact, I would say that it is at the height of any professional web manager or booking engine of the big platforms.
It allows you to integrate a form very quickly and keep track of appointments from your website or even linking them to your Google Calendar automatically. Also, as you have seen, you can have an email reach you with each appointment so that you do not miss any. And honestly, after having tried a few plugins of this type, you will not find another one as complete at such a low price.
And finally, you already know that if you have any questions or know another plugin that is up to Booked, you can write to me in the comments.