WordPress is an excellent platform if you want to sell products or services, run a website for your business, or just publish awesome content for your readers.
But if you run a business and booking appointments or reservations is key to your bottom line, you'll need to use more than what comes with WordPress core. While keeping your website 99.9% secure and achieving loading times under one second are both important, making sure your core functionality is what you need will make the difference when it comes to the success of your website.
Adding booking functionality to your WordPress site will make things easy for your visitors and help convert them into new customers. That's why you should look into a free WordPress booking plugin to use ASAP.
The Value of a Booking Plugin
There are a couple reasons why a booking plugin will be one of your most valuable assets:
- It improves your website's user experience. While some people like to talk with a real human on the phone or via live chat, many just want to book an appointment or make a reservation without talking to anybody. This kind of plugin allows your visitors to book an appointment or make a reservation through your website without you spending any of your precious time on it. That's huge!
- Creating an expectation that users will book appointments or make reservations themselves makes things easier for you as the business owner. No more back-and-forth email exchanges or untimely phone calls. The booking plugin takes care of the whole process and you can focus on bigger things.
- Some of the WordPress booking plugins listed below integrate with your Google Calendar to make scheduling even easier.
- Many of the following WordPress booking plugins come with payment functionality fully integrated as well (PayPal, Stripe, etc). This allows your users to pay you without your involvement.
Does My Website Need A Booking Plugin?
Before you add, activate, and configure a free WordPress booking plugin (or a paid one), it's important to ask yourself if you really need it in the first place. Having booking functionality implemented on your WordPress site could be important in a few different situations.
- If your practice runs on appointment windows (maybe you're a doctor, dentist, therapist, etc), then allowing your patients to book appointments online will make you more efficient and save you and your staff tons of time.
- If you're helping people book travel, a travel agency booking plugin might help your visitors reserve travel plans.
- If your website allows travelers to book a place to stay, an accommodation booking plugin could allow them to reserve rooms for their visit.
- Perhaps you're helping people find the right hotel, in which case a hotel booking plugin with payment integration would be perfect.
- You may be helping people with airfare. If this is the case, an airline booking plugin might help.
- Maybe you want to help people rent a vehicle. A car rental booking plugin would work well on your WordPress site.
- In the same vein, your visitors might want to reserve a taxi service. A taxi booking plugin would bring a lot of value to them.
- If your business lets people do any sort of rentals, a general rental booking plugin would streamline your entire operation.
- You need to take bookings for courses or events. You can even use WooCommerce for this!
These are only a few situations in which a booking plugin could be helpful for you. In general, if it would bring value to your visitors to allow them to book an appointment or make some sort of reservation themselves, it's worth considering.
Free Booking Plugins For WordPress
The easiest way to implement booking functionality on your site is a plugin. Here's a comprehensive list of the very best free plugins. Some have premium upgrades, but you can test and use the basic functionality on your site without upgrading.
Sagenda is one of the premier online booking software tools that can help your website visitors reserve meetings and appointments with you or your business online. It gives your visitors the ability to choose both the date and the time of their appointment. Booking for your business can now be done 100% online!
- There is no cost for your clients or you. This makes things easier for website owners on a tight budget.
- You can process unlimited bookings/customers through the plugin. There are no limits.
- Sagenda doesn’t display ads, so you know the user experience for your visitors will be excellent.
- You can use Sagenda shortcodes to easily implement the booking plugin on any page or post.
You can even install and have the plugin working on your WordPress site within 2 minutes!
Bookings is an extremely powerful digital appointment booking solution for WordPress that lets you provide online booking on your website.
- It's easy to manage blackout times and restrict reservations.
- Reservation minimum and maximum time limits can be customized as you wish.
- Administrators can add and manage unlimited resources, have full control over all reservations (browse, modify, delete, etc), and can search the reservation database easily.
- All calendars can be viewed in a day/week/month layout.
- Any reservations can be set to be approved automatically or manually.
- Multiple languages are supported.
- Full community support is provided via their forums.
The free version is limited to one schedule and 25 bookings per month. Upgrading to the pro version gives you unlimited schedules and bookings. You'll also have access to payment gateway integrations, the ability to export to Google Calendar, and much more.
3. Booking Calendar
Booking Calendar will add an online booking service to your site. It’s a very well supported plugin and one of the oldest booking WordPress plugins around! It has flexible functionality and an intuitive interface, which you can use regardless of your business needs.
Here are some of its standout features:
- Booking Calendar is easy to use.
- All bookings received and plugin settings are stored in your database. No need for third-party account(s).
- Customizable and sleek design of calendars, which means you can easily match it to your site's design.
- Responsive front end and back end design so the booking plugin will appear well on all devices.
- A robust Admin Panel that lets you manage and display all bookings in a Calendar Overview.
- Easily import events from your Google Calendar to your booking admin panel.
- Quickly add bookings from your admin panel to your Google Calendar.
4. Booking Calendar Contact Form
The Booking Calendar Contact Form allows you to build a traditional contact or booking form with the ability to integrate a reservation calendar as well as connect to a PayPal payment button. The plugin allows visitors to select the start (ex: check-in) and end (ex: checkout) dates.
Some features include:
- A anti-spam CAPTCHA is built into the booking form.
- Start and end dates are easy to select.
- Email texts and validation messages are customizable.
- Supports full-day, partial-day, and week-long bookings.
5. Appointment Calendar
Appointment Calendar is an easy-to-use yet effective plugin that allows you to take online appointment bookings on your WordPress website. If you are a consultant/doctor/lawyer etc, you can now utilize the power of an automated appointment calendar.
6. WP Simple Booking Calendar
If you're trying to rent your holiday or vacation home to tourists, WP Simple Booking Calendar is the perfect free plugin to use on your website. You can easily display the availability of a holiday home, bed & breakfast, individual room, office, or even a piece of equipment.
The free version of this plugin gets you all the basics you'd need to keep track of all the bookings on your website. If you're interested in advanced editing and publishing options or custom legend items, it's easy to upgrade to the Premium version.
Premium Booking Plugins For WordPress
If booking is really essential to your bottom line, investing in a premium plugin may be worth it. If you want >one of the more powerful paid booking solutions for WordPress, check out some of these premium plugins.
7. MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin for WordPress
MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin for WordPress was developed specifically for hotel business needs. It’s a complete solution for creating a beautiful accommodation listing and enabling online instant bookings.
This WordPress booking plugin can be used for hotels, apartments, bed and breakfast establishments, hostels, and so on. So, if you are building a hotel site on WordPress and don’t want to wrack your brain with any workaround like a multipurpose booking calendar, this plugin is going to fully suit your needs. Moreover, the plugin is an easy-to-use tool even for non-tech folks, where the most difficult thing is just adding and customizing the shortcode.
Let’s list the main features:
- Real-time search availability form (check-in and check-out, a number of adults and children), which is also widgets-ready.
- Easy property reservation form for travelers.
- A smart algorithm of accommodation search (including recommended rooms).
- Ability to feature all accommodation details: amenities, capacity, sleeping arrangements, photo galleries of accommodations, extra services, view, etc.
- Flexible pricing system: seasonal pricing and rates.
- Selling extra hotel packages and services.
- Automatic and manual booking confirmation modes (with or without payments).
- Online and offline payments accepted including PayPal, 2Checkout, Stripe, Braintree, Beanstream/Bambora etc.
- Admin and user email notifications.
- Discount coupons.
- Automatic bookings synchronization across online travel managers like Airbnb via iCal interface.
- Professionally translated into multiple languages and custom translation ready.
- A handy backend bookings calendar.
- Actions and filters for developers.
- Flexible booking rules (block the entire lodging establishment or individual accommodations for a certain period of time).
BirchPress is a robust premium WordPress booking plugin. It lets you add a professional booking system to your WordPress site. Your visitors can make reservations from your website and pay by using the integrated PayPal and Credit Card payment system.
BirchPress syncs it's booking calendar perfectly with any other calendars you use for your business (Google Calendar, Outlook, Android, iCal, etc). It even has an email notification and reminder system that's fully customizable so you and your clients can stay up-to-speed about upcoming bookings.
9. Event Booking Pro
Event Booking Pro is a fully loaded event booking system for WordPress.
Two features people are looking for often in a booking plugin are the ability to integrate with Google Calendar and payment integration. Event Booking Pro provides both. Events can be added directly to your Google Calendar so you can keep track of what's coming up and PayPal integration is available so your visitors can pay for their reservation before making it.
Booki lets your visitors manage and create online reservations and appointments via its WordPress plugin.
Schedule an appointment for a massage, haircut, event, accommodation, fitness lesson, parking spot, meeting, rental, taxi, tickets, teacher, or one of thousands of other services.
11. Gravity Forms
Whether you already own Gravity Forms or you need to purchase it, you can easily create a fully customized booking form using its advanced drag-and-drop interface.
GF also has built-in notifications, so you can easily send confirmations for any appointments set by your visitors. You can also integrate payment options with your forms in case you want to charge for each reservation.
Bookly is a fully automated online booking and scheduling system for WordPress. It maintains a fully customizable booking form with notifications, online payments, and Google Calendar syncing.
13. Team Booking
The best part of Team Booking is it's deep Google Calendar integration.
In this plugin, all the available plans are made via Google Calendar!
- Make availability plans through Google Calendar.
- Calendar events become free slots, ready to be booked.
- Once booked, the relative Google Calendar event will be updated!
Booked comes with some terrific features and is well-worth checking out. I mean, take a look:
- You can use Booked with WooCommerce to let your visitors purchase appointments and checkout using WooCommerce.
- Your website's Booking Agents have a profile screen that lets them manage their incoming appointment requests.
- Display your appointments on Google Calendar, Outlook, Apple Calendar, etc with an iCal feed directly from your site via one-way sync.
Amelia is a plugin for automating appointment bookings, embedding cutting-edge software architecture approaches and technology in WordPress. All elements from user interface design and UX to back-end API were developed by a professional team that usually works on large-scale enterprise platforms.
- Individual and group appointments
- Multiple employees (vendors)
- Multiple business locations
- Multiple services
- Different services duration, cost; specific service cost and duration per employee
- Service extras (e.g. upselling an 'included meal', or 'extra 20 minutes') that can increase the appointment cost and duration
- PayPal and Stripe payment systems support
- Discount coupons support (absolute or percentage discounts)
Amelia has several views for front-end users that can be added to the page by different shortcodes:
- Classic step-by-step booking wizard, when customers first select a service, then an employee, then a date, and pay.
- Search interface, similar to large aggregate booking websites, where customers can play around with dynamic filters and dates, picking the most appropriate time slot.
- Catalog views of services provided, where customers can look through all services that a company offers, can see a gallery and read additional information and then book.
Amelia's admin panel is quite rich, providing business owners, managers and vendors with comprehensive tools for appointment flow management:
- The main page is a dashboard where owners and managers can track business performance - pending appointments, approved appointments, new vs. returning customers, views vs. conversions per service, employee and location.
- A powerful calendar view which can be shown in daily, weekly, monthly, or timeline format, and filtered by employee, service, location.
- Appointments management is done through a dynamic list which you can easily filter by date range, appointment status, employee, location, and other parameters.
- It is possible to quickly book appointments from the admin panel if a customer is calling on the phone.
- Employees, services, business locations, appointments, payments, customers management is done in an elegant single-page app style.
Amelia's UI/UX was noticed by large web design resources and published as an inspiration.
The product is quite new, however, it already received high reviews and recognition from the WordPress audience.
This list of plugins should provide a comprehensive list to get you started booking appointments or reservations on your WordPress site. Every website is different, so try a few that you think will work best for your unique situation and go with one that fits your website best.