Want WordPress Appointments or Bookings?
Every week someone stops by my site and asks me about appointments and bookings. Particularly, they're looking for a good way to do it within their WordPress site – which means they're asking for a plugin that does it.
Until now, I've mostly suggested looking outside of the WordPress ecosystem. Not because I'm against the plugins that exist, but because the services like setster (which I had used for years) worked so well.
But that hasn't meant that I've ignored what's going on in our own community. So a couple of months ago I bought a plugin that I promised myself I would test. But my days got busy. And so only today did I slow down enough to put it through some testing.
And it's an understatement to say I really like it. The plugin I'm talking about is called WooCommerce Bookings & Appointments, by Tyche Software. It's normally $79 for a single site license (which is a deal if you're making money from these appointments).
And if you go now (at the time of this publishing), this code: BLACKFRIDAY2013 will get you 50% off.
This is an Add-on for WooCommerce
This is an add-on for WooCommerce, which means you download WooCommerce for free and then purchase this extension and install it. You need both to do what I'm going to show you.
Once you do, you will see a new section on the backend when adding a new product.
For example, if you only take a certain number of appointments for each scheduled time slot, you can do that. It's perfect if you have massage tables, hair styling chairs, or tutors per hour.
Additionally, you can make things easy if you want recurring weekday appointments automatically created for you. For example, you can specify that you have five slots (each an hour long), each weekday. That's easy to do with a couple of clicks, and the rest is automated for you.
WooCommerce Products with Booking Options
Once you've configured your product, you can check it out on the regular WooCommerce product page.
Here I use the short description in the WooCommerce Product setup to put instructions, telling people how to use the booking function. You can also set things up so that the calendar automatically appears with available dates.
Once they pick a date, your prospect can also pick one of your time slots.
One of the things I appreciated most about the plugin is that every one of us that does appointments calls our appointments something different. I call my meetings (the first ones) a kick off call. It's likely you would never do that. But that's ok, because the plugin gives me the ability to change the label.
You don't even need to do financial transactions!
The last thing I really liked in the setup I was testing, was the ability to NOT collect money. I know, I never do that in my world (the check has to clear before we talk). But I know a lot of people that would or could use this just to book appointments without charging anyone for it at the time of the booking.
Well, you can do that – because WooThemes offers you a Cash on Delivery (COD) payment gateway. And you can change that label as well (it's a normal part of WooCommerce).
The result is that at checkout it doesn't have to collect anything (even if it does capture the full contact info as if it was billing them).
I spent about five hours trying a variety of configurations and testing them all out. In every case, from 30 minute appointments to multi-day spans, the plugin worked exactly as I hoped. I was able to configure WooCommerce and the plugin for appointments in my final site (for screenshots) in under an hour.
So head over to Tyche Softwares and check out what they got going on (especially now during their sale).