Whether you are running a grand hotel or work as a doctor, being able to book appointments is of great benefit for business. This tutorial is intended to introduce a simple-yet-effective way to put an online booking system onto your WordPress powered website. Out of numerous booking solutions, this “Booking System” plugin is selected in the following parts.
Note that, the whole process can be generally divided to eight simple steps without requiring any knowledge of HTML or CSS. Now, move forwards and know the top reasons to use a booking system firstly.
Top Reasons to Use an Online Booking System in WordPress
As there are many types of business running a WordPress website, more and more business owners are poised to allow customers to make appointments directly from their websites. There is no doubt that the options to schedule appointments can render a great user experience especially for those busy customers.
Apart from that, an online booking system is ideal for merchants who find themselves missing or misplacing appointments written on the papers. Perhaps the most important reason to use online appointment is that users can keep their small to medium-sized businesses well-organized with little effort. The following “Booking System” plugin would relieve a lot of stress and worry out of your hands with a wealth of features included. Just keep on reading and know more details about this powerful plugin.
How to Add and Use Booking System to Create a Booking System?
As a long-awaited WordPress plugin, this “Booking System” or “Booking Calendar” plugin has greatly simplified the process of building a reservation system from your WordPress powered website. This booking tool can not only seamlessly integrate the whole system interface with your WordPress site, but also can showcase a calendar for customers to see availability and then book dates. Above all, this all-in-one solution can be applied to make prior appointments to dentists, beauty salons, doctors, massages, therapists and spas, etc.
Download URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/booking-system/
In addition to that, “Booking System” plugin is also easy-to-install and setup, and you can get it started by referring to the following simple steps.
Step 1 – Install & Activate Booking System
To begin with, you shall get this “Booking System” plugin enabled in WordPress. To do this, just log onto your WordPress dashboard and head over to “Plugins” > “Add New.” Followed by the given instructions, you will be able to “Install” and “Activate” this WP plugin within a few clicks. It is possible to take a look through this newly-enabled booking solution under this “Installed Plugins” tab. As is documented in this plugin installation post, you can also install such a freemium plugin by the means of WordPress uploader or FTP client.
Step 2 – Access Booking Calendar Configuration Page
As you may notice, a new “Booking System” tab has been added to your WordPress admin sidebar. Just move your mouse over this option and choose “Booking System” option here. This will bring you to the “Booking Calendar” page as below.
Step 3 – Edit General Settings
Just make a hit on the top pencil icon to customize your booking system. In the following snapshot, you are provided with the ability to edit the “General Settings” according to personal indulgences and preferences. To name a few, you will be able to set “Available Days”, “First Day” and “Date Type” for your hotel, spa or salon reservation system. More importantly, this plugin also allows you to select your most appropriate “Currency” from many different choices, such as “United States Dollar”, “United Kingdom Pound”, “Turkey Lira”, “Yemen Rial”, etc.
Step 4 – Enable Email Notifications
Below is the “Notifications Settings” area, from which you can receive email notifications via the filled-in “Notification Email” address. If you can hardly send emails from the WordPress backend, then you need to provide the SMTP server details that the “Booking System” plugin would use to send emails. It is required to impart the SMTP host name, SSL connection, host port, host user and password.
Step 5 – Set Day/Hours & Contact Form Settings
If needed, you can set “Days/Hours” Settings for individual customer. It is possible to set check-in/check-out timings, define hours and enable “Morning Check Out”, “Use Hours”, “Hours Interval” and “AM/PM Format”, etc. By the way, your special discounts can also be specified by number of days.
The following “Contact Form Settings” section is also quite self-explanatory, and you are allowed to modify those guest related options of your requirement. For example, you can decide the maximum and minimum number of the allowed people, and display your specific “Terms & Conditions” from here.
Step 6 – Specify Your Payment Method
One spotlight of “Booking System” is the offered PayPal and Credit Card payment methods. That means, you can choose to receive payments from the two popular gateways. To be frank, PayPal is much better than Credit Card payment, and let’s say that you’d like to enable the better “PayPal Payment” in below. Note that, this requires your PayPal business account and API credentials as well.
To sign up a PayPal account is quite easy-to-follow, which requires you to visit PayPal. Once successfully created a business account, you will have to access the admin dashboard in order to enter “My Selling Tools” section within the upper-right “Profile” tab. Just follow the auto-generated notices to get your own API username, signature and password.
Step 7 – Configurations to Booking Forms
Once you’ve done with the above booking system settings, it’s time to configure the “Booking Forms” as follows. From here, you are prompted to create a “Form Name” within the first “General Settings” tab. Pay attention that, there are more “Form Fields” settings for your users’ “First Name”, “Last Name”, “Email”, “Phone” and “Message.” As a matter of course, you can leave these options to the defaults. Do not forget to click the “Submit” button to save changes.
Step 8 – Add a Booking Calendar to Posts/Pages
All there’s left to do is embed a couple of booking forms to your posts/pages. To get it started, go to “Posts” > “Add New” and you will notice this “Add Calendar” option from the inbuilt “Visual” editor. Just click on it and a piece of shortcode will show up in the blog content. It is recommendable to take a preview of your booking calendar before publishing it to the public. If everything goes fine as expected, your customers will make reservations right from your site’s frontend.
Important to Note: Apart from the introduced “Booking System” plugin, there are plentiful booking calendars and engines available for your use. If you are in the pursuit of a feature-rich booking solution, we recommend you to go with Checkfrot Online Booking System and Booking Calendar from www.wordpress.org.