BirchPress is – in many ways – one of the best scheduling plugins for WordPress. The plugin author started with a free version on the WordPress repository but this has since been discontinued. A free version is however still available on the official plugin website. This scheduling plugin easily integrates with any WordPress site and blends in with the native interface. It offers a variety of features that are particularly ideal for businesses that have many service providers. BirchPress also integrates with popular calendars (e.g., Google Calendar and iCalendar) and integrates with WooCommerce-supported payment gateways. One of the most unique things about BirchPress is that it comes with an extendable codebase for developers who would like to further customize their bookings functionality.
If you are looking to add appointment scheduling to your WordPress website, the following sections will tell you why BirchPress may be just the plugin you need.
How Does Birchpress Work?
BirchPress is a comprehensive booking plugin that makes it easy for site admins to add online appointment forms. Visitors can check availability, book appointments, or make reservations online. This scheduling plugin synchronizes with Google Calendar, Outlook, iCal, and other popular calendars so you can track and manage appointments from any device. Email notifications and/or reminders are automatically sent to users after events are booked, rescheduled, or canceled. Appointment booking forms can be added to any WordPress page or post right from the WordPress admin dashboard. The fact that you do not have to log in to a separate website to manage bookings seems to have been a wise move by the plugin developers.
Customizable Booking Forms – appointment forms are fully customizable (using the built-in form editor) and can be embedded into any page or post via a shortcode.
Calendar Sync – sync with Google, iCal, iPhone, Android, or Outlook calendars for added flexibility. Easily import or export your appointments to any calendar that is easier to use on your device.
Notifications – email notifications and reminders keep the user informed when they book, reschedule, or cancel an appointment. These notifications are fully customizable.
Accept online payments – accept PayPal payments by default. Other payments can be supported through a WooCommerce integration.
Create custom functionality – this is a developer-friendly bookings plugin that allows you to add functions, actions, and hooks without touching the core code.
Multiple locations and services – this scheduling plugin for WordPress supports multiple locations, staff, and locations. It offers a lot of flexibility to make your online appointment scheduling efficient.
BirchPress has a limited free version and 3 premium versions: personal, business, and business+. The pricing model is very friendly - whereby you are charged per site based on the features you need.
Personal plan – this plan goes for $99 per site. You get all 1 year of support, automated notifications and reminders, and holiday booking. You can also set the minimum time requirement (before booking) and see how far in advance an appointment has been booking.
Business plan – this plan goes for $199 per site. It comes with all the features in the personal plan plus a ton of other functionality. These include page redirections after booking, canceling or rescheduling appointments by customers, displaying appointments in various colors, custom booking forms, WP user integration, returning user booking with email and password, PayPal integration, calendar sync, setting the length of time slot, setting booking availability, embedded public calendars using a shortcode, group booking, staff member auto-assignment, and the ability to export customer lists.
Business+ plan – this is the top-tier pricing arrangement that goes for $249 per site and comes with all the features in Personal and Business plus access control for staff members and WooCommerce integration (which adds support for other payment gateways).
BirchPress offers expansive appointment functionality to suit the needs of almost any WordPress-powered website. Support licenses are good for 12 months and the vendor offers a 1-month money-back guarantee on all orders. If you are not sure what plan works best for your needs, you may start with the cheapest one then easily upgrade up to meet your requirements. Keep in mind that you can write custom functions to extend the capabilities of this plugin.