Booking Calendar

WordPress plugin, receive bookings easily

Strengths

  • Mature, stable booking plugin for WP
  • Powerful, customizable, and responsive
  • Powerful free version
  • Affordable, one-time-payment premium plans

Weaknesses

  • Numerous (15 different) premium plans - it may be confusing to figure what what plan offers what features 
  • Roll out of features has slowed down in recent years
  • Slight learning curve
Booking Calendar is considered by many developers to be the de-facto appointments plugin for WordPress. It has been around since 2009. Like many other plugins that have had that much time to grow and evolve - you can expect Booking Calendar to be powerful, customizable, and responsive. However, it is easy to argue that quality development and additional features have slowed down in recent years. This plugin is suited for resource scheduling, equipment rentals, client scheduling, meeting scheduling, event scheduling, patient scheduling, and other reservation-oriented services. The free version of Booking Calendar available on the WordPress repository offers is well rated by hundreds of users. There are a whopping 15 premium plans that can seem like too much choice. Many uses have a hard time trying to figure out what features come with what plan. Prices range from $47 to $539 depending on the package selected and the number of websites. 

What Sets Booking Calendar Apart? 

Booking Calendar is a mainstream appointments plugin that also happens to be one of the oldest in the market. One of the best things about this plugin is that it comes with a powerful free version that may suit the needs of most small websites. Booking Calendar also comes across as easy to use, simple and well documented. Website owners can add appointment functionality to any page or post, show available time slots, and send automated notifications. More so, Booking Calendar comes with customizable form fields for added flexibility, and an in-built captcha that helps prevent spam. 

Free Plan Limitations 

The free version of Booking Calendar offers basic features that may suit the needs of small websites with very minimal requirements. You'll need to get the premium version of this plugin if you need to use advanced features such as advanced hourly bookings, online payments, seasonal availability, booking discounts, deposit payments, custom booking forms, and capacity and availability. 

Features

Booking Calendar offers varying sets of features depending on the package selected. Common plugin features, however, include the following:
  • Responsiveness – simplistic designs that look great on all devices. 
  • Unlimited resources – add an unlimited number of resources (services or properties).
  • Customizable form and calendar – customize the booking form fields and calendar skin to suit your site’s design. 
  • Manage bookings – edit, duplicate, export, import, and sync bookings. 
  • Email templates – create custom email notifications in response to booking actions. 
  • Accept payments – integrates with popular payment gateways. 
  • Multiple bookings – accept multiple bookings on the same day by different visitors. 
  • Email Notifications - send automated notifications to site administrators and users regarding specific booking actions.
  • Search Availability – makes it possible to search available services for specific dates and number of visitors.
  • Google Calendar Events - import your Google Calendar events to the admin booking panel.   

Pricing

Booking Calendar WordPress plugin for scheduling has a free plugin version available in the WordPress repository. The plugin has an extremely confusing pricing model for the premium version, with prices ranging from $47 to $539. This is a one-time pricing arrangement with NO recurring monthly or yearly payments. Most developers find it difficult to distinguish between one plan and another. The plugin website however offers demo access for each version so you can a sneak view of what features and options to expect before you actually commit to buying. 

Conclusion 

Booking Calendar is an established and well-regarded appointments plugin for WordPress. It features a capable free version that may be meet basic appointment setting needs. While the premium plans can be confusing, they allow you to select a package that is suited for the features you're looking for and the number of sites you need to install this plugin. 

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