WordPress appointment plugins make it easier to implement appointment setting on your WordPress website. These plugins may be especially indispensable when you are building websites for booking-fueled businesses such as restaurants’, doctors’, dentists’, or personal trainers’ websites.
Appointments/booking plugins work by presenting a customized form that allows customers to easily book an appointment online. WordPress appointment plugins replace the need to force customers to call on phone, contact by email, or worse still physically avail themselves to schedule an appointment. Surveys show that 61 percent of small businesses have better scheduling with software.
Booking plugins add important functionality to your WordPress website. But they are not without their pros and cons. Advantages of online scheduling include convenience, better resource/staff management, automation, and increased customer satisfaction. On the flip side, some customers may find online appointment setting to be difficult or cumbersome. It is possible that they will abandon the online appointment setting process after they have filled the form and instead opt to call - which can increase the risk of double booking.
Customizability is a key consideration when looking for the right WordPress booking plugin. If you are building a gym website – for instance – you need to accommodate multiple personal trainers who have their own schedules listed on the site. A dental website – on the other hand – would require the developer to reveal the various types of services offered and allow customers to choose specific time slots.
WordPress booking plugins come with an assortment of features to accommodate the requirements of various WordPress websites.
Calendar – sync with Google calendar and/or Outlook calendar.
Intuitive interfaces – friendly user facing interfaces (mobile and website) to enhance usability.
Accept payments for appointments via PayPal, Stripe, or other payment processors.
Editable bookings – allow customers to view and edit their bookings from the front end.
Searchable back end – allows website administrators to filter and view scheduled appointments from the WordPress dashboard.
Customizable working hours – includes features to set more time between appointments, increase availability, remove holidays, etc.
Email and SMS notifications.
The list of available features varies from plugin to plugin. Some have a few handy features so you can achieve simple appointment scheduling while others come with advanced features such as integration with third-party tools such as Zoom and Zapier.
Usability appears to be a uniform trait among all the top-rated appointment plugins in the Wordpress.org repository. Website designers appear to be particularly bent on working with WordPress booking plugins that are simple to use and user-friendly on both web and mobile presentations. Since nobody wants to use plugins that are bogging down their website, responsiveness and performance are also important factors for developers.
Different pricing options are available for WordPress appointment plugins. Some are available entirely for free while others are exclusively premium. The majority though offer a limited free version that is available in the WordPress plugin repository plus a premium version that offers advanced features at a fee. Many developers choose to try the free version to get a handle of the plugin then upgrade to the premium version to unlock more features once they are already like it.
WordPress booking and appointment plugins can make appointment setting and scheduling easier, faster, and more accurate. This can lead to increased business sales from customers who would otherwise not tolerate hold times when calling a receptionist to book an appointment. Installing an online appointment plugin on a WordPress website can also lead to impulse bookings particularly if the website’s content does a good job at convincing people to do so.
Implementing an easy-to-use appointment creation process on your WordPress website can lead to increased sales, revenue, and customer loyalty. WordPress appointment and booking plugins make it easy to integrate this functionality on any WP-powered site. These plugins work by presenting highly-usable scheduling forms on the front end while also providing an easy way for website admins to manage bookings from the back end (WP dashboard). Choosing the right appointment plugin is crucial as customers will easily abandon any online appointment setting process that appears to be difficult or cumbersome. Developers need to evaluate each plugin on its own merit by assessing for simplicity, performance, and key features such as customizability, payment processing, calendar, and SMS/email notifications.