You are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing an appointment plugin for WordPress. And if you need a short answer to one question – no, there is no one best plugin! But there is good news, too – the vast majority of the appointment booking calendar plugins are pretty decent to help you build a self-sustainable WordPress website.
We’ll be looking at some premium plugins to discover the full potential of solutions dedicated to this sort of business (many of them have a free version as well so make sure to check them out if you are on a tight budget).
Before we jump to the list, here are things to consider in the appointment booking plugins that will help you automate your booking-based business:
- Deeply customizable (design and functionality)
- Mobile-friendly (highly important since many clients book appointments on the go)
- Easy access to online payment gateways (some offer more built-in payment gateways, some charge extra fees for them)
- Integrations (iCal, WooCommerce, etc.).
- Regularly updated
- The ability to try before you buy.
These are of course just essentials so you might want to add your features to them.
Let’s get going.
Compared to other standbys, Amelia is relatively new, but it’s getting more and more popular for time-based businesses that need a booking solution. I can’t think of anything it can’t cover for major appointment scheduling needs: Amelia is perfectly suitable to deal with unlimited services, employees (working hours can be individual for each team member), and locations. Its main benefit is that it takes equal care of each part of a circle: clients, employees and the admin, giving them numerous tools.
Employees can have their own accounts and manage their bookings by themselves (with support for SMS notifications and the ability to sync appointments with their Google calendars), so the plugin is perfect for a multi-chain appointment business that needs a comprehensive website.
Clients can access their appointments via a frontend customer panel. PayPal and Stripe are available by default; for more, WooCommerce integration is available. Now you see why they’re positioning themselves as “enterprise-level”, right?
Many WordPress plugin reviewers and Amelia users have come to an agreement that this plugin is foremost perfect in terms of design and usability, for both admins and users. That means flawless booking experience for your clients is guaranteed as well as a handy dashboard for employees. Unless you need something very region-specific, Amelia is just perfect at the functionality and design aspects.
With all this in mind, the price might scare budget-minded people away from it. However, on closer inspection, you’ll notice that there are no pricey addons like in the rest of the competitors, which makes Amelia more affordable for many serious businesses.
Booked has been around for a long time and has gained the reputation of a high-quality WordPress appointment booking plugin. It’s suitable for almost all types of businesses that need to accept bookings online, including coaches, beauty salons, doctors and more.
It comes with the frontend booking calendar (can be created for each service and placed anywhere on your site), wherein people can place a booking in a few steps. The calendar comes with familiar to all modern users functionality, flawless reservation experience and numerous helping tools. Clients can manage their appointments in their own (customizable) accounts which means there is a great chance to retain customers simply thanks to a user-friendly online solution! Online payments can be set via WooCommerce.
The plugin will surely work for a small or midsize appointment booking business, with all the critical business tools and without bells and whistles. It’s the right choice for those who want to implement quick and simple bookings.
For example, we chose this plugin to accompany the Entrepreneur Appointment Booking WordPress theme. For one thing, because the plugin is very lightweight, has a clean code and offers all the range of tools for both employees and clients.
You want to go with this WP appointment booking plugin if you need quality but very affordable solution. Bookme is somewhat similar to Booked in design and configuration – it’s that powerful.
The plugin offers the whole set of essential for any WordPress appointment scheduling website: group booking, educational services, patient scheduling and more. You can offer multiple services with different staff members at different times. Clients can book right from the availability calendars on your website. SMS notifications work for both clients and employees.
As for the user experience, Bookme offers an intuitive booking wizard as a neat one-page app, which guarantees the whole booking procedure is done without refreshing a page (works great on mobiles as well).
For the design consistency, the plugin is packed with a dedicated appearance customizer to help you find a perfect match for your WordPress theme.
With all this in mind, we can safely say the plugin measures up to all premium counterparts in this post on multiple levels.
When they say they are the #1 appointment booking plugin, they mean it. Almost 30K sales? That’s unbeatable. It’s definitely popular with customers who need the same tool as you do.
The plugin has been around for a looong time so they definitely know their business and how to cover the maximum number of scenarios, new updates being rolled out throughout years. The plugin is widely used by WordPress developers as well as appointment and scheduling business owners, ease of use and design quality being one of the top highly-rated criteria.
As for details, the list can get really long. It surpasses others in terms of the clean and neat frontend and backend design, supports unlimited services and staff members, adds SMS and email notifications, and more. It’s deeply flexible for setting up booking slots and creating individual calendars and working hours for members; Google calendars can be linked.
It’s easy to connect online payment processing with available add-ons (extra cost) or WooCommerce; cash on delivery is also available. On the cons side, the list of premium extensions (you need to pay for a piece of dedicated functionality) is really long, so if you, for example, need group booking, a staff member online cabinet, include taxes into the service price, etc., you’ll need to purchase extras.
Calendarista is a quite comprehensive appointment plugin WordPress users choose because of the number of features available in the core system.
It handles everything from unlimited bookable services and staff members to group booking, holiday pricing and payment gateways (including PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout, and WooCommerce integration for more).
As you can see, the plugin provides many tools that are very often sold as extra extensions. The Calendarista appointment plugin for WordPress offers 20 booking modes, including a single day, single day and time, single day with a time range, booking a round trip and more.
It looks like so far they don’t provide SMS notifications, but automated email notifications are integrated.
Backend design is neat, you can quickly and intuitively set up the system from A to Z; the frontend design is also very modern and slick, your clients should definitely enjoy it. This plugin is a work of the developer who created the Booki WordPress booking calendar plugin (we believe aiming to make Calendarista a more modern and comprehensive version) so he definitely knows this area inside out!
This appointment booking WordPress plugin from an Italian developer has all the industry-standard features you need to build a self-sustainable appointment business.
It seems that the plugin is dropping behind a little just because it’s advertised as a very niche-specific solution (salon booking) but people usually type in “appointment plugin WordPress” when they need to find something like Salon Booking. However, its functionality seems to be of high quality and diversity. For example, it’s perfectly suitable for beauty salons, hairdressers, home-service appointments, tutors, etc.
The plugin is suitable for both small establishments with several service providers and enterprise-grade multi-salon chains, where the latter can have their setting with a separate manager and assistants. Of course, multi-location is available to support this feature.
PayPal and Stripe are built in, but you’ll need to pay for other payment gateway extensions. The Google Calendar hook-up and SMS notifications are available.
I think the most prominent benefit of this plugin is that it doesn’t charge for every feature, almost all essentials for an appointment plugin WordPress is available in the core functionality.
It comes with numerous translations so it’s going to be easier to adapt the plugin to your needs despite your location.
This is another awesome solution, which is relatively new on the market but it’s surely gaining traction. The pack of features that comes with this plugin is quite standard, but the plugin differs by an ultra-modern design, which is perfect for mobile bookings in the first place. It also supports multiple locations, services, staff members and categories.
It’s capable of centralizing all the data in one place; it also supports SMS and email reminders, PayPal, Stripe, WooCommerce, and Google Calendar integration.
The design is fully customizable letting you reach an awesome brand look with any WordPress theme. The plugin so far has five out of 5 stars based on 9 ratings. And yes, it’s very affordable!
This WordPress appointment scheduling plugin is initially tied to WooCommerce, which means you get a trustworthy and powerful eCommerce and booking base with this plugin. But it’s a bit broader than its counterparts since you can also sell products and services in addition to time-based appointments. It also applies to more niches, such as hotel bookings or car rentals.
The plugin comes with numerous booking modes, allowing you to sell single-day bookings, multiple-day bookings, flexible ones with a fixed start and end date, recurring bookings (this one needs an add-on) and more. As you can see, it’s deeply flexible in terms of time slots and reservations, also allowing you to add buffer time between bookings.
Availability is also deeply adjustable – you can block dates and times, weekends, months and seasons. SMS notifications are not supported but automated email reminders can be fully configured. Thanks to WooCommerce, you can surely set up partial and full online payments with any payment gateway.
The things you might be looking for – Google Calendar sync, individual and group bookings, extra services, etc. are packed as well. You might also adjust this plugin for the hotel booking and rental property needs.
If you, however, need a dedicated WordPress booking plugin for hotels or vacation rentals, you should definitely give a try to MotoPress Hotel Booking. It’s one of the top-chosen solutions for property owners to automate reservations.
This is a popular WordPress appointment booking plugin suitable for different businesses ranging from small salons and event planners to resorts. Days and hours can be booked through handy categorized availability calendars.
I believe this plugin is one of the most used appointment plugins for WordPress utilized by thousands of users. It also offers one of the most flexible and feature-rich systems for appointment reservations and scheduling. It’s currently being optimized for platforms other than WordPress, which is a sign of a time-tested and reputable solution.
It supports some business-specific features as morning check-outs, multi-currency, discounts and vouchers, built-in 2Checkout, Authorize.Net, Braintree, Icepay, Mollie, Stripe, Wepay and WooCommerce integration for any payment gateways, search availability through all calendars at a time, SMS and email notifications, iCalendar and Google Calendar sync, etc.
You can have control over your reservations through a handy admin panel, which is also possible for WordPress multisite.
Webba Booking is another robust plugin for appointment scheduling on WordPress that offers a great range of integration options (Google Calendar, iCalendar, WooCommerce, Contact form 7).
It’s fully equipped with necessary tools, such as numerous design presets, group booking, CSV export of bookings, unlimited services and calendars, and more (they did a great job of a semantic division of features so make sure to check it out).
You can collect tax-enabled payments through PayPal and Stripe without extra charges (and WooCommerce for more).
This can be your go-to solution if you need to build a fully-fledged booking website with deeply customizable design, integrations and functionality.
The BirchPress appointment booking system also ensures the must-haves when it comes to creating fully running appointment calendars and booking systems.
It can be used as a doctor appointment plugin, for a beauty salon, in education, auto and home services and more cases where you need hours or dates to be booked. It’s optimized for unlimited locations, providers and services. The work schedule of each employee can contain exceptions.
Thanks to native WordPress integration, the plugin offers a quick and hassle-free way of setting up the system.
It supports iCal-based calendars to sync your appointments with personal calendars and stay up-to-date with the upcoming schedule. PayPal is integrated at no extra cost but for more tools, you’ll need to hook up WooCommerce.
Additionally, the plugin has a specific developer’s scale giving developers a range of functions, hooks and filters to tailor the plugin to meet specific client’s needs.
Over to you: There is no one-size-fits-all appointment plugin WordPress can offer
All these great plugins allow you to build a booking system for easy appointments, no matter you are a small salon or a multi-chain service provider. But you are the one to make up your mind, so make sure to create your own checklist and go through all the needed features you are interested in.
Booked is great for quick and simple appointment booking.
Bookme is the most affordable premium solution that at the same time doesn’t significantly fall short of others.
Salon Booking is a very straightforward plugin with numerous dedicated tools for appointment bookings of all sorts, including multi-chain and enterprise-grade features.
Calendarista Premium has it all for running a WordPress appointments business, including a good range of payment gateways and integrations.
Booknetic is a fresh plugin with a very modern design and all the required functionality in place (doesn’t seem to have any bad rating so far!).
Webba Booking offers one of the biggest numbers of integrations.
WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments is the best choice for those who need more tools than just time-based appointments (e.g. sell products with WooCommerce).
BirchPress is one of the old standbys you can rely on for the vast majority of bookings.
So which one are you ready to go with? Don’t forget to tell us in the comments.