booking-plugins

Best Booking Plugins for WordPress

I’m sure we can help you find the best reservation plugin for WordPress with this roundup. Not a silver bullet, for sure, but the best booking plugin for your particular business – definitely.

We’ll divide all of them into three main categories: accommodation booking, appointment booking, and event booking plugins since there is a fundamental difference between all these solutions but still they share the features within the category they belong to.

All of them are sharpened for different industries, e.g. property booking solutions handle reservations per night while appointment-related tools deal with hourly bookings and, finally, none of them ships with the event-related options like event booking plugins have to offer.

Let me share our checklist with you – it should also help you choose the solution step by step:

What business industry do you operate in?

From this standpoint, you might think about WP booking plugins that include, but are not limited to:

  • Appointments
  • Accommodation / space booking
  • Equipment / rental plugins
  • Events.

What is your bookable item?

The software you choose must be by default maximum optimized to the realities of your business.

  • Events (online and offline concerts, lessons, tours) display the timetable and calendars of events.
  • Spaces (hotels, vacation rentals) deal with the property availability calendars.
  • Services (salons, lessons, hospitals) display the booking calendars that allow customers to pick and book available slots.

Which time slots do you sell or rent out?

It’s that principal difference we’ve voiced out in the introduction.

  • Hourly bookings (up to 24 hours) are handled by the event and appointment WP plugins
  • Nights are usually the territory of the property and hotel booking plugins.

It’s unlikely a good approach to choose plugins that handle both scenarios in one software – you don’t need all that burden of extra features you’ll never use, do you?

What specialist tools are you looking for?

It’s hard to come up with a comprehensive list here since there is always a difference in nuance and detail in each business. But here is the list of the most common questions you need to address before choosing a plugin:

  • Payment gateways: do you need international or rather local payment gateway integration? Some plugins might offer just a few methods for free, while others charge extra for this functionality.
  • Third-party service integration: do you already have a tool you are happy to use that you want to integrate with your booking solution? For example, those can be Mailchimp for automated email marketing, Google or Apple calendar to sync bookings, Google Analytics to track website’s performance, etc.
  • Multi-location and multi-vendor functionality: do you run several villas or salons? Do you need to manage them via different boards? Many plugins are not optimized for this so search carefully.
  • Localization: do you need the multi language tools? Is there a non-English plugin version if you need one?
  • User area: do you need users to log in and see their reservations or provide any other sort of interaction?
  • Customization and setup: how flexible is the plugin and whether it requires you to pay for each extra feature? Can you get help from the plugin creators?

There are roughly 30+ online booking plugins for WordPress, but in this article, we’ll highlight around 3-5 from each category. So what is our main criteria for narrowing down our list of the best booking plugins for WordPress with payment then? We’ve hand-picked time-tested solutions primarily basing our choice on:

  • Time-tested solutions with positive reviews
  • The most feature-rich plugins
  • Regularly updated
  • Integrations and extendability.

It’s worth mentioning that we’ve included only premium solutions for the sake of showing the full potential of them. Free plugins are usually freemium ones namely a free version is just a cut-down one of a freemium plaguin.

Note: as for our MotoPress solutions you’ll see in this roundup as well, we’re proud creators of the WordPress Booking plugins family for two niches: hotels and appointments. While the latter is rather young, the Hotel Booking plugin is the WordPress market leader for the hospitality, vacation rental and short-term rental businesses, serving around 20K+ websites worldwide. We’ll include more exact details into the description.

Best Appointment Booking Plugins for WordPress

There is probably the biggest number of plugins from this category. They quite often share the same features, but differ in the pricing plans, design solutions, and other tools.

Amelia – Enterprise-Level Appointment Booking WordPress Plugin

amelia appointment booking wordpress

Amelia is one of the most holistic and comprehensive WordPress plugins for booking system. And it gained this status quite quickly, although it’s rather a new solution among booking standbys. We’ve seen many people who love Amelia thanks to its unbeatable flexibility for both sides – clients and the staff.

Amelia is an all-around solution primarily thanks to the industry-standard features it includes: it’s capable of dealing with unlimited services, employees, and locations.

Probably the most prominent feature of this plugin is that it takes care of the entire circle with incredible attention to detail: there are numerous tools to manage clients, employees and the management team.

The cool feature is that employees can be assigned individual accounts to manage their bookings; furthermore, they can receive SMS notifications and deal with bookings via their own calendar apps like Google or Apple.

Clients can also access log in and see their bookings. Online payments are handled via PayPal and Stripe; for more, you might need to use the WooCommerce integration.

Amelia is the best WordPress plugin for booking appointments for an enterprise-grade appointment business that is looking for a smooth business automating solution. Although it’s relatively expansive, it doesn’t follow the pricey addons model and gives you all at once.

MotoPress Appointment Booking

wordpress-appointment-booking-plugin

This MotoPress Appointments plugin is optimized for hourly bookings and is suitable for any time-related business, such as barbershops, clinics, tutors, etc.

This plugin aims at quick and simple bookings via the booking wizard you can place anywhere on your WordPress website.

You can create the availability calendar, which allows customers to choose a service and time and book it right away in just a few steps. This reservation plugin for WordPress allows you to add any number of staff members, services, and locations, which makes it a good choice for multi-salon brands.

For admins (you), the MotoPress Appointment booking plugin ships with all the tools for creating flexible employee schedules and managing reservations (statuses, client details, etc.). This plugin is in the active development process so there is so much more in the pipeline.

Read a more in-depth review here

Pre-designed theme for class and tutor bookings online: Edme

Booked Appointment Booking for WordPress 

booked plugin appointments

Here at MotoPress we love this plugin – partially because we used it on some real projects and it worked just fine. It’s been around for quite a long time now and through its development journey has released loads of cool features.

Booked definitely ships with all the online instruments you might be looking for in the best WordPress booking plugin, including the frontend booking calendar, guest bookings without registration, multiple employees, translations, but where does it differ from the others in this list?

I’d say it deals better than others when it comes to the customizable user area, the ease of use and setup.

This reservation plugin for WordPress is perfectly suitable for small or midsize appointment booking businesses, containing the critical features as well as many additional ones, like WooCommerce integration, custom fields and timeslots, customizable calendar views and more tools. It’s also a great plugin if you are looking for a quick and easy tool to integrate into your website.

Accommodation Booking Plugins for WordPress

Here we’re listing a few most generous, trusted and unbeatable in terms of features plugins. They are perfect for short-term rentals, such as a hotel, apartment, house, vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, hostels, etc. Please also note that they are not for real estate or property management companies that deal with long-term rentals or property sales.

MotoPress Hotel Booking Plugin

search form motopress hotel booking

This plugin has been successfully serving the needs of hospitality and rental property businesses for more than three years now. At its core, the MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin encompasses a listing directory builder, a booking system for online reservations and the channel manager to sync and manage property bookings from all the external sources in one WordPress account.

It delivers all the tools and flexibility this sort of business might require anywhere in the world – you can change the currency, add state/tourist taxes and fees to the property rate, connect local payment gateways, switch a language, and easily optimize the plugin to serve your local business.

Its role may vary among businesses: you can use it to just build an online presentation of your accommodations and still accept bookings in a rather traditional way via phone, email or contact form as well as you can connect the fully automated booking system and record reservations without direct interaction with clients.

Thanks to the integrated support for the iCal format, you can have your properties listed on the third-party travel platforms like Airbnb and still have all the bookings in sync with those you get from the WordPress site.

There are also a lot of pre-designed themes to help you launch your site even faster, for example, Booklium is one of the multipurpose rental themes that comes with five turnkey designs included to cover several hotel needs.

The plugin comes with any extra addons to add functionality you might need along the way, e.g. connect hotel reviews, request guest payments in advance, etc. So the most significant argument in favor of choosing this plugin is that it’s a time-tested solution you can rely on and unlikely experience limitations.

HBook

hbook

Hbook is another popular name among the best booking plugins for WordPress designed to work with hotels, apartments, and bed and breakfast sites. The Hbook plugin allows you to integrate the automated room booking system, connect it to OTAs and list & customize properties on your own WordPress site.

It’s very similar to the MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin in terms of the basic features and functionalities but there are of course some differences, the major part of which are in the area of design customization. For example, HBook offers a smoother way to customize the appearance of the booking forms and widgets generated by the plugin.

Another unique benefit of this plugin is that it offers you an easy way to edit default texts, set more flexible booking rule conditions, apply bond pricing and allow guests to book a property in terms of one-night deposit payment. It’s also very well structured for a smoother learning curve.

However, unlike MotoPress, Hbook doesn’t offer as many pre-designed templates, you also can’t test-drive its backend tools before you buy, and lastly you won’t get instant chat help.

All in all, when choosing between the two, you must consider many things, including pricing, designs, extensions and differences in the basic functionality.

WooCommerce Bookings

This plugin is a premium (paid) addon to the popular free WooCommerce plugin. Although it’s not sharpened only for rental properties but can be rather optimized for almost all niches we’ve listed at the beginning of the post, we think it’s a good idea to include it into this list. Why?
First, because WooCommerce is probably the most powerful selling system for WordPress ever, so you’ll be always fine relying on this solution no matter the type of business you operate – and especially if you want to accept online payments for bookings. The plugin works for both rentals and services.

Second, it can deal with very complex configuration as for the number of guests, length of stay, pricing, online payments and more settings like probably no other plugin because with WooCommerce Bookings you kinda work with two powerful and feature-rich solutions in one.

As for the property booking needs, you can define the properties for the bookings, for example set the minimum duration and available dates. You’re also in full control over the pricing system, buffer times, availability calendars, etc.

Although this extension doesn’t have that emphasis on property booking, you can still benefit from its flexibility for building a hotel or holiday home website on WordPress.

Event Booking Plugins for WordPress

Planning on the events management site? These plugins will perfectly deal with concerts, timetable schedules and similar needs. Here we are going to list the plugins that have already made their way to success and popularity with WordPress users like you.

EventOneventon scheduler

This is a premium-only events scheduler and manager WordPress plugin, one of the bestsellers on the market. It will definitely catch your eye with the polished designs for different types of event-based websites.

The good thing about those designs is that you have enough structured space to organize event information without cluttering the page.

The EventOn plugin supports numerous types of content, including maps, images, buttons, social media buttons integration and more. We also like many fancy formats you can employ – event bubbles, event cards, event slideshows and more. A fantastic level of interaction with the clients is also provided – they can sync events to their iCals, view the real-time progress, etc.

The plugin also allows for further extendability with custom meta forms, which will help you add many pieces of custom event data fields. There are also many options for featuring virtual events (e.g. real-time live events calendar views). The custom meta fields are great for adding up to 10 pieces of custom event data fields.

It’s also easy to build the needed event calendar view thanks to the visual shortcode generator, where you just need to tick the buttons and that’s it. A great opportunity to try the plugin before you buy is by testing the backend features.

This events plugin is very affordable, but to enable event bookings, sell tickets and seats you, however, need to buy extra addons. A huge lineup of extensions also allows you to connect event wishlists, the frontend event submission option, dynamic pricing, ticket variation options, and more. This is probably one of the cons that you need to pay each time you need an essential feature.

Modern Events Calendarmodern events calendar

This events manager WordPress plugin is rather on an equal footing with EventOn – it also ships with a good number of tools for design variations and core management functionalities.

There is a huge list of demos that gives you an idea of what you can create – and there is no limit to the events calendar layouts you can achieve, you can build around 50 display layouts.

PayPal and Google calendar integrations are free. The booking engine functionality allows you to sell tickets via different payment gateways, but it also requires connecting a specific paid addon.

The reservation system supports individual settings for all the events, with the ability to create multiple tickets for every event. You can also integrate it with WooCommerce, enable email notifications, booking options for desired occurrences, set pre-date pricing, booking limitations and more.

Another great feature of this plugin is that you can transfer all the events from another events calendar plugin you might be using now, so if you feel any limitations with the current solution, you know where to look for something better.

WP Event Managerwpevent manager

This is one more popular online booking plugin for WordPress for selling events and tickets. It ships with many customizable templates with bold and creative designs and an effective field editor.

It’s also a good solution if you are on Elementor since WP Event Manager allows for smooth integration with this builder. You can also try this plugin for free first since there is a free version and then make up your mind.

This plugin is well-optimized for different types of businesses and will look great in any website layout.

There is a huge lineup of addons for every need: Google Maps integration, attende information, email marketing automation tools, recurring events, alerts, bookmarks and more.

You can also enable event bookings via the Sell Tickets addon – the bookings work via WooCommerce; you can also customize pricing and track ticket sales via the admin dashboard.

Conclusion: Best Booking Plugins for WordPress

Hopefully, we’ve helped you a bit to narrow down your list of options, still we assume you might want to continue searching if you are looking for something very specific or custom. Appointment and property booking plugins usually come with the full set of features, while event booking plugins are rather offered with many addons that allow for the ticket booking integration so you should also consider the prices in deeper detail.

FAQ

How do booking plugins differ?

They are primarily different in terms of the timeslot duration and customization – and all the related tools. We draw a fine line between property, appointment and event booking plugins.

Are there free WP booking plugins?

Yes, but usually this reference concerns free versions of the freemium plugins. With free booking calendars you are usually limited to working with one or a few properties/events/appointments.

What is the best WordPress booking plugin for hotels: MotoPress or HBook?

MotoPress and HBook have many things in common (functionalities), but there are a few differences in the design customization approach, booking rules and pricing settings.

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