Salon booking system plugin comparison.

Salon Booking System Plugin vs. MotoPress: Which is Better for WordPress Appointment Scheduling?

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Blue versus green. With this post, we continue our series of the ultimate, feature-by-feature comparison articles that review popular plugins from the same field. Today, we’re talking about the Salon Booking System plugin vs. MotoPress Appointment Booking.

At their core, both plugins are WordPress appointment scheduling systems, perfectly suited for salons, teachers, and any service-operated business, e.g. can serve as a hair salon booking system or music studio scheduling.

Let me introduce them to you.

DeveloperUser satisfaction (out of 5)Release year
Salon Booking SystemDimitri Grassi4.4 (wp.org)2015
MotoPress Appointment BookingMotoPress5 (wp.org)2020

Both generously offer free versions of their salon appointment booking plugins, and tons of features and flexibility for the service availability, staff scheduling, booking management, and other tools with their full-scale premium versions.

The prices and features listed here are current as of the date of this post. Compared versions:

  • MotoPress Appointment Booking v. 1.22.
  • Salon Booking System v. 9.5.1.

Let’s compare premium and free versions of these plugins!

Salon Booking System vs MotoPress Premium Version Comparison

We’re starting with the pricing and then moving to the features.

Cost

Let’s start with how premium versions compare in terms of pricing.

Cost
Salon Booking SystemMotoPress Appointment Booking
Annual costBasic:

  • Max. 2 websites, small projects.
  • €69/year.
  • Core features: booking, unlimited services/bookings/assistants, mobile app, etc.
  • Branded with salonbookingsystem.com.

Business:

  • Max. 2 websites.
  • €86/year.
  • Includes all Basic features + 50 add-ons (e.g., multi-location, SOAP notes, more payment options).

Full Support:

  • Max. 2 websites.
  • For non-technical users.
  • €156/year.
  • Includes all Business features + installation & setup assistance.

Agency:

  • Max. 10 websites.
  • For webmasters/agencies.
  • €199/year.
  • white-label option (remove salonbookingsystem.com branding).
  • Not refundable.

Unlimited:

  • Unlimited websites.
  • For large-scale white-label projects.
  • €399/year.
  • Unlimited installs, white-label option.
  • Not refundable.

Partnership:

  • Custom collaboration for complex projects.
  • Price and features vary.
  • Includes dedicated project manager and development team.
  • 1 domain: $59
  • Unlimited domains: $199

Includes all premium features + 12 months of support and updates.

Lifetime costNoWithin Membership: $799 (unlimited domains, 40+ other MotoPress products)

Includes lifetime plugin support and updates.

Free trialNo7-day free trial
ExtensionsIncluded with any chosen plan, except for “Basic”.$266 for 1 domain

$796 for unlimited domains

Plugin setup and configurationAvailable within the “Full Support” plan.Initial Configuration service ($99)

Let’s conclude!

Pros of MotoPress:

  • Clear pricing for features since the difference is only the number of websites you plan to install the plugin on.
  • The ability to opt for a lifetime plan with Membership (pay once, use forever the core plugins and addons, plus, get many more plugins and themes).
  • The ability to test all premium features for free in a trial account.
  • The ability to purchase the plugin setup service from the plugin author.

Cons of MotoPress:
If you need extensions, you need to buy every one separately (or opt for getting all at once in a membership).

Pros of Salon Booking System:

  • Multiple plans optimized for different needs and budgets, with options for small businesses and large agencies.
  • An option to choose a plan that includes plugin setup services.
  • Even the basic plan offers essential booking and management functionalities.
  • The Business and higher plans provide numerous add-ons for customization.
  • Premium plans allow agencies and larger businesses to use the product under white label.
  • Money-back guarantee for 3 plans.
  • 15% renewal discounts for 3 plans (every next year you’ll renew your license with this discount).

Cons of Salon Booking System:

  • The multiple plans and add-ons might be especially challenging and overwhelming for new customers.
  • The cheapest plan, designed for single website owners, doesn’t include any addons, making it useless for many customers. Essentially, customers are compelled to either purchase expensive addons or choose multiple-website plans with those addons included.
  • Non-refundable high-tier plans.
  • The multi-shop and location features are not available in the basic premium plan.
  • No lifetime plan.

Main features

Let’s compare the core features first to get the idea of these booking plugins.

Main featuresSalon Booking SystemMotoPress Appointment Booking
Unlimited appointmentsYesYes
Unlimited servicesYesYes
Unlimited employeesYesYes
Unlimited locationsYes

except for the Basic plan

Yes
Step-by-step booking formYesYes
Individual employee working hours, breaks and days offYesYes
Recurring days offNoNo
Service categoriesYesYes
Employee categoriesNoNo
Default time slot step customizationYesYes
Customer per appointment settingsYesYes
Minimum time before bookingYesYes
Minimum time before cancelingYesNo
Buffer times before and after appointmentsYesYes
Group appointmentsYesYes (limited)
Allow price per person in group appointmentsNoYes
Multi-service booking in one transactionYesYes
Individual employee or service booking formYesYes
Availability calendarYesYes
CurrencyYesYes
Client commentsYesYes
InventoryLimited via the ‘Resources’ menuNo
Booking history/logNoYes

The plugins differ in the schedule and shift settings. For example, to manage your availability in the Salon Booking System plugin, you’ll need to set booking rules, where you can customize a shift duration based on the day of the week (you can add as many rules as you want, which is handy for a medical business, for example); there is also a separate menu to control holiday and day-off availability.

Setting buffer time between reservations.
Setting buffer time between reservations in Salon Booking System.

In the Salon Booking plugin, you can set up multiple customers per session (‘tuition’) for a chosen ‘assistant’, which means you can enable group bookings, while MotoPress can’t accept bookings from independent people for the same time slot.

One more handy thing offered by this WordPress booking plugin is the ‘Reset settings’ button, which reverts all your plugin settings back to defaults, allowing you to adjust your configuration to remove any issues or conflicts.

With the MotoPress Appointment Booking plugin, it takes a slightly different approach: there is no additional global availability control, you’ll be creating a schedule per employee/per location/per day; plus, you get lots of settings for holidays and days off.

Schedule appointments.
Setting up a schedule in MotoPress Appointment Booking.

At the same time, Salon Booking Systems seems to offer a better flexibility for setting up availability for individual services.

Customizing the booking form

So, what are the specifics of building and customizing a booking form that your customers will use daily to schedule an appointment?

Form CustomizationSalon Booking SystemMotoPress Appointment Booking
Service image and description in the formYesNo
Edit form field labelsYesYes
Fonts & colorsColorsInherited from theme defaults

Customizable colors

Layout3 templatesInherited from theme defaults + Limited customization
Custom CSSYesYes
Custom fieldsNoIn development
Custom checkout fieldsYesIn development
Form progress barYesNo
Terms & Conditions checkboxYesYes
Add appointment to customer calendarNoYes
Booking form in pop-upYesNo
Change the order of the booking form stepsYesNo

Both plugins allow you to alter the main booking form colors and CSS.

Additionally, Salon Booking comes with 3 premade layouts for the booking form, vertical and horizontal

Compared to MotoPress, Salon Booking offers a few more unique features when it comes to customizing your form:

    • Enable or disable the ‘choose an assistant for me’ option.
    • Enable multiple employees selection.
    • Temporarily block bookings via the calendar with a custom message to clients regarding the blockage.
    • Various availability modes.
Availability modes in Salon Booking System.
Availability modes in Salon Booking System.
  • Manual settings for Ajax and Bootstrap assets.

MotoPress, unlike its counterpart, allows you to additionally choose a calendar theme style, making it easier to find the perfect match for your website’s style.

Choosing an availability calendar theme.
Choosing an availability calendar theme in MotoPress salon booking software.

More benefits of the booking form customization that come with MotoPress:

  • Customize global form styling as well as optionally apply different styling to individual forms across your website.
  • Customize styling visually in your preferred builder, the block editor, Elementor or Divi.
  • Create unlimited forms for individual services.
  • Multiple options of pre-styled forms that you can optionally get with any premium appointment theme for WordPress.
An example of a styled booking form created with MotoPress.
An example of a styled booking form created with MotoPress.

Notifications and emails

Let’s compare how both systems handle automated notifications to the admin, staff, and customers.

NotificationsSalon Booking SystemMotoPress Appointment Booking
Create custom email notificationsYesYes
Automated email notifications (approved/canceled bookings)Employee, admin, customer,Employee, admin, customer, custom address
Employee calendar notificationsYesYes
Appointment email remindersYesYes
Appointment email follow-upsYesYes
Employee Google Calendar notificationsYesYes
Enabling customers to add appointments to their calendarNoYes (Google, Apple, Yahoo)
WhatsApp NotificationsNoNo
SMS remindersYes (Twilio, Plivo, ip1sms)

  • multiple SMS add-ons
Only with a paid add-on (Twilio $69)
Voice notificationsNoNo

In this category, the plugins are on an equal footing, but obviously, the Salon Booking System offers more SMS gateways that you can use for free (the costs apply only by the chosen service provider).

Payment processing & checkout

Consider payment gateways integrations and the way checkout works in the compared WordPress appointment scheduling plugins.

PaymentsSalon Booking SystemMotoPress Appointment Booking
Payment gatewaysPayPal and Stripe (Bancontact) – FREE

Takepayments (€45)
Iyzico (€45)
Powertranz (€45)
Cardcom (€35)
Square (€49)
Paystack  (€39,99)
Verifon (€45)
Mollie (€39)
Viva Wallet (€39)
Mercado Pago (€45)
Cardconnect (€45)
Swish (€59)
Boipa (€49)
Worldpay (€39)
RedSys (€39)
Upay (€69)
Paytrail (€39,99)
PolyPay (€69)
Wallee (€49)
Payengine (€39)
Przelewy24 (€100 lifetime)
You don’t pay for these add-ons if you purchase any of the plans except for Basic.

PayPal, Stripe (Bancontact, iDEAL, Giropay, SEPA Direct Debit, and SOFORT, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Link), Direct Bank Transfer – FREE

  • Square ($59)
WooCommerce integrationYes (€69)Yes ($89)
Pay on-site (locally)YesYes
Deposit payments/pay later (fixed & percentage)YesYes
Discount couponsYesYes
Automated conditional discountsYesNo
Manual payment info adjustmentYesYes
Tax calculationYesNo
RefundsVia payment gatewaysVia payment gateways
InvoicesNoNo

If you analyze payment methods available in the Salon Booking System, you can see that it tries to cover many region-specific needs.

For example, it serves the Swedish market by providing the ability to connect ‘Swish’ and offers ‘Cardcom’ integration, which is one of the largest credit card processors in Israel. This means you can connect multiple gateways to your salon booking site even without WooCommerce.

MotoPress Appointment Booking gives you more free default options and the ability to use WooCommerce if you are looking for more gateways. The disadvantage of both plugins is that they leave invoices up to the payment processor.

Integrations

By accessing integrations offered, you can quickly understand how much you can save on connecting external services and platforms for various needs, from email marketing to calendars.

IntegrationsSalon Booking SystemMotoPress Appointment Booking
Services & appsMailchimp (€39)

Multiple SMS integration

Google Analytics ($49), Square ($59), Google Calendar
WooCommerce€69$89
TranslationWPML, TransifexWPML
ZapierYesNo
Google Calendar for employeesTwo-wayOne-way
Online meetings NoNo
Page buildersShortcodesElementor, Divi, Block editor

Salon Booking System offers you a wider range of integrations, especially in the field of payment gateways and SMS services. At the same time, it seems it still relies only on shortcodes to generate content, which might be a bit non-user-friendly and outdated method in the era of the WordPress block themes.

MotoPress, on the contrary, integrates with various page builders to simplify the process of adding the booking form and various lists with employees and services.

Booking management

Both WordPress appointment scheduling plugins in this review provide powerful and flexible tools for admins and employees to manage customers, bookings, and payments.

Booking managementSalon Booking SystemMotoPress Appointment Booking
Reschedule appointmentsYesYes
Booking cancelation by customerYesYes
Backend calendar viewsDay, week, month, yearMonth, week, day, list
Import data to CSVYesYes
Period available for booking in advanceYesYes
Add appointments from the backofficeYesYes
Mobile app for staffYesNo
Stats and analytics on booking and revenueYesYes
Manage customersYesYes

There are many things you can control when adding a booking with the Salon Booking System plugin by hand, including adding multiple services, setting a payment status, as well as leaving booking notes (internal and for a customer as well).

Adding a booking manually in Salon Booking System.

Another great advantage is the mobile app for staff that is multi-shop compatible and supports instant notifications about bookings, as well as the ability to add bookings form the phone.

MotoPress Appointment Booking also allows you to manage your bookings with complete control. Add new reservations manually, edit existing ones with detailed adjustments, and even modify past bookings.

Editing the scheduled appointment with the help of bike rental software.
Rescheduling a booking in MotoPress Appointment Booking.

You can also filter and export your bookings to a CSV file for analysis or view all appointments in a customizable calendar, complete with filters and different viewing options. Also, there is a more detailed and insightful analytics dashboard integrated with the MotoPress plugin.

Employee accounts

What level of booking control does your staff have?

Salon Booking SystemMotoPress Appointment Booking
FreeFree
  • Backend access to WordPress dashboard
  • Mobile app
Backend access to WordPress dashboard

The MotoPress plugin lets you manage your staff using two dedicated WordPress user roles:

  • Appointment Manager: Has more controls over bookings (like a supervisor).
  • Appointment Employee: Can see and manage their own appointments, but access is limited (customizable).

Staff can even link their Google Calendar for easy scheduling and viewing appointments. They just need to log in to their WordPress account.

In the Salon Booking System plugin, you can also use the default WordPress user role to give every ‘assistant’ access to their own account, and optionally restrict access to viewing and managing only their own bookings. You also have tools to set up a two-way connection with Google Calendar for every assistant. More than that, assistants on Salon Booking System can use a dedicated mobile app that actually eliminates the need for a traditional WP account.

Customer accounts

Salon Booking SystemMotoPress Appointment Booking
FreeFree
Front-end access without WordPress dashboardFront-end access without WordPress dashboard
  • Facebook login
  • “Repeat” appointments
  • View bookings
  • Cancel bookings
  • View personal details
  • View bookings
  • Forced or optional account registration

In their customer accounts, Salon Booking users can view their appointments, choose to ‘repeat’ them (manually re-use data of the past appointments), view upcoming reservations, cancel an appointment, see all reservations history, and personal information. Customers can also book as a guest even if they have an account.

A customer account in Salon Booking System.As for MotoPress, customer accounts enable clients to view their personal details, bookings, and details of individual reservations. The plugin also adds an option to ask a customer if they want to have an account or choose to create it for a customer automatically.

Both plugins provide customer accounts with the main aim to speed up and simplify the next booking for their customers thanks to the pre-filled data. Even though customer accounts can be created, guest checkout is also possible with both plugins.

Advanced and marketing features

Advanced featuresSalon Booking SystemMotoPress Appointment Booking
Recurring appointmentsNoNo
Share resources between employeesYesNo
Marketing and analyticsBuilt-in dashboardBuilt-in dashboard (free)

Google Analytics ($49)

Gift cardsNoVia the Square add-on
Sell extras via the booking formYesNo
Customers can choose service durationYesNo
Geolocation for multiple shopsWithin “Business Plan” or as a paid add-on (€69)No
Internal notesYesYes
Waiting listNoNo
Special day/hour pricingYesNo
Online tippingYesNo
Feedback collection toolsYesNo
Services with unique scheduleYesNo
APIYesNo
Direct service booking linkYesNo

As you can see from this comparison, the Salon Booking Appointment System plugin provides more marketing-boosting features such as, for example, the ability for clients to tip the staff online before coming to the appointment.

Checkout page in Salon Booking System plugin.
Options at checkout in Salon Booking System.

The ‘Resources’ is another useful solution that allows you an extra layer of control for your booking system. Think of resources like special tools or rooms, such as massage chairs or tanning booths; this solution allows you to set how many people can use a ‘resource’ at once, link resources to specific services, and more.

Overall, there is room for improvement for MotoPress in this category, despite the fact that many of these features are not considered a primary focus for the vast majority of business owners.

Free Versions Comparison: Salon Booking System Free vs. MotoPress Appointment Booking Lite

FeaturesSalon Booking SystemMotoPress Appointment Booking
EmployeesUnlimitedUnlimited
ServicesUnlimitedUnlimited
LocationsNoUnlimited
Schedule/shiftGlobalIndividual for employees
Buffer times before and after appointmentsYesYes
Payment gatewaysNoNo
Pay on-site/Pay laterNoYes
CouponsYesYes
Add appointment via backendYesNo
Appointment remindersYesYes
Google Calendar integrationYesNo
Automated confirmation emailsYesYes
SMSYes (Twilio, Plivo, ip1sms)Only with a paid add-on (Twilio $69)
Download Linkhttps://wordpress.org/plugins/salon-booking-system/https://wordpress.org/plugins/motopress-appointment-lite/

Without a doubt, it’s generous of the Salon Booking System plugin to offer SMS, Zapier, and Google Calendar integration in the free version. MotoPress also provides tons of tools for free, making it absolutely viable to use for a cost-effective launch of the business.

Key features blocked in a free version of MotoPress Appointment Booking:

  • Online payment processing.
  • Sync website bookings to employee’s Google Calendars.
  • Register new customers manually through the site’s backend.
  • Send email notifications to manually entered email addresses.

Key features blocked in a free version of Salon Booking Appointment System:

  • Resources/inventory management for salon scheduling.
  • Online payment processing.
  • Mobile app for service providers.
  • Free access to 30+ add-ons.
  • Email priority support.
  • Quick booking overview and shortcuts.

Conclusion: Choosing between Salon Booking System vs. MotoPress Booking Systems for Salons

Although one wouldn’t notice it at first glance, I’d say that MotoPress shares more features and pricing similarities with Salon Booking System compared to other popular appointment booking plugins like Amelia WP or Bookly, which I’ve compared previously. The biggest difference is in the design approach, of both the frontend and backend sides, service settings, and payment gateways integration capabilities.

Pros of Salon Booking System:

  • It has proper group booking opportunities, while MotoPress has limited capabilities (i.e. a specific customer can book a slot for a group, but independent people can’t do this).
  • More handy tools in a customer account.
  • A better flexibility for setting up availability for individual services.
  • More styling options for the booking form.
  • More integrations with different services, including Zapier.
  • API integration.
  • Mobile app for staff.

While the Salon Booking System plugin boasts incredible flexibility, its user-friendliness takes a hit due to the overwhelming settings, vague language, and occasional lack of clear explanations in the documentation.

Go to Salon Booking System

Pros of MotoPress:

  • More attractive pricing tag, including the lifetime cost of the plugin comes with 50+ more products in total.
  • Multi-location available as a core feature of the plugin.
  • Easier customization in the block editor, Elementor and Divi.
  • A free trial for premium features.
  • Designs that get you started: turnkey WordPress themes for salons, schools, and coaches. Or, view websites created with this plugin.
  • More insightful analytics dashboard.

Go to Appointment Booking


Disclosure: this article may contain affiliate links for third-party products. If you click a link and later make a purchase, we may earn an affiliate commission that doesn’t result in additional charges to you.

WordPress Salon Booking System FAQ

What is the best salon booking software?

There are a free and premium (paid) version of the salon booking software options for WordPress reviewed in this post. You can try both for free and then choose your preferred one after getting some first-hand experience.

How to choose a booking system for salons?

Finding the perfect booking system for your salon can be confusing, but don’t worry! Here’s a simplified guide:

Step 1: Learn your needs. Before browsing options, define your must-have features (online booking? client management?) and budget. Popular choices include Square Appointments, Booker, and Acuity Scheduling. In WordPress, those are the Salon Booking System plugin and MotoPress Appointment Booking.

Step 2: Test it out! Don’t commit blindly. Most providers offer free trials or demos. Take advantage of them to see how the system fits your workflow and staff comfort level. Look for user-friendly interfaces, secure data practices, and reliable customer support.

Can I manage multiple locations or staff members with MotoPress?

Yes, you can add and manage multiple locations and staff members with the MotoPress Appointment Booking plugin without extra extensions.

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