WordPress is one of the most popular website builders in the world and as such offers users access to advanced WordPress Appointment plugins and appointment systems. In this article we will investigate what is important to look for when choosing the best booking or appointment plugin if you are using a WordPress site for your business. Appointment plugins generally allow potential or existing clients to book appointments with you or the staff.
Before selecting the best WordPress appointment plugin for your business, you should first sit down and evaluate your business needs. Here are some important questions to ask your self during your evaluation process.
- Are you a solo business or do you have several in staff
- Are you offering bookable services and/or classes
- Do you have one or many services
- Do your services have different duration and availability
- Do you and your staff want to sync external personal calendars with the solution
- Do you want different access levels for your staff so some do not see the schedule of others
- Do you plan to sell gift cards
- Do you want to offer membership and recurring membership
- Do you want to sell your services and classes in packs and give discounts of bigger purchases
- Do you want to keep track of all your sales, both on the internet and on-site
- What payment processor are you using or planning to use
- Would you like to up sell products or service add-ons to clients
- Do you want the system to help you with marketing and sell more
Almost all solutions on the market today allow you to send reminders as emails and text messages (sms) so this will not be discussed especially. Some limit this only to paid version while others also allow this in free version.
Obviously there is a lot of other questions that might be asked, but this list is a good start.
If you are a one person business, with one or only few services, based in one location and only want to add a simple booking plugin to your website, you should probably look to where you can get a free version, that allows you to do this and of course send reminders to your clients, because this is after all the main functionality of appointment scheduling system. There is plenty of free systems to choose from, but a lot of them only offer very limited functionality and many will not send reminders unless you have a paid version. This is definitely something to keep in mind if you are looking for a free WordPress scheduling plugin. Below we will be proposing a really good free plugin that can be used for accepting appointments and taking care of your scheduling needs while still offering a feature rich system that sends reminders about upcoming appointments.
If you are a bigger business, your needs will be more than a simple booking plugin can offer, you will need to keep track of different staff, their availability, you may have more than one location, you will want to use the system to help you get more bookings, sell more product, do clever inbuilt marketing. You will want to sell gift cards so that your clients and site visitors, can spread the love to their friends and family, you will want to automatically remind clients to book again if they haven’t done so within a normal time. As a serious business you may also want to keep track of all your sales, and do invoicing when sales occur. A lot of businesses also want to allow staff to sync their personal calendars so if they are unable to work because of personal reasons, the booking plugin will know this and not allow anyone to book during slots that have been blocked in the personal calendar.
Either as a small or large business, you must select a solution that has the highest security and privacy standards. The solution that you choose should preferably adhere to the GDPR privacy standard as those are the strictest standards and were applied as requirement for any company working with personal details of clients in Europe. If you are outside of Europe, choosing a solution that adheres to these privacy standards will help you be up to speed when your country applies similar standards, but this is prone to happen all around the world in the coming years.
The best WordPress scheduling plugin that adheres to all these requirements is the SimplyBook.me solution (yes, we are a little biased, but this is truly our opinion). This solution has been around since 2009 and has become extremely feature rich throughout the years, servicing businesses of all types around the world. Now 10 years later, in 2019, this is possibly the best WordPress appointment plugin and solution in the world.
For very small businesses or those just starting out it offers a free solution that includes all the basic system. You can offer many services, and there can even be more than one service provider.
For larger businesses the SimplyBook.me wordpress appointment plugin can become the backbone of your business, keeping track of all sales, helping you to sell more, reducing no-shows, displaying your services, products, gift cards, membership beautifully embedded in your WordPress site. You will probably enable the accept payments custom feature so you can also allow clients to pay for your service at the time of booking. You can select any of the over 30 payment processors that the system offers and there is NO EXTRA FEE from client payments deducted for SimplyBook.me. You only pay to the payment processor according to your contract with him.
The SimplyBook.me solution is one of the most and highest rated scheduling systems on Capterra and this is for a reason. There are very few systems as extensive, flexible but still affordable and offer a well functioning free version.
SimplyBook.me is highly rated on review sites.Whether a small or large business, apply the SimplyBook.me booking plugin already on your WordPress site and start working with a serious business solution that grows with you and makes you professional from the day you start using it.