WordPress Booking Plugin for Appointment – BookingPress

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Appointment Scheduling Software Explained - Everything You
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Top 5 Free WordPress Booking Plugins for Appointments

Best WordPress Booking Plugins

Let’s try to compare some of the fundamental functionalities of the most popular WordPress appointment booking plugins, which are offered at no cost.

No doubt, most of the time all free WP booking plugins for online appointments also have a premium version, but with this post, we’re trying to figure out which free versions are decent enough for starting and, even more so, continue running a service booking business on WordPress today.

For example, after reading this article, you’ll learn that only with the BookingPress plugin you can accept online payments with PayPal, or that only the Salon Booking plugin allows you to have several staff members with different schedules. But what else?

Let’s refer to a few top choices.

BookingPress

BookingPress appointment booking plugin

BookingPress is a popular free WordPress booking plugin in the official wp.org directory.

Relatively fresh but super powerful, BookingPress offers you a full range of tools and settings for creating an appointment website for any service business, for example, a beauty salon website or coaching center.

It doesn’t limit you to just a fixed number of bookings for a certain period of time like some other plugins, giving you a feeling of the real freedom for creating a website of value even on a free version.

Read a full BookingPress review on our blog

Compared features

  • Booking type: primarily appointments of any duration, manually set the time in hours and minutes.
  • Payment gateways: built-in PayPal and one-site (pay after arrival).
  • Schedule: this can include regular working hours, days off, and breaks.
  • Services: unlimited services of any type.
  • Employee: one employee.

Pros of the free version

  • Perfectly organized and good-looking booking calendars.
  • Automated email notifications.
  • Fully customizable booking form styling.
  • Easy-to-manage bookings calendar on the dashboard.
  • Manually add bookings to the dashboard.
  • Provides blocks for the popular page builders, including a native WordPress block editor.
  • Provides the convenience of a user-friendly, modern booking experience.

Limitations of the free version

  • You can create just one schedule, e.g. for just one person.

Booking Package

Booking Package Plugin

The Booking Package plugin is also popular with WordPress users since it’s super handy in use for admins and works as a very intuitive and comprehensive bookings wizard for clients.

The plugin allows you to create unlimited booking calendars and accept unlimited reservations online.

Another attractive feature of this appointment booking plugin is that it supports multiple languages (provides translations) and currencies, so it will save some time on translation and customization for those who have a non-English website.

Compared features

  • Booking type: appointments, accommodations, events (set any custom duration).
  • Payment gateways: no in a free plan.
  • Schedule: one schedule, can be customized for every day, and supports regular holidays and custom holidays.
  • Services: unlimited services of any type.
  • Employee: one employee and one schedule.

Pros of the free version

  • User accounts.
  • Automated emails on bookings.
  • Manage and edit booking details.
  • Multiple booking calendars.
  • Customize pricing based on the day of the week.
  • Support for deadlines for each appointment schedule.
  • Minimum and maximum number of nights if you use it for hotels.
  • Edit customer’s booking info.

Limitations of the free version

  • Only one schedule, namely, it’ll most likely suit one person or entity.
  • Built-in PayPal and Stripe are supported only in PRO, which is $6 per month.
  • Looks like you need to confirm incoming bookings manually.
  • People can’t book several services within one reservation.

Amelia Lite

Amelia Booking Plugin

Being relatively fresh on the WordPress market, the Amelia booking plugin has quickly gained popularity thanks to all the class of features it offers and especially modern and stylish booking widget designs.

Its free version, Amelia Lite, also has something to offer for appointment businesses of small companies and individuals. For instance, they advertise themselves as a perfect fit for education, healthcare, beauty, and other industries that want to sell hourly events and appointments.

Constantly releasing significant updates and improvements are also a great advantage for Amelia.

Compared features

  • Booking type: appointments and events of custom durations.
  • Payment gateways: no in a free plan.
  • Schedule: customizable time frames by days.
  • Services: unlimited services of any type.
  • Employee: one employee and one schedule.

Pros of the free version

  • Two default view types of the booking wizard.
  • Functional calendar admin view.
  • Extra specialist settings for events, e.g. how often they should repeat.
  • KPI, revenue, and other stats of your business performance right in your dashboard.
  • Email and SMS notifications.
  • Translated into 20 languages (but multilingualism is only supported in PRO).
  • Import data to CSV files.
  • Support for popular page builders, including Elementor and the block editor.

Limitations of the free version

  • Doesn’t support online payments and payment gateways.
  • Doesn’t support multiple working schedules for different people.

Bookly

The Bookly WordPress booking plugin for online appointments is one of the most popular scheduling solutions on the market.

It allows you to install a powerful, full-scale WordPress booking system and accept reservations online, but its main disadvantage is that the free version might be really limited for many small service businesses.

Compared features

  • Booking type: service appointments of any durations, in hours and minutes.
  • Payment gateways: no in a free version.
  • Schedule: one schedule.
  • Services: unlimited services of any type.
  • Employee: unlimited employees are available only in the PRO version.

Pros of the free version

  • Email and SMS reminders of the upcoming bookings for customers.
  • An unlimited number of clients and bookings.
  • Add new customers from the backend’s calendar.
  • Customizable design and steps (fields) of the booking widget.
  • Support for multiple booking forms.
  • Automatically match available time slots to the client’s time zone.

Limitations of the free version

  • No access to online payment gateways.
  • You can’t install some essential Bookly add-ons if you are on a free version.

Salon Booking System

The Salon Booking System plugin is another tried-and-trusted appointment scheduling plugin for WordPress. It’s a deeply customizable, feature-rich solution for any small business that deals with appointments.

This WordPress booking plugin has very good attention to detail and provides tons of unexpected features for every aspect of running your business, thus, giving you many more ways to adjust services, employees, and other things to the needs of your business.

Compared features

  • Booking type: service appointments of desired custom duration, different depending on service.
  • Payment gateways: only via paid addons or the PRO version.
  • Schedule: one schedule with support for multiple holiday rules, breaks, and more unique settings.
  • Services: unlimited services of any type.
  • Employee: multiple.

Pros of the free version

  • Powerful admin calendar, including the ability to add and edit reservations.
  • Automatic email notifications and follow-ups for customers and employees.
  • The ability to repeat past reservations and reschedule them.
  • Sync your WP calendar with Google Calendar.
  • Layout and color settings for the booking widget.
  • Discounts coupons and reports.

Limitations of the free version

  • You can’t accept payment online.

Conclusion

Which is the best WordPress booking plugin for an online appointment?

When it comes to the core features that allow you to launch the service booking site, all the top 5 free WordPress booking plugins for online appointments presented in our comparison can be relied on.

But when you need some extra tools, such as integrating online payment methods or adding more schedule differences for different staff members, you start noticing the differences.

If you like our hand-picked top 5 free WordPress booking plugins, you should also check out 12+ Best WordPress Appointment and Booking Plugins (2022) for more best options.

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