According to HubSpot data, the top priority for marketers is generating leads.
Having a high-quality website is a great way to do so. But getting visitors on your site won’t necessarily convert them into leads or customers.
You can increase your chances by providing site visitors with an easy way to book appointments to use your services — or to connect with your sales team to learn more about them.
By streamlining appointment creation on the front end and back end of your site, the right booking system can help your company generate leads, revenue, and customer loyalty as efficiently as possible. If you have a WordPress website, you're in luck. There are WordPress plugins you can use to optimize your appointment scheduling process so it delights your prospective and existing clients as well as your internal team.
In this post, we'll go over 20 of the best WordPress plugins for creating the ideal booking system for your business. Before we dive in, let's go over what features you should be looking for when evaluating different appointment plugins for your business.
The Characteristics of the Best WordPress Appointment Plugins
What makes a good appointment plugin? There are multiple criteria that a plugin should meet, including:
- A customizable appointment booking system where you record your availability or the availability of your staff
- The ability for clients to self-book based on your availability
- Integrations with common calendar tools like Google Calendar, Outlook, and iCal
- Automatic meeting notifications
- Lead generation tools to capture client information and create a database for future communication and lead generation
- Payment integrations
- Multilingual and multi-currency options
- Adjustable time zones and time format
- The ability to embed the calendar on a WordPress post or page
Keeping these criteria in mind, let's take a look at the collection of WordPress booking and scheduling plugins below.
Best WordPress Booking & Scheduling Plugins
- HubSpot WordPress Plugin
- Booking Calendar
- Hotel Booking Lite
- WP Simple Booking Calendar
- Online Booking & Scheduling Calendar for WordPress
- Easy Appointments
- Appointment Booking Calendar
- Book Appointment Online PRO
- Start Booking
- PinPoint Booking System
- Calendarize it!
- BirchPress Scheduler
- Team Booking
There are a variety of free and premium tools that you can use to set up a booking system on your WordPress site. To pick the one that best meets your needs, you’ll want to consider a range of factors, including how much it costs. That's why we've divided the list into free and premium plugins. Let's start with your free options.
Best Free Appointment Scheduling Plugin for Wordpress
You don’t need a budget to set up a booking system on your WordPress site. There are plenty of free plugins that offer the features and customization options you need to set up a booking system. Let's take a look at some of the most popular options below.
The HubSpot WordPress plugin is an easy to use tool that automatically integrates with your CRM and comes with built-in marketing tools, including forms, live chat and chatbots, and marketing automation.
You can easily create booking forms with HubSpot's intuitive drag-and-drop form builder. You can also provide and enhance scheduling functionality on your WordPress site with HubBot, a streamlined chatbot that can collect essential information from visitors and help facilitate appointment bookings 24/7. You can also send an automated email whenever someone fills out a form or sends a message over live chat to either confirm or follow-up on their booking.
With Booking Calendar, your site visitors can browse the calendar’s availability and make reservations for specific days and time slots, or search available properties and services for specific dates and times. They can also pay online for their bookings once you activate and configure integrations with popular payment gateways.
You can easily manage your appointments in the admin dashboard. Booking Calendar offers site admins the options to manually approve or decline appointments, set up email notifications for new appointments, and filter and sort bookings using different parameters. Created back in 2009, Booking Calendar is considered the original booking system plugin.
Price: Free, but can upgrade to Pro for $89
Hotel Booking Lite is a free and powerful WordPress booking plugin for hotels and vacation rental owners. With this plugin, you can list unlimited accommodations and services, create detailed property listings that include amenity descriptions, photos, and lodging details, accept online reservations, and synchronize all bookings across online travel platforms like Airbnb and TripAdvisor.
You can also create a dedicated search form with custom fields, like location, accommodation types, price range, and number of guests, so guests can find a property that meets their needs in just a few clicks.
Price: Free, but can upgrade to a premium plan starting at $39
WP Simple Booking Calendar is exactly that: simple. In a matter of minutes, any WordPress user can create and add a responsive calendar to their site. To add the calendar to a post or page, you can use a Gutenberg block, widget, or shortcode. While this booking calendar is best suited for vacation rentals, you can use it to display the availability of a room, office, a piece of equipment, and more.
In your admin dashboard, you can easily keep track of what days are available and what days are booked, and add descriptions for your bookings.
Price: Free, but can upgrade to a premium plan starting at $29 per month
Online Booking & Scheduling Calendar for WordPress by vCita is a free scheduling software that enables businesses of any size to accept online bookings and payments 24/7 and manage their schedule, clients, and team from one centralized dashboard. With vCita, visitors on your site can book one-on-one appointments or group events and classes (whether in person or over Zoom). They can also make secure payments online using PayPal, Square, or Stripe.
On the backend, you can create and customize a booking form, assign staff members different user roles and permissions, and configure and send email and text notifications, reminders, and follow-ups to clients. vCita also offers a mobile app for iPhone and Android devices so you can respond to clients in real-time.
Easy Appointments is a highly-rated plugin that enables you to quickly and easily add a booking system to your site.
With this plugin, you can add booking appointments for multiple locations, services, and workers. Plus, you can easily send email notifications to customers, administrators, and employees to ensure the bookings you have scheduled are always kept.
Price: Free, but additional features cost extra
Appointment Booking Calendar is one of the most feature-rich, free appointment booking plugins. In addition to working with iCal, Outlook, and GCal, this plugin offers the following features:
- Availability displays
- Multi-page calendar
- Frontend customer self-booking with CAPTCHA
- Customer database creation (available for download and print)
- Individual customer file editing
- A downloadable customer database sourced from created appointments
Appointment Booking Calendar does have some limitations — namely, the free version only works with PayPal. In order to accept money through another service, you'll need to invest in the premium version.
Available in 21+ languages and optimized for mobile devices, Easy!Appointments is a powerful plugin that allows you to embed calendars and forms into your WordPress posts and pages using a shortcode.
You can set the days and hours available for clients to book, and the appointments will automatically sync with your Google Calendar. You can also turn on event notifications if any of the following changes are made:
- Service change
Best Paid Appointment Scheduling Plugin for Wordpress
Most premium plugins will offer more features and flexibility than free plugins. If you have the budget, investing in a paid tool can help guarantee you get the functionality and flexibility you need.
Book appointment online PRO is a mobile-friendly plugin for appointment bookings.
What sets it apart from similar plugins is the sheer range of useful features, including a PayPal integration, SMS channels, and email notifications. This plugin also allows you to accommodate two different schedules for regular working hours/shifts (2:2 ratio, 3:1 ratio, etc.), and allows users to view and edit their bookings online.
Amelia is the perfect plugin for clinics, gyms, salons, and other businesses that want visitors to schedule in-person appointments. Instead of paying staff to deal with this task, you can use Amelia to completely automate the appointment booking process, which lowers total costs and reduces potential errors.
Amelia is also easy to use and install — with no more than three clicks, you'll be up and running.
Bookly is a premium plugin and one of the most comprehensive appointment booking plugins for WordPress. Its fully responsive design means your booking forms will look great across desktops, tablets, and smartphones, and it comes with a powerful admin interface where you can manage the plugin easily.
You can also integrate this plugin with Google Calendar or the WooCommerce system, and Bookly gives you the option to receive payment using PayPal, Authorize.Net, and Stripe.
12. Start Booking
Price: Plans start at $12 per month
Start Booking is a powerful scheduling software that can integrate with WordPress. With this tool, you can add a calendar to your WordPress site so that visitors can book an appointment by selecting an available time. Visitors can then view their appointment details and perform quick actions like checking in, adding notes, or cancelling.
On the back end, you can create and manage unlimited appointments or group classes, assign specific services for booking to different users, and get an overview of each appointment detailing customer information, the service booked, and staff assigned.
PinPoint is a flexible appointment booking plugin that can switch back and forth between currencies, time zones, users, and languages. You can also embed it in any widget areas of your site and edit its appearance with the CSS Editor.
You can control as many calendars as you need, display your availability, and include locations in your events. You can also integrate with PayPal, GCal, iCal, and AirBnB. If you use the WooCommerce add-on, you can integrate with additional payment portals like Stripe.
14. Calendarize it!
Calendarize it! Is an appointment booking plugin that's specifically optimized for drag-and-drop page builders. You can use the built-in Gutenberg Editor, or a third-party one like WPBakery Page Builder (formerly known as Visual Composer) to customize your calendar.
You can add social sharing buttons, include maps with events, and more. Once an appointment has been created, Calendarize it! automatically creates client profiles and allows clients to leave reviews.
In addition to the plugin's built-in functionality, it offers an expansive add-on library. For example, CSS Editor is a free add-on that you can use to adjust your calendar's branding, font, color, style, and template.
Price: Plans start at $99
BirchPress Scheduler is a WordPress plugin that helps you create a modern booking system and embed it into any WordPress page or post. It's also bundled with PayPal to receive payments for any bookings made.
BirchPress Scheduler was built with developers in mind. There are thousands of functions, action hooks, and filters that developers can use to create their custom functionality without ever touching the core code.
16. Team Booking
TeamBooking comes with a robust range of features — from its fully responsive design to easy Google Maps integration. It also offers a per-appointment approval system, in which you can auto-approve appointments instead of manually approving them one by one.
Additionally, the Team Booking shortcode system lets you insert different functionality into your booking system with just a click.
Booked is another powerful appointment booking plugin for WordPress. This plugin is quick and easy to deploy, and site visitors can book an appointment as registered guests to make the scheduling process quicker.
Plus, you get multiple shortcode and widget options to display available booking times.
LatePoint is a simple and intuitive appointment booking and reservation plugin. With this plugin, you can automatically create Zoom meetings for booked appointments, chat with clients to send them a file or answer questions about their appointments, and send them text message notifications and reminders about their appointments.
Your team members can also customize their own schedules and appointment availability in their own personal dashboards.
HBook is one of the top-rated appointment booking plugins in the CodeCanyon marketplace.
It will allow you to create availability calendars and booking forms to accept online reservations on your WordPress website. Leveraging the functionality and flexibility of this plugin, you can set seasonal rates, discounts for longer stays, minimum stays, cleaning fees, and more for your bookings.
Price: Plans start at $79 per year
WPForms is one of the best form builder plugins. With this tool, you can easily create and customize booking forms using a drag-and-drop builder. You can add required fields so that people must provide essential information, like the date and time of their appointment, before submitting the form. You can also add an anti-spam checkbox to all new forms to prevent contact form spam. Finally, you can set up three types of confirmation to let clients know their forms were submitted correctly.
Once you’ve created your appointment booking form, you can add it almost anywhere on your site, including your blog posts, pages, and sidebar widgets.
Price: Plans start at $140 per month
Smith.ai offers a virtual receptionist service where its support agents will book appointments with your company's leads via live chat on your website. This is great for growing companies that may not have the budget yet to hire full-time support team.
There's also an automated chatbot feature that can field customer inquiries and reduce the number of questions your support agents will have to answer.
Simplify Your Booking Process
There's a wide range of appointment booking plugins available in the market. To pick the right tool for your business, it's critical you evaluate different solutions based on your clients' needs and your team's workflow. Any of the plugins above can simplify your appointment scheduling process.
Or if you want a simple and fast solution for streamlining your booking process that works with Google Calendar, Office 365 Calendar and the HubSpot CRM, check out HubSpot Meetings.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Jan 25, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated January 17 2022