The internet has revolutionized many services that before were tedious or time-consuming. Booking an appointment is a great example. Booking online saves time not only for the user but also for the service provider.
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An appointment booking plugin makes it easy to manage visitors, appointments and schedules in a well-organized manner. Business such as salons, spas, law offices, hospitals, and clinics can benefit from such a system. I'll show you an easy way to add one in this tutorial.
If your business requires people to book appointments or reservations, a booking plugin can be a huge help. In this tutorial, I'll outline the steps you need to get a booking calendar plugin up and running on your site. We will use the Booked plugin to create an appointment booking calendar.
Features of Booked
The Booked plugin can sync with calendars such as Google, Outlook, and iCal, thus making it easy to add reminders on devices. This feature allows visitors to insert appointments with their preferred calendar.
Add-Ons and Integrations
Booked accepts WooCommerce payments, allowing your visitors to purchase appointments. It also includes other add-ons such as a calendar feed that allows you to display your appointments with apps like Apple Calendar or Outlook.
Booked allows new users to book appointments simply by providing a name and email address.
Booked features a powerful admin back-end which allows the admin to manage all appointments.
Booked is fully responsive both for the end user and admin. It can, therefore, be accessed via a mobile device without any difficulties. Business owners can also view and manage appointments on the go.
Post as Widget or Shortcode
The process of adding a new calendar involves placing a shortcode on the page where you wish to display the calendar. Or you can add the calendar to your layout with a widget.
Booking List View
Booked also allows you to display available appointments as a list, providing an overview of available time slots.
Booked allows you to customize the login and registration form and embed it anywhere using a shortcode. You can also create custom forms and mark them as required.
Booked also comes with a built-in color picker that allows you to create a calendar that matches the theme of your site.
Booked allows you to add multiple calendars, each with their own custom fields and time slots. These calendars are in turn assigned a booking agent to manage them.
Start by downloading the Booked appointment plugin from CodeCanyon. Once you purchase the plugin, you will get a link to the downloadable files. Alternatively, you can find them in the download section of your account with your other purchased items.
Once you've downloaded the WordPress files, log in to your WordPress site, go to Plugins > Add New, and upload the zip file. After uploading, click Install Now, wait a few seconds, and then click Activate. You can now start using the plugin.
Once the plugin is installed, you'll need to configure the time and date settings from within WordPress. Go to General > Settings and set your preferred settings for:
- time zone
- date format
- time format
- the day the week starts on (Sunday or Monday)
Next, you need to provide a way for users to book appointments. Booked provides both guest and registered user booking options. Guest registration ensures that your visitors don't have to remember login credentials.
Next, set the appointment redirect after successful appointment booking. There are two options available: no redirect and redirect to a particular page. Other important settings in this section include:
- appointment time slots
- appointment buffer
- cancellation buffer
- appointment limit
- display options
- color settings
Booked allows you to create and display multiple calendars for each of the services you offer on your site. Each calendar will have default time slots, custom fields, and slots.
To create a new calendar, go to Appointments > Calendars and assign a unique name, an optional slug URL, a description, and an administrator.
Booked assigns each calendar a unique ID. Once you have this ID, you can display the booking calendar with the use of a shortcode.
A time slot is the length of time allocated to an appointment. Booked provides the ability to assign multiple time slots to calendars. When a client clicks on a calendar, they will see the available time slots and then choose to book one that is convenient for them.
To add custom time slots, go to Settings > Custom Time Slots and click on Add Dates. Choose the calendar to which you want to assign the time slots, set the start and end dates, and finally add your preferred time slots. If you don't have any custom calendars, the slots will be assigned to the default calendar.
You can add single or bulk time slots depending on the number of staff available.
Now that we are done with all the required settings, you can display any calendar on any page via the use of a shortcode. Booked provides unique shortcodes for each calendar. To get the shortcode for a calendar, go to Settings > Shortcodes and copy and paste the shortcode into the page where you wish to display the calendar.
Booked also provides the following additional shortcodes:
- user profile shortcode: this will display a user profile
- user's appointments shortcode: this will display all of a user's appointments
- style shortcode: this allows you to choose either a list view or the default calendar
- switcher shortcode: this allows you to display the switcher
- year and month shortcode: this lets you display a specific year or month
A typical calendar will look something like this:
Booked is the perfect solution if you are looking for a simple and easy-to-use booking solution for your business. This plugin also allows clients to view and manage their appointments via their client section. CodecCanyon also offers many other booking calendars with out-of-the-box solutions if you wish to explore more options.