The Characteristics of the Best WordPress Appointment Plugins
What makes a good appointment plugin? There are nine criteria that a plugin should meet to cover all of your bases:
- A customizable appointment booking system where you record your availability or the availability or 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 your WordPress page.
An expansive collection of calendar integrations opens up your field to more new users. Most of the below tools hit all of the criteria above, so any of these would be worth considering for your business needs. However, when selecting the one that best serves your target market, make sure to focus on these elements before choosing your plugin.
Best Appointment Scheduling Plugins for WordPress
- HubSpot WordPress Plugin
- Appointment Booking Calendar Free WordPress Plugin
- Bookly Appointment Booking and Scheduling WordPress Plugin
- Appointment Booking and Online Scheduling Free WordPress Plugin
- Book an Appointment Online PRO WordPress Plugin
- Booking Calendar
- Calendarize It!
The HubSpot WordPress Plugin includes several lead generation tools like popup forms, a web form builder, and kickback emails. Additionally, you can integrate it with your other HubSpot freemium tools, including the Meetings app.
Native within the WordPress plugin, you can use the following to collect client data on your WordPress pages:
- Scroll Boxes
- Embedded Forms
Once you collect client data, all that information is sent to the HubSpot free CRM (or anything else you integrate with), so you can get a full view of website behavior.
Additionally, the analytics tool helps you find important information like bounce rate, time on page, and traffic source to help you improve your conversions. Additionally, no API integrations or extra coding is necessary. It’s free, and very easy to sign up and give it a try.
Finally, all of this can integrate with the Meetings app. However, while there is a free version that includes a custom meetings link, you have to upgrade to have the ability to embed your calendar on your WordPress website.
The Amelia plugin is a fantastic appointment tool for enterprises and chains because of its expansive set of functionalities.
Designed with simplicity and mobile optimization in mind, the plugin helps you manage multiple employees and schedules by providing customizable booking forms and a responsive availability calendar. You can use this to manage both customers’ and employees’ schedules.
Booking an appointment is an easy two-to-three step process, where customers can fill out your contact information, the type of service and location desired, the specific staff members requested, and more.
The plugin is compatible with multiple payment gateways and you can set it up so customers pay directly through your on-site booking system. Plus, email notifications are sent out when an appointment is booked.
You can filter and sort the calendars as needed (by day, week, month, year, and view), and Amelia provides a shortcode to easily embed and sync your calendar on your WordPress site. If you need help with site design, it also offers demo sites.
Price: Free, but additional features cost extra
This is one of the stronger free appointment booking plugins out there. It has some limitations — namely, the free version only works with PayPal, and in order to accept money through another service, you’ll need to invest in the premium version. It works with iCal, Outlook, and GCal.
Some solid features include:
- Availability displays
- 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
Once an event is created, you can edit as needed and notify participants. Plus, you can display multiple pages for your calendar.
Price: Free, Pro is $89 per month
Bookly is designed to help your customers book appointments across multiple platforms and for various group sizes.
Designed for mobile use and translatable between a wide selection of languages, this WordPress plugin is a leader in the pack in terms of plugin usability.
You can display your availability and allow clients to self-book — this remains true even for recurring appointments and group bookings. You can arrange for custom notifications to be sent both to you and to your customers on multiple devices, and editing events is easy.
Administrative functions can be performed and function smoothly within the plugin, so managing time-off, holiday parties, individual employee schedules, and bookings can all be managed or assigned.
Bookly is compatible with a variety of currencies and integrations like WooCommerce, PayPal, and Stripe. Check out the site to see the entire list of payment integrations.
Price: Plans range between $15 per month to $99 per month
Booking appointments has never been easier than with vCita’s appointment booking plugin. Whether you need to schedule group events or one-on-one sessions, this is an effective tool for getting those events on the customizable calendar.
It also makes it easy to keep in touch with clients by allowing you to send documents like invoices, reminders, event change notifications, and follow up messages. Additionally, it lets you send follow up emails to increase communication.
Operating via the mobile app is simple and intuitive, smoothly functioning between multiple calendars, employee schedules, and payment types.
Automation has never been easier than with this app, but you can also exert control when it comes to contacting your clients with the built-in messaging and call service.
With slick mobile and desktop booking design and text reminders, this plugin makes it nearly impossible to forget an appointment.
Aside from clients being able to choose what type of appointment they want, when, and with whom, you can use PayPal directly within the plugin once you pick a time. It’s integrated with Google Calendar so your appointments are inputted directly into your personal GCal as well as your clients’.
The plugin works with multiple currencies and both 12-hour and 24-hour time formats, so managing international clients is a breeze. Booking employees by shift or by hour is available, as well as booking internal team events like retreats, vacations, and sick days.
Price: The basic plan is $6.39 per month, the business plan is $15.99 per month
StartBooking is a decent choice for users looking to keep variety in the equation for their appointment booking calendar. Managing multiple clients and staff members is easy with this simple service.
You have the option to offer multiple options to book from in the following categories:
The plugin’s strength is in its form capabilities — you can customize and embed appointment forms on your site using the provided shortcode.
The system creates a customer profile and tracks their history once you book, so you can monitor and evaluate your connection with your users as you see fit. Booking groups and classes are a breeze, and you can send customized batch notifications to attendees as needed.
StartBooking offers a secure connection so processing online payments (through Stripe specifically) is safe and easy. It works across mobile devices and with your GCal, but if you have another type of calendar, you might want to use another plugin.
Price: Tiered pricing, starts at $99 per year and goes to $249 per year
BirchPress is similar to other appointment booking systems on this list with the customer-facing appointment booking calendar. However, this system is particularly customizable. Forms templates are provided and can be altered to reflect your design and question needs.
Notifications and reminders can be edited and automatically sent when events are generated or changed.
BirchPress has a ton of options when it comes to integrating with calendars — if you use iCal, Android, Outlook, or GCal, you’re good to go, and embedding it on your WordPress site is easy with the provided shortcode.
However, when it comes to payments, it only integrates directly with PayPal. If you use another service, you need to use WooCommerce process payments. However, credit card booking, aside from a third-party source, is easy.
Price: Custom pricing based on your needs
Booking Calendar is a popular plugin that works especially well with hotel and Airbnb-style appointment creation. It offers a simplistic client-forward booking form to get meetings on your schedule. Once the event is created, a database is built as client bookings increase.
Customized notifications can be sent out to both you and your clients regarding the event in question, and you can even include captcha.
The plugin is optimized for mobile and integrated with PayPal and Stripe so that you can manage all of your booking steps in one place and across devices.
Additionally, this is a fantastic calendar plugin for developers because it works with jQuery.
Easy!Appointments is an open source plugin that allows you to build calendars and forms into your WordPress page using shortcode. Calendars can be divided into individual client calendars, locations, employees, and services. Group booking is simple and you can assign multiple employees to an event.
You set the buffer times and hours available for clients to book, and it all syncs with your GCal. Specialized calendar URLs are sent out for you to share with event participants. It has a flexible REST API endpoint.
You can design the event notifications as you need for the following changes:
- Service change
It’s available in 21+ languages and is optimized for mobile devices.
Price: Limited free version, PRO version is $70
PinPoint is a super simple one-page appointment booking plugin. It’s a front-end, Ajax-based client booking system that can switch back and forth between currencies, time zones, users, and languages.
You can choose between European or American date formats, as well as AM/PM or 24-hour time format. Additionally, you can embed it in widgets, or edit the calendar appearance with the CSS Editor.
This is a great option for organizations that provide room bookings for individuals and groups. Admins can control as many calendars as they need using the PRO version. Both the free version and PRO version allow you to display your availability and include locations in your events.
You can search for pre-existing events or specific data like discount codes using the search sidebar. Set up booking forms, email or SMS notifications, or promos and discount codes.
It integrates with PayPal, GCal, iCal, and AirBnB. If you use the WooCommerce add-on, you can integrate with other payment portals like Stripe.
Calendarize it! Is a WordPress plugin that works best with the Gutenberg Editor. It’s a bit on the expensive side but should cover all your needs. Embed the calendar on your site with a shortcode, or explore the expansive add-on library.
It works with WPBakery Page Builder (formerly known as Visual Composer) so you can drag-and-drop elements to construct your own plugin customized to your needs.
Paid add-ons expand the functionality. CSS Editor is also a free add-on, which you can use to adjust your calendar’s branding, font, color, style, or template.
Users can also attach social sharing buttons and include maps with events. Once the appointment has been created, Calendarize it! creates client profiles and allows client’s to leave reviews.
MeetingBird isn’t specifically a WordPress appointment plugin, but the features included make it worth noting here. For one, it has strong integration capabilities, and can hook into your CRM or marketing stack. Additionally, it lets you integrate with support tools and help desk software like Zendesk.
With customized colors and complex translation capabilities, you can easily show your availability to your customers and incorporate buffers between events.
Upon the generation of the event, a customer creates an account and chooses their desired meeting time, which is then synchronized with your Google Calendar (and other integrations you’ve set up) if you choose to do so.
Both you and the client will receive reminders and notifications of event changes automatically.
Price: The starter plan is free, the Pro plan is $10 per user, per month and billed annually. If billed monthly, the price jumps to $20 per month.
CozyCal is a very flexible working calendar for those with a crammed schedule. The calendar has four critical elements it allows you to set:
- Event time
- Event length
- Free times
It’s important to note, you can only integrated this plugin with Stripe or GCal. You can include a specialty URL designed for easy client booking that you can share with the relevant parties.
It’s designed to adjust to customers’ timezones and currencies to make international appointment booking and transactions smooth. Notifications are simple to set up so both you and your customers won’t forget your meeting.
Customized forms collect client information and funnel it into a client database for you to use, and floating booking buttons can be set up to appear on the purchase page when customers checkout.
Group and class bookings are available, or if you prefer, individual and round robin-style appointments. Assigning employees to clients is simple from the administrative dashboard or from the team booking calendar.
Umberto Pellegrini from The Influencer Marketing Factory said it best:
“We are huge fans of CozyCal. This WordPress appointment scheduler is perfect for SMEs and created to convert visitors into leads right on the hosting website. Great UX and design, easy to manage, fast and reliable. We really love it. To quote the CEO Alessandro Bogliari, ‘this tool, mixed with the other ingredients, gives us the opportunity to make magic happen.”
There’s a huge market for appointment booking plugins out there in the tech sphere. It’s critical you evaluate which one you need based off of your clients, and your own team’s workflow.
If you want a super easy way to get your appointment scheduling streamlined and off the ground, check out HubSpot Meetings.
Originally published Jul 5, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated July 05 2019