I recently had the opportunity to test a plugin called the WooCommerce Booking and Appointments Plugin from Tyche Softwares. It adds booking and appointment functionality to your WordPress powered website, and integrates nicely with WooCommerce to charge a fee for those bookings.


I wanted to do a write up on this site because the booking functionality for WordPress is a growing segment of the industry. As more and more people choose to start their own businesses this functionality will come in handy for sole proprietors, small nonprofits, and other independent contractors like coaches, consultants, and attorneys, among others.

The video below details the functionality, and shows you how to configure it for various types of events or appointment needs. I do want to point out that we were not given a free copy of this software or asked to write a review. We bought this plugin with our own funds and have completed an independent assessment.

Additionally, over the past few weeks of testing, we corresponded with the developer to make some recommendations, and several of those recommendations have been implemented in the current version of the plugin. These items make the plugin more usable for nonprofits, and we think you\’ll understand why when you see the video.


More Details on the Booking and Appointments Plugin

In addition to the video, I\’d like to point out, in text and images, just how easy the plugin is to setup. There are only 2 options screens – the main settings for the plugin and the product level options, shown in the images below (click image thumbnail for full size view), and then explained in more detail below that.

Global Settings Panel

The main settings panel gives you just a few options. They are:

  • Language – The plugin gives the option to display your information in multiple languages. This is a nice feature.
  • Date Format – You can choose from various international formats. Also a nice touch.
  • Time Format – Choose 12 or 24 hour format depending on preference.
  • Number of Months to show – This allows you to set the number of months ahead the viewer can see when choosing from your booking options. Really, it\’s just a convenience feature.
  • Preview Theme – There are various pre-baked themes that you can select to change the style and design of your date picker without needing to touch any code.
  • Blackout Days – This gives you the ability to set global black out days that override booking settings at the product level. This is a good way to block days you don\’t want people to book without having to go into each individual product and make changes there. A nice feature.

Product Booking Options

Since this product is integrated with WooCommerce, the booking and appointment options are located on the individual product pages. At the product level, you can get real granular with the way you set the booking and appointment options, including the following choices:

  • Enable Booking Date – This is the basic check box that enables the booking date field for the product and includes it on the product detail page in your store.
  • Allow Multiple Day Bookings – this allows you to set multi-day bookings, which is great for hotels, events, conferences, vacations, etc. You set a per-day price in the product and the multi-day booking auto-calculates the total for you.
  • Recurrence – Allows you to set the days on which your appointment slots are offered. You can choose specific days, or choose recurring days. Recurring days are good for people who offer the same appointment types on a regular basis, like opening up a few hours per day each day of the week.
  • Lockout on Orders – You can lockout booking after a certain number of orders have been taken for a day. This is helpful if you take multiple bookings per day, but don\’t set a particular time slot. For example, you know each meeting will take an hour but you also want to account for extra time if the client needs. So rather than set 1 hour time slots and have 8 per day, you can just take a certain number appointments for the day, lock out that day after that number is hit. Then you\’ll need to communicate with your client to set actual appointment times.
  • Minimum Booking Times – This is a setting that allows you to specify how much lead time is needed before booking. You can allow people to book same day (Lead time = 0), or you can set it so they can\’t book until at least one week out – (Lead time = 7 days), for example.
  • Purchase without Date – This gives you the option to sell bookings without specifying a date. This is great for gifts, or gift certificates on services where you want to buy something but don\’t have an exact date when the service will be performed. Good for spas and other service based offerings like that.
  • Blackout Dates – You can set blackout dates on the individual product level here, and these work in addition to the global level blackouts.
  • Booking Times – You can enable booking times and enter time slots in addition to choosing a date for bookings. This makes the plugin very powerful. Great for nonprofits who are booking volunteers for certain time slots. This functionality also works well for people who want to be exact with their timed appointments – lawyers, accountants, doctors, consultants, coaches, etc.


My Overall Thoughts…

There are several entries into the event booking space, with only a few real standouts. Most of the plugins try to be everything to everyone, and, in my opinion, fail miserably because of being spread too thin. Their options panels are too complicated, help documentation is nearly non-existent, and integrations with 3rd party plugins are inconsistent at best.

But the WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments Plugin is easy to use, easy to configure, and it works very well. Perhaps its best feature is its simplicity, and focus on pure bookings.

You can find the plugin at the Tyches Software Site here: http://www.tychesoftwares.com/store/premium-plugins/woocommerce-booking-plugin

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