If you’re a counselor, teacher, personal trainer, or other professional who sells your services by the hour, you likely use a calendar or submission form to keep track of appointments.
But wouldn’t it be easier to have a well-designed reservation system on your site that makes it easier for customers to sign up for new events?
In this post, we will walk you through creating a booking website with WordPress. First, we’ll create a website using a template from Astra, one of the popular WordPress themes available.
Next, we will use the Amelia plugin to create a reservation system on our site. Finally, we’ll mention some other booking components that you can use if you prefer.
Let’s get started!
Who needs to set up a reservation system?
There are a variety of companies that may need to set up a reservation system on their website. This is especially true for e-commerce businesses.
Let’s cover just a few of the potential use cases!
Consultants usually bill by the hour or by the day, which means they need a way to book time slots in their calendars. A reservation system that allows potential customers to choose from available dates and times is a great way to solve this problem.
The accountant usually meets with clients regularly, for example, every financial quarter. They may also meet with clients for specific issues. To do both of these things, they need a reservation system that allows clients to set dates and times for those meetings.
Are you a teacher, teacher or other educational specialist? You likely have a number of clients and need to schedule them throughout the day. With a reservation system, you can easily let your students choose the times when they want to take lessons.
Finally, personal trainers are another type of professional who needs to set up a booking system. Training sessions are usually 60 or 90 minutes long and take place in the gym or in your home, so personal trainers need a way to book appointments well in advance.
Basically, anyone selling their time needs a reservation system!
Fortunately, it’s easy to build a booking website as you’ll soon find out.
Create an Astra-themed booking site
Let’s first create a WordPress site for our reservation system. Whether you use a managed WordPress host or handle all the configuration yourself, the process is the same.
To do this, we will use the Astra theme, which contains a template designed for business consultants, aptly called Business Coaching and Consulting. There are many other templates available with Astra that may also be useful for accountants, educators, personal trainers, and other professionals.
Step 1: Install Astra
If you are not already using Astra, you will need to install it first.
To do this, you can either download it from the WPAstra.com website or search for it from within your WordPress dashboard at Themes > Add New.
Type Astra in the search box or just scroll down.
then press Installations And activation.
Step 2: Select the startup template
Once the theme is activated, go to Appearance > Starter Templates on your WordPress sidebar.
Then search for a consultant in the search bar. You can also use any of the other templates if it works for your project!
You will now see the different page templates displayed on the right side of the screen. This lists all pages in the template, including About, Contact, Home, And services.
Step 3: Customize the site
You now have three options:
- Preview Site: See how the form will look on your site. This will open in a new tab.
- Import the full site: This will import the entire template into your website, which includes all page templates
- About import form: This will import only the selected page template. because we have About Selected, clicking the button will import only the About page template. If you only want the contact page template, select that form instead.
For this demo, let’s import the entire template.
Click the second option, Full site import. After answering two basic questions, the import process will begin.
Once you have finished importing, tap on File View site button to display your new location.
good job! You now have a business consulting website set up.
Create a reservation system in WordPress with Amelia Plugin
Now that we have a reservation website, let’s go through creating the reservation system itself.
To do this, we will be using the Amelia booking plugin, which is one of the best options out there for WordPress.
Step 4: Install and activate the plugin
There are free and paid versions of Amelia. For this demo, we will be using the free version, Amelia Lite, which you can download from the WordPress plugin repository.
Once installed, activate the plugin.
Now let’s look at some of the different features that the plugin has.
Step 5: Customize Settings
First, we want to tweak some settings. go to the Amelia > Settings on your WordPress sidebar. You will now see a page with many different options.
- Under general, you can set several default settings for appointments, including their approval status.
- Under a company-You can enter information about your company. This includes your name, address, phone number, and website.
- Under provider details, You can add information about yourself, the consultant, or whoever will provide the service. You can add your name, available hours, days off, and more.
- Under payments, You can connect your reservation system to WooCommerce and other payment providers.
Most of the other settings require you to have the paid plugin.
Step 6: Create Services
Now we need to add the services that we will provide.
go to the Amelia > Services on your WordPress sidebar.
Now press blue add category A button to add a new category for your services. Type a name and hit the blue radio button to add the category.
Now we want to add a service. Press the blue button add service button in the upper-right corner of the page.
Add the details of your service, including the name, price, duration, photo, and anything else you might need the customer to know.
Once you save the service, you will see it listed on this page.
Step 7: Create a booking page
Now that we’ve established our services, it’s time to create a page where customers can make an appointment. Amelia makes this easy with a Gutenberg block.
Just create a new page and add a file Amelia – View Booking block.
Then, view the page. You will see your reservation system!
Step 8: View bookings
To view the reservation, go to Amelia > Appointments. Next, select the time range in the upper-right corner. You will see your reservations listed:
Step 9: Add bookings manually
Finally, if you make a reservation over the phone or in person, you may want to add a reservation manually.
To do this, go to Amelia > Appointments and click the big blue Add an appointment button at the top right.
Next, fill in the information that includes the date, time, name of the customer and the service. You can also send a notification to the client.
Congratulations, you now have a reservation system on your site!
Best Booking Plugins for WordPress
Let’s talk briefly about the best booking plugins available for WordPress.
As mentioned above in our walkthrough, Amelia is one of the best WordPress plugins out there for building a reservation system. It has a powerful set of features that can create any kind of reservation system you can dream of.
- Tons of customization options
- Create any kind of reservation system
- Add appointments manually or let customers book them
- Perfect for consultants, coaches and other professionals
- Easily manage other team members’ bookings
- More advanced features require a premium plan
- It can be overkill if you only need a very basic reservation system
- Basic Free Plugin for Single User
- Paid plugin is $59
2. Booking calendar
Booking Calendar is a very simple and straightforward plugin that does exactly what its name suggests. The powerful free plugin allows you to create a booking calendar for many different types of activities. It also comes with enough features for most sites, making it a solid choice for any project.
- Powerful Free Plugin
- Nearly 2 million users means a wide resource base
- Ease of setup and use
- It has most of the features that a website might need
- Flexible for most use cases
- More complex features are missing
- Free plugin means less instant support
- Powerful Free Plugin
- Paid plugin starts at $47
WPForms is one of the best forms of plugins available for WordPress, as it comes with a lot of features. One of these features allows you to create contact forms. You can create a submission or registration form that includes the name, date, time, location, and many other variables.
- Powerful plugin format
- Flexible for most situations
- Simple and elegant design
- Easily integrates with e-commerce and payment processing
- Templates make setup easy
- Not only aimed at reservation systems
- Somewhat expensive for more advanced features
4. MotoPress hotel reservation
The last suggestion is a hotel-specific plugin – MotoPress Hotel Booking. This plugin is designed for hotel bookings, however, it can be used effectively for any business where a physical location is rented or booked. This makes it ideal for property managers, event hosts, hostels, apartment agencies, and similar professionals.
- Ideal for hotel and property managers
- Unlimited accommodations and rooms
- Accept direct reservations
- Synchronize all bookings across different platforms
- Flexible enough for related business
- Target more at hotels
- It can be expensive for small businesses
Conclusion of our guide to building a reservation system
This is just about completing our guide to building a reservation system. Whether you are a business consultant, personal trainer, educator or other professional, you definitely need a reservation system.
In this post, we have created a great booking website with Amelia plugin and Astra WordPress theme. Together, we’ve used them to create a beautiful website in a matter of minutes.