Setting up an appointment page on your WordPress website can be complicated! We are not saying expensive but complicated. You need to register for an account, configure the website settings, setup a calendar well in advance etc. Wouldn’t it be great if you could take these hassles out and manage everything easily with just a few clicks?
The Appointzilla plugin is a simple yet powerful plugin, which enables you to accept appointments online on your WordPress site. The best part of this plugin is that, you can refrain the need to use a third party appointment booking service, because everything can be managed from within your WordPress site’s admin panel.
Features of the Plugin
- Powerful Admin Dashboard
- Service Management
- Staff Management
- Client Management
- Sync Appointments with Google Calendar
- Appointment Notification
- Paypal Support for accepting payments on Booking
Important: The plugin is not available for free. You can purchase this premium plugin from here.
Exploring the Appointzilla WordPress Plugin
Since Appointzilla is a paid plugin, I have explored it’s working from the Demo Portal. If you go to the Demo Portal, you will see that the plugin’s working has been divided into two parts there.
The Checkout Customer Booking Interface
How the interface will appear to a user: The Checkout Customer Booking Interface
1. Scheduling an Appointment
I booked an appointment by selecting a date and clicking on one of the services from the drop down box. This was pretty easy. Just with on a few clicks you book an appointment.
Please note: The services and staff can be set from the dashboard. I shall be discussing about this later on in the article.
2. Selecting the time
The next step allows you to select the Time. Note that time slots that are already booked are not available to select.
3. Enter your details to confirm booking
This is the last step where you enter your Details like Name, Email, Phone number and any instruction you want to specify. After you click on the ‘book now’ button a summary will be displayed to you of all the booking details.
I just explored user’s side of the plugin. The Admin’s side of this plugin is also equally simple and powerful. Let us discuss the striking admin dashboard features quickly!
Admin Dashboard of Appointzilla WordPress Plugin For Setting up Services
From the demo portal you can explore the Admin Dashboard.
You will be redirected to a WordPress site. The username and password for the WordPress site are both ‘user’ which is set by default by the plugin author.
1. Add Services Offered
The “Service” page allows you to create new Service Category and Sub Service category under the Service Category. Along with this, you can also see all the Bookings made for that particular service. Start with creating a new service category.
Add the service category name, for example, we have added ‘Aerobics’ as the name. A new service category with the name ‘Aerobics’ will be created.
Once the service is created, you can add sub services to the category, e.g. we created Free Trial. Fill out all the details for each service, such as name, description, duration, cost, etc., and click on update. There you go! A subcategory would be displayed in the Appointment Calendar page of the plugin. You can create as many services as you want!
2. Create Staff entries
We can add staff entries to ‘Staffs’ page. This is for assigning staff members to a booking. This is similar to creating a service category. Create a group to add staff members. ‘Add New Staff to this Group’ allows you to add subcategory for staff group. Fill details like name, email, phone number, type of service to be assigned etc., to create an entry.
3. Setup time constraints: The Time Off page
You can add a list of holidays (public holidays to be precise) here! Basically days when appointments cannot be made- time off the appointments!
4. Client Page: View the List of Clients and Appointment history
Navigate back to the plugin page. Go to ‘Clients’ page. Here you can add the names and details of clients who have confirmed their appointment.
5. Appointments Page
The Appointments page shows a list of all the appointments which have been booked by people(clients).
6. You can Add a Payment option while booking Appointment
Since people will book appointments online, a payment gateway should be necessarily integrated. You can integrate PayPal or any such payment gateway (using a plugin) in your site. So whenever the users book appointments online, they will be redirected to the payment gateway from where they’ll pay and the appointment is booked.
7. Export Appointment Information
Heard of CSV files? No issues..we’ll explain. Basically CSV file is a simple human readable text file, which allows you to view data within your browser itself! The Appointzilla plugin allows you to view details of all the clients who have booked for an appointment with just on one click. The details that are displayed are in a simple readable format, a CSV file.
The best part about exporting these details from your WordPress site’s database into a plain text file is that you can save it and convert it to a PDF, excel sheet, Word sheet etc.
8. You can Offer Coupons
Giving some discount never really hurts! Additionally it is an effective marketing tool for small businesses like Online Appointment booking. This feature is achieved by the Appointzilla plugin. It allows you to add discount packages under the ‘Coupons Code’ heading.
Add a coupon code according to your requirements and click on ‘Add Coupon’. The coupons code list will show the entry that you just made.
9. The Settings Panel
Several settings options are provided:
The Business Hours menu allows you to specify your business hours and which days you take off. You can also assign working hours to specific members of your staff. This is a very clever feature of the plugin.
Then you have the calendar settings, like choosing a day to be the first day of the week, Service settings, time slots etc.
The Admin Settings menu shows the admin’s settings.
The Notification Settings and Message menu is used to notify the Client, Admin and Staff on a new appointment.
Google Calendar integration: This is one of the best features of this plugin, it allows you to integrate Google Calendar with your WordPress site.
Payment settings will display the payment gateway that has been integrated along with the email id to which the payment goes to.
The Reminder Settings page of the plugin is used to send a reminder to all the clients a day prior to their day on which their appointment is scheduled.
In my verdict, the front end view of the appointzilla plugin is pretty much like the standard calendar, with options to view day, week or month. Secondly, booking an appointment online is so much easier- you click on the day you want, and fill in a form with your details, preferred member of staff, and desired time.
One of the best features of this plugin is the ability to accept payments via a payment gateway(eg- PayPal) when a user books his appointment, and Google Calendar integration.
Overall the plugin has many good features that will cater for most people’s needs of setting up an online Appointments portal for WordPress.