This is my take on a subset of booking, appointment, PMS or reservation solutions for WordPress.
Moving down the rabbit hole again :)
Will be diving a bit deeper into some the solutions and their feature-set. Might split this up into multiple posts :) Will see, which of the developers is interested in an open review or not.
Those currently on board:
There are so many booking / appointment solutions out there, that its really hard to decide, which solution is the right one for your specific project and needs.
I will only list those that fit my own internal criteria.
Not all of them will always match, but it should be as close as possible :)
Just to be clear, this is highly opinionated, as is every other list claiming to have the best available solutions for you ;)
But this is how I would approach it together with my clients!
A Property Management System ( PMS ) or Hotel Operating System ( HOS ) is an overkill for most projects, but provides booking, reservations, appointment logic, logistics, accounting and many other features.
My main focus is not the PMS market, but its always nice to have the option to extend a setup in the future, if additional requirements come up.
This is about full WordPress solutions, but there are also solutions that integrate with WordPress, but are hosted externally.
The problem with a SaaS, is that you are limited to their feature set. If you want to integrate your own features and develop a specific extension for them, it is not always possible.
Some provide API access for extendability, but extending upon that can be pricey. And often its hard to decide, which service will really stick around and not vanish at some point.
But they are a nice quick solution, to get you started.
This is where many offers try to lure you in. They offer premium themes that look amazing with demo content, bundled with a basic addon that features common functionality for the hotel booking market.
Some are pretty basic, some of these addons go pretty far.
For a B&B or hotel owner, it is pretty difficult to decide, which is the right one to choose.
You just see pretty pictures, perfect matching text and a workflow of many things, that just seem to work.
But does it really work for your feature-set?
How good is the documentation for the booking addon?
Do they provide a community forum to help with adjustments?
If none of the above is satisfying, please RUN :)
Don’t waste your money and stay away from frustration!
Most of the booking solutions are based around WooCommerce and there are 1000s of themes that are compatible.
There is no reason to bundle theme and booking addons, unless you really have a feature-set, that perfectly matches and will not grow in the future!
Choose a theme that is well supported, uses the framework of your choice and liking OR find someone to build a unique theme for you.
A Channel Manager is a module that allows you to connect & synchronize your OTA channels (such as Booking.com, AirBnB, Expedia, Hotels.com, HomeAway, Trip Advisor, etc.).
The goal is to have no overbooking, just one calendar to manage all reservations, rates & availability.
This is a big topic and complicated in many ways. Some solutions offer some kind of 1-way or 2-way sync via iCal.
You can also use external services like Syncbnb or OTA Sync. This alone is a rabbit-hole of its own :) Not going there yet …. But it is an important question, if you plan to offer your bookings externally and do not wish to sync availability / reservations manually.
Before choosing anything you should really pinpoint your own requirements.
This is a starting list of solutions, that I handpicked following the rules I set myself. This list might grow in the future, depending on additional plugins I discover.
I have a new WPML client, that is starting fresh and already leaned on a theme based solution. He has some project requirements, that already leave him stuck in certain areas.
That is why I decided to take a deeper look at things currently available. I have touched many of these before, but taking a fresh look at them ;)
I am not comparing features, just presenting those that are good candidates to build a great booking setup.
You will need to do a feature matrix for your project and see which areas are covered by each plugin. No way around that :)
Certified booking system and PMS Plugin for Hotels, B&B, Villas and Apartments.
E4J started with Joomla CMS integrations and added WordPress in 2018.
From their website: “The project VikWP – VikWordPress.com was born in 2018, it’s a newly born project, but it has more experience than ever by background. The company E4J has been one of the leading extensions development companies for Joomla since 2009. That’s how we started to get known with our software. “
Not many websites talk about it, but it has an amazing feature-set at a pretty descent price for the Pro version.
They offer a free and pro version, with the free version already having a good set of features.
One of the biggest benefits of the Pro Version is the possible integration of the channel manager, which allows you to sync your bookings with other external services (booking.com, airbnb …)
And if PMS features are important to you, the Pro version is the right plugin for you.
The price can quickly accumulate, depending on the payment gateways needed, which is not so much different to WooCommerce ;)
You also have to calculate in the Channel Manager, if you want to sync with external service providers.
The plugins target audience is more single properties or appartment complexes.
To get you started
A Vik Theme – Plaza – LINK
Appointment Manager – LINK
Documentation – LINK
Frontend Demo – LINK
Admin Demo- LINK
FREE (Limited Payment Gateways / No Channel Manager)
PRO – 140 EUR (≈ $165) + Channel Manager: 79 EUR (≈ $93)
What is missing?
A merged use of the booking plugin, appointment plugin, item rent plugin is not possible. There is no shared shopping basket.
Pinpoint Booking System comes with a clean interface, a multipurpose functionality and an amazing range of booking features.
Suitable for businesses such as hotel accommodation, guesthouses rentals, appointments, scheduling conferences, and meetings or rental businesses to simplify the booking process for their customers.
Motopress has been a go-to for many projects in the past. When you search for booking solutions, it will always come up.
“The MotoPress WordPress Hotel Booking plugin is an all-in-one property management suite for rental property websites. List unlimited accommodations and services, accept direct online reservations, synchronize all bookings across OTAs and more (no per-booking or per-property commission). This WordPress hotel booking plugin is perfect for running any hospitality business establishment regardless of the size, function or cost: a hotel, vacation rental, apartments agency, hostel and more.” – statement from their website.
Another plugin that has been around for a long time and grown in popularity as well as features.
“JetBooking plugin is a unique addon developed by the Crocoblock team specifically for rent and booking services, such as vehicles, dresses, apartments, etc.” – Introduction
If you love the possibilities and concept of Elementor, JetBooking could be of interest for you. The extension provides a different approach with similar features or better than those above.
Check their feature comparison here.
I have not played with JETbooking yet, but have worked with almost all their other extensions so far!
Love their style and integration with Elementor.
crocoblock offers a whole suite of plugins that enhance Elementor.
Really high quality extensions, with an amazing detail to design and functionality.
To get you started
Demo – LINK
Documentation – LINK
REST API – LINK
JETengine – LINK
JETsmartfilters – LINK
Free Kava Theme – LINK
Dynamic Templates – LINK
JETThemeCore – LINK
crocoblock JETPlugins – LINK
JETbooking $19 + JETengine $26 + JETsmartfilters $24 or JET Bundle $130
What is missing?
A channel manager to sync with Airbnb / Booking.com etc, is missing. They have a video tutorial up, that showcases synchronisation to Google Calendar via Zapier / Integromat. I am sure you could also use n8n.io, which you can host yourself ;)
I totally forgot about YITH, even though they are the poster child for good WooCommerce solutions.
The plugin implements a booking/appointment system to manage booking of services, rooms, accommodation facilities and more.
It feels more expensive than those above, but it has a huge feature-set and includes bookings and appointments!
YITH shines, when it comes to their documentation.
These are just some possible solutions. Hope this gives you a little jump-start.
D’ont just use the first best thing, even if it looks impressive on first glance!
I will adjust and tweak this article, as new things come up.
TYPEMYKNIFE® - allows you to laser ingrave your knife using a unique 3D configurator. I redesigned their 3D knife configurator… Read More