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Moin! Im Juni hatte ich den Umbau von portalZINE TV angekündigt und kündige jetzt den Umzug des Podcasts – 5 auf einen Streich – an.
5 auf einen Streich findet man jetzt hier.
Durch die Themen werde ich weiterhin rotieren, aber den Fokus stärker auf Entwicklung & Design setzen.
Mal sehen, wie sich das so entwickelt :) Die erste Folge für 2021 folgt bald …
Damit ist portalZINE TV jetzt ein reines Archiv.
This is my take on a subset of booking, appointment, PMS or reservation solutions for WordPress.
Update 11.10.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.
Like Checkfront for example and their WordPress integration. You pay a monthly fee, depending on your yearly requirements.
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.
This plugin has no WooCommerce support and relies solely on their own payment integrations. They offer full PCI-DSS compliance for their payment gateways.
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.
Extensions – LINK
WooCommerce Support – LINK
Booking: FREE or PRO – $70
Do your feature matrix!
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.
Demo – LINK
Forum – LINK
Addons – LINK
Booking: PRO – $89
Do your feature matrix !
Another plugin that has been around for a long time and grown in popularity as well as features.
Demo Frontend – LINK
Demo Backend – LINK
Booking: PRO – $99
Do your feature matrix!
“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.
Demo – 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
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.
Features – LINK
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 customise your knife using a unique 3D configurator.
Their shop provides a vast amount of knives from different known knife manufactures (Burgvogel, Chambriard, Claude Dozorme, DICK, Giesser, Güde …), while also offering their own (TYPEMYKNIFE® Messermanufaktur).Founders / CompanyClaus Ermlich & Thomas Raschke GbR
StatusIt has been a pleasure to work with these guys so far and looking forward to the shop + configurator taking off. The website is currently targeting the german market first, with more countries following in the future.
LaunchThe website & shop went live on 1st of october 2021.
TYPEMYKNIFE® / Shop / About / Blog / Youtube
This is not a tutorial, but more like sharing a nice geeky road-trip ;)
I have a pretty good understanding of the Youtube Data API, as I have actively used it on portalZINE TV in the past, to upload videos and dynamically link them to my local post-types.
For one of my latest customer projects (TYPEMYKNIFE / typemyknife.com), the task was a bit more complicated and the goal was to make it as future-proof as it can be with the Google APIs :)
Prerequisites / References to get you started:
The goal for the setup was to actively synchronize WooCommerce products with linked / attached videos, with their source at Youtube.
As the website is multilingual, WPML integration is critical as well. And as Youtube allows localization of title and description, that can be added into the mix quiet easily in the future ;)
The following product attributes should be mirrored and optimised for Youtube:
The following attributes should be integrated into the description to enrich the Youtube description:
All of these attributes will be collected internally and assigned using a simple template system, which allows the customer to move parts around freely and freely layout the description for Youtube.
The following stats will be collected for review:
These are the relevant key aspects, that help to get your videos more views.
In the past access to the Youtube Data API was far easier and less limited, when it comes to offline / none expiring OAuth2 refresh tokens.
When you are building a server-side application that is only available to your customer or moderators, it makes no sense to run that app through the Google App verification. Your app will never be used in public.
The Youtube Data API and its scopes, are defined as sensitive and therefor require third-party security assessment for public access.
The scopes I am requesting are https://www.googleapis.com/auth/youtube.upload + https://www.googleapis.com/auth/youtube.
Because of that its far easier to just setup OAuth 2 in test mode and restrict access to your customer and specific additional accounts only (up to 100 test users allowed). What all these account need, is access to your own or Brand Youtube Channel.
Preparation in the Google Cloud Console:
A detailed description can be found here.
You can circumvent verification for the consent screen, by using an organisation setup at Google. Here some infos about that. With that setup offline refresh tokens should work fine.Update: Just tried that, but wont work with a branded youtube account, even though the cloud user has admin access to it. Not giving up yet, but Google / Youtube really makes it difficult to just have a simple offline solution for specific tasks ;) BTW also forced the login hint, to make sure the right account is logged in : $client->setLoginHint(‘YourWoreksapceAccount’); !
You might have heard of the “The League of Extraordinary Packages“. It is a group of developers who have banded together to build solid, well tested PHP packages using modern coding standards. They also offer an OAuth2-client + OAuth2 Google extension that can be used.
You might have heard of the “The League of Extraordinary Packages“. It is a group of developers who have banded together to build solid, well tested PHP packages using modern coding standards.
They also offer an OAuth2-client + OAuth2 Google extension that can be used.
On the server, the Google API PHP SDK can be easily integrated using Composer.
In my customer plugin I neatly separated all relevant areas in classes & traits:
You can check the expiry time of your access token by accessing: https://www.googleapis.com/oauth2/v1/tokeninfo?access_token=YOUR_TOKEN“A Google Cloud Platform project with an OAuth consent screen configured for an external user type and a publishing status of “Testing” is issued a refresh token expiring in 7 days.” – Google
You can check the expiry time of your access token by accessing: https://www.googleapis.com/oauth2/v1/tokeninfo?access_token=YOUR_TOKEN
“A Google Cloud Platform project with an OAuth consent screen configured for an external user type and a publishing status of “Testing” is issued a refresh token expiring in 7 days.” – Google
Basic Auth example from the SDK:
A simple upload example can be found here .
All operations to and from the Youtube Data API are rate limited. What is important for us, are the queries per day.
The default quota is 10.000 queries per day, sounds a lot, but is easily gone after updating 150-200 videos. You can request this limit to be raised, but again a lot of paperwork and questions that are just not needed.
The above limit just means, that you need to cache as many queries as possible, to only query live when needed ;)
Something you learn fast, when experimenting with different things! I hit that limit multiple times in the first few days, with around 500 videos in the queue.
Different operation cost you different amount of units
It also helps to use the Google Developer Playground to testdrive the Youtube Data API with your own credentials while optimising your own code. You can define your own OAuth 2.0 configuration by clicking the cog in the upper right corner.
I setup the bulk updating to allow splitting it over multiple days, if required. For this an offline refresh token is needed, as the standard token expires after 60 minutes.
My customer can also just update a single video, when changes are applied to the product or a new product has been added.
If more frequent updates are required, I will ask for a raise of the queries per day. You can circumvent the limit by using multiple Google Cloud Platform accounts with new OAuth credentials, but really an overkill right now. I have done that in the past ;)
The GUI is just based of Bootstrap, to make it simple and clean. Using my own wrapper to make it work within the WordPress admin.
For all ajax operations, I am using htmx and _hyperscript, which I will talk about in another article in the future.
Really neat and clean way to build single page interfaces.
The whole plugin runs of its own REST API endpoint. Just love using WordPress as a headless system.
I used TWIG / Timber for the templates, to separate logic and layout. Timber has been my goto solution for years now. It drives my own and many customer websites.
This has been a lot of fun, maybe a bit too much LOL
I do geek-out about many of my projects, but this experience helped me to bring my WordPress toolbox to the next level. This will help to drive other things in the future.
Working so deeply with the Youtube Data API has been fun and feels so easy now, after all remaining problems have been solved.
Would have loved this during my portalZINE TV days ;)
I you read all this, you just earned yourself a badge for completion ;)
Need something similar or something else? Just say hi and we can talk.
“WPML (WordPress Multilingual) makes it easy to build multilingual sites and run them. It’s powerful enough for corporate sites, yet simple for blogs.” – WPML
I have been running and setting up multilingual websites for more than 12 years. WordPress and related integrations have gladly come a long way to make our life’s a lot easier.
For basic content WPML is almost plug & play, but I do see more and more sites / customers struggling with more complex setups. WPML is one of the most popular multilingual plugins and is used on x00.000 of websites.
Just so you know, WPML is a commercial solution!
The amount of settings has increased a lot over the years and offers possible solutions for almost any content / plugin setup.
But for more complex setups, I would suggest to hire a professional to look over the settings or study the plugin documentation carefully.
Especially with a lot of content, it can quickly increase problems and the need to revisit specific content over and over again.
WPML lets you translate any text that comes from themes / theme frameworks (DIVI, Elemetor, Gutenberg …), plugins, menus, slugs, SEO and additionally supported integrations (Gravity Forms, ACF, WooCommerce …).
You can translate content internally for yourself, using translation management to translate with an internal team of translators or get help from external translators / translation services.
The latest version also offers AI translations, which allows you to get a decent start for most of your content.
In addition to the above, WPML String Translation allows you to translate texts that are not in posts, pages and taxonomy. This includes the site’s tagline, general texts in admin screens, widget titles and many other areas.
Well, I am a bit biased. I have not looked much at other solutions for the past 5 years, as it offers all I really need.
I have used it on projects from 2 to 15 languages and it scales nicely. At least with proper hosting attached!
Anything can be tweaked through the API, Hooks and custom integrations. I have build additional WPML tools for my customers, to streamline some of the repeating / boring tasks.
Their support is responsive and the forum already provides a huge amount of answers to most of the questions that might come up.
If you develop / maintain multiple customer websites with multilingual content, the investment is quickly amortized. I do offer WPML to my maintenance package customers, maybe something to consider ;)
Its an essential solution in my WP toolbox.
WPML 4.5 is on its way and will include a “Translate Everything” feature, among other fixes and enhancements.
Translate Everything allows you to translate all of your site’s content automatically as you create it. You can then review the translations on the front-end before publishing.
WPML / Documentation
Archaeology Travel is an online travel guide for people who enjoy exploring the world’s pasts. Inspiration for where to go and what to see. Information and tips on how to get there and what tickets to buy. Making it possible for everyone to find or create their adventures in archaeology and history, from humanity’s earliest times to our more recent contemporary pasts.
StatusIt has been a pleasure to work with founder Thomas Dowson so far. There is still some work ahead for both of us and looking forward to streamline the current and make room for new content.
Archaeology Travel / About / Thomas Dowson
The first contact is always critical in order to define a possible project or future collaboration. I always have some time during the week to talk to potential customers about possible solutions.
In a casual first conversation, you can clarify what both sides need.Either the chemistry is right or not :)
It doesn’t have to be at all!
There are approaches and solutions for every project size. Most projects can be split into phases to keep everything manageable and affordable.
My projects are always tailored personally and predefined as precisely as possible.If you don’t ask, you end up paying more everywhere!
I have been looking after private individuals, startups, medium-sized companies and larger companies for years.
As a full stack developer, I can provide my customers with a complete project overview and help classify the effort. I also have design and advertising experience, as well as an above-average basic commercial and legal knowledge.
My customers know that I have no problem sharing my knowledge and can provide assistance in all areas.
Again, just talk to me and lets find a common ground :)
Until about 5 years ago, my main focus was on international projects. But in the last few years I have also built a solid foothold in the German-speaking arena.
I have implemented projects with up to 15 languages. For me, English sometimes runs better than German, which is also reflected in my portfolio and my BIO . I can write, read and speak French well (even if it’s a bit rusty!).
If you want to set up a multilingual site or translate parts of it, you’ve come to the right place. Of course also for WordPress via WPML .
Again, just say hello or Moin!
For me everything is actionable and can be worked out together depending on the project. Nobody needs to pay more than is really absolutely necessary. Sustainability is also a big topic and flows into all my projects.
Over the years I have also developed many of my own internal solutions, in order to be able to implement special solutions quickly.
Every project puzzle can be solved!
It does not work without those and cannot be disregarded in any development phase of a project. I have a lot of experience in that area and can also contribute ideas and solutions where needed.
There are certainly still a few things that could be listed here, but I would rather clarify this in a personal conversation.Gladly by phone or live via Skype!
Just ask for an appointment!
Contact / About me
I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for your interest!
Somehow the Grids Layout Builder for Gutenberg ist not pushing styles to the footer within a Timber theme. At least not for me.
Somehow the wp_footer action within the Grids plugin is not being executed and no grid styles are added to the footer. I am not getting any errors, but will have to investigate some more in the near future ;)
Update: It is related to the get_footer action within Grids. get_footer is used to load the appropriate footer template file, which I am not using in my Timber theme ;) So the workaround below is perfect.
Here a quick workaround for the theme functions.php, that does the trick for now.
“A layout builder is a tool that helps you creating visual structures in your page, from a simple layout made by adjacent columns, to more complex compositions.
Grids is entirely based on the WordPress block editor, which means that you’ll be able to use it together with the myriad of content blocks that developers and designers from all around the World are creating.
With Grids, we’re bringing a visual structure to the content written with the WordPress Block Editor.” Grids: Layout builder for WordPress / Documentation / CSS-Tricks Article / A Complete Guide to Grid
This is using the Grids Plugin and only took a couple of minutes! I am so glad IE 11 is soon completely unsupported ;) and we can start using CSS Grid freely. Well we can, as nobody should be using IE 11 anymore!!!
On mobile its just stacked rows :)
COLUMN 1I love to solve puzzles and find epic solutions :)CSS Grid Layout excels at dividing a page into major regions or defining the relationship in terms of size, position, and layer, between parts of a control built from HTML primitives.
Like tables, grid layout enables an author to align elements into columns and rows. However, many more layouts are either possible or easier with CSS grid than they were with tables.
COLUMN 2We all love magazine-style layouts and we are getting closer to getting that :) The magic is in the detail.
For example, a grid container’s child elements could position themselves so they actually overlap another layer, similar to CSS positioned elements.FLEX OR GRIDThe basic difference between CSS Grid Layout and CSS Flexbox Layout is that flexbox was designed for layout in one dimension – either a row or a column.
Grid was designed for two-dimensional layout – rows, and columns at the same time.
COLUMN 3I only styled the Desktop size, as a little preview. Added Custom CSS to switch areas for tablet sizes.
Unidentified vessel travelling at sub warp speed, bearing 235.7. Fluctuations in energy readings from it, Captain. All transporters off. A strange set-up, but I’d say the graviton generator is depolarized.
The dark colourings of the scrapes are the leavings of natural rubber, a type of non-conductive sole used by researchers experimenting with electricity. The molecules must have been partly de-phased by the anyon beam.
Lucas ipsum dolor sit amet c-3po solo bothan qui-gon darth solo darth dantooine dagobah mustafar. Fett solo yoda r2-d2 kit obi-wan hutt amidala kenobi. Jade leia gonk lobot ahsoka darth jade skywalker organa. Utapau mara owen darth darth yavin.
Lando baba wedge darth solo skywalker ben fett. Fisto wookiee bothan antilles antilles luke kenobi. Yavin naboo kenobi jinn calamari antilles. Organa jabba skywalker gamorrean ackbar. Windu skywalker kit skywalker. Dantooine dantooine moff leia dantooine wicket amidala.
This is almost a perfect Gutenberg plugin and a reduced / simplified integration of CSS grid. I really think that this plugin makes Gutenberg 1000times better.
There is so much repetition of Gutenberg blocks out there, while this really addresses something new and nails it :)
There are still things missing, that are critical and would make this even more useful for certain websites:
portalZINE TV was my / our youtube review channel till 2014 ( purely in German). We also shared our magazine via a live satellite broadcast every month. I continued doing a short podcast series (5 auf einen Streich) until 2019 and it has been waiting for something new since then.
I kept it in a waiting position, not really knowing what to do next. A complete revival is out of the question and not really enough fun to make it happen.
What I need is a fresh start with a mix of editorials, reviews, audio (possible restart of the podcast ) and maybe some video down the road.
While doing a complete cleanup of my attic, I really reignited some retro passion.
My old 5.1 hifi setup is back up, with a record and cassette player attached. Also dug up an old Sony Walkman, which I fixed and will be doing some more work on.
So the new setup of topics, will be centering around those things and things I have talked about on portalZINE TV in the past. I have no clear roadmap ahead, I just know that I am not ready yet to let portalZINE TV die ;)
The first step will be a complete cleanup and fresh design concept. After that, I will deal with my first editorial and see what else I need.
Time to roll up those sleeves and make some magic happen ;) But no pressure, this is a pure passion project. Free time is a rare commodity these days, so this needs to be fun all the way :)
Oh and the new setup will most likely be purely English, at least for the written content!
Elekro Scherer – offers electric services & installations of all kinds
Update 04/2021Micro-Shop to help during the corona lockdown. Listing of products available for sale in the electronic shop.Product detail page, with the ability to contact for purchase (invoice based) and request direct delivery.