If you plan on creating a self-sustainable WordPress booking website, with a real hands-off booking management experience, I’ve got good news for you. WordPress has grown into a mature, enterprise-grade platform that can handle your scenario like a pro.
Then opting for the right WordPress booking plugin, i.e., suitable for your business case and budget, you are an hour or two away from setting it all on autopilot. Needless to say, you’ll never need to pay exorbitant prices to cloud booking software vendors.
Let’s not waste time and check out the plugins of our hand-picked collection.
WordPress Hotel Booking plugin by MotoPress
Best suited to: hotel reservations, holiday home rentals, B&Bs, campgrounds
This is the tool of choice for many vacation rental owners and hoteliers around the globe. The plugin can be smoothly integrated with any WordPress theme you choose – no matter whether it’s a hotel dedicated theme or just a basic brochure template.
But technically, it’s not just a WordPress booking engine you can ‘’attach’’ to your previously created listing. The plugin is the ultimate property management system itself. That is, all your rental properties with the details like description, amenities, images, booking related functionality are put in via the plugin. The main aim is to keep all your listing content, bookings, billing data, client info under one roof.
What if design trends change or you get tired of your current WordPress theme? Then you may easily switch the theme with no harm to the already established property booking system and listing content because all your content stays intact within the plugin. Magic!
So what are the main plugin features that give me the authority to call it the best of its kind? To enable the search through all added rental properties, you are free to add a search availability form (operates in real time) with numerous custom fields. I mean, apart from traditional check-in, check-out dates and a number of people, you may add a structured base of your custom fields like location, suite type or whatever applies to you. The procedure is a matter of clicks, completely oriented on non-tech people. The real-time availability calendars can also be placed along with individual properties.
In addition to the average daily rate, you are free to set up dynamic rate tiers based on the season, length of stay, number of people or room’s amenities. Online payments via PayPal, 2Checkout, Braintree, Stripe and Beanstream/Bambora are available for use by default (free of charge!). Moreover, if you also list your property on the middleman platforms like HomeAway, you can automatically sync bookings to your brand hotel website thanks to iCal support.
The best part about this plugin? You can create a free trial account to get the first-hand experience of what it’s capable of or get a pre-designed WordPress hotel theme with this premium plugin integrated for free. Overall, MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin is a well-engineered product for rental properties.
Booking Calendar by WpDevArt
Best suited to: implementing traditional availability calendars
This free plugin has proved to be one of the simplest and quality solutions for adding real-time availability calendars to any services listed on the website. If you need to implement any number of scheduling calendars with custom time formats and availability statuses for individual slots, this is the right tool.
It easily befriends with the content your already added since the calendars are generated with shortcodes. Using this plugin, you may insert calendars into any part of your website, including widgets. The calendar can show available and unavailable days, as well as demonstrate price information for each bookable slot.
You may also play with a week and date format, add check-in and check-out sorting options, customize the booking form to include custom fields like item count, extras, etc. Overall, the form can contain simple text field, textarea, checkboxes and select fields. Booking requests can be confirmed automatically. If you need to accept payments, PayPal and cash on arrival methods are available in a paid version.
You are also given control over the calendar appearance so that styling colors, fonts and sizes of the calendar will be a child’s play. The Pro version of this plugin supports hours bookings, which means it’s perfectly suitable for appointment booking.
Best suited to: appointment scheduling, staff management, service booking
Bookly is one of the most recognized solutions among multipurpose booking plugins. It’s built to address specific needs of the appointment related businesses. For example, you’ll be quick to adjust available time slot duration points, designate appointment limits, create custom categories, assign team members and even allow multiple appointments at once. On top of that, Bookly supports SMS and email notifications out of the box.
I have zero doubts that the most important things for this sort of plugin are a polished, user-centric design, flexible scheduling and payment gateways available. The Bookly plugin deserves applause in terms of the first two points and could do a little bit better job at the last one.
To illustrate it with an example – the booking form interface is absolutely amazing; it’s intuitive, modern-looking and performs just fine across mobile devices, so that your clients can book an appointment on the go. Scheduling is also easy for the admin: you may designate padding times, varying appointment duration (including minutes), holidays, custom schedules and more.
However, if you need to integrate payment methods other than just ‘’pay in cash’’, you’ll need to purchase an extra add-on/a couple ones that work in your area. Even such a commodity for many plugins as PayPal gateway is sold as a premium extension. Bookly also offers a great level of extensibility with premium add-ons for automatic invoicing, coupons, deposit payments and many more.
To sum up, the pros of this premium plugin easily outweigh the cons. Unique in style, flexible and user-centric, it’s just a perfect WordPress appointment booking plugin to automate your business processes.
Best suited to: service booking, equipment rental, venue booking, patient scheduling
Booking Calendar is, without exaggeration, the most used free WordPress booking plugin so far. It’s been around since 2009. Therefore, it’s hardly a surprise it shows half a million active installations (as of writing this)! So I suppose it underwent a lot of improvements and you can rely on its huge experience.
The plugin offers an absolutely flexible and feature-rich system to make it work the way you want. I played with the demo, and it makes a good impression regarding user experience and settings availability. It sets you up with a very handy toolkit, with quick access to each bunch of settings, so you don’t need to search for a needed button for hours.
The Booking Calendar plugin supports flexible timeslots setup, different date formats, customizable calendar legend, dynamic cost, advanced hourly booking and a whole array of other useful features. If you plan to use the plugin for a property booking or integrate it with the Google Calendar, the iCal sync feature integrated will be of good help.
You can maintain a more tailored calendar look by alerting colors, picking a suitable calendar skin, a number of months to show by default and other settings. The plugin also promises to work smoothly with the Gutenberg editor, in particular, embedding forms into pages.
If you are on a budget and looking to implement online appointment booking on your website, this tried and trusted solution is your guy.
Online payment gateways, a flexible pricing system, and more management tools are available in a Pro version. If you don’t want to guess whether it’s the right tool, register a free demo for the Premium plugin version to make up your mind faster.
Best suited to: advanced booking systems of all types
Pinpoint plugin is a real monster. To rephrase, it’s a very powerful WordPress reservation plugin, which is particularly good at creating advanced systems based on multiple custom rules and an ability to integrate third-party tools.
This reservation plugin gives you full freedom to set up a service duration (minutes, hours or days), apply special conditions to those intervals (like discounts, morning check-out, etc.), enrich your real estate presentation with easy Google Maps integration and make use of dozens of other options to address the needs of any scenario.
Oh, and the backend tools. They provide a very enjoyable user experience for admins: you may check the booking details, leave notes for other staff members (who also have admin access), check and update a booking status, designate the price and status for a certain number of days and other handy instruments.
Moreover, every availability calendar created with Pinpoint can be synchronized in near real time with Google Calendar, iCalendar or platforms that support iCal. This is great news for vacation rental owners and event managers who choose this plugin!
Thanks to smooth WooCommerce integration, you can create the availability calendars with all their specific rules and then simply attach them to the products added via WooCommerce plugin! This is doing the plugin users a great favor.
In terms of the pricing management, again, the mechanism is very holistic since it allows to include compulsory taxes and fees into the price. Your customers will be able to book multiple chosen services during one transaction. There are tons of premium add-ons you may get to add region-specific payment gateways, while PayPal (credit card) is bundled for free.
There is also a free plugin version, so make sure to check out the difference.
Best suited to: any booking system with the WooCommerce plugin integration
No surprise, this plugin is a perfect match for those who want to get the most out of the WooCommerce and the custom booking system duo. The plugin is really easy to implement and works for time and date based bookings. Hence, you can use it for a diversity of needs: appointment booking, equipment rentals, hotel reservations and more.
WooCommerce Bookings plugin allows you to create a bookable product with the needed time-limited slots, designate dynamic pricing rules, create custom buffers between bookings, enable multi-person booking and other fundamental functionality. It’s that smart it can show the service/property availability in user’s time zone!
The plugin takes it even further allowing you to offer special rates to groups of people, apply to special holidays or please loyal customers. So that all those buzz terms like early bird discounts, special discount for kids or higher prices for peak season can be easily implemented with the plugin. The back-end dashboard also looks very straightforward and flexible: sort the bookings, send reminders to clients, etc. To take your bookings to the next level in terms of marketing, there are several premium add-ons (like Follow-up) you may want to benefit from.
Since this WooCommerce Booking plugin is developed by the WooCommerce team, you may rest assured you’ll obtain a high-quality product from one of the most trustworthy companies in the industry.
Best suited to: event registration, event management, appointment scheduling
You may find a lot of event booking WordPress plugins, but this one is really neat, well-engineered and feature-rich solution for event management. On top of that, these guys seem to know everything about aesthetic design that communicates clarity, which is still a unicorn for many similar WordPress booking calendar plugins.
With this plugin, you can easily feature categorized events by date and time, let visitors sort the events by dates and keywords and, of course, book events without any hassle. In addition to pre-built catchy design skins, you may change color skins and construct attractive event lists with images, dates and extra details. Want to put the events in the spotlight in the carousel or slider format? No problem, you can easily do it.
If you organize meetups, the plugin can handle that as well – there are a great event venue and organizer system, frontend event submissions feature, support for recurring events and a simply unbelievable amount of utilities. The plugin works smoothly with the WordPress Multisite allowing you to create a network of even websites based on one WordPress installation.
Though there are some great features in the free version, the true power of this plugin comes with a paid one. For example, such must-have things as online payments for the event registration (including via WooCommerce), coupons and discounts system, auto-verification, PDF invoices, more appearance flexibility come in a Pro version.
Best suited to: appointment booking, tour booking, property booking
This is a relatively fresh WordPress booking plugin that has already gained traction. Just take a look at the huge feature list – it highlights the sort of booking system you can build (a really long list, really). This solution allows creating day and time based booking slots, a single day with custom time range slots, changeover days bookings, round-trip reservations, package booking, event booking and more. If you deal with appointments, clients can easily book one with their favorite staff member.
From the design standpoint, they provide quite polished booking forms and booking calendars, so your clients can easily make a reservation on mobile. You may check the demo to see what I mean (by the way, you can change the color scheme of the booking form using pre-built skins). Payments through Paypal, Stripe, 2Checkout and WooCommerce can be enabled on your WordPress website through this plugin.
iCal feature to sync all your calendars with each other is also bundled with the plugin (that will ensure you don’t get overbooked). Out-of-the-box Google Maps integration is fully supported. In general, I believe this plugin provides almost all on-demand tools for building a scalable and holistic WordPress booking website.
What is the best WordPress booking plugin for you? Bottom line
I’m pretty sure it’s a wise approach to start your booking website with a plugin designed to suit your particular business case. For example, there is no point in wrecking your brain around turnarounds, like trying to convert a simple availability calendar into a powerful hotel booking engine. And vice versa.
Niche-dedicated plugins always give you more options, their creators keep track of the market changes and are usually more eager to implement a lacking cog you may require. If we helped you decide on the most suitable plugin, have your say in the comments – you might be a good help for others!