The team here at Start Booking has been heads down for the last 3 months giving our WordPress booking plugin a major update that we think you are going to love! The previous version (1.x) was a good learning lesson for us. With this new release we have assembled your feedback and paired it with everything we learned, to provide you with a beautiful new WordPress booking plugin.
The largest change you will notice is the updated admin and booking flow designs. We commissioned one of our favorite designers, James McDonald (http://james.dribbble.com/) to design a world-class booking experience that can grow with us as a brand and provide each WordPress website with the ability to closely match the elements with your websites.
In addition to the updated booking design, we have a few highlights worth calling out below.
The new dashboard provides you with a quick overview of the health of your bookings and new customers.
Up to this point, if you wanted to create or edit your services you would have to do that exclusively from within the Start Booking application. With this update you can now managed your services directly from your WordPress admin.
Our new form editor is the first iteration into a more flexible booking experience. We brought the entire booking experience into the admin and created a live editing experience where you can customize the content and visual appearance.
The changes you make in the form editor will update not only in real-time on the admin but also on the front of your website.
With the release of WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg, we are excited to start supporting calendar booking for WordPress’s Gutenberg. This provides you with the ability to add your booking form into whatever page or post natively and easily.
Performance Updates and more!
Lastly, we have thoroughly audited the plugin and increased performance of the application so your customers can book appointments with you even quicker. It’s important to us that we provide not only a visually appealing experience but one that is secure and performant.
- Custom Dashboard – Compatible with version 1.x & 2
- Service Management – Compatible with version 1.x & 2
- Form Editor – Compatible with version 2
- Gutenberg – Compatible with version 2
If you are currently using the legacy shortcodes to display your booking form, they will continue to work.
What to look out for
If you are currently using the legacy shortcodes to display your booking form, they will continue to work. The settings to adjust your booking experience you had in the legacy plugin will no longer be available. So to be clear, your booking form will continue to work, you won’t be able to adjust settings for it.
The form editor in version 2.0 will not customize your legacy form.
Existing Users – Current plugin version is 1.x
If your hosting company auto-upgrades your plugins, then you will automatically get the upgrade when they perform their updates.
If you want to upgrade now, log into your WordPress website and go to your plugins tab and click on the upgrade.
After upgrading, the legacy shortcode will continue to work as mentioned above.
If you want to take advantage of all the new features, you will need swap your shortcode with the Gutenberg block.
New Users – As of 7/11/19
You can download the latest version of the plugin on WordPress.org (https://wordpress.org/plugins/calendar-booking/) or log into your WordPress site and search Start Booking under your plugins tab.