How to setup booking for WordPress

Setting up online booking for WordPress has never been easier with the Start Booking WordPress plugin. This article will walk you through how to setup booking for WordPress and highlight some strategies for success.

If you have made it this far then chances are you already understand the power and flexibility of WordPress and are looking to setup booking functionality so that your customers can book time straight from your WordPress site. We have talked with countless customers searching for this same functionality and luckily with the Start Booking plugin its never been easier to have a WordPress booking plugin.

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Once you have installed and activated the Start Booking WordPress plugin, click the newly added Booking tab in the left navigation and you should see a welcome screen like below.

WordPress Booking Calendar

From the welcome screen you have two options to choose from. If you don’t have an active Start Booking account then click on the blue Start Free Trial button. This will take you over to the Start Booking app where you can begin your free trial. During the on-boarding of your free trial we will magically connect your WordPress site with the Start Booking app so that when you return back to your WordPress site it will be connected and ready for customers to start booking.

If you already have a Start Booking account, then click the Connect My Account button and use your Start Booking credentials to sync your WordPress site with the Start Booking app.

WordPress Booking Calendar

Once you have gone through either of the above methods for connecting your account you will be brought to the Start Booking plugin settings screen. The Start Booking settings screens confirms that you have setup booking for WordPress successfully.

WordPress Booking Calendar Plugin

The plugin settings screen can further help you optimize and setup online booking for your exact needs. Once you have landed on this settings page everything will be connected and working correctly. You don’t have to change any of the settings on this page, but you can as you like.

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Booking Page

Start Booking Settings

The booking page setting allows you to define the default booking page for your site. When you setup the booking plugin we automatically created a Book Now page for you and placed the [startbooking] shortcode on that page. As a point of clarity, whatever page is defined in the dropdown will be used your checkout flow. The other shortcodes will use this page as their checkout flow as well.

Embed Options

Start Booking Plugin

There are two different ways that you can setup booking flows on your WordPress site.

[startbooking]

We recommend using this shortcode on a page or post where there is enough space to display the entire booking flow. In addition, this shortcode can be placed on any page you want and it will display the full booking experience. We recommend having this shortcode on the same page that you have selected as the Booking Page.

[startbooking_cta services=”..”]Button Text[/startbooking_cta]

This shortcode is best used to send a user directly into the booking flow with specific services already selected.

[blockquote]Example: Let’s say you are a salon that has a handful of services. You would have the Book Now page with the [startbooking] shortcode in the content. Next, you could create a page for each of your services that talks in more depth about the benefits and reasons someone would want to book that service. The call to action on each of those individual service pages would be the[startbooking_cta services=”..”]Button Text[/startbooking_cta] shortcode. That way, customers can read about each of the services you offer and book each of them directly from the service page.[/blockquote]

Display Options

Start Booking Plugin Settings

The display options provide you with a simple way to edit the color of the buttons that display throughout the booking experience.

Expedited Booking

Start Booking Plugin Settings

The expedited booking section provides you with some tools to customize how the booking experience works. For example, if you only have one service then you have the option to skip some of the unnecessary steps to have a quicker checkout.

Additional Options

Start Booking Plugin Settings

The two additional options are there to help the Start Booking team. The first setting if checked will add a small line of text saying “Powered by Start Booking” on the booking pages and the second option sends non-sensitive data back to the Start Booking team to have better insight into the performance and stability of the plugin. We ask you to check these so we can better serve your needs of booking with WordPress.

Connection

Start Booking Plugin Settings

The connection section provides you with the ability to disconnect your site from the Start Booking app. If you disconnect from the Start Booking app your ability to accept online booking on your WordPress site will stop working. After clicking disconnect you will be directed back to the welcome screen show at the beginning of this article.

Disable

Start Booking Plugin Settings

The disable booking setting provides you with the option to temporarily disable booking on the site without disconnecting from the Start Booking app.

If you have any trouble setting up booking for your WordPress site please contact our support team to help you get taken care of.