Looking for a WordPress appointment plugin so you can let your clients schedule appointments online? In this day and age, online appointment booking is vital for your business.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create an appointment booking form in WordPress using a plugin.
How to Use WPForms as a WordPress Appointment Plugin
As the world’s best form builder, WPForms comes with many features and functionalities that can help you manage and organized your business online — including the ability to create appointment booking forms. Here’s step-by-step instructions to set up your appointment booking form.
Step 1: Create an Appointment Booking Form
Next, you’ll need to create a form inside your WordPress appointment plugin. For help with this step, see our tutorial on how to create a simple contact form as an example to get started.
The simple contact form can act as a booking form template and includes with the following default form fields:
- Comment or Message
If you need more contact information or other personal information, you can add additional custom fields to your form by dragging them from the left hand panel to the right hand panel. It’s completely customizable.
Then, click on the field to make any changes. You can also click on a form field and drag it to rearrange the order on your contact form.
Thinking about starting a site or want to make it easier to edit your own? Check out our guide to picking the best website builder for small business.
Step 2: Customize Your Appointment Booking Form
For our example, we’ll create a form that lets site visitors choose a salon service and pick the day and time they want to come in.
To start, we’ll drag the Multiple Choice form field from the left hand panel to the right and click on it to make changes.
We’ll give clients 3 services to pick from when they want to book an appointment at the salon.
If you want to allow people to choose more than one option, use the Checkboxes form field instead.
Now, you’ll need to add the Date/Time form field so customers can choose which day and time they’d like to visit the salon.
Locate the Date/Time field from the left hand panel and drag it over to the right hand panel.
Next, click on the form to make edits.
Notice we made the following changes:
- Label: add a title to your form field letting customers know that they need to request a date and time to come in
- Format: choose whether to ask people for a date, a time, or both
- Description: add some helpful text below the form field so people know how their appointment booking will be confirmed
- Required: click the “Required” checkbox to make sure people can’t submit your appointment booking form without requesting a date and time
When all your form fields are customized to your liking, click Save.
Step 3: Configure Your Appointment Booking Form’s Settings
There are several settings to configure when creating a client booking form in WordPress. We’ll start with the general settings first.
To start, go to Settings » General.
Here you can configure the following settings like:
- Form Name. Rename your form if you want to
- Form Description. Give your form a description
- Submit Button Text. Customize the submit button copy
- Spam Prevention. Enable the anti-spam honeypot feature and/or add reCAPTCHA to prevent fake appointment bookings. The honeypot feature is automatically enabled on all WordPress forms
- Enable AJAX forms. Set your forms up to have no page reload to help boost your sales
- GDPR Enhancements. You can disable the storing of entry information and user details, such as IP addresses and user agents, in an effort to comply with GDPR requirements
Step 4: Configure Your Appointment Booking Form’s Notifications
Notifications are a great way to send an email whenever a client books an appointment using your WordPress form. This makes the client booking experience easier since you can reach out right away.
In fact, unless you disable this feature, whenever someone books an appointment on your site, you’ll get a notification about it through your WordPress booking plugin.
If you use smart tags, you can also send a notification to your client when they book an appointment, letting them know you received their appointment request and will be in contact shortly. This assures site visitors their forms have gone through properly.
For help with this step, check out our documentation on how to set up form notifications in WordPress.
And, if you want to send more than one email, read this article on how to create multiple form notifications in WordPress.
Lastly, if you want to keep branding across your notification emails consistent, you can check out this guide on adding a custom header to your email template.
Step 5: Configure Your Appointment Booking Form’s Confirmations
Form confirmations are messages that display to site visitors once they submit an appointment booking form on your website. They let people know that their appointment request has been received and offer you the chance to let them know the next steps and send them time slots.
WPForms has 3 confirmation types to choose from:
- Message. This is the default confirmation type in WPForms. When a site visitor books an appointment, a simple message confirmation will appear letting them know it was received. Look here for some great success messages to help boost customer happiness.
- Show Page. This confirmation type will take site visitors to a specific web page on your site thanking them for booking an appointment. For help doing this, check out our tutorial on redirecting customers to a thank you page. In addition, be sure to check out our article on creating effective Thank You pages for boosting customer loyalty.
- Go to URL (Redirect). This option is used when you want to send site visitors to a different website.
Let’s see how to set up a simple form confirmation in WPForms so you can customize the message site visitors will see when they book an appointment on your website.
To start, click on the Confirmation tab in the Form Editor under Settings.
Next, select the type of confirmation type you’d like to create. For this example, we’ll select Message.
Then, customize the confirmation message to your liking and click Save when you’re done.
For help with other confirmation types, see out documentation on setting up form confirmations.
Step 6: Add Your Appointment Booking Form to Your Website
After you’ve created your client booking form, you need to add it to your WordPress website.
WPForms allows you to add your forms to many locations on your website, including your blog posts, pages, and even sidebar widgets.
Let’s take a look at the most common post/page embed option.
To start, create a new post or page in WordPress and then click on the Add WPForms icon.
Next, select your client booking form from the dropdown in the WPForms widget.
Then, click on the blue Publish button in the top right corner to publish your post or page so your client booking form will appear on your website.
Step 7: Integrate with Google Calendar
To make managing your client appointments much easier, you may want to considering syncing your WPForms entries to Google Calendar.
That way, all booking info is automatically sent to your Google Calendar. It saves you to hassle of having to manually enter each client appointment booked through your website.
To do this, check out our tutorial on sending WPForms entries to Google Calendar.
Want to let users keep track of the appointment? Be sure to read about how to include an add to calendar option to your WordPress forms.
And there you have it! You now know how to accept appointments online and create an appointment booking form in WordPress.
Want to accept payments from your clients as well as book appointments for them? Check out our post Stripe vs Paypal to decide which of the 2 payment gateways works best for you.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started with the most powerful WordPress forms plugin today and add a booking form to your website with a WordPress appointment plugin.