WooCommerce Bookings vs Bookly 2020

Authored By: James LePage
Published On: July 16, 2020

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This post is going to take an in depth look at both WooCommerce Bookings and Bookly, two of the leading WordPress appointment booking management plugins.

Whether you run a physical service business like a nail salon, do digital consulting, or offer trades like plumbing, you may be looking at appointment booking plugins for WordPress. Some of the more popular plugins in this arena are WooCommerce Bookings and Bookly.

We've recently used both of these plugins in client projects, and wanted to write about our thoughts on both of them. From this article, you should get a good comparison between WooCommerce Bookings and Buckley, as well as an in depth value analysis and screenshots of both of the plugins.

First, going to take a look at each plug-in individually, the features it has to offer, the pricing, and the expandability of the platform. Then, we're going to discuss our personal experiences with both of the plugins. Finally, we’ll compare WooCommerce Bookings vs Bookly to see which offering surface is as the best option for you.

WooCommerce Bookings

WooCommerce Bookings is the industry standard when it comes to WordPress, WooCommerce, and appointment bookings. This is the official plugin that adds this capability to the popular ecommerce platform known as WooCommerce.

The core functionality of this plugin is allowing your customers to easily book an appointment online. It synchronizes directly with a Google calendar, and ensures that there will be no double bookings or scheduling mishaps. You can use it with a pre existing WooCommerce setup, or opt to create a whole new installation.

It comes jam packed with tons of features. Think of all of the settings that you get with the general digital product type on WooCommerce. The WooCommerce Bookings plugin adds a whole new product type with its own collection of settings.

You could set up the duration, confirmation requirements, linked products, availability, costs, and more.

Because of that (like most official extensions), this is an expensive plugin coming in at $249 per year.

At the same time, this is a highly expandable platform. There are a collection of free extensions such as the appointment bookings extension. This extension allows you to incorporate this booking management plugin into a hotel, hospitality, or AirBnB type operation.

Keep in mind, this has compatibility with almost all of the official third party extensions for WooCommerce, as well as many from other developers like YITH. for example, you could set up deposits, payment gateways for anywhere in the world, Incorporate product vendors and make an appointment booking marketplace, and easily automate most if not all processes.

We ended up using this in a client website where WooCommerce was front and center. Because they were already using the platform for all of their sales of physical objects, when they wanted to incorporate appointment booking, this was the logical choice. We wouldn't need to add a separate card check out, reconfigure payment processing solutions, or do anything like that. If you're on WooCommerce already, the WooCommerce Bookings plugin Is very easy to integrate.

At the same time, it's quite costly, and if you can't justify the price, you've probably stumbled across Bookly. Let's take a look at that plugin in this WooCommerce Bookings vs Bookly showdown.

Before we get into it, we should note that WooCommerce Bookings was included on our recent “The Best Appointment Booking Plugins For WordPress” plugin roundup. Bookly was not.

Bookly

Bookly Is known as one of the most popular WordPress appointment booking plugins out there. The pro version has sold over 31,000 times.

For this WooCommerce Bookings vs Bookly comparison, we're going to be using the premium version of the Bookly plug in. There's a free version, but it's quite limited and doesn't stack up well against WooCommerce Bookings.

Bookly Is a standalone appointment booking and management plugin built specifically for WordPress. When installed, it transforms the CMS into a scheduling masterpiece that makes it incredibly easy to manage upcoming appointments and meetings from the backend.

The front-end integrates well with your website, allowing your customers too easily book appointments , pay for them on line, and then manage the scheduling from your website.

Like WooCommerce Bookings, Bookly also has email notification capabilities, and integrates with the Google Calendar to avoid double booking. The tool also looks good on both mobile devices and desktop computers, and the styling can be customized to match your businesses branding.

The major selling point of the Bookly are the many extensions created for it. For example, you can get a zoom integration, stripe payment integration, SMS notifications, and more.

This plugin comes in at $89.00 per year, and the add-ons cost even more.

WooCommerce Bookings vs Bookly

The pricing for WooCommerce Bookings makes it a tough sell for most people. We would only recommend this plugin if you're already using WooCommerce, and need something that integrates seamlessly with your existing E-commerce shop. If you're in that boat, the WooCommerce Bookings plugin Is really the only option that makes sense.

At the same time, if you're a small business looking to incorporate appointment booking software into your WordPress website, Bookly could be another great option. This is a highly expandable platform, but one that doesn't cost a lot. You could go with the free version, or upgrade to the pro version.

However, there's a reason that we didn't include it on our recent “The Best Appointment Booking Plugins For WordPress” plugin roundup, that we posted a couple of weeks ago. That's because there are better options out there for last period if you're interested, go check out that article. Our main booking plugin recommendation is LatePoint, with Amelia as a close runnerup.

Conclusion

Both of these plugins are well designed, and we enjoyed using them on our client web sites. If you're not using WooCommerce, WooCommerce Bookings could be a little costly for a standalone solution. The same is true for Bookly. they have tons of add-ons, but these are all paid meaning that the initial price of $89.00 is typically the bare minimum that you're going to be paying.

If you're not married to any of these, we would recommend taking a look at the appointment booking plugins mentioned in: https://isotropic.co/best-appointment-booking-plugins/

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James LePage is the founder of Isotropic Design, a digital agency that builds WordPress websites. I read, write and design constantly!

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