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Bookings, Appointments, Reservations and Rentals

  1. For the past few years, I've been keeping an eye on the booking options within the WordPress universe and, frankly, I am astonished that still, in 2011, there aren't any realistic products.

    The few that do exist have no thought or style behind them, are poorly supported, ridiculously inflexible, rarely updated, insanely priced and foist horrible design and formatting decisions upon you.

    The net effect it that there are no real booking options on WordPress and the received wisdom is that, if you want that sort of functionality, you've got to go and get your hands dirty with Joomla or Drupal.

    I don't see any technical reason why booking functionality should not be just as possible on WordPress, I suspect the problem is that WordPress developers have traditionally had blind-spot for this huge market, they simply don't yet get how massive the demand is, despite the never-ending stream of people searching and asking about it on forums.

    What we are talking about is the ability for the user to:

    1. View a calendar showing what dates are currently available.

    2. Choose a date or range of dates.

    3. Pay for that slot.

    4. Have those dates immediately become unavailable to others.

    5. Receive an email notification.

    ... no other bells, whistles or fancy formatting required, leave it entirely up to the post to describe and depict what that bookable item is, just give us that bookability.

    It doesn't matter if we are talking about babysitters, photographers, language lessons via Skype, vacation apartments, hookers or xbox rentals; it doesn't matter if you want the user to pay a 10% deposit or the full amount; it doesn't matter if you have one bookable item or thousands ... a plugin that can handle those five basic steps will be universally useful.

    It is as if we are in the stone age of the Internet - how many millions of man hours are wasted every year as customers submit enquiry forms and wait for businesses to check their schedules and reply by hand? How many transactions end up not happening simply because we've got humans doing what it would be trivial for computers to do? It's crazy!

    If you think about it, this would be the perfect extension for what Gravity Forms already does and I know that RockGenius would implement it well and, unlike existing "solutions", would keep it simple, allowing WordPress to handle the content side of the equation, allowing us to decide what damn photo-slider we want to use.

    I truly believe that no other Gravity Forms feature could have as much impact. At a stroke, it would pull the (extremely lucrative) market for bookings, appointments, reservations and rentals right out from under the existing systems that people are forced to use and bring that entire sector over to Gravity Forms and WordPress.

    And how many new forms of commerce and interaction will spring up if you put the power of running a simple booking system into the hands of regular WordPress users, easier and cheaper than it has ever been before?

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday April 22, 2011 | Permalink
  2. +1 :)

    Posted 12 years ago on Sunday April 24, 2011 | Permalink
  3. jeanjacques

    +1 this is definitely a product that i'd bought straight away!

    Posted 12 years ago on Monday April 25, 2011 | Permalink
  4. Good ideas, enhancing the calendar capabilities is definitely something we would like to do. I've noted these suggestions, i'd love to create an Add-On to handle more advanced functionality like this dealing with appointments/reservations.

    Posted 12 years ago on Monday April 25, 2011 | Permalink
  5. Thanks for taking note of my suggestions Carl, such an Add-On would certainly catapult Gravity Forms into a lot of interesting new markets.

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday April 29, 2011 | Permalink
  6. +1 for me too - I think this would really be an amazing feature. Been struggling to find a decent plugin that does this (without paying some exorbitant monthly fee, at least!)

    Carl, any thoughts when this type of appointment scheduling functionality might be addressed by GF?

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday April 29, 2011 | Permalink
  7. I do know of a plugin that does this, and at a price that does not make you spit coffee over the screen when you see it ($15), but I don't know if it is post the link on here. If it is, then let me know, and I'll do it.

    Having said that, I'm sure that if this became an add-on, it would far surpass anything else out there.

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday April 29, 2011 | Permalink
  8. I would absolutely jump on a product like that too! I've searched for something like this and was also amazed at how few solutions there is and how poorly done they are. RocketGenius is one of the best plugin developers out there and they would get something like this right for sure!

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday April 29, 2011 | Permalink
  9. Btw, as an aside, I would add that, good solutions in that field are not rare only in the WordPress universe. I did the site for a cats and dogs grooming salon a couple years ago (before I started using WP) and I had to program this functionality from scratch myself (I used ColdFusion at the time). The only 2 things my system has over what donnacha describes is that, each time slot can have a variable numbers of bookings (settable in the backend) and only when that number is reached does the slot become unavailable. The other thing is that the length of the time slots is also settable (in 30 mins increments I think). The rest is very basic but works great for the client. Much better than any pre-made solutions I'd looked at at the time.

    So there is definitely a huge opportunity here for Gravity Forms!

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday April 29, 2011 | Permalink
  10. I am also looking for this type of functionality. Just like a travel agency, signing up people for trips. I would be willing to participate in the payment of the development of it.

    EventEspresso attempts to do this and is pretty good but their interface has much to be desired. Their ecommerce integration also wasn't great. I had some other issues too.

    It would be great to have integrated wiht Gravity forms!!!

    Posted 12 years ago on Monday May 9, 2011 | Permalink
  11. Don't forget to add more payment gateways.. such as google checkout. This will expand an even wider variety of buyers. Not many people user paypal in some countries.

    Posted 12 years ago on Tuesday May 10, 2011 | Permalink
  12. great idea +1
    I have been working on a plugin that is similar but different. It is an events management and booking plugin. The site admin sets up a list of programs and events (with fixed times) and a catalog of these events is shown on the front page (as a custom post type). It's not exactly the same as what you're proposing here, but related. hopefully it will be released soon.

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday May 20, 2011 | Permalink
  13. There have been a few requests over the past month or so for integration with Event Espresso, Events Calendar Pro and other event management plugins.

    I wish that I had added the word "Events" to the title of this thread because, I now realize, event management is yet another vibrant niche that would be served up by the flexible booking functionality I propose.

    Again, no-one can predict how many different and fascinating uses might explode into existence if simple booking functionality is added to the insane flexibility of Gravity Forms, it is a revolution waiting to happen.

    What would you build?

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday May 25, 2011 | Permalink
  14. Have you seen this plugin? These guys are nice to talk with as well.

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday May 25, 2011 | Permalink
  15. I Seem To Be A Verb

    +1 +1 +1 +1 +1

    Oh man, I would KILL for this plug-in!!

    I've been rummaging around for weeks searching for a suitable booking/reservation plug-in for Wordpress and the competition is pitiful.

    I came across Staypress which fits the bill, but it is in a questionable state of development (appears to have been abandoned at one point and recently resurrected by a single developer), not to mention there is currently no support for payment processing.

    Online Booking Calendar was another option I found, but the number of license possibilities and pricing is aggravating (there are currently SIX license structures to wrap your head around).

    As far as I can tell, these are the only fully-integrated options. Every other option I've come across requires using a third-party system, which is flat out something I'm not willing to consider.

    I would gladly shell out money to expedite the development of this, if only so I can stop banging my head against a wall wondering why such a lucrative market is so underserved by the WP community.

    - Mike

    Posted 12 years ago on Thursday May 26, 2011 | Permalink
  16. @cherieyoung

    I'm sure they the WebReserv guys are, indeed, lovely to talk to but, sadly, their plugin is just a wrapper that hooks into an entirely Web-based system which, if you want it to do anything useful (such as display availability) will require an expensive subscription.

    More important than the cost (and, believe me, I would pay crazy amounts for a real solution) is the little issue of control - the advantage of a true WordPress plugin is that it would be fully editable and would save each booking on your own server.

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday May 27, 2011 | Permalink
  17. @I Seem To Be A Verb

    StayPress is the Duke Nukem Forever of WordPress plugins - the most notable example of vaporware that, despite the developer's continual insistence that a working version is just around the corner, never actually happens. It was first "introduced" in a blog post more than 3 years ago, generating much excitement and even a generous publicity boost from Matt Mullenweg.

    So, we all waited eagerly, avidly reading each new blog post assuring us that the release was just around the corner but all we got was a repeating pattern of increasingly unlikely excuses culminating in complete disappearance. Up and down, up and down, the story would keep changing, interspersed by vast stretches of silence, but one thing remained constant: no actual code appeared.

    Then, late last year, there were renewed promises of action - it was hinted that a beta existed but, strangely, no-one actually got to see it. Then, into this year, there was talk of opening bank accounts, final preparations, imminent launch.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I appreciate that development is tough and estimating how long things will take is even tougher but I think it is fair to say that any claims by the developer of StayPress should be taken with a grain of salt. Over the years, a lot of us have continued to follow the project because, really, it would be great to see anything, anything at all after all this time but a valuable lesson I have learned is that you should never, ever build plans around what someone else SAYS they are going to do.

    It isn't that people mean to lie or mislead but, sometimes, certain types of people - possibly otherwise very nice people - can suffer from delusions about their ability to ever finish a project, and they genuinely don't understand how ridiculous it appears to everyone else.

    Perhaps the most telling insight into StayPress is the developer's Twitter feed, in which one day he will categorically promise to do something, apparently forget about it for several weeks, watch an unbelievable amount of television, vent spleen at various targets for apparently acting in an illogical manner, then once again promise to definitely do the thing, then blithely once again fail to deliver.

    Today, I watched the StayPress developer pour a load of time and energy into a Twitter battle with Yoast (one of the other type of WordPress developer, the ones who somehow manage to actually release plugins) over stolen code - his company have apparently done a cover version / "tribute" plugin of Yoast's excellent SEO plugin without bothering to mention where they found their "inspiration". As he fluffed his feathers and grand-standed on Twitter, I just thought, man, each day you waste on bullshit is a day you could be raking in serious money AND making a meaningful impact on the world, selling a plugin that hundreds of people have spent 3 years desperately begging you to finish.

    But .... I will continue to be supportive of StayPress and, indeed, I did buy a developers license this month, as soon as they were available, hoping that the influx of purchases would encourage him to finally finish the job. Predictably enough, two weeks later, all I've got to show for my purchase are some plugins that no-one knows how to get working because the "coming soon", "working on it right now", "wow, I'm working so hard!" documentation never materialized - the StayPress website hasn't even been touched in days.

    Being a paying customer didn't even warrant me a response from the developer when I've tweeted him a simple question, so, really, no, I don't hold out much hope for StayPress .... although I would love to be proved wrong - to prove me and all his detractors (all the people who have been laughing for 3 years) wrong AND make a ton of money, all this guy has to do is finish the job, walk that final mile. But, no, I would not be at all surprised if, instead, he spends the next 3 years tweeting about it and complaining about other people.

    You know, I sometimes wonder if the Rocket Genius guys get sick of the impatience and never-ending "is it ready yet?" questions on this forum about this feature or that but, having seen how some other developers work, it renews my faith to see how they, as true professionals, work. Gravity Forms may not yet have all the features I'd like and I may sometimes be frustrated to hear them say that such-and-such feature definitely won't be considered until later in the year, or next year, or whenever ... but at least I know that they are focused, that, like the Cylons, they have a plan, and that they will slowly but surely keep chipping away, in their interest and ours, to make Gravity Forms as good and as useful as it can possibly be. That is why I hold out a lot more hope that they will be the ones to make WordPress bookings the massive success that I absolutely know it can be.

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday May 27, 2011 | Permalink
  18. +1 for me too. Really usefull for making wordpress suitable for restaurants. Think about reserving a table.

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday May 27, 2011 | Permalink
  19. I Seem To Be A Verb

    @ Donnacha - Thanks for the rundown on Staypress, I had no idea it had been sitting around THAT long. To be honest, even if the developer does manage to release something in the near future, there's no way I'm going to put that plug-in on my site without knowing there is a commitment behind it. In many ways, he's already lost the battle because he's lost the trust of his initial supporters.

    Anyhow, I hope this thread gets more interest. I really feel like this is the ONE instance where I haven't found a suitable solution to a Wordpress problem.

    - Mike

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday May 27, 2011 | Permalink
  20. @ aski - Restaurants, absolutely - how crazy is it that understaffed, busy restaurants need to have one member of staff breaking away to waste time on the phone, penciling in details that the customer would probably be way happier entering, at their leisure, into their computer or phone?

    That's the point - almost everything we humans do involves arranging slots of time and limited resources. Hell, half the start-ups on Hacker News are hoping to score millions of dollars of angel investment by providing various twists on what boils down to the same damn thing: bookings.

    Posted 12 years ago on Saturday May 28, 2011 | Permalink
  21. @ Mike - yeah, it constantly amazes me that, with so many WordPress developers hustling and searching for ways to earn money, they all seem blind to probably the biggest and most obvious opportunity. For years, whenever these threads have cropped up, customers have lined up and pleaded for a booking product but there seems to a genuine gap between how developers perceive the world and how people running real-world businesses experience it. This ONE instance is, absolutely, the biggest blind-spot in WordPress.

    I haven't written off StayPress, not quite yet. You are astute to pinpoint the biggest worry - that, even if he does eventually release something that works, his terrible track record suggests that he won't have the focus to maintain it - but his direction in recent months suggests that this might not be as much of a problem: instead of continuing to try and fail to create a fully-fledged plugin, he is now, instead, building on top of Gravity Forms, essentially off-loading all the difficult stuff to Rocket Genius but filling in that vital final connecting layer of functionality that all the users in this thread are requesting (although, sadly, it will be artificially and needlessly limited to property bookings, throwing away 90% of the real potential). The best thing is that, even if the StayPress guy disappears for months at a time in the future, important unexpected stuff such as emergency security updates will be handled by the Gravity Forms infrastructure that he has built upon.

    Now, obviously, it would be a lot better if booking functionality was a standard, supported part of Gravity Forms and I suspect that will eventually happen but, in the meantime, if a third party, no matter how flakey, can provide the functionality we desperately need ... wonderful! Believe me, the demand has been building up and backing up for a long time, practically any half-decent solution is going to spark a revolution.

    The best way to attract support is to have done exactly what you did - you posted, you contributed to the discussion, you let the Gravity Forms team know how important this functionality is, hopefully more people will continue add their voices to this request.

    Posted 12 years ago on Saturday May 28, 2011 | Permalink
  22. Good points on the restaurant reservation. It is also good to have a online contact form because especially the populair restaurants are hard to get on the phone.

    On the restaurant functionally, it shouldn't be made into a to complex solution like checking the total capcity or so like in hotel booking solutions.

    Table booking is something different. In restaurants you also have to consider special wishes ('I want to side by the window'), bigger partys, not enough waiting staff ('don't book all the tables). So it nearly allways needs a human to check it a booking is possible. Also you don't want to have to much noshows. So some restaurant keepers call to confirm the reservation.

    So in my view the addition of a field where the date and time can be selected would be good enough (with a field of the number of guests). You can forward the email's to sms too so all the guests can allways reach the restaurant to make a reservation.

    Posted 12 years ago on Saturday May 28, 2011 | Permalink
  23. I would marry you if I could get this. I have checked out 20 different options. All BAD.

    I just want:
    Click Date
    Click Appointment Type (lengths)
    Show Availability
    Click Time

    Really the only part of that which I cannot currently do with Gravity is show availability. I'll BUY that plugin in one minute.

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday June 29, 2011 | Permalink
  24. Subscribed :)

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday June 29, 2011 | Permalink
  25. Definitely interested too! +1!

    Posted 12 years ago on Monday July 4, 2011 | Permalink
  26. Still nothing out there guys!? seems to be the best available but gets way to expensive for even basic functionality like payments.

    Posted 12 years ago on Tuesday July 12, 2011 | Permalink
  27. @reverbstudios

    Sadly, the Online Booking Calendar is THE classic example of insane pricing: if you look carefully, you will see that essential features, such as letting individual rental owners login and update availability, are only available in the $1785 PER SITE (or $999 per site at full discount) version. Bulk pricing is $3570 per 5 sites (or $2499 per 5 sites at full discount).

    With 50 million WordPress sites out there, half of them self-hosted, imagine how much money this Ukrainian plugin author could make with sane pricing - as far as I can tell from searching, and based on various forum discussions, very few business are using it, so, even at those sky-high prices, I don't think the author is making much, I suspect he genuinely doesn't understand the concept of using lower prices to stimulate sales and make more money overall.

    Then again, you have to respect the fact that he has actually had a real, working product out there, for sale, for over a year. By contrast, in the more than six weeks since I described, above, why I had doubts about the promised imminent launch of a working, properly-documented StayPress, absolutely nothing has happened, the author is now openly ignoring requests for help from his paying customers and, yet, still accepting new sales. It is shameful.

    REMEMBER, all we are looking for is booking functionality provided in a simple enough manner to be flexible, to allow us to combine it with Gravity Forms' existing calendars, to collect whatever additional info we need, and to integrate the resulting form into any WordPress page or post, and control access for different people using Justin Tadlock's excellent Members plugin.

    Seriously, that simple functionality will be invaluable in such a staggering variety of use cases, the first coder to realize that, execute effectively and price sanely will have stumbled upon a career-making, life-changing product.

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday July 13, 2011 | Permalink
  28. @Donnacha "Gravity Forms' existing calendars", not sure what you mean by this?

    If there was some way of merging say the free version of Online Booking Calendar with it's availability setup with Gravity Forms for the booking/payment end..we might have something?

    So what's the best one out there after Online Booking Calendar or is there just nothing???

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday July 13, 2011 | Permalink
  29. @reverbstudios

    Gravity Forms can already display a calendar and allow the user to select a date or date range. What we need is for that same calendar to check a database and use color to indicate which days are already unavailable and not allow those days to be selected (all of which functionality already exists in the JQuery calendar that Gravity Forms is using).

    Then, for each such form submitted, we need the selected dates to be marked, in the db, as unavailable when a certain action occurs - either a payment is completed or the owner manually accepts the booking.

    That's it, that's the whole thing, that simple functionality opens up a world of possibilities.

    The free version of Online Booking Calendar is a pretend product, designed merely to get the WordPress plugin repository listing as a form of free advertising but heavily crippled to force users to immediately upgrade to a paid version. The paid versions are overcomplicated by their attempt to ape traditional hotel booking systems circa 2002. We need something far simpler that can be easily extended to cover a multitude of booking and reservation scenarios, not just hotels.

    I am pretty sure that it would be much easier to write something from scratch, building upon what Gravity Forms + Members + WordPress can already do.

    There might be some new booking plugin I've missed but that is pretty unlikely - I've been monitoring this for years and check out any possibility I become aware of. There has actually been one new possibility since we discussed this in May but, sadly, it turned out to be completely useless, another scam that will sell tens of thousands of copies to desperate Web designers but which will never produce a single functioning site.

    Believe me, I understand exactly how much you want there to be something, anything you can buy to solve this problem but good WordPress plugin developers simply haven't caught up with this yet. As frustrating as it is, my advice would be to ignore chasing expensive mirages that you know, in your heart, will never do what you need them to do. Sit tight and wait for a good developer to identify how big the potential market is and design something wonderfully simple.

    Earlier in this thread, Carl of Rocket Genius expressed real interest and, obviously, bookings would be a mind-blowing official add-on to Gravity Forms, but good work takes time and you can imagine how many other "must-have" features they are busy working on. All the same, I am absolutely sure that, at some point, some developer is going to see the potential and grab the opportunity - there are already a few third-party GF add-ons out there, hopefully that trend will catch on.

    By the way, if you ever come across any WordPress plugin developers complaining that they can't find a niche to make money in, seriously, point them to this thread because it is INSANE that, after all these years, no-one is picking up on such a broad market, with customers literally begging to spend money - there isn't a single Web designer in the world who wouldn't love to be able to add Bookings, Appointments, Reservations, Rentals and Event functionality to their arsenal and all it takes is that tiny link between calendar and database, Gravity Forms + Members + WordPress can handle all the rest.

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday July 13, 2011 | Permalink
  30. +1

    Posted 12 years ago on Thursday July 14, 2011 | Permalink
  31. A reservation system is something we've discussed creating as a standalone product. We already own domain names associated with product names we had already come up with specifically for this purpose.

    I'm very interested in this market, particular as it related to things like vacation rentals, small hotel/hostel/bed and breakfast reservations, tour reservations, etc. as I have a lot of interest in the travel industry. It could obviously be built in such a way that it could be used for general appointments/etc. It's not something we have started development on, it's just an idea right now.

    We are currently working on our next product, which is unrelated, but it is a WordPress plugin.

    Posted 12 years ago on Thursday July 14, 2011 | Permalink
  32. I am trying to integrate gravity form (using headway as a theme) with Events calendar Pro, as outlined by has anyone ever tried this? I am not sure if this will ruin my site as I am not a developer...

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday July 15, 2011 | Permalink
  33. @Carl

    That's wonderful news - I would be delighted to see reservation functionality emerge from the Rocket Genius stable, whether as a standalone product or a paid add-on for Gravity Forms. I think the latter might be a better idea, and I outline my reasons below, but, either way, I will be your first customer.

    My concern is that a standalone product might tempt you to justify it's existence by subconsciously loading up on unnecessary features. I cannot stress enough how important it is to remember that the bare booking functionality is all that matters, almost anything else you layer on top of that is likely to reduce, not increase, the number of currently unanticipated uses that will emerge for it over the coming years.

    Accommodation and travel dominate everyone's thinking when they discuss reservations software because that is the most obvious and a clearly very profitable sector but bear in mind that making time-based reservations easy and cheap to implement will allow it to spread a lot further, into the nooks and crannies of smaller businesses and even into people's personal lives - as I said in this thread's original post:

    It doesn't matter if we are talking about babysitters, photographers, language lessons via Skype, vacation apartments, hookers or xbox rentals; it doesn't matter if you want the user to pay a 10% deposit or the full amount; it doesn't matter if you have one bookable item or thousands ... a plugin that can handle those five basic steps will be universally useful.

    ... and, remember, at that stage in the thread, we hadn't even considered the huge area of events or @Aski's points about restaurant reservations.

    The most impactful thing you could do would be to keep it as stripped down as possible and let other plugins, including Gravity Forms, carry the burden of dealing with address information, formatting, payment processing ... anything that is not strictly part of reserving a given unit for a given slice of time.

    Please don't fall down the rabbit-hole of trying to create a full-blown accommodation listing product; it might sound straightforward enough to create but it is a complete distraction and unnecessary, illusory extension of the clear, simple, actual thing that WordPress is lacking. Don't be embarrassed to release a tiny plugin, don't be afraid to charge a substantial price just because it took a relatively short time to produce, have faith that the need and the demand is there for a simple solution.

    Most importantly, don't feel you need to become an expert on the travel industry and then build a product heavily studded with features designed to lure them towards your product - if you release booking functionality that actually works, there are plenty of people who have been waiting for years and who will immediately start mixing it together with the best gallery plugin, the best Google Maps plugin, the best forms plugin, the best SEO plugin, the best image rotator etc., and the rest of their markets will rush to copy them. Produce something simple enough and abstracted enough that a huge range of people, with wildly differing needs, will rush to adopt it as a building block in their ongoing re-invention of what websites are for.

    Time is also a factor - as it stands, a solid plugin would have the whole massive pie more or less to itself but, at some point, the void will become obvious enough that other competent developers will start sniffing around at it. There is even a slight danger that the long-running saga of StayPress will finally result in a working release, possibly backed by the heft and hoopla of WPMU, but if loads of people buy and it is poorly coded or poorly supported (frankly, very likely) it will sour the market and create the myth that WordPress is somehow incapable of handling functionality as advanced as reservations, reducing the potential sales of what you eventually release.

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday July 15, 2011 | Permalink
  34. +1. Agree. I would pay for a stand alone plugin that performs the functionality requested throughout this thread or would pay for an add-on to GF. I don't care. Agree with all on here that the products out there are not adequate. I've paid for some of the WP plug in solutions and they are - eh - *not elegant* to be polite.

    I would love to see rocketgenius tackle this, but Carl's comment that they haven't even broken ground yet makes me think there isn't a solution coming anytime soon (from them). That is unfortunate. But, I've subscribed. I'd even pay for the plug-in to beta it when the time comes...

    Posted 12 years ago on Thursday July 21, 2011 | Permalink
  35. @daviddesrocher

    Don't despair over the fact that rocketgenius haven't yet started - if they decide to do it (and comments, like yours, underlining how strong the demand is, are the best encouragement) it probably won't take them very long.

    If they keep it nice and simple, it won't be a massive plugin in the way that Gravity Forms is and 90% of what is needed is stuff they've already become experts in over the past two years.

    Posted 12 years ago on Thursday July 21, 2011 | Permalink
  36. wotacharlie

    I am definitely with donnacha on keeping this as flexible as possible. I am currently starting a project for a sports centre, which I need to build a booking system for. It would be great to base this around gravity forms. Here are some of the features I would be looking for:

    The ability to book a squash court online - Multiple times throughout the day with multiple prices - Higher prices at peaks times etc. Simple checkout with Paypal

    Book multiple sessions throughout the day - says a gym session at 9am, spa session at 12 and a squash game next Tuesday at 3pm all paid for with 1 checkout.

    People need to be able to enter a specific event on a certain date - say a squash tournament. The admin needs an easy way to assign a time for matches and then post a list of match times online. In addition if once posted online it could email/text each person with their times that would be a bonus.

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday July 22, 2011 | Permalink
  37. I'll throw my name in the hat as one of the first to buy this plugin when it's available. I'm using Gravity Forms to book tours on a client's website, but availability must be confirmed before we can accept payment, which makes the booking process convoluted and labor-intensive. And I concur with donnacha - ease of use is extremely important. All other solutions I've investigated are much too complex for mere mortals.

    Posted 12 years ago on Tuesday August 2, 2011 | Permalink
  38. +1 - totally agree with @donnacha in the hope that this will be available as a Gravity Forms plugin. I'll pay! :-)

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday August 10, 2011 | Permalink
  39. I'm dying to see this too.

    Carl, how about just duplicating Basecamp, Highrise, etc..for Wordpress!

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday August 12, 2011 | Permalink
  40. +1
    from me too :)

    "StayPress" was already mentioned in this thread here but it seems that they're live now: - also with GF integration:

    Anyone tested this yet?

    Just to report - and note, I am in no relation with this project!

    Posted 12 years ago on Saturday August 20, 2011 | Permalink
  41. I just ran through the site real quick. It looks terrible. Complicated to integrate into a site. Terrible formatting.

    Posted 12 years ago on Saturday August 20, 2011 | Permalink
  42. clc

    Haven't tested this out but went to codecanyon and saw this newly posted plugin: . Not sure if it's mainly for hotels as opposed to restaurants but maybe it could be combined. Still probably not nearly as good as what Gravity Forms could create.

    Posted 12 years ago on Sunday August 21, 2011 | Permalink
  43. Marius

    Just wanted to give my support in the "Journey" to find a WordPress solution for bookings/reservations. I have worked through your "discussion" on and agree that this is an opportunity that will have massive support in the WordPress community. Please keep us updated on any developments.

    Posted 12 years ago on Tuesday August 23, 2011 | Permalink
  44. @wotacharlie, @Capstone, @Michelle, @q2results, @deckerweb, @clc and @Marius

    Thanks for adding your voices to this suggestion, it is very helpful for developers to see how strong the demand is.

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday August 24, 2011 | Permalink
  45. @deckerweb

    Unfortunately, that's the same stuff that has been live on the since it was first mentioned in this thread 3 months ago. Despite the flurry of apparent activity and promises earlier in the year, nothing solid has yet emerged.

    If a usable and properly documented version of StayPress is released at any point this year, I will be delighted and the first to mention it here.

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday August 24, 2011 | Permalink
  46. @clc

    The JS Hotel Booking System on Code Canyon is very interesting, thanks for drawing my attention to it, I have spent about an hour checking it out.

    The most interesting thing is that the Italian author is a Joomla specialist who has clearly peered into the WordPress world noticed that we have no real booking solutions - Joomla has about 30 and creating booking websites is one of the most profitable sources of work for Joomla developers.

    We have been given access to both a front-end demo and an admin demo. I was impressed overall but, at the moment, a critical part of the functionality does not appear to work: when you book certain dates, it is important that be automatically removed from the availability calendar without manual intervention - this is a key requirement because, obviously, our whole objective is to speed up transactions, prevent double-bookings and reduce the workload of the manager of the bookable item. This is a very new plugin and the failure of the demo to do this might be due to the fact that the payments are sandboxes, you can be sure that I will be contacting the plugin author and asking if this can be fixed.

    On the whole, though, this is the most impressive booking plugin for WordPress so far - @clc is right, it's not nearly as good as what the Rocket Genius guys could create but, if that booking problem can be fixed, it will be a good stand-in for us until Rocket Genius release theirs.

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday August 24, 2011 | Permalink
  47. @Marius

    Yeah, I've been discussing this with Vince, the creator of Jomres, for quite a while. Jomres has been around for six years and is generally regarded as the best booking solution in the Joomla world, although there is now a lot of competition. In theory, Jomres should be quite easy to integrate into any other CMS because, last year, he separated out the Joomla-specific code and created a standalone version of Jomres. Jomres is fully GPL.

    I tried to persuade him that it would be well worth his while, financially, to go the extra mile and create a bridge that would integrate the standalone's availability calendar and booking box into WordPress posts. I even suggested that it might be easiest to do it as a Gravity Forms add-on.

    He hesitated for a long time because he was unfamiliar with WordPress, then he spent a while trying to get to grips with it and, finally, he hired a couple of "WordPress professionals" to work on it, paid them a lot of money, but, sadly, they turned out to be clueless idiots / dishonest, so, he has now officially given up on the idea of WordPress integration just last week:

    "Gave up on wordpress integration. It's a mickey mouse platform, compared to Joomla and incredibly frustrating to deal with"

    Personally, I think he was just unlucky in the developers he happened to stumble upon.

    By the way, any WordPress developers who are curious about the financial potential of booking products should note that Vince charges the following amounts for Jomres:

    Jomres with 12 weeks of downloads and support: GBP £199 (currently about USD $327)

    12 weeks renewal: £99.50

    6 months renewal: £199

    1 year renewal: £398

    Perpetual license: £749 (currently about $1,228)

    ... and he has plenty of customers, despite being effectively limited to Joomla. That, surely, gives some indication of the potential if someone ever manages to present a solid solution to the far larger WordPress market.

    I am not a programmer but, as someone who has spent years creating websites and dealing with website owners, I remain convinced that the holy grail is the usability of WordPress combined with a solid booking system.

    I want the non-techie website owner to not only be able rent out boats in Amsterdam or condos in Phoenix or Xboxes in London, I want him to also be able to easily add articles and local information to his website, I want him to be able to add new features via WordPress plugins, I want him to be able to handle backups via VaultPress, I want him to be able to do whatever the Hell he wants without having to pick up the phone and pay an "expert" to do it for him.

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday August 24, 2011 | Permalink
  48. @donnacha:
    Thank you I now understand better. At first sight it looks "promising" but when I digged deeper I saw the same issues as you did. This guy seems overwhelmed with this project he needs a team at least... But in the end I agree with you and also believe that the Rockt Genius team would be much more capable in doing that!!! Would also be really interested in such a plugin/application for WP!

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday August 24, 2011 | Permalink
  49. isuk

    Is there _anything_ available on a different platform than wordpress (e.g. joomla / typo 3) that supports:

    - View a small calendar showing what dates are currently available. Options to disable and hide days in the past and block certain dates / range of dates (e.g. because of holidays) should be usable.

    - Clicking on a day should reveal a larger view of that day with all timeslots, that are still available / already taken. It should be possible to autocreate timeslots (e.g. for your usual business hours) with some kind of template and a single click on a button.

    - It must be a local addon (for your cms on your webserver) no external solutions.

    I don't need any payment options, but sending out e-mail notifications (for the admin that somebody reserved a slot) is mandatory.

    I haven't found anything so far that meets these requirements and I would even change the cms plattform because I need something like this so badly...

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday September 9, 2011 | Permalink
  50. @isuk

    We all share your frustration.

    Jomres, which I mentioned earlier in this thread, would probably be your best bet. You would have to familiarize yourself with Joomla and Jomres itself can be somewhat daunting but that is mainly because it makes so many options available, you certainly don't have to use 90% of it and should be able to configure it down to the simpler functionality you describe. Peruse the Jomres forums to find out what other people are using it for, including time-slot stuff, you should be able to tell pretty quickly if it is flexible enough to suit your needs.

    A good solution is bound to pop up on WordPress eventually but don't count on it happening anytime soon - if your clients are crying out for booking functionality right now, you'll have to bite the bullet and look elsewhere. Sad but true.

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday September 9, 2011 | Permalink
  51. isuk


    Thanks for your reply. I've found two additional options in the meantime. Both are not bound to any specific cms ("simple" PHP, Mysql, CSS) and could be integrated with the help of an iframe.

    Time Slots Booking Calendar:

    BookingWizz: 18(20)$ one time fee, unlimited lifetime upgrades. The text that could be translated (form mails, etc.) is currently hardcoded in the the .php files (makes translation harder and upgrading would be an issue) and it misses additional lunchtime breaks in the event creation part. Further customization's (colors, look of the calendar, etc.) have to be done in the .php files as well (no simple frontend yet). One should know enough PHP / MySQL to do this yourself.

    Time Slots Booking Calendar: 39(99 developer)$ one time fee. Translations are much easier because of the separated text files. Misses the lunchtime breaks as well. Much more customizable via the webinterface (all kind of colors, fonts, sizes for the calendar, text for the confirmation e-mails, etc.). The user license doesn't allow the modification of the code (obfuscated by zend). If you feel the need to do so, you have to purchase the developer license. What I don't like about it: the booking page where you select the timeslot is opened either on the right or on the bottom of the calendar part. Takes way too much screenspace. BookingWizz opens the booking page in a (lightbox) popup instead.

    I've tried only the demos so far and read a lot of comments (codecanyon). I already (re-)suggested the missing lunchtime break option to BookingWizz and I'll do the same for it's competitor. I'll play with both of them for a few more hours but atm I tend to BookingWizz because it's much cheaper (compared with the developer license to be able to edit the code if necessary).

    Give them a try yourself if you like and post your opinion :)


    Posted 12 years ago on Saturday September 10, 2011 | Permalink
  52. Count me in as a buyer for a Gravity Forms booking add-on that is simple (not overloaded with bells and whistles) yet flexible.

    Posted 12 years ago on Sunday September 11, 2011 | Permalink
  53. @donnacha, carl and others:

    What do you think is the correct price point, assuming a good, not perfect, solution? What would you pay today if it was available?

    Has anyone estimated the development costs and time to market for this?


    Posted 12 years ago on Sunday September 11, 2011 | Permalink
  54. hello everybody
    i'm in the middle of development process for very advanced booking plugin and i hope that after initial release i will integrate it with gravity forms also. there was too much work on it, so i left that option for future releases. also multisite and multiuser features will be included after initial release.

    after initail release i will mostly pay attention to user feature requests, but i think there will be no need for many of them. it will be very powerful but yet simple to use. custom post types are implemented, the advanced pricing system and extra services fee setup, forms and widgets customizations, PayPal gateway (just this for now - i'll add others if requested), ... hope you will like it :-)

    it should be available in next 4 weeks, so please stay tuned.

    and to answer question before. my plan is to sell it for $40-$50, somewhere in between with one year support and upgrades included. i have been working on it for last 3,5 months and need to fix some issues yet and test it thoroughly.


    Posted 12 years ago on Friday September 16, 2011 | Permalink
  55. balloontwister

    It's not just hotel rooms. There is a huge market for an app to handle booking classes, seminars, art gallery showings, and more. Basically, everyone who has a website that signs people up for an event, a resource (like a hotel room) or a chunk of time (like in a meeting) has to manage it. And I can't think of a better interface between the user and the resource than GF. So Goran, I encourage you to integrate it with GF. It's amazing that this market is still wide open. I wish I could code . . . .

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday September 16, 2011 | Permalink
  56. gravity forms integration is on top of my feature list additions after initial release. but, since I'm doing everything by myself, it is very time consuming project, and still side project to me. hope when it will be launched for public in about a month it will become my core business, regarding support and upgrades

    as for market, i was 6 years in tourism and bookings as webmaster before i went to work for myself. so i know how large the market is and that is the main reason why i want that the core booking and availability system inside plugin is very powerful and customizable. so i have decided that in initial release custom post types and custom taxonomy integration, on very advanced level is must have. also, pricing setup system and extra services setup with numerous options will allow endless possibilities regarding implementation. that was my focus.

    also forms and widgets customization were also high priority. but, as i have said GF integration is must have for this plugin and it will be included in first major upgrade

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday September 16, 2011 | Permalink
  57. circus

    Hi. Like so many others I have amazed in the past couple days of searching around the web that there is no feasible option for this. This wouldnbe a huge product for me, and definite +1 from me.

    @omegastudio do you have an more details, a website where we can follow your progress etc. Also, would this work On Multisite networks?

    Thanks, Ab

    Posted 12 years ago on Sunday September 18, 2011 | Permalink
  58. ibfishn

    Count me in as a buyer for a Gravity Forms booking add-on

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday September 21, 2011 | Permalink
  59. THanks for the heads up @donnacha. I was about to buy Booking Calendar Pro simply through sheer desperation - nothing else is available. I shall await with patience for Gravity Forms answer to this:)

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday September 23, 2011 | Permalink
  60. I am all over it. I would buy the booking calendar plugin for Gravity Forms right now. I think that the team at Gravity Forms could develop a much a better product than what's currently available. Some of these are:

    I would buy this from Gravity Forms in a heartbeat.

    Posted 12 years ago on Sunday September 25, 2011 | Permalink
  61. I really love the job that the Gravity Forms team have done. I can't say it enough; what a product. I would like to see the booking calendar add-on or plugin. Users who probably wouldn't have a need for it would use it because of its availability. Therefore, a lot more people would use it than expected. I would even pay for it and make it a premium add-on. Keep up the good work guys.

    Posted 12 years ago on Sunday October 9, 2011 | Permalink
  62. @gravsa411

    Carl has mentioned, further up in this thread, that they have considered introducing this functionality as a standalone product, rather than a premium add-on for Gravity Forms.

    Releasing it as a premium add-on would make Gravity Forms even more of a blockbuster product but, then again, the demand is so strong that I can understand why they have identified it as an opportunity for an entirely separate product.

    Frankly, I don't think any of us care what form it comes in, we are just hoping it comes.

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday October 12, 2011 | Permalink
  63. Yes donnacha, I agree. You can bet that whatever form it comes in, if it comes from Gravity Forms, it's going to be a nice product.

    I am also looking for a quiz/exam plugin, especially since Gravity Forms already has the basic platform.

    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday October 12, 2011 | Permalink
  64. allmyhoney

    +1 for this also. I want to fill a room each month. Its a specific date and time and has a limited number and I need to open it up in multiple venues. Are we any closer as I see this thread is 6 months back now? I would pay for this indeed.

    Posted 12 years ago on Saturday October 15, 2011 | Permalink
  65. allmyhoney

    I guess not :) anyone try out an alternative? - I have looked at a few like checkfront and so on but I would just like to have my form book a room once a month each month. Any suggestions would be great that would integrate with wordpress.

    Posted 12 years ago on Tuesday October 18, 2011 | Permalink
  66. what a great idea. please develop.


    Posted 12 years ago on Wednesday October 19, 2011 | Permalink
  67. Subscribed. Very interested in a booking solution also.

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday October 21, 2011 | Permalink
  68. Subscribed and very interested...

    Posted 12 years ago on Friday October 21, 2011 | Permalink
  69. +1 for me!

    I'm to let people book time in a printing studio (can assign one person to each press but need to be able to book multiple presses on same day) and pay with PayPal. This would be a perfect solution.

    Posted 12 years ago on Sunday October 30, 2011 | Permalink
  70. Anonymous

    This has been a very interesting thread to read.

    I need this functionality! +1

    Posted 12 years ago on Monday October 31, 2011 | Permalink

This topic has been resolved and has been closed to new replies.