+1 again to make sure I am subscribed.
+1 (I prefer non-smoking, ocean view, and vegetarian breakfast, please?)
After 3 yrs, are there any add-ons?
There is no booking add-on from Gravity Forms. You can read suggestions and experiences from other users by reading the replies in this topic.
It seems the most requested feature.
I'd really love to see Gravity Forms make a booking add-on. The ease of use of Gravity Forms is incredible. Together with Elliot Condon, who makes the 'Advanced Custom Fields' plugin, you guys make the easiest and nicest UI, in my opinion. It's a pleasure to use. /* End pleasing mode */
I've done quite some research on Wordpress booking plugins for a client of mine. I finally spend €585 on the Business Large version of WP Booking Calendar. http://wpbookingcalendar.com/ I find this an insanely priced plugin, but it was/is the only one that allowed me to make a hotel website with different (12) booking calenders per room, allowing each visitor to book a specific room and check each's room availability.
I hate the UI of this plugin. It's okay, but for this kinda money I at least expect something easy to use with a nice UI (I'm a graphic designer). The plugin works well. I had two issues so far and asked questions about it on the support forum of WP Booking Calendar. Luckily, the responses were very helpful and each time with little delay (<2hours). +1 for support, they solved my problems. However, the support is horribly structured. All questions are asked in ONE topic... making ONE 175+ page support topic for ALL issues concerning this plugin. How about creating a forum for that?
Sometimes the plugin is somewhat confusing and generally this is due to poor use of the English language. The English on the site putt me off at first but I had no choice but try this out...
Another remark, the plugin is the only one I found that allows multi-language features. However, I found out that the multi-language aspect isn't integrated that well. For example, each language has to be in the SAME input field, where languages are seperated. For example: english text [locale=fr] french text [locale=de] german text... I can tell you this is a pain. Of course you can use .po files and such but I'd love to see it integrated with WPML because I'm no hero in editing .po files and neither are clients.
I know the guys form ICanLocalize, who make WPML for instance, are interested in making a booking plugin as well. I recently got an email with a survey to check the interest in a booking calender. They're trying to enter this market too, at a much lower price point, I suspect.
thanks for reading my lengthy opinion,
+1 I'm seriously thinking of building a WordPress booking plugin, as I also got a lot of feedback on my blog post about booking plugins. I'm currently doing my research on the technical and business aspects of building such a plugin, in the meantime it would be helpful if you could take part in the poll and even leave comments here:
You might also want to take a look at an even more recent review I've conducted http://www.wpmayor.com/plugin-reviews/best-appointment-plugins-for-wordpress/
YES PLEASE! I have managed vacation rentals since 2006 and still there is no effective booking system for Wordpress. I've tried other vendors and they all fall short and/or are extremely overpriced. This is the single most important functionality a vacation rental website can have and Wordpress does not have one. If you could make this happen, beers are on me!
I'm also been looking for a good system for months/years. The difficult part for the plugin-developers is the fact there are so many use-cases. This mostly leads to 2 scenario's:
* The plugin can't do what you want it to do, because it was made for another purpose and doesn't support you use-case.
* The plugin is too complex, allowing all sorts of configurations, making it impossible to use, or administer. Mostly accompanied by a horrible UI.
@tstruyf - Agreed, that is why I am so evangelical in my insistence that a good booking plugin should presume nothing about what it will be used for, apart from allowing a resource to be booked for a given slot of time.
We need a really simple core upon which use-specific add-ons can layer the necessary language and rules for that use.
It is insane that tens of thousands of developer hours have been flushed into making booking plugins that are simply unusable in real world situations.
@donnache Absolutly true, I would be extremely happy just to find a core like you've explained. I already have a system in my head where the core is fixed, and you can create a 'profile' for each use-case. The core can ship with a few profiles, but the main idea is that those profiles can be shared and copied for other users on a central place (website). One core, thousands of possibilities.
@tstruyf - Sure, profile might be a better term than add-on, because it implies that users can create, use and share their own terms, rules and settings as a profile.
Add-ons could do a different job: payment gateways, MailChimp integration etc.
Whichever developer gets the ball rolling with a simple but extensible core, and provides a 70/30 marketplace (Apple App Store model) for profile and add-on creators, is going to make more money than any commercial plugin in WordPress history.
When I look at really successful, financially-focused projects such as Pippin's Easy Digital Downloads (which precisely this sort of add-on ecosystem), I can sense that the day is drawing closer when a sufficiently skilled developer will suddenly notice the opportunity.
The real question is: who will be first and win that initial wave of customers, like us, who have been desperately waiting for years?
Here is a new one that might be worth keeping an eye on:
It is more directed at appointments rather than hotel bookings
@wotacharlie - interesting catch, thanks.
I have written to the plugin author, hoping to figure out if it is good.
There seems to be a lot happening at the moment but, as ever, it is very important that we avoid getting carried away by marketing and our own desperation for a solution.
We need to do our homework and understand what we are getting into - it is not about the money, it is about avoiding the nightmare job of supporting our clients if a booking plugin we recommend turns out to be trash or even simply lacks an essential feature.