For those who use the WordPress CMS to maintain their online presence, there are dozens of plugins that offer the ability to schedule and manage reservations. Sitting on the left-hand dashboard at the back-end of your WordPress site, these plugins feature devices to help navigate a busy client load:
Bookings: With this tool, website administrators have the ability to map out “resources,” typically in the form of rooms — for a photo booth owner, that might be a single booth, or a single operation — and make a public schedule listing those resources.
Plus side: Additional features include the ability to block out unavailable dates or set time limits on reservations.
Drawbacks: Most useful features reside on the back-end of the site; the pieces of the plugin clients will see have a somewhat austere look. The free version caps at a single schedule with 25 bookings each month; a licensing fee gives access to unlimited schedules and reservations.
Booking Calendar: Clients enter information into a fairly basic front-end calendar, while administrators have access to a number of scheduling tools on the back-end.
Plus side: A colorful interface, user-friendly actions panel and auto-filled reservations list are on the positive side for this reservations calendar keeper. Details about each reservation, including name and contact information for each client, fall into an easy-to-understand main listing, displayed after a few clicks through the WordPress dashboard.
Drawbacks: The interface clients see on the front of the website leaves a good bit to be desired from the photo booth perspective, and is mostly fixed to date, time, location and contact information. Specific packages or personalities will be difficult to convey.
BookingBug: Offering a broad spectrum of services and customization options, BookingBug is a reservations widget that can be plugged into a WordPress site, and shared, customized and optimized from there. The basics, the bare bones of the widget interface and the ability to take appointments, come free with the download. Snazzier features come with a monthly service fee.
Plus side: BookingBug is more business management tool than reservations tool. Depending on the package, it can take payments, be edited to fit a site’s themes and colors, and include separate reservations pages for each resource.
Drawbacks: Of the most popular WordPress bookings plugins, BookingBug is on the upper end of the pricing scale. Pricing kicks in after two weeks, and a BookingBug.com account is required.