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Amelia is an advanced booking plugin for WordPress that allows customers to make reservations and appointments through your website with ease.
It is a fantastic solution that is well suited to sports clubs, restaurants, beauty salons, consultants, and more.
Amelia boasts many great features including a step by step booking system for customers and two-way synchronisation support for Google Calendar to help employees manage their schedule.
As you would expect from a modern WordPress plugin, Amelia has a responsive design that looks great on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
Let's take a closer look at how Amelia can help you and your online business manage bookings.
The Amelia Booking System
The official feature list of Amelia is extensive, detailing 33 major features of the booking system.
All of these features can be grouped into one of three categories:
- Features that enhance the user-experience of customers
- Features that help admin and employees manage appointments and reservations
- Features that give you greater control over bookings and booking information
At the front-end of your website, customers can make bookings through a user-friendly booking system on one page. They can select services, employees, the location, and date and time. Payment details can also be entered without leaving the page.
Discounts can be offered to customers and after making a booking they can be notified via email or SMS. SMS functionality is particularly interesting as it can not only notify customers about upcoming appointments, but also the employees who have taken the booking.
Amelia allows you to add information about each employee and even lets customers book directly with one of your staff. This should be useful to many businesses. For example, a gym could use this feature to allow customers to book training sessions with their preferred personal trainer.
You can also create special days for bookings and offer customers service extras. For example, a personal trainer could also offer a service where they draw up a diet plan for their clients.
The plugin offers many customisation options to help you cater every booking to your business. Custom fields can be utilised to request specific information and you can set up multiple services and service categories.
What separates Amelia from other booking solutions is the level of control it gives you over everything. It is a highly customisable solution that helps you tailor booking forms to your business.
The Booking Experience
Customers will love the ease with which they can make bookings with Amelia. The whole booking experience, from start to finish, is professional.
The services that you offer can be displayed in a gallery format. It is a great way of showcasing the services customers can book on your website.
The step by step booking wizard is a pleasure to use.
Customers just need to select the service they want to book, the date and time, and whether they are making a reservation with a particular employee. After entering their name and email address, they can pay for the booking.
The whole procedure is straightforward.
In addition to the services catalogue and step by step booking wizard, you can display services using what the developers call “Front-end Booking Search“.
This option lets customers search for appointments using five filters: Date, time range, services, location, and employees.
Once the user has checked some filters and selected their desired date, available reservation times will be displayed.
All front-end forms and galleries can be added through the Amelia icon that displayed in your WordPress visual editor. Alternatively, you can use shortcodes to insert them into posts and pages.
The user-experience of customers is highly important. I have no doubt that Amelia can help increase sales for businesses that are currently using a basic booking system.
Managing Your Bookings
All bookings can be managed directly from the admin area of your WordPress website.
The dashboard area gives a great overview of the number of appointments you have taken and the revenue you have generated over a defined period of time.
Underneath is a section which details appointments, payments, and number of hours worked, for each employee and for each type of service. A percentage of the total work load is displayed. This is useful for seeing which employees are driving the most business and which services customers are buying.
The dashboard also shows a list of upcoming appointments. You can see information about each booking such as the date and time, name of the customer, their email address, the employee assigned to them, the service they booked, duration, payment, and booking status.
Conversion information is also shown to help you analyse what is working and what is not.
The calendar page helps you, and employees, manage bookings. You can filter results by service and by location. New appointments can also be manually added from this page.
When you click to edit an appointment you can quickly adjust appointment settings and see information about the payment that was made.
All of these pages will help you manage bookings and build your forms.
Ten additional settings pages can be accessed via the main plugin settings page. This is where you can set up notifications, payments, Google Calendar syncing, user roles and permissions, and much more.
There are a lot of options in the main settings area, however if you want to set up your booking system correctly, you need to go through all options and refine the ones which are relevant to your business.
Take working hours settings, for example.
You need to define the days that your services are available, the working hours for those days, and any relevant breaks (e.g. lunchtime). Failure to refine the settings in this area would allow customers to make reservations on days and hours that you and your staff are not available.
To get a better idea of how Amelia works, check out the frontend and backend demos of the plugin.
Without doubt, Amelia is one of the best booking solutions available to WordPress users.
Visually, the booking form wizard that the plugin provides is tremendous. It looks professional, is quick loading, and is simple to use.
In the backend, website owners will be extremely pleased with the number of options on offer. You can customise your booking configuration to suit your website and once everything is set up, you and your staff can easily manage bookings.
A basic license for Amelia retails at $59 and comes with one year of support and updates. Upgrading to the pro licence at $109 per year increases support and updates to three domains. The developer license, which retails at $249 per license, removes the domain restriction.
When you consider how much functionality the plugin offers, it is fantastic value for money.
I highly recommend checking it out.
Summary: Amelia is one of the best booking solutions available to WordPress users.
It looks great, is easy to use, and has hundreds of customisable options.
Rated 5 stars