What Makes the Amelia Booking Engine Different?

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.

Customers can pay for appointments using PayPal or Stripe. WooCommerce can also be integrated to add additional payment options and add support for taxes and invoices.

Amelia Responsive Design

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.

Just look

Give your business a professional and trustworthy feel.

We build Amelia using latest technology stack, modern design, and user experience techniques. It allows you to provide an enterprise-level smooth booking experience for your customers, without investing in branding or making deep changes to your work process.

Focus on your work, and forget about having to pay assistants.

Amelia will fully automate the interaction with potential customers, help them pick the right service and employee, take care of the payments, real-time SMS reminders both for the customer and employee for canceled or rescheduled appointments. You can focus on your significant work instead of interrupting your flow to write down appointments. And no need anymore to depend on a secretary on the phone!

No training needed to install and use.

Installing and configuring Amelia is only taking a few clicks. We continuously focus on maximum simplicity and convenience for Amelia’s end users, so most actions, both on front-end and back-end are intuitive do not require more than 2-3 clicks. And in case you will need help, Amelia has detailed documentation on plugin functionalities – and of course, we’re always here to support.

To give you an idea of what you’ll be building, here’s an example of what your booking form might look like:

Amelia Booking Form Example

And here’s the backend area where you’ll be able to manage all of your appointments:

Amelia Booking Form Example Back End

Again, Amelia will work with any WordPress theme, so you don’t need to make any special decision there, nor will you need to use custom CSS to make your booking functionality look good.

Instead, you can use your preferred WordPress theme and then just edit Amelia’s style options to match your theme’s looks.

More review

One of the biggest issues with making appointment systems on WordPress websites is that they were a bit complicated to manage for ordinary users. As a result, you always had to keep an assistant to check on your appointments and sync them to your daily schedule.

Amelia offers a solution to this issue by automating most of the tasks involved with booking systems. The plugin actually automates many of the basic functions so that you rarely have to login to WordPress admin dashboard.

For example, Amelia automatically synchronizes the appointments made by your customers with your Google Calendar. This helps you stay on top of your schedule at all times. It also sends email notifications to both you and your employees so that you know when to expect the next customer.

Beginner-Friendly Dashboard

amelia-dashboard

The beginner-friendly user interface is what makes Amelia truly wonderful. Each time you click on the Amelia plugin tab on your WordPress admin dashboard, it will show your a visualized breakdown of all the stats related to your appointment system.

It will show you how many appointments are pending approval, how much revenue you’ve generated with appointments, which services were booked the most, the appointments scheduled for the day, and much more.

Create Different Booking Systems

amelia-preview

Amelia is comes with a versatile booking system and a front-end design that allows the plugin to adapt to many different kinds of businesses.  This allows you to use Amelia to create booking and appointment systems for gyms, salons, private clinics, service and repair centers, coaching centers, law consultants, and other service-based websites.

However, Amelia may not be suitable for more advanced and large businesses, like hotels and real estate websites. While you can add custom fields to the booking forms, it lacks different styles of pre-made booking form templates and integration with product pages on a website like rooms or real estate property options.

Process Payments With WooCommerce Integration

amelia-woocommerce

Amelia also integrates with WooCommerce. This enables you to process payments via the booking system using either PayPal or Stripe for accepting credit cards.

This is a useful function, especially for consulting and service-based businesses. Because the plugin is smart enough to help you not only process payments but also to handle taxes and invoices as well.

Sync With Google Calendar

Getting an email notification whenever someone books an appointment through the booking system is great, but then you have to copy all the details onto your work schedule. And, most of the time it’s easy for a notification to get lost in your inbox.

This used to be a problem for small businesses, especially for solopreneur consultants. Amelia offers an easy solution to this by automatically syncing appointments with your Google Calendar.

Support For Group Appointment Bookings

amelia-group-booking

Group appointments are common in many businesses. Most people want to bring their friend to the spa or yoga class with them. But, when using most website booking systems you have to make multiple bookings just to include that friend with you.

When booking an appointment with Amelia, it asks users whether they’re bringing more people with them. It allows customers to make group appointments without having to make separate bookings. Although, it’s not sophisticated enough to be used as a system for booking rooms or for travel services.

Send Email Notifications

In addition to syncing appointments with your Google Calendar, Amelia will also send you email notifications on new, pending, and canceled bookings.

The customers will receive notifications when an appointment is rejected and they’ll also receive reminders and follow-up emails on their appointments as well. All of which are fully automated. You don’t have to send them manually.

How to create a WordPress booking system – Step-by-step

Step 1: Install your preferred version of Amelia

To get started, you’ll need to install and activate the Amelia plugin at your site.

If you’re using the free version of Amelia (like I am), you can do that right from your WordPress dashboard by going to Plugins → Add New and searching for “Amelia Lite”:

Search For Amelia Lite

Step 2: Configure basic details, like your opening hours

Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, go to Amelia → Settings to configure the basic settings for your appointment booking functionality.

Here, you’ll see a list of categories:

Amelia Settings List Of Categories

Many of these settings are reserved for the Pro version, but here’s what you’ll want to configure no matter what.

First, click on the Company details and enter information about your company:

Click On Company Settings

Next, go to the Working Hours & Days Off settings. These settings let you define when you’re available for appointment bookings.

You can use the Add Break button to set up different working time blocks. For example, you could be:

  • Available for appointments in the morning
  • Take one hour off for lunch
  • Be available for appointments again in the afternoon
Using The Add Break Function

That’s all there is to set up in the free version.

Step 3: Create services that you want people to be able to book

Next, you’ll need to create the services that you want to make available for booking. The free version allows you to add unlimited services.

To create your first service, go to Amelia → Services.

First, you’ll need to create a category for your services. For my personal trainer example, categories could be:

  • Workout
  • Consultation
  • Nutrition
  • Etc.
Create Your First Service

The free version also allows you to add unlimited categories to your services.

Once you’ve created a category, you can click the + Add Service button to open the new service interface:

Add Service To Open Service Interface

In this interface, configure the following information in the Service Details tab:

  • Name – The public name of the service.
  • Category – The category to which the service belongs.
  • Duration – How long one session lasts.
  • Price – The price for one session.

You can also optionally add an image for your service (at the top) and a text description (at the bottom):

Add Image And Details For A Service

Once you’re done, Save your service.

If needed, you can repeat the same steps to create up to three more additional services for people to book.

Step 4: Embed your appointment booking form

Once you’re finished adding your services, you’re ready to embed the front-end booking form that your website’s visitors will use to make appointments.

To do that, go to the post or page where you want to include your form (or create a new one).

Then, look for the Insert Amelia Booking Shortcode button on the editor toolbar:

Insert Amelia Booking Shortcode

In the popup, click OK to insert the shortcode.

You can also add additional text around your booking form if desired. Here’s an example of what it might look like:

Additional Text For Around Shortcode Example

If you’re using the new WordPress block editor (AKA “Gutenberg”), you can embed your booking form by adding the [ameliabooking] shortcode to a Shortcode block:

Embed Shortcode Gutenberg Version

Here’s an example of what the live form will look like after you publish or update the page:

Example Of Live Form Once You Publish


Amelia Review Final Thoughts + Pricing

Amelia costs $59 at CodeCanyon, which I think is more than fair for the quality of the plugin.

Overall, I really like Amelia. The interface is excellent on both the frontend and the backend.

It also builds in tons of smart functionality like:

  • Calendar sync/add to calendar functionality
  • Option to give employees/customers accounts to manage their own appointments

And the settings themselves are pretty flexible. With that being said, I don’t see any developer documentation for how to further customize Amelia, which might be something to consider if you are a developer building a site for a client.

But if Amelia can do what you need it to do with its out of the box settings (which it probably can), then I think it’s a really great option.

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