In the next few weeks we will be publishing introductory tutorials on how to use the all-new EDD Bookings WordPress plugin. Here is the first instalment on how to set up your first bookable service.
What is a bookable service?
A bookable service is a service for which a client need to book a period of time.
It could be doctor’s appointments, hairdressing appointments, personal training sessions, consultations; really any kind of service where you can accept bookings, be it in-person or online.
The appointments can vary in length, from a few minutes to a few weeks. You may be offering 15-minute doctor’s appointments or a two-week consultancy, Whatever it may be, you can set it up in the same way with EDD Bookings
How do I set up my first bookable service?
Although EDD Bookings is an extension to the EDD e-commerce plugin (which handles all your e-commerce needs for you), it has its own section for Bookings and Services.
To create a new service, visit your Dashboard, find Bookings in the sidebar menu, and click on Services.
This is where you will create and manage your services; all from a single screen.
Click on the Add New button to get started setting up your first service.
A modal will open up with different tabs. Start with the Information tab where you can name the service, add a brief description and image, and assign a colour to be used in your appointments calendar.
In our example here, we’re using “Physiotherapy” as an example.
Now that your service has its basic information ready, we need to set up the two most important factors; how long your appointments are and when they will be available.
Let’s start with the duration of your appointments. We are calling them Session Lengths, and they can be set in the second tab of our service modal.
To add your first duration, enter a Session Length and then enter its corresponding Price. When ready, click the Add button.
All session lengths will be listed below the entry fields for easier management.
You can have as many session lengths as you need. Keep in mind that, in some cases, it might make more sense to create another service when the session length’s unit (minutes, hours, days, weeks) varies.
Next up is what we’re calling your Availability. This is the dates and times that your service will be available for booking.
You can set up as many availability rules as you may need here. Each one corresponds to a period of time during which the previously set up session lengths will fit in. Every rule is previewed immediately in the calendar. This gives you an idea of what your clients will be seeing later on.
In our example, the Physiotherapy sessions are available from 9am till 4pm, every Saturday, and from 9am till 1pm every second Wednesday.
This would require two separate rules. Both rules can then include exclusions. These are dates when the service will be unavailable, such as holiday periods.
Let’s take a look at what it’s like to set up one of these rules.
As you can see, the first step is to set your first available period. In our case, the period is the first day our service will be available. So I set the start and end time for that day.
I know I want this to repeat every Saturday for the next 52 weeks, so I use the Repeat options to set that up. No need to set this up for every week; just set it to repeat as needed.
NOTE: Does your service usually include a break period throughout the day? Not to worry, you just need to set up two rules. The first will run, for example, from 9am till 1pm, and the other will run from 2pm till 5pm. You can even set different exclusions for each one, if needed.
Last up are the Display Options. From this final tab you can choose to assign a different timezone to your service. It defaults to your website’s timezone, but if you’re offering a service online to a country with a different timezone, you can choose to display your available time-slots in that timezone.
Another option is to choose whether you want your clients to be able to change the timezone the dates and times are shown in throughout the booking form. Once again, this becomes useful when selling your services online to clients in varying timezones across the world.
The Booking Form for Your Clients
Remember the Image and description we set up in the Information tab earlier? These are used within the booking form in the initial step, when a service is selected from the dropdown. They give the client a brief overview of the service they are about to book.
They can be omitted completely, or, if you want to pre-select a service in the booking form, you can use our shortcode parameter to do that.