I looked at a lot of different booking/scheduling plugins. Someone on reddit suggested to look at Amelia, which I hadn’t yet heard of. I’m so glad I did. Mind you I did just go straight to the Pro version and never fully tested the Lite version, so keep that in mind.
I started out feeling a bit lukewarm about Amelia, but mostly because I didn’t bother to read much documentation or have much a clue of what I was doing! But as I got into setting it up more and learning about all it’s features and how massively customizable it is in both design and function, I started to fall in love with this plug-in.
My appreciation was bolstered by the excellent support given by the support team. They have a searchable wealth of previous support tickets (tickets can also be private or semi-private, private portions are not searchable or publicly viewable), which ended up answering a lot of my questions. But when I do have questions I can’t find answers to, they are pretty quick (usually within 8-12 hours) to respond.
My use case is currently only for clients to schedule appointments. I currently have two services: 1) in-person sessions and 2) online consults done over Zoom. Amelia can handle both, easily. So many possible settings and configurations, which is great but did take some time to get everything set up the way I wanted. It integrates really well with many things, in my case google calendar and zoom meetings. Lesson learned: if Amelia isn’t doing something right or the way you think it should, it’s probably because you need to adjust a setting somewhere within Amelia.
One of my favorite parts of Amelia is the notifications. It comes with default email and text (SMS) notifications, but the best part is you can create your own custom versions. You can have different notifications sent to customers and employee(s). I ditched the default notifications and created my own. It took a good chunk of time to get them set up the way I wanted so they look good when they come through. SMS notifications do cost money to send, albeit very inexpensively at least in Canada or the US, so it’s a good idea to not go overboard with too many texts. I have it set to only send appt reminders 24 hours and 2 hours in advance (as well as similar email reminders).
Both the front-end customer portal and front-end employee portal are pretty slick. In most cases, a customer will never need to use it. But if they wish to cancel or reschedule their appt, they can simply click the link in one of the notification emails (you need to set up the link in the emails), which takes them to the portal, where they can see all their appointments and make any necessary changes.
Amelia also handles events, but I haven’t yet set up or tried out that feature yet.
My wife is the real WordPress guru in our family and she also has been thoroughly impressed by what she’s seen so far in Amelia.
Compared to what I had been using (basic their-brand (vs self-branded in a plugin) scheduling platform at $17/mo) and compared to the other plugins I looked into (all much higher cost, with less features), Amelia is a very solid deal. I will continue to renew my subscription to help ensure they will be supporting and improving this plugin for a long time more.
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