58 Responses

  1. donnacha
    donnacha June 14, 2013 at 21:09 | | Reply

    Anyone considering a CodeCanyon plugin should be sure to spend at least one hour reading the support threads because ALL of the booking ones I am aware of have serious issues and you can waste months believing the developers most recent promises of an imminent fix if you are not aware that the same promises have been made, and not kept, since the start.

    The problem with cheap plugins is that most people will take a gamble, especially when they already wasted a lot of time searching for a solution, but, because no-one has made a serious investment in the product, there is no real pressure on the author to provide a working product.

    *** Just to be clear, the issue here is NOT the money, it is the huge swathes of time you will waste on a solution that ALMOST does what you need. These are the most dangerous ones because you can spend months believing that, surely, the problems are so obvious and, surely, the developer must want to have a working product and, surely, next update will make all your dreams come true. ***

    In the case of CodeCanyon, an Envato marketplace like Themeforest, the authors get less than half the money you pay. So, in the case of Booking System Pro, each customer desperately requesting a fix represents only $10 of income to the anonymous plugin author. When someone presents a problem, he can say “Yes, will be fix in next update”. When users ask “When is the next update?”, the author says “Next week”. When users later say “It has been three weeks, where is the update?”, he can say “I have been very busy at work / I have some family problems, but it will definitely come next week”.

    When he finally releases the update, months late, and none of the major issues have been fixed, he can say “Next update”. At that point, most users give up. If someone is stupidly persistent and points out the dishonesty of the situation, he will simply say “Sorry you are not happy, please ask CodeCanyon for refund” – only 1% of users will ever get that far, and I have no idea if CodeCanyon actually give the refunds to users half a year after their purchase, but it is amazing to read back over six months of support comments and see how it all works.

    In that particular case, an anonymous Romanian coder has made 1,307 sales in less than a year, a substantial enough amount for a plugin that does not (yet) work. The amount of WordPress knowledge he needed to make an almost-working plugin was relatively low – for instance, he had no idea what Custom Post Types were.

    A very useful tip for anyone considering any plugin: when you read the support threads, keep an eye open for users mentioning their own URLs and visit them. Try to find at least one user who managed to overcome whatever problems they were having and successfully use the plugin in a real website. Forget the provided demos; if no user has managed to get it working in a real site, the plugin does not work.

    1. ray-zin
      ray-zin August 13, 2013 at 08:02 | | Reply

      @donnacha – Some very good points raised here. I’ve noticed the same thing over the last 2 years or so of searching for a perfect solution. I’m close to the point of buying a small solid plugin then having it further developed to suit my needs. – Relying on developers that have 1000’s of requests for features of which most won’t even be of any use to me seems like a waste of time and money.

      1. ibrahim
        ibrahim September 4, 2013 at 10:24 | | Reply

        after your long search for a plugin can you share with us which plugin you selected?

        1. ray-zin
          ray-zin September 9, 2013 at 10:20 | | Reply

          well unfortunately I have not decide yet (still using a 3rd party solution)… but I am watching this one closely as the developer is promising some very cool functionality over the next 2 versions. 1.8 and 1.9

    2. MW
      MW January 6, 2014 at 02:35 | | Reply

      excellent post, donnacha – the best thing I’ve read all week.

    3. Desi Angelova (@Desi__Angelova)
      Desi Angelova (@Desi__Angelova) October 20, 2014 at 08:21 | | Reply

      Have you, guys tried the PHPjabbers Hotel Booking? There is one think that makes a piece of software better and it’s the developer who stays behind his work.

      1. Mianne
        Mianne March 2, 2015 at 10:08 | | Reply

        I really love the look of this one. Thanks. It is bookmarked! 🙂

    4. rickvidallon
      rickvidallon March 28, 2015 at 21:21 | | Reply

      Been using Booking System Pro. Nice interface, hard to customize functionality.

    5. Big Picture
      Big Picture July 6, 2016 at 15:14 | | Reply

      This is one of the most insightful comments I’ve seen regarding this issue! Thank you.

    6. eric
      eric October 5, 2016 at 04:57 | | Reply

      2016, and still true…

  2. Marek (@marekdsi)
    Marek (@marekdsi) July 8, 2013 at 16:01 | | Reply

    Agreed with the previous comment. I used Online Booking System and it’s a pile of crap with table-bases styles and zero customization options.

  3. Arnau
    Arnau December 17, 2013 at 08:45 | | Reply

    Can someone recommend a simple availability calendar widget that works with wordpress multisite? Meaning that I can use a single calendar across all sites (just diferent languages). Everything I tried creates diferent versions in each site of the multisite.
    Thanks in advanced for any suggestion.

  4. Mark
    Mark January 10, 2014 at 19:31 | | Reply

    Hi, can this system use for my airport transportation website. Just to book transfer on the site with payments

  5. textwrapper
    textwrapper May 1, 2014 at 16:19 | | Reply

    Can anyone recommend a good third-party solution that would work with a responsive WordPress site?

  6. Olivia Kane
    Olivia Kane May 27, 2014 at 08:25 | | Reply

    How to get calender view for room availabilty through wordpress ?

  7. Oplevelser
    Oplevelser June 26, 2014 at 20:14 | | Reply

    Hi guys.

    I am too looking for a good hotel booking plugin for WordPress. Every time I stumble upon something that looks somehow good, there’s always a downside.
    The one I just found was the Jomres hotel booking form, it looks great, have some nice features etc. but it’s 149$ which is a lot and I think it’s hard to find some in depth reviews about it.

    Maybe we could help each other with some do’s and don’ts here…

    1. textwrapper
      textwrapper June 26, 2014 at 20:40 | | Reply

      The software I’m fing costs about that much per month (or more). My client would rather pay $1000 for something that works that has no fees.

  8. MW
    MW June 26, 2014 at 20:44 | | Reply

    Hi Oplevelser & textwrapper

    Interesting that this post is still attracting comments after 1 year – and maybe a sign that things haven’t improved ! I’ve been researching this on & off for the past 6 months, but still not found a satisfactory solution (thankfully my original client ended up not needing a booking system anyway). Here are a few notes off the top of my head –
    1. Simplest thing – let Agoda and Booking.com handle everything, and route all your clients through them (I know of several small hotels that do this now, with very good results and zero hassle).
    2. Use an online system like this – http://www.freetobook.com/ – there are many others, but I’ve heard good things about this one.
    3. The best free WP plugin seems to be: http://wordpress.org/plugins/booking/ – see it in action here – http://www.nid-des-anges.fr/en/booking/ (incidentally, a great website that uses the new Divi-2 theme from ET).
    4. The best paid/premium theme looks to be this one, and surprisingly there aren’t many about at all – http://themeforest.net/item/soho-hotel-responsive-hotel-booking-wp-theme/5576098
    The authors seem to offer excellent support and regular updates, and there was mention of a second theme to come soon (but no signs yet – this one is rather old-fashioned).
    5. Also worth a look – these guys – http://templatic.com/app-themes/hotel-booking-wordpress-theme
    NOTE all this is just my unbiased opinion, and these are not affiliate links.

    Oplevelser & textwrapper – what do you think of my suggestions ? And do tell us what you eventually go with. 🙂
    If anyone has any other ideas, please share – I have a feeling I may need to revisit all of this v.soon …

    1. textwrapper
      textwrapper June 27, 2014 at 00:02 | | Reply

      I really appreciate the information, and I’ll share it with my client. I’ll get back to this thread when we choose something (gulp).

    2. Mianne
      Mianne March 2, 2015 at 10:13 | | Reply

      This is a great list of information. Thanks. I really like the Soho Theme and after finding it the other day as well, it’s probably my fav so far.

      I also had a look at this one posted by Desi Angelova earlier and do love the look of it and it’s functionality (only viewed from the live demo though):
      http://www.phpjabbers.com/hotels-booking-system/

  9. Joe
    Joe November 6, 2014 at 00:16 | | Reply

    “Booking System Pro” mentioned in the original article – it doesn’t allow administrators to edit existing orders. Which seems crazy as customers often need to change their booking after. They have been promising to add this for over 2 years (search the comments on Code Canyon). It’s very frustrating – total sales for this plugin are now at around $200,000 (!) with no edit feature.

  10. Kenaz
    Kenaz November 12, 2014 at 18:06 | | Reply

    Interesting article and comments from the readers! I am building a hostel website with booking feature for my client. However it seems to me that these solutions can just manage booking from your own website, but cannot make sure bookings from multiple hotel listing sites are in-sync and up-to-date with your website too. For example it is very possible that my client’s website would need to make sure all bookings from his website and Agoda and Booking.com and Expedia are all in-sync. I am aware of some channel manager 3rd party services in the market. However their monthly charges could be expensive for a budget hostel. I am still new in supporting clients from hostel business, appreciate if there any sharing/solution for my question. Thanks!

  11. Rob
    Rob January 27, 2015 at 01:23 | | Reply

    Woothemes, the maker of WooCommerce also has a bookings add on now to WooCommerce. I have been using it. As with most things Woo, it works great and they continue to add features. My only drawback to this using Woo’s Bookings product is the limited set of custom payment options for collecting additional fees like deposits and splitting the payment for a reservation. I don’t know if the perfect system exists without paying a developer to build it so I’ll just try to make it work for now. If you are interested here is a link to the documentation for the Bookings Extension for WooCommerce. http://www.woothemes.com/products/woocommerce-bookings/

    1. Joel Mielke
      Joel Mielke March 23, 2015 at 22:09 | | Reply

      From what I’ve been able to gather, the problem with producing hotel booking software that is not part of an ongoing service is the channel management. The room booking services change requirements for hotel clients often, so constant updating of the service is the norm.

  12. Joel Mielke
    Joel Mielke February 6, 2015 at 23:53 | | Reply

    We’re looking at siteminder. Flat monthly fee. Updates all the big sites with each confirmation:
    http://www.siteminder.com

  13. Mianne
    Mianne March 2, 2015 at 10:19 | | Reply

    Thank you Jean for a great post. The comments have been really useful too.

    I don’t know if it’s appropriate to ask here, but I’m wondering if anyone here can help? ……as I am developing my first site for a hotel client, is anyone willing to give me an idea of the kind of time they have used for setting up a hotel website? (I will probably base it on WordPress, but haven’t quite decided yet?)

    I’m thinking of quoting (estimating) 40-60hrs development time (for a WordPress site), depending on the functionality the client would ultimately like. I’m also willing to wear a bit of ‘learning time’ during this project.

    Any suggestions or guidelines would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  14. Hotel Somnath Atithigruh
    Hotel Somnath Atithigruh August 5, 2015 at 09:43 | | Reply

    Dear Supporters

    First I like to say that my English is very poor but I will try to explain the problem I am facing with this plugin.

    I have am taking hotel booking in somnath on website Hotelsomnath.com

    I am really very pleased with the features of this plugin and my website is getting great business with the help of this plugin without any error.

    I love free version

    1. inam
      inam November 11, 2016 at 02:25 | | Reply

      sir i need hotel booking engine can u guide me pelase which one you are using

  15. Rafael Gama
    Rafael Gama October 5, 2015 at 15:27 | | Reply

    Do you know any type of booking candle that has this site: http://refugiocheirodemato.com.br/ and which is situated in the site footer and here? http://refugiocheirodemato.com.br/

    I really liked this plugin because it is fixed in the footer of the site and the basic options. When you click it directs to a page already with predefined fields filled. I’m looking for a plugin like that.

    Preferably free, but if paid, premium fine. Thank you.

  16. James
    James November 17, 2015 at 00:02 | | Reply

    Beyond booking, what other plugins are owner/ operators looking for? We’re developing a plugin ( Hospitality plugin by Guestaba ) that makes creating rooms, amenities lists, etc…much easier to manage. The plugin also has short codes for room thumbnail, room description, prices and several others.

  17. Best Luxury Destinations™
    Best Luxury Destinations™ December 1, 2015 at 14:38 | | Reply

    James,. good to see some one asking a quality question, instead of winding people around what we have in in the market which does not fit, or does not fit 20% or less.. I believe there would be several hotels, as well travel agents and operators. All the hotels would not like to compete openly with the OTA’s, so for them it would be nice to have a simple plugin which they can publish offers from time to time.. as well some DMC’s due to their contracts with the hotels they would not be able to publish their prices, however on special cases they will be able to publish special offers like Stay 7 pay 5.. etc.. if there is a plugin for these. I believe it would work better than any..

  18. jamesnobles
    jamesnobles December 2, 2015 at 17:08 | | Reply

    We have the development of a plugin to do just that on our roadmap, though it may be awhile. But given your input we may move it up a bit. The best way to accomplish this is to have people login/create accounts on your hotels WordPress site. Get that login info with email from a visitor and potential customer is a goldmine. It allows you to do several things, offer them customized deals and member only type of discounts. WP has many membership plugins that accomplish this and we have plans to customize one for hotels. The other thing that getting people to create an account on your site accomplishes is it gives you a mountain of data. It allows you to utilizes services like mixpanel, customer.io, intercom.io, Mailchimp, RoosterStripe and others. It also allows you to track visitors across multiple devices, smartphones, tables and desktops. This gives insight into their behavior, shopping habits, etc…allows you to re-target them on social media and ad networks. Because remember…if you have a list of customers email address, you can load them into FaceBook and Twitter for targeted social media ad campaigns.

    If you are unable to have someone create an account right now due technical limitations, you might consider adding Rooster to your site, getrooster.com. It allows you to send notifications to a desktop users browser. Kind of like how an app of your smartphone send you a notification but it works with desktops. Chrome and Safari users only.

    But it all goes back to the simple process of having visitors create an account on your website. This put the hotel owner in the drivers seat for marketing communications and maintaining a direct relationship with the customer. It cheaper cost wise to keep a customer than to acquire a new one. So again, get the email..get them to create an account on your site. A good WP membership plugin should work.

    Thanks for answer our question and we will take another look at a hotel specific membership plugin. The plugin itself would not be difficult, the issue is how integrate it with all the third-party booking engines out there. Maybe we’ll just have to cook up our own booking engine to go with it 🙂

    1. Textwrapper
      Textwrapper February 6, 2016 at 10:29 | | Reply

      James, we did research for a hotel client years ago and we had hoped to find something reasonably priced (a motel of about twenty rooms), but they ended up going with something that cost about $200 per month. The problem was finding something that incorporated all of these current online services (hotels.com, trivago, booking.com, etc). What are your thoughts?

  19. jamesnobles
    jamesnobles December 2, 2015 at 17:15 | | Reply

    Oops. Wrong website address and name…It should be Roost at http://www.goroost.com ( I’m not affiliated in anyway ) for sending notifications from your website to visitors.

  20. Emma Watson
    Emma Watson January 19, 2016 at 02:37 | | Reply

    Great list of awsome plugins – makes me want to book a vacation just by looking at the plugins!

  21. Johnhenny
    Johnhenny February 4, 2016 at 21:05 | | Reply

    Nice post about hotels.really informative

  22. Vicky SEO
    Vicky SEO February 6, 2016 at 06:25 | | Reply

    i am not seeing any plugin is working like a charm there we need some one who can have a permanent solution .

    1. Textwrapper
      Textwrapper February 6, 2016 at 10:32 | | Reply

      The problem was finding something that incorporates all of these current online services (hotels.com, trivago, booking.com, etc). For that you have to have a service with monthly fees as far as I know. Please correct me if I’m wrong—I’d love to know the current status of booking software. It seems that an attractive plugin would attract venture capital. There’s obviously a lot of need out there.

  23. Ferreira
    Ferreira February 6, 2016 at 21:02 | | Reply

    A good read, especially for new WordPress user like me, I have been a Joomla users for 5 years and I’ve just switched to WordPress recently because of clients’s requirements. Our company has quite a good number of clients in the hospitality field, they have different budget for their project therefore we are always monitoring the market to find good solutions for their needs. For Joomla we have quite good booking extensions like Solidres, VikBooking and Jomres, all of them has a vital feature for a professional hotel booking system: Channel Manager. From the WP plugin list above I could not find any plugins which has that feature

    1. Vince Wooll
      Vince Wooll June 8, 2016 at 23:48 | | Reply

      Ferreira,

      Jomres also integrates with WordPress as well as Joomla. It’s exactly the same system, so whatever works on Joomla will work in WordPress too.

    2. Kseniia
      Kseniia August 25, 2017 at 02:59 | | Reply

      Ferreira,

      The Hotel Booking plugin by MotoPress was created especially for WordPress. And this online solution is the newest one and was created taking into consideration all users’ requests, you are able to try its demo to understand whether it suits your requirements.

  24. DanDinMT
    DanDinMT February 29, 2016 at 16:30 | | Reply

    Ferreira, I looked at the JomRes site and it looks like they have a WordPress version. Have you used it? Is it good? Comments?

  25. Ferreira
    Ferreira March 8, 2016 at 08:36 | | Reply

    DanDinMT, yes we tried Jomres before but gave up because their code was an absolute nightmare to follow and customize. At this moment, for projects that need basic booking system, we use [Booking Calendar](https://wordpress.org/plugins/booking/), and for more advanced booking system, we use [Solidres](http://www.solidres.com)

  26. jamesnobles
    jamesnobles March 10, 2016 at 10:51 | | Reply

    We are starting working on a booking system here at Guestaba, you can sign up for a notification list here -> https://www.guestaba.com/plugin/ . The plan is to have it run on top of WooCommerce, they published some open source code for booking hotel reservations but it requires a $250 WooCommerce plugin. Our goal is too create something that will work with the open source code and the standard WooCommerce install.

    We are in the very early stages of development right now. Expected time frame for a working prototype is mid-June. We have to balance this with work from paying clients 🙂

    Again…you can sign up here for notifications https://www.guestaba.com/plugin/

    And here is a link to the open source code published by WooCommerce we are working with https://github.com/woothemes/woocommerce-accommodation-bookings

    Thanks,

    James Nobles
    Co-Founder Guestaba.com

    1. Textwrapper
      Textwrapper March 10, 2016 at 11:35 | | Reply

      A solid booking system for WordPress with regular updates could very profitable. Good luck to you.

  27. jamesnobles
    jamesnobles March 10, 2016 at 11:37 | | Reply

    Thanks 🙂

  28. sillky
    sillky March 28, 2016 at 04:22 | | Reply

    Hi great feedback guys. Can anyone help me? I need to develop a web site which will need to be used for multi branches eventually. I want to link it to the hotels reservation systems using thei hotels systems web booking plugin. Does any one know of a multi site system ? I like soho ans others but are they multi site . I am not a developer I am learning to use templates and visual composer

  29. Tony Do
    Tony Do April 11, 2016 at 20:31 | | Reply

    try hotel master

  30. Feliciano200
    Feliciano200 September 15, 2016 at 01:04 | | Reply

    Hi Jean, I liked your post on the booking plugins, appreciated!
    I would like to know if there is a plugin for: charter flights,where operator can change flight details, aircraft details and user can book based on availability.Also operators can be given access(not admin login) to change different flight details.Sort of like multi-vendor but for charter flights. Will appreciate any help.Regards

  31. Mary
    Mary November 2, 2016 at 12:38 | | Reply

    Wooow october 2016 and i am still searching for a great hotel booking plugin. Sighss…Informative post this is…insightful comments likewise.

  32. Ihsan
    Ihsan March 15, 2017 at 22:31 | | Reply

    I’m wondering whether to go with a wordpress plugin or whether to use an opensource hotel booking script. What do you guys think?

  33. Neo
    Neo July 6, 2017 at 21:06 | | Reply

    Hi, this free hotel reservation plugin is good too: https://wordpress.org/plugins/awebooking
    and it’s free. I thought you must check it if you want booking system for WP 🙂

  34. richard
    richard July 12, 2017 at 06:13 | | Reply

    Hi just to tell you some experience from my persective.
    Generally: I have often problems with envato/code canyon plug ins. Support ist not really good, unfriendly developers and most of the plugins are not a good choice if you want a stable working plugin for your customers.

    Best way is to pay for a good plugin programmed by a company which has years of experience and who is focused on development.

    To the plugins. I tried booki. I can not recommend this plugin. I had big problems and issues with the backend and front end. I tried it on a fresh wordpress installation and it is indeed a problem of the plugin. Developer was extremely unfriendly and said I am the only one with problems. Mmm, on a fresh installation the same problem. So I can say, don’t use codecanyon if you need a solid working tool for your customers website. I tried a lot and only a handfull is working.
    Some others here I looked and they do not look really designed and good.

    May be this helps.

    1. Joel Mielke
      Joel Mielke July 12, 2017 at 08:37 | | Reply

      Very useful comments, Richard. We’ve been telling hotel clients to go with a company that specializes in hotels or B&Bs, since they’ve worked out the booking end. If you can suggest “a good plugin programmed by a company which has years of experience and who is focused on development” when you find one, that would also be very helpful.

  35. Emily Williams
    Emily Williams August 25, 2017 at 03:21 | | Reply

    Jean, thank you for including Hotel Booking plugin by MotoPress!

    It’s the “youngest” hotel tool in this collection, so, hopefully, it will satisfy users’ needs. And our team always appreciates users’ feedback, so will be glad to get it! Thanks in advance!

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