Learn how to create flexible WordPress calendar appointment booking forms with Formidable Forms and Simply Schedule Appointments. Start accepting appointments quickly.
Formidable Forms has always let you include date and time picker fields in your forms. People could choose a date and time for their online booking, provide other information, and submit that form to you. Basic WordPress appointment booking forms are no problem.
But while that works for some use cases, there are two potential problems:
Double bookings and changing availability!
If you have a situation where there are a limited number of appointments for each time slot, you'd have no easy way to stop people from selecting times that were already booked. Similarly, if you're only available at some times (and those times can change), it's difficult to stop people from booking time slots when you're not available.
The new Formidable Forms integration with the Simply Schedule Appointments plugin solves those issues. Plus you can create a much more robust appointment booking system to go along with your forms.
And although we generally suggest WordPress users to avoid installing too many plugins, this one is so great that it deserves a spot. Your WordPress site will become a great place for customers to book appointments online too.
Simply Schedule Appointments is a WordPress schedule plugin for creating a booking calendar. Appointment types and time slots can be selected and then included directly in your form. Now people can choose a time from the calendar when they submit a booking form.
Keep reading for more on how the integration works and a step-by-step guide on how to set it up. You'll need the Plus Plan in Simply Schedule Appointments to make this work (not the free version). Now, let's learn how to turn your WordPress website into an appointment collecting machine!
How the Formidable Forms/Simply Schedule Appointments integration works
As the name suggests, Simply Schedule Appointments is a WordPress appointment and booking plugin that aims to be a streamlined tool for appointment scheduling. In the developer's words, it offers "just the features you need without the clutter and confusion of features you don’t."
Simply Schedule Appointments helps business owners with:
- Unlimited appointment types, each with its own unique set of restrictions
- Advanced scheduling options
- Blackout dates
- Collect payments
- Email notifications
- ...plenty more
But in their mission to create a streamlined WordPress appointment booking tool without bloat, the Simply Schedule Appointments team felt like there was no reason to reinvent the wheel when it came to building appointment booking forms.
Thus, the integration with Formidable Forms. If you can use a simple drag and drop plugin like Formidable, Simply Schedule should be easy for you too.
Once you set up your appointment calendar with Simply Schedule Appointments, you can use Formidable Forms to create the front-end form that your visitors will use to book appointments.
You can use all the normal Formidable Forms fields and features to collect as much information as needed. Then, to add the appointment booking calendar into your forms, you can use the new Appointment form field that the integration offers.
You'll also enjoy two-way syncing:
- When you're viewing an entry in Formidable Forms, you'll see a link that will take you straight to the appointment information in Simply Schedule Appointments.
- When you're viewing an appointment in Simply Schedule Appointments, you'll see all the form data from Formidable Forms.
How to create WordPress appointment booking forms
Ready to build your first WordPress appointment booking form?
Here's how to set everything up…
1. Create a new appointment type in Simply Schedule Appointments
An appointment "type" is a specific kind of appointment you want people to be able to book via your form. For example:
- A 30-minute phone consultation
- A one-hour personal training session
To get started, go to Appointments → Appointment Types in your WordPress dashboard and click Create a New Appointment Type:
At the top, enter basic details like the name and duration:
Then, use the options below to set up more advanced details.
First, use the Availability section to control the times when you're available for this appointment each day.
People will be able to choose from these times when submitting a form with Formidable Forms.
Next, use the Scheduling Options section to control restrictions like how many of this appointment type can be booked per day, how much notice is required before an appointment, etc.
Formidable Forms will automatically apply these restrictions in your forms.
Check out any other settings that are relevant to your needs. Then, click the Save button to finish creating your appointment type.
2. Create your basic WordPress online booking form
Next, go to Formidable → Add New to create a new form for appointment booking.
To get started, create the basic fields for information that you want to collect from people who book appointments. For example:
- Phone number
You might also have more specific information that you need to collect. Feel free to take advantage of all of Formidable Forms' fields to collect as much information as needed. This gives you custom fields for easy appointment scheduling.
For example, you could even use a File Upload field to let people attach a file or Checkboxes or Radio Buttons to let them select their preferences:
3. Add and configure the Appointment form field
Next, add the new Appointment field to your form to let people choose a time slot. Assuming you have the premium version of Simply Schedule Appointments active, you'll find the Appointment field in the Advanced Fields section in Formidable Forms:
If you click on the Appointment field to edit its settings, you'll be able to choose exactly which appointment type people can book through this form. You can either include:
- All appointment types
- A specific appointment type, if you have multiple options
And that's it! You can add your form to any page on your site using Formidable Forms' shortcode or block. Then, visitors will be able to submit the form to book their appointments.
How to manage your booked appointments
To finish things out, let's take a quick look at how your appointment booking forms work on the frontend and backend.
Your visitors will use the form to enter basic details and choose their appointment time slot:
Once they choose a time slot, they'll see a confirmation of their time. Then, they can click Submit to submit the form data and book their appointment:
Now, we're switching over to the backend.
If you view that entry in Formidable Forms, you'll see a summary of the details, along with a link to manage the appointment in Simply Schedule Appointments:
And then if you go to Simply Schedule Appointments, you'll still see all the details from your other Formidable Forms fields, along with a link to view the entry in Formidable Forms:
You'll also see this information if you expand an appointment in the main Simply Schedule Appointments list:
And there you have it - an easy, but flexible, way to create WordPress appointment booking forms.
Get started with WordPress booking forms
With the Formidable Forms and Simply Schedule Appointments integration, you can create flexible WordPress appointment booking forms with smart functionality to avoid double bookings, blackout certain times and dates, and generally manage all of your appointment booking efforts. If you don't need Formidable integration, you can also check out Amelia for booking.