A Solopreneur’s Search For the Perfect Online Scheduling App

Last week I went in search of an online scheduling application. I thought I would find the perfect scheduling app for my business within an hour or two. Sigh. That was not nearly the case.

The Backstory

I needed a more efficient method for my solopreneur coaching clients to book appointments, because I didn’t think my “system” of setting up appointments via e-mail was adequate anymore. Plus, I wanted to give clients the ability to book online without leaving my Web site.

I signed up for and tested six online applications, and this my report. (Keep in mind that these aren’t full-blown reviews based on the use of the apps; these are the impressions of one person who is trying to make a buying decision for a solo business.)

All of the applications I considered have an impressive list of features, so my buying decision was based on these criteria:

• Ease of use for my clients and for me, the administrator

• An attractive user interface for clients and the administrator

• Customizable to fit my functions and match my Web site

• Ability to import iCal and Google calendars

I didn’t think I was asking for too much.

The Candidates

The home page and introductory video make Appointment.com look great. I think it’s an extremely robust product, but I didn’t get very far. After I signed up, I went under the hood and immediately thought it was overwhelming and anti-intuitive. It felt like Excel, and Excel hates me. I didn’t know where to begin with Appointment.com; it’s way too much program for my needs, so I signed out and moved on.

This is an application that I think a lot of people would like. Personal taste pushed me away from it.

Easy for my clients to use: Yes

Easy for me to administer: Yes

An attractive user interface for my clients and the administrator: Unfortunately, no. The interface looks like state-of-the-art, circa 1998. Its use of clip art and fonts is brutal. I did not want to subject my clients to that. Another sign of age: in the support section it gives instructions for use with Netscape, but not Chrome.

Customizable to fit my functions and match my Web site: I couldn’t bear to look at the user interface long enough to get to this point.

Ability to import iCal and Google calendars: I don’t know.

Tech support: A setup and user guide, plus online and contextual help

Cost for my uses: $14.75 per month

I wanted BookFresh to work for me, because it is so intuitive and fun to use.

Easy for my clients to use: Yes

Easy for me to administer: Yes, very easy

An attractive user interface for my clients and the administrator: Definitely! A beautiful, Mac-like interface

Customizable to fit my functions and match my Web site: Nope. BookFresh asks that the business list its services and prices. My clients already have purchased sessions, and they just want to make an appointment; I don’t need to list the prices again. There was no explanation anywhere online from BookFresh on how work around the price requirement. Maddening! So I sent an e-mail to support. They told me to use the words “Free” or “Varies” in the price box. That’s great, but why wasn’t that piece of information available anywhere? Also, the customizable-colors function for building my widget did not work, and I could not find a way to remove the “shopping cart” icon from the user dialogue box.

Ability to import iCal and Google calendars:
I don’t know. There’s no tech-support information online to answer that question.

Tech support: There is no real support built into the site. The FAQ and videos are only introductory in nature.

Cost for my uses: $19.95 per month

I found out about BookingBug in the comments of a BookFresh vs. Setster review.

Easy for my clients to use: Yes, but the calendar widget loads slowly (about 30 seconds) when used the first time.

Easy for me to administer: Yes

An attractive user interface for my clients and the administrator: It’s not the best I saw, but it wasn’t the worst either.

Customizable to fit my functions and match my Web site: This is where BookingBug shines. Its widgets are available in four sizes. You can customize every tiny element of the widget, which means that the calendar widget on my site matches the rest of my site. Plus, you can customize the text in e-mail messages. Multiple custom options are available for pricing and payment, too, including the option of not including any price information.

Ability to import iCal and Google calendars: It appears to be iCal only

Tech support: Fabulous! Dynamic help throughout the site, live online tech support, detailed how-to information at every step. There’s also an optional set-up service, which would have cost me $59.

Cost for my uses: $19.95 per month

I didn’t go very far with Lattiss, because it appears to be better suited to businesses that serve a local clientele. My first clue was the site’s tagline, which says “Online booking for local services.” If I had that kind of business, I would have spent time with Lattiss.

Setster might have won this competition, if not for its cynical pricing structure.

Easy for my clients to use: Yes

Easy for me to administer: Yes

An attractive user interface for my clients and the administrator: Yes

Customizable to fit my functions and match my Web site: The only way you can set multiple availability times—beyond preset times—is to upgrade to a premium package that costs $29.95. I think it’s annoying and manipulative to not include such a fundamental feature in a base package. At $29.95, Setser is 50 percent more expensive than other apps. Is Setster 50 percent better? I don’t think so.

Ability to import iCal and Google calendars: iCal no, Google yes.

Tech support: Setster has a “Help Desk” that includes a forum, although there are several questions in the forum that have been up for months and have not been answered by Setster (or anyone else). Support is available 24/5 via e-mail, appointment, phone and Skype.

Cost for my uses: $29.95 per month

The Conclusion

BookingBug was the winner, even though the admin user interface isn’t as handsome as some of the others. I have one silly criticism of BookingBug: it bothers me that I’m using an app that has “bug” in its name. (That’s a bewildering marketing decision, to use the word “bug” in your software’s name.)

Here’s the end result: The Solopreneur Life Coaching scheduling tool. I never dreamed it would take so much time and effort to produce a little-old calendar!

What is your online scheduling solution? Are there any excellent apps that I did not find? If you know of one, tell us about it in the comments below.

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Hi, I'm Gregory Rouse, owner of The Solopreneur Life. Subscribe to The Solopreneur Life newsletter and receive how-to's, tips, and inspiration for living your solopreneur life.


  1. says

    Oh, man, I feel your pain here. I think I tried each of these and also didn’t find one that fit all of my needs. In the end, I ended up going with bookfresh. Largely because it’s interface is easy and it looks great, but, most important, it syncs with iCal BOTH WAYS. Meaning, if I update my iCal with a ballet recital for my daughter or a lunch-date with my husband, it automatically takes that time off of my bookfresh calendar.

    I am just loving your blog! Thanks for all the great and timely info.

  2. Larry Keltto says

    Hi Nona — thank you for your comment and your kind words. Syncing with iCal both ways is a sweet feature.

  3. says

    Thanks for this post! Now that you’ve tried Bookingbug for awhile, are you happy with your decision? I’m the one who did the comparison blog on Bookfresh vs. Setster. I never fully looked into BookingBug but curious to see how it compares! Also, Tungle.me seems good but I am still testing it out.

  4. Larry Keltto says

    Hi David,

    That was an excellent review — and one of the few comparative reviews I was able to find regarding scheduling software.

    I haven’t used BookingBug for long, but the more I use it, the more I like it. One thing I’m impressed with is how quickly changes I make on the back end of the program show up in the widget. The changes show up immediately.


  5. says

    Hi Larry – your kind words about BookingBug are much appreciated. We are working everyday to try and improve our services to make it even better.

    You can now use BookingBug within your Moonfruit page. We recently had a guest post on their blog to give people an insight into BookingBug, for those who still may be on the fence about choosing a scheduling application.


    Many thanks Larry!

  6. Larry Keltto says

    Hi Will:

    Thank you for pointing out Checkfront. I didn’t find it when I was going through my search. It looks like a very strong product.


  7. Larry Keltto says

    Hi Karen:

    Thanks for alerting me to Schedulicity and Time Driver. I just spent some time with Schedulicity and I was impressed. The features are comparable to BookingBug. I like that clients can schedule appointments from a Facebook page. And I like that appointments can be made on my site, however it appears that the Schedulicity calendar that’s made available to my site cannot be customized for colors.


  8. Jessica Rooney says

    We use ScheduleThing at our office, and it’s great. Probably what’s most important is that it’s very easy and flexible to use on our end, and it’s been a breeze for our users as well. This was especially handy when we were using ScheduleThing to book phone interviews for prospective employees: by allowing everyone to make an appointment at the time that worked best for them, we spent less time on the phone/answering emails and more time researching the candidates and going over their resumes. Also, the booking site is not only attractive, but it carries over a lot of your branding from your website (e.g., your logo, your colors, etc). There’s also a widget that lets you embed your schedule right onto your home page! And finally, it integrates with iCal, and can be used to send iCal reminders/event invitations to your clients. It sounds like ScheduleThing fits all the criteria you were originally looking for!

  9. says

    Hey everyone!

    Very happy to have found this great resource. I too have been on the hunt and looked at most of these. I’ve been trying one called “Bookeo” that looks very promising ( http://www.bookeo.com ).

    The problem I’ve been having is that the bigger companies offer all of the features and flexibility I want but too much of what I don’t need as a soloprenuer. The smaller companies offer better price points but not ENOUGH flexibility.

    Bookeo seems to strike the right balance for me. for example as a vocal coach I wanted to be able to sell my lessons in packages of varying lengths as well as offer monthly memberships. All of the larger companies offer this but few of the smaller companies. Bookeo lets me do not only that, but I can set up special pricing for members, seasonal pricing, gift certificates, etc. Lots of options and very intuitive to work with.

    Payment options was another big one for me. I wanted an option to collect payment in advance, but I also wanted options for monthly recurring payments. But I DON’T want to use PayPal.

    Most companies have their own payment option, usually pay pal or authorize.net, and it’s either that or nothing. I loved Schedulicity but was put off by the fact that they offer no payment solution at all just to avoid any responsibility for data collection.

    I asked Bookeo if I could use another gateway, and they agreed to integrate my gateway into their system.
    I’m still testing but very impressed so far.


  10. Larry Keltto says

    @Ron, I really appreciate the heads-up on Bookeo. I haven’t heard of it and will check it out.

  11. says

    Larry, I checked out Bookeo and it does not appear that it does a two-way sync with Google Calendar. Maybe I’m missing something and it is in the fine print. That should be a standard thing for small business people, don’t you think? Ron, do you know if Bookeo works well with Google?

    Larry, I also have been using http://www.YouCanBook.me for awhile and REALLY like it. Works perfectly with Google: a full and instant two-way sync. In fact…it isn’t a sync. Supposedly it is using Google Calendar as the scheduler but HIDES the details so people only see what is available to book. It is growing and getting better with more updates. I love it. You can’t accept Credit Cards yet. However, I think that is not a deal breaker since it really is the best Google Calendar scheduler I’ve seen. You can always use my favorite program, Freshbooks, to send them an invoice right away! :)

  12. says

    I’m told that feature will be in their next update, scheduled for next week. The only thing kinda lacking is custom e-mail templates. Several systems I’ve looked into have many e-mail templates that get triggered automatically by different customer actions (a customer signs up, cancels, makes a payment, etc). These are customizable in most cases. Bookeo doesn’t have much to offer in that regard. They do send an appointment reminder. You can adjust how far in advance it goes out, but there’s no access to the actual e-mail.

  13. says

    Hi all,
    we’d like to let you know that Bookeo’s 2-way Google Calendar sync is available for testing – that it is why it is not listed as publicly available feature (yet!).

    If you would like to try it out, please drop us a line at support at bookeo.com and we’ll enable it for your account. We’d love to hear your feedback! Once we’ve received more feedback from our testers we’ll make the feature publicly available. Thanks!

  14. says


    I checked out Rezdy but I’m not sure how it separates itself from the other dozen or so other online booking programs. Plus you are charging a pretty steep transaction fee for each booking on top of a monthly fee. I don’t know of too many people doing that in your market. Who is your niche market? I’d guess this is not for the service industry business?

    Again…it isn’t clear online how it works or how it is different than others.

  15. says

    Hello David,

    Thanks for your feedbacks,

    Rezdy.com is specialised for tours and activities.

    The transaction fee is common in the travel industry. The advantages for our clients are to be totally free if they don’t have a confirmed booking. Actually we don’t even charge them for cancelled bookings…

    The Pay as you Go (Grow) plan is contract free and allow them to be paid directly on their bank account.

    Our partners and affiliates program is available here: http://affiliates.rezdy.com

    I hope this helps,


  16. says

    First — THANKS for the review.

    Second — Ugh! It’s crazy the way developers keep trying to solve the same problem over and over. Appointment booking and micro-sites for hairdressers and spas.

    What you and I need, is a system that seamlessly accounts for TIME ZONES, and so far, I have not found one. It simply must ask the person booking, what time zone they are in, in the easiest, nicest way possible. (Perhaps guessing based on their IP address, but letting them change it.)

    I’ve used BookFresh, and been so frustrated because it was so good, but it felt like they didn’t get it. Like they stopped developing it a few years ago.

    There is probably something out there, but it’s exhausting seeing so many people offering the same damn thing, sometimes so poorly, or ALMOST a great service, but not quite.

    Actually my main motivator for using a service like this, is that I can’t stand having to propose meeting times. I’d much rather say to someone who wants to talk to me — “HERE. Here’s my calendar. Pick a time, and we’ll talk then. Done.”

    Actually, I am surprised developers have not looked more at this market. If you’re mostly meeting with 1 other person, this is all you should have to do!

    And for G’s sake, at least 20-40% of web workers are virtual, so why not create a system that takes care of time zones.

    Sigh. (I’m a developer.)

  17. says

    I see you had to say “Note! All times are US Central Time.”

    Not your fault, just sad! I get too exasperated because I am a developer, and realize JUST HOW friggin’ easy this problem is to solve.

    Every web visit comes from a certain IP address, and can be geolocated easily. While it’s not exact, it’s very close, so first of all, that is information that can be used.

    I just decided a way to narrow down from the 40 or so possible candidates—if the home page doesn’t have the word “zone” in it—close that tab, and move on. So far, I have found 2.

  18. Larry Keltto says

    Hi Chris: I hear you on the time-zone issue. It seems to me that time zone would be Task #1 for building an online scheduling app, especially when you consider that many meetings involve people from different countries, continents, hemispheres.

    I haven’t checked out BookFresh since I wrote the review, but I remember that I felt like shouting, “Is anybody here?” when using it.

  19. says

    If you are looking for an online booking calendar that covers time zones and is designed for the virtual workers try http://timelybooking.com.

    I went through most of the online calendars looking for the same solution. In the end I designed my own and now have just released it for public use.
    Covers all time zones and is integrated with Skype.

  20. says

    Larry—I know! I felt that way with BookFresh too, and I suspect they just got discouraged and stopped working on it. But it was so cool.

    – – –

    I had a chance to talk with Craig of http://timelybooking.com today. He’s right, he was really filling a niche. His system actually does a lot—you could use it to create an entire online teaching business, where each teacher was in a different time zone, and had a different schedule, and you could manage the entire staff virtually.

    That is because he wrote the software for his own Spanish teaching biz, http://www.121spanish.com .

    It’s got a ton of potential.

    Entrepreneurs, be aware that the market space for solopreneurs is still NOT filled!

  21. says

    Thank you so much for this helpful review. I just started looking at products, it will be my first online scheduling experience. I’m a solo personal trainer. I want to accept payments and allow multiple people to schedule within the same time slot. A program that looks good is essential.

    Since some of the recommendations are over one year old, please steer me to anything new that will help me accomplish those tasks. Otherwise, I’ll start with some of the recommends above. MindBodyOnline scheduler looks great, except for its super high price! Thanks again!

  22. says

    Leslie, if your clients are all local, there are many good options. I actually like BookFresh, though we were saying they do feel a little non-present. It’s a good system.


    * You have several trainers
    * Several services (or just one)
    * You are local
    * You want the visitor to be able to choose their trainer

    BookFresh (as well as many others) should work well, looks pretty, and it’s pretty easy to embed onto your site.

  23. says

    Thanks for the tip…it’s actually just for my single trainer operation. So, guessing I’m not asking for too much! : )

    I’m going to check out bookfresh and bookeo. Cheers!

  24. says

    Larry, glad to discover your website, even though it’s because I share the same frustration many of you on this blog posting do. Actually, I’m more like Chris B. in that i absolutely need multi-time zone support and have been amazed for years as to the lack of this feature. I’ve tried Schedulicity, Bookeo, and a bunch of others, and discarded them for many of the reasons cited above. Major irritation is also the Paypal mentality out there…hey, I have my own Merch Svs account and would rather use that then Paypal any day.

    I came on here Googling “BookingBug slow response time”, so now you know my major beef with them. Nothing turns away a new user (and old) faster than a slow response time. Why the folks at BookingBug haven’t solved this by now is beyond me.

    Also, while I’ve found them to be pretty responsive thus far, I’ve found several “bugs” (literally) in their app, and had some interesting explanations from them to some functionality “gaps” that I’ve pointed out that makes me believe that, once again, these are some guys who don’t really understand and appreciate all the variations that exist in the world of work for solopreneurs like us. So instead of asking me more about my needs and offering to consider adding functionality, I get the standard programmers explanation of “this is why we did it this way”…aaarrrrggghhh!!! These guys piss me off soooo much when they do that.

    Although, in terms of BookingBug, I will say that I’ve only been using it about a week, and I sent them about a dozen requests for functionality, bug reports, etc., and THEY RESPONDED TO EACH ONE, AND VERY QUICKLY, AND WITH DETAILED RESPONSES. I GIVE THEM AN A+ FOR THAT. So I’m gonna stick with them for a while to see how they do, but will check out some of these others as well.

    This is a great post…thanks so much for bringing this up!

  25. says

    So I went back to my BookngBug instance to do a bit more fine tuning, then ran into yet another bug, and then this wording for a recurring event:

    “Repeat this booking once a fortnight”

    Really!!! I mean, who writes stuff like that into an application? Who even talks like that outside of England?

    Ooohhh, the agony of having to teach all these programmers how to market their half-baked products.

  26. Larry Keltto says

    Hi Michaelangelo: Thanks for all the info. Hey, I use the word “fortnight” all the time. j/k 😉

  27. Amy says

    Hi All,

    I read through the conversation and it seems like all of them have pros and cons. Is there any such tool which can be used for self-service booking in very large organizations like schools,government offices.Any input would be helpful.


  28. Lance says

    We just switched to Bookeo about five days ago. Unfortunately, it went down on us because our traffic was too high today.

    We launched a groupon, and they shut us down because we had too much traffic! Here is the response I received:
    “If your customers try and make more than 15 bookings in an interval of 2 minutes, Bookeo will block the account’s traffic for 10 minutes. ” The customer service isn’t professional. I don’t want someone helping me to argue with me and explain why it is ok to shut my service down, or to tell me what is best for my business and my customers.

    When I asked to increase the booking interval, he told me that I could do it by paying double my monthly rate, for a total of $80/month!

    Bookeo has a lot of potential, but the customer service and some of the other things about the service is just unacceptable.

  29. says

    Hi Lance,
    Giovanna here from Bookeo.
    In any single month our customers run hundreds of groupon/livingsocial promotions through Bookeo, and very few ever had traffic levels reached by your account. A sustained rate of one booking every 8 seconds is high by most standards. On our standard plan we allow higher peaks too, but not sustained.

    Out traffic throttling measures protect everyone from the risk that one runaway account overloads servers shared with others. It is a measure that guarantees business continuity for everyone. It is very important when working on shared environments.

    Of course we have large schools and other businesses with higher traffic demands , and we simply set up dedicated servers for them.

    Bookeo’s Groupon/LivingSocial integration is not easily found in other systems, and has proved popular with many of our customers, because Bookeo can automatically check, validate and strike out coupon codes, and generate a report that you can send back to GroupOn with all the codes redeemed.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other question.


  30. Tracy says

    Very nice and helpful article. It’s too bad that if one was to include all appointment scheduling softwares, the final text would have no end. I think there are plenty of scheduling applications that deserve the limelight. I myself use http://www.bookappo.com and it has been a blessing from the skies for my business. But I understand, the competition is huge. But if I may suggest, keep an eye on Bookappo. Tracy

  31. Jessica says

    I recently graduated and now have my RD (registered dietitian). I use TuneNGo as my online appointment software. It works great and entirely free. The best feature is Google Sync and upfront payments from my clients.

    Honestly, there are a lot of good options out there and some that I had not heard of, but pretty happy with mine.

    here is the link to TuneNGo: TuneNGo.com

  32. says

    Hi Larry, it’s testimony to the market out there for scheduling tools this comment thread has been running for 2 years! We’d love you to try out YouCanBook.Me – we are also offering a special deal to any ex-tunglers out there – YouCanBook.Me/Tungle.

    Reading the threads, we’re confident YouCanBook.Me can provide pretty much every feature mentioned above – but do try it out and let us know!

    Bridget Harris

  33. says

    You’re absolutely right, Bridget!

    Well my initial try-out on this, it looks great.

    Now, a major theme here, is what is the market? If it’s hair salons and plumbers or whatever, then you don’t need time zones. But you’re cutting out HUGE and growing market of virtual workers.

    In the work I do (and probably lots of people on here), it doesn’t MATTER where the client is—just so long as time zones don’t become an annoying hassle for us, or create confusion!

    Therefore, Time Zones and managing them as easily as possible, as a have-to-have function!

    I’m telling you — I have only seen ONE other company that’s doing this. And his system is good technically, but usability is not there for a mass adoption strategy.

    This market is going to TAKE OFF, as vocal coaches, and business trainers, and drawing instructors, and a zillion other things, figure out that they can live anywhere, and make their money online. Your tool could facilitate that. Nobody is addressing this yet!

    It’s just that they haven’t seen it yet—I”m telling you! …


  34. says

    Hello Larry, Great post and great site!

    The one online appointment system missing here is Schedule & Go by Mediyak.com – Designed to serve the needs of health care providers, It has all the great features of the other leading systems in the market plus social network tools that help doctors get more clients.

    At mediyak.com we help doctors care! Thats why we are giving special discounts to community acupuncture clinics and other community groups.

    Thanks for your valuable reviews! Corina

  35. Larry Keltto says

    Bridget, yes, it really is interesting how long the discussion has lasted. I like the YouCanBook.me approach — I’m going to give it a try.

    Corina, thanks for the heads-up regarding Mediyak!

  36. says

    @Larry – will look forward to getting your feedback!

    @ChrisB – we cut our teeth on timezones with our first product – http://whenisgood.net which finds a time for everyone to meet (ie aggregates, rather than offers exclusive slots). Timezones has been a major investment for us to get right – we do as much as possible to try and autodetect, but we also allow users to manually adjust if they need to.

    We have one company who sets up ycb.me calendars in the US, for their clients (in Asia) to book teachers based in Europe. All the grids, reminders, emails etc works in the relevant timezones – the system takes care of it all – even daylight saving and other messing about that happens.

    Also – internationalising the service has meant we not only cover timezones, but people’s displays should detect every country’s unique way of displaying dates and times – check it out in Hindi or if you want you can even set it to show lunar calendars for Japan and Thailand.

    Please do let us know if you have any questions.


  37. says

    Hi Larry,

    Fantastic thought provoking thread! :)

    Hope you don’t mind me adding my two cents to this ongoing discussion!

    For those looking for free online bookings software, might I suggest Zingiri Bookings! Ideal for any business/reservation type and lots of admin options to make yours and your clients booking experience as easy and efficient as possible!

    Solid support team should you run into any difficulties, handy documentation and quality software…well worth a try! Bookings Pro & Expert offer more usability, configuration options and payment methods however, Bookings Standard (free version) is perfect for small start up companies.

    Hope you’ll include Zingiri Bookings in any future scheduling software reviews!


  38. Larry Keltto says

    Hi Philippa:

    Thank you for the information on Zingiri Bookings! I just visited their Web site and it’s impressive. I find it interesting that they have a WordPress plugin.


  39. Heather says

    Question for everyone…. i am starting a business that is for classes, i am trying to find scheduling software that can handle classe setup with a picture for each class and then also will accept payments. Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!!

  40. says

    Hi Heather,

    Softly Software has three scheduling products – two which might fit, http://YouCanBook.Me (can easily manage pictures and payments, with a trick to manage classes, our ‘units per slot’ feature).

    the other is our newest, beta product called http://signupsheet.com – which makes allows you to create one off events / classes etc in a very easy to use way. But does exactly what it says on the tin, no fancy features at the moment like taking payments.

    Hope this helps – good luck with your search,



  41. says

    Awesome post Larry! I was searching frantically for an honest, in depth review of online scheduling software and am so happy to find what I was looking for. Thanks so much!

  42. says

    Hi. Loved your reviews.
    My issues involved the scheduling of about 20 cleaners. But I’m in Montreal so I needed bilingual ability. And I need small endian format dates (dd.mm.yyyy) and Canadian or UK english (cheque not check). The main thing I need is repeating schedules, which Bookeo promises to have ready for Summer. (I needed to implement in advance as we were updating our sites–so I subscribed). BookingBug is also good from our limitted testing. Wish these people would design based on different date formats (afterall there are 1.9 billion English speakers that use the same format and 0.3 billion that use the USA formats.) And the language–looks sloppy when you spell colour or flavour without the “u”. Incorrect spelling insults the client. Just thought I’d forward my thoughts to someone who cares enough to write such good reviews.

  43. says

    Hi Tim,

    Can’t say for sure, but reading this looks like http://youcanbook.me could help – we can certainly support two language versions of our scheduling grids and date formats (most of it is based on auto-detect) as well as repeating schedules.

    Drop the team a line team@softlysoftware.com or create a (free) account and we can add a trial period for you to test the features!

    best of luck finding a solution


  44. says

    Setster has changed. I am personally happy to answer any subsequent questions, and dispel any of the untrue facts on this posting.

    Kevin Fink, Managing Director, Setster.com

  45. says


    I am having issues where the widget calendar doesn’t appear on the page.
    I contacted support and they resolved the issue.
    I created a new widget and the same problem occurs again.

    Has anyone else experienced this with bookingbug?

  46. says

    Hello everyone.

    I finally found the perfect combination of plugins to configure your site with the following requirements.

    Completely mobile responsive ( from choosing the appointment, to paying for service appointment. )

    Customer self service scheduling and payment process.

    Customer not required to create account or login.
    Customer is given the option to create account and login.

    Customer can select a service.
    Customer can select an available service provider. ( staff member )

    Customer can select an available service appointment date.

    Customer can select an available service appointment time.

    Customer can enter name, address, contact number, email address.

    Customer information can be stored.

    Customer can pay for service using Authorize.net gateway.

    Customer can pay for service using PayPal.

    Customer email notifications.
    Staff email notifications.
    Customer/staff reminder email notifications.

    Notification intervals can be set in hours before service appointment date.

    Business hours can be set.
    Staff member working hours can be set.
    Exclusion days can be set ( holidays, etc. )
    Staff break hours can be set.

    This solution is the most affordable and value packed solution I have found.
    I have spent a large sum of money, buying plugins, testing them and finding out they had some of my requirements but not all.

    Here is the fruits of my labor.
    Please share with as many People as possible.

    WPMU DEV Appointments+ plugin $19
    WPMU DEV MarketPress plugin $19
    ThemeForest AVADA theme plugin $47
    WordPress FREE
    Authorize.net payment gateway
    PayPal express business account.

    The only issue I have with my setup is: I would like to integrate a form to post data to PayPal instead of the customer being redirected to a PayPal page. Note: this solution provides a mobile optimized PayPal page so it does meet my requirements.

    Note: I consulted with web developers and both companies quoted $2000 to $5000 dollars to develop a solution based on using WooCommerce and woocommerce appointment booking plugin, or using appointy.com scheduling system integrated with iFrame in my website.

    I hope this reaches the folks who are looking for an awesome, simple solution to allow customers to schedule a service appointment, choose the service provider, pay for service , all online.

  47. says

    This post dates a while back, but for the new readers where’s another site to consider http://www.findjoo.com. I believe all your requirements are answered Larry.

    I tried a couple of the others sites mentioned here and I landed on Findjoo and found it to be the most intuitive. There’s information provided for every section and setup field. Also all I’ve had is positive comments from my clients who book online.

    Plus Findjoo only cost me $5 per month since I use the client management feature. You only pay for “extra” features if you need them.

    Definitely worth taking a look.


  48. says

    I’ve used Genbook for 3 years or so. It’s been a good tool. But, the jump from my website to Genbook might be a killer. Genbook offers no data on what my drop off rate is once somebody gets to genbook.com. So, I think BookingBug (horrible name you’re right–but Genbook? That’s a lame name too) would really help people just go for it right on my site.

    I have a question, about the following text from your BookingBug review above, “Easy for my clients to use: Yes, but the calendar widget loads slowly (about 30 seconds) when used the first time.” Do you mean my potential clients will be waiting 30 seconds for BookingBug to open for them? If yes, then I’ll stay put. Modern users can’t withstand a wait of more than a couple of seconds. The drop off rates are incredible, now.

    Hopefully, you meant that the management console that your clients never see takes 30 seconds to load. It’s spooky programming or a bad hosting situation that BookingBug should fix ASAP, regardless of whether it’s the management console or the customer facing interface.

    Thanks, Ned

  49. says

    Hi Ned – welcome to the longest running blog post on scheduling ever! I think in fairness Larry really ought to write a new version 😉

    I just wanted to drop in and say if you haven’t tried YCBM you’ll find you can embed our grids via an i-frame direct into your site and customize exactly how they look: https://youcanbook.me/feature/style or check out one of out many different themes: https://youcanbook.me/demos.jsp?template=generic&theme=city

    just send us an email and we’d be happy to give you a free trial: team@youcanbook.me

    good luck finding a solution.


  50. says

    Nice review Larry. We recently launched a new product called ScheduleHopper (http://www.schedulehopper.com) which we built specifically for coaches & consultants. From talking to many coaches, I kept hearing “we just want something simple & integrated” and most of the offerings out there are too complicated. So that’s what we tried to do with ScheduleHopper. The basic plan is “free forever” and the most expensive plan right now is just $10/month. I’d love for you to take a look and let me know your thoughts. Feel free to mail me if you have any questions.

  51. Heather says

    Great post – thanks! Another notable scheduling software solution is BookMyCity (https://www.bookmycity.com/). It offers businesses local exposure, along with great features like online booking, online payment processing, website integration, CRM, analytics, etc. It’s really a complete system. Worth taking a look at.

  52. Michele Mason says

    Hi Larry… I am currently searching for appointment scheduling software – something free to start. Like you, I also thought I would find the perfect app (or near-perfect, at least) for my business within a few hours. Days later – and still sighing :-) – I’m here and thankful to have found this site. Some very interesting information and I think I found a couple of good apps to try (much better than the two I was considering). Thanks for everyone’s help!

  53. larry keltto says

    Hi Michele:

    I’m glad the post — even at its advanced aged — helped you. 😉

    Given the fact you were still sighing after several days of searching, I guess things haven’t changed much since 2010.

  54. Pete Nice says

    Great blog and some great comments…

    Bookingbug really looked like it might be the one as we have a very complex product offering, but I was completely unable to set it up. Their wizard kept tossing me back to the same page, asking me the same three setup questions before returning me to the very first question. I must have tried three dozen times. Also a bunch of dead links on their site didn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy. Emailed support and nothing back. So I’m still looking at other options.

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