*This post contains affiliate links, if you decide to purchase a product using a link on this page, I’ll get a small commision (which helps me keep providing great free content). 

Google Calendar:

This option is simple, but I only recommend it if you’re using your calendar for reference only. See my Social Media Holiday Calendar as an example of an embedded Google calendar.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Almost no setup required

Cons:

  • Doesn’t look professional
  • Users can’t book directly through your website
  • You can’t take payments

How to embed a Google Calendar on your website: (Skip to the tutorial in the video)

  • Open up your Google Calendar and click on the small cog in the upper right-hand corner
  • Click on access permissions, and either select see all event details, or
  • Click on the calendar you want to embed, and then click on “Integrate Calendar”
  • Copy the Embed Code, and paste it into the page where you want the calendar

Calendly

Free Method (Paid options start at $8 per month)

Calendly is a great option if you simply need a way for customers to schedule events. I love the interface for Calendly, it’s easy for customers to book a convenient time. It’s also great if you need several people to be able to attend an event.

I only recommend the free version of Calendly, if you’re looking for a paid option with more features I recommend checking out one of the other options.

With the free version on Calendly, you’ll only get one event type, and you can’t do pre-paid events, but if you’re a one-man team this is a great solution.

Pros:

  • A beautiful free option
  • Easy for clients to use
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • The paid options are extremely limited. Their intake forms are limited to just a few questions, and you can’t offer packages or coupon deals.
  • The embed forms can be difficult to use on mobile.

To embed your Calendly booking link on your website: (Skip to the tutorial in the video)

  • Open the event you’d like to share
  • Click on the carrot in the upper right-hand corner, and click on “Share your link”
  • Copy the “Embed Code”
  • Past the code where you want it to show up on your website
  • If you would like to share just a specific event replace the calendar URL with your specific URL.

Acuity

Paid (15 for a single user, up to 50 for multiple team members – Free trial available)

This is the preferred method for Squarespace users as it has native integration with the site.  It’s a great platform and easy to set up different event types. I like this platform because it gives you several embed options, you can simply add a button, or you can embed a full booking calendar.

If you have intake forms your clients need to fill out, this is the best and simplest method for adding booking to your website.

Pros:

  • Outstanding customer support!!!
  • Easy to use
  • HIPPA compliant forms available at higher levels

Cons

  • This can be an expensive option for a small team
  • No Native Integration

To embed and Acuity Event on your website: (Skip to the tutorial in the video)

  • Click on the event you want to embed
  • Click on “Direct Scheduling Link”
  • Click “Booking Button” or “Embed Scheduler” and copy the code provided.
  • Paste the code where you want it in your website.

How to create a Booking Website:

BirchPress

Free-249

If you’re a confident WordPress user, and you’re looking for something integrated into your website. BirchPress is a great choice. I would use this for a salon, or any business with multiple available staff members. It’s also great if a set number of people can book at the same time, so it’s perfect for Yoga studios, or tours.

The out of the box demo is a little ugly but can be customized to match your branding’s website.  They provide excellent documentation, and you can even try a live demo here.

Skip to the review in the video

Pros:

  • No monthly subscription
  • Highly Customizable
  • Can be added to an existing WordPress Website

Cons:

  • Requires more tech skills
  • The out of the box look is clunky and ugly

Booking Themes

If appointment booking, hotel booking, or classes are going to be the main offering of your business. I recommend going with a booking theme. You’ll end up paying less in the long run, if you start with a theme focused around bookings.

The Entrepreneur Theme by Themovation is an excellent choice. It’s built around booking functionality, and since it supports Elementor, it’s easy to customize without needing to know how to code.

Skip to the review in the video

Pros

  • Fully Integrated Booking System
  • Fully Customizable
  • Can be easy to use if the theme has good documentation, and uses a user-friendly interface

Cons

  • Requires you to re-build your website
  • Not all themes are easy to use (Make sure your theme comes with customer service)
  • Some themes require paid plugins on top of the paid theme

Katie Davidson

Digital marketing strategist, and website designer. My mission is to help business owners succeed with digital marketing strategies that work.

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