Amelia Review & Tutorial 2023 – The Best WordPress Booking Plugin

Amelia is one of the most popular and fully-featured WordPress booking and appointment plugins available. With beautiful designs and an intuitive interface, Amelia makes it easy for anyone to set up an online booking system.

In this up-to-date guide for 2024, I’ll provide a hands-on review of using Amelia, including a step-by-step tutorial for getting set up. By the end, you’ll know exactly how to create a professional booking system with Amelia.

Key Benefits of Using Amelia

Here are some of the main reasons over 87,000 businesses rely on Amelia for their online bookings:

  • Seamlessly integrates booking functionality into any theme
  • Easy-to-use drag and drop interface
  • Real-time calendar display of availability
  • Customizable booking forms and admin dashboard
  • Awesome customer support from the friendly Amelia team

Other key features include:

  • Appointment scheduling with adjustable time slots
  • Customer management and notifications
  • Payment integrations (Stripe, PayPal etc.)
  • Google Calendar and Office 365 sync
  • Coupons and discounts
  • Reporting and analytics

Later in this post I’ll break down exactly how these features work from first-hand experience using them across multiple client sites.

But first, let‘s walk through setting up Amelia step-by-step from start to finish.

Step 1: Install and Activate Amelia

Installing Amelia takes just a few clicks – just search for it in your WordPress dashboard under “Plugins > Add New”.

Install Amelia

For this tutorial I‘ll be using the free version, but the setup process is identical for the paid plans.

Once installed, activate Amelia and you‘re ready to start configuring your booking system.

Step 2: Set Up Company Details

Under Amelia > Settings, begin personalizing the booking experience by adding your:

  • Company name
  • Business address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

You can also upload your business logo here. It will be prominently shown across your booking system helping reinforce your brand.

Step 3: Configure Availability

One of Amelia’s most useful features is easily establishing your availability for customer bookings.

Under Working Hours and Days Off, set your:

  • Business operating hours
  • Holidays and closures
  • Per-day exceptions

Amelia will automatically exclude any unavailable times from the booking system. This makes it effortless to keep your calendar up-to-date in real-time.

Step 4: Build Out Your Services

Of course, you need to configure the actual services customers can book appointments for.

Under Amelia > Services, add details for each service:

  • Name
  • Duration
  • Price
  • Category
  • Short description
  • Images

Categorizing services makes it easy for customers to browse relevant options during checkout.

Here’s an example setup:

Amelia services example

With the services entered, now visitors are ready to book appointments.

Step 5: Embed the Booking Form

The last step is placing Amelia‘s booking widget on your site.

Simply insert the [ameliabooking] shortcode on any page you want to accept bookings.

Below is an example form where visitors select the service, date, time slot and enter their details:

Amelia booking form

And that covers the basics of setting up a slick booking system with Amelia!

Next, let‘s explore some of the more advanced capabilities unlocked with an Amelia Pro subscription.

Why Go Pro?

While Amelia‘s free version provides an excellent booking solution, upgrading to premium adds valuable functionality for taking your system to the next level.


Collect payments directly through your booking system by integrating Stripe, PayPal, Square or WooCommerce.

This enables visitors to instantly pay online when scheduling an appointment, consultation, or purchasing your services.

Payment flexibility is essential these days, and Amelia Pro nicely streamlines the process.

Notifications & Reminders

Automatically send SMS and email reminders leading up to booked appointments. Studies show reminders can reduce no-shows by over 30%.

Birthday promotions are another neat feature to delight your customers and encourage repeat bookings.

Calendar Sync

Sync published bookings with your Google or Outlook calendar. This makes appointments readily accessible from anywhere.

Clients can also directly add appointments to their own calendars like iCloud, Yahoo and more. Very handy.

Customer Portal

Provide recurring customers access to a front-end portal for managing upcoming and past appointments, updating billing details, and more.

Reduces back-and-forth communication so you can focus on serving great experiences.

Reports & Analytics

Amelia Pro incorporates detailed reporting on essential metrics like:

  • Total bookings
  • Best selling services
  • Conversion rates
  • Revenue

Easy to track performance and fine-tune your system for greater ROI.

Additional capabilities unlocked with a paid subscription include:

  • Location support
  • Zoom integration
  • Coupons
  • Custom CSS
  • Label editing
  • and much more…

For complete feature comparison, see breakdown:

Feature Free Pro
Services Unlimited Unlimited
Categories Unlimited Unlimited
Custom Fields
Employees 1 Unlimited
Locations Multiple
Payments Stripe, PayPal, +
Notifications More Options
Calendar Sync Google, Office 365
Customer Portal
Reporting Basic Advanced
Design Customization

So while Amelia Lite covers the basics well, upgrading to Pro takes your system to the next level.

Comparing the Top Booking Plugins

How does Amelia stack up against alternatives like Bookly, AcuityScheduling, Calendly and more? Let‘s compare the top solutions:

Bookly – Open-source plugin that‘s free but less user-friendly and lacks polish. No native payments or robust features.

Acuity – Web-based so requires embedding an iframe. More expensive at $15+ per month.

Calendly – Light on features outside scheduling. Not integrated with WordPress.

SimplyBook – Decent alternative but reported issues with reliability and bugs.

Booked – Very basic and limited set of capabilities.

As you can see, Amelia matches up very favorably in the WordPress booking space. Itstrike‘s a fantastic balance between ease-of-use, features, great support and affordable pricing.

And with a user base of over 87,000 customers globally, Amelia has a proven track record running booking systems for all types of businesses.

Appointment Bookings See Record Growth

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated adoption of online booking and telehealth software across industries. This led to huge opportunity for solutions like Amelia.

Per Globe Newswire research, the booking & scheduling software market is projected to grow by 15.7% CAGR through 2030.

As more appointments and consultations go virtual, embedded booking platforms provide invaluable flexibility to businesses.

No matter your field – from health and wellness, beauty, automotive, pet services, coaching, and more – options like Amelia simplify managing client bookings.

Final Verdict

In closing, I‘m a major fan of Amelia‘s beautifully designed interface, breadth of capabilities, and the team‘s commitment to product innovation.

It strikes an ideal balance between simplicity and powerful functionality for virtually any booking use-case.

Both technical and non-technical users alike can appreciate Amelia‘s intuitive drag-and-drop configuration across WordPress environments.

So whether you‘re running a salon, medical practice, coaching service or other booking-reliant business, I highly recommend giving Amelia a closer look. Sign up for a free trial account to see first-hand how it‘ll transform and streamline your client bookings.

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