April 2020, and we’re still in confinement, the good thing is that we’re working hard at Wappointment making our product better everyday. We’ve released versions 1.3.1 (March 31st), 1.3.2 (April 9th) , and now it’s version 1.4.0 (April 16th).
Here is What’s New
- Synchronize from multiple calendars
- Buffer time after appointment
- Auto-select first day with available slots in booking form
- Tag replacement on subject of email reminders
Synchronize across Multiple Calendars
Up until now you could connect only one of your personal calendars (Google Cal, Apple iCal, Outlook Calendar, etc..) .
Why limiting to one calendar only?
Well synching calendars can be a bit of heavy process depending on how many appointments you have and when you’ve created your calendar.
For instance your Google Calendar holds all the events since the creation of your google account, for some of us that’s like nearly 20 years of data. So depending how active you were during those past 20 years, let’s say that file could be pretty heavy.
Anyway, talking to users made us realise that we needed to give you more flexibility. So we’ve added a Sync tab in your Wappointment > Settings and you can now connect up to 4 calendars. Basically any calendar that is in the .ics format.
Our system is pretty optimized, it will check your calendar every 5 minutes, and will parse it only if changes were detected(huge saver). So here is some powerful stuff for you straight in our free plugin.
Buffer time after appointment
Well this one is a feature we were hesitant on adding earlier as we’re trying to keep our settings panel as simple as possible. We really want it to work for the 90% of you and then add more features in new addons for specific needs.
We really value your experience and want you to just have a smooth sail handling your appointments’ schedule, and not having to read documentation to just understand how to configure our plugin. This said buffer time was at the limit of core features, it can be pretty useful. So let’s dive in.
What is buffer time?
Basically that’s the time you need in between appointments so that you can prepare for the next one.
For instance, let’s say you provide short 25 minutes 1 on 1 English Classes to your students.
But you need 5 minutes to prepare for your next class, well before we implemented the buffer time you’d need to set your appointment’s duration to 30 minutes and just explain individually to each of your client that the appointment duration is actually only 25minutes long. Sounds confusing for your customers right?
Now with buffer time, you simply set your appointment duration to 25 minutes, then set the buffer time in Settings > Advanced to 5 minutes. And here you go, no more confusion, the appointment lasts 25 minutes, so that’s clear to your customers what they are getting; and then you become unavailable 5 minutes after the appointment, so nobody can book you during that short period of time.
Booking form auto-select first day with available slots
Here is a small win, it took us 5 minutes to implement and it’s our way to make your visitors’ experience way smoother.
By adding that feature, we’ve just saved your visitors one click and avoided potential confusion.
What’s one click you may ask? Well that’s one step closer to conversion. Instead of letting them confused in front of a calendar that may or may not have any availability in the current month, well we just skip to the good part where they can select the first available slot you have.
Tag replacement on subject of email reminders
Well this one is a tiny one, but it can prove useful. when you setup your email reminders and confirmation, you are able to add different tags(Client’s name, appointment’s duration, Service name, …), that will be then dynamically replaced when sending to your customer. This was working fine in the body of your emails, but it was not working in the subject of the email.
So that’s it, it does work now!
Why so many updates?
At the end of the day some of you contact us, there are bugs that needs to be corrected. And we try to ship the corrections as fast as we can. Above I’ve listed some of the features we’ve added, but here are some others we’ve fixed:
- Optimized external calendar sync
- Tag replacement issue in emails sent with WP Mail sending method
- Phone input missing their flags
- Booking on behalf of customers from the admin panel was broken
- Wappointment has been tested and works with WordPress 5.4
- Rescheduling form which was off in terms of styling
We keep improving our free plugin, making sure it works for you. We only need your feedback, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re working on a couple of addons that should be out soon:
- SMS reminders with Tweelio
- Appointments synch to your personal calendar
This is the immediate future, but we have a long list of addons ideas, so get ready to be given more power soon.