30. March 2016

Setup

After installing and activting the Advanced Booking Calender WordPress Plugin, there are a few easy steps you should go through to get this plugin up and running. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Setup Video

1. Check the Settings

After activating the plugin you see a new element in the WordPress-Admin called “Advanced Booking Calendar”. Click on it and go to the settings.

  • Email
    Check this email address carefully, since all booking requests will be sent to this address.
    Enter your email address
  • Newsletter
    If you like our plugin and would like to get more tips on how to run a Hotel website, click “yes” and you will subscribe to our Newsletter.
    newsletter
  • Page with bookingform
    You can select a page where you have placed the bookingform shortcode.You have to add the shortcode [abc-bookingform] manually to this page. The page will be linked, if user selects dates on the single calendar shortcode. If you have not created a bookingform page yet, just ignore this setting. You can come back later and edit the link.
    booking_form_setting
  • Currency
    Enter the currency code you are going to bill in.
    currency_setting
  • Date format
    Please select a date format that fits you best. It’s going to be used by all calendars and by the bookingform.
    date_format
  • Price format
    The price format is used at all times, when prices are shown.
    price_format
  • Cookies
    This plugin can use Browser Cookies, if you want to. Inputs the user does in the booking form regarding his stay are being stored in a cookie for 6 month. No personal informations are stored, only dates and number of guests. If the user later returns to your site, the dates are automatically set.
    cookie_setting
  • Google Analytics
    If you use Google Universal Analytics to track visitors on your page, you should activate this setting. Once activated, every calendar use is being tracked. So you can see which month is most frequently checked.
    The use of the bookingform is also tracked. It shows whether or not a visitor got a search result and if the next booking step was reached or if a booking request was sent. This is a great way to integrate Google AdWords remarketing feature.
    Again: you need an active Google Univeral Analytics account and the tracking code has to be integrated within your website. This setting does not add a tracking code to your site, it just activates the tracking. There are betters plugins to do this job, such as this one.
    google_analytics_setting

Check the input fields in the booking form. On this page you can change, which inputs will show up in the booking form and if they are required or optional. The email address is always required, since guest will receiv a confirmation email after they placed their reservation.

The email setting are templates which are sent to the guests. On the initial plugin activation those templates are filled with examples. Please check if those examples are ok. You can edit them any time. The placesholders shown on this page will be replaced with actually data, when the emails are generated.
email_placeholders

There two payment options in the basic version, “Cash onsite” and “Cash Invoice”. You can activate them by simply checking the box and enter a text which will be shown in the booking form.

Payment Options

  • Currency
    PayPal accepts only selected currencies. Please select the currency you want to accept payments for. This setting doesn’t affect the currency entered in the General Settings
  • Activate PayPal
    Please tick this box to activate PayPal in booking form.
  • Live API Credentials
    You will need API Credentials you can find in your PayPal Account. This tutorial explains best how to generate them.
  • Sandbox Credentials
    If you want to test the integration you can use PayPals Sandbox mode by entering the credentials and ticking the checkbox.

PayPal Settings

2. Create Calendars, Rooms, Seasons and Extras

In contrast to the settings, there are no preconfigured calendars or seasons after the activation. So you have to add them manually. So click on “Seasons & Calendars” and start by adding a calendar.

“Calendars” is just a name for room types or room classes, which have identical prices and there availabilities are managed as one group.

  • Name
    The name is used many times, especially in communication with the guest. So chose a name that is easy to understand, like “Room Type Standard” or “Double Room”
  • Number of rooms
    Enter the number of rooms this room class has. If you have 10 double rooms and a calendar name “Double Room”, just enter 10.
  • Max. Persons
    This is the number of guests who can stay in one room of this calendar. So in the case of a double room, enter 2.
  • Price Preset
    This plugin has a great way of editing prices by seasons. But if there are no seasons added, the plugin will use this preset to calculate prices. Even if you have no preset, just enter the cheapest price you are offering this room class for. Just in case, if your seasons are missing a day.
  • Information Page
    The page selected as information page will be linked on several places, such as the booking form or the calendar overview. If you have not yet created pages for your room types, just set this setting to “Don’t link”.
  • Short information text
    Enter a short text describing this calendar. It will be shown in the booking form.

Seasons are time periods where the price preset does not fit. You can add a “High Season” for each calendar with a higher price.

In this last setting you can conect a season to a calendar for a time period.

Extras give you the opportunity to upsell additional services or manage a fixed fee like “final cleaning”. You can choose between mandatory and optional¬† extras. Just select the price and its calculation (day/night/person etc.) and the extra will automatically show up in the booking form.

You can use discounts to promote your business. If there is a valid code, a coupon input will appear in the booking form.
To create a Coupon Code you need to define a few things:

  • Name
    The name is used in emails and your booking overview.
  • Type of calculation
    You can decide a flat / absolute discount or a relative amount.
  • Discount Value
    Depending on your decission between absolute or relative discount, the entered discount value will reduce the price when the code is entered.
  • Valid from / valid to
    Enter two dates between which the code is valid.
  • Code
    The text you enter here is the code your guests have to enter in the booking form.
  • Number of times the code can be redeemed
    You can set a code to a “one-time-code” or “multiple times”.
  • Minimum Number of Nights
    To promote longer stays at your accommodation, you can set a minimum for number of nights a guest has to stay, before the code is valid. E.g. you could offer a 10% discount for stays longer than 7 nights.
  • Valid for Calendars
    Here you can select the calendars the coupon is valid for.

3. Add Shortcodes and Widget

This plugin uses four different shortcodes you can put on your pages. We recommend to use one page for each shortcode.

The easiest way to add a shortcode is to use the Calendar-Button in the editor:
Add Shortcodes

  • Calendar Overview / [abc-overview]
    The shortcode [abc-overview] shows all calendars and there availabilities by month.
  • Single Calendar / [abc-single calendar=X legend=1]
    The shortcode [abc-single calendar=X] needs a calendar id instead of X. You can find the ids on your calendar settings page and is always a number like 1 or 2. So the shortcode for your first calendar is usually [abc-single calendar=1]
    Adding “legend=1” to the shortcode a legend showing “available” etc. at the bottom of the calendar.
  • Booking form / [abc-bookingform]
    The booking form fulfils two tasks: finding the right room for users and generating booking requests. Every user action happens onpage via AJAX, so the page does not reload during interactions. We recommend to enter the shortcode [abc-bookingform] on a single page.
  • Widget
    This plugin offers an availability check widget. Just go to “Appearance / Widgets” and add the widget.

If you have any more questions on how to set up the plugin, feel free to contact us.