Welcome to May’s Monthly Newsletter!

Hello everyone, welcome to our May newsletter for Simply Schedule Appointments. This is where we gather all the information about our newest updates and other plugin-related news into one short and sweet summary each month. We hope you enjoy it!

Simply Schedule Appointments Updates Released in May

Booking App Style Updates & Improvements

As we’ve been rolling out the new booking app, we’ve also been hard at work putting together style updates to make sure the booking calendars look their best on your websites. 

Plus, we’ve updated our CSS customization guides to include targeting for the new booking app; check out the guides!

Text on Dark Backgrounds for New Booking App

We found that the Text Styling needed a bit of touch-up, specifically when using dark backgrounds. With a bit of built-in CSS magic, we now present the updated styling for dark backgrounds, which looks fantastic and readable in the darkest of themes. 

Select a time screen in the booking plugin, the app is set to use a black background and all the text is clear and contrasted.

Better Checkbox Spacing

While the checkboxes worked great out of the box for most situations, a user brought to our attention some issues when using very long checkbox values. But no fear—this is now resolved with better checkbox spacing and support for responsiveness.

Booking form containing a checkbox field, the checkbox values are bulky but the spacing is allowing for clear readability despite the narrow screen size.

Font Stack Support

The booking plugin now has added support for font stacks. This is helpful for system fonts that aren’t supported across devices. Using font stacks will automatically provide a backup font that closely resembles the original system font.

For example, system fonts such as Tahoma, which is a Microsoft-exclusive font, will sometimes struggle to display on iOS devices since these operating systems don’t include that font by default. In cases where the font is unavailable, we’ll automatically swap it with a similar font; for Tahoma, that would be Verdana. You can barely tell the difference!

Side-by-side comparison of the time selection screen in the booking calendars using the Tahoma and the Verdana fonts.

Korean Language Pack

SSA now officially supports the Korean Language Pack. If you’d like to contribute, make sure to visit our guide on how to add your own translations to our public WordPress translation project!

Korean language pack applied to the date selection screen in the booking calendar.

Minimum Required PHP 7.4

We’ve officially bumped our minimum PHP requirement to version 7.4. While the plugin underwent some code updates to make this transition, there shouldn’t be anything noticeably different in the features or functionality. However, we recommend reaching out to your host or updating your site’s PHP version if you’re using PHP 7.2 or lower.

Did You Know? Resources Can Tie Appointment Types Together

While our recent Resources feature may have sparked ideas of scheduling rooms or items such as tables or bikes, did you know we also developed this feature with maximum occupancy in mind? 

Well, we’ve had many people request the ability to tie certain Appointment Types’ availability together or for them to share a Capacity — and sure, we have our default Dependent vs. Independent Appointment Type setting, but that falls very short since it doesn’t let you control quantity very well. 

Suppose you only want a subset of Appointment Types to be dependent and some to be independent or wish to apply an overall “Capacity” to your Appointment Types. In that case, this is where the Resources feature can help!

Let’s look at an example of a small library. Here is a list of their Appointment Types:

  • Guitar Classes – Team Member Linda, Capacity 10
  • Computer Lab – Resource of 20 Computers
  • Library 101 Tour – Team Member Bob, Capacity 3

With this setup, we have the possibility of booking up to 33 people at any given time. However, since the library is small, it can only hold a maximum of 25 people at a time; otherwise, the librarians may get overwhelmed, and guests may feel crowded. 

In this case, a Resource called “Max Occupancy” can be created and applied to all of the Appointment Types. This way, up to 25 people can be scheduled across the Appointment Types, but your Capacity and Team Member limitations will still be respected.

Graphic demonstration of the library resource example, the library icon is shown at the top with max occupancy details. The library icon connects to three other icons that represent the Appointment Types, each one is specifying their Team and Capacity limitations.

In Other News

Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Each year, our team likes to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) in May for Simply Schedule Appointments. As one of the most accessible booking plugins on the market (if not the only one), we like to bring attention to the accessibility community and share how important it is to consider the needs of everyone during the development process. 

Accessibility is at the core of our development process. We understand that every individual, regardless of their capacity, should have a seamless experience when booking appointments online. This is why SSA’s customer-facing booking calendars and interface are developed to be WCAG 2.1 AA compliant.

Shoutout to the Super Customers Who Left Reviews This Month

Thank you to our excellent customers this past month who left such lovely reviews. If you’d like to share your experience, too, we’d love to see it on WordPress.org.

“This plugin is serious competition for all the other booking plugins out there.

  • Super easy setup
  • Flexible shortcodes
  • Useful hooks
  • Runs smoothly
  • Stellar support
  • Constant development

I really tried a lot of the other plugins, but none came close. Maybe there are some with certain advantages (e.g., a completely documented API), but the overall package SSA offers is outstanding.”

@schoz May 8, 2024

May the Fourth Be With You

And remember Yoda best. We hope you had a great month of May. Thank you for checking out the newest newsletter and supporting Simply Schedule Appointments. If you have any questions, the SSA support team is here to help; we’re just one form submission away

Pet Photos of the Month

Our team is spending more time outside as Spring begins to settle in; check out some of their pets enjoying the warmer weather!

Collection of May's pet photos from the team.

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Appointment Scheduling Illustration