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This guide applies to:

  • Basic Edition
  • Plus Edition
  • Pro Edition
  • Business Edition

Introduction

The basic Appointment Type Settings can take care of the majority of scheduling needs. However, there are lots of special situations where you want to use the Advanced Scheduling Options for your Booking Calendar.

Advanced Scheduling Options is useful when you want to limit:

  • When time slots are bookable using Availability Window
  • When visitors can access your calendar using Booking Window
  • How far into the future visitors can book time slots using Advance

Potential Use Cases

  • Take interview appointments during a three-day job fair using Availability Window
  • Offer a limited-time offer of a free consultation session using Booking Window
  • Schedule only seven days into the future to avoid making long term-commitments

Enable Advanced Scheduling Options

Simply Schedule Appointments turns these settings off by default. If you want to use them, you’ll just need to toggle them on.

In your WordPress admin, go to Appointments > Settings and toggle on Advanced Scheduling Options.

Settings screen showing Advanced Scheduling Options

After enabling, you’ll see new settings options when you edit your Appointment Types.


Quick Edit for All the Appointment Types

Another way to edit the Advanced Scheduling Options for each or all the Appointment Type is to click on Edit.

Inside, select Edit Appointment Types. From here you could edit individual Appointment Types by clicking on each drop-down arrow.

Editing Individual Appointment Type Advance Scheduling Options

Or, toggle the Edit Selected Appointment Types Individually Option to edit all the Appointment Types at the same time.

Toggling the Edit All Appointment Type option

Availability Window

Can Only Book Time Slots Inside Availability Window

Under the Availability tab in the Appointment Type Settings, you’ll see a start and end date setting for the Availability Window.

This will let you choose a date range for when to show time slots. A customer looking at your Booking Calendar can only see time slots within these chosen dates.

Screen shot of the Availability Window settings
Appointments will only happen between October 1 and October 31, 2018

You could also just use one of the fields.

Only use the Start Date to show time slots starting at a certain date and time.

Only use the End Date to show time slots up until a certain date and time.


Advance

In the Scheduling Options tab in the Appointment Type Settings, you’ll see a setting called Advance.

This limits how far into the future customers can book appointments. A customer looking at your Booking Calendar can’t see time slots beyond this chosen time.

For example, this setting will prevent customers from booking appointments more than 90 days in the future:

Screen shot of the advance feature for controlling how far into the future customers can book appointments
Allow customers to book appointments only 90 days into the future.

Booking Window

Can Only View the Booking Calendar During the Booking Window

Finally, in the Scheduling Options tab, you’ll see a start and end date setting for a Booking Window.

This limits when customers can access your calendar to book any time slots.

A customer visiting your Booking Calendar outside of this date range can’t book any time slots at all. A message says, “This appointment type cannot be booked at this time”.

Screen shot of the booking window fields
Booking window for when customers can access the booking form to book.

You could also just use one of the fields.

Only use the Start Date to give access to all the time slots starting at a certain date and time.

Only use the End Date to give access to all the time slots up until a certain date and time.


Booking Window vs Availability Window

The Booking Window limits when customers can access the Booking Calendar to book any time slot. The Availability Window limits when the time slots take place.

Let’s look at an example:

You want to make 20 minute photography sessions during a company holiday party.

The holiday party is happening Saturday, December 14, 2019 from 4pm to 8pm.

Employees of the company can start booking at noon on Wednesday, December 4.

Here’s how you’d set that up:

  • Define a new Appointment Type and name it Company Photo Sessions
  • Then setup the following settings on your Appointment Type:
    • Duration to 20 minutes
    • Availability to 4pm-8pm on Saturdays
    • Availability Window for the appointment type to start on December 14, 2019 at midnight and to end at midnight on December 15, 2019.
    • Booking Window for the appointment type to start on December 4, 2019 at noon.

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