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This guide applies to:

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

Introduction

By default, SSA works based on a recurring weekly basis. This means that each week the availability repeats itself. And, unless you set a blackout date, there’s nothing making each week unique.

In this guide, we want to offer you a couple of different ways to make your availability unique. At the moment SSA does not offer a direct solution for this, so these are the closest workarounds.

Use this for:

  • Schedules that tend to change every week
  • Events that happen on a recurring monthly basis (Ex. I offer classes on the first Monday of each month)
  • Scattered one-off time slots

This is a frequently requested feature, so we’re hoping to build out a better solution to this in the future!


Availability Window Workaround

Use the Availability Window setting to set a week- or day-long range to create a unique availability in your booking calendar.

Enable the Availability Window in the Advanced Scheduling Options

ProsCons
Works directly in the plugin, so it’s easy to set up and modify.You’ll need to update it either every month or week.
Available for all the SSA EditionsNot a good solution for multiple one-off events
Great for single one-off events

Week-long Window

If you’d like to control your schedule each week, just set the start date to the closest Monday and the end date to the next closest Monday.

This will let you create a unique schedule for the week without setting the schedule for all the following weeks too.

You can start your week on any date, I used Monday for the sake of the example.

How the week-long availability window looks to the user in the front-end
Week-long window in the booking plugin

Day-long Window

If you’re offering a single monthly class, set the start date to the day of the event and the end date to the following day.

This will make sure that only that single day is bookable for the event.

How the day-long availability window looks to the user in the front-end
Day-long window in the booking plugin

Google Calendar Sync Workaround

Set up a General Availability in SSA and then use the Google Calendar Sync feature to block off unavailable times.

Setup Google Calendar Sync

ProsCons
Can let you set up your schedule for an entire month, instead of only a week/day at a time.Not available in the Free Basic Edition.
Setup recurring events in Google Calendar to schedule block-off times.Requires upkeep of an additional service/schedule.
Easily block off times on your phoneIt will need to be used along with Availability Window to use for one-off events
Great for scattered availability

Preparation Steps

Before you get started with setting up your schedule, you’ll need to complete the following steps:

  1. Create a new Google Calendar specifically dedicated to blocking off times in your booking calendar.
  2. Make sure your appointment type is checking that new Blocking Calendar for Conflicts.
  3. Enable the Advanced Scheduling Options.

Now that you have those things set up, you can continue to set up your schedule.

Create a Generalized Availability

First, you’ll need to set up a generalized availability in the time slot table. Make sure to include the earliest time you anticipate to schedule appointments and the latest time as well.

Selecting a generalized availability in the appointment type settings
Choosing my generalized availability

(Optional) Add Availability Window End Date

Depending on whether you’d like to schedule out the next two weeks, month, or quarter. Set the Availability Window End Date to reflect your desired schedule.

In this example, I’d like to set up my unique schedule to only go as far as January 31st, 2021.

Selecting only the end date in the Availability Window setting in the Appointment Type settings
Setting the availability window to only have an end date

Make Exclusions Using Google Calendar Events

And lastly, you can now go to Google Calendar and set your exclusions. Some things to keep in mind when setting exclusions:

  • Make sure you’re creating new events to the Blocking calendar
  • Always set the event to Busy
Setting the exclusions to my Google Calendar

Notice that I can easily create exclusions for a single day, a whole week, recurring days, or even a custom recurrence.

Setting up an event in Google Calendar and adding a recurring rule to the event
Setting up a custom recurrence to block off the 20th each month

The Events Calendar Workaround

Set up a General Availability in SSA and use The Events Calendar to narrow down on the days and times that you’d like your clients to book. And do so for months in advance!

ProsCons
Can let you set up your schedule for months in advance, instead of only a week/day at a time.Requires an additional setup step to embed the booking calendars on your site.
Quickly set up recurring events with their Pro versionRequires upkeep of an additional plugin/schedule.
Beautiful UI including a Calendar and List view for Users
Available for all Editions of SSA and The Events Calendar

We have a couple of guides to get you started with this option:


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