There are quite a large number of websites based on wordpress that use dotonpaper’s booking system or booking pro plugin, just in my experience as a freelancer, I’ve seen over 50 sites that use it, some of them for travel booking and hotel lodging, others for cleaning services, because from many points of view, the plugin is very easy to use and configure, and it even has (had ?) a free version.
But one of the most disheartening things about this plugin is that you have to set AN AVAILABILITY period for each calendar (in some cases, like booking hotel rooms it does make sense), and a timetable for each day, with some extra options needed to be tweaked, like pricing and extras, FOR EACH AND EVERY CALENDAR.
So for instance, if you own a cleaning business, and you’ve purchased this plugin (formerly known as dopbsp plugin, or dot on paper booking system / pro) from either the envato marketplace, or codecanyon (which is basically the same gang / same entity), you might find yourself in a situation in which for the first year, or the first few months, your plugin integrated perfectly and worked as it should, but then it suddenly stopped working and on every service you offer, instead of the calendar, only the “loading” image appears.
There’s no error message generated even if you enable debugging in your wordpress installation, so you may find yourself in the situation of having payed for a plugin that only worked for a time. Well, actually, it just seems that way.
Don’t worry, the plugin is working fine, but according to its logic, if you’ve set your calendars for the last year (2015) and have forgotten to renew and re-set the dates, hours of availability, and prices for the new year, then your calendars have reached their logical end of “on duty” and have turned themselves off. Therefore, even though the plugin system actually loads on the pages on which your customers should be able to do their booking, the only thing they’ll see is the loading image, endlessly looping, as in this image no.1.
To correct this, and reinstate your calendars, go to your admin dashboard, and click on your booking system -> calendars link in the admin menu (left column, usually). Each calendar in your system will be empty, thus, not allowing it to show on the front page. Here’s an example of an empty calendar in image no.2 (click on the image for a bigger / better resolution version)
Then for each calendar that you operate, you have to click on the calendar’s name on the left, and then select the first date from which your service will be available on, and then either click on the + icon on the upper-left corner of the calendar section (add month view), or click on the right arrow icon (next month view) on the calendar section, until you see the desired END DATE until which this specific calendar will be available and selectable by your customers.
After clicking on the end date, THE SCREEN WILL SHOW A NEW COLUMN with the settings (why the plugin creators have chosen to keep the actual settings hidden, until you select the end date… beats me) for the selected period. So for instance, in this specific case shown in the images, I’ve selected the availability from Jan.17th, and up to Dec 31st, 2016.
On the newly appeared right column, you have to set some calendar-specific options like hours of availability, the price of the service for one hour, and in case you are setting the calendar for a special price period, you also have to specify the “special price” or “promo price” for that period. (image no.4)
After setting your options, click on the scroll to top button in the lower-right corner of the screen, and click on the submit button (image no.5) to save the settings to the database and reactivate your calendar. And you have to repeat this operation for every calendar / every service that you allow booking for on your site.
Depending on how long each calendar you’ve selected to be, saving each day’s availability and hours and pricing, might take anywhere between a few seconds and a few minutes. Give it some time to save your settings and you’re good to go.
After the settings have been saved, if you click again on any of your calendars, you’ll see that the colour of each day’s box has turned from grey to green and the prices and number of services available will show (image no.6), just as the customers will see the calendar upon booking your services, from the front page.
Has this post helped you ? Share it with your friends who might be in the same trouble, and I’m looking forward to your comments.