Introducing Rezdy Reloaded… and a little about doing Bookings with WordPress
Today I released my 13th free plugin in the wordpress.org plugin repository – Rezdy Reloaded. The plugin provides an elegant way to integrate Rezdy (popular booking software for tour & activity operators) with WordPress.
First up – yes, there are already dozens of bookings and events plugins for WordPress. I’ve worked fairly extensively with (and even favourably reviewed) most of the front-runners such as WooCommerce Bookings, Event Espresso, Booking Calendar, Bookly, Appointments+, The Events Calendar and more. But ultimately, my overriding feeling is that just because you could do bookings with WordPress, doesn’t mean it’s the best tool for the job.
Rezdy Reloaded plugin leaves the heavy lifting to Rezdy, a dedicated (and very effective) 3rd party booking software, but still lets you manage the front end stuff on the WordPress side.
Earlier this year I was approached by Matters of Taste Cooking School with a problem – their [simple_tooltip content=’They were using WooCommerce with a bookings extension that just wasn’t working effectively for them. They found it very hard to administer, things were constantly breaking, and their ongoing support & maintenance costs were skyrocketing. After an in-depth investigation, we decided that in fact WordPress was not the ideal platform for their day-to-day bookings and customer management.
I helped them transition back-end operations to Rezdy, a fantastic web-based booking software and CRM specifically designed for tour & activity operators. In the course of this project I trialed and reviewed countless bookings plugins, web apps and services. Rezdy measured up very well on features, but ultimately was chosen for it’s ease-of-use, well designed accessible UI, and excellent customer support. Perhaps most importantly, Rezdy offers a full suite of CRM capabilities (customer management, advanced reporting etc) which are absolutely essential for a bookings-based business.
Integrating Rezdy with WordPress
Rezdy do in fact offer their own plugin for integrating with WordPress. This had me excited initially. However once I got it up and running, I found it essentially just provides a shortcode that embeds the Rezdy hosted catalog (website) within an iFrame on any WordPress Page/Post. Like others, I found this was not really sophisticated enough for what I had in mind.
Introducing a new plugin… Rezdy Reloaded
Rezdy Reloaded is a neat integration between Rezdy and WordPress. It is based on a WordPress custom post type, allowing you to manage your tour info on the WordPress side, giving you full control over content, visual design and SEO. It displays the Rezdy booking widget to the right, sending customers over to Rezdy to complete checkout.
- Fully responsive
- Works in all major browsers – IE9+, Safari, Firefox, Chrome
- Gives you full control over your sales listings on the WordPress side – more advanced that the official Rezdy plugin
- Customise base slug (default is “rezdy-items” but you might like to change this depending on your industry. Eg “cooking-classes”)
- Custom post type supports categories, revisions, tags, excerpts & featured image
- Display items in list or grid
- Fully customisable using templating system
- An out-of-the-box demo
- An example of a fully styled real-world implementation. This site also uses the Rezdy API to pull in session data. So please note it’s a little more advanced than the plugin provides out of the box.
Whilst this plugin remains unofficial, it is published with the consent and approval of Rezdy. Rezdy’s lead developer Hugo was very helpful and consulted with me throughout the plugin development process. We both hope that Rezdy Reloaded plugin will be helpful to Rezdy users who require a advanced integration with WordPress.
If you are a tour or activity business (or building a website for someone who is), and rely on taking online bookings, then take a look at Rezdy, and consider my plugin Rezdy Reloaded for an attractive and user-friendly front-end WordPress integration.