Setting up an online business with appointments and products

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How's it going?!

I'm stuck. WordPress and many other websites want to charge me around $500 to have website up and running that can handle online bookings from around the globe tailored to mine and the customers timezone.
The booking and payment needs to smooth and simple as the potential client may not speak English.
I also need e-commerce integration to sell digital products.

The only way I can think to do all this for free is to have a blog, link people to my google calendar or doodle.com and after we confirm the booking I send them an invoice via paypal.
But, this way has many snags and requires a lot of time and effort before the actual appointment even begins.

I've found a payment system called 'Square'. I also found a system called 'TimeTap' that links directly with square to fix the time zone problem.
Does anyone have any experience with getting these or anything like these set up and if I could integrate them with a free blog?
We still haven't addressed the e-commerce problem. I have nothing there.
The basic idea is to get it looking and feeling professional as possible without dropping a whole lot of cash (at least not $500).
After a year or so of testing I will be more inclined to spend more and scale.

If anyone has any experience or advice it would be AMAZING!

Thanks in advance.

Matt
#appointments #business #online #products #setting
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  • Profile picture of the author secretja
    WordPress free theme and free plugin - https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-appointments/ But if you have a problem spending $500 for a startup... you will have more problems in the future...
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  • Profile picture of the author connections
    Unfortunately, the fact is, you will not look professional while using a "free" website, but if you are going to try and do that we will need to know what you are building it on. You would use different approaches for different platforms.
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    Content producer and writer for hire www.KimberlyDodson.com

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  • Profile picture of the author Expresso77
    WooCommerce has an online booking plugin for WP. Are Square and TimeLap also plugins?
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  • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
    Originally Posted by Matt Gale View Post

    How's it going?!

    I'm stuck. WordPress and many other websites want to charge me around $500 to have website up and running that can handle online bookings from around the globe tailored to mine and the customers timezone.
    The booking and payment needs to smooth and simple as the potential client may not speak English.
    I also need e-commerce integration to sell digital products.

    The only way I can think to do all this for free is to have a blog, link people to my google calendar or doodle.com and after we confirm the booking I send them an invoice via paypal.
    But, this way has many snags and requires a lot of time and effort before the actual appointment even begins.

    I've found a payment system called 'Square'. I also found a system called 'TimeTap' that links directly with square to fix the time zone problem.
    Does anyone have any experience with getting these or anything like these set up and if I could integrate them with a free blog?
    We still haven't addressed the e-commerce problem. I have nothing there.
    The basic idea is to get it looking and feeling professional as possible without dropping a whole lot of cash (at least not $500).
    After a year or so of testing I will be more inclined to spend more and scale.

    If anyone has any experience or advice it would be AMAZING!

    Thanks in advance.

    Matt
    Yes, if the $500 scares you, then don't go free, since that will really look bad, and from what l have heard about free WP, open to hackers, so not be as secure as a paid option.

    I have almost 10 sites, one an attacked WP, and one an SBI site.

    And did it all myself.

    Learned Photoshop, and some basic coding, and Cpanel, etc to get it to work, or so it would look professional, (not $5000, slick site, but a close second).

    So l got Aweber for signups, and Paypal for payments. Some of this was easy and some not, but once you get good at it, then it is relatively easy and fun to have a site full of products, and squeeze pages, (did video's as well).

    If you don't want to pay then, it is typically down to an SBI site, with $30 a month, and great SEO courses plus a pretty good closed forum, but restrictive site.

    Or Hostgator or Bluehost site, that is $10 a month for up to 10 sites, pretty much do whatever you want, if you know how, but it is more of a jump in the deep end of the pool and make youtube your best friend.

    Hostgator does have sitebuilding software, but if you want whizz-bang full screen graphics and video's for some slick product page, then your only choice l know of or have extensively used is Hostgator.

    Good luck.

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  • You can get quality affordable hosting at Site Ground https://www.siteground.com/wordpress-hosting.htm and then go with a popular quality theme like Sydney or OceanWP [both free]. As far as the booking and payment you can use an outside provider that can be branded to your company logo. All you have to do in WordPress is create a page with a link or shortcode to the 3rd party and it will look more professional...without any coding! Examples are VCITA https://www.vcita.com/pricing#essentials_section and CVENT https://www.cvent.com/en/customer-resources/training .
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