Is Amelia a good plugin? Does MotoPress Appointment Booking offer online payments? What is the best value for money? What is the best booking plugin for small business?
If you are looking for a detailed feature-to-feature comparison of the Amelia WordPress plugin versus the MotoPress Appointment Booking plugin, this is a fresh 2023 comparison edition, which means you’ve landed on the right page.
MotoPress Appointment Booking has been on the market for less than 3 years now, whereas Amelia boasts almost half a decade of presence – 5 years.
Naturally, Amelia has a bigger community but that’s for sure thanks to the combination of the good product and longevity. The MotoPress Appointment Booking plugin, despite sharing key features with its competitors, is only gaining its popularity.
I tested both plugins firsthand, put the key compared features into a table view to simplify the comparison for you, and also wrote a few extra verdicts on the most important functionalities, focusing on differences and similarities.
Furthermore, I decided to exclude several features from the comparison provided by Amelia, for example, built-in translation options or email gateway settings, since I believe this is the territory of other plugins, which means users can optionally add and configure this functionality with the external dedicated solutions if they find it necessary.
Of course, I’ve included essential features to the table that both plugins lack at the moment (a matter of time, I believe!).
Last but not least, in this post, you’ll find comparisons of both premium and free versions of Amelia vs MotoPress.
It’s highly unlikely this Amelia comparison will cover each and every feature, but hopefully, I’ll manage to save you some time.
- Amelia 6.4 (Jul 5, 2023).
- MotoPress Appointment Booking 1.18.1 (Jul 14, 2023).
I can already draw the first conclusion: both plugins are regularly updated. A tie with a score of 1:1 – good start!
Amelia or MotoPress: Premium Version Comparison
Let’s take a look at the fully-featured premium versions first.
These are by essence different products in terms of pricing models. Amelia sells packages, while MotoPress sells a core plugin + allows you to buy any add-ons if necessary.
Both approaches have their pros. And cons, too, such as with the former, you need to pay for, say, 20 features you don’t need when you only require one, and with the latter, you need to pay for every extra feature not available in the core plugin. Which one are you most skeptical about?
|Amelia Basic||Amelia PRO||Amelia Developer||Appointment Booking PRO|
|Annual cost||1 domain: €79||1 domain: €119
2 domains: €179
3 domains: €249
|5 domains: €319
10 domains: €449
20 domains: €599
|1 domain: $59
Unlimited domains: $199
|Lifetime cost||1 domain: €199||1 domain: €299
2 domains: €449
3 domains: €619
|5 domains: €600
10 domains: €899
20 domains: €1,199
|$799 (unlimited domains, 50+ other MotoPress products)|
|Trial version||No||No||No||7-day free trial|
The single-domain option is the cheapest by MotoPress, obviously. The packages in Amelia vary based on the number of domains, features, and whether it’s a lifetime or annual payment.
Moreover, the lifetime cost of the MotoPress Appointment Booking plugin is actually the price of the MotoPress membership, which includes not only this plugin but also 25+ plugins and add-ons as well as 30+ themes by MotoPress. Learn what’s included with the membership package. This makes MotoPress an attractive option for developers who work with client projects beyond service and appointment businesses.
At the same time, the Amelia plugin also comes with a solution for the event business that can be of interest for many developers, but in this review, we’re comparing only the appointment booking features, which are for hourly-based appointments.
In terms of the essential key functionalities, both Amelia and MotoPress Appointment Booking are fully flexible and powerful for handling any simple and complex booking scenarios.
Any number of calendars, schedules, services, employees, locations and bookings are supported by both appointment scheduling plugins. This gives me grounds to declare that both plugins are highly capable of catering to the needs of any ‘enterprise-grade’ business, let alone a small one.
|Main features||Amelia Basic||Amelia PRO||Amelia Developer||MotoPress Appointment Booking PRO|
|Step-by-step booking wizard||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Customizable form field labels||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Default time slot step customization||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum and maximum capacity settings for the appointment||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Buffer times before and after appointments||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Allow price per person in group appointments||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Multi-service booking in one transaction||No||No||No||Yes|
|Individual employee or service booking form||Yes||Yes||Yes||In development|
|Support||Documentation, email, tickets, web hooks.||Documentation, email, tickets, web hooks.||Documentation, email, tickets, web hooks.||Documentation, email, tickets, videos, code reference, style kit.|
As for the backed UI, Amelia incorporates its custom styling and layouts, obviously aiming to polish design and improve the user experiences, while the MotoPress Appointment Booking plugin integrates with the native WordPress interface, ensuring a consistent and familiar UX.
Both appointment scheduling WordPress plugins offer great flexibility when it comes to the service customization, availability calendar setup, and offer various means to get support.
Surprisingly, in Amelia, there is no ability for clients to add multiple services they want to cart within one go; there is such a thing as ‘packages’ (packs of pre-selected services with discounts) that only partially covers this functionality.
Booking form customization
Amelia has 4 pre-built form designs for appointments and events businesses and tons of customization options; you can get as deep as change fonts, colors, field labels, etc.
|Form customization||Amelia Basic||Amelia PRO||Amelia Developer||MotoPress Appointment Booking PRO|
|Service image and description||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Edit field labels||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Fonts & colors||Customizable||Customizable||Customizable||Inherits installed theme styling|
In this quest for visual perfection, Amelia adds tons of custom styling to the form and it’s a task of a customer to make it look really suitable for the current WordPress design; on the cons side, this might lead to design inconsistency and could affect website’s performance.
The MotoPress Appointment scheduling plugin allows you to customize fields and their labels, as for the design, it gives you two options:
- Use the default styling, which is up to your theme – the buttons, colors, fonts and layout of the form and the calendar will blend with the default registered styles of your theme.
- Purchase pre-made, business-fueled designs with the professionally pres-styled booking form (tours, coaches, teachers, clinics, etc.) If you start with such an appointment theme, you get the plugin for free in the package.
To sum up, Amelia gives you the flexibility and freedom of the manual design interactions while MotoPress prioritizes professional, pre-made, lightweight designs.
You won’t experience any problems with setting up automated messages, either via email or SMS; you’ll need to get a dedicated add-on for this with MotoPress, though.
Amelia has a built-in system for SMS, and looks like there are various third-party solutions for connecting the SMS service providers
|Communication||Amelia Basic||Amelia PRO||Amelia Developer||MotoPress Appointment Booking PRO|
|SMS reminders||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (with add-on)|
Both plugins allow you to create an automated workflow of SMS and email reminders, notifications and any other types of messages.
The payment options as well as payment processor integrations are rather on the same level, as you can see from the table below.
|Payment processing||Amelia Basic||Amelia PRO||Amelia Developer||MotoPress Appointment Booking PRO|
|Payment providers||PayPal, Stripe, Mollie, Razorpay, payment link||PayPal, Stripe, Mollie, Razorpay, payment link||PayPal, Stripe, Mollie, Razorpay, payment link||PayPal, Stripe, Direct Bank Transfer, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Link.
Square (with add-on)
|WooCommerce Payments||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (with add-on)|
|Deposit payments (fixed & percentage)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Built-in refund system||No||Yes||Yes||No|
In both plugins, refunds are handled via the payment processors you use on your website; at the same time, Amelia offers a built-in refund system for the PRO and Developer editions.
Deposit payment settings are the same, with fixed and percentage values as well as the ability to enable clients to optionally pay the full cost instead of a partial one.
Another advantage of Amelia over the MotoPress appointment booking plugin is you can also set different payment methods for each service, even though I don’t think this might be a much-needed feature for every website.
Both WordPress booking plugins offer a great range of helpful integrations. When it comes to essential features, both solutions excel in meeting client needs, such as offering SMS notifications and seamless WooCommerce integration to expand payment options.
|Integrations||Amelia Basic||Amelia PRO||Amelia Developer||MotoPress Appointment Booking PRO|
|Integrations||WhatsApp, Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar, Apple Calendar, WooCommerce, Zoom, Google Meet, Google Map||WhatsApp, Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar, Apple Calendar, WooCommerce, Zoom, Google Meet||WhatsApp, Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar, Apple Calendar, WooCommerce, Zoom, Google Meet||Google Calendar, Twilio (with add-on), Google Analytics (with add-on), WooCommerce (with add-on)|
|Page builders integration||Yes, via shortcodes||Yes, via shortcodes||Yes, via shortcodes||Yes, branded blocks with visual settings|
Furthermore, thanks to the Google Maps integration by Amelia, you can show locations on a map in the booking widget, which is not available for MotoPress.
Also, many users will find the WhatsApp integration by Amelia a very handy way to communicate with clients, such as sending appointment details via this app. Thanks to the Twilio integration by MotoPress, there is also a capability to integrate WhatsApp, but there is no instant, built-in connection at the moment.
On the other hand, the MotoPress Appointment Booking plugin offers a more powerful and intelligent solution for measuring your business performance by integrating the booking form with Google Analytics 4 directly.
As for the support for page builders, Amelia provides widgets for Elementor and the block editor, but when they are added to the page, you see that those are mere shortcodes.
With the MotoPress Appointment Booking plugin, however, you get all the configuration settings in blocks, so that you can visually edit the widgets in Elementor, Divi and the block editor.
At the same time, both Amelia and MotoPress Appointment Booking lack such popular integrations as Zapier or specialist email marketing connection solutions like Mailchimp. I don’t see these absences as disadvantages from a customer perspective, at least for the vast majority of customers; rather I think their absence could hinder marketing efforts of the plugin companies.
Both plugins deliver user-friendly dashboards and calendars in different formats to accelerate the process of working with the appointments.
|Bookings management||Amelia Basic||Amelia PRO||Amelia Developer||MotoPress Appointment Booking PRO|
|Edit appointments||Reschedule, edit payment status & amount, change customer||Reschedule, edit payment status & amount, change customer||Reschedule, edit payment status & amount, change customer||Reschedule, edit payment status & amount, remove/add services to the appointment, change customer|
|Booking cancelation by customer||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Backend calendar views||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Import customers data||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Period available for booking in advance||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
As you can see from the comparison table, both Amelia and MotoPress Appointment Booking give you similar backend tools to manage bookings, appointments and clients. You can add new clients and bookings, edit customer data, reschedule appointments, etc.
However, when you edit bookings with Amelia, you can’t add more services/appointments to the exisiting reservtion, while with MotoPress, you can do that easily on the backend.
The MotoPress Appointment Booking plugin adds two custom user roles: the Appointment Manager and Appointment Employee, for the staff and customers respectively.
The staff can connect their Google Calendars, view bookings and appointments in the calendar and in a list, adjust their schedule, etc., so all the essentials. If you want to give an employee more access privileges, simply assign an Appointment Manager user role to them – you can also customize a standard list of access with external free plugins.
The Amelia Employee user role allows your staff to create appointments with the existing customers, while the Appointment Manager user role by MotoPress allows you to schedule completely new bookings.
One more advantage of Amelia is that employees can connect a bigger number of calendars and apps (such as Zoom). Also, every employee can set their work hours in their own time zone.
Both plugins integrate the customer accounts functionality by embracing default WordPress user roles.
Amelia created the “Amelia Customer” user role for this purpose.
Here is what Amelia customers can do in their account:
- View only their appointments on the Appointments page and Calendar page.
- Cancel the appointment on the Appointments page.
- Reschedule the appointment on the Calendar page (not available for group appointments).
- If the “Allow payment via Payment Link” is enabled, customers can also pay from their account.
MotoPress allows customers to:
- View personal details.
- View all bookings.
- View details of individual bookings.
Both plugins add a customer account page with a shortcode to the website. The MotoPress plugin additionally adds options to the booking widget related to the customer created options: you can ask a customer if they want to have an account or choose to create it automatically.
By ‘advanced’ we mean the features that are not so common with the vast majority of businesses but rather have added value.
|Advanced features||Amelia Basic||Amelia PRO||Amelia Developer||MotoPress Appointment Booking PRO|
|Share resources between employees||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Sell services in custom bundles with discount||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Marketing and analytics||Built-in dashboard||Built-in dashboard||Built-in dashboard||via the Google Analytics Integration add-on|
|Sell extra services along with the main ones||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Limit appointments per customer||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Show booking slots in client time zone||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Special day/hour pricing||No||No||No||No|
|WordPress themes optimized for the plugin||Third-party||Third-party||Third-party||By the plugin creators|
These are features exclusive to this or that plugin and are geared at boosting your marketing efforts, analyzing data or adding advanced booking rules. The main advantage of Amelia in this category is that you can sell side services, that is, offer complementary offerings to the main service.
It’s completely up to your business needs if you need any of these features.
Amelia or MotoPress: Free Version Comparison
But let’s not focus solely on the premium features, the plugins in questions offer decent free versions as well.
Once again, I have compiled a table that illustrates the functionalities available in MotoPress Appointment Booking Lite and those that are exclusive to the free version of Amelia, and vice versa. The rest of features, which were listed in premium versions, are all functionable in free ones.
|Amelia Free||MotoPress Appointment Booking Free|
|Buffer times before and after appointments||No||Yes|
|Minimum and maximum capacity settings for the appointment||No||Yes|
|Variable pricing for the service||No||Yes|
|Variable service duration||No||No|
Ability to connect any with paid add-ons
Ability to connect any with paid add-ons
|Add appointment via backend||Yes||No|
|Backend calendar views||Week||Month, Week, Day, Timetable|
|Booking form custom fields||No||No|
|Google Calendar integration||No||No|
|Download Amelia||Download Appointment Booking|
Why do people choose to forgo so many essential features, which are restricted in the free version of Amelia when they could have access to all of them at no cost with MotoPress?
With that in mind, the fact that the free version of Amelia is installed on 50K websites while MotoPress lags behind surprises me greatly.
So, Amelia or MotoPress Appointment Booking: Which is Better?
The very first conclusion is: the MotoPress appointment scheduling plugin and Amelia are both exellent solutions for service businesses.
Instead of jumping to the conclusion and saying which appointment scheduling WordPress plugin is the best, let’s focus on their differences and scenarios, where one can perform better than another. I identified the following ones.
Pros of Amelia over MotoPress:
- Amelia wins in the number of features, which at times translates into better flexibility.
- Amelia has a larger community of users, which means that there are more resources available online.
- There are more widget form design customization settings for manual tweaks.
- Amelia allows you to sell appointments of different duration within one service.
- A wider range of advanced/added-value features.
- A wider range of integrations.
Pros of MotoPress over Amelia:
- The plugin is more affordable; plus, the lifetime cost of the plugin ships with all MotoPress products (50+ in total).
- A smooth multi-service booking feature is supported.
- The free version of the MotoPress Appointment Booking is more powerful and generous.
- You can use any paid add-on with the free version, while in Amelia you can’t connect individual features to the free version.
- You can test premium features for free in a 7-day trial.
- A library of pre-designed booking templates for different business sectors.
- More profound integration with page builders, such as Divi, the block editor and Elementor.
- Log history on every appointment.
- More lightweight.
Now it’s time to make up your mind!
Is Amelia booking plugin free?
The Amelia booking plugin comes in both versions: free with limited features and paid with the all-around booking system. You can use any. In the free Amelia plugin, you can’t use locations, buffer times between appointments, deposit payments, payment gateways, and more.
How to add appointment to WordPress with Amelia?
If you use the Amelia booking plugin, there are two ways to add appointments: 1) from the admin dashboard by hand 2) by adding a booking widget to your website so that clients can self-schedule appointments by choosing the needed dates and services.
Does MotoPress Appointment Booking offer payment options?
Sure, with MotoPress, you can accept payments on your site using PayPal, Stripe, Direct Bank Transfer, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Link, and more. Furthermore, you can connect Square or WooCommerce Payments with add-ons.
How to reschedule bookings with MotoPress Appointment Booking?
To reschedule a booking, log into your WordPress, go to Appointments > Bookings > choose an booking, and click ‘Edit reservations’.