How to Make an Effective Booking Website in 8 Easy Steps (2024 Edition)

Our independent research projects and impartial reviews are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers. Learn more

Do you run a salon, hotel, clinic, or another business that means you serve customers in person? If the answer is yes, we recommend setting up a booking website with a website builder, such as Wix or Squarespace.

Wix is our top-rated website builder overall, with its beginner-friendly editor and powerful features. And Squarespace is well-known for its stylish templates but it’s also one of the most cost-effective options on the market.

Our Top-Rated Website Builders

  1. Wix Best overall website builder
  2. Squarespace Best value for money

A booking allows prospects to book, modify, and cancel reservations online, without the need to contact the business directly. All of this adds up to a smooth and convenient customer experience, likely resulting in repeat business and more bookings.

So, how do you get started? Which website builder should you choose? What’s an affordable solution? Let’s dive in to our eight simple steps so you know how to make a booking website:

What type of website do you want to create?

Find Your Builder

1. Get a Domain Name

A domain name is a web address through which your customers will access your booking website. Its purpose is to give your prospects a name they can easily remember and associate with your business. A typical domain name costs around $10-20 per year.

Consider Your Business Name and Keywords

First things first, you need a domain name that’s memorable and screams “you” to your customers.

Brainstorming a bunch of names that capture the essence of your business and its services will open up lots of routes for you. What are some relevant, short, and snappy keywords you can include in your domain name?

The right keywords will help your customers remember it and find your booking website effortlessly.

Check Domain Name Availability

Now that you’ve got your list of potential domain names, it’s time to see if they’re up for grabs. It can be tricky finding a unique domain name that isn’t already snapped up (or worse, someone else has snatched it up but isn’t using it), but hang in there, you’ll find the right one!

Head over to a domain name registrar, such as GoDaddy, and type in your chosen domain names – it’ll quickly tell you if it’s available. Feel free to get creative and tweak your ideas if necessary, or come up with new ones that are simple and easy to remember until you settle on the perfect fit.

Register Your Domain Name

Once you’ve chosen your domain name, follow the prompts on the domain name registrar’s website to complete the checkout process.

They’ll ask you for some basic info and ask you how long you want to register your domain name for. Once you’ve sealed the deal, your domain name is officially reserved for your booking website. Hooray!

2. Choose a Website Builder

A website builder is a piece of software that helps you build your own website without coding or technical skills. But how do you find the right fit for your business?

Evaluate Your Needs

There are plenty of website builders on the market, and we’ve spent hours thoroughly researching and testing the industry-leading platforms to bring you the best data-led recommendations.

Before diving into specific website builders, think about what you need when it comes to pricing, functionalities, and ease of use. A website builder gives you hundreds of pre-built templates to obtain the look and feel you desire for your website, and the budget-friendly fixed monthly fees are a bonus!

From our in-house research, our highest performers are Wix and Squarespace. Let’s take a closer look at each:


Wix is our champion of website builders, scoring 4.8 out of 5 overall. It’s a user-friendly website builder with 800+ mobile-responsive templates, and over 100 fonts to pick from.

One of its highlights is a feature called Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI). It learns about your website and suggests design layouts accordingly based on your needs. You can get a Wix website starting from $16 per month.

With regard to bookings, you can easily integrate your Wix website with an app known as Wix Bookings, which is simple to find in the backend dashboard. This allows your visitors and potential customers to make appointments through your website directly.


Our second choice for website builders is Squarespace, which sits just below Wix with an overall score of 4.7 out of 5.

Squarespace is known for its expertise in beautiful designs, with 100+ templates that look stunning down to every detail. It’s really easy to customize your website with Squarespace’s grid-style editor, and you’ll also benefit from built-in analytics reporting to help you track your site’s performance. Like Wix, Squarespace pricing starts from just $16 per month.

For reservations, you can make use of Squarespace Scheduling to add a booking system to your website. Using this system, a visitor can instantly view your availability and reserve a booking.

3. Find a Template You Love

Once you’ve signed up with a website builder, it’s time to pick a template. When creating your booking website, a premade template can provide the initial design foundation – plus a wide range of useful features – straight from the get-go.

The benefit of a template is that you don’t have to start from a blank canvas. Instead, you’ll have something tangible to customize based on your preferences.

Align With Your Brand

It’s easy to make the mistake of jumping on something that looks fantastic.

And while that’s fine, choosing a template that vibes with your brand will pay you back over the long term. We recommend browsing the various options, discussing with trusted colleagues or friends, and maybe even ask a few strangers to see if it’s the right fit.

Keep looking until you find something that you don’t have to question.

Prioritize Functionality and User Experience

From there, you can use the drag-and-drop editor and other settings provided by your website builder to modify your booking website. The elements you can change typically include layout, color schemes, fonts, pages, images, and more.

A booking website should be easy for users to navigate. Clients and customers need to know exactly where they are and exactly where they need to go. So, no matter what choices you make, make sure you’re always thinking of your target audience.

Top Tip: Offer multiple, secure, and reliable payment options to cater to different customer preferences. This can help improve the conversion rate.

Barbosa (Squarespace)

The Barbosa Squarespace template has an appealing design and menu.
The Barbosa Squarespace template has an appealing design and menu with lots of service-related elements, such as a large button in the header for booking a room.

Naturally, the design-powerhouse otherwise known as Squarespace comes top in our design flexibility testing with a score of 4.7 out of 5. This means Squarespace is the best option for top-quality templates and designs.

When browsing its selection, we found the Barbosa template. This simple and attention-grabbing theme is suitable for creating a booking website for a small, local business. The homepage links well to other areas of the website, and you can feature social media icons in the navigation menu.

Power House Fitness (Wix)

Wix Power House Fitness template in the editor
Wix's Power House Fitness template comes with preset page options, such as pricing and a booking page, which made editing my website really simple.

Wix isn’t far behind Squarespace when it comes to design, scoring an excellent 4.6 out of 5 in our design flexibility category.

With over 800+ templates to choose from, it can be hard to know where to look. But don’t worry, we’ve got you! Wix’s Power House Fitness template keeps things simple by letting your images do the talking. If you want your users to get a clear idea of your business from a quick scroll, this could be a good fit.

The design includes elements and pages to show off what your business does, who’s involved, and how people can find and book your services. Plus, you can easily integrate your social media platforms to help clients find you everywhere.

4. Add Your Website’s Content

So far, we’ve talked a lot about design. But the appearance of your booking website is only half the story. The other crucial half is content.

What do you add? How can you make your content interesting and intriguing?

Your content should speak to your target audience and encourage them to book an appointment with you. Start by including these basic elements on your booking website:

  • About Page: Provides information about your business, your team, what you do, and why you do it. You can also mention your origin story.
  • Contact Page: Enables quick, seamless communication between your customers and your team, typically via a contact form. Openly displaying your contact information also adds to your credibility.
  • Privacy Policy: It’s essential to comply with laws regulating the use of websites. It conveys to your visitors what you intend to do with their information and that your site can be trusted.
  • Testimonials: Reviews from customers who have already benefited from their appointments with your business help provide social proof.
  • Service Catalog: Shows a list of services that visitors can book from your website, along with other details such as time, location, pricing, availability, and so on.
  • Create engaging and informative content: This helps customers see you as an authority in your market and a knowledge base to turn to should they have any questions.
  • Incorporate SEO: Optimize your content for search engines by using relevant keywords, compelling meta titles and descriptions, and SEO-friendly URLs. This will help your website to perform well in search results and encourage more traffic.
  • Proofread and edit: Don’t appear unprofessional or sloppy with silly mistakes on your website. Triple check everything before going live!
Top Tip: Social proof such as testimonials, reviews, and ratings can help build trust with potential customers.

5. Install a Booking App

Now that your design and content have been taken care of, the final step is to add appointment functionality to create a booking website.

As we discussed, both Wix and Squarespace come with integrations to set up appointment reservation features on their websites. So depending on the website builder you’re using, follow the instructions below.

Wix Bookings

Navigate to the Wix Bookings app page. To get started, click Add to Site and complete the installation process. The app is not integrated with your website’s dashboard. This will automatically create a new page on your website that includes the booking app.

To create an appointment, locate the Booking Services tab in the left sidebar menu. Then click Add a New Service and fill in the details about your service.

Wix Bookings dashboard inviting users to add a new service
When building a music website, I appreciated that Wix Bookings provided tailored service options for my industry that I could then edit.

In the Additional Settings section, you have the option to make the service unbookable, require approvals, and build a custom booking form.

When testing, we found you can also set up email or SMS reminders to help reduce no-shows by sending out a nudge 24 hours before the appointment. In fact, it’s been found that the likelihood of no-shows is reduced by 90% thanks to appointment reminders – a simple, but effective step to take! Within your Wix Booking settings, simply toggle email reminders on and tweak the email to your liking.

Squarespace Scheduling

Log in to your Squarespace account. Go to the Home menu and click Scheduling. Then follow the instructions to set up a scheduling account.

Now you can start with setting up your availability. Click Availability to configure the timings at which bookings will be allowed.

Squarespace Scheduling form to set up an appointment type
I managed to set up an appointment with Squarespace Scheduling in less than a minute thanks to the simple form.

To set up a type of appointment, go to Appointment Types and click New Type of Service. Then fill in the required details.

Squarespace Scheduling appearance dashboard
I could tweak the appearance of the frontend to make sure potential clients and customers see the right information.

The final step is to add the scheduling feature on the front end of your website. Head over to the Scheduling panel and click the Scheduling Page Link. Then under Direct Links & Embedding, click Direct Link. From there, you can copy the link and paste it on a page of your website.

Top Tip: Make the booking process as simple and intuitive as possible. Every extra step or unnecessary complexity can lead to potential customers abandoning their bookings.

6. Test Your Booking System

You might want to launch your website right away, but there’s another crucial step to follow. The dress rehearsal, you could say! Testing your booking system will make sure everything runs smoothly before the curtains go up.

Conduct Thorough Testing

For this, you need to get critical. Review your site thoroughly and pick it apart in the hunt for mistakes, errors, or clunky experiences. Are there any bugs or glitches? Do all of the features work? The buttons? Are the forms useful? Can you find any broken links?

Check User Experience

Now, check out the website from a customer’s point of view – or, even better, get a few people to try it out for you. Is the website easy to navigate? Does the layout make sense? Are the steps to make a booking clear and straightforward? The more seamless the user experience, the more likely potential customers will book with you.

Test on Different Devices

Even if your website looks amazing on your desktop or laptop, it’s important to check out how it looks on a smartphone or tablet. Around a third of customers prefer booking appointments using their mobiles, so you don’t want to overlook this step! Does the website make sense? Are elements missing off the page? Has the booking CTA disappeared?

Test your booking system across a range of devices so you know everyone has the ability to book with you.

7. Optimize for Mobile

Did you know that 55% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices? That means your potential customers are more likely to find your site when on the go, whether they’re booking appointments, making reservations, checking out reviews, or buying products.

Being mobile-friendly is a must. It goes beyond just a quick look to make sure the content and layout look good, so here’s how to get the most out of those handheld screens:

Ensure Mobile Responsiveness

When a website is responsive, it adjusts its design and layout to the screen size. If it isn’t responsive, your site will look odd. Pictures and headlines will run off the page. Users will miss what you’re trying to say. This can frustrate people and they’ll dip out and turn to a competitor instead.

Test Mobile User Experience

Just like you tested how the website works on a desktop, you’ll need to test how it works on different devices – both tablets and mobiles. Once again, rope your family or friends into helping, especially if they use a good variety of devices. Ask them to check if you can make a booking without experiencing any hiccups? Is it easy to find their way around? If not, making tweaks (and testing again) will solve those problems.

Consider Mobile SEO

Optimizing for SEO is just as important on portable devices. Make sure your website loads quickly, uses mobile-friendly fonts and images, and includes relevant keywords in your content. Google will reward you with higher rankings in mobile search results, making it much easier for people to find you.

Top Tip: With more and more users accessing websites from their mobile devices, it’s crucial to ensure your booking website is mobile-friendly.

8. Get Your Website Seen

So you’re done making a booking website – congrats! But you’re not done yet. Because now, it’s time to show it to the world. After all, how will you get any appointments if people don’t know about your booking website? Here are some of the best tactics to promote your website:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

No promotion checklist is complete without SEO, as it’s one of the major drivers of organic traffic to websites. It refers to a collection of initiatives taken to solidify your website’s ranking in search engine result pages. These initiatives include embedding relevant keywords in your content, using catchy headings, submitting your website’s sitemap to Google Search Console, and more.

Email Marketing

Email marketing has proven to be an effective marketing tactic time and again. In fact, its average ROI (Return on Investment) can be up to 4400%. An email allows for direct communication between your business and target audience.

The process involves building an email list, and using an email marketing service to stay in touch with your subscribers. The goal is to eventually turn visitors into leads and customers.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is another great way to boost brand awareness. Depending on the nature of your business and target audience, you can pick one or two social platforms to promote your booking website. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, posting interesting content can help you build a following and expand your reach.

Consider Paid Advertising

When promoting your booking website, paid ads can give it a helping hand. Not only can it boost visibility, but it can also drive targeted traffic toward your pages and increase bookings. Platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Instagram Ads offer options to reach your desired audience and suit your budget.

While paid advertising helps your website reach new customers, it also gives you analytics and performance metrics so you can test and optimize your marketing campaigns. That can make all the difference in a crowded market.

Top Tip: Provide easy access to customer support. Live chat, a comprehensive FAQ section, and quick response times can go a long way in enhancing customer experience.

Our Testing Methodology

As we’ve mentioned already, our website builder recommendations are backed by rigorous testing from our in-house research team. Every builder we review goes through this research process to help us rank and compare builders fairly.

We analyze a range of factors that are important to our readers:

  • Website Features – weighting: 20%

When it comes to website features, we focus on the range and quality available. This includes testing each builder’s SEO features, marketing functionalities, blogging tools, internationalization, storage space, domain names, and emails. We also examine what’s available as a built-in tool and what can be integrated as an app.

  • Design Functionalities – weighting: 20%

First impressions are important, so we test each builder’s template selection, flexibility when designing, editor, ADI options, and UX.

  • Value for Money – weighting: 10%

When testing value for money, we focus heavily on the quality of features vs the price point. We also check whether the platform offers a free trial or a free plan, and the average costs of its plans to make sure we cover a range of pricing options.

  • Help and Support – weighting: 5%

This research category includes seeing what customer support options are available (such as live chat or email), the quality of its knowledge center, whether the builder includes restore options, and whether dependable support is available on the cheapest monthly plan.

  • Customer Satisfaction – weighting: 25%

Our research also takes review site scores, online comments, brand recognition, market analysis, UX, and user recommendations on board.

  • Ease of Use – weighting: 20%

We’re not the only ones to test each website builder. We also get groups of everyday people, entrepreneurs, and small businesses to try the builders and share their feedback with us. This helps us understand the skill level required for the builder, judge customer satisfaction, and uncover any issues.

How to Create a Booking Website: Summary

When it comes to growing your business, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by setting up a booking website. As you can see, it’s easy to build a booking website quickly with the right steps and tools.

To recap our eight-step guide:

  1. Get a Domain Name
  2. Choose a Website Builder
  3. Find a Template You Love
  4. Add Your Website’s Content
  5. Install a Booking App
  6. Test Your Booking System
  7. Optimize for Mobile
  8. Get Your Website Seen

By allowing customers to book appointments from anywhere and at any time, you’ll get an edge over your competitors. The less time you have to spend handling phone calls and emails related to customer reservations, the more clients you can fit into your schedule. Essentially, it’s a win-win for both you and your customers – so go ahead and build your booking website today!


Make sure your website builder offers scalable solutions that can handle any traffic spikes. After all, you never know when a piece of content you put out there or a high-profile recommendation could go viral! If you feel up to it, you can add caching and image compression to cut down on server load and boost site speed.
While basic metrics like page views and bounce rates are important, consider tracking conversion rates, average booking value, and user behavior (e.g. how long it takes to complete a booking) to better understand your customers and optimize your website.
The best way to increase traffic to your booking website is to set up a marketing campaign. Bookings are by nature time-sensitive and referencing that in targeted ads will drive traffic to your site. A popular way this is done is by referencing how many slots are available in an ad or an automated email. By creating a sense of urgency, you can drive more people to check out your site.
The cost of a booking website is roughly the price of a website builder plan, as booking capabilities are usually kept behind a paywall. You can expect to pay on average anywhere between $15 – $30 per month on a website builder plan.
Written by:
Smiling headshot of Amanda Graham
I started writing for Website Builder Expert in 2022. I love copywriting for ecommerce, website, automation, and website brands and I’ve ghostwritten and content strategised for some of the largest multinational brands in the world. I have years of writing experience for the BBC, including documentaries, scripts, and Twitter campaigns. With such a wealth of experience to draw on, some of my best work on Website Builder Expert focuses on topics such as ecommerce strategies, marketing tips, and small business advice. I hope you enjoy my articles!
Researched by:
I love to understand human behavior and the cognitive biases that drive us to do what we do. For over nine years I have worked as a mixed method researcher – research using a mix of numerical data and personal experiences – across a range of sectors, from insurance and policy development to finally arriving at Website Builder Expert five years ago. Fascinated by consumer decision-making, I meticulously built our leading ranking methodology to explore where providers like Wix sit within a competitive industry and what value they truly bring to our audience.
As a member of the Market Research Society, I’m an advocate for high ethical, commercial, and methodological best practices. All of this combines to give you the most ethical recommendations based on real data.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *