You know what, I need to raise my hand here for a second and admit I made a classic mistake. Something I hated about when I worked for other companies. I built a plugin that I thought people wanted, instead of listening closer to what people were asking me.
I built Datefirst Pro to provide many different ways to search a single or group of products, by selecting the date first. Awesome right? But.. and this is a big one, I built it as I would for my current client and their need to have the search, selection, and booking on the same page. A very sophisticated way of doing things.
Am I saying this is wrong. Heck no, it’s right, and works great, but it isn’t what everyone needs. And a new idea has been taking shape this past month. A new very simple idea.
It started with 2 requests that I received. Other developers/designers who needed a date first selection to work on their sites. I asked questions, I over thought it a little, and in the end they really just wanted a little widget to drop into any page to search for availability. Nothing too fancy, just a nice filter to use where ever it worked on their site and business.
Ah, oh yeah, I can do that. Sure no problem.
Of course that got me thinking, is this what so many people were coming to my site for? Just a simple way to filter out bookable products, and still allow the bookings to happen on the normal product page. I guess I’m about to find out. I’ve built a tidy little plugin, Super Simple Availability Search.
There are 2 examples out in the wild for you to have a look at.
You can see the demo of the plugin I created here.
The first is a apartment rental in Spain, Alojamientos Valle del Riopiedra. Here is their set-up
You select your start and end dates
A simple list of Apartments available is shown and you then click through to booking.
The second is bouncy castle hire here in the UK, Total Bounce. Here is their set-up.
Here you select your date
A product list is created showing all products that can be booked that day.
You can see the look and feel is very different between the 2 sites. I wanted to make sure that you could have a high level of control of the style, based on your theme and how you would like your products to show.
To modify the look of the search:
If you want to change the look of the search result, you simply modify the Woocommerce template ‘content-product.php’ as normal.
I get really excited when these types of projects come up. I get a chance to help businesses that are stuck at a final step in releasing their site. I also get the chance to analyse, improve, and create something that will help more people.