General settings represent the corner stone configuration parameters. As such, it is important to configure them prior to using this booking plugin for Ideakit to ensure it will work correctly for your business model. These settings include the following main options:
Default Time Slot Step
This setting allows you to choose a default length for the time slot step, which is used to “grid” the business hours and appointment durations. It determines the time slots step in which your appointments can be scheduled. The setting contains time slot step options ranging from 1 minute to 8 hours, and what you define here will be applied to all time settings such are “Duration”, “Buffer time before” and “Buffer time after” in the Service settings.
For example, if you choose 10 minutes as the default time slot step, the working hours will be divided by a grid of 10 minutes, your customers will be offered to book appointments at 9:00, 9:10, 9:20, 9:30, etc., and the service duration will be configurable as 10 min, 20 min, 30 min, 40 min and so on.
Use service duration for booking a time slot
Enable this option if you need to set the time slots on the booking form to be the same as service duration. For example: let’s say you provide a service between 5:30pm and 9:30pm and the serves lasts 1 hour. If you use this Default Time Slot Step 30 minutes, your clients will see available time slots at 5:30, 6:00, 6:30 etc., If however, someone books 6pm the preceding half hour cannot be used (a customer cannot book because the service lasts 1 hour). If you enable the service duration option however, customers will see 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 as the available times and there will not be a time shown that cannot be booked.
Default Appointment Status
With this setting, you can set the default status for all newly created appointments. If you set “Pending” as a default appointment status, future appointments will have this status at the time of scheduling and will require manual approval and status change in the plugin’s back-end.
Minimum time required before booking
This setting allows you to set the minimum period before the appointment when customers can submit a booking request. By default, it is disabled, which means for example, that your customers will be able to book appointments within several minutes from current time. Should your business require a certain period of time to prepare for the appointment, simply choose one of the options from this setting, and any booking within a given period prior to booking will be disallowed.
For example, if you choose 1 day as your minimum time required before booking, your customers will need to schedule an appointment at least 1 day in advance.
Note that minimum time required before booking works only for the front-end bookings, it doesn’t apply to the appointments added through the backend.
Minimum time required before canceling/rescheduling
This setting allows you to set the time period before appointment after which customers will not be able to cancel or reschedule their request. By default, it is disabled, which means your customers can cancel/reschedule an appointment at any moment before it starts. To disallow late cancellations/rescheduling simply choose an option, e.g. 1 day. The 1 day option for example would not allow a customer to cancel or reschedule tomorrow’s appointment.
Period available for booking in advance
This option allows you to set how far into the future bookings can be made. For example, if you set 365 days, your customers will be able to schedule an appointment for up to one year in advance. If you set it to 10 days, your customers won’t be able to book an appointment beyond that time.
Default phone country code
You can choose a specific country code for the phone numbers, otherwise, you can choose the “Identify country code by user’s IP address” option and the country code will be “guessed” by current user’s IP address.
Set a phone number as a mandatory field
This option allows you to determine whether entering a phone number will be mandatory or optional for a customer during the booking process. By DEFAULT this option is DISABLED, which means your customer will not be required to enter a phone number.
Set email as a mandatory field
This option is here so you can choose whether email field on the booking form will be mandatory or not. By default, this option is enabled, so your customers will need to add their email during the booking. If you disable it, your customers will be able to finish the booking process without entering any email.
Show booking slots in a client time zone
This option gives you the possibility to use our plugin through several time zones. If you enable this option your clients will see time slots in their own time zone, and once they schedule an appointment you will see it in the back-end in the time zone that you have set in the Ideakit General Settings under the Timezone option. So, for example, if your clients are in a time zone that is 1 hour less than yours, they will schedule an appointment for 8 pm, and you will see this appointment at 9 pm in the appointments list.
Show Add To Calendar option to customers
This option gives you the opportunity to remove the Add To Calendar option from front-end pages. The Add To Calendar option is there to allow your customers to enter an appointment they have just scheduled in their calendar. The option is enabled by default, but if you don’t want to give this option to your customers you can simply disable it, and this step will not appear in the booking process.
Send ics file in the notifications
This option gives you the opportunity to send ics file in the notifications that are sent to the customer so they can download it and use it to add appointment or event in their calendar. This option is very important if you plan to use our integration with WooCommerce and you want your customers to have option to add appointment/event to their calendar since if integration with WooCommerce is used customers will be redirected to the WooCommerce cart and they will not have Add to Calendar option on the end of the booking process.
Default items per page
This setting allows you to choose the number of items you and your employees will see on the admin pages of the plugin. Since you have from 9 to 30 options you can adjust the look of your pages as you prefer.
Default page on the back-end
This setting allows you to choose which page you will see first whenever you access your back-end. By default, it is set to show the Dashboard page first, but if you prefer you can change it to Appointments or Calendar, or if you just use Events you can change it to Events.
Google Map API Key
This option allows you to add the Google Map API Key so you can show a Google static map on the “Locations” page.
Redirect URL After Appointment
This option allows you to set the URL to which the customers will be redirected once they schedule an appointment. If you don’t set it once your customers click on the Finish button they will be back on the first booking step.
Attachment upload path
With this setting, you can set the path where you want attachments to be saved (if you use the Attachment custom field). If you leave this field empty, all attachments will be uploaded to the Ideakit ‘uploads’ folder.
Enable Google reCAPTCHA
This option is made if you want to use Google reCAPTCHA to prevent bots from booking appointments. Once you enable this option you will see three other options that will be explained below.
In order to use reCAPTCHA in our plugin you need to sign up for an API key pair for your site here. The API key pair has site key and secret key which you need to copy and paste into our two fields below called “Google reCAPTCHA Site Key” and “Google reCAPTCHA Secret Key”. Beside these two options you will also see the option “Add “Invisible Google reCaptcha”. This option allows you to set a smaller reCaptcha without a checkbox field in the lower right corner of the booking form. Customers will still be checked just faster and if you have lots of custom fields then this kind of a reCaptcha will more suit you since it won’t take up much space.