How to setup availability rules in WooCommerce Bookings

Con Schneider

Con Schneider

Availability rules galore

WooCommerce Bookings can be tough to setup. In my recent weeks, I have compiled a “rule of thumb” list that I stick to whenever I solve bookings scenarios.

Most issues arise in configuring the right availability for a custom scenario. Oftentimes people end up with either the wrong or no bookable slots at all. In my experience this is often caused by too many availability rules that end up interfering with each other. Here is how I solve these kind of issues.

WooCommerce Bookings Availability Rules cheat sheet

  • Always use the “available by default” value for the “All dates are…” setting. This saves you from having to deal with availability priorities. Since there is no way to make your set priority rules visible (the order in which they run/load) it is very hard to troubleshoot. Best to stay away from that to begin with.
  • Do not use redundant restrictions. Sometimes I see availability rules set in resources or the product that are not required. For example a set availability during the day, when there is noting that restricts during the day in the first place. If your availability rule does not make any difference to begin with, ditch it.
  • Never set overlapping availability rules. I oftentimes see an overlap in availability rules, especially when comparing global and local availability. You should avoid overlap all together. Day and time values must not intersect in any way. Check your global, product (local) and resource availability rules and clear all overlap.
  • Make use of “First Block starts at” setting to save on availability rules. Many people set availability rules to block out night time time slots. This creates unnecessary bloat in the availability rules section. Use the “First Block starts at” setting instead.

Stay lean

Ultimately you should try and achieve your WooCommerce Bookings scenario with the least amount of availability rules. This way you minimise room for error (and frustration).

Let me know any questions in the comments and happy WooCommerce Bookings setup.

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Comments

  1. Rob Lysak

    Hi, I run a small lake tours operation in Canada and hoping to get some advice on solving an availability issue so I can launch my site.

    The site I have is a website that I built from an Entrada theme and installed WooCommerce Bookings last year, currently, it is in staging waiting for launch day and works great except I need it to do more.

    The issue I am dealing with is that I can not figure out how to add more times to my tour schedules. I have one boat and apx. 15 different tours that are sold based on the hour. I have 7 hourly packages – 1 hour, 2 hour, 3 hour, 4 hour (half day), 6 hour(3/4 day) and an 8 hour (full day). I also offer some specialty packages such as tubing and wine tours and these are also basically by the hour as well.

    What the system does now is book the package by the duration of the tour. If the tour sold is 3 hours with a 30 minute buffer then the system offers the buyer the time like 9:30am to 12:30pm and then 1:00pm to 4:00pm and again at 4:30pm to 7:30pm. That’s great but what if the buyer wants to go at 2:00pm?

    So what I want to be done is have all time slots available for all tours IF the resource (boat) is available and not on a tour. So if I choose the 3 hour tour for July 20th on the calendar, the results offered would be from store open time at 9:00am to store the closed time at 9:00pm with the last tour time ending at the closed time. so it would look like 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 5:00pm……to 8:00pm last tour and a 2 hour booking already out at 1:30pm

    I would really appreciate any help!

    Reply
    1. Con Schneider

      Hi Rob,

      > buyer the time like 9:30am to 12:30pm and then 1:00pm to 4:00pm and again at 4:30pm to 7:30pm. That’s great but what if the buyer wants to go at 2:00pm?

      This probably happens because of the bookable slot duration plus duration.
      In that case I would work around this and add WooCommerce Product Add-Ons to the mix. You could setup a field where your customers can request a custom start time. You as the store manager could then block / edit your calendar and plan accordingly.

      Kind regards,

      Reply
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