Services in Bookly are the types of appointments that customers can book.

Services can be provided by all staff members or specific team members. This allows flexibility in assigning services to different employees.

Group services into categories, providing customers with a structured way to choose from various types of appointments. It's important to note that each service must belong to a category. At least one default category should be created, and all services should be included in it for the plugin to function correctly.

Categories and services can be created, edited, and managed from the Services section within the Bookly plugin.

Services section in Bookly

Each service category comes with additional settings that can enhance the user experience. Click on the Categories button. Here's what you can do with category settings:

Category Image: You have the option to add an image to each category. This image can be included in email templates using the {category_image} placeholder, allowing for a visual representation of the service category.

Categories of services in Bookly

Category Description: Provide a description for each category. This description is visible in the booking form when you enable the Show category info option in the Appearance > Service tab. Additionally, you can include this description in email notifications using the {category_info} placeholder.

Appearance section in Bookly

The order of services in your booking form

To customize the order in which your services appear on the front-end booking form, click on the Services order button. Use the drag-and-drop feature to rearrange the services according to your preference.

The order of services in Bookly

Table settings

Click on the eye icon located in the upper right corner of the page to access table settings. Choose the columns you wish to include in the Services table and easily reorder them using the convenient drag-and-drop feature.

Services section – Table settings

General Settings

The settings outlined below are applicable when Bookly Pro is installed and activated. Please be aware that the free version of Bookly comes with limited functionality.

Service Image

Upload a photo or image for the service, and display it using the {service_image} code in Email Notifications and Appearance.


Assign a color code to appointments for this service in your Bookly calendar. This color won't be visible to your clients. The calendar's coloring mode can be configured in Settings > Calendar > Coloring mode.

Service color in Bookly


Set to Public by default. The Private setting is intended for instances when you need to deactivate a previously active service or want to use this service for internal appointments.


The service cost will be displayed to the client during the booking process for their review and confirmation. Configuring the price here doesn't require setting up online payment, as you can provide clients with the option of offline payment as well.

Service settings – visibility & price


Providers are your staff members that clients can choose from as the person providing the service. A service has to be assigned to at least one provider to appear in the Service drop-down menu in the booking form.

Service settings – assign providers

Providers preference for ANY

Allows you to define the rule of staff members' auto-assignment when customers schedule an appointment on your website without having a staff member preference (when they select ANY option in a "provider" drop-down).

Bookly will automatically choose a staff member for any selected service based on your settings.


The feature works as follows:

  • Specified order – appointments will be assigned to available staff members in a specified order of priorities;
  • Most/least occupied that day – appointments will be assigned to the most/least occupied staff member on the date of the appointment (see how it works when customers book unscheduled appointments here);
  • Most/least occupied for period – Bookly will assign the appointment to the most/least occupied staff member, considering the provider’s occupancy for a selected period;
  • Most/least expensive – appointments will be assigned to the staff member with the highest/lowest service price. If the price is the same, the system will select the first staff member in the list.

Pick random staff member in case of uncertainty

When this option is enabled and multiple staff members meet the criteria specified in "Providers preference for ANY," the system will randomly select one staff member. If this option is disabled, the system will assign the appointment to the first staff member in the list.

Services section – settings

Available payment methods

Configure custom payment methods that are specific to individual services. For instance, you can disable the 'Local payment' option for services offered by your staff members via Zoom, Google Meet, or other online meeting software.

Services section – settings


You can input any text in this field, and it will be automatically incorporated into client notifications and booking form wording with the {service_info} code.

Appearance section – service info

To display the service description to the customer at the initial step of the booking process, activate the Show service info option in the Appearance > Step by step form > Service tab.

Appearance section in Bookly

Time Settings


The duration represents the length of an appointment, and you can configure it to last anywhere from 5 minutes to 7 days. For services with a duration of 1 day or longer, you have the option to set start and end times of the appointment.

Service duration in Bookly

Time slot length

This setting enables you to divide the day into slots, which are time intervals used when generating all time slots for a particular service during the Time step. You can customize this setting to override the global settings found in Settings > General > Time slot length. If you choose Default, the global settings will be applied.

Padding time

This setting allows you to define a brief period around an appointment, typically used for activities such as clean-up, preparation, or rest. This padding time cannot be used for another booking. For instance, if you set a 15-minute padding after an appointment with a 1-hour service duration, the next available time slot for booking will be 15 minutes after the conclusion of the booked appointment. Therefore, if the initial appointment is scheduled for 08:00 am, the subsequent availability will be at 09:15 am.

Advanced Settings

Create online meetings

Currently, Bookly PRO supports integrations with Zoom, Google Meet, Jitsi and BigBlueButton. Detailed setup instructions can be found here.

Limit appointments per customer

This setting allows you to set a restriction on the number of service bookings a customer can make within a specified period. The restriction can either end after a fixed period or align with the beginning of the next calendar period, such as a new day, week, month, etc.

Advanced settings for services in Bookly

Example #1:
Limit: 2 upcoming bookings
Meaning: A customer can't book more than 2 appointments during the available booking period, depending on the availability of free time slots. This is influenced by the values set in Number of days available for booking and Minimum time requirement prior to booking.

Example #2:
Limit: 2 bookings per 24 hours/7 days/30 days/365 days
Meaning: A customer is allowed to book only 2 appointments during the selected period. The restriction will end after this period is over (e.g., after 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, or 365 days).

Example #3:
Limit: 2 bookings per day/week/month/year
Meaning: The restriction will end with the beginning of the new day/week/month/year. In this case, a customer is limited to booking 2 appointments within each day, week, month, or year.

Once a customer exceeds the appointment limit, they will see the following message:
"You are trying to use the service too often. Please contact us to make a booking."
This message can be customized in Appearance > Done tab > Form view in case the number of bookings exceeds the set limit.

Bookly PRO Appearance section

Note that you can specify the appointment status that Bookly should consider when restricting the number of service bookings. Refer to the Do not count appointments in 'Limit appointments per customer' setting in Settings > Customers to configure this preference.

Final step URL

This setting allows you to create separate final pages (Thank You page after successful booking) for specific services.

Minimum time requirement prior to booking & canceling

You can set specific periods for each service. If set to Default, the values will be taken from the global settings.

When you duplicate a service, it is created with 'Private' visibility.

Duplicate a service in Bookly

For more information on creating services and categories in Bookly, you can refer to the video tutorial.



Basic Setup


Critical Settings

Booking Form Appearance

Publish Booking Form on One or Several Pages of One Website.


How to create custom appointments

There are services missing in "Choose Service" dropdown in booking form.

How can I set default Service, Category & Employee value via http GET?

Can I hide Category / Service / Employee fields from the booking form?

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