The owner of L&L Driving School was ready to move her business online. She wanted her students to start booking classes online and managing student records online. She was ready to have online payments instead of checks, cash and IOU’s. Furthermore, she had recently purchased a large new facility to start drivers ed in a bigger city and she wanted to get her online appearance more presentable and modern to make the biggest impact of her marketing efforts in this new location.
Some specific features she wanted to include on her new site:
- Pertinent Icons
- Updated/Modern Design
- Motion Graphics
- Online Class Registration
- Event listing that she could edit
- Contact Form
- Email Notification after registration
- Text and email reminders a few hours before their appointment
- Staff Management (hours, contacts, schedules)
- Website to be mobile ready
- Need a new logo
Although this was a long, arduous process, I am quite pleased with the results. More importantly, so is my client. Updating the site to look more modern with icons and a responsive layout was nothing new and a piece of cake. I could accomplish this by building a custom theme on the back of a responsive WordPress theme; in this case, TwentyTwelve. After a little playing around with textures and color combos, I went with an on-the-road look where I used different asphalt textures for the header and main body area accented with bright road-line yellow and white to create a punchy, pertinent theme. Then I used little traffic related icons throughout the theme.
Building this site upon WordPress allowed me to utilize some great plugins that helped along the way. I used Simple Staff List By Brett Shumaker to display a list of staff members on her website. Sure, I could have made the layout from scratch, but this gives my client a nice interface she can update and manage. Another big help came from The Event Calendar By Modern Tribe, Inc. which allows my client to list her drivers ed class dates on her website. I also always love building upon WordPress so my client can have access to the WordPress app for posting on the go.
The big challenge in this project was the online registration/staff management/online payment/email notification piece. I was going to be software hunting rather than trying to build something from scratch. This is a road I’ve been down a few times before and the conclusion is usually the same… None of them fit EXACTLY what my client wants to do. First off, any business that doesn’t work “regular hours” (like 9-5 daily) are counted out for 95% of all booking software. So when looking through the 5% that support event driven businesses like a drivers ed school, I had to see which one supported the most of my client’s other requirements. In the end it came down to three options:
- Visual Form Builder
- Driving School Software
Visual form builder might seem like a poor fit, but it’s a really powerful form building plugin with paypal built in. It’s not an appointment software though so standard things like staff management, calendar output and payment verification aren’t built into it. Driving School Software had some definite pros. Since it’s built specifically for my clients business model, how can it get any better? It was, however, extremely complicated and very pricey. Ultimately, I provided a list of pros and cons of each and let my client decide which of these three made the most sense for her business. She chose Appointy and I’m glad she did so
Appointy has quite a few tools built right into it for a $20/monthly fee. Public side booking calendar, admin side management of services, staff and hours, email notifications, text reminders, paypal or credit card payments, reports, calendar, etc. Also, it has fantastic support built in to allow developers to style nearly any element of the public-side interface. Support is a little wonky, but usually results in a live chat and screen sharing session which I appreciate. So much communication and time can be saved by just letting them see the problem. It’s been a pretty good experience as far as booking software goes. After using it for a long while now, I still recommend Appointy.
- Custom, responsive theme
- Photo Slider
- Logo Design
- Contact form
- Additional Form with Service Payment
- Implementation of Appointy booking software
- Staff List with profiles
- Event dates list
View this project at http://www.lnldrivingschool.com