If your business takes bookings, then you need an online booking platform. It’s an essential part of doing business in 2017, with online booking systems saving your staff time, enabling customers to book around the clock and bringing your company in line with a modern consumers expectations.

Knowing which online booking platform to go with though? That’s the hard part.

There are a number of options on the market, from the barebones to the feature complete, but two of the most popular options are custom built FileMaker booking systems and our own solution, BookingLive. In this guide, we’re going to look at the advantages, and disadvantages of both solutions.


FileMaker Booking System: Pros & Cons


For those who don’t know FileMaker, they’re a company who provide the tools required to make custom apps which work seamlessly across a wide range of platforms. Whether that’s the web, iOS, Android, Windows or Mac.

The software can be used to create a wide range of applications, including your online booking system. Here’s the pros and cons of building your own online booking platform:


  • Flexible – Because you’re building the platform yourself, you’re in total control over its feature set.

  • Wide plugin support – The range of plugins that support FileMaker mean easier integration and a broader range of functionality

  • Includes starter solutions – A wide range of tutorials and strong community mean that solutions are often relatively easy to find.

  • Drag & drop programming – Simplified programming means most people shouldn’t have a problem creating apps.

  • Built in support for Excel importing – Many businesses manage their bookings via Excel, which makes this feature particularly useful.


  • Expensive – An individual license for FileMaker Pro costs $329.00 (around £265) for the base software. The Advanced version of the software will set you back an eye-watering $549.00 (around £444). For software which may not suit your needs, that’s an expensive initial layout.

  • Requires you to build apps yourself – Running a business is time consuming, so do you really have the time to build your own custom booking software? If the answer is no, then FileMaker might not be for you.

  • Coding knowledge required – If you’re uncomfortable coding, testing and launching applications, then FileMaker isn’t for you.

  • Wasted on web-only applications – The scope of FileMaker’s tools mean that developing exclusively for the web is overkill.

  • No support – If something goes wrong with your app, there’s nobody there to help you get it working. This can lead to loss of trust and decreased bookings.


BookingLive: Pros & Cons


BookingLive is our online booking solution, designed and built with years of experience supplying a huge variety of businesses with booking platforms. Free from locked in contracts, our bespoke software offers many configuration options and professional set up and support.

Here are the pros and cons of BooklingLive as a platform for hosting your online bookings:


  • Trusted, tried and proven – Thousands of businesses across sectors as varied as travel, education and health have opted to use BookingLive as their online booking solution, and 9 out of 10 would recommend it.

  • Loaded with features – BookingLive has evolved over time to better fit the ever changing market of online commerce. That’s meant that over the years, we’ve added much demanded, premium features like a responsive design to work across all platforms and screens, as well as integration with social networks for booking through Facebook.

  • Secure payment support – BookingLive is compatible with some of the most popular secure payment gateways in the world, such as; PayPal, Safe Pay, WorldPay and many, many more.

  • No assembly required - Simply sign up and let our team get your online booking platform set up for you. Deep customisation options mean you can tailor the booking experience for your clients and a huge range of plugins mean compatibility with almost anything you can imagine.

  • Expert support as standard – All BookingLive plans come with support as standard, so if you’re experiencing an issue with your booking platform or don’t understand a feature, we’re on hand to help.


  • Monthly subscription – Most businesses enjoy the flexibility that a rolling monthly subscription offers their business, though some may prefer a lump sum.

  • Externally hosted software – Because BookingLive isn’t priced as licensed software, we do not allow copies of our software to be sold for use on private servers. For various commercial reasons we’d have to license out some of our core infrastructure systems, which would be both expensive and complicated.


So if BookingLive is the Online Booking solution you’ve been looking for then contact us today, where a member of our sales team would be more than happy to help meet your needs! Or sign up to our weekly webinar to find out more about our product!