There are some great solutions out there, but your budget is where you should start.
Here’s what we have found. Our first website we paid to have it professionally designed and programmed with team member logins, schedules for each and a group class schedule, but that was thousands of dollars. It was beautiful! Though there was a backend database that we had access too, it wasn’t as easy as WordPress. And, we had to pump money into it every time we wanted a change. It just became too cumbersome to maintain. The return on investment wasn’t there. After several problems, we decided to take control and re-design on our own using WordPress, Elegant Themes, google calendar and eventbrite.
At our first Idea World Convention, several years ago, we met Mind Body Online. They were ok the first year we saw them, but we had just finished our first site, so we didn’t need the solution. Over the last several years, Mind Body Online has made some amazing changes to their business, scheduling functionality and their customer support. We’ve talked with them at every Ideafit World Convention we’ve attended and they have made so many improvements over the years. They’re reasonably priced for a small business- based on a subscription fee, and one of the biggest benefits is that they are always improving their product and you benefit from their upgrades without having to hire a programmer and go through the design process. If we were to go in a direction of group class calendering and registration system, we’d start with them.
A much simpler way to handle a schedule would be to embed a Google calendar into your website (wordpress is an awesome way to go for your website). This doesn’t solve the registration component, but Google calendar is free, they’re simple to embed, simple to update. You can handle the registration and payment at the first session or use a system like Eventbrite. This is the route we have gone when we needed it. It keeps us in control, and without a monthly subscription fee or heft upfront fee for programming.
Start with your budget in mind. Don’t program something unless you’re sure you are going to stay in that direction to obtain a return on your investment. And, ensure you always maintain flexibility in your site. If you are just starting out, I’d recommend starting with the least expensive solution and learning what your customers want out of a system. Shop around and get creative. Hope this helps. Happy to share some lessons we’ve learned. Private message me with any questions.