Does Lemcal have a better free plan than Cal.com ?
Comparing Cal.com's and Lemcal's free plans.
The world of calendar scheduling is vibrant. Some products cater to NGOs, multinational enterprises, and small businesses, while others focus on meeting the needs of digital nomads, young adults, and casual users. With so many options available, identifying the right product to fit your needs can feel overwhelming. You may wish that there was an article or a guide that could simplify the process for you. Coincidentally, that's the whole purpose of this article.
Today, we're going to compare and contrast two calendar scheduling solutions that serve sole proprietors as well as larger business structures. This article is structured to help you identify what each product offers and, based on that, which is best suited to meet your requirements. So, without any further ado, let's get started.
Cal.com and Acuity Scheduling are the products we're evaluating today. Both options allow users to connect one or more digital calendars to a central hub that cross-references them with your hours of operation. This helps ensure that bookings are only made when all parties are available. Both Acuity Scheduling and Cal.com are suited to individuals who are self-employed as well as businesses with multiple team members.
One of the main differences between the two products is that Cal.com brands itself as a scheduling solution for everyone. At the same time, Acuity is part of the Squarespace brand and primarily targets the same audience who utilizes Squarespace to power their digital presence and meet all of their e-commerce needs. Acuity has been built to complement Squarespace's range of products and associated offerings specifically.
On the other hand, Cal.com is an open-source product built around the idea that the only time one-size-fits-all is when it's customizable. Cal.com offers two versions of its product: one for people who love coding, which can be accessed via GitHub, and another for people who want to start using its calendar scheduling infrastructure without touching a single line of code.
Both Acuity and Cal offer unlimited bookings and appointments, as well as options for payment processing for all account types. To determine which product is ideal for you and your business, we'll have to take a closer look at the options for integration, customization, and pricing each product offers.
Both Acuity and Cal.com come with a wide range of integrations. Users can access Cal.com integrations by visiting the Cal.com app store. The app store offers over 100 different options and has categories such as automation, payments, CRM, video, and much more. Once a Cal.com user installs an app, it can be turned on or off on a per-event type basis. You can enable different calendars, teleconferencing platforms, CRM tools, and payment gateways (PayPal, Stripe, Alby) for each bookable event type, depending on your needs.
Acuity also offers options for payment integration via Stripe and PayPal. However, Acuity also supports Square, an aptly named yet unaffiliated payment processing solution. In addition, Acuity supports integration with accounting and invoicing software like Intuit QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Classics, and FreshBooks Cloud Accounting.
Acuity's integrations make it ideal for businesses that already utilize Square's POS system and use Intuit and FreshBooks for their accounting. Cal.com, on the other hand, is better for people who want to accept payment via Bitcoin and traditional currency. Cal.com is also ideal for anyone who wants to save time by automating aspects of their booking and payment workflow by using either the event-level webhooks feature or products like Zapier, Make, and Pipedream.
Customization is a crucial aspect to consider when choosing the right calendar scheduling solution. If a product doesn't have the right level or variety of customizations that you need, it could be problematic. Customization can include small things like adding your logo to your appointment booking portal or incorporating your brand's colors, features which, I'm happy to say, are accessible to Cal.com and Acuity users.
In fact, you'll find that there are many areas of customization where Acuity and Cal.com are highly comparable. Both products let base-tier subscribers add a scheduling interface to a website via an embed. Both products allow paid users to remove terminology like "Powered by Cal.com or Acuity" from publicly accessible booking pages. In addition, Cal.com and Acuity both also offer options for HIPAA compliance.
Where the two products really differ in terms of customization is their developer-friendliness. Cal.com leads the way on this front, as their product is first and foremost open source. What this means is that individuals can access the platform's basic code to build their own customized calendar scheduling setup for free. In addition, all levels of Cal.com subscribers can get API access. This is something that Acuity Scheduling reserves for their top-tier customers.
Pricing is an essential factor that we must consider when choosing whether or not to invest in using a new tool. When we think about the cost of a purchase, we also have to consider the value over time. Is the service or item we're purchasing something that we plan on using short-term, or is it something that we'd like to use longer-term? If we're making a short-term purchase, does the cost incurred when switching to a different setup in the future make sense?
Asking ourselves these sorts of questions will help us determine whether or not a price, regardless of whether it's low or high, is actually affordable. With this in mind, let's look at how Acuity Scheduling and Cal.com fare in terms of cost and value. As we go through this, you'll notice once again both products do have a few things in common, such as the fact that they have tiered pricing structures. The most significant difference, though, can be found in the starting number.
Cal.com offers four different subscription-based plans. The first two are aimed at individuals and small businesses, and the others are built for larger enterprises and organizations. Cal.com's basic plan costs $0 per month. This competitive price lets individual users access all of Cal.com's essential scheduling infrastructure features. This means you do everything from creating and booking unlimited appointments to accepting payments, accessing the Cal.com app store, and embedding booking pages on your website.
Users running a team of two or more people can sign up for Cal.com's team plan. This option only costs $12 per user per month and comes with upgrades like managed events, collective events, round-robin scheduling, and more. The last two plans offered by Cal.com are the enterprise and platform subscriptions. These plans offer a multitude of enhancements and come with options for HIPAA compliance and concierge-level customer support. Pricing for these plans is calculated based on the size and complexity of the initiatives required and is available upon request.
It should also be noted, however, that businesses of all sizes are free to access Cal.com's GitHub repo to build their own customized calendar infrastructure scheduling solution.
Acuity Scheduling offers three plans, and all come with a one-week free trial. The plans are structured so that each tier incorporates the features of the one right below it and then adds a bit on top. The first tier that Acuity Scheduling offers is called Emerging. This subscription costs $16 a month and lets you add your logo to your booking interface. This subscription also includes features like third-party integrations, basic payment processing, and unlimited bookings and appointments.
The second tier is called "Growth" and costs $27 per month. This subscription lets users have six locations as opposed to one and also offers the option of providing appointment packages, including payment plans. In addition, this plan supports text message reminders and the sale of subscriptions, memberships, and gift certificates.
Acuity Scheduling's final and highest-tier offering is the "Powerhouse" plan. This option costs $49 per month and allows subscribers to have up to 36 locations, all nestled within one account. This is also the plan that you would need if you were looking for HIPAA compliance, as well as customization options that involve API access and CSS.
It's important to note that all of Acuity Scheduling's plans offer a discount of 20% if you choose an annual commitment rather than a monthly one.
Choosing the right calendar scheduling product isn't just a matter of research; it's essential that you take your lived experience and that of your employees into account. A calendar scheduling product could have over 100 features and still not be the right one for you. It's crucial that you take the time to factor in your business model and plans for growth when choosing your calendar scheduling solution. The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself three simple questions.
Can this calendar scheduling product scale with my business throughout all stages of growth?
Can I customize this calendar product easily to meet the needs of my business?
Does the cost-to-value ratio of this product make sense in regard to my current budget?
Suppose you're someone who has a small business that primarily sells time-based memberships, and subscription services, and adores Squares' ecosystem. In that case, Acuity Scheduling is probably the best product for you.
On the other hand, if you're a startup or a business of any size that needs highly customizable and affordable calendar scheduling infrastructure, Cal.com is the better choice. If you'd like to test out Cal.com's scheduling infrastructure for free, you can do so by signing up for a basic Cal.com account.
Cal.com won't ask you to provide a credit card as part of the sign-up process, and you'll be able to immediately access features like website embeds, automated workflows, unlimited event types, and custom availability schedules. Just click on the link below to get started.
Comparing Cal.com's and Lemcal's free plans.
How Deel improved their CSAT by 20% with Cal.com