Astra, the maker of the world’s most popular WordPress templates, has announced that it has invested in LatePoint, one of the leading online booking solutions, and in the process is advancing WordPress as the go-to platform for businesses.
This move brings LatePoint’s powerful scheduling, reservation and payment management capabilities to all users, especially those using Astra.
What is LatePoint?
LatePoint is a plugin that manages the entire online booking and appointment scheduling cycle.
It integrates with six different payment gateways:
- Salary stack
LatePoint also automates common workflow actions, such as sending email and SMS reminders, syncing with third-party calendars, and even automatically creating Zoom meetings.
LatePoint supports registration via Facebook and Google and integrates with Twilio. Businesses can even monitor performance in a dashboard where all functions are visible.
Businesses as diverse as online service providers to hair salons can use LatePoint to book appointments, schedule appointments, send reminders, and collect payments seamlessly from one plugin.
The Astra announcement also lists these capabilities:
“Customer Database: Maintains a comprehensive customer database that provides quick access to customer histories, preferences and contact information for personalized service.
Customizable order forms: Customize order forms to collect specific information from customers, ensure appointments are booked with all the necessary details.”
LatePoint is Part of a Greater Strategy
A closer look at what Astra has been quietly doing reveals that they have created a platform within a platform that allows small businesses to automate various processes to compete on par with larger organizations.
For example, Astra is behind another WordPress plugin called SureTriggers.
SureTriggers makes it easy for small businesses to create event-driven automation with WordPress plugins and third-party SaaS.
SureTriggers offers history records of what automations are doing across related plugins and third-party SaaS to troubleshoot or track what’s happening.
It supports workplace collaboration, supports custom webhooks and APIs to create automated workflows.
SureTriggers even offers the ability to delay action, conditional logic, and filters that help create complex automation.
This is how SureTriggers describes what it does:
“Mailchimp, Gmail, HubSpot, etc. easily transfer data between your favorite apps and services, such as Whatever you need to connect, SureTriggers has you covered.
SureTriggers integrates seamlessly with popular WordPress plugins such as Gravity Forms, WooCommerce, Elementor, CartFlows and more.
Create multi-step automations that seamlessly execute a sequence of different tasks automatically after a specific event occurs.
Adding powerful LatePoint scheduling and appointment capabilities to the mix makes WordPress a ridiculously capable business platform that forces small businesses to operate at a higher level than they could five years ago without spending a significant amount of money.
And it does all of this at a price that any small business can afford.
Astra integrates WordPress with Business
Of particular interest is how LatePoint will seamlessly integrate Astra with SureCart, making Astra a strong competitor to WooCommerce. Astra also offers Spectra, an easy-to-use page builder that supports both the classic WordPress editor and the newer Gutenberg blocks.
Taken together, what Astra does is implement WordPress as a dedicated business CMS, but with all the benefits of the open source WordPress ecosystem.
Astra has quietly been a leader in expanding the capabilities of WordPress, making WordPress an increasingly attractive option for small businesses.
Their website templates are used by over 2.5 million websites worldwide, giving them a large pool of potential LatePoint users or recommenders.
But what this investment makes clear is that Astra is quickly becoming the go-to solution for WordPress-based businesses, creating viable alternatives to proprietary closed-source content management systems.
Astra’s announcement makes no secret of its desire to make WordPress a strong choice for businesses:
“We are excited to share knowledge, implement our ideas, apply Brainstorm Force processes and work closely with the LatePoint team.
We look forward to bringing an enterprise-grade, robust, modern and reliable appointment and booking solution to small businesses and the larger WordPress community.
One thing I cannot stress enough is that we are a mission-driven organization. Everything we do is designed to unlock the power of the internet for small businesses.”
Tight Integration with Astra Products
Another interesting factor to consider is that Astra promises tighter integration between their templates and all the other plugins they offer, such as WooCommerce alternative SureCart and SureTriggers.
SureTriggers is an interesting part of the Astra suite of business-related plugins. SureTriggers allows WordPress users to integrate any other tool or plugin to create automated workflows.
It works by connecting WordPress to hundreds of SaaS applications, automating WordPress plugins so they can work together, and even connecting your different websites and services so different tasks can be automated.
Limited Time One Time Offer Price
Astra has announced that they will be offering a lifetime fee agreement that provides all the benefits of LatePoint with a single fee lifetime license.
Astra LatePoint Investment
I had never heard of LatePoint until I found out that Astra had invested in it. After looking into what Astra is doing, it seems that they are following a strategy to make WordPress a strong choice for businesses.
Featured image by Shutterstock/NaMong Productions92