There are a few plugin categories that, for whatever reason, it is notoriously difficult to find a good plugin for. In my experience, a good calendar plugin has been hard to come by.
That’s why, when a recent client wanted to display their upcoming and past events, I knew there would be some research involved. I tried out a good number of plugins, but finally came across a gem; The Events Calendar.
It is so good, that it just blows all the other calendar plugins out of the water and is now my de facto calendar plugin.
The Events Calendar Settings
Firstly, it is a really well written plugin – the team that created it (Modern Tribe) are all expert WordPress developers and that is clear in their coding. This means that the plugin is robust and easily extensible.
Once you install it, you’ll get a new options page under the Settings menu and an entirely new Events menu for creating and managing the events.
The settings page is fairly simple, which I appreciate. It leaves the more abstract options up to customizations through their extensive array of hooks.
There are two different ways to display your calendar; there’s the list view and the calendar view. You can see these layouts below:
These views are fairly customizable as well using the documentation provided by Modern Tribe, if you feel comfortable doing a little coding. Otherwise, there’s always Google to find some tutorials to guide you through it.
You can also set whether or not to enable the Google Maps functionality in the plugin. This is really handy for displaying maps of your event locations on the event pages.
Entering and customizing events
When you create an event, you have a lot of fields that you can fill out. Some may not be applicable to your situation, but it allows you to enter information on the event title, description, date and time, venue name, address and phone number, the organizer and the cost. This allows you to build a fully-fledged event management system which is more than adequate for most people.
If you need more than that, there’s both the Pro version, and add-ons. But before you look at those, here’s an idea of what the free version includes:
- List View and Calendar View
- Single event pages
- Several widgets for displaying your events
- Multisite compatibility
- Translated into 24 languages
- Easily customisable layouts
- Event microformats for SEO purposes
- Full RSS feed
Then, beyond that, you can always upgrade to the Pro version to get more features like:
- Recurring events
- Custom event attributes
- The ability to save venue information (to avoid re-entering it every time
- Additional views, like Venue view and single day view
- Ajax calendar loading, for seamless scrolling through your calendar
- A calendar style widget
- Integration with Google Calendar and iCal.
The add-ons (built by both Modern Tribe and the community) allow further extensibility, such as Eventbrite integration, Facebook Events integration and community events.
The Events Calendar really is a well-built and fully-fledged event management option for WordPress, with upgrades available for the more advanced features. Still, the free version is a very robust option for those who don’t need anything too over the top, and it’s a plugin well worth considering if you need to add this functionality to your WordPress site.