One of the most common web design features our clients ask for is an easy way to include event calendars on their websites. There are a several great plugins available to WordPress users that make it a breeze to add and manage an events calendar.
There are some features that are available in almost every event calendar plugin out there, but if you have specific needs, it's best to do some research in advance about which features are available with which plugin. Often, you may not realize a key component is missing until it’s too late and you’re knee-deep in customization.
Some of the big features you should consider ahead of time are:
- Recurring events
- Social integration
- Import/export functionality
- User-submitted events
- Categories and tags
- Multiple language support
- General customizability
So where do you start? Doing a little research about your options will help you figure out which features you need, and which would just be icing on the cake.
Here are three of our favorite event calendar plugins:
The All-in-One Event Calendar plugin has been around for ages, and it has always been a go-to web design feature for us. It offers tons of options for recurring events including multiple conditional options for when you have complex recurring schedules. This is one of the features we find most useful. It also offers several widgets and add-ons for additional functionality.
Sadly, a lot of the features that used to be free are now a part of the paid modules, but with that has come a lot of new and exciting developments. They now have offerings for calendar imports, social sharing, and multiple language support.
The Events Calendar offers quite a bit less out of the box than All-in-One Events Calendar does, but the setup and interface is a bit simpler. It's kind of a “turn it on a go” solution, but it also offers a lot of development options if you want to extend its functionality. The free version offers an import/export feature along with tags and categorization. It lacks recurring events unless you move up the paid versions, which are a bit pricey.
My Calendar offers a TON of stuff for free, and works really well--it's a great balance of features and flexibility. It offers all the essentials, including multiple views, recurring events, categorization, and locations, as well as provisions for extending these pieces of functionality. The out of the box styling can also be easily customized to meet your needs.
Joe offers a cool payment option, too: the calendar is free, but the advanced users manual is available for a very reasonable $25. The manual isn’t required by any means (most of the general setup and usage questions are available for free on his site), but it contains a lot of “power tips” for unlocking the true potential of the plugin. Nifty concept!
These three options are a great place to start when you’re ready to select an events calendar plugin for your website. Just keep your needs in mind when you’re looking over the features, and you’ll be posting events to your website in no time!