One of the best elements of WordPress — or managing a WordPress-powered site — is that you have access to thousands of third-party plugins that will allow you to add functionality. Want an image gallery for all your photos? No problem! Want to block all those pesky bot and spam comments? You’re all set!
Plugins also tie directly into the content and visuals you host on your site. You can, for instance, add a feature-rich events calendar or schedule to a page on your site, just by installing a plugin. Doing so allows you to display relevant information about upcoming events, internal meetings and conferences and much more. You can use it to get your employees, customers or even partners all on the same page.
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You can use a host of free and premium plugins to make this happen. Keep in mind, however, some of the more advanced features are exclusive to the premium variants. If you want visitors to register for an event or purchase tickets through the same scheduling tool, you’ll need to pony up the cash for a premium subscription. If you’re more interested in display or sharing dates and details, however, the free plugins should work just fine.
As the name implies, this plugin is designed to offer a full-featured event scheduling and detail tool. After installing the plugin, you can create, fill out and publish public events to any page of your site. It also integrates with your WordPress administrative dashboard, just as the content creator does.
For each event you create, you can specify the name and location of a venue. The plugin then stores the information for later use, allowing you to recall various venues when you need them. Host an annual event at a local conference center? You can easily duplicate that event year after year through this plugin.
As for the calendar’s appearance on your site, you can configure several themes to display in month and day views — whichever you choose. There’s also a built-in search and filter tool, widgets that allow you to add event reminders to your sidebars and much more.
It also supports custom code and CSS, allowing you to fully customize the output as much as you wish. There’s an incredibly robust series of documentation, as well.
There are both free and premium versions of this plugin. If you upgrade to Pro, you gain access to recurring events, event ticket sales and Facebook integration. With Pro, you can also import content and details from similar platforms like Google Calendar.
Well, maybe these plugins don’t have the most original names, but that’s OK. Events Manager is an incredibly powerful calendar and events setup tool that includes a huge selection of features. It comes in both free and premium varieties, with the premium priced at $75.
In addition to creating various entries for events and activities, you can display all content via an Ajax-enabled calendar on any post or page. To implement the calendar, you just need to use the provided shortcode, and you’re good to go.
You can also style the appearance of all events, as well as the calendar itself, using common formatting and styling commands.
The “Pro” version offers recurring and all-day events, event bookings and ticket sales, unlimited customization, venue management and Google Maps integration.
It is worth noting that the UI of this plugin tends to be overly complex and cluttered at times, just because there are so many options. No, it’s not ugly, nor does it perform badly — it’s incredibly responsive — it’s just not the best option for basic or beginner skill users. If you think you can handle it, though, there’s a lot to take advantage of.
If you use Google Calendar regularly and already have a schedule, complete with events and activities filled out, this is the plugin you’ll want to install. With it, you can extract your Google Calendar data and import it for use on a WordPress site.
Unlike some of the other plugins, this one ties directly into an existing service and even uses the same UI. You’ll then edit post details, just as you would a separate post on your site, along with a variety of configurable options.
The event can be displayed all by itself, or on a unique calendar view which employs a minimal, yet attractive, visual style. In case you’re wondering, yes, the calendar the plugin uses is Ajax-enabled.
If you like to keep things incredibly simple, this is the plugin you’ll enjoy using. It was developed by Pippin Williamson, a relatively popular WordPress and plugin developer you may recognize.
You create events by publishing a new post, with a custom field related to “event details” that allows you to fill out the scheduling particulars. A preview or event note shows up just like a regular post, accompanied by data and time details, as well. You can also view an Ajax-enabled calendar of your events, which you can embed using shortcode on any page or post.
Like most everything else on this list, there is both a free and premium version of the plugin. Pro is $18 for a single site and adds several new features like recurring event support, calendar styling, widgets and more.
Calendarize.it is a paid plugin for WordPress that adds one remarkably interesting feature, using a flexible, point-and-click interface you can customize it to your liking. There are a wide variety of add-ons available that allow you to extend the functionality of the plugin, opening up many new opportunities and use cases. For example, you can set up a ratings and review section for events and activities. You can also implement social content, user profiles, handle event tickets and attendance and even display a real-time countdown.
It uses the same basic features discussed in almost all the plugins here, including shortcodes, Google Maps integration, custom taxonomies, recurring events and more.
Use on a single site costs $25, with free support for up to six months, which you can extend for a small fee. There are additional purchase options if you want to use the plugin on more sites.
While the plugins and tools listed here are some of the best, they aren’t the only options you have at your disposal. If it so happens you didn’t like anything you saw here, here are some alternatives you can check out.
- My Calendar
- Modern Events Calendar
- Stachethemes Event Calendar
- Events Schedule
As you can see, there are plenty of options to choose from, many of which open your site for use as a new means of scheduling, event and activity organization. The beauty of WordPress plugins is you can install and implement them even on already existing sites, which you’re likely to have waiting in the wings.
Author Bio: Nathan Sykes writes about the latest in technology on his blog. To read more posts by Nathan, follow him on Twitter @nathansykestech.