Looking for a solution that will allow you to showcase all the events in your local community on your WordPress site, and that is also easy to use by those who are adding and updating the event listings?
Do your requirements also include the ability to manage multiple event venues, repeating events, and a front-facing option for people to submit their own events?
Or maybe you only need to list workshops and promotional events that you are holding at your own business but would also like to include the ability sell tickets.
Event calendars are an effective tool for managing your events and marketing them to potential customers., If all you need is to display a calendar of upcoming events, a simple (and free) WordPress Event calendar plugin may be sufficient… and even the most basic plugins still include a good selection of features and enhancements. Advanced solutions can offer everything from registration and payments, RSVPs, scheduling appointments, and managing attendance and reservations.
For those who are not familiar with WordPress, it is a robust CMS that includes the ability to rapidly create a fully functioning site right out of the box. With 35% of websites built on WordPress, it has impressive support and provides the ability to have multiple levels of users with varying levels of permissions and access, all the way from admin (who have godlike permission to touch and manage everything, including other users) down to guest/subscriber level (who can provide content but who must have even comments approved before they can publish). WordPress supports optimization for desktop, tablet, and phone.
To give a few examples of the power and capabilities: The New York Times website is built on WordPress, as is The Salem Witch Museum’s site and the RiverDance site.
The event’s calendar on The Salem Witch Museum website is built using the Modern Tribe event calendar plugin. https://salemwitchmuseum.com/events/
Riverdance has a beautiful tours and tickets events section. You can view an example here: https://riverdance.com/tours/usa/. (I could not identify what they were using for the events listings, it looks like a lot of custom styling).
WordPress has a dashboard where logged-in users can update content.
All the event calendar plugins offer their own custom area in the dashboard, where a person with access and the correct permissions can update the calendar content.
A nice feature the plugins offer for adding events is that they allow you to add venues, organizers and other details one time, after which you can easily select them from a list when creating an event, instead of having to add the venue data every time.
Here are a few of the event calendar plugins for WordPress that I have checked out, as of September 2019.
Events Manager by Marcus Sykes
Freemium. Donations welcome.
Pro/premium version: $75/year.
The Pro version will continue to work even if you do not renew, but you will not have access to further updates and pro support.
A free plugin with a Pro add-on for additional support and features. The free version of this plugin comes with all kinds of capabilities that are only available in the paid version of other plugins! The free version is loaded with features and includes everything except a few payment integration capabilities, coupon codes, custom booking codes, spam protection, and pro support.
Key Features (this is nowhere near a comprehensive list):
- Robust free version
- Actively maintained since 2008
- Locations with maps
- Event submission forms for guest-user submitted events with admin approval before publishing
- Event categories
- Registrations and Bookings
There is an additional nice addon for this plugin, the Anton Featured Events Manager, that allow you to select an event to feature on your site. https://wordpress.org/plugins/events-manager/
The Events Calendar by Modern Tribe
$89 to include the pro calendar features.
Discount price to include all capabilities, including the full community event feature and the ability to import events from Eventbrite, Google Calendar, and other sites: $599.
This one is gorgeous, and gives a great, professional looking calendar right out of the box. The Free version provides calendars that are nicely formatted but is otherwise limited in features. What’s nice is the ability to switch between month, list, and day view. The dashboard has separate areas for updating the venue details, including fields for website, phone number, and email address (which the plugin automatically formats so that it won’t be scraped by spam bots).
The premium version includes more views, a host of additional features and a wider selection of pre-formatted calendar designs.
Further extended capabilities come with a-la-carte or bundle options.
The All-in-One Events Calendar by Timely: Web App with a WordPress Plugin
This event calendar is used on the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s website. The WordPress plugin allows you to connect your Timely web app to display on your WordPress account.
Freemium for the WordPress Plugin. $49 Premium gives additional views and layouts.
Timely Web App
Timely’s web app is dedicated to all things calendar. It’s magnificent.
Freemium, with tiered pricing for the paid versions. Pro: $12.50/month, billed annually. Hublite: $37.50/month, billed annually. Hub: $78.99/month, billed annually. Add ticketing for an additional $120/year.
Beautiful interface options, including a tiled display. The free version allows for importing of events. A Frontend Submission form that allows visitors to submit events is available in the Hublight level.
Event Prime by EventPrime
Perfect for those who have performers, events where you want to keep track of and manage attendees, or if you want to include image galleries for your events and venues. Does not include the ability for guests to add community events from the front end, also does not include recurring events.
The premium version adds live seating, sponsors, and payment options.
WP Events Lite by wpeventsplus.com
$39 (one time purchase)
Events calendar with registration, tickets, discount price option, events lists, multiple calendars, color coding, and the ability to display a list of attendees. Does not include the ability for guests to add community events from the front end.
WP Event Manager by WP Event Manager
A-la-carte pricing for addons. Bundle discount price for all features $235
The free version contains core features for a basic events listing, including the ability for guests to submit and manage community event listings.
EventOn WordPress Event Calendar Plugin
$24 base price, with addons available for a-la-carte purchase. Many nice styling options out of the box. Addons include features like conference events with speakers and schedules.