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That’s how CalPress Event Calendar bills itself anyway – “The Ultimate Calendar Plugin”. Quite a bold claim, given that there are some well-established plugins of a similar nature out there.
The WordPress appointment calendar plugin is based on the extremely successful All-in-One Event Calendar. Notable additions include Facebook timeline integration, social sharing, and attendee management. Furthermore, the developers have also put quite a lot of effort into beautifying the user interface.
This does however come at a cost – whilst there is a free version available with considerable functionality, you can only access the whole feature set with the pro version (starting at $29).
Let’s take a look at what the CalPress Event Calendar can do.
How Does It Look?
The developers of this plugin have done a good job of creating a calendar interface that is reminiscent of iCal and Google Calendar:
Anyone who uses either of those tools will feel at home, and other users should also be able to get around with relative ease.
Clicking on a particular event will open up a lightbox preview screen, with the relevant details:
There are a few cool features you can see from this screen:
- Click to attend (pro only)
- Venue map
- Event photos
- Add to calendar (pro only)
- Social sharing
The Back End
CalPress comes complete with its own bespoke CMS which stores all the relevant information relating to your events. Setting up an event is just like writing a post or page, with the addition of a meta box for event-specific data:
The settings screen gives you a level of control over various features (such as the default view, week start day, and so on), but potentially the most useful feature is the ability import calendar feed URLs from external sources. You can assign these events to a specific category and/or tag them in such a way to separate them from other events, and the entries can be automatically updated as often as once per day.
There is a lot to like about this plugin, but it is far from perfect.
One thing I noticed whilst testing it is that it can be rather sluggish in loading data and transitioning between certain screens. We all know how important speed is, so this issue could really do with correcting.
An obvious omission (in my mind at least) is event location management. In the current version, you have to enter the location every time, even if it is one that you use on a regular basis.
And finally, for a plugin that claims to have a “beautiful” user interface, it is rather rough around the edges in places. The event preview lightbox is rather too squashed for my liking, and the signup and login screens appear to have been slapped together in a hurry.
But overall, none of the above issues are particularly major. If you are looking for an event management plugin, this is a solid option.
Download CalPress Event Calendar here.