Best WordPress Event and Calendars Plugins
Calendar plugins are hugely popular with WordPress users. They can be used for a variety of purposes, such as event management and online booking.
As with all WordPress plugins, the cost, and the included features, varies greatly between calendar plugins. In this article, I would like to show you a collection of good calendar plugins that you can use on your website.
To help you choose your calendar plugin, I have split this collection into three groups: Event calendars, booking calendars, and post scheduling calendars.
Event calendars can be used to advertise and organise small and large events such as conferences, concerts, parties, family gatherings, and more.
Functionality varies from plugin to plugin. Simple event calendars can be used to inform others of an event. For example, they can highlight what the event is about, what time and date the event is on, and where the event is located.
More advanced event solutions allow people to confirm their attendance to an event; which is particularly useful if availability is limited. They may allow you to charge for the event through your website using a payment gateway such as PayPal.
I recommend charging up front for a large event such as a conference so that you generate income beforehand and get a true reflection of how many people to attend. Obviously, payment is not required for smaller events such as parties and other social gatherings.
As the name suggests, event calendars display upcoming events on a calendar. The calendar can be inserted into your WordPress website directly into a post, page, or widget area.
Sugar Events Calendar is a simple events management plugin that allows you to create events and display them to visitors using a simple calendar via a shortcode. It is easy to use as it uses a custom post type to store event information. The plugin also has native support for other WordPress plugins such as Gravity Forms and Ninja Forms.
A pro version of the plugin is available from $18 that adds support for recurring events, event categories, and calendar widgets.
My Calendar is a useful free event management WordPress plugin that lets you create events and display them in posts, pages, and widgets. The event custom post type allows you to add descriptions, images, event category, event host, start and end time and date, and much more. You can also enter the exact location of the event and display it on a map.
The plugin allows you to modify the template and style of calendars. Areas of My Calendar can also be restricted to certain users and it can integrate with WP to Twitter in order to send event updates to Twitter followers.
If you use Google Calendar, you may want to consider Google Calendar Events. The plugin will retrieve your upcoming events from Google and display them in posts, pages, and widgets.
You can change the number of events and the period in which events are retrieved. Events can be displayed in a standard calendar grid or in list format.
CalPress is a powerful calendar and event management plugin. Event information can be entered using a custom post type and displayed using one of four calendar views: Month, week, day, and list. It has great social media integration, an interactive slider, and a fully configurable sidebar widget.
CalPress Pro is available from $39. It adds many more features, such as user created events, recurring events, and an option to add contact information to calendar events.
The Events Calendar is a professional events WordPress plugin that has a beautiful clean style. The custom post type that is used to store event information allows you to add the time and date of the event, location details, organizer details, the event website, and the event cost.
The event can display a long description of the event, a Google Maps powered map displaying the event location, and other important event information. Upcoming events can be displayed in calendar grid or a stylish list that resembles a blog index.
Events Calendar Pro retails from $65. It has support for WooCommerce, which enables you to sell tickets through your website. It also adds options for recurring events, new calendar viewing options, and useful event related widgets.
Developed by Timely, All-in-One Event Calendar is a featured packed events WordPress plugin that comes with three calendar theme designs. Its custom post type lets you add the event name, description, category, and tags. You can also define the date and time of the event, event location, the cost and the URL in which visitors can purchase tickets, and information about the event organizers.
The plugin boasts recurring events, event filtering, Google Maps support, color coding for events, and an inline calendar editor. Advanced features are available in Timely’s core+ solution for $95 per year. This version of the plugin also includes all Timely premium add ons.
Events Manager is one of the most popular events management plugins available for WordPress. It features Google Map integration, recurring events, and support for BuddyPress and WordPress Multisite. Bookings can also be made through the plugin and there are widgets available for events, locations and calendars.
Events Manager Pro is available from only $75. It adds support for offline payments and payment gateways such as PayPal and Authorize.net. Custom booking forms and coupon codes are supported too.
EventOn is a beautiful event solution that has a stylish minimal design. It allows you to create events and then insert them into posts and pages using shortcodes. Events can also be displayed in widgets.
The plugin allows you to color code events. It also supports featured images, Google Maps, custom meta fields, recurring events, and featured events. Upcoming events can also be displayed and there is an option for visitors to download events in an .ics file so that the event can be added to Google Calendar or iCal.
FT Calendar is a premium calendar plugin that features recurring events, multiple calendars, and import and export functionality. RSS and iCal feeds are supported so that users can feeds can be viewed in RSS readers.
The plugin also has a calendar widget and upcoming events widget. Calendars and upcoming events can be displayed in your posts and pages using shortcodes as well.
If you are looking for something a little different, try out Calendarize it! The plugin comes packaged with several color schemes and a visual CSS editor that allows you to style your calendars and select from over 600 Google fonts. The plugin can be extended further through downloadable content.
Events can be added at the click of a button using a drag and drop visual calendar. Recurring events are supported and there is an option to insert exceptions for recurring events. Google Maps is also supported and widgets are included to allow you to display your event calendar or upcoming events.
Events+ is a feature packed events management plugin from WPMU DEV that can be used to organise big events. It has a user friendly interface that allows visitors to pay for their tickets through PayPal. Guests can also confirm their attendance to an event using Facebook and Twitter.
Support for Google Maps is available so that guests can locate the event. Custom widgets include event attendees, upcoming events, and popular events. You can restrict the number of people that can attend an event and configure recurring events. There is support for an email newsletter too.
Booking calendars can be used by visitors to confirm attendance to simple appointments and meetings. They can also be used for more advanced bookings, such as hotel reservations.
Basic booking calendar solutions are used by people to confirm attendance. For example, a small hotel or bed and breakfast could use a booking calendar to allow visitors to make reservations through their website.
Advanced booking solutions offer a more complete solution as they let you receive payments and use promotional features such as discounts and coupons.
Be sure to check if the booking calendar you choose has export functionality. This is useful for exporting bookings to your preferred calendar tool (e.g. Google Calendar).
WP Simple Booking Calendar can be used to arrange bookings for accommodation, car rentals, appointments, and more. The calendar can be inserted into your website using a widget or a shortcode.
The free version is a little limited. WP Simple Booking Calendar Pro retails at $29 and adds additional features such as unlimited booking calendars, user management, and a legend that can be displayed next to your calendar.
Booking Calendar is a flexible booking WordPress plugin that has an easy to use interface in which you can accept or decline bookings. The plugin can be used for product and event reservations and scheduling. It features widget support, email notifications, and customizable booking forms. Bookings can be displayed in a calendar or in a list view.
Booking Calendar Pro is available from $119. It allows you to edit bookings, add notes, and export bookings. You will need to purchase the small business license at $175 if you want to integrate a payment gateway.
Appointment Booking Calendar can be used to accept bookings via PayPal. Customers can book appointments on available time slots and the availability of these time slots can be restricted. Appointments can be exported in CSV format or in iCal format to Google Calendar and Outlook.
The free version of the plugin restricts use to one calendar. The pro version, which costs $49.99, removes this restriction. It also adds support for coupons and a new services field for multiple pricing. A visual form builder to make your booking form more attractive is also included.
Booking Calendar Contact Form is developed by the same people who developed Appointment Booking Calendar. It can be used to create a simple contact form or a booking contact form with PayPal support. A booking calendar is included with the plugin and there are options available that allow you to define different prices for different dates. The plugin also has anti-spam protection built in.
The pro version costs $49.99 and adds support for coupon codes and a visual form builder.
WP Booking Calendar is a premium booking calendar plugin that can be used for appointments, services, and other types of bookings. Users can easily see what time slots are available, make multiple reservations, and pay for bookings using PayPal..
The booking form has captcha support to reduce spam and bookings can be exported in CSV format.
Booking System PRO is a colorful booking solution that has a responsive design and an AJAX powered administration area. The plugin integrates with WooCommerce so that you can accept bookings. It supports coupons, discounts, taxes, and fees.
A visual form builder can be used to easily build your desired booking form. The plugin also supports email notifications, booking widgets, and an option to restrict features to certain users.
Appointments+ is a premium appointment and booking solution from WPMU DEV. It allows customers to book their own appointments on your website. Bookings can be paid in full or you can request customers to pay a deposit.
The plugin integrates with Google Calendar, Google Maps, BuddyPress, and many WPMU DEV plugins. Customers can also login using Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
Post Scheduling and Organization
Post scheduling calendars help you plan out future blog posts on your blog. They are an essential tool for multi author blogs that publish a high frequency of articles.
Even if you only publish one or two blog posts per week, I believe you will find post schedulers useful if you are writing articles in advance as it allows you to change the publication date of multiple articles using a simple drag and drop system.
I use Editorial Calendar on every single WordPress website I own. That gives you a little indication as to how much I rely on the plugin.
The plugin makes the process of planning and organising future blog posts simple. Posts can be moved to a different time and day using drag and drop. New post drafts can be added through the calendar interface. You can also remove dates from posts by dragging posts to the “Unscheduled” bar at the side of the calendar.
Edit Flow is a feature rich WordPress plugin that was designed to help collaboration between website owners, editors, and authors. It features story boards, editorial comments, and custom statuses. There is also an option to assign users into groups or into their relevant departments.
A post scheduling calendar is also included. It works in a very similar way to Editorial Calendar, however the calendar can be extended further by developers through WordPress hooks and filters. For example, you can change the user role required in order to use the calendar.
CoSchedule is a premium post scheduling solution that offers a drag and drop post scheduling calendar. It also allows you to schedule your social media messages.
The service is a standalone service, not a WordPress plugin; however it integrates with your WordPress website seamlessly. CoSchedule has a simple pricing scheme of $10 per month per blog. This plan supports an unlimited number of users and unlimited number of social media accounts.
For bookings, I recommend checking out the free booking solution Booking Calendar Contact Form as it has support for PayPal payments and seasonal pricing. Appointments+ is a great solution too as it can be used to accept deposits and full payments. It also has great integration with Google Calendar.
Although the functionality of Edit Flow can be expanded through WordPress hooks and filters, I feel that simplicity of Editorial Calendar makes it the best post scheduling solution for most WordPress bloggers.
Please do take the time to test a few solutions yourself so that you find one that fits your own needs; as my recommendations above might not be suitable for your project.
While researching plugins for this article, it became clear to me that there is no “Ultimate” calendar plugin available to WordPress users. Even the most feature packed calendar plugins lacked features that other plugins have; and the cost of a calendar plugin was no guarantee that it offered more than free alternatives.
I recommend testing a few free calendar solutions primarily as this will help you understand how calendar plugins function. It will also help you realise what features you need, and what features you do not.
I hope you have found this list of WordPress calendar plugins useful. If you know of any other good calendar solutions, please feel free to share them in the comment area below.