WordPress is a popular CMS for website development because it is so strong and flexible, with so many new features and plugins to extend the functionality of your site. The official WordPress plugin directory contains thousands of free to download plugins that can handle anything from adding a slideshow and building email lists to backing up your site, adding signup forms and creating a sophisticated online store.
Among the many plugins available, you can also find useful and handy calendar plugins that make a great tool for any type of website, especially for online booking, ticketing, reservations, booking venues and events management. They are also great for spreading announcements and scheduling as well as making your site visually stunning and convenient for visitors. But you do need to be careful when integrating new plugins into your WordPress site.
Here is our list of the top five free and premium event and calendar plugins for WP lovers, their features, and why you should use them:
The Events Calendar is one of the most popular and highest-rated WordPress calendar plugins because of its flexibility, ease-of-use and clean interface. The free Events Calendar plugin is ready to help you create aesthetically pleasing calendars and publish events to your WordPress website in minutes. You can even create multiple venues for your events through the easy to use dashboard. Even searching the calendar is simple due to the built-in tools.
The Pro paid version includes even more useful additional features such as the ability to add recurring events, add paid ticketing features with Event Tickets Plus, sell tickets, manage attendees, and has Facebook, Meetup, and Google Calendar event integration and more.
My Calendar is a free WordPress calendar plugin that lets you add interactive calendars, create events and display them in posts, pages and widgets on WordPress websites. You can display the date, time, and even the exact location on a map for each calendar event and this can be a recurring or a one-off event. It is also easy to create multiple categories and description tags and add images to help organize your events. Through the plugin dashboard, you can also create event groups and allot multiple events to a group, and then edit them at once, which can save you a lot of time. The plugin allows you to edit the CSS and also modify the event template and style of calendars. Particular areas of My Calendar can be restricted for specific users, if you so desire and it is easy to integrate WP to Twitter in order to send event updates to Twitter followers. You can purchase the Pro version to upgrade My Calendar and you can also install My Tickets plugin to enable event ticketing.
EventOn is a feature-rich calendar and events solution for WordPress users. The simplicity and ease of use of the back-end interface makes it a great plugin choice for beginners and the design of the calendar and its events look awesome too. EventOn users can create personalized calendars by adding events to their own Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, and more. When creating events, they can be set to recur automatically on a custom schedule and you can add images to your events, integrate directions and locations with Google Maps, and organize your events using custom colors, tags and categories. It is also possible to use the sidebar widgets to display event information. You can also use the EventOn shortcode generator to edit calendar content into your posts and pages. Though Google Calendar and Visual Composer cannot be integrated with this plugin, EventOn can be upgraded through a collection of add-ons.
Appointkart is a simple to use WordPress plugin specially designed for online appointment booking and visit scheduling. It has a number of great features including the fact that it supports partial deposits, discounts and coupons, integrates stripe payments for credit cards, authorizes PayPal payments, sends e-mail and sms reminders to customers, has Multilanguage support and more, that makes it an ideal addition for business websites, including doctors, spas, salons, lawyers, and more. Besides enabling online appointments through your site, Appointkart also has an integrated invoicing system for generating downloadable invoices for your customers. You can also set up breaks, days off, create weekly/monthly schedules, and appointment filters through this plugin.
Calendarize it is an extensible, feature-packed premium tool, with a library of free add-ons for your WordPress website. There are a number of widgets to display calendar and events content in different areas of your website. Choose any color scheme you prefer or organize the events with custom taxonomies. Some of the optional add-ons include a countdown timer to build excitement around your events, a year view for all events planned through the 365-day period, and an importer tool that makes multiple events upload to your calendar through the use of CSV files easier. Though there are many pre-built Calendarize it designs available within the plugin, it is also possible to create custom templates for your events through Visual Composer page builder plugin. Despite the core premium Calendarize it plugin being packed with features, there are paid modules available for this tool too, which helps you accept payments through your calendar, display advertising on your events, and integrate with Eventbrite to sell tickets.
The Events Calendar and My Calendar are both a good place to start for WordPress users looking for a free event management solution to manage their bookings without having to go through complicated steps. In terms of design, and adding content to your posts and pages EventOn is a great choice. Appointkart and Calendarize it are good contenders to manage online bookings and accept deposits and payments. While there are many feature packed calendar plugins available, there is no single “Ultimate” calendar plugin with every feature you may need for your site. We recommend testing a few free calendar solutions to see how calendar plugins function and better understand what features you need.