Event calendars are an essential tool for making your events a success, allowing you to manage them effectively and market them to potential customers.
A simple WordPress event calendar plugin displays a calendar of upcoming events, but there are lots of advanced solutions that let visitors register and pay for events too. In addition to ticketing, event calendar plugins can also handle reservations, RSVPs and user submissions — and these tools will help you to plan and schedule events, appointments, parties and more.
In this article, I’m going to share what I consider to be the best event calendar plugins available for WordPress.
Events Manager (FREE/$75-plus)
Events Manager is an advanced events calendar solution that’s active on more than 100,000 WordPress websites. It can be used to manage single and multi-day events, and they can be set as recurring.
Events are stored as WordPress custom post types, so adding a new event works the same way as adding a post or page in WordPress. You can name each event, and add a description with images and videos in the main content area.
The exact time and location can be defined for each event, and tags and categories can be assigned to events too.
In the bookings and registration area, you can create multiple tickets for your event. Ticket bookings can be restricted to a specific time period, and you can state how many tickets are available.
Widgets are also available for events, locations and calendars, which will help you to show the current status of events to visitors.
The main plugin settings area gives you an appreciation of how advanced Events Manager is, featuring hundreds of options spanned across five different tabs.
Everything can be defined, including thumbnails, Google Maps integration, form settings, event pages, formatting and design, email confirmations, bookings, and more. There’s even a role manager that lets you set exactly what users can and can’t do.
The pro version of Events Manager retails at $75 per year for a one-website license, and $150 per year for up to five websites, and is installed as an addon to Events Manager.
Once you’ve installed Events Manager, you’ll gain additional functionality, such as payment integration for PayPal, Authorize.net and offline payments. You can also create custom booking forms and discount coupons.
Without doubt, Events Manager is one of the most versatile events calendar plugins available for WordPress, and the sheer volume of customisation options available is incredibly generous. That said, you’ll need to upgrade to Events Manager Pro if you want to sell tickets and accept payments directly.
The Events Calendar (FREE/$89-plus)
With more than 700,000 active installations, The Events Calendar is far and away the most popular events calendar solution for WordPress.
Like Events Manager, the plugin uses a custom post type to create events. You can add information about events, such as the time and date, location, organisers, event location, event website and event cost.
The Events Calendar has a simple settings area that allows you to adjust options such as the number of events to display on a page, the stylesheet and template that’s used for events, and the content that’s displayed before and after events.
You’ll also find settings for Google Maps integration and importing CSV files.
The free version of The Events Calendar is functional, but basic. However, the developers offer a collection of plugin addons that will transform your event setup.
Events Calendar Pro retails from $89 per year. It adds recurring events, additional views, widgets, shortcodes and more.
One addon you should consider using is Event Tickets. Once activated, it allows visitors to RSVP to events and purchase tickets using PayPal. The pro version of Event Tickets, which retails from $89 per year, offers additional features such as WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads integration.
Elasticsearch can be integrated using Elastic Events too, and is free to download.
A host of other premium addons are also available. Event Aggregator can be used to import events from Meetup, Eventbrite, Google Calendar, iCalendar and more. Community Events lets users submits events, Filter Bar adds filtering options so users can find events more easily and Eventbrite Tickets helps you to integrate Eventbrite. All of these addons retail from $89 per year each.
The Promoter addon starts from $69 per year, and works in conjunction with The Events Calendar and Events Tickets to help you to connect to your community via email.
The most expensive addon is Community Tickets. Retailing from $149 per year, the plugin needs to be used in conjunction with Community Events, Event Tickets, Event Tickets Plus and WooCommerce, and allows event organisers to sell tickets to their events using your website.
The plugin really comes into its own, though, when you install the available advanced addons. If you’re willing to spend some money, The Events Calendar is one of the best solutions available. Have a look at the bundles if you’re planning on buying more than one premium addon, as they’ll save you money.
Be sure to also check out some of the free plugin addons that are available for The Events Calendar from third-party developers. These include: The Events Calendar Shortcode & Block; The Events Calendar Category Colors; and The Events Calendar Shortcode and Templates (check out the pro version too).
Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin (FREE / $59+)
Amelia is a WordPress plugin that handles event bookings and appointments. WordPress post types are also available for services, locations and customers and everything can be organised via a booking calendar.
The free version of Amelia can be used to create a simple events calendar.
Events can be designated as one-time, single day, multi-day or recurring. You can define the start and end time of the event and when booking appointments you can select the customers who will be attending. These customers can be notified about the events too.
The new WordPress editor is well supported by Amelia. Two content blocks are available. The booking view block displays a step-by-step booking wizard that guides users through the booking process whilst the events block simply adds the events shortcode into your post or page.
The main settings page allows you to control every aspect of bookings and events. You can add information about your company, mandatory fields, the page customers are sent to after booking, the default currency and more.
A lot of features, such as locations, are restricted in the free version. Annoyingly, even the main dashboard has most features disabled so you can only see upcoming appointments.
If you upgrade to Amelia Pro you will unlock the full dashboard and unlock features such as exporting, filters, coupons, group services, additional calendar views and Google Calendar integration. Upgrading also allows you to accept PayPal and Stripe payments for bookings.
A basic license for Amelia Pro retails at $59 per year. Upgrading to the pro plan at $109 year increases support and updates from one website to three websites. You can get support and updates for an unlimited number of websites for $249 per year.
Lifetime licenses are also available to those that do not want to pay annually.
I was impressed with what I saw in Amelia. The user-interface looks great and the calendars and booking forms look gorgeous. Those that upgrade to the full version of Amelia can also customise these designs to suit their needs. It is, without doubt, one of the best premium calendar solutions on the market.
Amelia Lite is useful too, however I was frustrated by the way that developers have restricted pro features. Instead of hiding pro features from free users, the developers continue to link to post types such as finance and locations as well as other pro settings and features. Therefore, when using Amelia Lite you frequently encounter pages and features that cannot be accessed and you are always being encouraged to “Upgrade today to maximize your experience”. I found it to be frustrating to use because of this.
Simple Calendar (FREE/$49-plus)
You can retrieve events from Google Calendar and change how your calendar looks. Colours can be changed, and you can trim long titles to stop them from overflowing onto other days. Date and time settings can be adjusted too.
Make sure you enter your Google API key in the settings area so Simple Calendar can retrieve events.
The settings area also allows you to delete plugin settings and remove calendar data.
FullCalendar adds a host of new options, such as weekly and daily views, improved calendar navigation, additional customisation options and more.
Google Calendar Pro can be used to display both private and public Google Calendars. It also lets you highlight events with colours that match Google Calendar colours, and display attendee names, avatars, and event organiser information.
These two addons work well together, so it makes sense to buy both through their addon bundle. A single license retails at $49 per year for this bundle, and comes with support and updates for both addons.
As someone who uses Google Calendar every day to plan my schedule, I can appreciate the possibilities of Simple Calendar.
By using Google Calendar, you can continue to manage your event schedule with the official Google Calendar app on your smartphone or tablet, or via your browser. Simple Calendar can then be used to control how your calendar looks on your website.
My Calendar (FREE/$49-plus)
Events can be set as recurring, and assigned to groups and categories. You can also set multiple start and end times and dates for events, and there’s an option to attach a logo or banner for each event as well.
One feature I love is event access. A series of tags are available to help you to show whether the event supports those with disabilities. For example, you can note that your event has an audio description, support for sign language or support for assisted learning devices.
The location editor lets you add multiple locations and details such as the address, GPS coordinates, contact information, website address, accessibility, and more.
The main settings area has some useful options, such as retrieving data from a remote database and removing data upon uninstalling My Calendar.
Date, time and text formatting can all be adjusted, and you can also modify the emails issued, and define what users can and can’t do using a user role editor.
The standout feature in the settings area is the calendar layout editor, which allows you to change the order of information displayed in your calendars.
A single license for My Calendar Pro costs $49 per year.
Upgrading allows visitors to submit events and prevent events from being accepted if they conflict with existing events. Blog posts can also be created automatically from events.
Advanced search filtering is also made available, and you can import event data from CSV files, iCal, file uploads or URLs.
My Calendar has a lot to offer, and if you install the developer’s other plugin, My Tickets, you’ll be able to sell tickets to your events using PayPal Standard payments (other payment options are available as premium addons).
The developers have been generous with what’s provided free of charge, and I believe $49 is a fair price for adding user submissions, advanced search and event import functionality.
Sugar Calendar (FREE/$29-plus)
If you’re looking for a simple event management solution, check out Sugar Calendar.
To add an event, you simply name the event, add a description, and define the location, date, and start and end time. That’s it.
A free Google Maps addon is available from the developers of Sugar Calendar, although it’s unclear why support for Google Maps isn’t built directly into the core plugin.
In the settings area, there’s an option to enter your plugin license key and some basic time and date options for your calendar.
A pro version of Sugar Calendar that adds recurring events is available from $29 per year. It doesn’t appear to offer any additional functionality, so I can only recommend upgrading if you need email support.
Those of you who are seeking a basic event management solution will appreciate how easy Sugar Calendar is to use.
Everyone else should look at alternative event management WordPress plugins that offer more customisation options.
Calendarize it! ($30)
You can add custom fields to events and select from 15 pre-made layout styles. A total of 39 template elements are available to help you to build the perfect event page, and everything can be modified using a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface.
This simplifies the process of creating event layouts, as all settings can be found within blocks, and changes can be previewed in real-time.
The support for Gutenberg is outstanding. Everything can be switched on and off at the click of a button.
A whopping 25 free plugin addons that extend functionality further are available. There’s an addon to display events in a grid view, another that auto-publishes events to social media and an importer that can be used to import large amounts of data from other event plugins.
Eleven premium addons are also available, and can be used to add support for advertising, ticket sales, WooCommerce integration and more. Prices for premium addons start from $10 and go all the way up to $89 for the Event Tickets WooCommerce addon.
What sets Calendarize it! apart is the dozens of ways events can be presented to visitors. It’s a highly flexible plugin that can be improved by using any of the 36 plugin addons that are available.
I encourage you to check out the demo to get a full appreciation for what the plugin can do.
It supports Google Maps, multi-day events, repeat events, custom fields, event categories and more.
The plugin can be used to display beautiful minimalistic event calendars that can be created with user-friendly shortcode generators. All you have to do is select which features you want to use — for example, what order events are shown in, whether the featured image is displayed, and so on.
EventOn calendars look gorgeous. Featured images can be assigned for events, and you can assign colours to particular events or event categories.
Visitors can use a search bar and filtering options to help them to find events more quickly. There’s also an option to display all of the events attached to a specific location.
Events can be displayed as a list or, alternatively, you can display them using tiles, and assign background colours or images for each one. Both styles look great.
These addons can be used to include functionality such as ticket selling, RSVP support for events, event countdown timers and an events wish list. Different calendar viewing options can be purchased too.
With its offering of beautiful event calendars, wide range of customisation options and additional functionality via a large collection of addons, it’s easy to see why EventOn is the best-selling calendar WordPress plugin on CodeCanyon.
All-in-One Event Calendar (FREE/$6.99 a month)
All-in-One Event Calendar is a popular event management WordPress plugin from Time.ly, with more than 100,000 active installations.
Although the plugin can integrate with Time.ly and import calendars from Time.ly accounts, you’re not forced to register to use All-in-One Event Calendar.
When you add a new event, you can set the time and date and make the event recurring. Google Maps can be used to display the location of events, and they can be assigned to tags and categories.
Ticketing can be handled via Time.ly if you wish. Doing so enables you to accept payment via PayPal, but it will cost you $59 a year for the privilege. Alternatively, you can display a link to a registration URL for buying tickets. This is a nice feature, as it means you can sell tickets using another WordPress plugin or third-party service.
Four different calendar themes are available and are free to use. The theme options page lets you customise styling further.
You can adjust the colours of your background, buttons, fields, text and more.
All-in-One Event Calendar gives you complete control over what’s shown on your calendars. You’ll find developer options for gzip compression, caching and CSS too.
This area also lists available shortcodes that you can use to display events. If you prefer, you can use widgets instead.
If you sign up for a free Time.ly account, you’ll gain access to additional functionality, such as importing calendars from Google Calendar, iCal and Outlook. Premium monthly plans start from $6.99 a month, and upgrading will unlock features such as Twitter auto-sharing and custom headers and footers.
Alternatively, you can purchase addons specifically for the All-in-One Event Calendar WordPress plugin.
Extended Views is free to download, and will display views on your calendar. Ticketing can be integrated for $59 a year, auto-Tweeting costs $29 a year, and front-end submissions costs $59 a year.
Embedding your core calendar into other websites costs $59 a year, CSV Import costs $29 a year, and the ability to create and save venues is $59 a year. There are also options to import more feeds into your calendar.
On their own, these features are costly upgrades, but you can get most of them in a bundle for $99 a year.
All-in-One Event Calendar is a versatile event management solution. It’s frustrating that storing venues and selling tickets are premium upgrades, but the core plugin offers many unique calendar styling options and viewing options that you won’t find elsewhere.
I recommend trying it out to see if it does what you need.
When it comes to selecting an events management solution, WordPress users are spoilt for choice. In this section, I’d like to mention some alternative solutions that just missed the list.
Event Calendar WD is a feature-rich WordPress event plugin that has support for recurring events and Google Maps integration. Advanced features, such as ticket selling and third-party calendar integration, are available to those who upgrade to Event Calendar WD Pro. The company has also developed a similar WordPress plugin called WordPress Event Calendar.
Timetable and Event Schedule by MotoPress offers beautiful calendars, and a ton of filtering options and customisable parameters. Export and importing functionality is also provided.
Tockify Events Calendar is worth testing too. It offers a stylish mini-calendar widget, Google Calendar synchronisation, call to action buttons and fantastic social media integration.
Retailing at $29, FAT Event is an event management solution that has support for Google Maps, bookings via PayPal, WooCommerce integration support, coupon codes and multiple ticket types for each event.
Eventer, which costs $39, is another advanced solution worth checking out. It has a beautiful drag-and-drop builder for creating new events, and is fully compatible with WooCommerce.
It’s difficult to single out a particular WordPress event calendar plugin as being the best, because they all excel in some areas but are limited in other ways. The core features of each plugin have many options, but to access full functionality of a plugin and unlock advanced features, such as selling tickets, you must be willing to upgrade.
If you’re not looking to put your hand in your pocket, Events Manager stands out for how many customisation options are available, while Simple Calendar is a great option for those who use Google Calendar. Using My Calendar and My Tickets together, or The Events Calendar and Event Tickets, are good free combinations if you’re looking to sell tickets.
Those of you who are willing to spend some money to get a more advanced solution should check out Calendarize it! and EventOn. They generate beautiful calendars and boast many advanced features. The Events Calendar is also a great option if you purchase some of the premium addons.
As always, do your research and test as many solutions as you can before selecting one to manage your events.
Used/using any of these plugins? Thoughts?