The addition of an event calendar can add a lot of value to your website or blog. This is especially true for those real estate agents who maintain a community based site.
Posting information on events such as farmers’ markets, garage sales, club meetings and city recreation programs to a calendar makes your website community resource. A resource worth bookmarking, Twittering or sharing on Facebook.
Best of all, updating a calendar is easier than writing an entire blog post.
Here are 4 ways to add an event calendar to your WordPress website or blog:
This plugin creates an AJAX enabled calendar that is highly customizable. Events are managed directly from the WordPress admin. Color coded categories can be used to differentiate types of events.
A sidebar widget allows for upcoming events to be displayed throughout your site. With a little CSS know-how, the calendar colors can be changed to match your website.
Go to PeninsulaHub.com to see this plugin in action.
2. Events Calendar
Another WordPress plugin that adds a calendar page using a short code. Similar to the Calendar plugin with a few differences.
Events Calendar doesn’t offer event categories, but adds the ability to create a post or page from a calendar event. This can come in handy for those events that need a bit more promotion than a simple calendar entry.
The widget for this plugin not only allows for upcoming events to be listed, but gives an option for an AJAX enabled mini calendar to be displayed.
3. Events Manager
Events Manager WordPress plugin takes a very different approach to an event calendar. This solution is much more interactive, making for a richer visitor experience.
Offering features such as Google map integration, RSVP management and an RSS feed, this plugin is loaded with functionality.
Events Manager is a great solution for posting real estate office meetings and trainings. However, the layout isn’t as conducive to community calendars with a lot of events to display.
Sometimes you need more control and functionality than a simple WordPress plugin can offer. Such was the case for a recently released MTO Sites project, Tribes.com. For that site, we looked outside of the WordPress community and found EasyPHPCalendar.
EasyPHPCalendar is a PHP script that is extremely customizable. Events can be displayed on a full page calendar with mouse-over text, on mini calendars, listed on the page, or a combination of the three.
Color coded event categories can be created. A legend of the categories can be added to your site and a dropdown filter allows for only events in that category to be shown.
Images, links and text formatting of event postings is possible after installing the free WYSIWYG editor.
Although EasyPHPCalendar is a separate script from WordPress, it integrates beautifully. Once installed and configured, PHP code can be added directly to your WordPress template. This makes your calendar feel like part of the entire site to your visitors.
This script must to purchased ($19.95 to $49.90 depending on level of branding) and requires professional installation, but the functionality is worth the expense. When you consider the time you will invest in maintaining your community event calendar, this expense is nominal.
Site visitors expect more from community websites than the occasional blog post. Adding an event calendar can add value without forcing you to spend an exorbitant amount of time writing content.
For assistance with this or any other WordPress website related issue or need, contact MyTechOpinion and our MTO Sites design team.