Best WordPress Event Calendar plugins in 2013
Back in 2010 I wrote an article titled, Best WordPress Calendar Plugins I’ve seen so far, and since then I’ve had special interest in new plugins in this category.
Today I believe the best 2 competitors in this field are: The Events Calendar by Modern Tribe and All in One Event Calendar by Time.ly, and I will try and make a comparison between these two to explain the pros and cons of each and help you decide which one to use for your project.
The Events Calendar by Modern Tribe:
It’s one of the most popular in its category today( downloaded 583,250 times so far from WordPress.org site)
It’s really flexible and very rich in features and easy to use at the same time.
- A variety of view modes to display your events; monthly view, list view, and single view.
- Very well documented, check the new user primer here, and offer both free and premium support forums. I’ve personally tried both forums and they are really good and helpful.
- A large number of translations available( 22 languages to date), and I’ve personally contributed by creating the Arabic translation.
- It’s really easy to install, setup and use right out of the box.
- Integrates nicely with Google Maps, and you can have recurring events as well.
- Allows you to show events in main blog loop, if you want to.
- Has a cool search bar on top to make it easy to find the right event you want.
- Upcoming Events widget
- You can’t use shortcodes to display the calendar, you only get to choose the slug of its URL, and this can be very limiting in some cases.
- Even the Pro version doesn’t have all the features by default, for example, the user submission has to be purchased separately and this increases the price you have to pay if you need this feature, same thing goes for Facebook events.
The Pro version:
Adds a bunch of cool features;
- Saved Venues and Organizers that comes in handy if you use them often.
- Custom Event Attributes which allows you to add new fields within all your events.
- Advanced widgets including an Event Countdown which is really cool.
- More views including; Map view, Weekly view, Venue and Photo views.
- Facebook Events: for importing events directly from an organization or page on Facebook.
- Eventbrite Tickets: Allows you to create & sell tickets directly from the events calendar without leaving the WordPress admin
- Community Events: Front-end user event submission (anonymous & logged in)
- Woo-commerce Tickets: Sell tickets directly to your users with Woo-commerce.
Each of those add-ons is sold separately, and they cover a wide range of needs and add a lot more functionality to the core plugin.
All in One Event Calendar by Time.ly
Quite a new comer for me, but a real powerful one that you should consider.
The Lite version has been downloaded 476,184 times on WordPress.org site, and they offer another Standard version( free) and a Pro version ( costs $75) that you can get from their website directly at www.time.ly
- You have multiple of ways of displaying the calendar including shortcodes, which is a big plus in my opinion and allows you to insert it into a page, widget, or even into the theme files directly, if needed.
- A nice filter bar which allows you to filter events by color-coded categories or tags using Ajax.
- Import and sync your Facebook events included in the Standard version.
- Recurring events
- Easy sharing with Google Calendar, Apple iCal, MS Outlook and any other system that accepts iCalendar (.ics) feeds
- Has a number of ready-made calendar themes to allow for wider choice and you can even edit colors easily for each view separately, right from the Admin Dashboard.
- Embedded Google Maps
- Month, week, day and agenda views
- Upcoming Events widget which allows filtering by category or tag.
- Direct links to filtered calendar views
- The plugin has three versions; lite, standard( both are free) and Pro and I find it confusing to have two free versions and it has caused problems to some users who had upgraded to the wrong version which broke their sites down, and had to do a couple of steps to restore their sites.
- The plugins has only 11 translations not including Arabic, which is a down side for me.
The Pro version:
Adds a bunch of cool features;
- Front-end user submission of events.
- Stream view which is mobile-friendly.
- Import events into your calendar by uploading files in either (CSV) or iCalendar (.ics) format.
- Super Widgets will allow you to Embed your calendar outside of WordPress
Well, as you can see both plugins are really powerful and feature-rich and buying the Pro version of any of them even adds more to the list of features.
Of course the Modern Tribe would cost you more if you go for Pro and then add User Submission and Facebook events($65+65+30=$160) whereas you get all of that with the Timely for only $75.
I’ve personally used the Modern Tribe more often, but turned to the Timely when I needed more flexibility in where to show the calendar using shortcodes as you can see on the Milonga Ireland website, where the calendar appears on the homepage right below the slider.
Hope you find this comparison helpful and gives you more insight into which one to use, and I welcome your thoughts and experiences with any of them to further enrich the topic.