There are a lot of reasons you may want to organize or promote an event on your WordPress blog or website. Maybe your planning a meet-up, birthday, family re-union, yard sale, concert, party, etc. Whatever the reason WordPress has got you covered. There are literally dozens of tools out there for helping you plan, organize, and manage events via WordPress. I haven’t used them all, but one that I have used is a plugin called Event Organiser. Here’s an overview of how it works and what it looks like in action.
As you’ll always have to do when installing a WordPress Plugin, go to the Plugins Directory and download the zipped folder for Event Organiser. Next, go to your WordPress Admin; Plugins; Add New; Upload. Choose the zipped folder you’ve just downloaded and click Install Now.
When the plugin is installed, go ahead and activate it. When you do, you’ll notice a new custom post type appear called Events.
Now, before adding any new events I found it helpful to first create some new categories and venues. Both sections are pretty self-explanatory and you can get the gist from these screenshots. Just be sure to choose a unique color for each category because it really comes in handy later on when viewing events in Calendar View.
Ok, time to add a new event. Click on the Add New option under the Events custom post type and you’ll see this screen.
As you can see, on the right side there’s a place to select one of the categories you’ve created and below the post section you can set all the event details – including the selection of a venue you added. Now, if you want to display the venue map in your front facing event page you’ll need to use this shortcode: [eo_venue_map]. Placement will depend on what looks best with your particular theme.
When you’ve created your event, go ahead and hit publish. You’ll now be able to see it on the All Events and Calendar View sections.
Oh, and of course on the front end too. They’ve also got some nice widgets for you side bar or footer.
Now, the amount of formatting and tweaking you’ll have to do to get your individual events to look good will depend on what theme you have. I had to go into the Settings menu and adjust some of the default settings for Event Organiser. The setting that made the biggest difference for me was un-enabling the plugin templates so the theme I had installed could format the event like a post. It ended up looking WAY better that way.
And that should just about cover all the basics. Below I’ve included a full list of their features from the WordPress Plugin Directory and some updates they have planned for the future.
(Optionally) automatically delete expired events.
Plans for the future:
Events Organiser is a really nice free plugin for managing events. I found it easy to use and format. However, it would have been nice to know I needed a shortcode to insert the venue map into my event. Figuring that out wasted a decent bit of time and I wouldn’t be surprised if some users abandoned the plugin altogether when they couldn’t get it to look right. So lesson learned, check for those shortcodes!
But what about you? Have you used this or a similar plugin to manage events? Tell us about it in the comments!
Download Link: Event Organiser Plugin