WordPress is popular because even beginners can use it to quickly set up a fully functioning blog or website. But those who want to use the CMS to implement more complex web projects also get their money’s worth. With the right WordPress plugins, the platform can be easily adapted to suit your needs and expanded with practical functions.The best WordPress plugins 2021
What do a training session, a concert, a doctor’s appointment, and a marathon all have in common? All these events are connected to a date and location. A ticket must be purchased or an appointment made to participate. The increasing automation of business processes has led to a massive increase in demand for planning tools for websites. For the popular content management system WordPress there are extra calendar plugins that you can integrate into your website just as easily as plugins for contact forms, newsletter plugins or image galleries.
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What makes a good WordPress calendar plugin?
A WordPress calendar should be responsive. More and more websites are now only being accessed with mobile end devices. Users expect perfect visibility on their mobile phones or tablets. From a visual point of view, the color and typography of a WordPress calendar plugin should be able to be adapted to the website that it is used on. Information that stays the same, such as locations or organizing teams should be maintained separately. Calendar plugins are even more convenient if you can import basic information into them. However, functions like this that are compatible with all standard calendars and database formats are usually only available with Premium versions of the plugins.
Other useful features may include being able to define a start date for the week, being able to set up recurring events, and being able to save event locations separately and connect them to a map. Categories and filters are great tools that can help you to keep your calendar organized. Additional descriptions, photographs, and links to events also make the calendar more user-friendly and provide comprehensive information and interaction. The icing on the cake is the easy-to-use interfaces to booking systems or online shops. WordPress chat plugins also complement these calendar applications nicely.
When choosing a calendar plugin for WordPress, make sure that it is compatible with the version of WordPress that you are using. When loading plugins via the WP backend, this and the latest updated version of the plugin are usually shown.
Before integrating a calendar into your WordPress site, check the website of the provider to see the demo versions that they offer. Why? Many calendar plugins have very extensive configuration options in the backend that you may not see straight away. In addition, you can use a demo version to better evaluate whether the range of functions and the design of the plugin are the best for your WordPress website. You can also use your browser’s developer tools to see how the calendar plugin behaves on mobile end devices. Finally, you can also get an overview of the costs for the Premium plugins.
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WordPress Calendars: A comparison of 8 plugins
WordPress calendars are highly developed plugins that can be easily adapted and that are sometimes designed for specific applications. They simplify work processes and help to generate more revenue through events. The simpler solutions are usually free, but the more extensive WordPress calendars with many different functions and interfaces are available as a Premium version for a small fee which can be paid either as a one-off payment or as a recurrent annual fee. As such, it’s a good idea to check your exact needs to avoid any unnecessary expenses. Often you can technically “upgrade” a WordPress calendar plugin when upscaling a website. Below is a list of calendar plugins for WordPress for different requirements. The names of the plugins are listed in the order that you would find them in the WordPress backend.
|Operability||Flexibility||Responsive||Premium version||Premium version as a subscription||Special features|
|The Events Calendar||+++||+++||✔||$$||✔||Zoom integration|
|Event Calendar WD||+++||+++||✔||$||✔||SEO-friendly|
|Tockify Events Calendar||+++||++++||✔||$$$||✔||Calendar data hosted externally|
|CP Multi View Calendar||++||++||✔||$||✔||Clone function|
|Events Manager||+++||++||✔||$||✔||Zoom integration|
|My Calendar||++++||+++||✔(only Pro)||$||✘||Barrier-free, Premium subscription available|
|Modern Events Calendar||+++||++++||✔||$$||✔||Configuration wizard|
|WP Simple Booking Calendar||++||+||✔||$||✔||Integration and configuration by shortcode only|
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The Events Calendar
The free version of the WordPress calendar plugin The Events Calendar contains a range of different functions that are quite easy to use, thanks to the excellent documentation provided. This calendar plugin for WordPress includes view options for days, lists, and months and an event list widget, CSV import for events, event organizers and locations can all also be integrated. You can even export an event in iCal or Google Calendar format with the event view.
With the Premium version, you can embed recurring events, use shortcode, access Zoom, have status controls, set up livestreams, and can also import many different formats. In addition, it is compatible with WooCommerce, a ticket sales plugin, and many other widgets. The Premium version costs up to $750 per year for use on unlimited websites. This is particularly interesting for agencies that earn money by selling event tickets.
|✔ Responsive and easy to use||✘ Must pay to access all features|
|✔ Completely adaptable to the design of your website||✘ Import function requires meticulous preparatory work|
|✔ Extensive range of display options|
|✔ Free plugin that includes CSV import|
Event Calendar WD
Event Calendar WD is an SEO-friendly, responsive calendar plugin for WordPress. It was developed to build websites for events and to manage events in WordPress blogs. There are four different subscription models for extensive views including video integration, recurring events, customizable themes, and premium support.
|✔ Responsive||✘ Must pay to access all features|
Tockify Events Calendar
The Tockify Events Calendar is also well worth having a look at, which is why we have chosen to go over it in more detail below. The plugin is available in 28 languages and is a calendar tool hosted outside of your own WordPress installation. It is inserted into the desired location on a website either by div tags or with WordPress shortcode.
You can either embed this WordPress event calendar as HTML:
<div data-tockify-component="mini" data-tockify-calendar="user123"></div> <script data-cfasync="false" data-tockify-script="embed" src="https://public.tockify.com/browser/embed.js"></script>
or as a calendar plugin with WordPress shortcode:
[tockify component="mini" calendar="user123"]
The plugin is responsive and can be fully customized to fit your website. The admin panel offers a wide range of settings and there are a variety of different views already pre-configured.
Users must have an account to use this plugin. They have a free 14-day trial before having to pay anything.
|✔ Responsive||✘ Externally hosted user account required (data is outsourced to a third party)|
|✔ Easy to use||✘ Must pay to access all features|
|✔ Extensive range display options||✘ Cost models linked to page views|
|✔ Can import functions from other calendars|
CP Multi View Calendar
The CP Multi View Calendar is a very flexible calendar plugin for WordPress with multiple visualization modes and pre-defined styles. In the free version there is a classic month view, just like in Google Calendar, and day and week views and recurring events. All these features are available for one website at a time and in 14 languages.
In the Premium version, you can insert the event calendar as a widget. It comes with 23 different color palettes, event reminders, the option to import and export iCal files, the ability to merge data from different calendars, as well as email notifications for the administrator about added, deleted, or updated events. A demo with the WordPress backend helps you to familiarize yourself with this calendar plugin, which also has a publication wizard.
|✔ Responsive||✘ Must pay to access all features|
|✔ Good range of functions available in the basic version|
|✔ Time-saving duplication possible|
The Events Manager calendar plugin can be used to make a WordPress website fit for events management. The features that come with the basic version are very good: recurring and multi-day events, location management with the integration of Google Maps and booking management are all included. With the Pro version, you can also process payments and offer gift certificates. It also comes with a booking form configuration tool.
|✔ Responsive||✘ Must pay to access all features|
|✔ Very good basic features|
The My Calendar expansion is a barrier-free WordPress plugin for event calendars. It lists events from several calendars on pages, in posts, or in widgets. These events can then be sorted according to category, author, location or simply into a list of upcoming events. The calendar views are supplemented with a mini calendar that fits into the sidebar of a website. You can also integrate data from remote databases – a feature that is not exactly run of the mill. The Pro version is responsive and allows previously approved authors to edit events. Alongside .ics and .csv imports, the developer also offers a REST API so that you can display events from multiple websites.
|✔ Barrier-free||✘ Responsiveness and import functions only come with the paid Pro version|
|✔ Large range of features in the basic version|
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Modern Events Calendar
With the Modern Events Calendar plugin, you can integrate a calendar to manage WordPress event websites. Getting started with this plugin is made a lot easier thanks to dummy events, which you can use as a guide for creating and adding your own events. Just a few adjustments must be made to get everything working properly. In addition to the calendar and list views, there is also an event countdown. With the Pro version, you can choose to display maps, weather information, and time zones. The functionality with the payment providers Stripe and PayPal is completely smooth and with more than 24 fee-based add-ons you can cover almost all areas of professional event management.
|✔ Responsive||✘ Less suitable for extensive ticket sales|
|✔ Easy to configure; Wizard available||✘ Must pay for add-ons to access all features|
|✔ Extensive and clear demo|
|✔ Licenses available with one-off payment only|
WP Simple Booking Calendar
The free version of the WP Simple Booking Calendar WordPress calendar plugin offers very few features, but it is enough if you just want to show the daily availability of a venue, for example. With the Premium version however, you can create an unrestricted calendar. You can also import and export data in Calendar format and view tool tips when hovering over an appointment, individual legends, and much more. All these options are clearly presented on the plugin developer’s demo page. With an additional paid subscription, you can set up the WP Simple Booking Calendar as a complete booking system.
|✔ Responsive||✘ Free version is very limited|
|✔ Simple integration in any position on a website with shortcode||✘ Must pay to access all features|
One way to make WordPress run quicker is to delete any plugins that are no longer needed, along with all the data associated with them.