May 31, 2013 E3

A Review of Two Google Calendar Plugins for WordPress

Incorporating a calendar into your website can be crucial, but it can also be a headache, especially if you want a calendar that works across different systems. Google Calendar is one of the most popular calendar systems because it’s easy to use with WordPress, and talks to virtually every other system. There are several useful WordPress calendar plugins you can utilize to display your calendar of events based on your individual need.

If you are looking for comprehensive integration, we took a look at two calendar plugins you may find useful:

Google Calendar Events

This WordPress plugin has been around for quite some time and has proven itself in the marketplace. It allows you to display your events in either a calendar grid, as a list on a page, or as a sidebar widget.

One of the great things about Google Calendar Events is that you can customize your calendar to fit your exact needs. The stylesheet is very basic, which means you can seamlessly match it to fit your theme.

Some unique features include:

  • Ability to merge events from different calendars onto one
  • Specify exactly how many events to show
  • Choose to display past events or remove them

Page load time isn’t affected by these features because the Google Calendar Events plugin caches the data collected from the source calendars in your actual WordPress files.  This eliminates the need to fetch information from Google every time someone loads the page.

All in One Event Calendar

The All in One Event Calendar is the granddaddy of Google Calendar plugins. It is easy to use, but offers many advanced features.

The plugin will import an existing calendar into your site, but also allows administrators to create events from within WordPress. The only drawback to this feature is that the plugin won’t send the new data back to the original calendar.

All in One Event Calendar also allows you to incorporate Google Maps. When you enter the exact address of your event, a map is generated on the event detail description. Each event gets its own detail page, creating clean views for the user.

You can also tag, categorize and color-code your events so viewers can easily locate the type of events they are looking for.

Other features include:

  • Ability to integrate with event registration software/plugins
  • Sharing across Google, Apple, Outlook and other calendar systems
  • Ability to highlight upcoming events

Are These WordPress Calendar Plugins Right For My Site?

The landscape of calendar plugins is ever-growing, and there are lots of options when it comes to Google calendar integration. Many of the plugins are designed for small websites and blogs and don’t offer many customizable features. The All in One Events Calendar works well for companies who need to import and display several calendars on one grid, or for those who need to have the ability to update the calendar from within WordPress. Google Calendar Events, on the other hand is for those who want a completely customizable calendar display with a simple features.

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