Looking for a solution to help you showcase events on your WordPress site? Or maybe you want to go even further and start selling tickets or accepting reservations?
No matter what your needs are, one of these WordPress event calendar plugins might just be the ticket (sorry!).
All of them will help you create a stylish calendar of events on your WordPress site, complete with areas to help you manage event venues and organizers. Then, depending on what functionality you need, you’ll also find options that let you create repeating events, sell tickets, manage attendance, and lots more.
You probably just want to learn about the plugins! So let’s dive right in, starting with the most popular option…
The best events management and calendar plugins for WordPress
1. The Events Calendar – A Great All-Around Option
By the numbers, The Events Calendar is the most popular events calendar plugin at WordPress.org by a longshot. It’s active on over 700,000 sites and has kept up a solid 4.5-star rating over that popularity.
The Events Calendar also comes from Modern Tribe, a popular WordPress digital agency, which gives you the backing of a big team (72+ employees).
It comes in both a free version, as well as a Pro version and extensions, which gives you access to as much, or as little, functionality as you need.
What you get with the free version of The Events Calendar
In the free version, you can create unlimited events, complete with their own:
You can save venues and organizers, which makes it easy to reuse them for events in the future
And to display your events, you get the eponymous calendar view, as well as an upcoming events list widget to use in your sidebar.
Another notable feature is the ability to save events in Google Calendar or iCal.
Finally, there’s also a free Event Tickets extension that lets you add an RSVP/Buy Now button to events (but you’ll probably want the premium version of the extension if you’re serious about ticketing).
What you get with the Pro version of The Events Calendar
If you’re willing to pay, you can extend those free features with a ton of new functionality.
First off, you get more ways to display your events, including a map or photo view. You can also create separate lists for specific venues and organizers, rather than one overall list. And visitors will also get the option to search by location.
You can also set up recurring events for events that regularly repeat, which is another way to save time.
Then, there are also some unique extensions for community events and ticketing. The Community Events extension lets you accept user-submitted events, which is helpful if your site has some social aspect.
The Event Tickets Plus extension lets you sell tickets to your events, with each ticket getting its own unique SKU. You can then manually check attendees in, or use the Event Tickets Plus mobile app to actually scan each person’s ticket for verification.
Price: Free at WordPress.org. Events Calendar Pro is $89. Community Events and Event Tickets Plus are also $89 each.
2. Modern Events Calendar – Looks Great Out Of The Box
Modern Events Calendar was formerly sold at CodeCanyon, where it had done pretty well with 4,800+ sales and a great 4.78-star rating on 181 reviews.
Now, Modern Events Calendar has gone independent and comes in both a free Lite version at WordPress.org as well as a premium version sold through the developer’s site. The free version is pretty generous with its functionality, which makes this a good option if you’re on a budget.
Modern Events Calendar’s biggest differentiating feature is in the name – it offers a modern-looking event calendar that looks great right out of the box. If you want a calendar that looks great without requiring any tinkering on your part, this is a solid option.
What you get with the free version of Modern Events Calendar
The free version is good for simple needs and lets you set up both one-off and recurring events, including support for venues and organizers.
You can also set up all-day or never-ending events. And you can even accept front-end event submissions in the free version, which is pretty generous.
Visitors will get a few different views to browse events, including:
- Full calendar or monthly calendar
- Daily/weekly view
- Countdown view
- List view
And you also get widgets to display events in your sidebar.
What you get with the Pro version of Modern Events Calendar
If you need more functionality, the Pro version adds on some new views, including a map view option that includes directions to the event.
There’s also this neat weather module that displays weather conditions for the event, as well as an option to display event times in a visitor’s local time zone.
If needed, you can also integrate with PayPal or Stripe to sell event tickets or bookings. But…if you’re serious about ticketing, I’d recommend that you stick with something like The Events Calendar or Event Espresso (an option you’ll see later on).
Price: Generous free version. Pro version starts at $39.
3. EventOn – Flexible Functionality And Unique Styling
EventOn is the most popular WordPress event calendar plugin at CodeCanyon, where it’s been purchased over 37,000 times and has maintained a 4.45-star rating on 1,700+ reviews.
Like Modern Events Calendar, one of the unique things about EventOn is its stylish event views, including the neat card approach pictured above.
It also packs a ton of functionality into one affordable package (though there are also tons of add-ons, which can get pricey).
What you get with the Pro version of EventOn
EventOn lets you create unlimited events, complete with information for the venue/location and organizer.
For event timing, you get a ton of options. You can control event start/end times, including an option to overlap different days for events that end after midnight. Or, you can create an all-day event with the click of a toggle.
For events that repeat, you can have them repeat on different schedules (like weekly or monthly). You can also get a little more creative and do something like “repeat on the first Thursday of every month”. Or, you can just manually create your own custom repeating schedule by choosing days in advance.
To display your events, you get a bunch of different styles/themes, as well as an option to feature certain events.
EventOn has a lengthy feature list, so I can’t cover everything…but other features you’ll probably like include:
- Option for visitors to filter by event location
- Easy “add to calendar” for iCal, Google Calendar, and others
- Social share button integration
Then, there are additional premium add-ons for:
- Event countdowns
- Event tickets via WooCommerce
- Lots more
Price: $24 for core plugin. Add-ons are all priced differently
4. Event Calendar WD – Solid All-Around Option
Event Calendar WD is a well-rated freemium option that’s maintained a 4.6-star rating on over 184 reviews. Active on just 30,000+ sites, though, it’s not nearly as popular as The Events Calendar.
It does come from Web-Dorado (WD), though, who has a number of other quality plugins, so you have the benefit of an established company supporting the product.
What you get with the free version of Event Calendar WD
The free version lets you create unlimited events, complete with support for venues and organizers, as well as event categories and tags. You also get a Google Maps integration in the free version, which is nice.
Beyond that, you get a widget to help you display events in the sidebar, as well as a pretty detailed settings area to control little nitty-gritty details.
Overall, though, the free version is pretty lightweight.
What you get with the Pro version of Event Calendar WD
First off, there’s a core premium version that adds support for recurring events, as well as new views/theme options.
Then, there are a number of individual premium add-ons that further extend the plugin’s functionality. You can either purchase a bundle of all add-ons, or pick and choose the specific add-ons that you need.
Through these add-ons, you can add functionality for:
- Ticketing via WooCommerce
- Front-end event management for community events
- More detailed event filters
- Export to calendar (like Google Calendar or iCal)
- Importing from Facebook Events, Google Calendar, or iCal
- More detailed upcoming events widgets
Price: Free at WordPress.org. Pro version starts at just $25. Plan with all add-ons is $99
5. Event Espresso 4 Decaf – The Best Option For Selling Tickets
Event Espresso is a slightly more heavy-duty event calendar plugin that’s more focused towards people who need to manage tickets/registrations, including support for payment gateways, event check-in, ticket scanning apps, and more.
So if that’s you, you’ll definitely want to give this one a close look. But if you’re just looking for something to display some events on your WordPress site, you’ll probably be happier with one of the other plugins on this list.
Event Espresso 4 Decaf is the latest version of the plugin which brings a number of new features. Event Espresso 3 is still listed at WordPress.org, so make sure you install the newest version.
What you get with the Pro version of Event Espresso 4 Decaf
While there is a free version of Event Espresso 4 Decaf, I’m going to exclusively focus on the premium version because that’s where most of the differentiating features exist.
First off, Event Espresso 4 Decaf sets you up with a detailed events management system including:
- Time-specific or all-day events
- Location/venue information
- Multiple days and times for one single event
- Google Maps integration
And you can, obviously, display these events on an event calendar.
As I said, though, ticketing and registration are where Event Espresso 4 Decaf really shines.
For ticketing, you get some unique features like:
- Multiple ticket pricing options for one event, with each ticket getting its own quantity limit, etc.
- Integrated single-page checkout and lots of payment gateway options
- A dedicated app to scan tickets
- Promo codes to offer discounts
- Tax administration module to collect taxes
- Event check-in list
- Waiting lists for tickets
Then, you also get features to manage registrations like:
- Custom event registration forms
- Custom email confirmation emails
- Option for one person to register multiple attendees
- Feature to store attendees’ contact details and add private notes (kind of like a lightweight CRM)
- Private events that are only visible to certain users
All in all, definitely give this one a look if you need a robust ticketing/registration system for events.
Price: Starts at $79.95. Cheapest plan with all features is $299.95
6. Event Organiser – Lightweight And Extensible
Finally, Event Organiser is a nice lightweight option that comes in both a free and a premium version.
One thing a lot of people like is how extensible it is for developers, though it’s also easy enough for casual users to benefit from.
What you get with the free version of Event Organiser
The free version of Events Organiser lets you create both one-time and recurring events, including detailed rules for how often events repeat. The plugin’s description gives a good example of how detailed you can get with repeating events – “On the third Tuesday of every fourth month or Every month on the 16th.”
Beyond that, you also get venue support, including a Google Maps integration to show where venues are.
And to display your events, you get a few different widgets, as well as a number of shortcodes that you can use to control exactly what shows up (like choosing whether or not to show the venue filters).
What you get with the Pro version of Event Organiser
Event Organiser Pro is mainly focused on adding booking functionality to your events calendar.
With it, you can let visitors purchase tickets/book specific events or dates using a customizable form and integrations with popular payment gateways.
Then, you’ll be able to manage bookings from your WordPress dashboard, including an option to send emails to attendees.
Price: Free at WordPress.org. Pro version starts at £40
Which WordPress event calendar plugin should you choose?
So which one of these event calendar plugins should you actually use? To help answer that question, let’s break things down by a few different scenarios/price points…
If you’re specifically looking for a free WordPress event calendar plugin, then I would say use:
- The Events Calendar as a good base option. It’s the most popular option, comes from a well-known developer, and is pretty easy to use.
- Modern Events Calendar Lite if you want something basic that looks great out of the box.
- Event Organiser if you want a lightweight extensible option.
If you’re specifically looking for a plugin that will help you sell tickets and manage reservations, then your first stop should be Event Espresso 4 Decaf. The Events Calendar Pro is also another viable option with the Event Tickets Plus add-on. Both give you robust ticketing functionality, as well as mobile apps to scan tickets.