If you’re looking for the best events WordPress plugin, Events Manager has an easy-to-use system for displaying your events on a page, in your sidebar, in an events calendar as well as being able to take bookings.
This plugin is simple enough to use for beginners but with features you can grown into such as creating tickets and receiving payments via PayPal (with the pro-version).
Setting up Events Manager
From your WordPress dashboard visit Plugins >> Add New. Do a search for ‘Events Manager’. The plugin is authored by Marcus Sykes.
After activation you’ll see a new Events menu item appear in the WordPress administration area. The plugin also creates some new pages:
Once you’ve added your own, you may want to add the Events page to your navigation menus somewhere. This is the main page that displays all your upcoming events.
The plugin also creates some sample events that provide a template for your own that should be deleted later.
How to use Events Manager plugin for WordPress
You can view a more detailed setup guide for this plugin on the official page.
1. Visit Events >> Event Categories and create some broad categories for your events. e.g. Concerts, workshops, seminars.
2. Add any consistent places for your events at Events >> Locations. This will speed up the process of adding events later.
The plugin is pre-configured for most users but you can visit Events >> Settings and click on General Options to review some of the default settings.
3. Go to Events >> Add Events and fill out all the fields for your event. Be sure to include your events date and start and end time as well as assign it a category.
For the Google maps to work properly you also need to add detailed location information.
4. If you want to be able to take bookings, scroll down the page and click the Enable registration for this event box in the Bookings/Registration section.
You can also control the number of spaces and the booking cut-off time. To include tickets, click the Edit link and configure.
You will receive an email when you receive bookings but you can view them at any time from Events >> Bookings. More on setting up bookings.
5. Publish your new event and view it on the public side of your site to make sure that all is well.
Adding the events widget to your sidebar
Now that you have added your own events (and deleted the sample ones) you can add the sidebar widget to show off your upcoming events.
1. Go to Appearance >> Widgets and drag the Events widget to your sidebar. You may want to adjust the number of events it displays.
How it looks on the front-end:
Optimizing the plugin
Adding code (plugins) to your website always has an effect on page load times. The developers recommend using the Use Google Libraries plugin to reduce this effect.
This will also help other elements of your site as it loads certain resources from Google’s servers instead of your own.
Now you have an excellent events system on your site that can be expanded should you need more features.
If you have any questions about the setup, or if you just want to show off your latest event, let us know in the comments! 🙂