Before I entered the world of WordPress I was a high school biology teacher. I’d set up a WordPress website as a resource for students to see what was coming up on our class roadmap, and also what we’d covered each day prior should they happen to miss school. I spent hours tearing my hair out as a rookie WordPress-ian trying to figure out how to make an event calendar for WordPress that would display next to the main page content and show both upcoming events and past day’s activities.
This one is for anyone and everyone who’s had the same frustrations. Let’s walk through the process of setting up a calendar that will show both upcoming and past events!
What You’ll Need
Not a whole lot. Head over to the WordPress plugin repo and grab the All-in-One Event Calendar.
Adding Your Event Calendar for WordPress
Simply install and activate the All-in-One Event calendar plugin as usual through Plugins in your WordPress dashboard. You’ll see that you now have an Events option in your dashboard.
There are a ton of options here besides just adding events to your calendar. You can explore these options and find different themes for your calendar under Calendar Themes, a tool for customizing your calendar theme under Theme Options, calendar addons, etc. You can even sync your calendar to other calendars and share events via Import Feeds. It’s pretty incredibly customizable!
But, we want an event calendar widget on our content sidebar so that people can see what we’re up to, so let’s look at that.
Setting up a Homepage Calendar Widget
1) Go to Appearance> Widgets in your dashboard. There’s a widgets submenu option under Events, that is not the one you want. Under Appearance> Widgets, find the Upcoming Events box.
2) Click on Upcoming Events, and select Sidebar (may vary theme to theme).
3) The calendar widget option will now appear under the sidebar section of the same page. Edit it as you wish and be sure to click Save. You can rearrange the location of your calendar in relation to the other sidebar widgets by simply dragging and dropping them into the order you want. I’ve placed mine as the top most widget on the page.
The calendar widget will now appear on your homepage content sidebar!
It displays only upcoming events in this view, but you (and your visitors) can click on the “View Calendar” button to show an actual calendar once events are added. Let’s take a look at that now.
Adding Events to Your Calendar
Simply go to Events>Add New in your WordPress dashboard and you get the Add New Event screen. It’s every bit as robust and in the same style as the Add New Post screen. We won’t even touch on many of the options found here for the sake of time, but you can create an event setting for anything as simple as marking the day something is due to a full blown event with organizers and tickets.
I just want simple events here, so I’ve entered 3 barebone basic test events. One for this month and 2 for last.
You can see both how the calendar widget changes to display upcoming events:
And by clicking View Calendar, you can see past events month by month (that’s configurable also if you want a different range):
I was originally looking for a plugin that displayed an actual calendar image like the default WordPress calendar widget. Honestly, I like this the All-in-One Event Calendar’s style better because it lays out every relevant date with details without having to click an individual date to see any detail at all. It’s a better user experience in general for your guests. I hope you like it as well and have found this helpful! Feel free to leave any comments or other calendar for WordPress recommendations in the comments below. I’d love to see what you use! Happy blogging!Learn to setup a highly configurable homepage event calendar with ease!Click To Tweet