If you’re planning to display events on your website, one of these WordPress events plugins is going to give you a lot more flexibility than trying to do things manually.
Such plugins can help you create and manage events from right inside your WordPress dashboard. Then, they’ll help you show those events on the front-end of your site in a variety of different views. And, depending on your needs, they can even help you sell tickets and manage attendees!
Best WordPress Events Plugins for 2021
If that sounds intriguing, read on for some of the best WordPress events plugins.
1. Sugar Calendar
Sugar Calendar is a lightweight WordPress events calendar plugin from Sandhills Development, the same team behind other popular plugins like Easy Digital Downloads (EDD), AffiliateWP, and Restrict Content Pro (though they recently sold RCP to iThemes).
Like those other solutions, Sugar Calendar excels when it comes to clean, extensible code and giving you all the features you need without any bloat.
One thing you’ll notice is that Sugar Calendar is a lot simpler than other options on this list. However, at the same time, it still gives you most of the important features that you need, especially with the premium version/add-ons.
You can quickly spin up events by adding just a few details. When adding event content, you have the option to choose either the new block editor or the classic TinyMCE editor:
Each event gets its own page on the front-end of your site and you can easily add and customize calendars using a shortcode and various parameters. All this content will automatically inherit its styling from your theme. For additional tweaks, you’ll need to use custom CSS (because Sugar Calendar doesn’t include its own styling features).
For more advanced features, there are also some really useful premium extensions:
- Recurring Events – set up automatically recurring events.
- Event ticketing – sell tickets via a built-in Stripe payment feature or a WooCommerce integration. You can also manage tickets and attendees from your dashboard.
- Calendar feeds – you, or visitors, can sync your calendars/events to iCal, Google Calendar, and some other calendar systems.
- Front-end event submissions – let users submit events from the front-end using your favorite form plugin.
- Event URLs – add external URLs to your events (e.g. a Zoom meeting link). There’s also an option to automatically redirect an event’s page to the external URL.
There are also some free add-ons that let you integrate with Google Maps, Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms, and WP All Import.
The free version is available at WordPress.org. The premium version starts at $29 for access to the core Pro version or $89 for access to all the pro add-ons.
2. The Events Calendar
With over 600,000 active installs, The Events Calendar is the most popular WordPress events plugin at WordPress.org. It comes in both a free and Pro version, and you can also find a number of add-ons that tack on extra functionality.
The plugin lets you:
- Easily create new events
- Save specific venues and/or organizers
- Show your events as either a list view or a calendar view
- Search events
- Integrate with Google Maps
- Display upcoming events in a widget
- Do lots of other neat things.
While the plugin is pretty flexible, it’s designed to work right out of the box. That means you can start creating your events just a couple of minutes after installing the plugin.
Here’s what the event creation screen looks like:
Notice how, in the dashboard sidebar, you can also manage venues, organizers, categories, and more.
Right away, your calendar is available at “yourdomain.com/events”. But if needed, you can always go in and customize the URL slug:
And here’s what the calendar looks like on the default Twenty Seventeen theme:
What’s cool is that because The Events Calendar is so popular, many themes offer built-in styling support for it.
If you need more functionality like:
- Recurring events (spoiler – many other plugins offer this feature for free)
- Map view
- Location search
- Venue/organizer view
Then you might want to consider The Events Calendar PRO starting at $89.
3. Events Manager
While The Events Calendar is #1 at WordPress.org, Events Manager sits comfortably in second place with over 100,000 active installs.
Like The Events Calendar, Events Manager helps you create and manage events on your WordPress site. But here are some of the more unique features that Events Manager offers
- Dedicated BuddyPress integration
- Recurring and multi-day events (even in the free version)
- Custom event attributes to let you add additional structured information
- Location view (even in the free version)
- Bookings/registration (without the need for an add-on)
Again like The Events Calendar, Events Manager makes it pretty easy to get started. You can configure the plugin’s various settings in one big interface. Then, you can jump straight into adding events and locations:
Here’s what the default Add Event screen looks like:
And you can then choose to display your events either with a search box or a calendar view (or both!).
One thing I did notice is that Event Manager’s default styling isn’t quite as nice as The Event Calendar (at least on the Twenty Seventeen theme).
For more features, you can also check out Events Manager Pro starting at $75 for a single site license.
EventOn is the most popular event calendar plugin at CodeCanyon, with an impressive 31,000+ sales. Because it’s a premium plugin, I wasn’t able to personally play around with it. But based on its popularity, I’m going to assume its functionality is stellar.
So what does EventOn do?
First off, it gives you some beautiful event calendar designs. For example, I love this tiled look layout (which is just one of the layouts that you can choose):
Beyond the eye candy, EventOn also gives you features like:
- Recurring events
- Google Maps locations and directions
- Multi-day events
- “Add to Calendar” buttons
- Up to 10 custom meta fields
- Location view for event listing
- Featured events
Design wise, I think EventOn is the winner out of the box.
EventOn costs $24 at CodeCanyon.
5. Event Organiser
Event Organiser is another free WordPress event calendar plugin that’s listed at WordPress.org.
Like the two previous plugins, its free version allows you to create both one-time and recurring events. And you can also create specific locations/venues to associate with multiple events.
To display your events, Event Organiser hooks you up with a variety of shortcodes and widgets.
The Add New Event interface should look pretty similar to the other plugins (Event Organiser was even able to pick up the demo event that I created with Events Manager):
And one thing that I like is that Event Organiser lets you see a Calendar View from inside your dashboard, which is helpful for managing your events (especially with the filters):
The free core plugin is pretty much entirely focused on just creating and displaying events. But the Event Organiser Pro add-on does give you access to booking management, plus plenty of other features.
Finally, if you’re a developer, you’ll enjoy that Event Organiser comes with plenty of actions and filters to let you easily modify Event Organiser to fit your needs.
6. Modern Events Calendar
Modern Events Calendar is a simple and easy to use plugin that comes in both a free and premium version.
Right out of the gate, the free version will let you quickly create an events calendar that you can embed on your site. The calendar looks great and is responsive and mobile-friendly.
For users who want to customize the appearance of the calendar, you can do that through the settings panel–no need for CSS.
You can either add events yourself via the intuitive dashboard or let your visitors add events via a submission form.
With the free version, you’ll get access to features like:
- Ability to create single or recurring events
- Integration with popular page builder plugins
- Event search feature
- Event status forms
- Multiple location events
- Meetup event import
Users who demand even more power and control over their events calendar will enjoy the pro version of the plugin. It’s not for everyone, but for users who require an event booking and payment system, map integration, and more might want to upgrade.
The pro version of the plugin is equipped with all the features of the lite plugin, along with:
- Notification reminders
- Ticket prices
- Payment options & ticketing system
- Map view and event directions
- Multiple calendar display options
- Event weather module
- Online booking system
- Premium level support
7. Event Espresso
Event Espresso 4 Decaf is the relaunched version of the older Event Espresso Lite plugin.
While Event Espresso can display your events on a calendar, it’s more focused on event registration than any of the other plugins.
That is, it’s specifically designed to help you create events that you’ll sell tickets for (or otherwise accept registrations for):
If you’re not planning to do that, one of the other plugins is probably a better fit for your needs.
In addition to letting you add and manage events, here are some of the other helpful things that Event Espresso helps you do:
- Use PayPal Express Checkout (or other payment options if you’re willing to pay)
- Manage registrations and attendee details
- Send automated confirmation emails
- Use Android and Apple event apps to scan tickets and track attendance – Super cool (but the ticket scanning feature requires the paid version)!
If you want the paid features, Event Espresso starts at $79.95 for a single site license.
8. All-in-One Event Calendar
All-in-One Event Calendar is another popular WordPress.org events plugin from Time.ly.
The free version is mostly focused on helping you manage and showcase events, though there is a pro add-on that adds ticketing functionality.
Here’s what you get in that free version:
- Recurring events, including complex patterns
- Easy event sharing with a bunch of integrations
- Upcoming events widget
- Google Maps
- Style options to customize how your calendar looks
One feature that I like is the ability to import event feeds into your site, though it does require signing up for a Time.ly account:
The plugin also has a number of paid add-ons that can help you add:
- Ticketing (already mentioned!)
- Venue support (most other plugins offer this for free, though)
- Frontend event submissions
Most of the premium add-ons cost $59 each.
9. Facebook Events
Finally, let’s round things out with the simplest events plugin on this list. Facebook Events isn’t concerned with helping you add events from inside your WordPress dashboard.
Instead, it makes it easy for you to bring in events from your Facebook page and share them on WordPress.
Before you can import your events, you’ll need to create a Facebook app (this is standard for importing content from Facebook):
Once you complete that process, you’ll be able to show your events using either a widget or a shortcode.
There’s also a premium version that lets you import your Facebook events as actual custom post types that will work with many of the other plugins on this list. The premium version starts at $49 for a single site license.
Wrapping Things Up
And that wraps up our list of the best WordPress event plugins!
If you’re not sure which one to go with, starting off with The Event Calendar is probably never a bad option as it’s the most popular plugin on this list. Just be aware that its free version lacks recurring events.
And if you want the event calendar that will look the best right after installing the plugin, you might want to go with either EventOn or Modern Events Calendar.
Finally, don’t forget that you can also find WordPress events themes, which might be a good option depending on your site.
Now over to you – what’s your favorite events plugin for WordPress?