I recently worked on a web site that needed multiple “event calendars” for the organization’s various locations (chapters). We decided to use embedded Google Calendars. It worked out fine from a technology standpoint and the client seems to be enjoying the process of centrally managing all the events. But the designer and I weren’t completely happy with some of Google’s design decisions. As it turns out, as of the date when I worked on the site, Google hadn’t converted the look-and-feel of embedded calendars. The normal non-embedded Google Calendars have that clean red, white, and black design like the rest of the Google apps, but the embedded ones are a bit behind schedule for some reason.
A few weeks after completing the web site, I discovered a WordPress plugin that might be a great alternative for future projects. I’ve installed and configured the plugin locally and it’s really nice. Events are easy to add, edit, and delete, and the public view of the calendar is nicely designed with a simple, clean look that will fit in with just about any site design.
Some of the plugin features include Google Maps integration, default templates such as a calendar grid and event list, a sidebar “upcoming events” widget, and support for venue, cost, address, start/end time, and an optional “pro” feature set. Although I didn’t work on this site, you can see the plugin in action on the “Calendar” page of the 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX site, cleverly designed and built by the folks at Space Chimp Media. Read more details about The Events Calendar plugin.