5 Best WordPress Event Plugins: Calendars, Lists, Tickets + More
Looking for a plugin to help you display upcoming events on your WordPress site? Whether you need to display your own events or just want to curate other people’s events to display on your site, one of the plugins on this list should help you out.
I’ll showcase both free and premium options in this list. If you just need to display basic events, you can probably get by with a free plugin. But if you want more advanced functionality – like the ability to sell tickets – you’re almost certainly going to need to pay for a premium version or add-on.
For this article, I’m also going to focus exclusively on WordPress events plugins, not plugins that help you accept bookings/appointments. If that’s what you’re interested in, you might want to check out our post on the best booking and appointment plugins instead.
Let’s jump right in!
1. The Events Calendar
With over 600,000 active installs at WordPress.org, The Events Calendar is your most popular option when it comes to creating events on WordPress. It comes in a basic free version, but also has a Pro version and various add-ons.
Because The Events Calendar is so popular, it’s pretty easy to find themes that come with built-in styles for The Events Calendar, which can help make sure that your event listings look pixel-perfect by default.
In the free version, The Events Calendar helps you:
- Create new events using a built-in custom post type
- Assign your events to specific venues or organizers (and save those venues/organizers to reuse later)
- Display events as a list or calendar view
- Integrate with Google Maps to show the physical location of your event
- Let visitors search for events
If you can use the regular WordPress editor, you should feel pretty comfortable using the meta box that The Events Calendar adds. Here it is:
And here’s an example of what the frontend can look like using the calendar view:
If you need more functionality, the Pro version adds:
- Recurring events
- Location search
- Venue and organizer view
- Additional fields
And there’s also a free/premium add-on to handle event tickets, as well as some other add-ons for things like community events.
Price: Free. Pro version starts at $89
EventOn is an exclusively premium (but affordable) events plugin that’s available at CodeCanyon. In fact, it’s the best-selling event calendar at CodeCanyon with over 34,500 sales.
While this plugin has some solid features powering it, what I really like about it is the design styles. You have a bunch of modern styles, including these neat event cards:
Beyond the aesthetics, EventOn offers:
- Recurring events
- Multi-day events
- Option to let users quickly add events to their own calendar
- Up to 10 custom meta fields to add additional information to events
- Option to add event organizers or locations
- Event search
- Option to feature specific events
While there’s no way to sell tickets or anything more advanced, the plugin is also a lot more affordable than the other options. So if you just want a stylish way to display event details, it’s a good option.
3. Events Manager
With over 100,000 active installs at WordPress.org, Events Manager is the second-most popular event calendar plugin after the aforementioned The Events Calendar.
You’ll see a lot of similarities between the two, but let me start by mentioning one difference:
Events Manager lets you create recurring and multi-day events, even in the free version. It also has more of a focus on bookings and appointments, though that functionality is outside the scope of this post.
Beyond the recurring and multi-day event functionality, Events Manager also offers:
- Event locations (and view by event location)
- Custom event attributes
- Option to let users add events to their own calendar
- BuddyPress integration
- Guest/member event submissions if you want to let other people list events
- Option to create multiple tickets with different prices
If you purchase the Pro add-on, you’ll also get:
- Various payment gateway integrations
- Coupons and discounts
- Automated event reminder emails
In general, Events Manager is a little more generous with features in its free version than The Events Calendar. But in my testing, the actual frontend event list doesn’t look as nice out of the box. That is, you might need some custom CSS to get things looking good.
For example, here’s what it looks like on the official demo site:
Price: Free or $75
4. Event Espresso
Event Espresso is an event plugin that’s a bit more focused on the actual event registration and ticketing process than the previous plugins.
One of the coolest examples of that is the mobile ticketing apps add-on, which allows you to actually offer your event attendees a downloadable ticket that you can verify by scanning the barcode with your smartphone and the Event Espresso app.
Event Espresso lets you create events with features like:
- Multiple dates and times per event
- Multiple ticket/pricing options
- Custom event registration forms
Then, if you want to sell tickets for your events (you can also create open events with no tickets), Event Espresso:
- Has a checkout page
- Lets you accept payments
- Helps you collect taxes
- Offers printable tickets
- Lets you scan tickets using the Event Espresso mobile app
In general, if you need a heavy-duty solution for full-on event ticketing, Event Espresso can probably save you a ton of money in comparison to the non-WordPress ticketing solutions that you’ll find.
Price: Limited free version. Pro version starts at $79.95, or $299.95 for all-addons + premium functionality.
5. Modern Events Calendar
Modern Events Calendar is another affordable premium option listed at CodeCanyon. Like EventOn, one of the benefits of Modern Events Calendar is that the event lists look pretty stylish right out of the box, so you won’t need to fiddle around with CSS to get something that looks nice.
For example, here’s what one of the demos looks like. As you can see, it is indeed pretty modern:
Beyond the modern design, Modern Events Calendar offers:
- Recurring events
- Event countdown (this is a nice feature that I haven’t seen in other plugins)
- Filter options to help users find events
- Google Maps integration
- PayPal integration
- Booking system, complete with custom registration form
- Option to import events from Google Calendar, Facebook Calendar, The Events Calendar, or EventOn
Get Modern Events Calendar
Which WordPress Events Plugin Should You Use?
Struggling with which WordPress event plugin to pick?
For a good all-purpose solution, I like The Events Calendar because it’s popularity means that you can find lots of integrations for it. And it also has a solid feature list to justify that popularity.
EventOn and Modern Events Calendar both have great designs and should work for lightweight uses, but I don’t think they can stand up to the feature depth of the other plugins.
If you actually need something that can handle your entire ticketing process, you’ll definitely want to look at Event Espresso because it has the most detailed approach to ticketing for physical events.
And Events Manager offers some generous free features, as well as booking/appointment functionality, though its default styling leaves something to be desired.
Would you recommend any other WordPress event plugins? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with everyone else!