A Feature That Could Improve Your Website
As we progress on our client’s website, it seems as though something could be added to help viewers visiting the site. Our group is working on a website for an artist organization that features artists and holds events. One of the main purposes of the website is to bring in visitors to the events. Therefore, I think the website would greatly benefit from adding an event calendar on the home page. That way, visitors can efficiently access the upcoming events for particular dates.
One of the most popular calendars is Google Calendar Events. An advantage of this calendar is that viewers can sync it with their own personal calendars (if they use this calendar.) It is also easy for the client to update or change upcoming events. Any updates made in the Google Calendar are instantly updated on the website.
Ways To Implement This Feature
There are two ways to add Google Calendar to your website. One is to add the plug-in through WordPress and the other is to manually embed it.
To Add the Plug-in
Google Calendar Events: Here is the link for the WordPress plug-in. Download, install and activate the plug-in in the WordPress Dashboard. Then on the Plug-ins page, go to Settings. Here the settings can be customized for the calendar. It is pretty straightforward to use this method, but implementing it manually is just as simple. Here is a helpful tutorial article on rhanney.co.uk for this plug-in and other useful information.
First you need to create the calendar in Google. Then you can change the settings of the calendar and how it displays by going into Calendar Settings (under “My Calendars”). Customize the calendar as needed, then copy and paste the HTML code that is displayed.
Then in the WordPress Dashboard create a new page, add page title and paste code into page (in text tab, not visual). Anytime the calendar is updated, it will also be updated on the website.
Google Calendar Examples
Some great examples of this feature being used on other sites are listed here:
- Tangoasheville.com: This website uses Google Calendar in a simple and effective way. It has a “Calendar” page with a monthly format. There is a button that allows viewers to subscribe and share events. Then on all other pages it has a sidebar calendar list.
- www.aiaasheville.org/calendar/: On this website, the calendar is very customized visually and for its functionality. Viewers may submit events and have the ability to RSVP an event. (This website also uses iCal, so for those viewers who use iCal, the event can be synced to their own calendars.) This is a nice example of how to use Google Calendar in a customized way.
Adding A Widget
Google Calendar Widget can be a useful way to display a smaller version of the calendar, for example in a sidebar on the home page that can link to a calendar page if desired: http://wordpress.org/plugins/google-calendar-widget/.
Missing Feature Resolved
Once we get the Google Calendar up and running on our artists’ website, visitors can sync their calendars and maybe there will be even more visitors in person at the events!