WordPress Plugin Review: Events+

A few of my clients use event scheduling to handle ongoing classes or one-time events, and we’ve been using EventBrite for that.  I like EventBrite, especially the ability to add a registration form right to a page.  See this in action at Studio of Good Living.  What do we like about EventBrite?

  • Ability to embed registration into a web page or blog post.
  • Manage registered people, send them emails, collect additional information upon registering.
  • Registrants can print tickets.
  • EventBrite handles all kind of ongoing events, such as classes.
  • Uses PayPal (and other gateways) for payment processing.
  • Widgets for WordPress and for blogs!

EventBrite is really a full-featured solution for events, but there is one drawback.  They charge a fee for every ticket sold.  This fee can be added to the ticket price (like Ticketmaster) or embedded within the price, but for a few clients this is a deal-breaker.  If your price point and margin are slim enough, that additional fee can tip your event over the edge into unprofitability.

So my mission is to find a plugin for WordPress that duplicates the features we like best in Eventbrite.  I headed over first to WPMUDEV to look at Events+.

At first I thought it would work.  Events+ uses PayPal as the main payment gateway and has additional plugins for other gateways (or pay by check).  Registrants can sign in using their Facebook or Twitter accounts or just type in their information.

Adding events is much like adding a blog post and Events+ handles recurring events just fine.  Where it fell down was on the front end – the ability to display events on your site.

There are some specialized plugins to display, for example, a calendar of events for the upcoming week, a countdown until the event and the next recurring event.  These are sadly lacking.

The upcoming events displays in an agenda fashion:

The problem is that while you can edit the calendar interval for the hours, what if you have some 4 hour events and some 2 hour events?  The image above was set at 4 hour intervals.  Here it is at 2 hours:

It looks like there are 4 events, while there are only 2!  I supposed I could find the code and hack it into behaving, but out of the box this just doesn’t work.

I’d also like to see a small monthly calendar that could be embedded into a post or page.  The event countdown, next event countdown and next event plugins also don’t work well.  They don’t show the name of the event, for instance, or provide a link to the event.  There is also no feature to edit the registration information from attendees.

This plugin will also involve a lot of style formatting to fit your site.  Notice the “Prev/Next” links in the images above – shouldn’t they be styled left and right?  Or at least the links separated?

This isn’t a terrible plugin for someone looking to collect registrations for a single event, but it isn’t the quality of plugin that I’ve come to expect from WPMUDEV.

Next week I’ll be reviewing Events Manager.


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