EC lovefest continues

Event Calendar has been a fun plugin to work on (was this my first mailing list post?) over the years. It’s come a long way and I’m sure it will improve as its popularity grows with each passing day.

I found Event Calendar in order to fill a need. I took over the North Branch Area Hockey Association website, quickly converted it to WordPress and started looking for things to enhance the site. One of the things that I wanted was a way to provide an event calendar so the members of the association could better track and promote their event activities. I can’t recall if I kicked the tires of other calendaring/event plugins, but I can say that I didn’t look any further after finding Event Calendar. It did the trick.

Ok, that’s not entirely true. I had designs on unloading the management of the NBAHA website on its members. I wanted it easier for anyone to post an event — so I worked on getting jscalendar integrated with the Event Calendar plugin. A popup calendar to select the date and time seemed like the perfect solution. After some mucking around on my part and some deft coding from Alex to fine tune the process, Event Calendar took another step along its journey as a widely used and strongly supported plugin.

Later, based on need, I had a hand in creating the WordPress widget and K2 Side Bar Module for Event Calendar.

I’ve deployed Event Calendar on another site, Stearns County, Minnesota. I’ve been tremendously satisfied with my Event Calendar endeavors — usage of the plugin, contributing code (Alex — thanks by the way, I’ve enjoyed interacting with you while learning a great deal along the way) and talking with other enthusiastic Event Calendar supporters over the years. It’s been great — I’m looking forward to what’s next.

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Critical ease of use

For the past two years I have been using WordPress and Event Calendar as the content management system for web sites for 12-step programs like OARegion4 and SunFlower Intergroup.

Frequently groups have no one with knowledge of html, and if there is anyone they become bound to the web site with chains.  Event Calendar and WordPress allow simple easy rotation of service to anyone able to use a browser.  Without EC, I don’t know how I would do it.  EC and WordPress have provided an avenue of service and support to a lot of suffering people.  I’m very grateful it exists.

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EC as a focal point

I started using Event Calendar as-is a few years ago when I started developing websites for the churches I attended with WordPress.  Today EC3 has become a focal point on our website at Calvary where I am on staff as an Associate Pastor.

The key features to EC3 are its simplicity, it is post oriented, and all of this makes it seemless on the website but with loads of extensability.  Currently I am posting all of our church programs and events through the calendar.  I am using the PostLists plugin to add lists of events to the bottom of our program pages (still in development).  In the future all of our Sunday sermons will be podcasted with the podcasting plugin but show up in the event calendar on the dates that it was preached.  Want to catch the sermon you missed from last week?  All you would have to do is click back on the date you missed and find the sermon in the post along with notes and powerpoint etc.!

All of this is compounded with some awesome people coming on board making this one of the most useful plugins for WordPress in my opinion!

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Event Calendar at

I started using Event Calendar back in 2006, when I was developing  We needed a way to post upcoming shows (and list past shows) on our site — tried a couple plugins but this what did what I needed best and I found the code clean and was able to apply what little skill that I had to modify it to suit my needs.

More importantly, though, I think the mailing list and support I got is what made it worthwhile  — I remember one instance, back in 2006, when I had a heck of a problem with a database migration and kept getting all sorts of errors … I think it had to do with PHP versions (or something) but I was really new at it and after going back and forth about it on the mailing list (see archive), Darrel took time to work me through the problem one-on-one in real-time troubleshooting it over instant messenger (see conclusion).

I couldn’t have done it without the help I got here.  So, I would just say that yes, the plugin is great but it’s the people that make it rock and roll.


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Event Calendar owes its existence to “The Raven”

I started working on the Event Calendar plug-in when I created The Raven. It’s an online news-letter for her London Druid group. They use Event Calendar to plan their regular sessions and rituals.

I didn’t write Event Calendar from scratch. I started with a plug-in written by someone called “Kitten”, but I quickly got enthusiastic and wrote the AJAX calendar widget, and the iCal feed.

Back in those WordPress 1.2 days, plug-in publicity started and ended with adding a link to your plug-in to the Wiki page. Pretty soon I had hundreds and hundreds of people commenting on my blog, reporting bug, requesting features and asking for support. I was overwhelmed. I started the mailing list to help manage it all. That helped a lot – many people were discouraged by the small effort required to join the list, and just solved their problems on their own (or gave up and looked elsewhere…) Also, the mailing list created a sort of community feeling, where more knowledgeable subscribers would help out newcomers with the simpler questions.

When I upgraded it to WordPress 2, the amount of support queries exploded again, and I just couldn’t cope. Rather than rush around answering the same questions dozens of times, I put lots of effort into documentation and ease-of-use. I was fanatical about resisting feature creep – I wanted a plug-in that most users could just install and use, without having to worry about lots of complicated installation. Darrell Schulte helped enormously, by contributing the WordPress Widget code.

In the last year I’ve been really busy, and hundreds of Event Calendar e-mail just piled up, unread. I was daunted by just the prospect of opening the mailing list folder. But then my wife forced me to upgrade The Raven, and I found to my delight that the mailing list crew had managed to keep Event Calendar working, without needing my constant presence.

Purely by chance just a week later, Rick Boatright from the list sent me an e-mail suggesting that he and some others take over support – they didn’t want to see the plug-in die… Well I didn’t want to see it die either. So now, I’m doing everything I can to build a team of people who can support the plug-in, without it needing my constant attention.

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Verson 3.1.1

[DOWNLOAD] I’m pleased to announce the release of Event Calendar version 3.1.1. This is stable software that many thousands of people are already running on their WordPress web-sites. This new release adds full support for WordPress 2.6.2, and several new translations.

We’ve now moved the development effort over to the WordPress Plugin Directory, where several new developers are keen to start adding new features. So, look out for exciting enhancement in the near future.

A big thank you to everyone who has contributed or reported bugs. Thank you also to the many many users of Event Calendar, I very much appreciate all your kind support over the years. If you’ve like to show your appreciation, then please go and VOTE FOR US.

As always, if you have any questions or comments about Event Calendar, then please sign up for the mailing list, where there’s a vibrant community of users and developers who are waiting to help you.

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v3.1.1 Release Candidate 4

This is a minor update that fixes compatibility up to WordPress v2.6.2. Thanks to Darrell Schulte for checking-in the patches, and various contributors for suggesting the fixes.

The project has now (finally) moved over to the Plugins Directory at, so you can get the latest code from there:

If you like Event Calendar, you can now vote for us at the Plugins Directory.

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Formats the schedule for the current post. If you want to echo the result directly onto the page, This is the call you want. For HTML as a string use ec3_get_schedule()


ec3_the_schedule() is useful to produce a controllable (different from default) HTML output for use within a post, especially when you wish to style the output using div’s instead of tables. The command takes the form of


all of the parameters above are optional, and are explained below


$format_single (OPTIONAL)

DEFAULT=’<tr><td colspan=”3″>%s</td></tr>’
Events that only have a start time (no duration) are generated using this template. %s is a placeholder for the time.
$format_range (OPTIONAL)

DEFAULT=’<tr><td class=”ec3_start”>%1$s</td>’
. ‘<td class=”ec3_to”>%3$s</td><td class=”ec3_end”>%2$s</td></tr>’
Events that have a start and end time are generated using this template. %1$s is a placeholder for the start, and %2$s is a placeholder for the end time. %3$s is a placeholder for the word “to”, which may be translated if you are using a localised version of EventCalendar.

$format_wrapper (OPTIONAL)

A template for the whole result. The default generates a table, but you may prefer to have it generate a div, or leave it blank. %s is a placeholder.

<?php ec3_the_schedule('%1$s ');?>
This fragment will generate output in the form
“(Event date) (Event Start Time)” ie December 9, 2007 9:00 am

<?php ec3_the_schedule('%1$s ','','<div class="ec3_the_schedule" >%s </div>');?>
This fragment will generate output in the form
<div class="ec3_the_schedule">December 9, 2007 9:00 am </div>

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v3.1.1 Release Candidate 3

[DOWNLOAD] This is my second attempt at a release that fixes compatibility with WordPress 2.3. Please try it, and let me know if you have any difficulties.

The main change since RC2 is a fix to turn-off broken canonical redirection when both m= & cat= are set. Event Calendar sometimes uses URLs like:

Newer versions of WordPress try to rewrite this URL, but get it wrong. The fix turns off the redirection, when it’s not going to work.

Other changes are…

  • Fixed ambiguous JavaScript variable name. Thanks to Chris Marshall.
  • Fixed unescaped characters in %TITLE% variables. Thanks to Elizabeth M., Peter Troxler and everyone who helped to troubleshoot this problem.
  • Replaced calls to deprecated get_settings() with get_option(). Thanks to JD Puglisi for pointing out this issue.
  • Macedonian translation. Thanks to Vanco Ordanoski.
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v3.1.1 Release Candidate 2

[DOWNLOAD] This is my first attempt at a release that fixes compatibility with WordPress 2.3. Please try it, and let me know if you have any difficulties.

WP2.3 fundamentally changed the way categories work. This new version should be more compatible with 2.3 AND still work with previous versions. As a side-effect, it’s no longer possible to upgrade to ECv3.1 from v3.0 or earlier.

Other changes are…

  • Now compatible with Google Calendar.
  • Added Danish translation.
  • Added Turkish translation.
  • Added Catalan translation.
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