Gravity Forms Calendar vs The Events Calendar

Gravity Forms Calendar vs The Events Calendar: Which Plugin Should You Choose?

Written by Casey Burridge

Last updated:

Categories Gravity Forms Calendar

Calendar applications allow you to visualize upcoming events, schedule appointments and improve how you manage your time 📆 

Gravity Forms Calendar and The Events Calendar are both popular plugins for displaying and managing events on WordPress. Choosing which plugin to use can be a difficult task if you don’t have all the necessary information!

In this post, we’ll look at the differences between Gravity Forms Calendar and The Events Calendar to help you make the right choice of plugin for your website. Keep reading to find out more!

What Is Gravity Forms Calendar?

Gravity Forms Calendar is an add-on for Gravity Forms that allows you to display form entries on a calendar. The plugin includes several configuration options, advanced conditional logic filters and helpful blocks and shortcodes. You can also subscribe to calendar feeds from your Google or Apple Calendar applications.

Price: $49 for a single site license.

What Is The Events Calendar?

The Events Calendar plugin for WordPress allows you to create and manage events. The plugin also includes a range of views, allowing you to display your events using the month, week, list, photo, summary or map views.

Price: The basic plugin is free, with the Pro version starting at $99 for a single site.

Both Gravity Forms Calendar and The Events Calendar include a range of powerful features. Let’s compare each plugin in terms of its features and functionality 👇

Creating a Calendar

It’s important to understand the difference between how each plugin creates a new calendar.

With Gravity Forms Calendar, new calendars are created as feeds, associated with a specific form in Gravity Forms. To create a new calendar, all you need to do is add a new “GravityView Calendar” feed.

You can create an unlimited number of calendars for each of your forms in Gravity Forms.

The 'Add New' button on the GravityView Calendar feed page in Gravity Forms.
Creating a new calendar in Gravity Forms calendar

The Events Calendar plugin is a little different. After installing the plugin, you can locate your calendar at yourdomain.com/events.

The calendar page is not a typical WordPress page or post; it’s an archive page. To update the URL of your calendar page, simply change the Events URL slug in the settings.

The 'Events URL slug' input box in The Events Calendar settings
Changing the events URL slug in TEC settings

What about creating events?

Creating Events

Creating a new event in Gravity Forms Calendar is a matter of filling in the form associated with your Calendar feed and submitting the entry. As long as your form contains a date field, all form entries will show up on your calendar.

A Gravity Forms form on the front end with fields for Event Name, Event Description, Start Date, and End Date
Event Entry form built using Gravity Forms

The upshot of this approach is that you can structure your event creation form however you wish. That means you’re not limited in terms of what information you can include for each event.

You can also embed Gravity Forms on pages or posts. This means you can allow users who aren’t logged-in to create new events from the front end.

Events in The Events Calendar are stored as custom post types. You can only create events from inside your WordPress admin panel by hovering over Events and clicking Add New.

The Event Editor looks very similar to the WordPress Classic editor. However, the editor also includes a range of custom fields for adding times and dates, changing the event category, setting the location and more.

The Event editor for The Events Calendar plugin
The Event editor in The Events Calendar

There’s also an option to enable the Gutenberg Block Editor for event editing!

Creating Recurring Events

It’s important to know that Gravity Forms Calendar does not yet support the creation of recurring events. This is possible, however, using The Events Calendar.

Calendar Views

Both calendar plugins support a range of different view types. 

With Gravity Forms Calendar, you can display a calendar using either the Grid, Agenda or List views (each one allows you to display events by month, week or day).

The layout picker for the Gravity Forms Calendar plugin
Calendar View types for Gravity Forms Calendar

You can also change the view type from the front end. Here’s what these different view types look like: 

Changing View types in Gravity Forms Calendar

The Events Calendar offers the following calendar views right out of the box:

  • List: Display events in a list, in descending order by start date.
  • Month: Displays events in a regular calendar grid layout.
  • Day: Show a list of events on a specific day.

And with The Events Calendar Pro, you get access to an additional four layouts:

  • Week: Display events for a specific week.
  • Map: Display events in a list beside a Google Map showing the event locations.
  • Photo: Display events in a styled grid.
  • Summary: Display a quick overview of upcoming events – shows the title, date, and time of each event
A calendar built with The Events Calendar plugin
The Events Calendar

Calendar Settings

Gravity Forms Calendar includes a range of settings for customizing your calendars. Here are some of the available options:

  • Change the color of events
  • Add calendar controls
  • Adjust the calendar size
  • Dynamically load events via AJAX
  • Allow event editing (enabling this option allows users to drag and drop events from the front end)
  • And much more!

Calendar controls make it easy for users to cycle through events, change the view type and more, all from the front end. 

Calendar controls in Gravity Forms Calendar
Calendar controls in Gravity Forms Calendar

Advanced conditional logic settings allow you to filter events based on conditions that you set. 

Conditional logic settings in Gravity Forms calendar
Conditional logic settings in Gravity Forms calendar

The Events Calendar settings allow you to change the styles used for events templates, enable the event search bar, change the default view, update the event page slug, change the date format and more.

Settings for The Events Calendar
Settings for TEC

Event Management

Event management in Gravity Forms Calendar is the same as managing form entries in Gravity Forms. To view, update and delete events, simply go to your form settings and click on Entries.

The Entries page in Gravity Forms
The Entries page in Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms Calendar also allows you to edit events from the front end using drag and drop.

Dragging and dropping events in Gravity Forms Calendar
Dragging and dropping events in Gravity Forms Calendar

To manage your events in The Events Calendar, head over to the Events page in WordPress. This page looks the same as the Posts page, except it contains a list of all your events. 

From here, you can view, edit and delete events.

The 'Events' page in The Events Calendar
The ‘Events’ page for TEC

Events Booking

Gravity Forms Calendar does not include booking functionality. However, creating an event booking form is easy using Gravity Forms and GravityView. For more information on how to do this, read our blog post How to Build a Gravity Forms Event Registration Calendar.

The Event Calendar does not include appointment booking capabilities, either. However, the plugin does support an integration with the Simply Schedule Appointments plugin, allowing you to set up appointment booking on your site.

Embedding Calendars

Gravity Forms Calendar adds a new block to the Gutenberg Block Editor, allowing you to embed calendars on pages or posts.

The GravityView Calendar block in Gutenberg
The GravityView Calendar block

You can also embed calendars on your website using the [gv_calendar] shortcode. 

The Events Calendar plugin allows you to embed your calendars using the [tribe_events] shortcode. You can also embed calendars using the “Mini Calendar” block, available with the Pro version.

Event Venues and Organizers

Gravity Forms Calendar does not include any special features for adding or managing event venues and organizers. The plugin allows you to display existing Gravity Forms entries on a calendar. That means you can display the event venue and organizer but only if your form includes fields for that information.

With The Events Calendar, both Venues and Organizers are set up as custom taxonomies. In other words, you can create Venues and Organizers separately and use them to categorize your events.

You can also file events into groups based on the venues they are held in. You can do the same for Organizers. After connecting an event to an organizer (or several), you’ll be able to see all the events with the same organizer.

With Events Calendar Pro, Venues and Organizers also have their own pages, allowing you to create, update and manage them separately to the events themselves.

Shortcodes 

Gravity Forms Calendar supports four different shortcodes:

  • [gv_calendar] – Embed a calendar
  • [gv_calendar_link] – Display a calendar subscription link
  • [gv_calendar_copy_button] – Display a button allowing users to copy your calendar feed URL
  • [gv_calendar_export_button] – Display a button allowing users to export an .ics file of your event data

The Events Calendar supports several shortcodes, allowing you to display different types of information relating to your events. In fact, The Events Calendar adds over twenty new shortcodes to WordPress (too many to list here!). 

Widgets

Gravity Forms Calendar adds a widget to WordPress, allowing you to display a calendar in your sidebar.

The Events Calendar adds several widgets to WordPress, including:

  • Events Calendar Widget – display a mini grid calendar in your sidebar
  • Events List Widget – Display a list of events and filter by category
  • Events Countdown Widget – Display a countdown timer for a specific event

…And more.

Extensions and Integrations

Gravity Forms Calendar is itself an add-on for Gravity Forms, so there are no extensions available that add extra functionality to the plugin. However, Gravity Forms Calendar does integrate with GravityView, allowing you to add calendars to your View layouts and create Single Entry layouts for events.

The Events Calendar offers a range of extensions for adding extra functionality to the plugin. Most of them add small enhancements and are free to download.

Subscribing to Feeds

Gravity Forms Calendar allows you to subscribe to calendar feeds using your Google or Apple Calendar. Subscribing to a feed means that your Google/Apple Calendar will update automatically as you add new events to your Gravity Forms Calendar.

The 'Subscribe to Calendar' link below a Gravity Forms Calendar
Subscribe link for Gravity Forms Calendar

You can also export your calendar events to an iCal (.ics) file.

The Events Calendar supports this very same functionality. On your calendar page, you’ll see a drop-down with three options: subscribe via Google Calendar, subscribe via iCalendar or export an .ics file.

Three buttons for subscribing to The Events Calendar
Subscribe buttons for The Events Calendar

The Right WordPress Calendar Plugin for You

If you’re looking to display events on your website, you’ll need the right plugin for the job! 

Gravity Forms Calendar allows you to display your form entries as events on a calendar. The Events Calendar, on the other hand, is a standalone plugin, allowing you to create, manage and display events in WordPress.

In this post, we compared Gravity Forms Calendar and The Events Calendar to help you choose the right plugin for your website. If you found this post helpful, subscribe to our blog below!

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