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New Features: Events Calendar & Categories

Calendar Featured Image

We are very excited to announce that two of the most requested features are now available and ready for you to use. These features are a monthly events calendar and event categories. Let’s take a look at them.

Events Calendar

Here is a full look at the monthly events calendar page template.

Church Events Calendar

All you need to do to use this is create a page that uses the Events – Calendar page template. It will automatically show your church’s events for the current month. The visitor to your site can hover over an event for a summary and click an event to view its details page. There are controls for navigating between months and filtering the display of events by a particular category.

Exodus Calendar Demo | Resurrect Calendar Demo

And yes, this calendar is mobile-friendly. Give it a try on your phone!

Event Categories

You can now organize events by category similar to how you can organize blog posts by category or sermons by topic.

Event Categories - Example

There are three ways to show events in a category to your visitors.

  • Each event category has its own archive showing upcoming events (demo)
  • The monthly calendar can show events for a particular category (demo)
  • The CT Categories widget has been updated to support listing event categories in the sidebar

Other Improvements

Several other improvements are included with these updates.

  • An event recurrence note (e.g. “Every Week”) now shows on single event details (demo)
  • Download buttons are more reliable across various hosting environments and caching systems

How to Update

To gain these new features, you will need to update both your theme and the Church Theme Content plugin to the latest versions.

Updating can be done with just a few clicks by going to Dashboard > Updates. Your license key must be active in order for theme updates to show. Read the Updates guide for more information.

That’s a Wrap

This concludes the push we have been making over the last few months to improve event features. We now have a monthly calendar template, event categories, custom recurrence options and improved time fields. Developing these features was a direct response to churches letting us know what they need, so keep the requests coming. We’re listening!

Please let us know your thoughts on these new features by posting a comment. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for a fresh new theme…

44 Comments

  1. Wow, these changes are great. I was expecting the calendar and the event categories but was surprised event recurrence note that’s a nice feature.

    The calendar is well done. I like the event detail popup and the ability to filter it by event category. It exceeded my expectations.

    When we saw the announcement that you were adding a calendar we were excited. It was something our church really wanted. When I got your announce that it was available, I immediately installed the updates and added a calendar to our website. All in all this is a very welcomed update.

    • I am so glad you found the new features useful. Your comment made my morning, that’s for sure! Your website looks great with the new calendar put into action.

      Thank you for using our theme.

  2. Thanks so much for these new features! We were using google calendar in addition to the events list so people could have a calendar view. Excited to implement this!

  3. I have been using Time.ly as the plugin to get the monthly view which has not always then meshed well with the theme design. This will be excellent for the churches I work with to provide a clean monthly view in the theme design. I’ll be converting them to this in the near future. Thank you for making improvements and being dedicated to the previous themes!

    One suggestion for an additional feature is the ability to subscribe to the calendar through feeds. Maybe this is something you already have a suggested solution to address. Thank you again!

    • Thanks Craig. I’m happy you find it easy to use. We wanted it to just work without any extra configuration.

      Some users will go to Settings > General and make the week start on Sunday instead of Monday but that’s it apart from adding the template to a new page.

  4. What an awesome addition to an already excellent theme. I love the detail pop up of the calendar. Another great thing about it was how easy it was to get it up and running. Kudos on this add Steven.

  5. Are older themes, like the “Risen theme”, that includes the event calendar covered with this update?

    • Hi Travis,

      Only the themes we sell here on churchthemes.com have these new features.

      My Risen theme predates the framework and Church Theme Content plugin used with Exodus, Resurrect and our future releases. One reason we’ve been able to make so many updates to the new themes sold here is our renewal business model. This is unfortunately not possible with ThemeForest.

      I posted some thoughts about Risen and new features about a year ago: http://stevengliebe.com/2013/12/04/risen-2-0-improved-church-wordpress-theme-future/. What I’d like to do is get churches moved over to one of the newer themes, so we may end up making a migration plugin to help make that easier.

  6. I love the changes and the event calendar.
    the mouse-over popup of an event is a good feature but it doesn’t seem to work in the latest chrome browser – despite the correct privacy settings to allow such popups. Is it just me?
    mouse-overs work well in IE and Firefox.

    • Hi Ian,

      Could you please open a support request and we’ll investigate. Provide your URL, operating system and version plus let us know if the demo on our site works or if it’s an issue you see only with your install.

      https://churchthemes.com/contact

      Browser pop-up settings shouldn’t have any effect on these hovers since they are not true popup windows.

      Thank you.

  7. `Steven, I love the new features. I have already incorporated the Monthly Calendar as well as event categories so that I am only showing ministry specific events on each ministry’s page. Easy setup and worked as expected. THANKS!!! GREAT JOB!!
    A couple minor things come to mind that you might consider:
    – Add a setting to insert a line break or word wrap long titles (for full-size calendar views on larger screens)
    – Modify CT Categories widget to allow selection of multiple Event categories. (So that I can show Men’s Ministry and General events on the Men’s page …but not Youth or Womens Ministry)
    – Add an Export to *.ICS file so that people can add the event to their personal calendar

    Thanks again. God Bless!

    • That is a great way to use the categories.

      Thank you for your suggestions, which I have recorded. A line break is something we’ll explore. Your suggestion for multiple selections of categories in the widget would be handy for all post types. We do plan on adding export buttons but there is currently no timeframe.

    • Hi Peter,

      The Church Theme Content plugin requires a theme made for it. What it does is register post types, taxonomies and fields for sermons, events, people and location. It is then up to theme developers to use it for presenting that content similar to how a theme presents the default WordPress post types of posts and pages.

      You can find additional information here:

      https://wordpress.org/plugins/church-theme-content/

      Please let me know if you have any other questions about it.

  8. LOVE the updates! These are fantastic. Quick question, my calendar shows the week as Monday-Sunday, how do I change this to show it as Sunday-Saturday?

    • Hi Steffen,

      I’m happy to hear you love the updates!

      You can change the setting WordPress has for “Week Starts On” in Settings > General.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions.

  9. Is there a back button to view previous events in the calendar view? I noticed in the first screenshot of this post there is a back button, on my current calendar, I can’t find a way to enable that setting.

    • Hi Scott,

      Current and future events show on the monthly calendar. Events that have ended do not continue to show (unless they are recurring, in which case they show in the future). The previous month button shows when you are viewing a future month. Past events can be shown in a list using the “Events – Past” page template.

  10. It’s great seeing the calendar feature of this theme updated with new add-ons and functionality. I am wanting to implement a way for our church members to subscribe to the calendars we create via either Google+ or iCal. Is there a way this can be done currently?

    • Hi Michael,

      I’m glad you like the update. There is currently no feature for subscribing via Google Calendar or iCal, but that is something we have in our list of features to consider as it would be helpful.

  11. I understand that the past event can be shown on a page with template “Events- Past”. But is there a way to past events in the category? or it can only show upcoming ones? As I’m linking WP to my app software, Is there a way to only show past event using slug or categories?

    Thanks

  12. Hello! Our church is using the Forgiven Theme by Boxy Studios, which includes Church Theme Content. Unfortunately, the author has not included the calendar functionality in the included content. Is there a way to add this directly from you? Thanks!

    • Hi Steve,

      The plugin only provides management of content. It is 100% up to the theme to show that content. If you want to show a calendar then you’d need to switch to a theme that presents events in that way or consider using a third-party calendar plugin that works with any theme.

      If you have other questions, just let me know!

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