First of all, Event Espresso is not so much a calendar plugin as an events plugin. It gives you the ability to create events with fairly robust pricing and attendee features. Here’s the features list:
- Attendee Management
- Attendee Profiles
- Authorize.net Payment Gateway
- Confirmation Emails
- Customizable Events
- Event Calendar
- Event Categories
- Event Management
- Event Registration
- Manual Registration
- Multiple Payment Options
- Multiple Pricing Options
- PayPal Payment Gateway
- Promotion Codes
- Social Media Addon
- WYSIWYG Event Editor
The plugin is developed primarily by Seth Shoultes. There is a free lite version of the plugin, as well as a pro version (priced at $59.95 for a single use license, or $199.95 for 5 licenses). In case you’re wondering, yes, the plugin is GPLv2. Also, non-profits can get discounts by applying using this form. The client in question is a non-profit, and it was a painless process to apply on their behalf and get the discount. Since they don’t offer specifics of discount amounts on the website, I won’t tell you how much the discount was, but I will say it was substantial.
As far as cleanliness of code, I don’t have many complaints. There are some errors that show up when you’ve got debug on (mostly undefined indexes), and some questionable instances of reinventing the wheel (sometimes the plugin uses normal shortcodes, and other times it uses custom shortcodes like this:
In these cases, I’m not sure why the plugin does not use shortcodes; the code seems like it would support them.
Anyhow, The plugin makes rather generous efforts to allow customization without preventing simple upgrades. The quality of the code I’ve run into is generally good and decently well documented. I had a few issues which I fixed painlessly (and sent back to Seth so they could be included in later versions).
That’s not to say I have no problems with the plugin. The biggest problem is that the plugin does not utilize custom post types; I think this is a pretty obvious use case for custom post types. However, Seth did mention that this is something they’re working on for future events.
The only other problem I have (although, I understand the reason behind it) is the extra database tables. I used the free version first, then the pro version, so I don’t know how much the tables overlap, but both versions Event Espresso combined added at least 15 tables to the database. I’m willing to forgive the plugin for this, though, since it does pretty well something I didn’t want to have to build from scratch.
The overall reaction is positive. If you need an events manager and $60 to spend, I do recommend using the plugin. I did quite a bit of research on plugins of this type, and can say with conviction that this is the best events management plugin available today.
If you do use Event Espresso, go with the pro version. It’s worlds better than the free version. I’m interested to see what the future brings from Seth and Event Espresso.
- Disclaimer: In no way do I receive any compensation from or related to the development of Event Espresso. Nor have I been asked to review the plugin by anybody directly or indirectly connected to Event Espresso. ↩