FT Calendar

FT-Calendar
Version reviewed:1.0.3.4
Author:FullThrottle Development
Price:Free
Plugin URL:Website

Summary: It's a pretty cool calendar plugin but there are a few things in there that really need to be fixed, both in the code and in the interface.

Adding a calendar to your WordPress site is non-trivial. There are several plugins out there that assist in doing so, and FT Calendar is a reasonably new addition to the available options. It has a free and a premium version, and my first gripe with the plugin is that the premium version is constantly “in your face”. I’m not against up-selling premium versions of plugins, but people should make a choice, this plugin tries to upsell me and at the same time puts banners for other plugins everywhere and I literally mean everywhere.

Usage

You first upload and activate the plugin, than you create a calendar, which looks to be “just” a custom taxonomy. On the main settings page for the plugin you can choose for which post types this taxonomy should be available. On this page you have to also opt-out of the link the plugin adds to it output. This is against WP.org guidelines, a support link should be opt-in, not opt-out, it looses half a star because of that.

Then you go to edit or create a new post and you’ll find a new meta box underneath the post editor area, where you can add event data. The usage of this box is not intuitive. You need to set date and time, so far it works fine, but then you need to press the little “+” button. Took me a while to figure that one out. Very annoying: it adds a banner in the bottom of its meta box. Like I’m going to click on that while writing a post. Another half a star gone just for disrespecting me as a user.

The plugin comes with a set of widgets and shortcodes to list upcoming events, with or without thumbnail. The widgets can be used to display the calendar anywhere, one of the shortcode transforms a page into a calendar, the other two make lists, one of them with thumbnails. The calendars look a lot like Google calendar, nothing wrong with that if it helps people interacting with it. You can create multiple events from one post, very useful if you’re using it, for instance, to link upcoming training events.

Support

Even though the developers are selling support with their premium version, they’re also active in the forums and fixing bugs for people, kudos for that.

Code Quality

The code seems well documented and shows knowledge of the WordPress API’s, for instance using the WordPress HTTP API. There are also some big no-no’s though, hard-coding the wp-content directory to be in /wp-content for instance will cause several issues and crashes on many an install. This really needs to be fixed.

The list output of the plugin would be an ideal situation for a hEvent microformat, especially as Google supports these, but it doesn’t work like that unfortunately.

Post author: Joost de Valk

Joost de Valk is the owner and creator of Yoast.com. He's a WordPress / Web developer, SEO & and an Open Source fanatic. He's also (and more importantly) the father of two sons called Tycho and Ravi, a daughter called Wende and the husband of a lovely wife called Marieke. Read all about Joost »

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