WordPress event calendar plugin for national network of blogging websites

Living on the Cheap (LOTC) is a national network of websites that provides its readers with tips for living well on less, plus the latest deals and freebies from retailers and restaurants in their local area. A crucial part of this mission is letting their followers know about upcoming events and promotions in a way that makes it easy for them to find what they are looking for.

We have been providing technical support and maintenance services to the Living on the Cheap network since 2014. Because of this relationship, they came to us in late 2015 with an idea for a custom WordPress event calendar plugin that would make it easier for them to enter and manage upcoming events. By streamlining this process, they can save time and better promote event posts.

Since Living on the Cheap has such a large network, the solution needed to be scalable and easy for website publishers to implement and maintain. While publishers did not need to have a large amount of control over customization, each one of them has a unique way of adding and managing their content. The new plugin needed to be flexible.

Our Event Calendar Solution

Since we built the plugin from the ground up, we were able to take their wish list for how events could be added and managed and work from that. Not only did this give us the ability to create something that worked exactly how they wanted, it saved time and frustration in the long run compared to starting with a pre-built solution and trying to make it fit.

While most of the sites on the network already had an event calendar system in place, there were pieces that didn’t do quite what they needed. Rather than creating new posts for each event, administrators needed events to be attached to existing posts, and each post needed to be able to support multiple events. They also needed the ability to link to different neighborhoods in their city and different venues, depending on the type of event. This is where we were able to help. Our solution enables them to do all of these things and it creates dynamic embedded Google Maps for all venues making it easy for users to find events and get directions directly to the venue.

Custom Capabilities

For each post a publisher writes about an upcoming promotion or event, they are able to add custom event details. They can attach an unlimited number of events to a post and specify different locations and prices for each if necessary. They also have the ability to create recurring events that repeat daily, monthly, weekly or yearly. While their old system included some of these features, it was not quite as intuitive and lacked flexibility for front end styling. While building the new plugin, we took special care to make sure it would match their theme. We worked closely with publishers to make sure it would fit with their unique workflow.

Since this is a custom project, administrators know they can work with us directly if they have issues or decide to add new features down the road. We are thrilled we were able to help a longtime customer solve a unique problem.

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