Updating From Google Calendar Events to Simple Calendar

Until version 2.4.0 Simple Calendar was known as Google Calendar Events.

The name change brought by version 3.0.0 is a hint that many things changed as well in the plugin itself, both under and above the hood. Particular care was put in making things backwards compatible. However, in order to add features and bring the plugin to a higher level, it’s unavoidable that change also brings a bit of disruption to some users. This article will help you update seamlessly from Google Calendar Events 2.4.0 (or earlier version) to Simple Calendar 3.0.0.

If you installed Simple Calendar for your first time you can ignore this document.

If you need to revert to GCal Events 2.4 we recommend installing the “legacy” (forked) version. Search for the plugin “Google Calendar” and install Legacy Google Calendar Events or simply download Legacy Google Calendar Events here.

Calendars and Event Sources

Simple Calendar 3.0.0 has a new extensible architecture and as such it brought some organization to its core components. Before, with Google Calendar Events 2.4.0 or below, you would add a new Google Calendar using post types called Feeds. Simple Calendar continues to do that, but now it’s calling these Calendars. Inside these calendars you can define the event source – the “feed”, to use the old terminology – that the calendars should use to get events to display and format according to your template. Google Calendar is the default event source but the plugin can now use add-ons to extend this functionality and support more event source types. Likewise, calendars can have different outputs and the calendar you’re already familiar with is the Default Calendar.

The plugin update should take care of importing your previous settings from your existing feeds inside the new calendars. Please double check that everything is in place after updating. 

Permalinks

A consequence of the change outlined above and the plugin name change itself, the permalinks of individual calendars (formerly ‘feeds’) will change from gce_feed to the more eloquent and more SEO-friendly calendar.

The plugin update should automatically update your permalinks, but you might want to double check your internal links after updating.

Calendar Shortcode

Previously, to output a calendar in a post or page, you would have used [gcal id="123"] and possibly a few more attributes after the feed id.

Although [gcal] will continue to work for the next few releases, you should switch to [calendar id="123"]. Also, note the shortcode will only use one argument, the id. If you pass other arguments these won’t do anything. This is not a regression, you can still tweak a lot of settings as you did before, you just do that from the calendar settings panel, keeping things tidier and more organized.

Most importantly, in Simple Calendar 3.0.0, you cannot use more than one id inside the shortcode attribute. Before you could blend together calendars by using [gcal id="1,2,3"] to print a calendar mixing feeds with id 1, 2 and 3. This is still possible, but Simple Calendar introduces a new feature to achieve that. Create a new calendar and select Grouped Calendars as the Event Source. Then you can decide which calendars this calendar should be made of. It’s much more clear this way. You will be able to do much more fine tuning in a more clear way and also reuse the same calendar id in widgets or by attaching a calendar to content.

Calendar Widget

Like the shortcode, the calendar widget has been much simplified. Before in Google Calendar Events you would have many settings that were confusing for most people and sometimes overlapped those provided in the feed post type. With the new widget, all you need to do is tell the widget which calendar you would like to display, from a dropdown list. That’s it. There are a few fields before and after the calendar output in case you want to add text (or HTML) but those are optional.

Widgets should be retained in the plugin update process, but if you had many advanced settings in them, these won’t work any longer. It’s recommended you inspect your widgets after the update.

Event template tags

Event template tags are largely unchanged and in fact a few more have been introduced. Please review the available event template tags in Simple Calendar.

CSS and HTML

You can still use the WordPress content editor to alter the appearance of events while using template tags, although you should avoid to make this too complex. However, the markup of the default calendar changed since version 2.4.0. Version 3.0.0 of the calendar comes with a setting to make it more adaptable to either light (default) or dark themes, as well with the possibility to define some colors.

If you did heavy customization to your stylesheets and used a lot of Google Calendar Events 2.4.0 HTML classes and selectors, you should test Simple Calendar 3.0.0 on a staging or development site first to observe the changes first.

Updated on August 9, 2016