Template Dropdown

PRO 2.0: Templating System, Migration & More

We’re down to the final stretch with Events Calendar Pro 2.0: the latest & final round of the beta is in the bands of our capable testers, our developers are squashing the few bugs that remain and we’re putting the finishing touches on the site where all this stuff is going to live.

We’ve got our work cut out for us over the next week or so. Before jumping too far into it, though, there are a few features we’re working on this week that we thought would be worth making note of. A few features (a couple pretty major, one extremely minor) from this week’s agenda are covered after the jump.

Templating Upgrade

Template DropdownOne of the larger updates to the plugin for 2.0 is the new templating system, which aims at making integration between Events Calendar Pro and custom themes a bit smoother. In 2.0, you’ll have a dropdown on the settings page (seen at right) that lets you decide what template the plugin should appear based on. This list brings in both the default ECP & default page templates, as well as any other custom templates your theme may offer.

Currently, we’re focusing our efforts on the new templating framework that ties into the Default Page Template. This means:

  • Updating our old page templates to match 2011 markup instead of 2010
  • Getting everything as close to pixel perfect as possible in 2011
  • Getting everything as close to pixel perfect as possible in 2010 (without breaking anything in 2011)
  • Getting everything looking good to very good in the top themes using the “Default Page Template” option.

In that same order. Every theme has slightly different CSS — so while ECP will not look perfect in every theme, we can get pretty close by being smart about our styles and being explicit wherever possible. We’ve done some heavy testing on Thesis, for example, after seeing that a lot of ECP users integrate our plugin with the theme. And the integration has been extremely smooth so far. We’re looking forward to hearing from you guys as to whether this makes things easier.

Clean Migration Path

There are going to be a huge upgrade to ECP’s free counterpart, The Events Calendar 2.0. We’ve been paying special attention to the migration path between a 1.x plugin and 2.0 so that people can click update and have their events show up. Now if you are an open source user and have a custom theme, 95% odds it is going to break (sorry folks), so you will need to plan to do a bit of massage as part of the upgrade.

We’ve upgraded Events to be a custom post type — compared to in 1.6.5, where “Events” is just a category within Posts. Got 500 events mixed among your posts and worried about making sure they all carry over to 2.0? Immediately upon installing 2.0, the bottom of the settings page alerts you that there is existing event content that you may want to migrate:

Migration in 2.0

Once the process is finished, the page refreshes with a confirmation message telling you how many events were converted:

Successful Migration

Upgrading from free to paid? Not a problem, either. In 2.0, Events Calendar Pro can only be activated if The Events Calendar is already installed. So the experience for upgrading will be effectively identical whether you’re going free-to-free or free-to-paid.

AJAX Calendar Loader

Events Calendar PRO now uses AJAX to load each month in the calendar view without requiring a full refresh. Check it out in action (watch the URL bar & title tags, too!).

We’ll have more to share this week as we move towards launch. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter above, if you haven’t done so yet, to make sure you’re in the loop for 2.0 discounts and future beta opportunities. We’ve also got a Facebook page where we solicit feedback from the community & post short announcements — and that’s where we’ll be announcing our upcoming 2.0 contest later this week, too. Stay tuned.

Comments (15)
  1. Have you done any testing with the Genesis themes?

    1. Not much, but given the range of themes we’ve tested it should integrate nicely across the board. That being said if you’d be willing to pass me a copy of Genesis for testing, I could test on it over the next week or so just to see how it goes. Let me know.

      1. Hi Rob,
        I would really like to give you a copy of Genesis for testing, but I don’t feel comfortable doing it because of licensing.
        Not that I don’t trust you, it’s just that I really don’t want to violate any licensing with StudioPress (Genesis). I will see if I can get approval from StudioPress for a copy and get back to you.

        BTW – Event Calendar Pro 2 looks to be an awesome product!

      2. No prob, Bruce. We’ve had a few other folks give us their themes just for testing purposes – but understandable if you don’t feel comfortable about it. If you’re willing to give it a shot yourself (ie testing on your end so no template exchange is needed) let me know nad I can also get you the ECP code.

      3. Hi Rob,
        Yes, I would be willing to test it on my end. I plan on using ECP on a very large social site that will be launching in October. I am in process of testing the site now, and testing ECP would be great.

      4. I sent brian gardner a note asking for a copy. Lets see what he says.

  2. I have been whoring around with other calendars waiting for TEC 2.0. What an event slut. Get over it.

    So since I hvae a pro license but don’t currently have TEC Pro 1.x installed, what are steps for upgrade.

    1. Hey Bill 🙂 We don’t have the new version ready for upgrade yet…we’re currently aiming for 9/20 and are on track to hit that mark. Since we’re moving away from Codecanyon, any and all upgrades will be going through our tribe.pro site. Stay tuned and we’ll have more on that shortly. Thanks for the interest!

  3. @Bruce: sounds good! Shoot me an email (rob at tri.be) and we’ll get something figured out.

  4. Hello, I’ve been looking for a good Events Calendar to integrate into my new wordpress website and this looks promising – is there an idea on what the cost to purchase will be for the 2.0 so I can plan accordingly? Thanks!

    1. As for the pricing, we are still thinking about it but are leaning towards: $50 (personal – 1 site) / $100 (business – 3 sites) / $250 (developer – some larger number of sites) – resellers (embedded in themes) & large mu sites contact for discount / rev share.

      1. Hi Shane,
        So ‘Personal’ could also be used on a single commercial site I take it (for someone that doesn’t have a need for 3 licenses via the Business license)?
        Thanks

  5. Genesis child theme integration? I have been posting comments on the Forum for 1+ years about the lack of integration with Genesis.

    I am NOT a developer – that’s why I buy premium plugins.

    Can the Calendar Pro plugin be used with the Genesis framework without re-writing the Genesis theme code?

    If Genesis framework code needs additional script to work with Calendar Pro: WHAT IS IT?

    Genesis (recently acquired by CopyBlogger) is one of the most popular WP theme frameworks and is growing in users.

    Please – saying ‘we’re looking into it’ is not much help:) I really, really want to use your plugin on the Genesis sites I develop.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Dorian. We’re updating the plugin to integrate smoother with all themes for 2.0, so not as much tweaking is required on the development side. One of those themes we’ve done some testing on has been Genesis and the results have been positive.

      It’s obviously not possible to integrate with every theme 100% – we’re expecting that people using this plugin have at least some development knowledge if they’re aiming to extend its use beyond the default 2011 theme. But it should be better & smoother in 2.0 than it was in 1.3.3.

      Hope that helps and please let me know if you have any other questions!

    2. Hi Dorian,
      I am a Genesis user, but not associated with the Event Calendar Pro people.
      I volunteered to test Genesis with the new version 2 of Event Calendar Pro, and it works very well. There are a couple of small items I have conveyed to the ECP 2 developers, but it is 99.999% in working order for Genesis.

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