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Running a saved recurring import with the iCal Importer


ūüĒĒ Please Note: iCal Importer is no longer actively maintained, and has been replaced with Event Aggregator.

Most folks with an iCal Importer license will have an Event Aggregator license in their account for free automatically.

To learn more about Event Aggregator, check out FAQs here. There’s a general guide about moving to Event Aggregator here, and a collection of more specific guides here. You can also drop by our help desk any time with questions.


As you’re probably already aware, the iCal Importer allows you to import events in two ways:

  • Run a¬†one-time, non-recurring¬†import from an iCal file OR iCal URL
  • Run a¬†saved recurring¬†import from an iCal URL

We’ve previously looked at one-time, non-recurring imports. (If you haven’t yet, definitely check that section out before proceeding).¬†Here we’re going to shift focus to saved recurring imports.

  1. To get started, once again navigate¬†from the dashboard of your site to¬†Events -> Import.¬†Remember that you¬†can get their from both the “Events” sidebar panel and the¬†admin bar atop your screen.
  2. You’ll be taken to the Events Import screen, and will land on the¬†General¬†tab by default. Make sure you’re satisfied with the import setting available – namely,¬†what status should imported events receive? – and hit the big blue “Save Settings” button¬†before moving¬†off this screen.¬†Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 2.59.02 PM
  3. All done with your Import Settings? Excellent! Let’s toggle over to the third tab:¬†Import: iCal.¬†(Tab #2 is for the CSV importer, which is unrelated to this plugin and is instead baked into the core The Events Calendar.) This¬†Import: iCal¬†tab is where you’ll spend the majority of your time with this plugin.
  4. First things first: select the Import Type in the upper box. You’ll have a handful of options available, but right now we want any of the recurring options. Your options for recurring imports are:
    • Recurring: Every 30 Mins.¬†A fresh import runs every 30 minutes.
    • Recurring: Hourly.¬†A fresh import runs every 60 minutes.
    • Recurring: Daily.¬†A fresh import runs one time per day.
    • Recurring: Weekly. A fresh import runs one time per week.
    • Recurring: Monthly.¬†A fresh import runs one time per month.
  5. Once the recurrence setting of your choice has been selected, a number of new fields will automatically appear in that upper box. Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 3.30.47 PM
  6. Notice that after “Import Type” we now have to select the “Source”: is this coming from an iCal URL or an iCal file? Only iCal URLs can be used for recurring imports. If you select the “iCal File” option you’ll see the “Import Type” automatically switch back to (and stay stuck on) “One Time Import.” This plugin needs a live iCal URL to check against for recurring imports.
  7. Once the “Import Type” has been configured and you’ve plugged in your iCal URL source, there’s just one more row of options to configure: how (if at all) do you want to narrow the results? You have a few options:
    1. Keyword:¬†Refine results by a given keyword, ie, “hack”
    2. Location:¬†Refine results by a given location, ie “Portland”
    3. Date: Select the date from which you want to see events (it defaults to today)
    4. Radius: If you added a location, select the radius within which you want to find events (this defaults to miles, but can be changed to Kilometers under Events -> Settings)
  8. When you’ve configured your options – and don’t worry, you can refine the results after running your search too – hit the Search button. The system will work for a moment and will then present you with a list of all events matching your criteria. Note that, unlike with one-time imports, there is now also an option to Save your import criteria with some new terminology explaining how your import will be saved.¬†Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 3.41.30 PM
  9. On running + saving it’ll appear in the “Saved Recurring Imports” box on this same page.¬†Note what shows for each saved recurring import you have in the system:
    • Domain:¬†The URL from which your recurring import is pulling
    • Location:¬†Any location filters you may have applied when running the import
    • Radius:¬†Any radius¬†filters you may have applied when running the import
    • Keywords:¬†Any keyword¬†filters you may have applied when running the import
    • Category:¬†The category if one was applied pre-import
    • Initiated:¬†The date that this recurring import was first initiated
    • Last Update:¬†The date that this recurring import last updated
    • Frequency:¬†How frequently the recurring import runs
    • Total # Imported:¬†How many events, total, this recurring import has brought in¬†Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 3.45.11 PM
  10. As you’ll see at the bottom of the page, you can remove saved imports using the big blue Remove Selected button; and if you want to force a saved import to run on the spot, hit Import Selected Now.
  11. Need to change, but not delete, an existing saved recurring import? That’s an option, too: just hover over¬†the import you want to edit and you’ll see an “edit” link appear. When clicked it’ll bring up a pop-up where you can change the criteria as you see fit and apply categories if necessary.¬†Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 3.47.27 PM
  12. Two last points to keep in mind with regards to recurring imports:
    1. If you’re running a recurring import and an event has been removed from the iCal feed you’re pulling, it will not come into your WordPress site.
    2. Events that have been imported and deleted after import will not come back during future imports.
  13. If you find yourself curious how the wp-cron that powers recurring imports works — or if you face problems and need help troubleshooting — we do have a knowledge base item to cover that, which you’ll definitely want to review.

Beyond that…you should be all set. Happy¬†calendaring! If you encounter any issues, we’re here to help at our help desk.