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Working with timezones

Some calendars include events happening in different time zones, and users may need to have control over how that impacts their calendar. For that reason, The Events Calendar provides simple but robust timezone capabilities.

Getting started

For brand new installations, timezone support will be available from the moment you create your first event.

In the case of installations that have been upgraded from earlier versions of The Events Calendar, however, it will be necessary to update your event records with timezone data before you can fully take advantage of the plugin’s timezone handling capabilities.

To perform this update (or to check if it is necessary) simply visit the Events → Settings → General admin screen and scroll down to the Timezone Settings area. If you see something like the following screenshot, then you need to perform the update:

Screenshot showing the timezone data update tool

Of course, prior to hitting the update button you should follow the recommended advice and make sure WordPress itself is set to the correct timezone under Settings –> General (typically this would match your own local timezone – ie it will be the site’s “base” timezone).

As soon as you are set, hit the update button. Depending on how many events need to be updated this might take a while – however you should be presented with a progress bar that will give you a sense of how long you need to wait (feel free to work away in another browser tab in the meantime).

Screenshot of the timezone update progress bar

Timezone settings

Once everything is ready, the following settings should be available in place of the update button:

Screenshot of the timezone settings

As you can see, out of the box, there are two key settings. You can opt to either:

  • Use the sitewide timezone everywhere
  • Use local timezones for each event

The default is the first of those – use the sitewide timezone everywhere. For example, if WordPress is configured to use the PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) timezone and you had an event taking place at 5pm BST (British Summer Time) there would be a difference of 8 hours. Therefore an event taking place at 5pm BST would display as 9am PDT.

By contrast, using the local timezones for each event would mean that the event is instead displayed as taking place at 5pm BST.

The final option presented in this area allows you to control whether the timezone code (such as “PDT” or “BST”) should be appended to the time when displayed in various locations on the frontend.

Event timezones

When you create or edit an event, you can control the timezone with a convenient selector:

Screenshot of the time and date settings in the event editor, complete with timezone selector

If you do not choose anything it will simply assume the event is taking place in whatever the sitewide timezone configured for your WordPress installation is.

Summary

This post should provide you with all the information you need to take advantage of timezone support — but as ever please do feel free to reach out to us by the usual support channels if you need some further assistance.