The Events Calendar

The Events Calendar vs. Event Espresso

Two of the most popular Event Management plugins for WordPress are Events Calendar and Event Espresso. They enable your WordPress website to easily show a calendar of events and take registrations.

Which is better and what’s the difference? So glad you asked!

First off, we make Event Espresso. Yes, that means we’re probably biased, but we want you to find a solution that meets your needs, which might mean The Events Calendar will be better for you. (This way you’ll remember us fondly and consider us next time!)

Quick Synopsis

The Events Calendar is best-suited for showing a calendar of events, and Event Espresso is best-suited for taking registration, however, they share many features. They both offer free and paid versions, and an extensive library of add-ons and extensions.

Generally, the Events Calendar is a simpler and smaller plugin but has more add-ons; whereas Event Espresso comes with more features built-in, but fewer add-ons.

Which events plugin do you need?

Although their names are similar, The Events Calendar and Event Espresso have distinct emphasis, and so which will better for you depends on your needs. So consider these questions:

  • Do you want a calendar of events on your website? Do you just want to show a calendar of events on your website? Or do you just have one or two events, and so a calendar would be unnecessary?
  • Do event attendees need to register? Do you need to know how many attendees will be coming and other information about them? For example, would you like a page where potential attendees enter their name and email and other personal information? Or is that unnecessary?
  • Do attendees need to pay? Is it a paid event? And would you prefer to accept payments online beforehand, or at the door?
  • Any other requirements? Do you need to use a specific payment method (ex. PayPal, Stripe, Do you need it to work with your customer relations manager (ex. Infusionsoft) or email marketing platform (ex. MailChimp)? Do you have recurring events?

Try your best to assess which features are:

  • Essential
  • Nice to have
  • Totally unnecessary

What The Events Calendar and Event Espresso Have in Common

First, be aware of what they have in common:

  • Both are WordPress plugins
  • Have free and paid versions, as well as paid add-ons
  • Have hosted-solutions
  • Allow you to create multiple events, set their times, description, etc
  • Allow you create venues and reuse them across multiple events
  • Allow you to list event organizers/people (paid add-on for Event Espresso)
  • Allow you to take registration information

Comparing The Events Calendar to Event Espresso

As outlined in our comparison article, The Events Calendar’s free version comes with a great calendar built-in, but you’ll need to purchase an extension to provide event ticketing features. Whereas, Event Espresso Decaf (our aptly named free version) comes with a registration form and payment options built-in, but you’ll need to upgrade and purchase an add-on if you wish to display a calendar. Here’s how they compare:

The Events Calendar

The Events Calendar offers a simple way to create an attractive and customizable calendar on your site. It’s a useful plug-and-play solution, but if you want to actually sell tickets to your events, you’ll need to purchase a premium plan. Ultimately, if you’re looking for an easy option to create a calendar for your WordPress site, The Event Calendar is a solid choice.


  • Creates a calendar for events automatically
  • Enables you to create new events
  • Lets you save venues and organizers
  • Offers an easy-to-use, plug-and-play solution


Pricing starts at $89 per year for a single site. This premium version expands the plugin’s base functionality to include ticket selling, recurring events, and so on. On the other hand, the free plugin is a good pick if you just want a simple, informative calendar but don’t need to actually sell tickets.

Event Espresso

This is a fully-featured event registration plugin. It not only lets you create events, but it also enables you to sell tickets directly on your site. You can process payments, and even send an automated email whenever a sale is made. Using the free plugin will let you create events, sell tickets, accept payments, and manage your attendance right out of the box. If you want more features, such as a calendar or additional payment and ticketing options, the premium version will provide those as well.


  • Provides a fully-integrated event registration solution
  • Enables you to sell tickets and process payments
  • Sends automatic confirmation emails
  • Includes mobile apps for scanning tickets and monitoring attendance


Pricing starts at $79.95 per year for a single site. When you purchase the premium version, you also get access to an event calendar, additional payment gateways, the ability to create multiple types of tickets, and even tax administration.

Event Espresso