We’re using Google calendar for events on the new Chapel.org.
I’m going to be interviewing my good friend and programmer, Wes Plunk, next week about how he made it work so beautifully for us. As far as I’m concerned it’s all magic. The result will be part two of this series.
However, in the meantime, I wanted to show you a simple way that will allow you to integrate Google calendar without custom programming and in-depth knowledge. I bet you could do this within the next 30 minutes.
1. Create a Google account for your church
Go to gmail.com and create an account to be associated with your Google calendars.
I suggest making the username your website address, since email addresses allow dots. For example, I set up chapel.org as the username.
2. Set up calendar(s)
Once you’re in gmail, look to the top-left of your screen, and you’ll see a link for “Calendar.” Click on that.
Within this interface, you can create and modify as many calendars as you need. In fact, you might want a separate calendar for every ministry. Make sure you set the correct time zone.
Add several events to your calendars — Also, click “edit event details” to make sure you enter the complete event information.
In the left hand column of the calendar admin pages, you’ll see your list of calendars. Click on an arrow next to one of the calendars. Then, click on “calendar settings.”
You should now be in the “Calendar Details” tab. Scroll down to “Embed This Calendar,” and click on the link that says “Customize the color, size, and other options.”
Customize to your heart’s delight. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- You might like the “Default View” to be set to “Agenda.” I like this view better because it’s in a vertical list view instead of a full calendar page.
- If you want to display dates from more than one calendar, make sure you check the box next to every calendar you want to display.
When you’re done, copy and paste the generated HTML into your website. You can repeat steps if you want different calendars displayed on different sections or pages of your website. For example, your students calendar can be on your students pages, and your small groups calendar can be on your small groups pages, and so on. You don’t have to touch the embed code again, and your calendar will stay updated through the Google calendar interface.
If you have any questions, please comment below. Stay tuned for the second post of this two-part series. We’ll dig in a little deeper, and pick the programmer’s brain.