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Google Calendar on Your Site:  Part One (The Simple Way)

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.

3.  Integrate

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.”

goog_cal_31

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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  1. Mark Alves (Reply) on October 2nd, 2009

    Google calendars are great. Our church isn’t using it, but our neighborhood pool does and it’s a big improvement for the content owners and the users.

    Regarding point #1, you don’t necessarily have to use a Gmail account to create a Google account. While the calendar integration with Gmail is convenient, you can sign up for a Google account using any email address.

  2. [...] Google Calendar on Your Site: Part One (The Simple Way) (MediaSalt.com) [...]

  3. Ryan Brien (Reply) on October 14th, 2009

    Looking forward to part 2 on this topic to go deeper into what’s possible. The calendar features on your site are awesome.

  4. Ronald Gehrke II (Reply) on October 20th, 2009

    Love this post. Any idea when part 2 is dropping? This is something I am currently trying to implement and would love to see how your guys have done it.

    Thanks for all the great articles.

  5. Cleve Persinger (Reply) on October 20th, 2009

    Hey guys, sorry for the delay in getting part two out to you. The programmer, who was the brains behind the integration, is compiling all of the details this week. We’re hoping to have something posted by next week. Thanks for your patience, and thanks for reading.


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