A Detailed Look at Custom Recurrence
Events Calendar PRO’s Recurring Event feature is pretty cool, and it’s even cooler when you get into the possibilities for custom recurrence patterns. Unlike it’s more standard counterparts (“Every Day,” “Every Week,” “Every Month” & “Every Year”), the “Custom” field is quite detailed and allows you to build recurring events so finely customized that they could meet any event planner’s purpose.
The basic recurrence functionality itself isn’t particularly sexy. You set up an event, you tell it to repeat for a few days or weeks and you’re set. But when you get into the custom offerings it’s a whole different game, with enough flexibility that it’s worth taking a peek at specifically.
As is the case with all types of recurrence, when I select “Custom” from the dropdown I first have to define whether I want my recurring event to end ON a certain date or AFTER a fixed number of recurrences. Selecting ON lets me pick from a 3 month grid-based calendar:
While selecting AFTER just gives me a field in which I can type a number. Whatever you select when first configuring this will remain standard as long as you’re in custom recurrence, regardless of what changes you make to the fields below it.
You’ll notice on the next row below, there are frequency configuration options:
Those will default to showing “Daily,” but check the dropdown — there’s also “Weekly,” “Monthly” and “Yearly.”
A custom daily recurrence is the least customizable of all options, and — beyond making the ON/AFTER decision — leaves you with just one field to populate: that which dictates how often this recurrence occurs. Here, we’ve configured an event that will occur every 2 days, 15 times.
Weekly custom recurrence gets a bit more detailed. Now, you have to determine both the frequency (“Every X weeks”) along with what days of the week this event will occur. Those weekdays appear via a row of checkboxes. Below, we’ve configured an event that will occur weekly between now and December 31 2011, occurring every 2 weeks on Monday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday.
For events occurring less frequently, maybe a custom monthly recurrence is more appropriate. Selecting it from the dropdown again reveals a different interface for configuring when this event will occur: our standard frequency selector, as well as two dropdowns.
The first allows you to select a day of the month…
…while the second allows you to set the day of the week.
Notice that you can be specific and tell your event to occur on, say, the 15th of each month — or you can be more flexible and have it say something like the “last Sunday” of the month. In the instance below, our event will take place every 2 months, on the last day of the month, for 10 occurrences.
The last custom offering, yearly is also the one with the most options to pick from when setting up your event. Check out what happens when you select it from the frequency dropdown: not only do the two new dropdown menus that appeared in custom “Monthly” remain, but we’ve also got a checkbox-based month selector.
The same options will appear in both dropdowns here at custom “Yearly” that you saw in custom “Monthly”. You’ll also notice that in order to make sure your selections from these two dropdowns active, there is a checkbox that needs to be hit on the right-hand side. This differs from custom monthly events, where no checkbox appeared.
When it all comes together in a finished custom yearly event, you’ve got something like what we have below: an event occurring every year until the end of 2014, on the last Saturday of January/March/April/September/October.
Remember that when viewing any custom recurrence on the frontend, users will have the option to see the rules of that recurrence when viewing your event details. For example, the yearly recurrence we created on the backend above would have this explanation and link for users to click & view all events in the series on the frontend:
Note that any event you publish will always occur first on the date set in the event picker. In the example above, while that custom yearly recurrence will in the future occur on the last Saturday of January, March, April, etc — the first instance did occur today (8/16), which falls outside of that recurrence pattern.
It’s also important to note that sometimes, you’ll schedule an event for a day that’s non-existent; for example, “every month on the 4th Saturday”, when one or two months of the year you’re scheduling for only has 3 Saturdays. In such an instance, the calendar will simply skip over including an event any of those months where there is no 4th Saturday to publish on.
Hopefully this helps to shed some light on just what custom recurrence is capable of. If you have any questions, head on over to our premium support forums and we’ll help you out.