Welcome, new users of the Facebook Events add-on. If you’ve landed here it’s because you’ve just bought the add-on in order to extend your site’s integration with The Events Calendar or Events Calendar PRO (thanks for your support, by the way), and want to make sure you know what you’re doing before jumping in entirely.
This is a pretty lightweight plugin and there are a few things you’ll want to do to use the tool correctly. First things first: if you’re new to The Events Calendar and haven’t yet checked out the events primer, start there. I’ll be assuming in the screencast and written documentation below that you already have The Events Calendar activated, and know your way around the plugin well enough that a review basics won’t be necessary.
Still with me? Great. Here’s what I’ll be reviewing below:
- Installing & verifying your Facebook Events license key
- Reviewing the Facebook Events options on the Settings panel
- Running a manual event import & reviewing how auto-import works
You’ll be a pro with this add-on in no time…
As you can see above, if you’ve installed plugins in the past this is a no-brainer. The license key integration aspect is also going to be a familiar process if you’re running Events Calendar PRO or any other Modern Tribe add-ons.
- Log into the backend of your site and navigate to Plugins –> Add New from the sidebar admin menu.
- Elect to upload a new plugin (ZIP) folder.
- Following the instructions on the screen, select the still zipped up Facebook Events add-on. Hit the “Upload” button and wait for confirmation that the process is complete.
- When prompted, activate the plugin. You’ll notice that if you try to do so without The Events Calendar activated, you’ll get a warning message across the top of the page and will not be able to use the Facebook Events add-on until you’ve activated the core plugin accordingly.
- Head back to the tri.be website – where you first bought the plugin — and login with the credentials you set up during the checkout process.
- The license key can found under Account Central –> License Keys. Find your unused key for the Facebook Events add-on from the list.
- Copy the key, then return to the backend of your site.
- Navigate to Settings –> The Events Calendar, then hit the “Licenses” tab.
- In the appropriate field, paste in your key. Wait for it to validate and for the green expiration date to appear. If a red warning appears the key is not validated and will not be until the green expiration date shows. Make sure to save after the key finishes its verification process!
You’re all set now: the plugin is activated and the license key has been verified. Now let’s check out the Settings panel so we know what we’re working with.
After activating the add-on, head to Settings –> The Events Calendar and click into the newly-created “Facebook” tab. You’ll be greeted with an instructional blurb on how to use the plugin and some tips for adding a Facebook App ID & App Secret if you’ve created your own Facebook app already. If you haven’t, no worries…we have our own set of credentials that the plugin uses by default. As reviewed in the screencast above, the “Facebook” tab includes these settings:
- Facebook App ID: If you’ve already created a Facebook app, enter your App ID here to access the Facebook Graph API. This is totally optional and you do not have to create an App ID to use this plugin! If you don’t have one, leave this field and the Facebook App Secret blank. If you want or need a Facebook App ID, check out this tutorial to get one.
- Facebook App Secret: If you filled in a Facebook App ID above, you will need to add your Facebook App Secret here.
- Usernames or IDs to sync with: Sync with one or multiple usernames/pages by adding them, one per line, to this field. Any combination of pages/users is acceptable. Make sure you’re adding just the information requested in the “Selecting pages or users to sync events with” at the top of the page and not the full URL.
- Default status to use for imported events: Should imported events automatically be published, or do you want them saved in draft or pending review status?
- Auto import from Facebook: Check this box to automatically import events from the page(s) and user(s) you’ve defined above. Make sure if you enable this that you’re also setting the import frequency, below.
- Import Frequency: How often does the auto import from Facebook (which you enabled above) run? Options include “Weekly,” “Daily”, “Twice Daily” and “Hourly.” Your first auto import will run according to what you set here; ie if you select “Hourly,” the import will run 1 hour after you save this page; “Weekly,” the import will run 1 week after you save this page; etc.
Make sense? Great…now let’s check out the import process in action.
The import process is dang easy, if we do say so ourselves:
- To run a manual import, go to the backend of your site and — in the lefthand “Events” section — click on “Import FB Events.”
- Decide whether you want to import an event from a user/page you already set under Settings -> The Events Calendar, or an arbitrary event from another user/page.
- If importing an event from a user or page already set on the “Facebook” tab in Settings, just click the checkbox next to each event you want to carry over. Events that have already been imported will already be checked and cannot be re-imported.
- If importing a random/arbitrary event from a page or user not saved on the “Facebook” tab, just grab that event ID from the URL bar on Facebook.com. Drop the event ID (and nothing more) into the text box at the bottom of the import page. Add as many as you want, but make sure to separate them one per line or the import won’t work.
- When you’ve done steps 3 and/or 4, just hit the “Import Events” button at the bottom of the page. The system will work for a moment and upon refreshing it will give you a “Success” message and present a link to view the imported events accordingly.
Auto-imports require practically zero involvement on your end, after the initial set up on Settings –> The Events Calendar. After the timeframe you configured for the import frequency has elapsed, every event on the user(s) and page(s) you have in the system that has not yet been imported will be carried over to your site. Previously imported events will obviously not carry over twice, and private/invite only events will not either. If you have auto-import enabled, it may be wise to set all imported events to draft format by default so you can review everything that comes in before it hits the frontend.