One of the most difficult parts of organizing an event is getting people to RSVP. What’s more, you need to keep track of who’s coming and who isn’t, and update that information periodically. It makes sense to automate that process as much as possible, which is why you may need an event registration website.
With a dedicated events site, all you have to do is keep your calendar up to date. Then, users can sign up for the events they want to attend at their own convenience. With the right event management plugin, people who sign up can even receive automatic reminders, and you can get immediate notifications about new registrations.
The essential features of an event registration website
Planning any type of event can be a lot of work, especially if attendance will be high. With that in mind, it makes sense to automate any part of the event planning process that you can. An event registration website can take a great deal of the manual work off your hands.
Your needs may vary, but the basic features any event registration website will require include:
- A calendar that displays the date of your event(s)
- Functionality that enables visitors to sign up, register, or RSVP (or potentially purchase tickets)
- A way for users to receive updates and email confirmation regarding their sign-ups
- Database functionality, enabling your site to keep track of registrations for you
If you set it up right, an event registration website should be able to operate without much oversight. All you have to do is add new events as needed, and check to see how many people have registered before each one. Of course, first you’ll need to set up the site itself.
How to create an event registration website (in 4 steps)
Creating any type of website takes time and effort, and it helps to have a big-picture idea of the tasks that will be required. In the next few sections, we’ll walk you through the four main steps to building your event registration website, and point you towards some resources and tools that can help.
Step 1: Select a hosting provider
Any time you launch a new website, you’ll need to find the right hosting provider and plan. Not all providers offer equally reliable services, and choosing one at random or based on the lowest price you find can backfire.
Ideally, the web host you choose will:
- Provide you with a high level of performance
- Include a strong support system, in case you run into any issues
- Offer a broad range of plans
Since you’re going to use WordPress, it also makes sense to look for a host that offers WordPress-specific features. We’ve written extensively about how to pick the perfect WordPress host in the past, so you may want to check out that guide before moving on. In addition, don’t forget to purchase a domain name for your events site while you’re at it.
Step 2: Install WordPress at your host
Next, you need to set up your WordPress website. If you use a WordPress-friendly web host, it might install WordPress for you when you sign up for a plan. Alternately, you may get access to a simple one-click installation process.
However, in many cases you’ll need to install the WordPress software yourself. Don’t worry, though – it’s a pretty simple process. In the past, we’ve covered four methods for installing WordPress, which gives you a lot of options. Simply choose the best approach for your situation, and move on to the next step once you’ve logged into your brand-new site.
Step 3: Choose the perfect theme for your event registration website
WordPress themes determine your site’s look and layout, and they come in all shapes and sizes. There are themes designed for specific types of websites (such as real estate sites or online shops), and multipurpose themes that you can use for basically anything.
Choosing a WordPress theme can be daunting, since you have so many options. However, what’s most important is that the theme you pick for your event registration website should:
- Receive constant updates
- Support mobile-friendly design, since most potential attendees will likely be browsing your events on their mobile devices
- Have excellent ratings and reviews
You can also consider opting for a dedicated events theme, since these often include functionality that will come in handy. This isn’t necessary, however, since you can add all the features you’ll need via a plugin (more on this in the last step). What’s most important is to pick a theme with the right style, and lots of customization options so you can make your site truly unique.
Step 4: Install a WordPress event management plugin
While WordPress offers a lot of functionality out of the box, it doesn’t come with any event-specific features built in. Fortunately, you can fix that by installing the right plugin. Ideally, you’ll want to look for an event management plugin that enables you to set up calendars, handle sign-ups, and send notifications and reminders as needed.
There are plenty of options, but a good place to start is with The Events Calendar. This tool enables you to create and customize calendars, add as many events as you’d like, specify prices and venues, and more:
The base version of this plugin is free, and setting it up is simple. Therefore, it’s an excellent pick if you want to get your event registration website off the ground quickly.
If you’re looking for an alternative, we’re also big fans of WP Event Manager:
This plugin offers the same basic features as The Events Calendar, but provides you with additional options when it comes to managing RSVPs. What’s more, getting it set up and configured is a painless process.
Since both tools are free, we’d recommend testing them each out to get a feel for how they work. When you’ve settled on a plugin, you can get to work adding events to your new website!
These days, it doesn’t make sense to waste time managing reservations or event RSVPs by hand, when you can have a program do it for you instead. With WordPress, you can easily set up an event registration website where people can find all the information they need, and sign up at any time.
What’s more, it only takes four steps to create your own event registration website:
- Pick the right web host.
- Get WordPress up and running.
- Choose the perfect theme for your event website.
- Install a WordPress event management plugin.
Do you have any questions about how to set up an event registration website using WordPress? Ask away in the comments section below!