Skip Navigation

How to sync Google Calendar to your website

By Tracy Wood

If you thought that adding a calendar to your website required a tech whiz, leave that thought at the computer screen! Here are easy, step-by-step instructions for creating and adding a Google calendar to your site.

1. If you haven’t done so already, create a Google account for your church. It’s free, and most people are familiar with Gmail. This will automatically create a calendar for your church. Make the name easy for people to remember. Consider something like firstumcmetropolis, scrantonumchurch or mainstreetumcguthrie.

2. After logging into your Google account, look for the word “Calendar” at the top of your screen. Click on this, and you should see a blank calendar. From this screen, you can add recurring and onetime events via the red “Add Event” button on the left side of the screen. For recurring events, click the “Repeat” box. For example, create an event titled “Bible Study on Acts” on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to noon and have it repeat from today until March 12, 2013. You also can add a onetime event such as “Souper Bowl Sunday Potluck” on Feb. 3, 2013.

3. When you’ve added all of your events, embed this calendar on your website. Click the “Down” arrow by the name of your calendar and choose “Calendar Settings.” Under “Embed This Calendar,” you can add the calendar as is – in the standard Google layout – by copying the code that Google provides. You can customize the colors, size and design by clicking on the “Customize” link in the “Embed” section. To display events from multiple calendars in the same embedded calendar, select the checkbox beside each calendar you wish to display in the section “Calendars to Display” at the bottom of your screen. You may wish to use this functionality if your youth group, older adults or nursery volunteers also have a calendar.

For WordPress Users:

1. If you use WordPress for your website, adding a Google calendar is a breeze. Simply install a plugin. Highly recommended is the Google Calendar Event plug-in. Go to “Plugins,” then “Add New” in your WordPress dashboard. You can also find Google Calendar Events on the WordPress Plugins directory.

2. In your Google calendar, click the “Down” arrow by the name of your calendar and choose “Calendar Settings. Check the box by clicking the “Share this Calendar” tab and make your calendar public by checking the boxes next to “Share This Calendar with Others” and “Make This Calendar Public.” Don’t forget to press the “Save” button when you finish.

3. Click the “Calendar Details” tab and copy/paste the embed code into your website.

4. In your dashboard, go to “Posts -> Add New” or “Pages -> Add New” (or open an existing post/page in editing mode). Paste the code directly into your text editor.

5. Click “Save Draft,” “Update” or “Publish” depending on the status of your post or page. You will notice that the code has changed. WordPress has converted the HTML code into the working shortcode. This is supposed to happen; do not alter the shortcode.

United Methodist Program Calendar

The United Methodist Official Program Calendar is a great addition to your church site! The United Methodist Official Program Calendar is a one-stop venue to keep you informed of liturgical colors, lectionary readings, churchwide Special Sunday information and much more. No longer will you need to visit multiple websites looking for this information!

Some helpful tips.

1. Continuously update your Google calendar with new events. You do not want visitors to see your calendar as stagnant! Remember to add new events with plenty of lead time. Adding an event one day before it happens will not give visitors time to plan to attend.

2. Visitors to your church website do NOT need to have a Google account to view your church’s Google calendar.

3. When you update your Google calendar, the embedded calendar on your website should automatically update. You cannot update your Google calendar from your website; you must go to your Google Calendar application.

4. Under “Calendar Settings,” you can change the amount of information available by clicking the “Change Sharing Settings” link in the “Calendar Address” section.

5. To save yourself headaches, finish customizing your calendar in Google before embedding the code into your website and making manual alterations.