What You Can Do With RSVPMaker

I developed the RSVPMaker plugin to serve the event scheduling needs of multiple volunteer organizations, political campaigns, and professional groups I have worked with. It attempts to address many of the common requirements of these groups, while still leaving a great deal of flexibility for customization.

RSVPMaker Event Editor
RSVPMaker Event Editor

The plugin uses the custom post types feature introduced in WordPress 3.0 to treat events differently from other types of posts, while letting you create and edit them using the same basic WordPress editing tools. The event editor essentially looks like the blog editor, but with a few extra options for specifying dates, times, and RSVP options.

You can then create an events listing on your website with the events listed in chronological order, as opposed to blog style reverse chronological order by the date of publication.

You can modify the RSVP form to ask for more or fewer details, according to your preference. The sample RSVP form used on this website is an abbreviated one, but sometimes you may want to collect more complete contact information. For example, the Florida political campaigns I’ve worked with are required to collect full contact information plus the employer and occupation of everyone who attends a fundraiser.

Features of RSVPMaker:

  • Use the standard WordPress editor to enter and style text and upload images.
  • Set one or more dates to be associated with your event.
  • Specify just a start time, both a start time and an end time, or don’t include the time at all in the headline (for example, an all-day event where you will list the schedule details in the body of the event description).
  • Request RSVPs, if desired. Set one or more email addresses to be sent a notification as RSVPs come in.
  • Configure the default details to be included with new events. For example, if a group has a standard meeting place, you can have the boilerplate details with the address and a map link for directions included by default. You can specify whether RSVPs should be requested by default, if you want that most of the time, or only turn on RSVPs when needed, and you can set a default email address for RSVP notifications to be sent to.
  • Prompt attendees to choose one or more specific timeslots (example: signing up volunteers for shifts on a petition drive or bake sale).
  • Request online payments via PayPal. Set pricing to be calculated according to the number of participants in one or more categories (for example, a different price for members and non-members or children versus adults). Some manual setup required for PayPal configuration.
  • Modify the plugin’s default behavior by overriding functions. The plugin checks for a custom.php file (sample included) installed in the plugins/rsvpmaker/ directory, which you can use to substitute your own functions for things like the fields to be included in the RSVP form or the logging of attendee responses.
  • Display listings on an events page, or put an abbreviated list on your home page, using the RSVPMaker Shortcodes. A widget for displaying upcoming events in your blog sidebar is also provided.

I use RSVPMaker in conjunction with another plugin for integration with the MailChimp broadcast email service, which is not yet ready for public release. However, if you copy and paste an RSVPMaker event into the MailChimp editor, you will find that the RSVP Now links are coded according to the MailChimp merge language with a ?e=*|EMAIL|* parameter that will be substituted with the recipient’s email address. When a recipient who has previously RSVP’ed clicks on this link, RSVPMaker will check to see if we have that user’s details on file so we don’t have to ask for them again. This is particularly useful for longer RSVP forms that ask for more details.

Help wanted: This plugin has served my purposes, but I’m sure there is room for improvement. I have not yet invested in things like localization. I’ve tried to follow best practices for web application security, but I would welcome any suggestions about how to make it better.

40 thoughts on “What You Can Do With RSVPMaker”

  1. Hi,
    I saw your plugin mentioned on LinkedIn and decided to try it. I have it installed on a test site. It does work and may be what I need. However, documentation is lacking. How did you make the Events page on your site? Is it just a shortcode listing or a function call?
    Thank you, jim

  2. Hi David,

    I like the idea behind your plugin. I have installed it on my site, created a page with the shortcodes and added the widget. However, when I create an event, it shows on the page, in the widget and in the calendar…but the link does not work. I am taken to a page that says, “Woops…Sorry, no posts we’re found.” Any idea what I have done wrong?

    Thank you,
    Matt

      1. Hi David,

        I tried the update you sent me, however I am still getting the same results. Here is the link to the calendar page. You will see the links on the calendar as well as in the widget on the right. You are correct about the site setup.

        Thank you,
        Matt

        1. Matt, You’re one of two people so far who has reported a problem with the links not working. I’m continuing to explore possible causes of this problem and looking for help from other developers, such as those on the wp-hackers email list. So far, I haven’t been able to reproduce the problem.

          1. Matt, I’m sending you an update with some modified code to test. Seems like relying on WordPress to automatically create the permalink structure for my custom post type isn’t always working.

  3. Hi,
    thanks for a great plugin. I´m not sure if I´m writing at the right place (I couldn´t find any forum).

    I´m using WP 3.1. The plugin has been working fine until I added a guest. After that I couldn´t see myself in the attendee list although I´m included in number of attendees and I can see the note I made.

    1. I’m afraid I don’t have time to troubleshoot this right now. I suspect it’s a problem with the reporting function, rather than the data not being recorded correctly. If you can access the database via phpMySQL or similar utility, try looking at the rsvpmaker table to make sure the data is there.

      If you are up to a little PHP hacking, you can create your own modified reporting function using the customization instructions in the doc on my site. Otherwise, try to ping me in a week and I will work with you to get this resolved.

      Meanwhile, I have to invest some time in fulfilling paying contracts right now.

      1. Looks like after a lot of research and messing around, I was able to arrange the radio buttons in a tidy little list. But my next question, whenever I click on “Add More Guests” the page refreshes and the data goes away. After the refresh the button works fine, but is there a way to stop this from happening?

      2. Looks like after a lot of research and messing around, I was able to
        arrange the radio buttons in a tidy little list. But my next question,
        whenever I click on “Add More Guests” the page refreshes and the data
        goes away. After the refresh the button works fine, but is there a way
        to stop this from happening?

    1. Is your front page a listing of blog entries, or is it a static page. On a static page, you can use the [rsvpmaker_upcoming] shortcode to display a list of upcoming events. If your front page is a listing of blog entries, you’ll need to create a separate events page. The events won’t be displayed in the same listing as your blog posts.

      You might also consider using the sidebar widget to make your events more visible.

  4. i have a multisite with 4 sites included and RSVPmaker enabled. How can I have one page set up with the events calendar and have the events pulled into the main site? Is that possible?

  5. I am building a membership site for singles. Is it possible for other members to see who else has RSVP’d, as well as how many RSVP’s there are in total? Also, event reminder email functionality? These would be awesome.

    1. You can see the show attendees button on this event http://rsvpmaker.com/rsvpmaker/second-saturday-event-2/ – it appears if you check the checkbox to display attendees publicly. Of course, on this site it shows mostly spam signups …

      I don’t know why you’re getting that invalid email error. Are you running the very latest version of RSVPMaker? I did fix some bugs in the validation code recently.

      If you share the url of the test event I’ll take a look.

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