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An Online Guide to Develop an Events and Places Portal with WordPress

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An online community marketplace like Airbnb connects people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay.
Creating a similar online events and places business with an Airbnb/ TripAdvisor inspired user experience is now made simple with WordPress.
Moreover it is a classic way for businesses to engage their consumers, whether customers or corporate.

event-portal-wordpress
Develop an Events and Places Portal on WordPress

Functionality wise, keeping it to the bare minimum, the following features would be a must here:

  1. An event presenter entity is required to host, narrate, or otherwise run the event(s). Now, if the event is a Yoga Retreat Event, there may be a series of events teaching different yoga asanas. Thus a presenter can host multiple events.
  2. We can also have a separate page for the presenters which may show the presenters name, description, photo, videos of past events, list of all the events in which the presenter has participated/ will participate.These presenters would also definitely want to upload pictures of the events they conduct.
  3. If the events are located in different places, accommodation becomes an essential aspect to provide users with different types of accommodations like tents, private rooms, shared rooms and so on.
  4. To make browsing easy for the site visitors, we can also show them a list of all the events that will happen at a particular location.
  5. Adding a payment gateway would also be required so that booking of the places and events can be done instantaneously on the website. There are many plugins which allow us to integrate different payment gateways with WordPress.
  6. For easy navigation you can also have a search form which will filter search results according to location, date, and presenter as entered by the visitor.
  7. In today’s world of technology, people are more than happy to share all their activities on Facebook! So we can allow users to post their registration of new events on their Facebook walls. There are plugins for Facebook integration which also enable the users to share their event activities on Facebook.

To make this possible in WordPress, various plugins and functional customizations can be made:

We can add events, places and presenter(s) of an event by using Events Manager. Or we can make our own plugin using a custom post type. Each event can have any number of presenters whose list will be shown using a drop-down list that is available. To add new presenter details, we can use the “Add New” button and add the new presenter’s details. This will be displayed to you as per your design.

To know more about the event presenters, providing a list in the event’s page that will have a list of event presenters can be a good idea. Each presenter’s link will be linked to his respective profile page.To make the site more engaging, we can also provide images of events by using the NextGEN Gallery plugin for this purpose. This plugin provides a powerful engine for uploading and managing galleries of images and also supports images in slider format. We can allow each event images to be added by the presenter of the event. If no images of the event are added, and if presenter is set, images of the event presenter are shown.

We can make a plugin that will allow user to add places as custom post type. This will allow the user to add details of the places such as name of the place, address, description of the place etc. Accommodation types such as tents, private rooms, shared rooms etc can be added using meta fields. Places and events description page can have an option to ‘book now’.

To make navigation through required places easier, we can implement a search bar on the homepage (similar to www.airbnb.com for example) that would filter results according to location of place, date, presenter(for event). This can be done using Events Manager plugin.

To share the selected event activity on Facebook, we can either use a ‘Social Sharing Toolkit’ plugin or any other plugin.
We can also work with directly with the Facebook API.

Normally the first thought is to use GeoTheme and make such a portal. But our research says that instead of using GeoThemes given the lack of user experience it offers we suggest you go with a more responsive user friendly theme.

Ideally to make it look like TripAdvisor or AirBnB, a good WordPress theme that can be used is the NightLife WP theme:

nightlife-snapshot
An Example Portal

You may add elements and customize your website without making any changes to the original theme. This can be done using a child theme to avoid problems after theme up gradation. Additionally, to enhance user experience we can also implement the Sphinx Search Server which dramatically increases the speed of searching in extremely large databases.

Feel free to Get in Touch with us to know more about such customization!

Ankita Kawde

Ankita Kawde

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