While choosing plugins for a website, I am usually inclined to pick those which are specifically designed to meet a particular requirement. For example, if it is an eCommerce website my recommendation would be a plugin like WooCommerce, if it is an online learning management system it would be a plugin like LearnDash.
Similarly, for most Event Registration and Ticketing websites my recommendation is usually Event Espresso. (An opinion which mainly stems from my experience with the plugin)
However, no two requirements (just like DNA :P) are the same. They might be similar, but never the same. So, while I would usually suggest the use of Event Espresso for your ticketing website, I might just not.
A Road Less Travelled: Ticketing Website with WooCommerce
Developing a ticketing website with WooCommerce would be a good call when you intend to sell products other than tickets from your website.
So, if your website is not exclusively a ticketing website then WooCommerce would be the way to go. This way you can sell tickets, and then you can sell products without worrying about how you will ship them. (Believe me when I say it. You do not want to be thinking about product delivery after developing an exclusive ticketing website. We have gone down that road and are privy to the hurdles that follow.)
Alternatively, if your ticketing website requirements are not very elaborate in terms of features, you’re looking at WooCommerce as an optimum solution. It will help you stay on a budget while setting you up to sell tickets from your website effectively.
How to Sell Event Tickets with WooCommerce
It is apparent that the selling interface for the tickets will be WooCommerce. So, the next obvious question to answer would be how to set up a ticketing website with WooCommerce.
Building a ticketing website with WooCommerce would essentially involve two important steps.
The first would be to create an event on the website, which brings me to The Events Calendar plugin. This plugin will help you achieve you your goal and the best part is it will be done free of cost.
The second step would be to generate tickets for the events that have been created. This action again would require a plugin, and the name you are looking for is WooCommerce Tickets
Create an Event with ‘The Events Calendar’
As I mentioned earlier events can be created as separate post types using ‘The Events Calendar’ plugin which can be downloaded from wordpress.org
Once the plugin has been downloaded, installed and activated an event will have to be created using the menu options provided by the plugin. Here’s a sneak peek of the dashboard to create an event.
The administrator can add details such as event date and time, event location details, event organizer details, cost etc.
Generate a Ticket with ‘WooCommerce Tickets’
So, you have created an event successfully. Now what?
The next step would be to generate a ticket for the event. The ticket generated would be a product in your WooCommerce store and can be bought from the WooCommerce shop from your website.
The WooCommerce Tickets plugin (the one I mentioned earlier) should be used here. Once this plugin has been installed and activated the following tickets widget will be displayed on the events page in the dashboard.
Once all the details pertaining to the ticket have been completed the ticket can be generated. Now a new tickets section will be made available on the event page using which the end users can buy tickets. (psst…the tickets generated are WooCommerce products)
Ticket Management Made Easy
So, the two major hurdles have been covered, that of creating an event and generating a ticket. The ticketing website with WooCommerce can be improved further by customizing the ticket management aspect of the website. Let’s take a look how that can be done
Serialize Tickets (If Needed)
While all events might not need serialization of tickets, based on my experience I would say this feature would be beneficial in most situations.
An excellent example of serialization of tickets would be for a Marathon event that requires that each participant be given a bib with a unique number. This bib will be used by the participant at the time of the race.
The admin will have an option to serialize tickets for a particular event from the event page in the dashboard.
Also, if the option to serialize the tickets has been selected, an option to define the range of serial numbers can go a long way. This range can be provided on the products page (which can also be referred to as the ticket page, in this case) in the dashboard.
Manage Tickets from Dashboard
Last but not the least, it would definitely not hurt to have an option to manage all tickets that have been booked, from the dashboard. Being able to sort them by attendee name, event name or serial number would just be an added advantage.
So that was about developing a ticketing website with WooCommerce using The Events Calender plugin and WooCommerce Tickets plugin. It’s simple and can be done without any technical help (barring the customizations obviously) and can let you manage a ticketing website with WooCommerce effortlessly.
Do you know of a better way this can be done? Let me know through the comments section!
Images by freepik