Does Your Web Calendar Need a Little TLC?

If the events calendar on your website is sluggish, it might be because it’s carrying a lot of extra weight — dozens or even hundreds of pages describing events that have long passed and will never be repeated. In most cases, you can improve the calendar’s performance by getting rid of these old pages.

Paring outdated pages should be done with care, though. You wouldn’t want to delete old recurring events that form the basis for current listings, such as a Sunday service.

Below is a step-by-step guide for safely cutting the number of calendar pages down to a reasonable size.

What’s reasonable? If your church has a web calendar with 100 events per month, then the total number of calendar pages should not exceed 800 or so.

How your calendar works

Before you begin cutting old listings, it’s helpful to understand how the calendar works:

  • When you create a one-time event, the calendar creates one web page.
  • When you create a recurring event, such a class that meets for 10 weeks, the calendar creates 10 web pages.
  • When you create a recurring event that will never end (a weekday meditation, for example), the calendar creates enough pages to display that event for the next four months (four events per month times four months = 16 pages). And the calendar will continue to create pages for that event forever, or until you remove the event or change the ending date.

How many pages has your calendar created?

How many calendar pages are on your website? To find out, go to your Dashboard and then to Events. The total number of pages your calendar has generated is shown beside the word “All.”

How to cut the calendar listings down to a reasonable number

To begin the clean-up process, go to the oldest page of events listings.

As you review each listing on that page, check the “Recurring” column to determine whether that event is a recurring event that is generating listings for the current month.

It’s safe to move a listing to the trash:

  • If the event is NOT recurring and has passed
  • If the event IS recurring but has passed. (Example: a class that has completed.)

Put a check in the box beside each event you want to move to the trash and use the Bulk Actions menu at the top or bottom of the page to put the old listings in the trash. (Click on Move to Trash, and then on Apply.)

A new button called Trash will then appear in the row above the Bulk Actions menu. You can use that button to see all of the items you’ve moved to the trash.

When you’re finished with the oldest page of listings, go to the next oldest page. Example: If you started with page 14, go next to page 13 and repeat the process. Work your way back to the first page of your listings.

Check your work as you go

Before you get too far into the process: Check your live, online calendar to make sure you haven’t deleted anything you want published. If you have, you can retrieve it from the trash. Look for the Trash folder near the top of the Events screen.

When you’re sure all of your current listings are still showing up online, you can go back to Events > Trash and click on the Empty Trash button.

Watch out!

Where it gets especially tricky: You might have old listings that look like current listings. For example, if A Course in Miracles met for six straight months in 2016 and then took a one-week break, you might have two listings — one for that six months, and another for A Course in Miracles that started after the break and continues indefinitely. You’ll want to be sure you’re deleting the old group of listings, not the current one.

If you’re ever not sure what you’re looking at, use the “Edit All” link under a listing and check the beginning and ending dates for that event. If the ending date has passed, you can put the event in the trash.

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