Event Importer

Enable the Events Importer A collection of features or functionality that can be enabled on sites. WDS has made several optional modules available to site administrators to enable on their site. For example, the "News" module enables the News content type and provide a News List Block for displaying news on a page.

The Events Importer module must be enabled before you can use it. Staff from Web Development Services must enable this module for you. Please contact us.

The Events Importer module allows you to automatically import events from an iCal feed into your Event A collection of fields that describe a specific type of content, like a news article, a person, or an event. Site admins can add additional content types by enabling optional modules. WDS can also create custom content types for a site. . Because content is imported into the Event content type, it can be displayed and managed just like any other event that you add on your site. For example, you can use Events List and Events Calendar blocks to display the events.

An alternative method for displaying items from an iCal feed on your site is available via the Feed Blocks module. This method does not import the events into the Event content type. Instead, the content in the feed is displayed in a special list block, with event titles linking directly to the source website.

How It Works

After adding one or more feeds to your site's configuration (described below), events from the source feed are imported into the Event content type every 15 minutes. Events that were previously imported will be automatically updated if their information in the feed has changed (e.g. the title or date of the event was was changed).

Each feed importer can be configured to automatically publish all events that are imported or to instead leave them unpublished, allowing an editor to manually publish only the events that are desired. Imported events that remain unpublished for 30 days will be automatically deleted, but published items will remain indefinitely.

The table below describes how fields from the iCal feed are mapped to fields on the Event content type.

The mapping of fields from the iCal feed items to fields in the Event content type.
iCal Field Event Content Type Field
TITLE Title
URL Related Link
DESCRIPTION Body
LOCATION Location
DTSTART
DTEND
Start and end dates. If the source feed specifies recurring date rules, those rules are "expanded" and each date is added to the event.

Setup Instructions

  1. Contact WDS to have the module enabled.
  2. Login to your site as a user with the "site admin" or "content manager" role.
  3. Visit the Content » Feeds page from the admin toolbar.
  4. Click the Add Feed button
    1. You may be brought directly to the feed form, or you may first need to click the "Events Importer (Generic iCal source)" link.
  5. Provide a descriptive title of the feed to help you easily identify it later.
  6. Paste in the URL of the iCal feed source. Feed URLs for other Site Builder websites are described in the Event Content Type documentation.
  7. If you want imported events published immediately, check "Auto publish imported events". Otherwise, you will have to manually publish events after they're imported. Keeping them unpublished allows you to curate which imported events you want to display.
  8. If you want all imported events to automatically redirect their detail pages to the source website, check the "Auto redirect detail pages to external event URL" checkbox. WDS recommends using this option.
  9. Optionally select a A term is an individual item that belongs to some taxonomy vocabulary, typically used for categorizing content. For example, a vocabulary "Colors" may have terms in it "Red", "Green", "Blue". to assign to all imported events from this feed.
  10. Click the Save and Import button to create the feed and immediately import items.
  11. The feed will be automatically checked every 15 minutes for updates.
  12. You can add multiple feeds if you need to import content from multiple different websites.

Managing Imported Events

  1. Visit the Content » Feeds page from the admin toolbar.
  2. Click the feed title of the feed you want to manage.
  3. You will be brought to a page that displays the list of all imported events. You can publish/unpublish/delete imported events using the checkboxes and bulk actions dropdown.
  4. Because events are imported into the Event content type, you can also view and manage them from the main content dashboard.

Important Notes and Limitations

  • While you can edit imported events (just as you could with event you create), changes you make to the title, body, location, date, or related link may be overwritten when the feed importer runs again. This can happen if the feed source has been updated to make a correction or change to the event. Categorization you provide with taxonomy terms will not be overwritten. As of version 2.37, it's no longer possible to make any edits to imported values.
  • Imported events that remain unpublished for 30 days will be automatically deleted. This is to prevent the accumulation content that will never be used.
  • Many iCal feeds published by other websites do not include the full event description and instead provide a short summary. The idea is that your site should link off to that event instead of displaying the entire contents. The original event URL is populated into the "Related Link" field to allow your visitors to click to read the full event details. It's recommended that the feed importer is set to automatically redirect all imported event detail pages to this original event URL.
  • Images from events are not imported. The iCal format that most websites (including Site Builder sites) used for event feeds doesn't support images.