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How to install Fast Cal

Fast Cal can be used to manage your calendar events or diary dates and display them on your website in a responsive monthly module, or full year event list. View past and future months, link to files or other websites and show additional event info in a space-saving popup.

Supports multiple users (actions are logged so you can see who posted/edited/deleted events), iCal export, and custom colour-coded categories.

Who's it for?

  • Webmasters with basic-to-intermediate HTML/PHP experience
  • Webmasters who do not wish to use, or do not have access to, a database
  • Webmasters/users who need/want to edit and manage an auto-generated iCal (.ics) file via a point-and-click, web-based interface
  • Webmasters/users who need/want to display events in a monthly calendar module, or a full year list
  • Webmasters/users who need/want to edit and manage calendar events and diary dates from one location

Installing the Fast Cal back-end

  1. First you need to download the Fast Cal zip package, so give the download box at the top of the page a click and save it somewhere on your computer. The desktop is a convenient place. Downloads are available when you view the full version of this website on a desktop computer.
  2. After you've unzipped the Fast Cal package, browse to the "fast_cal/fast_cal_config.php" file and enter your settings.
  3. Using an FTP client (FileZilla is a good one and it's FREE), upload the entire Fast Cal package to a folder of your website. It can go in the root, or in a sub-folder of your choice.
  4. CHMOD the "fast_cal/", "fast_cal/_entry/" and "fast_cal/_status/" folders to 755 (Try 777 if 755 doesn't work).
  5. Include the calendar on your .php web page, anywhere you like, with this line of code (make sure the path is correct);
    <?php include('path/to/fast_cal_month_include.php');?>
  6. That's it! Now login at "http://www.mywebsite.com/path/to/fast_cal_v1_0/" to manage your events!

Styling the Fast Cal front-end

To style your Fast Cal, just use standard CSS, either in the <head> section of your website;

/* your styles here */

OR, put the CSS in your external stylesheet (without the <style> tags above).

You can find the demo CSS in the "examples/sample_calendar.php" and "examples/sample_calendar_list.php" files.

Customising the Fast Cal HTML output

To customise your Fast Cal installation, you can edit the generated HTML output for the monthly calendar in the "fast_cal/fast_cal_functions.php" file - look for the draw_calendarfc() function.

To customise the HTML output for the full year event list, go to the "examples/sample_calendar_list.php" file - look for the draw_eventsfc() function.

Additional usage - iCalendar (.ics) export

An iCalendar (.ics) file is (re)generated in the "fast_cal/" folder every time you update your Fast Cal events. This is an easy way of distributing a calendar of events to your visitors - just provide a link to the "fast_cal/calendar.ics" file and let them do the rest!

TIP: If you update your calendar frequently, you might want to employ simple cache-busting by adding a query string with a version number to your iCal download href. This should stop browsers "holding on" to old versions of your calendar;

<a href="path/to/fast_cal/calendar.ics?v1">Download The Calendar</a>

You can automate the process by appending a PHP generated timestamp instead;

<a href="path/to/fast_cal/calendar.ics?<?php echo time();?>">Download The Calendar</a>

Any problems setting up Fast Cal?

If you experience any problems setting up your installation of Fast Cal and you can't find a troubleshooting answer in the Questions & Answers page, please tell me all about it via the online contact form. I'll try and work through things with you, and document the findings on this website. Ultimately your feedback can help future others in a similar situation, so please take a moment to share.

Last updated: January 5th, 2017