Integrating Google Calendars

Google Calendars is a great way to manage event information, and we recommend it for many sites. However, it is important to consider the pros and cons of this service before deciding to integrate it into your website.

Advantages

  1. The Google Calendar interface is flexible, elegant, and easy to use.
  2. Many are already familiar with the Google Calendars, so staff training  can be reduced.
  3. The complexity of managing a calendar application is taken care of by Google.

Disadvantages

  1. You can not remove the Google branding and link back icons. (On the other hand, you may want this.)
  2. You have limited display options for colors, text, borders, backgrounds, etc.
  3. There is no data integration between Google Calendar items and the rest of your website. This  limits your ability to display event information in more useful and engaging way, such as highlighting particular events on your home page, or creating private event listings for internal staff.
  4. The only display choices are standard calendar and list views. This is far more limited than a Drupal event Content Item in which can take advantage of any combination of custom fields, blocks and views, and can display events in many possible formats. For example, if you want a particular event to automatically appear on your home page after a certain date and then automatically disappear after another date, you should keep the information in a Drupal event item.

Google calendar embedded into a website using an IFRAME tag.

Native Drupal calendar displaying additional content options in the sidebar.

Conclusion

If all you want to do is display a calendar view of events to everyone who visits your site Google Calendars is an excellent, and highly recommended choice.

If you need anything beyond a basic calendar display, you should keep event data within Drupal.