Read the latest transcripts for the WP Plugins Podcast and training Videos.

It's Episode 310 and we've got plugins for Better In-Post Links, Search and Replace, PayPal Payments, Multiple Admin Emails, A/B Splitting and using External Media without Import . It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 310 WP Plugins A to Z

It's Episode 310 and we've got plugins for Better In-Post Links, Search and Replace, PayPal Payments, Multiple Admin Emails, A/B Splitting and using External Media without Import . It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of Marcus and John’s discussion of the weekly plugins we have reviewed.

WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #310 here.


It’s Episode 310 and we’ve got plugins for Better In-Post Links, Search and Replace, PayPal Payments, Multiple Admin Emails, A/B Splitting and using External Media without Import . It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #310

John:                This week here I have three great plugins of course as usual, and the first one off the top is QPP Quick PayPal Payments. This plugin here came about because I needed to produce a really quick PayPal payment form on a website and I couldn’t remember the last one I used for doing such a thing. PayPal has become so near impossible to just find a payment button in their system now that this goes something easy.

Anyway, this plugin here is a really great, simple payment processor forms you can create. Once you create the forms, you place them on your site somewhere via a shortcode and it makes the job of creating and placing the forms just a piece of cake. Now, the forms themselves, this is kind of an amazing one for a free plugin. It gives you the ability to create forms that either have plain amounts, preset amount, or you can set a sliding scale in it. You can add multiple options about information you want to collect in the form. You can go through the form, customize the form up by colorizing it, adjusting the colors, the layout, format – many different options are available for you to set this up and it doesn’t take very long at all.

I think it took me all of like ten minutes to get it all set up and with a really clean looking form for precisely what I needed done for a very simple payment. So it was a really great plugin. It worked just the way it was supposed to – one of those premium plugins that we just thoroughly adore, so I had to give this a top 5-Dragon rating. Check it out: QPP Quick PayPal Payments.

Marcus:           Nice! All right, I’ve got a very cool lazy plugin that actually should be something that’s part of core itself. It is called Multiple Admin Email Addresses, and you can figure out what it does. It allows you to replace the blog admin’s email with a comma separated list of admin emails. So if you have two different admin emails that you’d like to send it to (not just your standard one), or if you have somebody else that you’d like to kind of CC in all of the administrative tasks, this is it.

So you just go to your WordPress dashboard menu, choose Settings à General à Set Email Address à Comma Separate Multiple Email Addresses (2 or more), and you’re all set to go. It’s called Multiple Admin Email Addresses and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                That could be useful when you’ve got multiple admins. Get them all on the same page when emails go out.

Marcus:           Yes, definitely.

John:                All right, next up I have a plugin I’ve probably covered in the past or at least one similar to this. It’s called Search & Replace, and I don’t think I used this exact one, because there’s multiple search and replace plugins. And of course again, I was having to do something I hadn’t done in a little while, which is dig through a database and do a search and replace in the hidden reams of the database for a URL that kept getting missed with all of the other tools, and without having to go into the phpMyAdmin and go through and do a manual query. So this was the simplest way to do it.

This one here is a really great plugin. You set it up, install it, and it allows you to go in and search and replace a little different than most of them. You can select all the tables or one or two of the tables you need, it’ll replace a domain URL, similar to the other URL plugin that I always use. It also will do a database backup for you, import SQL files, and a few other things in it. It’s a really great plugin. It worked very well for doing the task I needed. It felt relatively smooth and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating. Check it out: Search & Replace.

Marcus:           Very nice. I don’t know if you were thinking of Pretty Link or one of those other ones, but anyway —

John:                No, no. I was thinking of Velvet URLs.

Marcus:           Oh, that’s right. Okay.

John:                That’s the one for changing your URLs, and that’s all it does. It just changes your URL from one to another and it doesn’t always get everything, because it misses some tables where URLs are often hidden.

Marcus:           Ah.

John:                That’s the one I was just thinking of.

Marcus:           Okay, so I have a cool plugin. It is called External Media without Import. We all know that by default adding an image to the WordPress media library requires that you import or upload the image to your WordPress site, which means that there’s always a copy of the image stored at the site. There’s really no use for dynamics in that; it’s really hard to make a featured image – a dynamic image – that loads somewhere else that constantly changes. You’re kind of stuck with loading the one image, either by adding it by URL or actually physically uploading it. You’re stuck with that one image and it can never change.

Well, this plugin actually enables you to add an image stored on an external site to the media library by adding it via URL, but this plugin will make sure that you don’t have to download it, so it’s an external reference to that link —

John:                Oh, nice!

Marcus:           — but it can change. So if you have a client or somebody like that that has an image that changes or they’re trying to look at the latest stock tickers or whatever it happens to be – anything like that – any kind of image that you want to load from a URL and not from directly on your site, this plugin works great. Now to me, it’s perfect but – that big but there —

John:                Okay.

Marcus:           — it’s not something you want to do with everything because every time you load an external image, it’s actually going to slow your site down a little bit. Just a little tiny bit, because it’s doing that external call-out, so use this with caution but it’s a fantastic plugin. It’s called External Media without Import and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! That can be useful but yeah, you’re right. You don’t want to have all your stuff coming in from an external source.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                Okay, the final one I have here today is called VC Splitter Pro and it’s also got a freemium version. This is a freemium plugin. It starts at $10 a month or free if you download it from the Repository. It was sent in to us by James Cantoni and I’ll be talking with him later today in an interview, so there will be more coming from him in a secondary show, so you’ll want to listen up for that.

Anyway, this plugin here, it allows you to do A-B split testing on your content easily if you’re using Visual Composer. It’s designed to work with Visual Composer and it gives you three levels of access where you can split test A-B buttons, split test A-B headings, or split test A-B images. Now, if you skip up to the next level of it which is the first paid version that you can get from CodeCanyon, it adds in things such as text testing, tracking views, clicks, and bounces, and a statistical dashboard.

If you jump into their full-on pro version which you get from their website, it allows you to test all Visual Composer elements. In other words, go into everything into your Visual Composer and A-B test it. You can set it up for multicolumn testing, row testing, and even mobile device testing toggles. So there’s a lot to it if you jump up to the pro version and they sell the pro version two ways, which I’m still not clear with but I’ll get that more clear with him later today, so you’ll have to listen for the interview with him to get the clarification about the way they sell their pro version. It’s kind of a different pricing format that I’ve never seen.

At any rate, the plugin is really great. It seems to be very easy to use and set up. It’s absolutely useless if you don’t have Visual Composer on your site (as I realized when I went to test it on one of my test sites that didn’t have Visual Composer – I wasn’t thinking). So just so you know, you’ll make sure you’ve got that component in your website. But if you’re doing A-B testing for just about anything, this is something you’ll want to check out. So check out VC Splitter Pro and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           That’s cool. All right, I love it when people send us plugins.

John:                Hey!

Marcus:           That’s pretty cool.

John:                Keep sending them in. All you developers out there that find us, listen to us, send them in to us, man and then contact me for an interview.

Marcus:           Yeah. All right, the final one – we are all aware of this kind of technology. Every time you go into Facebook and you put a link in or sometimes Twitter and put a link in, it generates kind of a little preview, and that’s what this plugin does. It’s called WP Link Preview and right now as it stands, WordPress on its own can do this when you link to other WordPress sites, however this is for every kind of site. It adds a button to your post and page editor which you can use to generate a link preview for a specific URL. The link preview gives off a title, a description, and an image, which results in a similar look as when you share a link on Facebook. So it kind of gives you that preview, picture, the title of the site or the link, and a little description in it as well.

That’s a really cool way, by the way, to link to different stories, different articles, different things that you want to talk about, and it does it in a way that is a little bit above and beyond your typical just straight blue link that you would add to your site. A really nice plugin; it worked very well out of the box. I like it a lot. It’s called WP Link Preview and it gets a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! That does look like a really sweet little tool to have in there.

Marcus:           Yeah, that’s another one that should be in core. It is kind of with only other WordPress sites being able to use that, but this is a pretty cool thing.

John:                I don’t know why they couldn’t just take the one that included the WordPress site and modify the code and have it do this. That’s probably how somebody created this plugin.

Marcus:           I think so.

John:                So at any rate, I covered up in this episode here – I covered up the QPP Quick PayPal Payments, which I gave a 5 to; the Search & Replace, which I gave a 4 to; and the VC Splitter Pro, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I covered Multiple Admin Email Addresses, which gets a 5, External Media without Import gets 4 out of 5, and WP Link Preview gets a 5 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

 

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It's Episode 308 and we've got plugins for Duplicating Menus, Video Thumbnails, WooCommerce Stickers, Disabling the Cart and Multi-step for Contact Form 7. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 308 WP Plugins A to Z

It's Episode 308 and we've got plugins for Duplicating Menus, Video Thumbnails, WooCommerce Stickers, Disabling the Cart and Multi-step for Contact Form 7. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of Marcus and John’s discussion of the weekly plugins we have reviewed.

WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #308 here.


It’s Episode 308 and we’ve got plugins for Duplicating Menus, Video Thumbnails, WooCommerce Stickers, Disabling the Cart and Multi-step for Contact Form 7. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #308

John:                All right, the first plugin I’ve got this week is called Duplicate Menu. Now, I may have reviewed it previously sometime in the distant past, but it’s returned back to the front and center for me while working on a recent project. The reason for it is sometimes you’ve built out really fancy menus for your WordPress website and now you have to make minor changes to that menu, pull a few things out, or even strip out half the items and replace them or just drop items.

What’s nice about Duplicate Menu is you install it, activate it, and it’ll take any menu you’ve got and duplicate it and allow you to give it a new name. Then you can just go in there and adjust and change the menu items you need, without having to go through and remove a whole bunch of items or add a bunch of items or read a bunch of items that you’re gonna need, plus one or two more. So anyway, it’s a really great plugin. It’s one of those plugins that just works and because of that, I gave it a perfect 5-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Yeah! We need a cowbell.

John:                Ding, ding?

Marcus:           Something. Yeah, I need something on this end when we celebrate these 5 out of 5s – excellent. Okay, you know there are certain things on WooCommerce. I’ve got two WooCommerce plugins today, because I’ve been fiddling around with the WooCommerce store. It is like stickers that appear over your products when there’s a sale, say if you put a regular price and the sale price, then it kind of defaults to this sticker. But for the most part, John, don’t you think those stickers – they kind of suck as far as what they have on them or the limitations of them.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           So if you want to put a new ribbon on – anything you want to put on – I’m talking “New,” “Sale,” “Out of stock,” “Coming soon,” any of those things – any text that you want, any color you want, any image within it that you want, this is the plugin for you. It’s called Custom Product Stickers for WooCommerce. It does all those things. It allows you to set the custom image, it’s position, and overlay of the product, you can set the color and text of the ribbon, what it says, any of those things, and full CSS editing to fully customize, to fully make the fonts match, everything else that you need to do. It’s called Custom Product Stickers for WooCommerce, and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                All right, well that’s a great one to have and I’ve always fought with that when I have worked with WooCommerce sites, so that’ll save you some definite time.

Marcus:           Definitely.

John:                So next up here, I have a plugin for dealing with videos on your website. I’m helping someone out with a video website. It’s a gamer who is throwing together a website to showcase the videos off of their YouTube channel. This first one here is called Video Thumbnails and what it does for you is it automatically goes in and grabs the YouTube video thumbnail and then attaches it as a featured image to the post that you’re creating.

Now, a nice thing about this plugin here is it also supports Vimeo, Facebook, and virtually every other video platform out there, including local uploaded videos to grab a thumbnail and then automatically stick it right into your post and also to take the image and stick it into your media library, helping to increase the load speed of your website in the process. All in all, a really great plugin that helps you out with everything you need video thumbnail-wise, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating so check it out: Video Thumbnails.

Marcus:           Nice. There are some contact forms that are out there, namely Contact Form 7 is one of the most popular because it’s free, and then second is Gravity Forms. The one thing that I like about Gravity Forms is the ability to kind of split the form up so that it doesn’t appear like it’s ten feet long as far as the form itself. You want to break it off into little steps. Plus, it helps to get people a different mindset when they’re in a different page. But Contact Form 7 doesn’t do that out of the gate, but with this plugin called Contact Form 7 Multi-Step, it does.

It’s a really simple plugin to use. There’s tons of different styles; you can do horizontal or vertical orientation within the form, works in all the browsers, you can combine different steps for validation or anything like that. It’s just a really nice way to engrain Contact Form 7 in your site and still allow you to do that kind of multipage form. It’s called Contact Form 7 Multi-Step and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                That’s very nice. There’s some nice plugins added to Contact Form 7 to start to make it sort of an actual useful form plugin.

Marcus:           It’s coming around.

John:                Yeah, it’s getting nice.

Marcus:           Took them long enough.

John:                Nice, well, one of the biggest things with Contact Form 7 is a lot of the fancier themes you buy now have Contact Form 7 embedded in there, and ripping out Contact Form 7 or replacing it with Gravity Forms is really a bit of a pain.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                So having all of these nice features for Contact Form 7 is making it a lot easier to use those themes out of the gate, instead of having to work extra hard to make them work well with a contact form system.

Marcus:           Yeah, and frankly, I’m kind of sick of paying $100 a year for Gravity Forms. It’s nice but I don’t do anything with it that Contact Form 7 doesn’t do, and now this proves it even more.

John:                Yeah, that could happen. All right, the final one I’ve got here today is called Top Ten Popular Posts Plugin for WordPress. Now, in particular, the website I’m using this one on right now is the video website featuring videos. The nice thing about it is it goes through and it measures how many times people are looking at your posts and figuring out which ones are the top ten, which could be constantly changing, and then displaying those top ten posts for you.

This plugin here makes the job of doing that a whole lot easier. It allows you to track and display the top ten most visited posts on your website, then it allows you to display them in a widget or on a post page with a shortcode. One of the great uses is using this to showcase the videos so that he knows which videos are his top ten videos and showcase them right on the front of his website. So as soon as people get there, they can see which are the best videos viewed.

It’s really clean, seems to work very well, so I gave it a 4-Dragon rating. Check it out: Top Ten Popular Posts Plugin for WordPress.

Marcus:           Nice! And it displays thumbnails, all that kind of stuff?

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           Or just a list?

John:                No, it displays thumbnails. You can display it in multiple ways as thumbnails or a regular list or just a title.

Marcus:           Hmm…

John:                Yeah, it’s got multiple ways to display it. It’s really kind of nice.

Marcus:           And does it do it based on —

John:                Views.

Marcus:           — just views?

John:                Just views.

Marcus:           Not comments?

John:                No, just views.

Marcus:           Hmm…interesting. All right, we’ll wrap it up here with one final WooCommerce plugin. One of the things that people that run e-commerce stores and such have difficulty with is abandoned carts, right? You put a product in the cart and then they bail. Well, there’s an easy way to get away from abandoned carts, and that’s to disable the cart altogether. We’re going to show you this plugin and it’s called Disable Cart Page for WooCommerce, and it does simply that. It just redirects your customers directly to the checkout page as soon as they “add it to the cart” or hit the purchase button. It forces them to buy only one product at a time from your catalogue, but it also kind of changes the way that the whole checkout process goes and the way that you get to finalize your orders.

Now, is this for a store that has thousands and thousands of SKUs within WooCommerce? No. But is it great for if you’re having somebody sign up to one of two different levels of a membership site, a book, or something like that that you want to sell that you don’t think you’re going to get multiple units for anyway? Yeah, it’s perfect. So check it out; it’s called Disable Cart Page for WooCommerce and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. You covered exactly the only concern that I would’ve had with it. It makes sense that way.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                All right, this week I covered up Duplicate Menu, which I gave a 5 to; Video Thumbnails, which I gave a 4 to; and Top Ten Popular Posts Plugin for WordPress, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I rated Custom Product Stickers for WooCommerce, which gets a 5 out of 5, Contact Form 7 Multi-Step gets a 4 out of 5, and Disable Cart Page for WooCommerce gets a 4 out of 5.

 

[End of Audio]

 

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It's Episode 307 and we've got plugins for Creating Catalogs, Live Group Chat, Grabbing Youtube Subtitles, Google Customer Reviews and Custom User Profiles. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 307 WP Plugins A to Z

It's Episode 307 and we've got plugins for Creating Catalogs, Live Group Chat, Grabbing Youtube Subtitles, Google Customer Reviews and Custom User Profiles. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of Marcus and John’s discussion of the weekly plugins we have reviewed.

WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #307 here.


It’s Episode 307 and we’ve got plugins for Creating Catalogs, Live Group Chat, Grabbing Youtube Subtitles, Google Customer Reviews and Custom User Profiles. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #307

John:                Okay, this week here I’ve got a couple of plugins for producing catalogues on WordPress, and catalogues are slightly different than your normal e-commerce store that you would build with WooCommerce in that you’re usually not displaying prices; you’re just displaying a set of goods or some information in such a way that it’s like a catalogue search. So I was having to do research for a project I’m getting ready to take on and this week here, I examined two – actually, I examined three but I’m only going to highlight two of them – the two better ones that I found. And so the first one I’ve got here is called Huge IT Product Catalogue.

This plugin was originally suggested to me by my client for what they might like to see as a product catalogue for the upcoming project. While I was looking at it and it’s a really nice, visually appealing catalogue in how it works, it did lack a lot of the essentials that are needed for the project. One of the essentials that we were in need of was the client has, you know, a couple of thousand items that have to go in here and if you’ve got to put these in here manually, it’s like a no-go. You’ve got to be able to import it via CSV, because they have the CSV file and we just want to bring all the data in and all you’ve got to do is modify the headers in the CSV file to match whatever you’re doing.

So this is one of the big things with this one; it didn’t have a CSV import or an add-on to allow CSV import. It also didn’t allow for custom fields to allow us to add in additional information that’s not built in as part of the catalogue. If you’re going to build a basic catalogue, you’re going to sell watches or jewelry or something, a good catalogue, very visually appealing, a very nice one. But if you’re going to go slightly off where we’re headed, this is not quite a plugin that will work for you. It would require you to do way too much work.

But all in all, pretty basic for a good basic catalogue plugin. Check it out at WordPress.org, linked in the show notes, and I gave Huge IT Product Catalogue a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Three, huh?

John:                Yeah, it doesn’t get a four because just – it’s a good basic one. It just – it lacks too much. It’s very visually appealing. I think the developers spent more time on the visual than they did the functional.

Marcus:           Hmm…I’m startled. That startled me a little bit, that three.

John:                Yeah, well…

Marcus:           Okay, well, we’ve got to warn you of that stuff, too.

John:                Yeah, I gave them…like I said, you get honest reviews here.

Marcus:           That’s right.

John:                Keep donating, get the honest reviews. You know?

Marcus:           Okay, so let me just describe a scenario of something that I was working on. I want to be able to do live streaming but do it not through Facebook Live or things like that. I want to make it so that my members can see it and no one else. And with that, your streams – your options – are a little bit limited. You could go with Google or some of these other things. I went with something completely different in terms of embedding that live stream, but I wanted to include a live group chat where people could also ask me questions live. But I wanted to make sure that they were members. I didn’t just want anybody getting into that chat, so I found this plugin called Live Group Chat.

And what it does, it’s just like any other full, you know, group chat, where a bunch of people can get on it. It’s very fast, very simple. It uses AJAX messages and operates just like a regular one does, but you can restrict this to only allow people that are registered within your WordPress site to actually ask questions. What it does is it uses an internal database to save the chats as well right within your site and it gets automatically deleted after one week, so you don’t have this lingering ongoing chat session. So you can actually copy it – which is what I’m doing, copying that chat and then pasting it in sort of the show notes so that you can see everybody’s questions and all the answers and links that go to it.

It’s very easy to configure. It uses either a widget or shortcodes for display and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! That can be quite useful if you’re doing group chats.

Marcus:           It’s one of the best that I’ve seen in terms of that. There are others that you can just embed the HTML code, you know, some external third-party thing. But this is one of the few that I’ve seen that interacts directly within WordPress and the WordPress user database.

John:                Nice. Okay, well the next one I’ve got here today is called Ultimate Product Catalogue. Now, this one here – while I was doing my research, I ran across this one and then I recalled it seems that it was actually submitted to us about a month and a half ago, which was very timely for me. It was sent in by Stephanie Hrubi from Etoile Web Design, the creators of the plugin. So I got to check out the premium version of the plugin.

This is a freemium plugin which offers up both of them, but you can get the free version over at WordPress.org and it is a very nice plugin. The visual is very good but one of the best things I found about this plugin is even in the free version you can do a CSV import and export of your data. What I found initially was I had to do a little bit of tweaking with it, but was trying to do something outside the norm. So what I had to do was enter a product, create all the fields I needed, and this one here also offers up the ability to create custom fields for all the additional data you might need. It’s very simple to do; it creates a catalogue and it creates separate catalogues. You can create multiple catalogues and then insert those catalogues in different places on your site via a shortcode.

Now, once you’ve created your initial product, you then export out that CSV file and then you have all the headers you need for adjusting your CSV file that you currently have. Once you do that, then you reimport that CSV file and all your data is there in one smooth motion. A very great plugin; it was very responsive, it worked well, the smoothness of it was great, the fact that visually it’s initially okay, but you can go in and manually adjust all the visuals that you need. They’ve got a drag-and-drop Wiziwig editor that you can customize the placement of all the components. They put a lot into this plugin.

When you go to the premium version, you’ll need that for the custom fields and a couple other items with it. But most of what you want with it is there in the free version. The premium version is only $30 for a single site license. Anyway, a great plugin: the Ultimate Product Catalogue. These guys here managed to just knock it right out of the park, so I gave it a 5-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Awesome. All right, well let me follow it up with another great one. This plugin is called Google Customer Reviews for WooCommerce, and what it does is it enables you to integrate to Google’s merchant center. They have this thing called Google Customer Reviews in there and it allows you to actually use that within your WooCommerce store. It also allows the survey opt-in code into your thank you page and the option to have a pop-up come up to where they can actually leave a review and it ends up right in the Google merchant center for your site.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           And I want to say something about this…this is kind of a hack right now – I wouldn’t say hack, but it’s a strategic advantage for you to start having your customers fill out these Google customer reviews within the merchant center, because that’s generally what pops up in the shopping area when you do a search within Google for specific products or things. I will say the adoption level of it so far by some of the bigger merchants out there is very light. So you can give yourself a strategic advantage by installing this, trying it out to see if it’s something that works for you if you have products that you commonly compete with Amazon and the rest of them. This is something that can give you that advantage with people that use Google.

The one thing is you do need to have and paste in your Google Merchant ID into the plugin settings, but otherwise this thing works very, very well. Very easily customizable and the benefits are enormous. I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! Yeah, that can give you a big advantage getting that information from people, because you know, they leave your site and they don’t always want to go back to your Google page to leave a review.

Marcus:           Right, and that sort of ties them to you as well —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — because their Google persona is now connected to your store.

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           So who knows what that could lead to in the future in terms of sales or new products that Google may put out, and I don’t even know the algorithm may also has their searching for products list yours first because they’ve already shopped there.

John:                Yeah, it could be. All right, well the final plugin I’ve got here today is just a simple one. This one here is called YouTube Subtitle Grabber. Now, it’s a very simple plugin in that one of the great things it does for you is you just set it up and it’ll go in with a code and grab the subtitle content from a YouTube video and place it on your website as content.

When I was thinking about it and looking at it, I wasn’t sure of what it could be used for, but one of the projects I’ve got coming up here in the future is building out a YouTube video website for a game player who puts in really good notes, and this will help grab that information, pull it into his website, and display it on his website. You could do this with any videos that you have or if you curate videos of others, it allows you to grab some of that content from their video and display it on your website.

All in all, I’m not sure of what benefits or anything it’s going to bring, but it did seem like a good way to add a little more information to any YouTube videos you’re going to be placing on your website than just the standard title of the video and any snippet you might put in there. This might grab some information that the creator of the video has added to it. So anyway, check it out: YouTube Subtitle Grabber, and I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           All right, here’s my question: is it shortcode-based?

John:                Yes.

Marcus:           Okay. So it grabs the stuff on the fly?

John:                You enter the post title and video ID and then it generates the information and places it on your site.

Marcus:           Okay.

John:                So it grabs it directly from YouTube by post title and video ID.

Marcus:           Oh, so actually it would be self-updating —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — if someone went in and edited those show notes, so to speak?

John:                I don’t know if it’s self-updating or not. It might make it permanent and then add more. I don’t know that. I don’t have an answer for that because I haven’t tried it to that extent.

Marcus:           Hmm…interesting. I’ll have to check that out myself and try that.

Okay, this is a very interesting plugin that I kind of just found on the Repository and I installed it on a staging site and just tried it with a few test sites and it looked pretty good. It’s called WP Profile Builder and with this plugin, you actually can create user profile templates, altering how the typical user page gets displayed. So this is more kind of for an admin thing, but it has some end user components into it as well.

You can get a user list page, you can real-time search users and view user profiles and such. But it does is it gives you the ability to create kind of custom [inaudible: 25:27] that appear during registration as well, and you can search queries of users, rather than just seeing the entire users list by access or by geographic region, by any of those things that you set up ahead of time, and this does that. So if you’ve got a lot of users and I manage one site in particular that’s got about 50,000 users with a bunch of different membership levels on them. I really want to incorporate something like this to make the weeding of the users a little bit easier. You can do it by last login or things like that. You can set it up with any kind of field value you want. It’s called WP Profile Builder, and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                That sounds like a very useful website if you’ve got a lot of profiles on your site.

Marcus:           Yeah. It can get crazy after – you know, most people only have a few users on their site and if not just a couple hundred, maybe from the comments that got left. But when you get into the thousands, it becomes unmanageable.

John:                Absolutely. Okay, well I covered up in this week’s episode the Huge IP Product Catalogue, which I gave a 3 to; the Ultimate Product Catalogue, which I gave a 5 to; and then the YouTube Subtitle Grabber, which I gave a 3 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Live Group Chat, which gets a 4 out of 5, Google Customer Reviews for WooCommerce gets a 5 out of 5, and WP Profile Builder gets a 4 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

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It's Episode 305 and we've got plugins for Faster Image Insert , File Monitoring and Dashboard Notes. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 305 WP Plugins A to Z

It's Episode 305 and we've got plugins for Faster Image Insert , File Monitoring  and Dashboard Notes. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of Marcus and John’s discussion of the weekly plugins we have reviewed.

WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #305 here.


It’s Episode 305 and we’ve got plugins for Faster Image Insert , File Monitoring and Dashboard Notes. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #305

John:                Okay, first off this week here, this a week for me that I’ve been planning to bring back some plugins – some old favorites – that I use regularly on my website. It’s nice to bring them all forward from time to time so that they’re refreshed and everyone remembers what they are if they haven’t used them in a while or they’re looking for something similar.

So the first one I have here is called Faster Image Insert, and this plugin here, while quite old in itself, is still a very good plugin. It’s very usable, it works very well. What it does is once you put it in, turn it on, and activate it, it creates a new window block in your post editor for you that allows you to upload all of your media: images, PDFs, audio files, videos if you upload videos to your site. All of those things you can just dump them all in, let them upload, and continue editing your WordPress website.

For me, this saves me a chunk of time because I don’t have to go through the add media button, upload all my stuff, wait for it to upload, and then go add. I can start all this dumping, especially when doing the podcasts, because you know the show is sometimes as much as 50-60 MB in size. It takes two or three minutes even with high-speed internet. If it’s a bad day, it can take four or five minutes, so that’s time that I can still be doing organization and the editing of the site and it’s all there. Then you can go through, get all your information, update the file, set the image as featured image – all the little tidbits you can do with it. It makes life a whole lot easier. So anyway, this is a really great plugin. It’s called Faster Image Insert and I still give it a 5-Dragon rating.

The next one I’ve got here is one that is no longer available in the WordPress Repository. It’s called WordPress File Monitor Plus and this is a security plugin that I use for monitoring website file changes. Now, there is one in the Repository called WordPress File Monitor and that one is sort of kept up to date and I haven’t checked to see if this one – when I looked at it, the images looked the same, so it’s probably similar. It might even be based upon this one or this one might have been based upon that one – hard to say. I don’t know which way it would go. But at any rate, this is the one I use. It’s available from the WP Plugins A to Z, WPSupport.ca store, so you can get it from our site. It’s downloadable there and it’s great.

What it does for you is once you set it up, activate it, enter your email, set any exclusion files you need, it’ll check your site once a day, twice a day, or every hour, depending on how often you need to be checking your site for file changes. When it notices a file change anywhere in your root directory, it’ll notify you and let you know what files changed. Now, this has been a lifesaver for me many times because hackers will initially sometimes get in, just upload a file (because they’re using robots to get that dealt with and then they call home as soon as they’ve found a hacked site). If you get notification before the hackers actually access the files they’ve uploaded, you can clean out their mess before they do any damage at all to your site, and that’s some of the things I’ve seen with this. It allowed me to stop a hack in progress or stop a hack before it became a mess, you know. So anyway, something to check out: WordPress File Monitor Plus, available at the WP Plugins A to Z store and I gave it a 5-Dragon rating.

Now, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called WP Dashboard Notes. Now this one here puts basically a little yellow sticky note in your dashboard of your website. You can create several different notes if you want and it works with all administrators on the site. So if you’ve got multiple users – how I use it with sites that I have a client I need to communicate with or we’re both talking about things within the site and they can leave me notes here. Also, I use it to leave notes to myself on things that I need to accomplish on this particular website, such as I need to tweak this plugin, replace this, update this, change that – you know, miscellaneous stuff along the way. That’s what this one is really great for.

It’s great for a communication tool when you’re dealing with administrators. It really does come in handy during some developmental phases of the website so that you can keep track of things that you only want to be reminded of when you log in to this website, and you’ll see it every time you log in, because it’s big, bold, right in your face every time the dashboard loads at its root. So anyway, this is a great one. Check it out. It’s called WP Dashboard Notes and I give it a 5-Dragon rating.

Woohoo! It’s a full house. All right, so usually we’ve got stuff from Marcus to discuss but not today unfortunately. I covered up in this episode Faster Image Insert, which I gave a 5 to; WordPress File Monitor Plus, which I gave a 5 to; and then WP Dashboard Notes, which I gave a 5 to.

[End of Audio]

 

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It's Episode 304 and we've got plugins for Displaying Work Teams, Folder Management, Page Redirects, Blogs as Tiimelines and a cool plugin to show recent purchases in your WooCommerce Store. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 304 WP Plugins A to Z

It's Episode 304 and we've got plugins for Displaying Work Teams, Folder Management, Page Redirects, Blogs as Tiimelines and a cool plugin to show recent purchases in your WooCommerce Store. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of Marcus and John’s discussion of the weekly plugins we have reviewed.

WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #304 here.


It’s Episode 304 and we’ve got plugins for Displaying Work Teams, Folder Management, Page Redirects, Blogs as Tiimelines and a cool plugin to show recent purchases in your WooCommerce Store. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #304

John:                All right, this week here, the first plugin I’ve got is a bit of a continuation from the last show where I was checking out two-factor authentication plugins. I think I have found a winner and it’s called miniOrange 2 Factor Authentication. This one here is the best of all of the two-factor authentication plugins I was testing out and it’s the best to me due to the ease of the setup, the ability for it to have multiple ways of obtaining the code you need. That can be done through your smartphone, through scanning a code, through email – just multiple ways.

Also, the biggest thing I was looking for was one that would remember the device that you are logging in from, so that you wouldn’t have to keep requesting a code every time you’re logging in from a trusted device. You know, if you use the same computer from home all the time and you keep it relatively safe and secure, you should not have to reenter that code over and over again every time you login to the site (except for every once in a while when your cookies randomly get deleted from your browser.)

So anyway, all in all, this one here I found was really good. It also offers up as the free version, you’re only good for one user. If you need more than one user to be authenticated with the two-factor authentication, their licensing is also quite affordable. It starts at $15 a month for five users and $30 for ten, and so on and so forth, so it makes it quite affordable.

With their licensing, they have two tiers of licensing but the pricing is the same for either tier. One tier, you can go through and set it up all yourself if you know what you’re doing. The other tier is they’ll help you set it up and get it all organized for you – and you pay the exact same for the license, which I found a little odd but what the heck, you know? If you don’t want to set it up and you want them, you know, save yourself some time. At any rate, a really great plugin: miniOrange 2 Factor Authentication and this one here hit the top 5-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           That’s cool. So it has the scan. Does it do anything like text your phone with a code or anything like that?

John:                Yep, it’ll text your phone for the code. It’ll scan, it’ll send you an email. I didn’t test any of the other ones. There was a couple of other ways it could be done.

Marcus:           Hmm…interesting. So I’m putting together something that’s one of my new companies and I needed somewhere to display teams, and this is always a common thing for people that do corporate websites out there. But this is one of the most I’d say lazy – I guess you could say lazy – and easy to use ways to display your staff or your teams or people that are involved.

It’s based on the latest CSS animation stuff and it does support all major browsers, so you don’t have those difficulties. It’s really easy to upload team member profile images, get all of their social stats, the places where they can be connected (you know, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), describing their position, the description, and all the rest of it. It’s just really easy to set up, has different shortcodes that you can even replace the author box with what you use in this, and that’s really handy.

It does unlimited color schemes, it works by using a custom post format, it’s got four social profile links integrated that you can use automatically, a really nice drag-n-drop interface to it, and it just all in all is a really, really nice, nice plugin. I’m going to use this one over and over and I’m thinking about using this as sort of a pseudo kind of directory thing too, but that’s yet to be seen.

John:                Cool.

Marcus:           So in the meantime, I found this to be one of the most perfect team or staff displaying plugins out there and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. It looks like a pretty decent plugin.

Marcus:           It is.

John:                Next up, I have one that’s called Wicked Folders. Now, when I first saw it I thought, “Hey, this one could be quite useful,” and then I got let down a little bit as I started playing with it, because the free version – it’s a freemium plugin. Now, the free version does something nice for you in that it creates folders for you in your pages to allow you – if you’ve got lots and lots of pages, the free version is going to do you quite nicely and you can organize the pages into different folders to make looking for them quite easy.

One of the things that I saw was, you know, when you’re reading through the material, it talks about you can do this with the media library, and that’s where I got excited. “Ooh, I can organize my media library,” and it turns out that’s the premium version — $49 but I didn’t get a chance to test it, but that’s the one thing that could be very useful, especially for a couple of my websites which have lots and lots of images that I would love to organize in the folders to be able to organize them. In fact, this should probably be part of the core of WordPress Media Library.

At any rate, it looks like a pretty decent plugin. It might help you out in organizing your website up a little bit and it’s called Wicked Folders – the free version – and I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Hmm…well, there’s still hope for the media library someday.

John:                Yeah, well, you know – we’re all really hoping.

Marcus:           Hm…

John:                We’ve been hoping for years.

Marcus:           Yeah. Okay, so I have just redesigned my own personal website at marcuscouch.com, and I’m looking for a way to kind of give a timeline in terms of like where I’ve come from and the things that I’ve done. It goes all the way back to age 11. It was kind of the first time I actually started doing reviews and, you know, we’re talking early ‘80s. I used to be a member of the Fox Valley Commodore 64 Users Group, and I used to write for the newsletter and do all kinds of stuff, and even demo software to live college auditoriums in front of like 300 people. And I wasn’t scared about it, either. That’s what’s weird. Nowadays, I get in a room with 40 people and I’m like “Uhh…”

John:                Ah, you know, those joys of youth.

Marcus:           Yeah. So I wanted to put a timeline together that I could start talking about when my different milestones within technology had come about, and there is a ton of them from different school things that I did to outside of that, to working in printing and working in media, then how that transferred into website stuff and all that. So I found this really nice plugin called My Timeline Blog, and what it does is it creates a responsive timeline blog page. You create sort of this vertical timeline that you can go to either specific years, with these little tabs at the top that talk about, you know, “1978…1991…,” you know, all of that. You click on those and it takes you to that specific timeline of things that happened.

Now, you could also use this just for your regular blog. It does all kinds of cool stuff and it’s really responsive, it’s free, there’s no limitation on how many you can do. You can add the dates obviously and the year tab is always the thing that stays at the top. So it’s very interesting, it’s something that I’m going to be using on my own personal site, and I rated this a 4 out of 5.

John:                Yeah, it’s kind of cool looking. I saw that one, too. I was thinking of examining it but a good thing you did.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                It saves me having to. All right, the final one I’ve got here today is kind of a simple plugin — t’s just a basic plugin. If you’ve recently done a permalink structure change on your site or have moved your site to a new domain, or moved your site from one directory to another, we all know the pain of the broken 404 links that come along with those sorts of things that happen.

This is a simple plugin that has no configurations whatsoever; you just install it, turn it on, and activate it. Then what it does it does a search for links that are 404 broken and if it finds them, it automatically redirects them to what it thinks is the correct page. It probably does a good job maybe 8 out of 10 times and occasionally it’s going to redirect to someplace it shouldn’t.

But this is just a simple way if you’re in a hurry, you don’t want to go through things, don’t want to deal with anything right now, just turn this one on and go, forget it, and see what happens. All in all, it’s a good, basic plugin and it could save you some time or some headaches down the road. Check it out – it’s called Redirect Old Links and I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Good. All right, let’s end it off here with some WooCommerce stuff. I try and bring some WooCommerce in at least every show or every other show, and this one is really nice. It reminds me of when I go to book a hotel. Sometimes when you go to like Travelocity or Hotels.com or Orbitz or any of those, it tells you like, “Okay, 20 people are looking at this thing right now,” or, “Ten people have booked this today,” right?

So this is a similar thing; this is called Recently Bought This for WooCommerce. What it does is it displays real-time orders on your storefront, so it gives a little snippet of each item description and the picture of the product that they bought. And so, John, if I happen to go to a site and you happen to go there and by the WordPress Rocks T-shirt in yellow, it’ll tell me, “Hey, John just bought this.” Now, it doesn’t tell me who John is, but it just says, “John.”

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           “John just bought this T-shirt. Click here to check it out,” and that’s a really great way to kind of boost sales, get that demand going for different items and different products within your site. They can also see that people have actually paid money and bought things from you, and that’s risk reversal.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           That’s one of the core components of e-commerce.

John:                Yeah, social appreciation, too – or what’s the word I’m looking for?

Marcus:           Yeah. Proof.

John:                Social proof, there you go. Social proof: somebody else has already bought it, so hey, I can buy it, too.

Marcus:           That’s correct. So it’s a very nice plugin. You can check it out yourself. It’s called Recently Bought This for WooCommerce and I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Yeah, that could be quite useful if you’ve got an e-commerce store.

Marcus:           Mm-hmm.

John:                All right, well this week here I talked about miniOrange 2 Factor Authentication, which I gave a 5 to; Wicked Folders, which I gave a 3 to; and then Redirect Old Links, which I gave a 3 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Teams, which I gave a 5 to; My Timeline Blog gets a 4 out of 5, and we just talked about Recently Bought for WooCommerce and that gets a 4 out of 5.

 

[End of Audio]

 

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It's Episode 303 and we've got plugins for Admin Menu Items, WordPress File Downloads, Shortcodes within Excerpts, Two Factor Authentication and an easy way to edit WooCommerce Templates. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 303 WP Plugins A to Z

It's Episode 303 and we've got plugins for Admin Menu Items, WordPress File Downloads, Shortcodes within Excerpts, Two Factor Authentication and an easy way to edit WooCommerce Templates. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of Marcus and John’s discussion of the weekly plugins we have reviewed.

WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #303 here.


It’s Episode 303 and we’ve got plugins for Admin Menu Items, WordPress File Downloads, Shortcodes within Excerpts, Two Factor Authentication and an easy way to edit WooCommerce Templates. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #303

John:                All right, the first plugin I have this week is one that I came across due to a client asking me for some help and support with it. It’s called WP File Download. It’s done by a company called Joomunited, and I think they kind of specialize in Joomla! plugins, but it looks like they’ve expanded into WordPress plugins. This one here is a pretty nice file download management plugin. One of the big features that I was called in to help with was integrating it with Google Drive.

The nice thing about this plugin and how it works with Google Drive – and it is a premium plugin to let you know at $29 to $59 – the integration of Google Drive, once you get that hooked up, set up, the integration through your Google app platform and everything. Then what you can do is through the backend of WordPress, you can create directories and upload files that are then automatically synched to your Google Drive and you can go both ways. Once you have it fully working and functioning, you can add files at your Google Drive level and they get automatically synched to your website.

Marcus:           Hmm.

John:                How this one client was using it is they needed to get contracts and other bits and information to specific clients and keep them in separate folders and only allow the clients into those folders with specialized pages. They used G-Drive to do that, because it was easier from their computers to just drop them in Google Drive and have them sync to the website for the clients, instead of having to share out the link for G-Drive all the time.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                So it works fairly smooth once you get it worked and set up. It does take some work and effort to set it up and I found it to be a pretty decent plugin all in all. Anyway, check it out. It’s called WP File Download from Joomunited.com, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Beautiful! That’s a great plugin. That’s really nice. What kind of drawbacks did you find to give that a 4 instead of a 5?

John:                The hassle in setting it up.

Marcus:           Yeah, that’s it?

John:                That’s it.

Marcus:           Okay.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           All right, well, I’ve got something that I typically probably wouldn’t highlight as a featured plugin, except I know this audience and I know that you are plugin-crazy if you’re listening to this show. You love plugins just as much as John and I do. So this plugin is called Show Plugin Menu Items on Activation. John, how many times have you installed a plugin and then went, “All right, where is it?”

John:                [Laughter]

Marcus:           You’ve got to go do a hunt, right?

John:                Probably about 80-90% of the time.

Marcus:           [Chuckling] Well, when you do this, instead of having to hunt around the admin sidebar trying to find new menu items where your plugin is, this plugin actually shows and highlights the different menu items on activation, so you never have to search around again. It’s got just kind of a highlight exactly where and point it to where this goes. So if one, two, three, four menu items are added, it actually shows you what menu items get added the second that you activate the plugin.

John:                Sweet!

Marcus:           No more hunting around, no more trying to find out where the settings are – if there even are any – and this one will show you exactly what’s up right when you install the plugin. It’s pretty cool; I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! Yeah, that will come in real handy because almost every plugin I add it’s like, “Where in the menu?” If they’re ones I’m familiar with, I know where to look but —

Marcus:           Yeah. Yeah, it’s tough sometimes. And sometimes they just hide it in settings or tools or sometimes they’ll create their own menus.

John:                Oh, that’s true.

Marcus:           I’m preaching to the choir here on this one.

John:                Absolutely.

Marcus:           You know, this is a great plugin.

John:                Okay, the next one I’ve got up here is for two-factor authentication. I’m in the process right now of researching two-factor authentication plugins to find one for a client so that we can set up two-factor authentication, and we’re looking for easy ways to do it. At the moment, not really finding a lot of easy ways but I’m finding some pretty decent plugins along the way. The first one I’ve got here is RapID Secure Login, and this one here is relatively new and they’re touting it as a replacement for Clef, since Clef is being disabled come June of 2017. If you use Clef, you’re going to have to replace it.

This one here looks like it might be a halfway decent replacement for Clef. It works in a similar manner to Clef in that after you get it installed on your site and downloaded, you have to download an app to your phone and then you need to create a RapID account. But the process looks to be pretty painless; I haven’t done it yet but there’s currently a couple of issues around it. If you lose or change phones, then you have to go through a process to get it disabled and set up again. Their pricing – they don’t have any pricing on their website beyond the initial free license they’re giving out, but they say, you know, send them an email for that and they do offer a premium version of the plugin.

So anyway, it looks to be pretty decent, so check it out: RapID Secure Login for two-factor authentication and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Good! That’s good. Yeah, I’m gonna miss Clef. That was my Siskel & Ebert moment when I got my own quote from my review of Clef on the actual artwork in the Repository.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           …now it’s gone.

John:                Yeah, it looks like they’re merging with another company.

Marcus:           Yeah, I know. It stinks. You know how that goes: it’ll never be the same.

John:                No.

Marcus:           Never. All right, the next plugin is something that I actually needed and used for my new homepage, and this is called Edit WooCommerce Templates. I am using a theme and a child theme that is not out of the box WooCommerce compatible, so I needed to create a few tweaks to do some WooCommerce templates, and I didn’t feel like doing any PHP or any of the other stuff that goes along with that. I wanted a nice, easy way to create my own template files and have them come up relatively simply.

I’ve only got a couple of different products that I’m putting onto the page, so I just wanted to make it short and sweet, and this plugin called Edit WooCommerce Templates allowed me to do that. So I could take a stock WooCommerce template and change it around, reset it, do all that I needed to to get the proper, you know, values and things like that within the page, and it was really, really easy.

This template is something that I highly recommend if you need to just quickly add something into your theme that will allow you to do WooCommerce a little simpler. It allows you to do editing, saving, resetting, and finding different WooCommerce templates that you can modify and add to your theme. I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very sweet. I always like it when you can edit those WooCommerce templates in an easier manner than what’s normally required.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                All right, well, the final one I’ve got here today is called Two Factor Authentication. (I know, not very unique.) But what they’ve done here, this one is created by the guys at UpDraft and it’s a pretty decent two-factor authentication. It’s one that I’m gonna dig in much deeper to because it offers more than just using a device, like your phone or a tablet, for doing your authentication.

You can use email, TOTP protocols, HOTP protocols, it also sets up three emergency one-time use passwords that you can write down and hang onto in case you use a device or something and you need to get in there and deactivate a device. It also will integrate into the add-ons that are available for Google Chrome, such as Authenticator, SAS Pass, and G-auth authenticator, which are available for Chrome. So you can use a browser to create the one-time use codes for it, instead of having to use your phone or some other device.

So it has a lot more options to it than the previous one I looked at, and this one I’ll be digging into deeper. And, of course, coming up in shows, I’ll have even more of these plugins along the way. So anyway, check out Two Factor Authentication from UpDraft. It looks to be a pretty decent plugin and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Good deal! I like that. All right, John, I’m going to close it out here with a lazy plugin. As I was working on my own homepage, I tried to take advantage of this other plugin I like called Shortcodes Anywhere – or Everywhere – I forget which one it is. The problem was it was not actually giving me shortcodes everywhere because my excerpts did not allow me to use the shortcode.

Why would you want to do that? Maybe I want to insert something every time in the excerpts that is a revolving advertisement or maybe a link or something like that to click on. And those excerpts, by the way, are part of a podcast feed —

John:                Mm-hmm.

Marcus:           — or things like that.

John:                Absolutely.

Marcus:           So I found this plugin; it’s called Add Shortcodes to Widgets and Excerpts, and it does exactly what it says. It allows you to add a shortcode to any widget area, any excerpt. Super-easy, super-lazy, and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Sweet. You’ve just got to like those simple plugins that just work and do what you need to do without having to do any other tweaks to it.

Marcus:           Yep, and I didn’t even find it – it created its own menu, so —

John:                Nice.

Marcus:           [Chuckling] No menu required! One function.

John:                All right, well I covered up in this episode the WP File Download, which I gave a 4 to; RapID Secure Login, which I gave a 4 to; and then Two Factor Authentication, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Show Plugin Menu Items on Activation gets a 4 out of 5, Edit WooCommerce Templates another 4 out of 5, and we just talked about Add Shortcodes to Widgets and Excerpts. That gets a perfect 5 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

 

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It's Episode 302 and we've got plugins for Google Calendar, Site Attack Blocking, Checking your Posts with Copyscape, WooCommerce Images and a plugin to list your stock portfolio. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 302 WP Plugins A to Z

It's Episode 302 and we've got plugins for Google Calendar, Site Attack Blocking, Checking your Posts with Copyscape, WooCommerce Images and a plugin to list your stock portfolio. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of Marcus and John’s discussion of the weekly plugins we have reviewed.

WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #302 here.


It’s Episode 302 and we’ve got plugins for Google Calendar, Site Attack Blocking, Checking your Posts with Copyscape, WooCommerce Images and a plugin to list your stock portfolio. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #302

John:                Okay, the first plugin I’ve got this week here is called repubHub Headlines Widget. This was sent in to us by Dan Sauerhaft and I’ll be interviewing him later today (hopefully, if my recording equipment starts working). It’s at repubHub.com and the plugin is available in the Repository and it’s a pretty easy plugin for adding trending news and/or new articles from your specific sources to your website via a sidebar widget.

It adjusts the settings to allow you to drill down the specific categories and regions, limit number of articles to appear. It’s a pretty excellent way to add additional content to your site. Now, the content comes through repubHub’s system but they have a lot of news sources where they bring in content. A lot of it’s really great and useful, so if you want to check this out if you’re looking to add additional news, top stories, other bits and pieces to your website from a third-party source, it seems to be a pretty decent plugin, and we’ll know more about it after I interview Dan. So check it out: repubHub Headlines Widget and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Outstanding! Well, one of the things that I’ve done lately is installed a Google Calendar list for someone that has regular events. They wanted a way to not have to do it in an events calendar pro plugin or things like that. They just wanted their office staff to be able to add things to a Google Calendar and then list them on the site. So I found a plugin for them called Google Calendar List View, and what it does is it lets you put a shortcode down and you can display the list view of a public Google Calendar. But it worked great; the functionality itself worked perfect the very first time that I tried the shortcode. But it does seem to be unformatted out of the box, so you will have to make some CSS modifications to get it to work perfectly formatted within your site. But I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. It’d be nice to have your Google Calendar display in a decent way.

Marcus:           Yeah, so it’s a really easy way for keeping a client out of the WordPress installation, adding their own events – anybody can use a Google Calendar and this one incorporates and merges that into your content perfectly.

John:                Excellent. The next plugin I’ve got here is called WP Block and this plugin here is a security plugin. What it does is it helps you prevent some of the most common attacks simply by keeping your plugins, themes, core, and WordPress updated. But it also goes in and disables access to admin for everyone except admins and editors, disables the use of WP Scan, which is a tool that’s used by, you know, the hackers – mostly script kitties, and that’s a lot of the common attacks that happen to WordPress websites.

It helps block hackers from scanning your website for admin users, vulnerable threats, vulnerable plugins, and exposed files, and it’s supposed to help reduce the load on your server. It prevents access to sensitive files and a bit more. All you’ve got to do is install it, activate it, a couple of minor adjustments, and you’re good to go. So anyway, a pretty decent plugin – a nice, little security plugin to help tighten up your website a little bit with a minimal amount of effort. Check it out – it’s called WP Block and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           All right. The next plugin I have is for WooCommerce and it’s called WooCommerce Image Annotator. This is really neat, John. If you want to add more value to the products on your WordPress sites, get a little bit of extra pop when it comes to those images, this is the plugin for you. What it does is it allows you to actually open up one of your product images, annotate it (which means put notes on it). You know, you could put instructions: “Here’s number one, here’s number two, here’s number three…” all within the same image.

Or if you want to talk about sizes, colors, or anything like that, you can actually annotate, which means you don’t have to pull it into Photoshop and then type your notes and all that. You just actually type what it is that you want right in WordPress, then you can save it, display it, go back and edit it if you want to later, so it’s not a permanent thing, and it does not overwrite the original image.

John:                Huh!

Marcus:           That’s very, very cool —

John:                That is very cool.

Marcus:           — so I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5!

John:                Nice. Gotta like that. You can go through and add some really nice features to your images. I like how they show it in here in that you have your model showcasing the pieces and then you highlight those little pieces on the model.

Marcus:           That’s right. So yeah, it could be – let’s just say you’re doing variable sizing, right?

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           So if you have a shirt and you’re measuring the collar, you know, that’s number one. The sleeve, that’s number two and the width of the shirt – shoulders or whatever – so you could put those to different things down there and then they would know exactly what it is that they’re ordering.

John:                Very nice! Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called Stock Market News. Now, the developers of this actually by Stockdio actually create three different plugins. This is one that I’ve tested so far. I’ll probably test the other ones. But what this one does here, it is a little bit challenging to get set up. You have to go create an account on their site, then you have to get an API key and then get it set up, and then you have to choose the very specific stock exchanges and stock symbols and tickers.

But what it does once you get it working is it starts to display news, information, and there are other ones that will start to display stock reports – ticker reports – for you to let you know how the stocks are doing. Other than that, it’s a really great plugin. It allows you to monitor the market indices, currencies, commodities, are supported, even bringing in news and information about what’s happening in the world of stocks and investments. So all in all, not a bad plugin but due to the amount of effort it requires to get it set up, I had to set this one at a 3-Dragon rating. Check it out: Stock Market News.

Marcus:           Yeah, I’ve recently become an investor in stocks and I’ll tell you what: I’m looking at stocks almost as much as I’m looking at plugins lately.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           I mean, it’s addicting. I just can —

John:                [Laughter]

Marcus:           — watch it all the time. It’s pretty cool.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           All right, so the next one is used actually to – this one really comes in handy if you’re doing guest posts or stuff like that. It’s called Postscape, and if you’re familiar with Copyscape, Copyscape is a website that checks all the other content on the web to make sure that the thing that you are using is original, and that’s very, very important to make sure that you have original and not duplicate content on your site.

So what this does is it just adds a button to the WordPress editor and it allows you to do a quick scan of Copyscape with the content that you’ve actually got within the editor and give you a percentage of originality.

John:                Hmm.

Marcus:           So this is really good for people that submit guest posts. I have a client that runs an association and often the members actually contribute blog posts and quite often. I mean, one of the rules that we have is it has to be 100% original, and something like this really helps because it can weed that out, whether they’re just submitting some press release that they’ve already done or an article that they did about a year ago on their own blog that never went anywhere. This is the way to check that. It’s called Postscape and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice – very important to make sure your content is as original as it can possibly be. Getting harder and harder these days though.

Marcus:           Yeah, absolutely.

John:                So much information and content out there in the world, you know, nothing’s new under the sun, so you’ve just got to figure out a new way to present it.

Marcus:           Except for this podcast.

John:                Oh, true. True – this podcast is pretty unique in what it is.

Marcus:           That’s right.

John:                All right, well that wraps it up. I covered up in this episode repubHub Headlines Widget, which I gave a 4 to; WP Block, which I gave a 4 to; and Stock Market News, which I gave a 3 to.

Marcus:           And I covered Google Calendar List View, which got a 4 out of 5, WooCommerce Image Annotator gets a 5 out of 5, and we just talked about Postscape, which gets a 5 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

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