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

It's Episode 297 and we've got plugins for Interactive Flip Books, Tax Reports, Help Desk within WordPress Admin, Demo Site Creation, and the highest regarded plugin I've ever used. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 297

It's Episode 297 and we've got plugins for Interactive Flip Books, Tax Reports, Help Desk within WordPress Admin, Demo Site Creation, and the highest regarded plugin I've ever used. 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 #297 here.


It’s Episode 297 and we’ve got plugins for Interactive Flip Books, Tax Reports, Help Desk within WordPress Admin, Demo Site Creation, and the highest regarded plugin I’ve ever used. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #297

John:                All right, this week here the first plugin I’ve got for everyone is called Tax Report for WooCommerce. This is a pretty nice plugin. Now again, tax time in at least North America – I don’t know about the rest of the world and their tax reporting, but it happens in March/April – but we do, so you start thinking about your taxes. And of course, if you run an online shopping store, you’re going to have to charge and collect taxes, depending on where you’re located. Here in Canada, we have to collect GST, HST, and MPST. Depending on the product and everything else, it varies which one you’re collecting. So you have to collect all that information, report those taxes, and eventually you’ve got to pay them out. Yes, the government always wants their share of the pie.

What this plugin does is it makes that job of reporting a whole lot easier for you. It goes in there and it brings up the reports on the taxes you’ve collected, where they’ve been collected on, and it tells you how much you have owing to the government. It’s a very simple plugin; it looks like it does a great job and I had to give it a 4-Dragon rating. So check it out: Tax Report for WooCommerce.

Marcus:           Very nice. Okay, I want to talk about a plugin that is on the Repository but it’s also a premium plugin. I’ve reviewed the premium version. It is called Interactive 3D Flipbook and it is very impressive. It allows you to import images, PDFs, or even HTML files as a flipping book. It can be used for demonstrations of magazines, books, cars, brochures, booklets – any of that kind of stuff. It’s better than I’ve seen on any other magazine site, any media site – anything. This is the coolest 3D flipbook I think I’ve ever seen. And not only does it have that straight overhead view, but it also has the flipbook as if it’s laid out on a table in front of you.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           And you can flip through it like that. Really great plugin. It’s priced at $24. I do have a link in the show notes and it’s pretty amazing. There’s a great demo on their website and on CodeCanyon as well, and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! That can be quite cool, especially if you do a website that has digital editions of their product.

Marcus:           Not just that, but you could also do brochure templates, right? Everybody looks at those brochure templates sometimes on CodeCanyon and all the rest of it and Graphic River, you know, where you just get those Photoshop templates of maybe proposals —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — or those kinds of things. You can maybe put a generic flyer, brochure, whatever you want to do – a catalogue even if you’re an e-commerce company, and put it together in a flipbook. It looks really cool.

John:                Cool. Okay, the next one I’ve got up here is called WP Demo Buddy. This is a plugin that allows you to create demos and a demo section on your site for any of your own plugins, themes, or other miscellaneous things. I haven’t had a chance to give this a full test yet, but it’s something that may be coming to the WP Plugins A to Z site as a way for us to demonstrate some of the better plugins we get or the premium plugins we get, so that people can check them out and see if it’s for them.

It uses shortcodes to enter, it creates a secondary section, and it’s auto-cleaning. In other words, after if you set an expiry timer on the demo after someone has messed it up completely, it automatically wipes it out and resets it back to zero so that it’s nice and fresh on a regular basis for people to go in and mess with it. It allows you a way to get in there and set up promotions in the demo so that people can go in there and buy it once they decided they want it, link off, and go buy it from wherever it needs to be bought from.

All in all, it looks like it’s going to be quite the cool plugin to be using and checking out for setting up demos of plugins and themes to sell them. So anyway, this is one of the big things that I’ve always kind of complained about with premium plugins is that sometimes they have no demo for me to actually test – and I’m talking the demo to get into the backend to test, not what the customer sees, so I end up buying them to find out, oh God, I just wasted my money. So anyway, check this out: WP Demo Buddy and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Interesting. Yeah, I’ve reviewed that on a different show and I love it. By the way, John, breaking news – breaking!

John:                What’s that?

Marcus:           We’ve never had this on this show – breaking news.

John:                Breaking news, all right. Ding, ding, ding, ding!

Marcus:           WordPress 4.7.3 has just been pushed. It is a security release for all previous versions. They strongly encourage you to update and it patches six immediate security issues, cross-site scripting, and a bunch of other stuff. So update.

John:                Update now! All right, I can see all of that coming this afternoon as I open my email back up and all of a sudden I’ve got dozens of emails of all the sites that auto-updated.

Marcus:           That’s right. Okay, so I was approached on Facebook by Marette Aminov [sp?] and he told me about his plugin called Catchers Helpdesk and Ticket System Plugin For Support. This is basically a helpdesk ticket thing that runs right within the WordPress administrative area. Each help request sent to support email becomes a helpdesk ticket – now, that’s key – each email that’s sent to your support team becomes a helpdesk ticket in the WordPress backend.

John:                That’s nice.

Marcus:           You can categorize, prioritize tickets, and assign them to different people in your team, either manually or automatically, and there is no conflict between two people trying to answer the same ticket because you already know if one person on the team has already taken that ticket. This is the best internal WordPress support ticket system that I’ve ever seen. It rivals things like Zendesk in terms of what it can do. It’s $49, it’s on sale at CodeCanyon. This is an outstanding plugin and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! Yeah, that would be very nice. Every other helpdesk I’ve ever tried has been mediocre at best.

Marcus:           Yeah, this one’s really good. They did their work on this one.

John:                All right, the final one I’ve got here today is Amount Left for Free Shipping for WooCommerce. What this one’s for is if you’re running a WooCommerce store and you have shipping and you offer up free shipping after they spend so much money, this is a nice little simple plugin that then drops the amount they’ve got to go before they get free shipping into their shopping cart, the little mini cart if you’ve got one on there, and on the checkout page.

It’s one of those plugins to help encourage people to spend more money on your website by moving up to that level to the free shipping, because people for some reason think free shipping is free and it’s a really great idea. So anyway, a great little plugin. Check it out, it looks like it’s going to do great for those running a WooCommerce store and offering up free shipping, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating: Amount Left for Free Shipping for WooCommerce.

Marcus:           All right, okay. I teased it in the show – in the opening – the highest regarded plugin I’ve ever used, and this is it. It’s called WP All Import. You might’ve heard of it. It’s been out a couple of years. What it allows you to do is to take any kind of XML or CSV file and imports that information into WordPress – into page titles, descriptions, custom fields, anything like that.

Let me tell you how I used this, okay? I have infinite tools that allow me to scrape, right? You know, you better be careful if you’ve got a website that I’m interested in, because I’m going to scrape every link you’ve got, I’m going to scrape every product you’ve got – all that. This then allows me to take all that data or even affiliate data fees that have like 10,000 products in them, image links, and all of that stuff, and create posts. And not just posts; if I have a product data feed from affiliates that has a product ID, description, category, and all the rest of it, I can have it import straight from an FTP of an affiliate FTP (like Commission Junction or one of those that updated every single day) and it will create WooCommerce products out of every single one of them. It can even have the option to cloak the link so that somebody isn’t getting your affiliate data or your affiliate code.

Here’s the beautiful thing about it is that tomorrow you can set the template to look at the exact same feed and update the information that was already there, and it does it autonomously, which means you don’t have to touch it. And here’s another thing: say if a product is in the feed for today and tomorrow but on Friday it ends up not being in the feed anymore, it recognizes that and takes the product out of WooCommerce for you.

Another great thing is it allows you to adjust the pricing. So if I wanted to pull in a bunch of data and say, give me a 20% markup on everything in WooCommerce and add that to the price, it’ll do that.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           It’s an amazing piece of software. I bought the entire elite bundle that has WP All Import and All Export. I’ve just barely scratched the surface of what this thing can do. I have so many websites, so many directories, so many things that I want to do, and this is an amazing piece of software that I was happy to chuck down $250 for. It’s probably the most I’ve ever paid for one single suite of plugins and I rated this a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Nice. That has lots and lots of opportunities for use, especially importing data.

Marcus:           Mm-hmm. It’s great.

John:                Very nice! All right, well I covered up in this episode here Tax Report for WooCommerce, which I gave a 4 to; WP Demo Buddy, which I gave a 4 to; and Amount Left for Free Shipping for WooCommerce, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And running the tables with all the premium plugins, I’ve got 3D Flipbook, 5 out of 5; Catchers Helpdesk and Ticket System gets 5 out of 5; and WP All Import would get a 6 out of 5, but I only have five, so I can give it a 5 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

It's Episode 296 and we've got plugins for Editing Posts with One Key, Heartbeat Control, Migrating bbPress in Multisite, Tool Tips, and a wild new plugin that lets you stage WooCommerce products in a virtual room. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 296

It's Episode 296 and we've got plugins for Editing Posts with One Key, Heartbeat Control, Migrating bbPress in Multisite, Tool Tips, and a wild new plugin that lets you stage WooCommerce products in a virtual room. 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 #296 here.


It’s Episode 296 and we’ve got plugins for Editing Posts with One Key, Heartbeat Control, Migrating bbPress in Multisite, Tool Tips, and a wild new plugin that lets you stage WooCommerce products in a virtual room. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode # 296

John:                This week here, what have I got for you? Well, I’ve got a few plugins that I’ve ended up using this past week. The first one is called Compact Archives and if you’re looking for a way to display your archives – now, we know the normal way you take the widget for the archives and you list it up and you either get to list them all up and it makes a really ugly list or it compacts it down as a drop-down menu – not a lot to it. This is what this plugin handles for you is it helps you list up archives, especially if you’ve got a website like I was working on here that goes back for eight years and it’s got a lot of archives. When you get to the archive page, you can list it by month and year and you scroll down and see your articles. But how do you get to the other ones in an easy fashion?

This plugin here has a widget that when you drop it in the sidebar, it creates a listing by year and then next to the year, it puts months – either you can have it a digit (1-12) or you could have it January through a three-letter month, or you can have it just by letters. With a little bit of CSS, you can customize it up to fit beautifully into whatever theme you’ve been working on and developing. It makes it really nice that once they get into this archive and are hunting for something, it allows them to jump through all the months of the past years quickly and easily and efficiently. So all in all, it turned out to be a really great plugin and enhanced the look and feel of this site quite nicely. Because it was so simple and effective to use, I had to give this one a top 5-Dragon rating. So check it out: Compact Archives.

Marcus:           Awesome. That’s cool. Speaking of cool, I’ve got a really neat plugin for you to check out, John. It’s called My WooCommerce Product Virtual Showroom and what it allows you to do is take the images of your WooCommerce products or actually you can upload some of these things as well. What it does is it creates a virtual showroom for your customers to test a product. So let’s just say, John, that you and I owned a furniture store. We’d have a sofa and a table and a lamp, perhaps a rug or something like that. We can actually superimpose this in a virtual room and then see how it all looks together.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           And it’s a really cool graphic enhancement for WooCommerce. All of the product images are resizable, movable – all that – around the user’s background photo that they upload, or you can just use stock ones. So it’s really, really cool, a really neat way to kind of drive conversions and sales, and it’s all shortcode-based. It’s really cool, check it out. You’re going to have to see it and once you go into the Repository link, you’ll see an actual YouTube video for it as well to demonstrate how it works. It’s called My WooCommerce Product Virtual Showroom, and I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! Yeah, they’ve got some really nice stuff there. And don’t forget folks, there’s always the Screencast you can come look at and I try to show some of this stuff during the show. Okay, the next plugin I’ve got here is called Heartbeat Control. Now, most people know about the heartbeat of WordPress. It’s that continuous signal that sends back to your browser on a regular basis, usually default every 15 seconds. Well, sometimes that creates issues, especially when you’re on shared hosting providers. What you need to do is control that heartbeat because one of the biggest things that occurs – you’ve probably encountered it. I encounter it from time to time. It’s the issue when you’re creating a post and suddenly you get a popup that says, “You’ve been disconnected. We’ve backed this up in your browser until the reconnection happens.”

Marcus:           Right.

John:                Sometimes, that’s actually caused by the heartbeat going too often and creating issues, especially if you’re a developer and you do like I do sometimes – you’re working on a website and you’ll have three or four tabs open for the same website so you can do multiple things in it. That heartbeat is running on every one of those tabs, so it can create all kinds of problems along the way. So what this plugin does for you is it allows you to go in and control the heartbeat and turn it off for everywhere else on the website that it’s not needed and have it only effective for a post or a page that you’re editing and you can change the timeframe from 15 seconds, all the way up to every 60 seconds. And in reality, you probably only need it every 16 seconds to make that auto-backup of your post while you’re working on it.

So this is a really good plugin. It works very, very well. It actually worked to solve this problem I was working on for a client’s website where we were having this particular issue of the timeouts and the logouts. As soon as I set this all up, it all went away, so it did actually fix the problem because of that. It’s very simple to set up, very easy, and of course because of that, another plugin hit the top 5-Dragon rating. Check it out: Heartbeat Control.

Marcus:           Okay, so I’ve got a disclosure about this plugin.

John:                Hm…what’s that?

Marcus:           This is done by Jeff Matson.

John:                Okay.

Marcus:           He’s a friend of mine. I actually tried to get him to rename this plugin “Pacemaker.”

John:                [Laughter] Pacemaker would be more fun for it.

Marcus:           Right. So it’s very interesting and he’s done pretty well with this plugin. And yeah, I’m talking like a couple of years ago when he first brought it to light. I suggested that name for him but he didn’t go with it.

John:                Well, they should listen to us for names.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                We come up with much cooler names for these plugins.

Marcus:           We’re going to do our own naming service.

John:                Yeah, there you go.

Marcus:           Okay, so the next plugin that I have, it’s really simple – really kind of a lazy plugin. There are a lot of instances where I don’t like using a top bar for editing my site, you know, the admin bar that comes up when I’m looking at the front end. It makes it a little tougher when it comes to editing specific posts and pages, and so I’ve recently tried this plugin. It’s called Escape to edit and it’s really simple when you’re in the front end and you’re logged in as the administrator. All you have to do is hit the escape key and it’ll take you right to the edit page.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           That’s it! That’s all it does: Escape to edit. I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very cool! That could save some time while you’re working on things.

Marcus:           Yeah, sometimes I don’t like using the admin bar because especially if I have something that’s top-heavy, maybe a slider up at the top or a different type of navigation, the admin bar takes up space out there and it kind of aligns it weird, so this is a good alternative to that.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           Escape to edit.

John:                The final plugin I’ve got here today is called Magic Tool Tips for Gravity Forms, and this is a premium plugin. It was submitted to us by Russ Mate. The plugin is $19.95, so not a bad price for a premium plugin. And if you use Gravity Forms – much like I do and promote Gravity Forms because in my opinion, it’s the best of them, even though it does have its issues. This plugin here adds a functionality that is very much needed in Gravity Forms. It adds a tool tip for you so you can give additional instructions for what someone needs to do when they’re entering information on your form, without having to add an entire line underneath, thereby damaging or adding way too much stuff for them to read in a form. They just mouse over the tool tip, get the pop-up saying, “Hey, don’t forget you’ve got to add this,” or “We only accept these files,” or whatever the tool tip is going to be. A very simple plugin, it works very, very well. I found it to be quite efficient to set up and work. The only problem – well, it’s not even a problem – the only thing I would suggest to the developers and I’ll send that when I let them know that we reviewed it, is that they move the menu for this item into the Gravity Forms menus so that you can find the settings menu for this plugin. It was easy to set up, easy to use, it doesn’t function without a license (as I realized after I had set it up and started working with it), so you do have to actually have a license to run this plugin. All in all, a great plugin. It worked well and I had to give it a top 5-Dragon rating. Check it out: Magic Tool Tips for Gravity Forms.

Marcus:           Man, you’re bringing out the hits today.

John:                Man, I got a full house today.

Marcus:           All right, final plugin for me: it’s called Moved bbPress Multisite and what it allows you to do is take the install from one website of a WordPress network (as far as bbPress) and move it to another website in the same multisite network. So you can select which parts of your bbPress install to copy and you can also select what parts to delete from the original website. So if you have a forum that you’d like to move from one site to another within your multisite network, this allows you to do it. The reason I’m featuring it obviously is because I had a need for it and I had to do it. I was just searching on how to migrate bbPress on multisite and this plugin popped up on my radar.

John:                Nice.

Marcus:           A pretty good plugin. I will say it is a little laborious. It didn’t do things as quickly as one click; there’s a lot of setup in between and I did notice that it was kind of a pain to delete specific parts from the website, like they claim. But it does work and it absolutely works and I rated it a 3 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! Yeah, that could definitely become a timesaver for folks.

Marcus:           Yes, and I’m sure by the way with a little bit more time, I would’ve given it a higher rating. It’s just that I was in one of those emergency hurries and believe me, it saved a lot more time rather than having to migrate the code and the database myself.

John:                Very nice.

Marcus:           So I’m appreciative of that.

John:                All right, well I covered up in this episode here Compact Archives, which I gave a 5 to; Heartbeat Control, which I gave a 5 to; and then Magic Tool Tips for Gravity Forms, which I gave a 5 to. Not often – go ahead.

Marcus:           I talked about My WooCommerce Product Virtual Showroom, which I gave a 4 out of 5; Escape to edit gets a 4 out of 5; and Move bbPress Multisite gets a 3 out of 5.

 

[End of Audio]

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

It's Episode 295 and we've got plugins for Mobile Click to Call, Scrolling Widgets, Manual Payments for WooCommerce, Sticky Audio Players, and Featured Content. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 295

It's Episode 295 and we've got plugins for Mobile Click to Call, Scrolling Widgets, Manual Payments for WooCommerce, Sticky Audio Players, and Featured Content. 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 #295 here.


It’s Episode 295 and we’ve got plugins for Mobile Click to Call, Scrolling Widgets, Manual Payments for WooCommerce, Sticky Audio Players, and Featured Content. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode # 295

John:                This week here I’ve got pretty nice plugins out. One of them comes to me because of a connection I had. It’s called Toolset Types. Now, I think I might have reviewed it a couple or three years back when I actually used it once upon a time, but I’d long since forgotten about it because I started doing things other ways. But during a recent project I was working on, I came across an issue setting up a very specific display in a theme for the archives. It was driving me mental and I found a solution to it, but it wasn’t the solution I wanted.

While I was working through it, one of our listeners out there, David – you know who you are. If you want me to announce it all out David, I’ll give the whole world credit to you. But David is one of our listeners. He’s volunteering some time for the WP Plugins A to Z site to help us develop our theme because the theme I used on our site is what I used in my client’s site and he happens to specialize with that theme, which was a really great thing. After talking to him about some things for the WP Plugins site, I mentioned my project and he had a solution for me that involved using the Toolset Types.

So what happened was after I talked to him, I realized it’s easier just to hire him, so I hired him to do the job for me on this project. A couple of hours later, he solved it for me. All we have to do is some fine-tuned tweaking and it’s great. But when I went and looked at Toolset Types, it’s a great plugin. You can create all kinds of custom post types, fields for many different uses such as custom searches, you can customize WooCommerce websites, custom templates, post types, and more.

It’s a really great plugin. It is a premium plugin that starts at $69, so you’ve got to spend some money but well worth it. The time it saved on this project here and how it’s impressing and helping my client is well worth it and well worth paying David the time necessary to do the job and help out my clients, so this plugin hit a 5-Dragon rating. Check it out: Toolset Types.

Marcus:           There you go. That’s nice! I like it how things work out like that and I’m looking forward to seeing the changes on the site, too.

John:                Yeah, well they’ll be coming over time. But David can’t spend any money with us, but he’s volunteering time which is just as good.

Marcus:           That’s value, absolutely. That’s awesome, thank you.  All right, so the first plugin that I’ve got today is a mobile-based plugin. A lot of us are kind of realizing that mobile first is the way to go when it comes to design because so much traffic is now migrating over to mobile.

John:                Absolutely.

Marcus:           In some instances, it’s dominating, you know. The desktop seems to be dying as far as surfing the internet goes. So this is called Really Simple Click To Call Bar, so what it does is it’s a plugin that leaves kind of a sticky bar on the bottom of any of your responsive sites and it only displays in a mobile device. What it does is it adds a customizable click to call bar at the bottom for all your mobile users that just have to click it one time and it calls your business. It’s great for small businesses, restaurants, retail stores, or any kind of lead generation that relies strictly on phone calls, or at least dependent on some phone calls. It’s called Really Simple Click To Call Bar, great plugin, and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! Yeah, I had something similar to that for quite a while on another plugin years ago.

Marcus:           Mm-hmm.

John:                But yeah, that’s definitely nice. Oftentimes, I’ll look up a website and I’m looking specifically for their phone number and if it has that button, it’s like sweet. I just hit the button and call them.

Marcus:           That’s right.

John:                All right, next up I have here is a plugin called WP Featured Content and Slider. It has both a free and a pro version. I ended up testing the pro version which starts at $9, but the free version, all it is is a slightly lesser bits of the pro. Anyway, while working on another project during last week, I had been running into another issue displaying featured content just the way I wanted to in a slider I’ve been trying to work with, Revolution Slider, to get this display. But the display wasn’t quite what the client wanted or what I was after.

While doing some research for something else, I tripped across this plugin here, and this plugin allows you to pull that content for your featured content for your news and other bits and pieces that you’re going to display, and create some really nice carousel sliders for that information. It allowed me to create the display just the way my client wanted.

Now, the free version didn’t have everything but the paid version definitely had what I was after. It offered the ability to create this great layout, content from your posts or custom post types, place it where you want it with a shortcode or with a widget. All in all, a really great plugin. It’s from wponlinesupport.com and I had to give this one a 5-Dragon rating. It’s WP Featured Content and Slider.

Marcus:           Wow! That’s two five-in-a-rows there for you – five stars – I love that.

John:                They don’t happen very often with me. But once in a while, they just manage to knock it out.

Marcus:           Yeah, and I’ve been very discerning about my ratings lately, so why not now? The next one I want to talk about is something that happens quite a bit, actually. Sometimes, it’s necessary for you to have to manually get involved with the credit card process and this plugin is called WooCommerce Manual Payment. What it does is it adds a payment form to the WooCommerce edit order page. There’s no real need to leave the backend at all for this; you just fill in the credit card information manually and then click ‘process payment’ and that’s it. It’s completely secure, the credit card information never hits your server, it goes right to your payment processor, and it allows you also with the pro version of this plugin to do manual refunds, which is also something that’s somewhat difficult sometimes when dealing with WooCommerce. So if you’re hands-on and maybe you’re even wanting to just keep a credit card on file and ding that card every month for services to a business or a person that you do work for, this is a great way to do that as well. It’s called WooCommerce Manual Payment and I reviewed the free version of it. (There is a pro version.) I rated this a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. That could definitely save some people some time.

Marcus:           Mm-hmm.

John:                The final plugin I’ve got this week is another plugin from WP Online Support and it’s a pro version that I tested, but they do have a free version. They have free versions of all of their plugins available at the WordPress Repository. But their pro version is very nice, their prices are very affordable. This one here started at $16 for the plugin. The plugin, being from the same developer – but it also solved another issue that I was having on another project. (Yeah, my last week was pretty busy, which explains everything.)

I was trying to create a good, clean news ticker for the website and it kept coming up with, you know, ones that weren’t fitting the bill quite right. This one here offered up several different layouts, it pulls from its own custom post type for news, which is not exactly what we were looking for, but it was close and better than what we were being presented with. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty decent plugin. I really wanted to rate it at a 5 but it just didn’t have all the functionality I was chasing, but gave it a 4-Dragon rating. A pretty great plugin: WP News and Scrolling Widgets.

And as a side note about these two plugins I recommended from the same developer, if you find that any of their plugins are worthwhile, they also offer themes and they have a theme and plugin package that starts at $69, which is what I ended up purchasing. I could see myself using a couple of their other plugins down the road or even one of their themes. Anyway, check it out and no, there’s no affiliate or kickback on this one; this is just I found a really good service worthwhile, so I thought I would just let everyone know.

Marcus:           Great! All right, the last one that I’ve got is something that I’ve been just kind of thinking about, mulling over, how I could actually add audio tracks that could be switchable throughout my site, and I came up with this cool plugin. It is called Themify Audio Dock and what it does is it allows you to play music, podcasts, spoken word – anything you want – any kind of mp3 file on any WordPress site, using the audio dock. So you could put an unlimited number of tracks, put your own custom titles in, choose any kind of color that you want for the bar and the text of the track.

This is a great plugin for bands, artists, or any kind of user that wants to set the right mood with music in their browser. It’s really nice, because you can actually kind of skip through the different tracks and it doesn’t matter if you navigate to another page; this sticky bar with the tracks on it stays intact.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           And it’s really nice. It’s not necessarily a podcast catcher, because it doesn’t work on any feeds or anything and you do have to manually add in all of the tracks. But I thought it was a really great plugin. It’s one of the best that I’ve seen in terms of audio and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Perfect – very nice. Well, at least we wrapped it up with a 5.

Marcus:           Mm-hmm.

John:                And I also wanted to make a quick mention, because I was just taking a look at the audio dock there. I’m noticing more and more plugins when they display content, they’re starting to make mention that they’re fully responsive across all mobile devices.

Marcus:           Mm-hmm.

John:                And that was one thing that I forgot to mention about the previous two plugins I had done was that they are mobile-responsive, too, which really saves you a lot of grief down the road, especially nowadays that everything needs to be mobile-responsive.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                Okay, well that pretty much wraps it up. I covered up in this episode here the Toolset Types, which I gave a 5 to. I covered up the Featured Content and Slider, which I gave a 5 to and the WP News and Scrolling Widgets, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Really Simple Click To Call Bar for your mobile sites and I rated that a 4 out of 5, WooCommerce Manual Payment gets a 4 out of 5, and Themify Audio Dock a 5 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

It's Episode 294 and we've got plugins for Sales Countdown Woocommerce, Sending Bad Bots to the corner, Techxplorer's Plugin Listicle sounds like something from Epic Spell Wars. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 294

It's Episode 294 and we've got plugins for Sales Countdown Woocommerce, Sending Bad Bots to the corner, Techxplorer's Plugin Listicle sounds like something from Epic Spell Wars. 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 #294 here.


It’s Episode 294 and we’ve got plugins for Sales Countdown Woocommerce, Sending Bad Bots to the corner, Techxplorer’s Plugin Listicle sounds like something from Epic Spell Wars. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #294

[John only this week]

Okay, this week here I have the first plugin. It is called Sales Countdown WooCommerce Addon. Now this one here can be a real enhancement to those of you who have a WooCommerce website and you offer sales for your products from time to time. One of the things that helps enhance when you have a sale is getting people to buy it is to put a time limit on it as a way to make it more important so that they feel the sense of urgency necessary to purchase it. So what this plugin does for you is it creates a timer which shows up underneath your product. It shows how many days left until the sale is over.

With that kind of thing happening, it helps put a sense of urgency to people to buy. It’s been found that this does help. While it does help minimally, hey, every additional sale because of it is more money into your pocket. So anyway, it’s a really great plugin. It allows you to enter information when you’re putting your products in and then you can display the stuff via a shortcode on your website and different places. So anyway, check it out: Sales Countdown WooCommerce Addon, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Next up here, we have a way for you to banish bad bots into the dark black hole of Never-never Land. Now, if you’ve been running your website long enough, sooner or later you’re going to run into a bot that ignores the rules of your robot text file. This is kind of important because when a bot goes bad, it will run through your website and it will suck down your bandwidth and use up your resources and create all kinds of headache and grief. It would be nice to have a way to just – when that happens, just banish them so that they can’t even bother your website again.

So what this plugin does for you is it is a little bit of work to set up, so it’s not the easiest thing for the most part, because you’ve got to go in there and set up your robot’s text file, go in there, and you set a honeypot link into the robot’s text file. Now, all good bots (the ones that obey the rules that you set forth in your robot’s text file) will see that they’re not supposed to index this file here and they won’t index it. But bad bots will index that file and as soon as they index that file, they are automatically blocked from the rest of your website and don’t bother it at all. They’re all automatically just banished and out of the way so that they can’t impact you at all.

It’s a really great plugin. It does seem to work quite well. It does have some issues if you use caching plugins with your website, so you have to beware of that. They have some instructions to work around that. And if it wasn’t for this little bit of extra work and the caching plugin issue, this would be rated a 5. But at the moment, I’m going to give it a 4-Dragon rating. So check it out: Blackhole for Bad Bots.

And finally, what I have for you here today is Techxplorer’s Plugin Listicle – it just sounds like a spell from Epic Spell Wars. If you’re a game player, it’s a card game and it’s actually a lot of fun. But as soon as I saw it, that’s why it made me giggle when I saw it and I thought ah, I’ve gotta check this one out, just because of the title. Anyway, what this plugin here is – well, sharing is what WordPress is all about, right? Well, for many anyways – at least for us. Well, one of the things is that a lot of people use a lot of different plugins and there’s a lot of people that are always asking us, “What plugin do you use? Which ones on your website?”

Well, what this plugin does for you is it creates a list of all the plugins that are running on your website and you can create a page using a shortcode and show them out. The default CSS for it is pretty nice. It’s not perfect but, you know, a little bit of work and you can change the CSS layout to more match your website, but the default is all right. It’s really great because what you can do is you can give credit where credit is due for all the plugin developers out there that have helped you build your website. (And yes, they helped you build your website by providing those plugins free, premium, or whatever.) Because of their hard work, you got to save hours and tons of time.

So this is a great way to give back to them at least in a tiny way by providing them links that link back to their product and showcase what you have on your website. You can check it out on our site here. I’ve got it listed up on the WP Plugins A-Z website where it shows what plugins that we are currently using on our website here. One of the nice features I’ve found about this, like I’ve tried plugins like this in the past to be able to showcase all of the plugins that were being used. But the biggest problem I ran into is it tried to list up even the plugins that weren’t active on the site, which is a bit of a pain because sometimes I’ll be storing numerous inactive plugins in anticipation of using them elsewhere or something else, and I didn’t want to showcase what I wasn’t using.

So this showcases just your live, active plugins, which is also very nice in an MU environment which is what WPAZ is at and because the other websites use multiple other plugins. So it’s a really great plugin. It’s a great way of sharing everything and because it’s just really kind of cool (the title is awesome), I had to give this one a 5-Dragon rating.

So there you have it. That’s the plugins this week. I covered up Sales Countdown WooCommerce Addon, which I gave a 4 to; Blackhole for Bad Bots, which I gave a 4 to; and then Techxplorer’s Plugin Listicle, which I gave a 5 to.

 

[End of Audio]

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

It's Episode 293 and we've got plugins for Time Sheets, Locking Content, Instagram Feeds, GEO Targeting Cloning Sidebars and more. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 293

It's Episode 293 and we've got plugins for Time Sheets, Locking Content, Instagram Feeds, GEO Targeting Cloning Sidebars and more. 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 Episode #293


It’s Episode 293 and we’ve got plugins for Time Sheets, Locking Content, Instagram Feeds, GEO Targeting Cloning Sidebars and more. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #293

John:                This week here I have a couple of great plugins, the first of which is called Time Sheets. Now, if you’re an employer or you have people who work for you – and I have a couple of people who work for me now. One of the biggest problems you’re going to have to face and deal with is time sheets, managing time sheets, and getting them to submit time sheets, unless you’ve got a punch card or something else. Well, this plugin makes that job a whole lot easier for you, especially if you’re doing some remote work with your people like I do. I have them in remotes; we don’t have an actual office. So they can either submit time sheets or they don’t get paid and sometimes they forget to submit their time sheets, so they don’t get paid – not my worry.

At any rate, this plugin here, Time Sheets, you set it up and you go through and do the configuration with it. I found it to be a fairly nice plugin for doing time sheets. The only thing I tripped across which gave me a little bit of grief with it is I wish they’d had a little more clarification in their setup of it into how you create the customers and how you create the jobs and other projects for the time sheets to be in there. You actually have to go into individuals and allow certain people to create or add this information so you can manage the time sheets.

It took me slightly longer than I had hoped to get it set up because of the lack of clarity in their instructions. But other than that, a really great plugin. It’s going to be really nice and smooth. You set it up on your website, you give your person a login to your website (which they probably already have) and only logged-in people can create a timesheet. You can set the time sheets on a page that your user can access and it creates the time sheets and automatically submits them. You can have them automatically submitted to your payroll department if you happen to have one of those or your bookkeeper – whoever does your payroll for you. At any rate, a great plugin: Time Sheets – check it out – 4 Dragons.

Marcus:            Beautiful. All right, I’m going to talk about a really neat plugin that just came out. I’ve seen things like this before and this one seems to work much better than some of the other ones that I’ve experienced. It is called Content Locker and it’s a tool that helps you kind of take things to the next level. What it does is it come up with a screen that has Twitter, Facebook, and I think something else in terms of being able to share or like a page or whatever it happens to be. You get visitors to pay for viewing content by either liking, sharing, or signing up and spreading the word. It helps to not only build your own community and your exposure within the site, but you can do things like this.

Let’s say, John, I had a WooCommerce store and I had a coupon page or a promo code page that had all of the available promo codes that you could use in my WooCommerce store. Perhaps you can only access that discounts page if you like the website or share the website on Twitter, or something like that. This is a really good way to help popularize and spread the word about you, your content, and your products. And for that, I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! I like that idea and I’m going to look at implementing that on ours for the one plugin that we’ve got that is currently $5, but we’ve been giving away if you go back several episodes for the download code and you can only hear it as an oral download code. I actually had quite a few downloads with that plugin.

Marcus:            Now, I say this with somewhat of humor, but I’m actually considering it. On my marcuscouch.com contact form, I get a ton of people that are like, “Hey, we’d like to do SEO for you,” or, you know, that kind of thing. I’m going to use that on my contact form.

John:                There you go.

Marcus:            Want to send me an email? You’re going to have to like me first.

John:                [chuckling] Like me to send me an email.

Marcus:            That’s right! I’m doing it.

John:                Get all them SEO people to like you and promote you on their social networks, whatever they may be. [chuckling]

Marcus:            Yeah! You’ve got to pay the price.

John:                All right, the next plugin I’ve got here today is called Instagram Feed by EVM. This plugin here, it’s a freemium plugin. It was sent in to us by Amit Porwal of  https://www.expertvillagemedia.com/. Now, to me it was another Instagram plugin that allows Instagram feeds onto your plugin. It looks to be a bit better than some I’ve tried, but I did run into a couple of things that concern me about this plugin.

One of the first was the need to create an access token from a third-party service called Out of the Sandbox. I’ve never heard of them but when I did a little research on it, it’s just a third-party service and since it was accessing your Instagram feed and all of your images, it said to me that they’re collecting all of your social info to allow you to use this plugin to display the information on the website – kind of convoluted to me. I’m not certain I would go with a method like this.

The next was their options. They had a provision for a pro version but they had no options for buying the pro version. So to me, come on, guys. If you’ve got a pro version, make it so it can be purchased or make it a value to have a pro version. Other than that, don’t bother to show it. You know, it started out to be pretty good, but, you know, kind of tough. I gave it a 3-Dragon rating. I almost gave it a 2 just due to the things I ran into that were kind of questionable. But other than that, you could check it out and if you’re comfortable with it, go for it. If not, well, take my word and say, “Nah, there’s other Instagram feed plugins.” So anyway, Instagram Feed by EVM, 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:            Very nice, very nice. Okay, so the next one is kind of a – anybody who uses Multisite knows what this is. This is called WP Jump and it’s really cool because what it does is it takes the admin bar and one section within the dashboard and it allows you to set up what other websites and other WordPress installations you have. So let’s just say I’m on marcuscouch.com and I have WP Jump installed.

I can go up to the admin bar and then have one of my other websites there that has a link to the WP admin page. So if I’m going to go from say marcuscouch.com to x2marketing.com, there’s something right in the admin bar up there that I can just go to the very next site, and that’s all it is. It just does that; it’s a link to all your different WP admin things and it allows you to jump from one site to the other. A very handy little tool and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                That’s a very nice little tool, this here. I’ve got standalone websites and that’s pretty much what happens when you’ve got a multiuse site.

Marcus:            That’s right. Same thing.

John:                It’s the same thing. That’s very nice. Does it give you the ability to auto login, or do you have to log in if you happened to be logged out of the other ones?

Marcus:            It doesn’t do auto login and I don’t think I ever want that, because that means if anybody got credentials on one site, that they have them all.

John:                Ah yeah, okay. Scary that way. Yeah, scary.

Marcus:            It works with tools like Clef or —

John:                Nice.

Marcus:            — you know, some of the other ones.

John:                All right, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called Gocha GEO Targeting. Now, this is a premium plugin. It’s $39 and it was sent in to us by Marcin Gocha, it’s available at CodeCanyon. The link in the show notes is an affiliate link, just to let everyone know. While I did not activate this plugin because at the moment I just don’t have a use for it and I didn’t want to go through all of the work to set up and check something out on it at this point in time — I’m just really busy at the moment. I did check out their demos and also the way it looks and the information. It looked like a pretty useful plugin in that what it does for you is it helps you put your Google Maps onto a bit of steroids. You can add photos to them and different places, you can create complex correlations within the maps, be it for the ability of connecting photos and pretty much anything you want.

Their description, it’s got three functionality modes. It’s got a pretty decent interface from when I did check out the interface and see how it works. It seems semi-intuitive; you don’t have to go through all the settings if you’re going to set it up. Some of the default stuff will be perfect for a lot of people. It’s versatile in that it’s got basic modes and advanced modes. It allows you to create a gallery of images that will sit across the bottom of a map and people can click on the images and pop to different points on the map real quickly. So there’s a lot that it can do.

It looks like it could be quite the plugin if you have different stores you want to showcase, if you have different events around town you need to showcase with images – all sorts of things like that. Or if you’re a traveler and just want to showcase all your place you’ve been on the map with images. At any rate, it looks good enough. I give it a 4-Dragon rating and check it out. It’s called Gocha GEO Targeting.

Marcus:            Great! All right, final plugin of the day. This is called Sidebar Content Clone, and it does exactly that. It’s a really handy solution for just duplicating or cloning all the widgets from one sidebar to another sidebar in just one click. It could also clear widgets from the sidebar in one click.

I used this just yesterday because I was working on a website that had a couple of different widget areas. It had a homepage sticky, it had a regular homepage, it had a posts sticky, a posts regular, and the same thing with the page, so there’s really a couple of different things. And if you wanted it on the homepage and also on individual posts as well, you had to kind of create the same thing twice. That’s just a waste of time in my eyes, so I used this plugin, Sidebar Content Clone, and I was easily able to copy over from one place to another with little hassles and no extra setup. So it’s called Sidebar Content Clone and I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                That’s a very useful plugin because I could use something like that on some of the themes I’ve been working on lately where you have different sidebars for different sections of the site, yet you want to use a lot of the same widgets in those sidebars.

Marcus:            That’s it. That’s exactly what it does.

John:                Yeah, that’s a very useful tool. All right, this week here I covered up Time Sheets, which I gave a 4 to; Instagram Feed by EVM, which I gave a 3 to; and did Gocha GEO Targeting, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:            And I talked about Content Locker, which I gave a 5 out of 5, WP Jump gets a 4 out of 5, and Sidebar Content Clone gets a 4 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

It's Episode 292 and we've got plugins for Displaying Team Members, Confession, Callback Widgets and multiple WooCommerce Plugins to enhance your E-Commerce system. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 292

It's Episode 292 and we've got plugins for Displaying Team Members, Confession, Callback Widgets and multiple WooCommerce Plugins to enhance your E-Commerce system. 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 Episode #292


It’s Episode 292 and we’ve got plugins for Displaying Team Members, Confession, Callback Widgets and multiple WooCommerce Plugins to enhance your E-Commerce system. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #292

John:                The first one I’ve got here this week is WooCommerce Shop Assistant JARVIS. This plugin is one that will help make the shopping experience a little easier for your site visitors. It helps them find products and prices ranges, as well as what’s recently best viewed and purchased. It also shows them what’s in their shopping cart and more.

What it does for you is it puts a little icon down on the lower right-hand corner for your visitors to click on. Once they click on that, it then covers up the website with a screen and it lists up all the products, they can choose a category to find products in, set a price range, click Find It, and it will sort and show up all the products in that price range. It shows up in the left-hand side the recent products that are in your website and then on their right-hand side, it shows what’s in their shopping cart basket.

A very nice plugin; it works fairly smoothly. At any rate, it’s a really great plugin for WooCommerce and it should help you out with getting your visitors to spend more money. Check it out: WooCommerce Shop Assistant JARVIS, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Very nice! I like that. All right, so I’ve got something here we’re going to work on that is with WooCommerce as well. It’s called WooCommerce Points System, and this is a premium plugin that’s available on CodeCanyon.net, and we have a link to it in the show notes. It is an affiliate link, so just getting that out there in full disclosure. It doesn’t cost you any more; it just a little bit on the return. It is a great extension for WooCommerce and it adds the ability to compile your own point system for people that purchase from your site.

You can reward customers for purchases or any kind of other actions with points and then you can redeem the points for things that you designate. So you can have specific products – maybe it’s e-books or something like that that they can redeem the points for. You can make it so that people can either pay with money or pay with points on selected items within your store. A very cool system; it’s called WooCommerce Points System and I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! That’s becoming more and more popular with many different places, isn’t it? Actually, it’s been popular for a long time, I think.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                Collecting points.

Marcus:           Yeah. It’s the same as credit cards —

 

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — or airline miles or things like that.

John:                Hey, frequent shopper miles. Okay, what I’ve got next here is called WP Confession Box and this one here, I saw it and eh, it’s kind of fun. You can use it for your website, you can set up a confession area so people can confess their sins or confess whatever is on their mind, confess that your website is fantastic or it sucks, or if it’s a very active site with lots of different users, they can talk about other people, and it’s all anonymous.

It uses AJAX and allows anonymity for the visitors when they leave them. The administration has the ability to delete or remove confessions that aren’t appropriate to the website. Basically, just a fun little toy to add to your website if you’re looking to have some fun. Other than that, not a whole lot of use with it. Anyway, check it out: WP Confession Box, and I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           That’s kind of cool. All right, another WooCommerce plugin and I have not seen one like this. It’s called Woo Already Bought, and as you can imagine, what it does is it enables a custom display message for users that have already bought a particular product or if a product was already added to their cart. You can change the default WooCommerce messages then inform clients that they’ve added products to cart or that they’ve already purchased this specific product. It’s just one of those intuitive things that’s a really nice detail. You see things like this on Amazon and a couple of other high-end shopping systems.

John:                Yes.

Marcus:           And it lets them know what they’ve already purchased and kind of confirms that. At some point, you could also make it that they can’t buy the same thing again or if it’s a one-off or whatever. It’s pretty cool. Check it out: Woo Already Bought, and it’s on the Repository for free. I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                All right, well, that’s actually a fantastic plugin. When I saw that, I almost reviewed it and then realized you might be reviewing it, so I left it behind. But a fantastic idea. I experienced that during the holidays when I was shopping from the website and I thought I didn’t properly add it to the cart and I was coming back to add it and it popped up to say, “You’ve already added this to your cart. Are you sure you want to do this twice?”

Marcus:           Mm-hm. That’s right.

John:                You know, it’s like, “No, okay.” So yeah, this is a really great thing to have into your site to keep people from doubling up on something that they might have already gotten that they don’t want a second time.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                All right, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called Callback Widget Pulsar. Now, this one here caught my eye because I have clients that they depend on the phone calls from their websites. They have a referral system or they need people to call them, not just fill in a form on their website, because they make more sales with it.

What this plugin does – and it is a third-party service but it still can be quite beneficial to you. It looks at the website activity and then determines if people are looking to make contact. If it does, it slides in a window that gives them the offer to within the next 27 seconds to connect to one of your managers or account pros, whoever it happens to be. What it does in this process is it takes their name and their phone number, and then once that information has been entered and they click ‘okay,’ it then sends a signal down the line to connect to one of your managers. Maybe you have five of them. It looks for the first free one available, it rings them, and as soon as it connects, it then automatically calls back that clients and connects the two of them together.

Depending on what’s happening, it can be 27 seconds or within a couple of minutes. You’ve connected to that client and you can make that sale as quickly as possible. So it looked to be a really great service and really fantastic for those that depend upon getting those phone calls off of their websites, not so much the forms. Anyway, if you have a business or know of clients that need something like this, check out this service. It looks to be quite worthwhile. It’s a really great plugin and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating for Callback Widget Pulsar.

Marcus:           Great. Now, I want to say one thing about these kind of callback things and all that. I was looking at that and I also looked at an online kind of a chat system. If you’re using WooCommerce and using any kind of agents like that, especially with kind of a chat widget, the thing that you want to do is arm yourself with some shortened URLs or specific redirects or things.

There are other plugins that we’ve reviewed that actually add items into the cart based on the link and sometimes even add you to the checkout. If you’re going to do these kinds of chat widgets and such, I would get those links ready. That way if somebody says, “Hey, I’m looking for X, Y, and Z,” just give them a link and you go, “Click this link and it’ll add to your cart and send you to check out.” So the more things that you arm yourself with like that, the better.

So I’m going to finish things off with a really great plugin. It’s called JWD Teams and it’s a nice plugin that allows you to show off your staff, team showcases, or people you’re working with. It works all through a really nice shortcode. It comes with tons of different customization options. Let me show you this.

I’m sure you have all seen this to where it shows “Our Team,” and then you’ve got the president, the vice president, and all the rest of the people. Sometimes, those are difficult to put together. This one is really nice. It allows you to create unlimited teams, unlimited color schemes for all of the outputs, you have built-in fields for images, contact details, descriptions, bios – all that kind of stuff.

It’s got six built-in fields to add individual people and their social network accounts, so Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, drag-n-drop, member ordering. It comes with all kinds of different customization options, it’s fully responsive, so it moves around the page. It has custom CSS and it’s tested with a ton of themes and it works with all browsers. Very nice plugin; it’s free on the Repository: JWD Teams and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                That’s pretty cool. I like that. It’s really great when you have a team of people working together and you want to showcase them all.

Marcus:           Absolutely, and this is especially something that I plucked out of here out of the Repository to present to people that are doing websites for clients. This is a really nice one that you can use to show off the staff of your client.

John:                All right then, I covered up this week WooCommerce Shop Assistant JARVIS, which I gave a 4 to; WP Confession Box, which I gave a 3 to; and Callback Widget Pulsar, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about the WooCommerce Points System, which gets a 4 out of 5, Woo Already Bought gets a 5 out of 5, and JWD Teams gets a 4 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

It's Episode 291 and we've got plugins for Embedding Twitch, Birthday Emails, Theme Style Switching, WooCommerce Document Previews, and a gret new lazy plugin that is a "must install" for any new WP installation. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 291

It's Episode 291 and we've got plugins for Embedding Twitch, Birthday Emails, Theme Style Switching, WooCommerce Document Previews, and a gret new lazy plugin that is a "must install" for any new WP installation. 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 Episode #291


It’s Episode 291 and we’ve got plugins for Embedding Twitch, Birthday Emails, Theme Style Switching, WooCommerce Document Previews, and a gret new lazy plugin that is a “must install” for any new WP installation. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #291

John:                Okay, the first plugin I’ve got this week is called AH About Widget. This is a new plugin and it allows you to set up an about widget on your website. It’s one that I’m going to be using to replace the About widgets that are up on the WP Plugins, because what we have right now was kind of a convoluted mess. This one is much simpler and cleaner. It goes in, it uses the bio from your profile settings to display in the widget area and then it pulls in a Gravatar image – whatever Gravatar image you have tied to your email address, and then it has a nice link to your about page in the widget area.

So it’s much cleaner and simpler than any about widget I’ve ever used and it also has several prebuilt layouts that are really nice. You’ve got three or four different choices for prebuilt ones. Or, if you want to get in there and customize it, you can a little bit. Other than that, it looks like a really great plugin. It’s very simple and easy to use. Check it out – it’s called AH About Widget and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           What I noticed is that there are many different kinds of layouts to it and that it’s responsive, which is pretty cool. I think I’m going to use this one.

John:                Yeah, it’s —

Marcus:           I’m redoing my personal site.

John:                Well, I’m always trying to improve the WP Plugins site, so this is one of the pieces that I’m going to replace on there.

Marcus:           Awesome! Well, if you are a BuddyPress user, I’ve got a great plugin for you. It’s called Birthday Mail BP and what this does is it’s an automated function that your members when they sign up, they put in their date of birth and this actually expresses your birthday wishes to them on their birthday. Those are always nice to get. It’s good to see who’s actually on top of their marketing when it’s your birthday and you get some birthday wishes. It’s also a great opportunity to present a coupon or a discount or just provide some sort of a statement on how you’re there for them, even on their birthday. So it’s pretty cool – Birthday Mail BP is what it’s called, and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Sweet. One of these days, I’ll get around to building a BuddyPress website and see how it all works.

Marcus:           It’s very interesting – and frustrating.

John:                I imagine. Okay, the next plugin I’ve got here for everyone is one of those sweet plugins that we just thoroughly enjoy. It’s an ultimate lazy plugin.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                It’s called WP Tasks After Install. It’s a very nice plugin. It’s an awesome plugin for when you have to set up a fresh install of WordPress. It takes care of some of the essential items, saving you a few minutes of time by doing the following: it removes the Hello World post, removes the Example page, it changes the name and slug of uncategorized default category to blog, it sets the permalink structure to post name, it removes Hello Dolly and a Kismet plugin – yay!

It disables comments and pings, it deletes the WP Config sample file, it deletes the Readme HTML file, it deletes all themes except the default one, and it deactivates the plugin itself. It is just a really sweet plugin; you install it, turn it on, activate it, it cleans up your mess, then turns itself off, and all you’ve got to do is delete it. So it’s one of those really sweet, perfect, lazy plugins and it had to get a 5-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Okay, I reviewed this also.

John:                Oh, did you?

Marcus:           Yeah – not on this show —

John:                Oh, okay.

Marcus:           — but on WordPress Weekly last week. This is the – how do you say it? I’d have to ask your son that speaks French. It’s the coup d’état of lazy plugins.

John:                Oh, yeah.

Marcus:           It’s the laziest of the lazy that I’ve ever seen.

John:                Oh yeah, it’s going to become a permanent fixture for all of my fresh installs.

Marcus:           Absolutely, absolutely.

John:                Because I go through and do every one of those things manually, currently.

Marcus:           Yup, and it does it quick.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           And by the way, it does it the second that you hit Activate on the plugin. You’re not going somewhere else and then saying, “Start.” No, you activate this plugin, it does its business, and then deactivates itself.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           It’s the laziest of lazy. It’s the most beautiful plugin I think I’ve ever seen.

John:                Yeah, it’s well worthy. That one will be listed up in our new WP Support Store.

Marcus:           Yeah, that’s in the hall of fame, absolutely.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           Okay, I have frequently kind of complained about the customizer, even to the people that have worked on the customizer itself, as to you can do all these settings and all these things, but you can’t save it. I can’t save a version of the customizer if I tweak the theme a little bit and then want to save that file and maybe export it or import it into some other site that I’m working with.

John:                Oh! Yeah, okay.

Marcus:           It doesn’t let me do that.

John:                Hmm…

Marcus:           What if I have a staging site and I’m playing around with the customizer and all I want to do is change the settings on the other site – on a different site?

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           It doesn’t do it. You have to migrate the entire site. How stupid is that? Well, this is called TM Style Switcher. What it allows you to do is to save your theme settings, your skins, and all of that, and do exactly that. You can switch between them at any moment between a saved version and something you’ve already got and activate it. Or, you can even transfer between installations by saving that file. Really nice – it works very, very well. It doesn’t pick up everything. I didn’t get it to do the fonts but it worked otherwise very, very well – and that could have just been between two themes, because it was two different theme styles.

John:                Hmm…

Marcus:           If you have brand-specific colors and things like that and you go into it where you need absolutely brand-specific things every time, this is a great way to kind of save those colors out and make sure that any subsites or subpages have this as well. Very cool – TM Style Switcher – I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! I like that idea. That’s going to be very sweet when you’re doing some testing and working in that Dev site and moving live.

Marcus:           Yes, absolutely.

John:                The final one I’ve got here today is called Stream Status for Twitch. This one here is for those of you (and of course, you’re starting to hear us mention Twitch a little more often than we probably should). But one of the things with Twitch right now is I’m helping a gamer build up his gaming website to display his videos. Since he goes on Twitch to stream live for his viewers, this is a nice way to put on his website whether or not he’s up live on Twitch.

It’s a very simple plugin. You just install it, activate it, connect it up to Twitch, go in and customize the look and feel of what it’s going to display, and it’s done! Very sweet little plugin if you’re a Twitch user or you’re doing development for someone who’s using Twitch and may want to have a nice easy way to tell their users or their fan base when they’re on and offline Twitch, install this plugin. Check it out – Stream Status for Twitch – I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Excellent, and I’ll tell you what. This is a very interesting way to bring this up. Yeah, we talk about Twitch and it’s a gaming thing where it’s kind of “Livestreamed” gaming. I like it because you can just check out other games and I don’t have waste hours and hours playing the actual game; I can just watch somebody else play. But you bring a very good point, John, that I didn’t really even think about, which is a lot of these gamers actually want websites, too.

John:                Mm-hmm.

Marcus:           And some that they control, and that seems like a very good market —

John:                Yep!

Marcus:           — in which to start pitching people about doing websites. It seems like a good, easy flip for you as far as money goes. With all the different Twitch plugins that are out there, it’s starting to turn that way. So if you’re listening to the show, that’s a great idea for you.

John:                There you go.

Marcus:           All right, last but not least, I want to talk about a WooCommerce plugin. One of the fun things about Amazon is that when you go to Amazon and you look at books, you can actually preview the table of contents and maybe the preface and a couple of other things within the book. Now you can do that with WooCommerce.

So if you’re selling an e-book or a digital product that lends themselves to previews, what this does is it gives actually an extended feature to WooCommerce that enables that document preview in your single product page view. So instead of just having a book cover, you can have the document preview, so somebody can take a look at it and get enticed with it. When you do that, I hope that that document that you’re previewing has some cliffhangers, so to speak – something that would want them to purchase that actual book. Make sure that you’re clear and concise in those previewed pages. It’s called WC Document Preview, and I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                A very nice way to help promote your products and get people to buy them.

Marcus:           Yes, I’ve not seen anything like this for WooCommerce yet.

John:                Well, WooCommerce — more and more and more plugins are being developed for WooCommerce. And as a brief tip on WooCommerce, something I’ve experienced this week: if you are building a WooCommerce site, do not use Chase for your credit card processor unless you absolutely have to. The process of getting that thing installed and approved on a website is a nightmare.

Marcus:           Really?

John:                Oh, God. I’ve never had so much difficulty getting a credit card processing plugin installed and activated. Through the process of getting it approved, they are about the most challenging of all of them out there. So anyway, just as a brief tip, because I’ve been working on that for the past couple of weeks.

Marcus:           Hmm…well I see your Chase and raise you a QuickBooks.

John:                Oh, yeah. Okay. All right, I’ll give you that one. Yeah, QuickBooks is probably a little worse than Chase. [laughter]

Marcus:           Yeah, that was a one-week fun time. Yeah.

John:                Yeah. Okay, well this week here I covered up AH About Widget, which I gave a 4 to; WP Tasks After Install, which I gave a 5 to (sweet plugin); and Stream Status for Twitch, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Birthday Mail BP for BuddyPress, which gets a 4 out of 5; TM Style Switcher, also a 4 out of 5; and WC (stands for WooCommerce) Document Preview gets a 4 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

It's Episode 290 and we've got plugins for Removing Old Slugs, Removing Products, Cropping Background Images, Remote Site Search, and Custom States for Woo Commerce. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 290

It's Episode 290 and we've got plugins for Removing Old Slugs, Removing Products, Cropping Background Images, Remote Site Search, and Custom States for Woo Commerce. 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 Episode #290


It’s Episode 290 and we’ve got plugins for Removing Old Slugs, Removing Products, Cropping Background Images, Remote Site Search, and Custom States for Woo Commerce. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #290

John:                This week here I’ve got a great plugin for WooCommerce. It’s called Woo Add Custom States. It is a freemium plugin, so you can get the premium version which is only $5.95, or you can go with the free version from WordPress.org. Now the plugin itself comes about because of the implementation of the new shipping zones by WooCommerce and their new shipping system. With the way it was set up in their new system, not all countries use zip or postal codes and you may need to create custom states for shipping, as well as you might want to split some states or other areas in the specific shipping zones or regions.

This plugin allows you to create the separations to improve your shipping. The free version has limits on how many specific zones or regions you can create, but the premium plugin is unlimited – only $6.00, so check it out if you’re using WooCommerce and you want to have your shipping more manageable and more under control. This plugin should help you out with that. It’s called Woo Add Custom States and I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           All right! Well, I also have a WooCommerce plugin to kick things off. This one is called Woo Product Remover and basically it allows you to do one very simple thing with one click, and that is to remove all WooCommerce products from your site. It cleans up the database from the products, metadata, relationships, variations, coupons – all that stuff. If you just want to blow the store up, this is your plugin. It’s Woo Product remover, and I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! Be careful with that. It sounds like it could be a dangerous toy.

Marcus:           It is but if you are just setting up WooCommerce, sometimes you are just —

John:                You put a bunch of sample stuff in there and you need to terminate.

Marcus:           — yeah, blow it up.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           Then put some new stuff in.

John:                Absolutely. That’s a great way to clean out your sample database, instead of one-by-one.

Marcus:           Mm-hmm.

John:                I’ve done that before. Next on the list here, I’ve got a plugin that came about due to a request from a client for some work. It’s called Remove Old Slugs and what had happened is he was running the WooCommerce store and as he was going along — his store is built up to such a point that products have had name changes and they’ve been moved in locations. Unbeknownst to many people, WordPress creates what’s called a “backup slug.” So if you create a title on a post, a page, or a product, or whatever, and then you go in and you change the title and the slug, well WordPress keeps the old slug in the database and it creates a forwarding link in the database for you. So if you had a post that was Post A and you changed it to Post AB, that Post A slug is still in the database.

If someone typed in “Post A,” they would be directed to the Post AB. But the problem comes along is if you have titles that were in similar names like Post A and Post AB, then you needed one to go to AC, sometimes it would redirect back to Post AB. (I know it sounded a bit confusing.) But this confusion happens in WordPress because of the old slugs, so you might be trying to go to one product and it gets redirected to a product with a similar name, instead of being directed to the correct product that it’s going to.

Now to clean this up, what is often recommended is going through your database and running a query on a database to remove the old slugs. Well, during my research about how to clean this up, I ran across this plugin here called Remove Old Slugs. It’s a very nice, easy plugin. You install it and bring it up and it brings you a list of all the old slugs in your database and you can go remove them one-by-one, nice and easily. A really great plugin to help you clean up that mess that is created by the old slugs without having to run a query against the database. It’s a really great plugin, so it can be quite useful to a lot of people out there. Give it a check-out. I gave it a 4-Dragon rating for Remove Old Slugs.

Marcus:           All right. We’re removing all kinds of stuff.

John:                I hope that made some sense to people.

Marcus:           I’m sure it does. Okay, John, for years – how many years? Two? Three?

John:                Hmm…

Marcus:           REST API – how long have we been talking about it?

John:                Oh, REST API? Two or three years I think the API has been kicking around now.

Marcus:           Okay. I’ve finally found something that we can use to start exploring what it does.

John:                Okay.

Marcus:           So this is called WP Remote Site Search and it’s a search plugin for WordPress that returns any other WordPress site’s data back to that site using the REST API. So if you activate the plugin, you add the shortcode into it – to a page, post, anything like that, whatever the specific search happens to be – that’s what the result is returned. I’m still playing around with this. For the one test that I did, it worked.

John:                Oh!

Marcus:           And so here’s what I’m getting at, people, is if you have one site and then you have another WordPress site, you can pull data from Site A into Site B using this plugin.

John:                Holy smokes!

Marcus:           We’ve not been able to do that before.

John:                No!

Marcus:           And this is the start of it, so this is the genesis, the birth I guess of REST API.

John:                How’s the search function return? Is it pretty decent search results?

Marcus:           It’s —

John:                Or is it still the same WordPress return?

Marcus:           Yeah, it’s a value – it’s whatever value you’re searching for or if it’s a lot of —

John:                What I mean is are the results really usable or are they off in like the current WordPress search results? So is it —

Marcus:           Well, it searches for something else. It’s not searching for content; it’s searching for like how many posts do I have that have this tag in them —

John:                Oh, okay.

Marcus:           — on this other site? Right? So as we start to learn these things, when do I start to incorporate like six or seven different sites to create my own sort of stats internally?

John:                Nice.

Marcus:           What’s the newest? What’s the most popular? What’s all the REST? I mean, this is what the REST API was supposed to do for us.

John:                Mm-hmm.

Marcus:           So if you want to get your feet wet, just dip your toe in a little bit with the REST API and have it talk between one site to the other without having to learn a ton of code, this is what you start with. It’s called WP Remote Site Search, and I give it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. This looks like it could definitely be a bit of a game changer.

Marcus:           Yeah, try it out.

John:                All right, I think I will. I kind of like that because I’ve got a couple of sites I would like to bring the search results into WP Plugins.

Marcus:           Mm-hmm.

John:                Okay, the next plugin I’ve got here today is called The Awesome Designer. It was sent in to us by Steve Despierres and it’s a really great plugin. It’s a third-party service. You just install the plugin, activate your account with the third-party service for The Awesome Designer. What it’s for is if you run an e-commerce website or you have a client who runs one with custom printed things, such as T-shirts, coffee mugs, books, pens, phone cases – you name it – the list is pretty endless. This allows people to upload an image, place that image, move it around, create the text, choose the font styles, all of these bits and pieces, and get themselves the perfect layout they’re looking for.

Then what it does for you is to provide you a fully print-ready (not PDF but digital version) of what you need for prints and publications. It’s a print composite image created from their web-to-print technology. It’s pretty impressive in how it works, it’s a really great plugin, it looks to be some of the things that many of you listeners out there asked us for something to help create customized things in your WooCommerce store, and this looks like a really great thing.

It is a third-party service but considering what it does, I think a third-party service is about the only way you’re going to be able to go with this unless you’re on your own dedicated server platform, because what it does is pretty intense. Anyway, check it out. It’s called The Awesome Designer and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           All right. Well, the final plugin that I’ve got is actually an official plugin that is sort of a candidate to be molded and put into core. It is called Background Image Cropper and it’s just like how we have where we can crop an image for the headers.

John:                Mm-hmm.

Marcus:           This does the exact same thing but with background images and it just helps to improve the experience. I imagine if they’re going to put this within the customizer, but they’re starting it out as a plugin first to gauge user interest and usability. So I encourage everybody to check out this plugin, download it, and if you can interact with the developers, it’s like I said: it’s an official WordPress plugin that is going to be brought into a future version of WordPress in core, but this lets you try it out first to see how you like it.

Maybe there’s some things that you can think of that might make it better and before it gets merged into WordPress core, you get to weigh your feedback, so maybe your idea can transmit to the millions of installations that are going to happen around the planet after that. So here’s your opportunity. It’s called Background Image Cropper. Like I said, you just import an image, crop it the way that you want it to be in the background, and that’s all you have to do. I rated this one a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Okay, I kind of like that. I don’t do a lot of background images but it can be quite nice for getting just the right look on it.

Marcus:           Absolutely.

John:                Okay, then that covers up this week here. I covered up Woo Add Custom States, which I gave a 4 to; Remove Old Slugs, which I gave a 4 to; and then The Awesome Designer, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Woo Product Remover which I gave a 4 to, WP Remote Site Search gets a 4 out of 5, and we just talked about Background Image Cropper, which gets a perfect 5 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

It's Episode 289 and we've got plugins for Word Counts, Auto Complete, SMS Notifications, PhoneGap, and Dynamic Maps. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 289

It's Episode 289 and we've got plugins for Word Counts, Auto Complete, SMS Notifications, PhoneGap, and Dynamic Maps. 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 Episode #289


It’s Episode 289 and we’ve got plugins for Word Counts, Auto Complete, SMS Notifications, PhoneGap, and Dynamic Maps. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #289

John:                This week here, what do I have for you? Well, first off, I’ve got WP Word Count Pro. This plugin was sent in to us by Brian Link. It’s a premium plugin and also has a free version. The premium plugin can be found in the link in the show notes and the free version can be found at WordPress.org. So if you want to know how much you have been writing on your website – your word count, in other words, you want to know how prolific you’ve been in producing content over the weeks, years, or months that your website has been up, well, this plugin is one that you might want to check out.

What it does is it goes in and it counts all the words for all the posts you’ve created and then produces some really interesting reports to show you on a post-by-post, page-by-page, or total count how you’ve been at creating content. Say you’ve been trying to achieve certain word counts, well, this is one way to find out if it’s happening. I did check this plugin out and I did run into some issues with it though in the MU environment. It doesn’t seem to work there. I haven’t reached out to the developer yet to see if it can be solved, but it works beautiful on a standalone install of WordPress. But it’s a really great plugin and I found it to be quite nice. It’s only $10 for a premium version, so well worth the money. Check it out: WP Word Count Pro and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Excellent. All right. I’ve got something that – John, do you recall a couple of years ago they came out with something called App Presser?

John:                App Presser – I vaguely remember that.

Marcus:           It was something that would supposedly turn WordPress into an app machine.

John:                Oh, I do remember that, yes. Yes.

Marcus:           Scott Bolinger demoed it for me at a local WordPress Orange County meetup here. That was a couple of years ago and it seems like every question I asked Scott – and bless him, he made some great code. The answer was always, “Well, if Phonegap can do it, then App Presser can do it.” So really, App Presser was just a bridge to Phonegap, and that’s what this next plugin is as well. It’s called Phonegap Connect.

Now, the nice thing about this is it’s on Github, so if you want to contribute to the code or help it along, this is a great way to do it. So what it does is it gives you a direct connection from WordPress to the Phonegap application, and Phonegap is sort of an app construction kit. You’ll be able to connect WordPress into this Phonegap and make some apps that pull data or posts from WordPress. So if you’ve ever been interested in making your own app with items in WordPress, maybe for clients or for yourself, this is a great way to do that. It literally and figuratively bridges the gap with Phonegap, and I rated this a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Yeah, I’ve yet to check into that, so sometime I may have to look into it. Okay, what I’ve got up next for you is MapifyPro. This is a plugin that was sent in to us by Josh Sears. It’s a premium plugin, $49, available on their website. They do have a limited free version that you can download from their website also.

This plugin here, what it does for you – well, if you want to jazz up your Google Maps or create your own custom image maps, this plugin helps you complete that task by allowing you to add any and all of the following to it. You can use Google Maps with custom images, the ability to add full blog posts to a map (which is great for travelers). You can add blog posts for all of the places you visit on the globe, you can share locations and social media, fully responsive maps, bulk uploading of locations, you can customize map markers for all your locations, advanced search filtering location.

This is a really great one if you have a business with multiple locations. It allows you to create custom maps for that. All in all, it’s a pretty great plugin and I’m hoping to get an interview with Josh here and who knows, maybe get them to donate a license for us to give a way. Anyway, a great plugin. Check it out: MapifyPro and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Cool! All right, well John, a couple of weeks ago I talked about an item that would connect WooCommerce to Facebook Messenger. I ordered something – I don’t even believe it was through a WordPress site – but I ordered a hat about a week or so ago. I logged in with Facebook just to create my account and all that and it gave me the option if I want to use Facebook Messenger or SMS as a conduit to keep me up to date on shipment notifications, tracking, and all that other stuff. So I wanted to see what it would do in Facebook first and it was a fantastic experience I’ll tell you, because they linked up all the tracking information, they showed a map to my house, where it was going, and all that kind of stuff.

I solved that portion of it; now I wanted to get into the SMS version and there’s 50 million SMS things out there. But there’s very few that are specific to Woo Commerce, so there’s a service called ShoutOUT SMS, and this plugin is called ShoutOUT SMS for WooCommerce. It allows you to use WooCommerce to send SMS notifications to your customers. You could auto-send them based on order status, whether it comes in from backorder, it’s ordered, it’s shipped, anything like that. You get to use customizable message text to do it. You do have to sign up for at least a lite account. It’s free at ShoutOUT and you get to start sending SMS messages based on what the order status is to your customers of your site.

I’m going to explain something to everybody. First and foremost is if you have any client that uses WooCommerce at all, if you’re not starting to talk to them about the updating of ship notifications beyond email, you’re a fool, because this is easy money for you. Show them examples of how Amazon does it and all the rest of them, and this is the way of life. This is what people are going to want from now on and if you don’t give them that stuff, email is not going to cut it anymore.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           So I rated this one a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! Yeah, that’s for certain more and more people get more information via their SMS than they do email. I know people that never even check their emails now.

Marcus:           Right, absolutely. Especially when you can go both Facebook Messenger and SMS – give somebody the option for that – this is a perfect solution for pairing those two together.

John:                Absolutely. The last plugin I’ve got here today is called My CloudPress. It’s a site backup third-party service. This was sent in to us by Christopher Hicks and it’s a premium plugin currently in beta testing, so you can currently sign up and get it for free, give it a check out. They do have a free account that’s going to be available from the stuff on their website. What it’s for is if you’re looking for a cloud solution for backing up your WordPress website and easy restore functions, this may be a plugin for you to check out. It offers both for you, it’s very easy to use from what I can see. I didn’t hook it up and test it out because I’ve already got all my own backup solutions for everything. But while the plugin is still in development, you can get in on the ground floor and check it out.

What it does for you is when you register and go into it, it allows you to do backups and it backs things up through a slightly different method in here that I’ve seen. It backs up it looks like from your database. It backs up users, posts, comments, options. It grabs the user meta, the post meta, comment data, and other bits and pieces, and stores that stuff. So it looks like it pulls it from your database and it doesn’t look like it pulls your actual files. It probably does but because I didn’t dig that deeply into it, I’m not entirely certain of it, but it still looks like it’s a really great backup solution or a very simple, easy backup solution for getting started. And as they advance and finish their development, it may turn out to be a fantastic plugin. At any rate, check it out: My CloudPress.com, and I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Hmm…interesting. All right, we are all used to, as we said in our last plugin that I just reviewed, the mobile lifestyle, right? For crying out loud, I just saw an SES report, John. There’s a Samsung S8 or whatever that you can hook straight to a monitor and use it as a PC.

John:                [chuckling]

Marcus:           Your phone.

John:                Oh, man!

Marcus:           It’s got Windows on it!

John:                Your phone.

Marcus:           Yeah!

John:                Wow, we’ve got more power in our phone now than —

Marcus:           I know, it’s ridiculous. But one of the things that, love it or hate it, that we kind of use on our phone a lot is autocomplete.

John:                Oh, yeah – love and hate.

Marcus:           And we don’t have autocomplete for WordPress until this plugin, which is simply titled Autocomplete. It’s useful for autocompleting words, author stuff. But by the default, WordPress is the only word that autocompletes correctly. So you can add stuff into the autocomplete, especially branded terms or things that have to be spelled a specific way. There’s just options in there and you can add words or just keep moving along as you go. You can reset the list if you want to. It uses a text completer JQUERY script in it to get it to work, but I tried it and I love it. So check it out yourself; it’s Autocomplete, and it gets a 4 out of 5.

John:                All right. So this wraps it up. I covered up this week WP Word Count Pro, which I gave a 4 to; MapifyPro, which I gave a 4 to; and then My CloudPress, which I gave a 3 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Phonegap, which gets a 4 out of 5, ShoutOUT SMS gets a 4 out of 5, and Autocomplete gets a 4 out of 5.

 

[End of Audio]

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

It's Episode 288 and we've got plugins for Video Display, Widget Display, Adding Popups, Video Display and the Rest API. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 288

It's Episode 288 and we've got plugins for Video Display, Widget Display, Adding Popups, Video Display and the Rest API. 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 Episode #288


It’s Episode 288 and we’ve got plugins for Video Display, Widget Display, Adding Popups, Video Display and the Rest API. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!ns A-Z!


Episode #288

John:                Okay, the first plugin I’ve got this week is called Display Widgets, and this is a plugin that sooner or later, you’re going to need or want. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to have the need to either hide a widget or show a widget on specific pages or you’re going to need to hide or show a widget for signed in or logged out users, depending on your needs. There’s lots of ways to do it and there’s lots of plugins to do it, and I may have reviewed this plugin in the past. But I recently had to bring it back forward again for a project I was working on.

What this plugin does is quite simply you go in, turn it on, go to your widgets, and it adds an extra spot there where you can choose to show this plugin to every page or hide it on specific pages, or to hide or show this plugin for logged in or logged out users. It’s that simple and it works very, very well. It’s a fantastic plugin: Display Widgets, and I gave it a 5-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Very nice. All right, well I’ve got a really good one to start off the year with. It’s called Shrinking Video and John, I’m sure you’ve seen this. Possibly you’re maybe on a web page that has a video on the top and you start to scroll down and it moves the video over to the right side, either to the top or to the left. It kind of shrinks it so you can still see the rest of the page while you’re still watching the whole video, and that’s exactly what this plugin does. So if you’ve got a video embedded on your page and it’s somewhere towards the top, as they scroll down, that video will then shrink itself and move to the upper right or upper left corner, and then you can keep on reading while that video starts playing. So it’s a really, really nice plugin and I gave it a 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! I’ve been seeing more and more of that appear on websites recently.

Marcus:           Well, now you might see it even more now that we’ve let the cat out of the bag about this plugin.

John:                No kidding. That’s a very useful plugin. It’ll help out quite a bit.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                Okay, the next plugin I’ve got here is Disable REST API, and this is in reference —

Marcus:           What?!

John:                Well, I know. There’s reasons for it. This is in reference to the article that I mentioned previously in the news section. What it is, the REST API, you know everyone knows about it – flying cars and everything. But some changes have been happening with it. Previously, there was a filter that prevented instant access in WordPress, and in 4.7 they removed the filter. Now, you can go in there and you can type in a simple command there and get everyone’s user list and other data, which has always been available. With the REST API, it’s even more available.

What this plugin here does is it disables the REST API for anonymous call-ins so that anonymous users can’t access that data instantly. This allows you to use it so that only logged in users or people using API calls properly allows them to access the data. It’s a very useful tool and it puts back what WordPress took out from the development of it so that anonymous can no longer access it. It’s a really great plugin; it’s very simple, it has no settings or anything. You just install it, activate it, and it’s there. So check it out; I gave it a 4-Dragon rating. It’s the Disable REST API.

Marcus:           Hmm…very interesting. I’ll have to take a look at that.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           The next plugin is a simple little add-on to the editor. It’s called Add Popup to TINY MCE, and just like it says, it’s a simple way to add a quick popup on your post, page, whatever you want to do. It basically just adds a button called Add Popup into the visual editor and then you can click on it and construct your own popup that goes into that page, and you’re done. Just one click and that’s all you need to do. It’s called Add Popup to TINY MCE and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Nice! That’s a great way to put a popup onto your site.

Marcus:           It’s one of the easiest ways that I’ve seen. There’s plugins that are abound about making popups but they don’t happen in the editor.

John:                Absolutely. Okay, the next one I’ve got here – and the final plugin I’ve got here for today — is called REST API Log. What this one is for is to allow you to get in there and see what is being hit in your REST API. What data are people trying to call up through your REST API. It’s a very simple plugin. You just install it, activate it, and it just builds up an API log, you go look at the log, and you can see what’s calling, how long it’s taking for it to be called, where it’s being called from, so you can get an idea of who, how, and why they’re hitting your REST API on your website. So it’s a very simple plugin, works very well, and produces a very nice, clean log, so I gave it a 4-Dragon rating. Check it out: REST API Log.

Marcus:           Great! Yeah, that’s very important, especially when you’re getting into the REST API anew and we’re all getting into it new, so it’s nice to see what’s happening and going on in that respect. The final plugin is called WP Add CC Email, and just like it says, it allows admins and multiple recipients of admin email, you can add a CC to that. Instead of just going to one administrator, it maybe goes to two.

Let’s just say on the WP Plugins A to Z site, if John wanted to get notifications but I also wanted to see them too, then he could just add a CC into all the admin emails that go out and it would also copy me in. It’s a really handy tool, great if you’ve got clients that want to see the notifications and maybe you do as well. As the webmaster or the administrator of the site, this is a great plugin in which to do that. It’s called WP Add CC Email, and I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice – absolutely useful for everyone. Okay, this episode here I covered up Display Widgets, which I gave a 5 to; Disable REST API, which I gave a 4 to; and REST API Log, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Shrinking Video, which I gave a 5 out of 5; Add Popup to Tiny MCE gets a 4 out of 5; and WP Add CC Email, also a 4 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save