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

It's Episode 276 and we've got plugins for keeping track of post creation times, Quizzes, Facebook Live Video, Site Notificiations and a Reviews Plugin that will have you seeing stars in Google. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 276

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 #276


It’s Episode 276 and we’ve got plugins for keeping track of post creation times, Quizzes, Facebook Live Video, Site Notificiations and a Reviews Plugin that will have you seeing stars in Google. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!It's Episode 276 and we've got plugins for keeping track of post creation times, Quizzes, Facebook Live Video, Site Notificiations and a Reviews Plugin that will have you seeing stars in Google. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #276

John:                Okay, the first plugin I’ve got this week here is called Quiz Cat, and this is a premium plugin. It was submitted to us by David Hehenberger – hopefully, I got that right – and from fatcatapps.com. What this one here is, this is viral quizzes is definitely a thing. You know, you see them all the time in Facebook, Twitter – all kinds of places where people put a quiz up. You know, “What Superhero Are You?” “What Type of Cat Are You?” – blah, blah, on and on.

Well, creating those things, you often have to do them on other people’s websites where they get to collect the data that you’re trying to collect. You should be able to do it on your own site and that’s what this plugin does for you. It allows you to create those viral quizzes on your website and it’s a relatively easy plugin to do. It even helps you collect emails where people will have to submit their email to you to get the answers to the quiz that you’ve created. It integrates with MailChimp and Zapier and so you can collect and organize those emails into your mailing list.

You create unique quizzes tailored to your website focus. You can create two types of quizzes: you can create points quizzes or a quiz that tells them what kind of superhero they are if they answer all the things in the correct direction. The personality quizzes are great; they’re lots of fun. It doesn’t take too long to create a quiz if you have something in mind. Who knows? You might be real creative and get one that goes viral. It’s a really good plugin.

I found it worked fairly well, although I did have some issues in the MU environment, which is what WP Plugins is built on. It just didn’t seem to quite function correctly. I’ve contacted the developers to see if we can help sort it out for them. It could be fault because I’ve got so many plugins in there right now, there could be a plugin conflict also. But the first place I go is an MU conflict when a plugin doesn’t work. So anyway, it’s a great plugin; check it out. It’s called Quiz Cat and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Cool! Yeah, that’s a great lead magnet – really great in terms of getting people sign up to your list, because those things are completely viral. I’d be curious to see if somebody can make an entire site out of that. That would be really cool.

John:                You probably could.

Marcus:           Yeah. So let’s go to my first plugin. John, I’ve been trying desperately to blog every single day and it just hasn’t happened for me. I got to five in a row and then it just like hit me and it’s a little tough. So, you know, I use a project management system where I log all my time and sometimes it’s difficult to track how long it takes to make a post from start to finish when you’re going back into the editor ten different times over the course of three days. This plugin helps with that. It’s called Post Worktime Logger, and it’s a plugin that’s essentially a tool that tracks all of the time you put into making each post.

It’s a timer that shows exactly how long it takes in the editor, so as you’re in the editor, the clock starts ticking so you can tell exactly how much time you’ve put into a particular post. That’s great for people that are content people that do things for clients and they want to be able to bill it, or just for yourself to just see how long and how much time you used making a particular post. It’s called Post Worktime Logger – great tool for tracking time. I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. The only question I would have about it is does it continue to track the time if say you walk away from the computer screen and get caught up making lunch for your kids or something else that drags you away from the screen?

Marcus:           I think it does.

John:                Okay.

Marcus:           I don’t think there’s a pause option.

John:                Well, what I’m thinking is inactivity, like no mouse on the screen or something that indicates that someone is actually sitting in front of the computer. That’s the only thing that I would do, because it happens to me. I’ll get in the middle of something and all of the sudden my kids want something to eat, I’ve got to get up, go from the computer, go get them the food, and I forget that I’ve left something on the screen.

Marcus:           True.

John:                So that’s the only thing. Other than that, it sounds like a fantastic plugin. It would be a great thing to have.

Marcus:           Yeah, I’m looking at it right now. It says it “checks activity and only updates working time…”

John:                Oh.

Marcus:           If you really worked on that.

John:                Okay, I’m going to have to install it and give it a test, because I would love to know how long it takes me to get my posts made everywhere I do them.

Marcus:           Yeah, so I mean it’s just a little meta box that’s on the right side in the post editor that tells your current and total work time on it.

John:                Sweet. All right, the next plugin I’ve got here is another premium plugin that was sent into us by Kuba Mikita and it’s called Notification – actually, it’s a free plugin – sorry. This plugin is one that allows you to create notifications for just about everything that happens in your WordPress website. You can create custom email notifications that go out to you for all of the common triggers and things that you might want to track, especially if you’ve got a site where you have people doing additional work on your site.

It will trigger if they post or a page is published or updated, if it’s changed, if it’s modified. You can set up email triggers that happen on these events. You can go through other triggers, such as pingbacks or trackbacks on posts and pages. If those aren’t enough, you can even register custom triggers to your sites. If you have a specific event that you want to occur, you can register that custom trigger event to this plugin and when that event happens on your website, it’ll send an email to you telling you that this event has happened.

You can determine what email addresses it goes to, so you can send them to multiple email addresses or just to the default admin email address. There’s lots of ways to use this for tracking the activity in your website for the events that will normally occur. This helps ensure that things are happening when they’re supposed to happen.

All in all, it looks to be a pretty great plugin and it helps ensure you get those important email notifications from your website. Check it out; it’s called Notification, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Cool. All right, a lot of people right now are into and using Facebook Live Video. It sort of took over.

John:                It took over Blab and other live video feeds.

Marcus:           Yeah! So there are times where you’d like to actually take people off of Facebook and be able to show a video maybe on your website, and this plugin lets you do it. It’s called WP Facebook Live Video, and it displays a live video from your Facebook page or your profile page on any WordPress post or page, just using a small, little shortcode.

So whenever you have a live video, it actually pops up and shows the video that’s live right now. And if you don’t have a live video going on at that time, it shows nothing, so it’s great to use on the sidebar, a dedicated live page – like if you’re going to do marcuscouch.com/live – a great way to have it to where you don’t have to have connections in Facebook and everybody hooked into you and all that kind of stuff. It just lets people see it directly from your webpage on WordPress, so I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! That could be very useful. So you mentioned briefly there that you could put it into a sidebar widget so that it’s always visible.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                That’s an excellent thought. Yeah, the thought that occurred to me was to have it pop up if a video suddenly came live and someone was on your site too.

Marcus:           Well, it doesn’t pop up in the sense of like a typical pop-up like we’re thinking of. But if you put it on the sidebar and if you go live, then yes, that shortcode Facebook Live video shortcode will take over and show that live video, so you can put it anywhere you want: the sidebar, posts, pages – anything.

John:                That’s sweet. A nice way to promote yourself and if someone happens to be visiting, the video starts playing, and there they have you.

Marcus:           Yeah, and I would think you know also that maybe a good way, if you wanted to have people to say sign up to a pseudo webinar or a walkthrough or something like that —

John:                Yeah?

Marcus:           — that would be great, because then you can have them go to one page where all your offers are, all your call to actions – everything. So check it out: WP Facebook Live Video.

John:                There you go. Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here is ACF Theme Code Pro. This is a premium plugin. It was sent into us by Aaron Rutley, and while I didn’t use this plugin because I’m not using Advanced Custom Fields (which this plugin requires), I have used Advanced Custom Fields in the past.

What this plugin does is it helps you generate the code necessary to place into your theme for custom fields. It’s a really great plugin. You set it up, you create your custom themes, you hit the buttons, it produces the code you need to place into your theme. They do have a free version that you can try out and there’s a link in the show notes for the free version off of the WordPress Repository.

It will help ensure that you get your particular task done using the advanced custom field plugin. It looks like it’s going to be a great help for those that use advanced custom field plugin to help ease the pain of getting all the custom fields into their theme, so check it out. It’s a really great looking plugin: ACF Theme Code Pro, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Cool! I’m going to try that. Okay, I had a client last week come to me and talk about SERPS – the Search Engine Result Pages in Google. They noticed that a competitor was showing up for similar kinds of products and they had a star rating listed on their results. You know, you’ve seen that. You’ve searched for something in particular and you see like a rating system that Google puts in their search engine results.

This plugin lets you do that. It’s called Reviews Plus, and it’s a free WordPress plugin and it allows you to manage and display customer reviews for products, services, any kind of content you want. This essentially replaces the entire comments section for a selected post type and it provides a full rating summary that’s fully compatible with Google guidance in order to show up in the results with the review stars in the listing. A great plugin, easy to set up, fantastic to use, good results – gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! Yeah, that can be quite a benefit nowadays that so many people place so much emphasis on the ratings they find for everything.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                Whether those ratings have any value or not is irrelevant; they still seem to place emphasis on them.

Marcus:           Yeah, it suckers me in. I always click on those.

John:                [Laughter] Yeah, I actually ignore them myself. I just treat the ratings as mostly false and continue along the way.

Okay, well, that’s a great roundup. I covered up today Quiz Cat, which I gave a 4 to; Notification, which I gave a 4 to; and ACF Theme Code Pro, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I spoke about Post Worktime Logger and gave that a 4 out of 5, WP Facebook Live Video, 4 out of 5, and we just talked about Reviews Plus, gives you a 5 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

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Wordcamps, Woo Commerce Dynamic Quantities

Transcript of Episode 275

Wordcamps, Woo Commerce Dynamic QuantitiesAll 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 #275


It’s Episode 275 and we’ve got plugins for Custom Sidebars, Admin UI, , Integrating Magento and a new way to clean out old images in the media library. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #275

John:                Okay, the first plugin I’ve got this week here is called Custom Sidebars and it’s a freemium plugin from WPMU DEV, so they do have a paid version of this plugin. What the Custom Sidebars is for is to allow you to create new widgeted areas on your website that you can then apply to anywhere in your website. You can apply it down to the user level, you can have the widget appear on specific posts or pages, you can have it show for specific categories, you can have it display everywhere, you can put it in the footer, and you can put it for memberships.

There’s all kinds of ways to use this. If you need even more customizations, they do have a pro version which allows you to assign the widget to specific user roles such as editors or administrators, you can also then create clones of these widgets to share across other websites that you might work on, so you can synch the widgets across websites, import and export custom sidebars, and even more.

It’s really great when you move on to the pro version of it. Of course, you’ve got to become a member of WPMU DEV, which is quite affordable now. But all in all, a pretty great plugin. I tested out both versions of it: the free version, I give it a 4-Dragon rating and the pro version gets a top 5-Dragon rating. There we go.

Marcus:           Awesome. All right, the first one I’ve got today is a WooCommerce plugin and it is called Dynamic Quantity Table. Now you can set up different pricing tiers based on how many items somebody orders, so that if you order like one to three, the price is $10. Order, you know, four to seven, it’s going to be $9 – on and on and on – quantity discounts.

What’s nice is this plugin actually creates a table and displays it within the product page itself to show you the complete breakdown so that you can see what the different prices and the quantity breakdowns are right next to the product. A really cool plugin and I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice – a nice way to do things.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                The next plugin I’ve got here is called WP Admin UI plus pro, so this is another one that’s got a free version and a pro version. It was sent into us by Benjamin Denis at WPAdminUI.net. He sent us in the pro version to test out and of course I didn’t realize that you actually needed to install the free version before you can use the pro version. So at any rate, they have a free version.

The free version is pretty nice and what it does is it allows you to do some pretty thorough customizations of the WordPress UI. It allows control over items such as the image quality of images being uploaded to the Media Library, you can add columns such as dimensions, EXIF info, and more. If you have multiple types of files, you can have filtering. It can be a real timesaver. You can get customizations for login screen, which they have my new favorite checkbox, which allows you to disable login by email, and so much more.

The thoroughness of this plugin in the pro version (which is what I tested out) is very extensive. It allows so much customizations: you can change the headers, the admin bar, who can see what pieces – it’s just a very thorough plugin. I didn’t get the price on it but it looks like it’s probably worth what they’re charging for it. So of course, pro version is a Top Dragon rating. I gave it a 5 here. Check it out: WP Admin UI plus pro.

Marcus:           Excellent. Good job on that. Okay, the next one is an experimental plugin that I just toyed with a little bit. You can try it for yourself and see how it works for you. It really depends on what your site structure is and how you’ve used media, but this is called Clean Unused Media.

What it does is it scans all of the uploaded media to your site and it finds the media that is not attached to anything. It works with posts, pages, thumbnails, favicons, custom post types, advanced custom fields – all of that. It scans all of it and then gives you the option to delete media that you have in the installation but you’re not using. And that happens a lot because sometimes you’ll upload an image and then you’ll go and say, “Okay, that’s not the size I want,” and then you’ll upload another image. Then the other one that’s out of place that you didn’t want there to begin with is still there, so this helps to find those, locate them, and exterminate them. So this one gets a 4 out of 5 rating.

John:                Very nice! It sounds like a great way to clean up the media library and help keep your file count down, which some hosting providers limit you to the number of files you have on your website.

Marcus:           Yes. I have a site that is for a client that I’m going to try this on in a stage capacity, so that means I’m going to move it to a stage site and then test this.

John:                Oh, nice.

Marcus:           And it has 90,000 images in the media library, so hopefully I can —

John:                Clean it up a little?

Marcus:           — clean it up, yes.

John:                Absolutely, so a great plugin there, folks. Okay, the final one I’ve got here today is called Wordcamp Dashboard Widget. It’s a free plugin located in the WordPress Repository and it’s a simple plugin. What it does is it will show you all the upcoming and past Wordcamps for the year that are listed at the Wordcamp.org website. It shows them in your dashboard as a widget and it’s a pretty decent way to find the information out. What I felt could be improved with this plugin is having the ability to display it on your website.

When I saw it initially, I hoped, “Hey, this would be a cool way to show folks what the Wordcamps up and coming are on the website.” It turns out it only works in your admin dashboard at the moment. So other than that, a great little plugin – very simple, helps you find out where the Wordcamps are, when they’re coming up, or which ones have already gone by. Check it out: Wordcamp Dashboard Widget – I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Yeah, that bummed me out, too. I thought that was something we could use for our show site.

John:                That’s what I was going to do with it. I was going to put it up on the show site.

Marcus:           Yep. All right, finally, those of you that work with Magento, it is a WordPress – it’s not like WooCommerce. It’s actually its own platform, so it’s just like WordPress in the sense that you install it almost the same way with PHP and MySQL and things like that but it’s separated. A lot of people use Magento because it’s relatively powerful in what it can do.

It does have sort of its own theme system and all of that. If you wanted to work with either yourself or a client that’s using Magento too, it’s really nice to be able to integrate that into WordPress, so thus this plugin. It’s called Magento 2 WordPress Integration and here’s what it does. It integrates the two together so that users are cross-pollenated between both sites and you have a unified user experience. It shares session and cart data, navigation menus, header, footer products, layout elements, and all of the static blocks that is available in Magento, and you can insert into WordPress with a short code —

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           — which I thought was really nice. So this gives you the ability to – if you find somebody that has Magento and they’re trying to use it for their entire structure of their company presence or website or whatever, and you want to pitch them to be able to do a WordPress backend, frontend, whatever you want to call it, this is a great plugin to do that. It’s called Magento 2 WordPress Integration, and I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Yeah, those sorts of things are needed more and more these days.

Marcus:           Yes. There’s so much in terms of compatibility or incompatibility, rather, when you deal with other platforms outside of the WordPress eco space and this is something that helps to bridge that gap, so check it out.

John:                All right. Well, this week I covered up Custom Sidebars, which I gave a 4 and a 5 to; WP Admin UI plus pro, which I gave a 5 to; and then Wordcamp Dashboard Widget, which I gave a 3 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about WooCommerce Dynamic Quantity Tables – gave that one a 4; Clean Unused Media gets a 4; and Magento 2 WordPress Integration also gets a 4.

[End of Audio]

 

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Transcript of Episode 274

transcript-274All 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 #274


It’s Episode 274 and we’ve got plugins for Switching Themes, Site Giveaways, Twitter Walls, Back-End File Search, iThemes Security, and a full review of the all new Ninja Forms 3. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #274

John:                All right, the first plugin I have this week is from iThemes. It’s the iThemes Security plugin, formerly known as Better WP Security. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at a security plugin and the reason I’ve looked at this one here is I’ve picked up a client with several websites and they were using the iThemes security and on one of their sites, they didn’t have it so we decided to add it in. I thought it was a good time to review this plugin.

It’s actually not bad from what it used to be. It’s a pretty decent plugin, it’s relatively easy to use, it is a freemium plugin, and it does offer some pretty decent protections. It’s pretty comparable to Wordfence, which is my standard. It allows you to set up email monitoring. One of the features I like about it is that it also monitors file changes and sends you an email about file changes, whereas I had been using two separate plugins, I might end up switching this because it’s now one plugin that would manage that for me.

It does require you to get a free API key, although that’s pretty easy to do. You just click for the API key, enter your email address, and it automatically inserts it into the plugin for you, so they’ve made it a real breeze to do that. It’s got a great place for you when you’re setting it up. It makes it real easy to add your own IP address to the whitelist, so you don’t block yourself out of your own website (which can happen and does happen to many people). For a while, you know, it’s a great plugin. Check it out. I give it a 4-Dragon rating. I couldn’t give it a 5 because of course it is a freemium plugin, so iThemes Security – check it out.

Marcus:           All right, very good. And I’ve got something here that a couple a weeks ago was sent out into the community with great hype. Everybody was toasting and shots and all that kind of stuff to celebrate the arrival of Ninja Forms 3. I will say that Ninja Forms 3, which is a form plugin like Contact Forms 7, like Gravity Forms – I would say it’s right in between those two things in terms of functionality and how great it is.

It’s better than Contact Form 7; not as good as Gravity Forms, in my eyes. I would just say, you know, that’s just the order – the hierarchy. So Ninja Forms 3 actually redid the entire way that they do forms. It’s a drag-n-drop layout but it’s a drag-n-drop layout that doesn’t let me put things side by side, and that’s the whole thing that I want with drag-n-drop.

John:                Ah.

Marcus:           I can do that with Gravity Forms already.

John:                Yes.

Marcus:           So I did see a little bit of improvement with how emails get sent out and what happens when specific things and specific fields get sent. But honestly, I don’t – I understand that there’s a lot of hype for this, but I don’t quite understand why people are so high on this. I just don’t get it. It’s not anything better than what we’ve already got, so I rated this one a 3 out of 5.

John:                Ah, slightly disappointing. I guess for Ninja Forms, but I have never actually used Ninja Forms, so I can’t say too much on that one.

Marcus:           It’s pretty good and it’s a free plugin. I mean, it’s better than the free version of Contact Forms 7.

John:                Well, anything is – well, I’m not even going to go there.

Marcus:           Yeah, if you don’t want to spend the $200 for Gravity Forms, this might work for you.

John:                Yeah, it’d probably be worthwhile.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                Okay, well the next plugin I’ve got here today, it’s called GiveASAP, and it’s a freemium and a pro plugin and it was sent into us by Igor Benic. And of course, he was kind enough to supply us with the pro version of the plugin, so I checked out both versions: the free version and the pro version. It is a very nice plugin that helps you create contests and giveaways on your website.

I found it to be a very sweet setup; it allows you to set up the start date, the stop date of the contest, it allows you to set it up so that it will have people refer your contest. They can gain extra entries into the contest by the referral link they send out from your website. It does an automatic selection of the winner, notifies the winner automatically. The plugin is very smooth and fast, it uses a custom post type section of WordPress so that it’s separate and apart.

All in all, it’s just a great plugin and this is actually something that I had being developed by another coder who left me for a project I’ve been working on for quite some time. This has everything I need for it, so I’ve actually been in contact with the developer to hire him to customize this plugin for my needs. But all in all, this is just a fantastic plugin for creating contests on your website. The many little features and functions that are already in it are just great.

Now, the difference between freemium and pro – the freemium, they give you one template and the pro version gives you multiple templates for setting up your contest on it. Other than that, a great plugin. I had to rate at top 5-Dragon rating. And of course, I got the pro version, so that’s what it gets, so check it out: GiveASAP.

Marcus:           Nice. Some guys that were doing a Word Camp wanted to do something where it showed a live Twitter feed going on one of the big screens at their event, and they created this plugin. It’s called WP Twitter Wall, and it shows a live Twitter wall at your event. You just install the plugin, hook up to a video projector, and then you can display the wall of peoples’ tweets reacting about the event or whatever it happens to be.

It updates itself twice a minute, adding the new tweets in a nice masonry kind of layout and it updates the publication times of all the tweets that happened. A very cool plugin – if you run an event and you want to have a live Twitter feed that is showing what everybody’s reaction is, you can base it on hashtag or whatever else you’d like. This is an excellent plugin for it and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! Yeah, I saw that come through and I considered reviewing it, so excellent.

Marcus:           I tried it and it works very well. There’s a client that I have that I just did the same exact thing with Instagram, and I think I’m going to implement this for Twitter.

John:                Very nice. Sweet! All right, now one of the things that happens to all developers: sooner or later, you’re going to have to do a little editing in the backend of your WordPress website. Now, I’m sure you’ve done some, Marcus – gone into the editor, edit the files. Well, once in a while you need to find a specific term in all of those files you can access and you’re trying to guess which file it might be. Maybe you’re looking for a header tag or a body tag or something. Well, these guys here have solved that problem for you.

This plugin here is called WP Backend File Search & Editor Tweaks. It was sent in to us by Austin Scherer. It is a pro plugin but it’s only $12, which kind of surprised me. I expected it to be a little more than that. It’s a great plugin. Once you set it up, activate it, you can then go back into your backend for your WordPress, into your editor for plugins or themes, and it modifies the editor window by adding lines, color coding, it has a search function that will allow you to search all the files in the theme folder for a specific word or a function.

It lists up all the files that that word or function is in. You click on it and it opens that up in a window that you can then edit and it sets it up with not only lines but word wraps so you can actually see all the lines of code in one small window block, versus the line running off the page. It was just all in all, a great plugin.

The premium plugin, I still think it’s more than worth the $12. I’ve been in contact with the author; he’s going to actually send us a discount code for the listeners of WP Plugins A to Z, which I’ll put up in the next show for anyone interested in getting this plugin. But all in all, a great plugin. I found it to be fantastic and I had to give it another 5-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           You’re on a roll today!

John:                Yeah, I am. But hey, I was surprised. I didn’t expect it to be that great of a plugin. I thought I had an editor – let’s see – I was really impressed.

Marcus:           Excellent. Okay, last one here. This one’s pretty cool. It’s called Theme Switcha – S-W-I-T-C-H-A – Theme Switcha, and it makes it easy for the site admin to preview and especially develop new themes without changing the default theme. So what happens is visitors will continue to see your site normally without really knowing that you’re testing a new theme behind the scenes. In other words, a site visitor comes to your site, they still see the theme that’s the “active theme,” but you can be creating something on the backend that doesn’t interfere with the flow whatsoever.

John:                Oh, sweet!

Marcus:           Now, that’s very, very, valuable for anyone that has a client that you’re working on their website and they’ve got something already existing in WordPress. You can completely modify the whole backend – the whole theme – without ever having to worry about being at a stage site or anything like that. Now, be cautious about that; I would still work from a stage site anyway. But if you want to be able to preview something new and not have it to where it interferes with all of your settings and everything that you’ve already got going on within your site, this is a great way to test that out. So it’s called Theme Switcha, and it gets a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. That could be quite handy, yes. Okay, well I covered up in this episode iThemes Security (formerly Better WordPress Security), which I gave a 4 to; GiveASAP, which I gave a 5 to; and then WP Backend File Search & Editor Tweaks, which I gave a 5 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Ninja Forms 3, which gets a 3 out of 5; WP Twitter Wall, which gets a 4 out of 5; and actually Theme Switcha (I’ve got iThemes on my head), gets a 4 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

 

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It's Episode 273 and we've got plugins for Custom Logins, Captcha , User Managers, Scratch & win cards, Staff and Team Displays and A new Multi-Column layout for Gravity Forms. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 273

It's Episode 273 and we've got plugins for Custom Logins, Captcha , User Managers, Scratch & win cards, Staff and Team Displays and A new Multi-Column layout for Gravity Forms. 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 #273


It’s Episode 273 and we’ve got plugins for Custom Logins, Captcha , User Managers, Scratch & win cards, Staff and Team Displays and A new Multi-Column layout for Gravity Forms. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #273

John:                Okay, the first plugin I’ve got here this week is called Custom Login. Now what happens from time to time when you’re building a client’s website, sometimes you need to customize the WordPress login page. You can do it numerous ways, there’s numerous plugins, there’s a couple of plugins like – I’m trying to remember the other one that gives you a whole unique page that’s built around your theme. But sometimes you just want to take the default WordPress login and modify a few things on it.

Now you can do this by dropping things into your CSS file and your functions file. But sometimes they just don’t seem to make the connections correctly and I was having this kind of issue on a site I was working on recently. For some reason I put it in the functions CSS and it just wasn’t taking, so I finally just surrendered and said, “Screw it, let’s get a plugin to deal with this,” and I found Custom Login.

It’s a really great plugin and it allows you to do the customizations on your login page that makes the task easy, quickly change out the default WordPress image, add some custom HTML for a message, you can change the background color, add a custom background image, add some custom CSS, help remove those links that are on the default thing so that the only link that’s there is the one where they can retrieve their password if it’s lost – things of that nature.

Now this is a freemium plugin and it has some premium options available that you can extend it out to do things such as self-login, login redirects, and even some default styles built into it, so all in all, it’s a pretty great plugin. It would’ve rated a 5, but of course since I’m working on the free version, I had to knock it back to a 4-Dragon rating. So check it out at Custom Login, a really great plugin.

Marcus:           Cool. Well, I was looking for a way to randomize promo codes for the Membership Coach site and I’m going to be doing a Facebook campaign around it. I found this plugin that’s really cool. John, you know how you get those lottery scratcher tickets —

John:                Yeah?

Marcus:           — and you have to take a quarter and scratch it off?

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           And then you get to see what you win? Well, you can do that with this plugin called Scratch & Win Giveaways for Website & Facebook – that was a little too far, guys, on that plugin name. Scratch & Win Giveaways would’ve done it. Okay, so what you can do is either through a Facebook tab or through your website itself as a landing page, you can have them go fill out a form and then they get the scratch ticket – which by the way gives you a lead right there – and then they scratch away to reveal what their promo code is or what their percentage off is, or things like that. So this is a good way to get people on your site and checking things out in terms of what you can offer them in discounts or prizes or giveaways. The free version, which is on the WordPress Repository, gives you only ten people that scratch off your card, so don’t do too much testing or you’re going to be out of credits. But there is a paid version as well and that’s a service. They actually run it as a monthly service and the paid plan starts at $10 a month.

So it’s a really cool system. I really like it. I’m not going to stick with it though and I’m probably not going to pay the $10 a month, but it’s pretty intriguing and I’m going to keep trying to find solutions that do this kind of thing. But this is a pretty cool, so I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Okay, the next plugin I’ve got here is called Login No Captcha reCAPTCHA. Now, reCAPTCHA is something that’s one of my least favorite things on the internet. I’ve hated it since the day it was created, because you can never read the numbers, you can never read the letters, you type them in correct and it says they’re wrong. They’re just annoying.

But I was asked by a client to put a reCAPTCHA on their login page and I couldn’t talk him out of it, but they really wanted it. Then I remembered I’ve been seeing the CAPTCHA out there a lot, the one that says, “I’m not a robot,” and you check the box and it works. That one comes from Google and I remembered, “Oh yeah, that’s probably the best one to use,” so that’s what this plugin does for you.

It goes in, it installs the CAPTCHA that says, “I’m not a robot,” they check the box, and they’re done. They don’t have to answer anything, they don’t have to decipher anything, they don’t have to very poorly worded stuff. It’s just a great plugin, very simple, and works well. You activate it and all of a sudden, it’s there on your login page, so of course this is one of those beautiful plugins and we had to give it a 5-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Nice! Yeah, that’s very common. Ticketmaster in the States here uses it.

John:                Yeah, it’s become very common I’ve noticed in the last six to eight months in a lot of places. I just realized that’s the reCAPTCHA to use.

Marcus:           Yeah, use what everybody else is using because that gives familiarity, plus they know what to do.

John:                Yeah, it’s kind of hard to make a mistake. But see, robots can’t check the box.

Marcus:           Right. The next plugin that we’ve got here is called AWSM Team, and this is for displaying your team members or people in your staff, or anything like that. Now there’s two versions to this. There’s a lite version, which is on the Repository that has three different presets, and then there’s the pro version. The pro version is really cool. This allows you to have tons and tons of different styles to show off your team, you can choose whether to put social stuff in there or not, you can put the little bio snippet, their title, their name – all that. You can do circles, you can do four-wide columns, you can do it all smashed together, you can do a masonry grid – anything that you want, even like just a plain list is pretty cool, too.

There are different carousel options to that you can use and then it has individual short codes for the individual people’s bio. This is the best staff and team viewing system that I’ve seen in terms of a plugin. There are both lite and pro versions. Now, the lite version only gives you the three styles like I mentioned, but the pro version is pretty cool too and it’s probably definitely worth buying. The price on it – let me check this really quick – is only $15. It’s actually over at Envato at CodeCanyon, so check it out. It’s called AWSM Team and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Okay, the final plugin I’ve got this week is called Cimy User Manager. What this one is for is – well, moving a website like if you’re moving a website and it’s formatting or making lots of changes, or you’re keeping a live site while building up a new site and it’s got an active user database in it, your problem that comes along is the longer it takes you to finish up the development site, the more your active user database will change from what you modified in the development site.

While it’s easy to bring over the content to keep the content up to date, bringing over the users is not always an easy task. Or if you’re combining two websites with two separate user databases and you want to combine those users into one, this plugin helps make that process easier. It allows you to go export the users from one website and then go import them right into the other website. If they’re duplicates, it just doesn’t overwrite them; it just says, “Oh, we’ve already got this user in here.”

It’s a great way to bring your users across when you’re dealing with site changes, going from a live to a dev, or when you’re merging a couple of sites together with two user bases in. It’s a great plugin; it’s called Cimy User Manager, and because it was so simple and works so well, I had to give it a Top Dragon rating.

Marcus:           I would do exactly the same because I’ve used that plugin myself and love the way that it handles and handles users.

John:                Ah, yeah, it made my life easier because I completely forgot about that aspect when I was working on this dev site that’s getting ready to go live in a couple of days.

Marcus:           Yeah. So you use GravityForms, right?

John:                I do. I actually use it exclusively.

Marcus:           Yeah? You know, the one thing that really ticks me off about GravityForms is that it’s really tough to put things side-by-side.

John:                Yes. I discovered you can do it with CSS.

Marcus:           Yes, but some of us don’t know CSS, which is a problem, John.

John:                Yes, yeah.

Marcus:           So for those people, I’ve got GravityForms Multi Column. It divides a form into different columns and you can mix and match any amount of columns that you want to. If you want to have five columns in a form, you can do it. You could put first name, middle name, last name, all in one line – all that kind of stuff that you’ve been dreaming about doing forever —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — with GravityForms. This is kind of the Holy Grail in terms of how this thing works and I love it. I love it so far. It’s doing the job for me, it’s really working well. However, it’s not drag-n-drop, which is kind of what the new Ninja Forms is all about. It’s not the best in the world anymore – it could be, but it’s not – so we’ll give it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Yeah, I saw that and I’m like, “Sweet! Somebody took the CSS and put it into a plugin. How nice.”

Marcus:           Yes. Yeah, so if you’re locked into GravityForms, this is the thing to use.

John:                Yeah, I’m pretty much locked into GravityForms for everything I do. But yeah, I’ll be pulling that one down because I had a couple of forms that I was going to think about writing the CSS for but it takes time. This would eliminate that issue.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                A beautiful plugin. All right, well this week I covered up Custom Login, which I gave a 4 to; Login No Captcha reCAPTCHA, which I gave a 5 to; and then Cimy User Manager, which I gave a 5 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Scratch & Win Giveaways – gave a 4 out of 5, AWSM Team Lite – gave that one a 4 out of 5, and GravityForms Multi Column gets a 4 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

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It's Episode 272 and we've got plugins for Detecting Ad Blockers, Google Spreadsheets, Bookmarks, Scheduled Posts and BuddyPress Registration. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 272

It's Episode 272 and we've got plugins for Detecting Ad Blockers, Google Spreadsheets, Bookmarks, Scheduled Posts and BuddyPress Registration. 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 #272


It’s Episode 272 and we’ve got plugins for Detecting Ad Blockers, Google Spreadsheets, Bookmarks, Scheduled Posts and BuddyPress Registration. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode # 272

John:                Okay, the first plugin I’ve got this week here is called Detect AdBlock and I’ve kind of got mixed feelings about it whereas I know advertising is important to websites, for some websites it’s their main source of income. I also know that advertisements are an annoyance when you go to websites. Some websites overdo them to the point you just abandon the site because they’ve got to so many. Some websites have a few; just enough to support themselves. But we’ve been hearing a lot these days about ad blockers and how to get past ad blockers and what people are doing.

Well, this plugin here, what it does for you is detects when someone arrives at your website using an ad blocker and then it blocks their ability to view your website unless they turn off the ad blocker for your website. It’s a very nice plugin. It’s relatively easy to set up. You just turn it on, go in and adjust the message you want to appear, and when people arrive at your site, if they are using ad blockers you can politely say, “Hey, we depend on ads for such and such. Please turn off your ad blocker to view our website.”

With the plugin you can allow for exceptions such as logged in users or certain types of visitors. It has several settings in there for allowing for exceptions. It looks to be a pretty decent plugin. I would check it out if you depend on advertisement in any way, you might want to check something like this out. Anyway, it’s called Detect AdBlock and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Very nice, very nice. All right, I’m going to talk about something that is really cool. It’s called Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer and so any of you out there that use Google Sheets in terms of collaboration, you’re going to like this one. This one embeds public Google spreadsheets, app scripts, CSV files, or whatever, in WordPress posts or pages as an HTML table or even an interactive chart (if you want to make a chart out of it).

Now what’s really great about this is that it’s not like you’re embedding the spreadsheet in the page and then everybody can edit it; it actually just takes the results. So I find this really cool because then you can edit on the back end and then whatever the results are, then you can populate that to a page. Now some people, if you do client stuff then maybe there’s a thing that they want to use a table for and you might want to keep them out of WordPress, this is a great way to share a Google spreadsheet on the back end that they can then edit and then people can actually see it.

Here’s another application for this: let’s say you’re doing something in WooCommerce and you use some littleware like Zapier to take all of your existing orders or new orders and populate them to a google spreadsheet. Well, maybe you want to put a secret page on the back end for your warehouse in terms of their fulfillment, shipping information, and the things that they need to send out. Password protect that page or something like that just to keep that away from prying eyes, but that’s absolutely another way that you can do it. So it’s called Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer and I gave this a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! I have actually a couple of other ideas. If you’re a sports stat nut and you’re on a fantasy football league or something and you’ve got spreadsheets you’re always working with, this is a great way to share it.

Marcus:           Yup, you’re a runner so you can use that for —

John:                Running and other things —

Marcus:           — your running times —

John:                — anybody who uses spreadsheets such as my wife, this is a really great tool for sharing that spreadsheet information if you’re going to share it.

Marcus:           Yeah, absolutely.

John:                I like it.

Marcus:           So check it out.

John:                Okay, the next one I’ve got here is one that helped solve one of the problems that’s starting to occur with many WordPress websites, and that’s dealing with mixed use content when you add an SSL cert to your site. Because of course over the years if you would start out without an SSL cert on your site and you add one, you’ll have links throughout your site that will be hardcoded for the non-HTTPS and you’ll need to change that information.

That’s what this plugin does. There’s another plugin that sets SSL; what this one does for you, it’s called Remove HTTP and it removes the HTTP protocol from all links so that all links in your site are protocol neutral. So no matter what protocol is called on your page or whether it’s the secured or unsecured, it always has the correct link.

It seems to work relatively well. It’s pretty straightforward and you just turn it on and you activate it and you’re done. So of course, you know it’s a really great plugin and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating. Check it out: Remove HTTP.

Marcus:           Great. One thing, John, that I’ve been doing a lot of lately is scheduled posts, so everybody knows what that is, I think.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           If not, it is where instead of just publishing live, you change the date and time of when you’d like to publish the post, and technically, it should post it right then. However, depending on your host, sometimes it might miss the schedule.

John:                Yes.

Marcus:           And this plugin will fix that. It is called Scheduled Post Trigger and what it does is it checks all the posts to see if any scheduled posts have been missed. And if so, it publishes them. So you just have to make sure that your time zone and everything is set in the settings general section and this one will do the rest. It worked really well for me. I’m going to use this on my podcast, sites, and other places that I rely on published content. I gave this one a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Yeah, I’ve had that problem in the past with some websites where I scheduled the post and I’ll check and, “Oh, it missed the schedule.”

Marcus:           Yeah, it’s weird how it does that but —

John:                It has to do with the way WordPress Cronjobs work.

Marcus:           Hmm – well, this one’s a good failsafe mode, so check it out.

John:                Yeah, this is a great failsafe.

Marcus:           Scheduled Post Trigger.

John:                Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called Highlight Bookmark Manager. This was sent in by one of our listeners out there. It was sent in by Patrick Huang – it looks to be one of the developers on the plugin. And it’s a pretty great plugin and what it helps you do is encourage interactivity on your website from your users.

It allows people to highlight a passage or a sentence or a word and it highlights it in yellow. It then allows them to share that highlight into an account that you’ve got to get set up with the Highlight Bookmark manager guys. Then you can easily share that information through social media. I’ve actually installed it up on the WP Plugins A to Z site to see how it works and see if we can encourage a little more interactivity.

We’ll see how it goes over the next few weeks. If it doesn’t pan out, we’ll remove it. But at the moment it looks like it might be pretty interesting. So at any rate, it’s a pretty great little plugin. It could encourage some great interactivity on your website and encourage people to share and save information, thereby bringing in more visitors. Check it out: Highlight Bookmark Manager, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           That’s cool. I like that. All right, finally one thing that I’ve been experiencing with a lot of different membership sites is a lot of times we will use BuddyPress —

John:                Yes, we do.

Marcus:           — to integrate into that so that we can do things like forums and feeds and groups and all kinds of stuff like that. But the thing is when you use BuddyPress, it’s a little wonky in terms of how the registration process is and integrating somebody in there so that they’re automatically populating their photo, their avatar picture, and some of the other things.

This plugin is called Better BP Registration – it stands for Better BuddyPress Registration. It replaces the standard BuddyPress registration process with something that’s split into different steps and it explains a little bit more about what it needs and provides a higher level of convenience and it makes it a little easier to understand. So check it out – if you use BuddyPress, this may be an intriguing way for you to improve your registration process. I gave this one a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Yeah, BuddyPress’ registration process does often need some improvements.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                Okay, well that’s it. I covered up in this episode Detect AdBlock, which I gave a 4 to; the Remove HTTP plugin, which I gave a 4 to; and then the Highlight Bookmark Manager, which I gave a 4 to in there – all tongue twisters today.

Marcus:           Yes, I talked about Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer – gave that one a perfect 5 out of 5, Scheduled Post Trigger gets a 4 out of 5, and we just discussed Better BP Registration and that gets a 4 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

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It's Episode 271 and we've got plugins for Enhancing Buddypress Activity Feeds, Menu Duplication, Changing Default System Emails, Podcast Players, and Creating a Services Section.. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 271

It's Episode 271 and we've got plugins for Enhancing Buddypress Activity Feeds, Menu Duplication, Changing Default System Emails, Podcast Players, and Creating a Services Section.. 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 #271


It’s Episode 271 and we’ve got plugins for Enhancing Buddypress Activity Feeds, Menu Duplication, Changing Default System Emails, Podcast Players, and Creating a Services Section.. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #271

John:                Okay, the first plugin I’ve got this week is called Menu Duplicator and this is a pretty straightforward plugin – a very useful plugin, and that’s to duplicate your menus. Now, you may have to duplicate your menu for any number of reasons. You might be doing something like I was doing, which was playing with menus and I wanted to make a backup of the really big, long one I had created. That way, I could just remove the bits and pieces. Or you might have to duplicate the menu to put it in alternate places in your website – who knows. At any rate, to recreate a menu from scratch one after another, it means drag and drop, click and pop, and you know, reloading screen, after screen, after screen.

Well, this plugin saves all that trouble. All you need to do is install it, activate it, and it gives you a new choice under Tools for duplicate menu. You load it up, you find the menu you want to duplicate, you create a new name for the menu you want to duplicate, hit enter, and poof, the menu has been created for you. Then you go back to your menu page and there it is. You can tweak it, adjust it, change it, move it, place it wherever you want it. A sweet plugin; it works exactly how it’s supposed to, a timesaver and all that jazz. And of course when they’re that nice, they always get popped right to the top. Five Dragons for that one, Menu Duplicator.

Marcus:           Cool – very cool. All right, I’m going to talk about three plugins that I used actually for one site. I was doing kind of a pseudo app site for one of my clients that’s actually having a conference that starts today in Ireland and they wanted to replace their old app and use something new. It’s a little more mobile responsive that would work on all platforms, so here’s what I did.

It’s a BuddyPress-based kind of site and he wanted first to have a neat looking sort of Facebook wall, and we did this with a plugin called BuddyPress Activity Plus. What it does is it does just exactly as I described it. It adds a Facebook-style content sharing button to the BuddyPress activity feed so users can quickly share articles, videos, images, and all that. They basically paste a link in and the BuddyPress Activity Plus automatically pulls the content snippets for fast sharing, preview, editing, and those kinds of things.

It has full interactivity; people can like it, favorite it, and all of those other different kinds of activities that you would expect with a social networking site. I rated this a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. It sounds like a great way to use BuddyPress.

Marcus:           It is one of the best I’ve seen, actually.

John:                Okay, the next one I’ve got here is called Services Plugin for WordPress. This is a premium plugin and it was submitted to us by Shawn DeWolf. He’s actually a local developer here in the Victoria area and this is the second plugin he’s submitted to us over time. We’ve got a link to the show notes where you can go purchase it. It’s a pretty simple plugin and you can add it to your website.

What it allows you to do is create a services section of your website. The plugin uses custom post types, you can create up all your services in separate custom post types with images and everything else you need and want. Then you take a shortcode and paste it on a page and it displays all that stuff in a nice, neat format for you to display, so you can organize it all on one page for people. But you don’t have to manage one page for it if you’ve got services that might pop in and out of what you do and you want to turn them on and off by maybe putting the post on hiatus, things of that nature.

This is a nice way to manage out all your separate services. A great little plugin; it works fairly well, it’s $19 and it’s a premium plugin, so go give it a check out. It’s called Services Plugin for WordPress and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Good! Very nice. All right, so I wanted to do something for this social event – actually, it’s a live event, so it’s a live conference/convention/whatever you want to call it – and we wanted to make it to where people could post to Instagram and it would automatically pull those images into this mobile site. So I chose one called WD Instagram Feed and what it does, there are two versions.

Now the free version allows you to take either one hashtag or one Instagram account and pull all of those things in automatically. It is limited in the free version in the stylings that you can use and also that one account. However, in the pro version (which is the version that I bought), it allows you to use multiple hashtags, multiple accounts, set a masonry layout, it has a lot cooler display, kind of a slideshow type of a button that you can use also, full screen, all that kind of stuff. So I bought the $60 developer version that allows me to use unlimited types because I wanted to use it on some other sites that I have as well.

However, I think the pro version is absolutely perfect but since we do what we do, we take one point away for the free version and I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Yeah, but it sounds like you reviewed partly on the pro version, so I still give it a Dragon.

Marcus:           [Chuckling] Okay.

John:                You did more review on the pro version than the free version.

Marcus:           That’s true.

John:                You’ve got to remember that key point there means when we weren’t able to review or use the pro version —

Marcus:           Oh, okay.

John:                — because we didn’t need it. You know, we’re not going to fork out money to buy plugins just to test them.

Marcus:           Right, well I did for a client, so that’s why a bought it.

John:                Yeah, well still, you bought it. But we’re not going to fork it out just for testing. If the developer wants to send us a pro version with a key, we’ll rate it on its pro features. We won’t rate it on the free features. If it’s a free one, we rate it strictly on the free features, which is why it loses a point, remember?

Marcus:           That’s true. However, I did use the free version first, so that’s —

John:                So you know it was worth the —

Marcus:           — that’s where the 4 came.

John:                You knew it was worth the money, so it got a 4 and then a 5 —

Marcus:           That’s correct.

John:                — so it’s still deserved a dragon.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                All right. Fair is fair. Okay, now the final plugin I’ve got here is another premium plugin and this one was sent in by the developer, Dan Barry, and it’s called WordPress Podcast Player. Now it’s a pretty great add-on player for your website and podcast.

I started out to use it but I ran into some issues in the MU environment (at least I think it’s the MU environment or it could just be all of the plugins that are on the WP Plugins A to Z site conflicting). One of the two; I’m not sure. It seemed okay in another standalone test site I use for testing plugins.

So anyway, what this plugin does for you is it creates a .mp3 player for your audio files and with that, you can go in there when you upload the audio, you’ve got to upload it into a separate area. It uploads the file but you can put up to five notes into it with little tags that as the player plays, it will pop up these notes up underneath the player for people. So you could put notes that will pop up at certain key points during the playing of the audio if they’re playing it on your website, and then it creates a link where they could download the audio directly from your website if you want. It seemed like a very great feature.

You can colorize it, style it, make some changes to it. It’s a really great, useful plugin for the most part but due to running into issues in the MU environment (at least I’m pretty sure it was that) – I hadn’t contacted the developer to find out. But at the moment I’m going to have to put it at a 4-Dragon rating and it’s WordPress Podcast Player. So check it out if you want to use an additional player on your website for tweaking a little bit of promotions for your audio files.

Marcus:           Hmm…very interesting.

John:                Yeah, it looked like it would be cool. I would’ve tried it out on our site but I just couldn’t get it to properly take the files and I couldn’t get it to take the settings.

Marcus:           Right. Okay, so finally on this mobile site, we had one other issue which was the site had me as the primary user and the administrator, which is, you know, my Gmail address.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           But the issue became as we were sending new passwords to people that are members of the client – the client’s site – I didn’t exactly want them to see marcuscouch@gmail.com as the sender or the person to reply to.

John:                Right.

Marcus:           I wanted it to come from the client email address. So without actually deleting the admin account and going a different route, I needed to have a way to edit these emails, and that’s where this plugin comes into play. It is called WP Better Emails and it takes all the emails from WordPress (and I’m talking about lost password, notifications, and all of those different things). This wraps them in a much better looking and customizable HTML email template and it also lets you change the sender name and email address. And I love this except the table layout made aligning a company logo with the text nearly impossible, so that was a huge problem that I had that I just – you know what I did? I just put the logo on one side and put the text on the other side and just left it that way. Otherwise, it worked really well for getting rid of the admin user as the primary sender and reply to on system emails, so I gave this one a 4 out of 5.

John:                Yeah, very nice. Yeah, I’ve used that plugin before in the past and I just never reviewed it. But yeah, it’s really great for enhancing the emails being sent out from your site.

Marcus:           Definitely.

John:                All right, well I covered up in this episode Menu Duplicator, which I gave a 5 to; Services Plugin for WordPress, which I gave a 4 to; and then the WordPress Podcast Player, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I discussed BuddyPress Activity Plus – gave a 5 out of 5; WD Instagram Feed gets a 4 for the free, 5 for the paid; and WP Better Emails gets a 4 out of 5.

 

[End of Audio]

 

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It's Episode 266 and we've got plugins for Quick View in WooCommerce, Speeding Up Your Site, Free Gifts for Your Ecom Shoppers, Protection against DDos Attacks, and Tracking how far down people scroll within Google Analytics.. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 266

It's Episode 266 and we've got plugins for Quick View in WooCommerce, Speeding Up Your Site, Free Gifts for Your Ecom Shoppers, Protection against DDos Attacks, and Tracking how far down people scroll within Google Analytics.. 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 #281


It’s Episode 266 and we’ve got plugins for Quick View in WooCommerce, Speeding Up Your Site, Free Gifts for Your Ecom Shoppers, Protection against DDos Attacks, and Tracking how far down people scroll within Google Analytics.. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #266

John:                Okay, the first plugin I’ve got here this week is called WP Super Speed. This plugin promises to help reduce your system resource usage, in particular, CPU and RAM usage by your website. It’s a very simple plugin – not 100% perfect as far as I can tell. It’s kind of hard to tell whether it’s reducing everything unless you have set up monitoring for your site.

But all you need to do is install the plugin, activate it, no configurations, and it’s supposed to lower the amount of CPU and RAM that your website uses. So all in all, a pretty nice little plugin. It does seem to work well in the MU environment, which is where I’ve tested it, which is always important for me nowadays since even WP Plugins A-Z is on an MU platform. So check it out; it’s called WP Super Speed and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Pretty cool. I like that. All right, I’ve been using WooCommerce a lot lately and these first two plugins are directly WooCommerce-related. The first one is titled WooCommerce Quick View and it allows your users to get a really quick look at the products in your store without having to open that product page.

So it has kind of a light box type of a pop-up and it has the product image, the title, price, quantity to add to the cart – all that stuff – in a pop-up. You can disable that on mobile if you wish, because I know that pop-ups are a little crazy within mobile. You can change the label; instead of quick view, it could be something else, and it’s really, really friendly to use. You can even customize the exact style of that modal – that little pop-up. It’s really nice. I really liked this plugin a lot and I gave a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very cool. Yeah, I haven’t done WooCommerce in several months now, but that sounds like a very useful one if you’re building out a WooCommerce site.

Marcus:           And another thing that I forgot to mention is that once that pop-up is up, it’s almost like a gallery because they can scroll through your products, hitting a next and previous button, and it just keeps loading the different products on the site in that little pop-up.

John:                Oh, cool! That sounds very cool.

Marcus:           Mm-hmm.

John:                Okay, the next plugin I’ve got here is called Protection Against DDoS, and it’s a very simple but effective plugin to help protect your website from attacks. All you need to do is install it and activate it, and you have instant protection from attacks.

The plugin works by setting a cookie in the user’s browser to see if they can actually log in – see if they’re human. And because it sets the cookie, when bots come in, they don’t actually accumulate those cookies and information. They just attack and attack. So if it doesn’t see the cookie when the plugin is active, if it doesn’t see the cookie in the person’s browser, it automatically boots them away from your website and prevents them from accessing it any further.

It’s a great little plugin; it seems to help a little bit. I’ve installed it on a couple of websites that were having a bit of a load from bots and that seems to have dropped off, so it does seem to be working. A great little plugin called Protection Against DDoS, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Cool, I like that. The next plugin I have – also a WooCommerce plugin – this is called WooCommerce Free Gifts, and it’s a pretty small plugin. It helps you to give away free gifts to your WooCommerce customers based on a threshold of a dollar amount that you set.

So here’s what happens: if somebody puts something in their cart and say you have a threshold of like $30 and they don’t quite make it with that first add to the cart, it can actually say in the cart, “Hey, spend another $4.88 and qualify for a free gift!” – just like you see at other stores.

John:                Yeah, on Amazon and everywhere else.

Marcus:           Right! And once it’s reached, you can actually change that message to say something like, you know, “Hey, awesome! You’ve got $80 in the cart. Now you qualify for this free gift,” and then it gives them the button to accept the gift and add it to their order if they want.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           They don’t have to but it allows them the option to accept the free gift. I know one store that does this pretty well, and that’s Macy’s.

John:                Yeah, yes.

Marcus:           Anything you order from Macy’s, whether it’s men’s or women’s, they’ll always throw in fragrances and all of that, and you accept that – yes, no, I don’t want the free gift – whatever – and it works out pretty well. So try this out. Heck, if it means some extra sales just to get a free gift, it’s totally worth it, so I rated this one a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Everyone likes to make an added sale and hey, if you can bump them up $3 to $5, that’s $3 to $5 more in your pocket.

Marcus:           Yeah, so the trick to that is whatever threshold you’re going to make it, take what your average product is, say you’re selling e-books for $20 apiece and make it so that the threshold is $30, so you’re going to sell at least two things.

John:                That’s right. Keep them somewhere in the middle.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                Excellent. Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called WordPress Inspector. This is a simple plugin; I thought it might be a little bit more when I loaded it up, but it’s a plugin that takes and leads you off to a testing website at WordPressInspector.io.

You really don’t need a plugin to do this; it kind of seemed like a waste of a plugin to me. You click the plugin and then you click to inspect it, and it opens up the other website and just automatically inserts your URL into it. But all in all, I guess it’s an okay little plugin. The thing that I found disappointing is even when I went to the WordPressInspector.io is they give you some information, they tell you how your site is working, but when they find something that doesn’t seem to be right, all they say is something simple in there such as, “We found blocking rendering stuff in here,” and you really can’t tell any information from that. So they tell you that you’ve got too many page redirects and you have no way of figuring out what’s there, because it doesn’t give you a list.

So other than that, it’s an okay little plugin. I gave it a 3-Dragon rating: WordPress Inspector.

Marcus:           Three, that’s low.

John:                That is low for us. That’s real low for us.

Marcus:           Yeah, we don’t usually like to bring those. But yeah, that’s okay.

John:                Hey, if we run across them and I took the time to test it because I’ve had hopes, I’m going to tell everyone what I found.

Marcus:           Yeah, exactly. All right, the final one I’m going to talk about it something that’s not necessarily an item or a metric that Google Analytics reveres as a valued thing when it comes to page score. (Maybe it does. I don’t know.) But this is called Easy Scroll Depth and what it allows you to do is track how far down the page users actually scroll in terms of a percentage.

And this is nothing new; there are more plugins that do this kind of thing to take advantage of Google Analytics and that. But the thing is I’ve never gotten any of them to work. I’ve tried them all and none of them have worked. For well over a year, I’ve been looking for a new plugin to come around and this one did just literally last week, and it works, it tells me exactly how far down in the page people scroll. I’m using this for membership sites to see exactly what the average is in terms of where people get down to and make sure that everything measures out accordingly as it should.

So this is another way to just track exactly how much content is being read. It’s a little bit further in terms of logic than just on-page time – you know how long they were on the page. They could’ve just gone to a new tab and done something else, so the on-page doesn’t really matter. This one does. It’s called Easy Scroll Depth and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! You brought the perfect hand today.

Marcus:           Mm-hmm. Three of a kind.

John:                All right, that’s definitely useful to help people figure out how far down the page they’re going. Because if they’re not going down far enough, you need to either get better content below or get all your good content right at the top.

Marcus:           That’s right.

John:                Okay, well in this episode here I covered up WP Super Speed, which I gave a 4 to; I covered up Protection Against DDoS, which I gave a 4 to; and then WordPress Inspector, which I gave a 3 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about WooCommerce Quick View; gave that one a 5 out of 5; WooCommerce Free Gift, gave that a 5 out of 5; and Easy Scroll Depth, also a perfect 5 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

 

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It's Episode 265 and we've got plugins for Security Audit Logs, Registered Users, Disabling Auto Complete, Staff Directories, Yoast to WordPress API Callouts, and a great new plug that pulls any image on any website into your media library.. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 265

It's Episode 265 and we've got plugins for Security Audit Logs, Registered Users, Disabling Auto Complete, Staff Directories, Yoast to WordPress API Callouts, and a great new plug that pulls any image on any website into your media library.. 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 #265


It’s Episode 265 and we’ve got plugins for Security Audit Logs, Registered Users, Disabling Auto Complete, Staff Directories, Yoast to WordPress API Callouts, and a great new plug that pulls any image on any website into your media library.. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #265

John:                Okay, the first plugin I’ve got here today is called Registered Users Only, and this is a plugin that allows you to lock down your website real quick and easy. It’s a plugin I’m starting to use more and more when I’m doing development versus using a landing page or the in development pages plugins that were used. This one locks it down to specifically prevent anyone from getting into the site unless they are logged in or through IP addresses if you do a little customization in the code.

It’s a plugin I inherited through a client and it can also help you build an intranet, and this is more information on what’s going to be developing from this plugin further down the line. But other than that, if you use this plugin with Gravity Forms, you can also force people to only register for your website, and with some more tweaks, you can limit it even further.

But as it stands right now as Registered Users Only, it’s a great plugin and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Outstanding! Well, what I’m going to talk about next is called Advanced Image Grabber, and this is a really cool plugin. What it does is you can point it to an external webpage URL somewhere and it will take all of the images that’s on that page and allow you to select them and import them. So it will just download them straight from that website and import them right into the media library. What do you think of that, John?

John:                That’s very nice. It also sounds very dangerous.

Marcus:           It does. It sounds like somebody could pirate you with just one click.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           But this is pretty cool in terms of if you’ve got, you know, an old client site and you need to pull a bunch of images over, stuff like that.

John:                Yeah, I can see the benefits for it.

Marcus:           Yeah, yeah – so I rated this one a 4 out of 5.

John:                Yeah, very nice. Yeah, it’s got some great benefits but the use and copyright violations is just astounding for that one, too.

Okay, the next plugin I’ve got here

. This is one of the first in many plugins coming for WP Plugins A to Z. This is going to be one of our first plugins created. It’s called Staff Directory WPAZ. If you want to get a copy of it, you’ll have to go to the Contact page and send me an email. But I’ll tell you a little bit about this plugin. This is a fork of another plugin called Staff Directory. There’s a link in the show notes to the original.

What we’ve done with this plugin is it came to me through a client of mine who had a staff directory and they were using this plugin but it wasn’t adequate to the needs and there was nothing else out there. So we decided to take this plugin which had the good basics and start forking it out.

What it allows you to do is create a staff list which you can edit in the backend and display in the frontend via a short code. This is for if you’re running an intranet and you wanted to display your staff list. We added functionality to it such as Ajax Sorting for the frontend, as well as in the backend, the ability to export the CSV file, the ability to reimport the CSV file, and double-check to make sure if the entries were there, and not over-write them. It also did some cleanup of the interface.

We’ve added a whole bunch of new features to it and there’s more coming. This is a plugin that will continue to be developed over time and it’s going to be our first plugin that gets announced out to the world soon – and may even submit it to the WordPress Repository eventually, so check it out. Of course, since it’s a WordPress Plugin from A to Z, it’s going to get a 5, right?

Marcus:           [Laughter]

John:                No, just kidding. At the moment, it’s still rated at a 4, but it’s not a perfect plugin yet, but it’s getting close. So check it out; it’s called Staff Directory WPAZ.

Marcus:           Excellent. I look forward to that and many more.

John:                Yeah, well there’s another one in the pipeline right now, too.

Marcus:           Yeah, maybe we can fork off all the 3’s and 4’s that we found and make them 5’s.

John:                Well, what’s happening is when I run into a plugin that’s needed, I’m starting to fork it off since I’ve manage to find myself a really good quality developer locally who does work for me.

Marcus:           Yeah, I do the same with my outsource team. I have them fork plugins that I like that gets me about 70% of the way that I need to get —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — and then have them do the rest as far as the last 30.

John:                Time to bring them back here and we can offer them as an exclusive to our subscribers on the website.

Marcus:           Hmm, that’s a great idea. Well, the next one I’d like to talk about is called Disable Autocomplete, and John, with so many autocomplete scripts out there and I’m talking about stuff within Chrome, Firefox – you know, those password savers.

John:                Autocomplete forms.

Marcus:           Last Pass is another good one. There are a lot of different ways that sensitive data could get saved within your browser, and sometimes you just don’t want that. To do your users a favor, you can use this plugin to disable autocomplete and it prevents items from being saved in your passwords or Last Pass, which can be pretty valuable if you’ve got stuff that’s relatively sensitive that you do not want somebody to just save the password, and I rated this one a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Very nice. That could come in real handy.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                Okay, and the final one I’ve got here is called WP Security Audit Log. This is a great plugin that helps you track everything on your website from user sign-ins to whatever changes they’ve made, including your own changes, whatever plugins you install, activate, deactivate, remove. It tracks failed logins and more.

It’s a great tool for helping you know what’s going on and if something goes wrong on your site. It’s got a log here you can go and check it out and see what happened just before it went wrong. It tracks pretty much everything. You can also expand its abilities by adding some pro add-ons such as email notifications, you have user monitor, and even more to it.

All in all, a pretty great plugin. Again, another one that I picked up from a client and check it out: WP Security Audit Log; I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           And that’s pretty valuable stuff.

John:                It’s very —

Marcus:           You want to see what’s going on.

John:                — especially if you’ve got a site with multiple users.

Marcus:           Yeah, absolutely. All right, I’m going to wrap it up with something that’s a little off the beaten path. It’s called WP API Yoast SEO and what this does is it returns Yoast post or page metadata in a normal post or page request and it stores the metadata in a field of returned data. Yay. Okay, so what?

But I want to bring this plugin to light not because I think a ton of people will be using it, but I want to talk about this to illustrate and highlight a point that these kinds of plugin interactions via API are coming a lot faster than you might think. So what this does is it actually takes metadata from within Yoast and you can manipulate it and do different things with — actually, even incorporate it within your post itself, so that’s pretty powerful. I only bring this up because Yoast is something that almost all of us use —

John:                Yes.

Marcus:           — in some respect. And this plugin is fun to just get a sense of what kind of interactions you can do with the API, and that’s why I wanted to talk about it. It’s called WP API Yoast SEO, and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Yes, we’ve got lots and lots of changes coming down the pipe for WordPress over the next year or two.

Marcus:           Mm-hmm.

John:                Okay, well that covers up. In this show, I covered up the Registered Users Only, which I gave a 4 to; the Staff Directory WPAZ, which I gave a 4 to; and the WP Security Audit Log, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Advanced Image Graver, 4 out of 5; Disable Autocomplete got a perfect 5 out of 5; and WP API Yoast SEO gets a 4 out of five.

John:                Very nice.

[End of Audio]

 

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It's Episode 264 and we've got plugins for Inline Quizzes, Page Builders, Setting Appointments, Renaming Users, Facebook Messenger Integration, and Image Hover Effects.. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 264

It's Episode 264 and we've got plugins for Inline Quizzes, Page Builders, Setting Appointments, Renaming Users, Facebook Messenger Integration, and Image Hover Effects.. 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 #264


It’s Episode 264 and we’ve got plugins for Inline Quizzes, Page Builders, Setting Appointments, Renaming Users, Facebook Messenger Integration, and Image Hover Effects.. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #264

John:                All right, this week here the first plugin I have was sent in by Andrew Dobson at – oh, it’s a tough name. I had it up earlier. Anyway, you have to check out his name. It’s sakyantchiangmai.com. It is a website that helps you get some really interesting tattoos over in Thailand. At any rate, he sent in this plugin but it’s not one of his; it’s one that he found and thought we would find useful.

It’s called Easy Appointments and it’s a plugin that is a great in. It was sent in – he discovered it and he thought he would share it with others. It’s an appointment plugin that allows you to set up for multiple locations, multiple services, multiple workers, multiple connections. It looks to be a pretty great plugin.

I gave it just the initial run-through to see how it worked and how it’s set up. It allows to you to customize to be personalized for your business by setting custom messages, adding additional custom fields to the forms, so when someone creates an appointment, you can collect all the information that you need for that type of an appointment. It also allows you to set redirects so you can redirect them to another page or another piece of information after they complete the appointment, so there’s lots of great uses.

The biggest drawback I found is that it only works on your website. It doesn’t connect with any other calendars out there, so you can’t integrate it into Google Calendar, nor is there a way to collect funds. Say you want somebody to book an appointment and prepay some money, it doesn’t have that. But according to the developer, those items are under development and they will come eventually. All in all, it looks to be a pretty decent plugin and checks out really nice. I rate it at 4 Dragons. Check it out: it’s Easy Appointments.

Marcus:           Yeah, I actually checked that one out, too. That’s really nice actually for booking things and you can actually attach a price tag to it as well.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           The example that I saw on their website had a car detailing demo and not only did you get to pick the services that you want as far as your appointment, but you got to pick the detailer, the actual person. I could see this working very well for like a beauty salon or hairstyling studio or something like that.

John:                Oh, yeah. Excellent for places like that.

Marcus:           Yeah, yeah. Really good. All right, the first one I’ve got for your today is called Image Hover Effects Pack, and a couple of weeks back, I did an image hover plugin. But this one is way better. This one has over 150 animated hover effects that are totally CSS3-based. It actually is all CSS, unlike the other one. This allows you to add also animated captions and text on top of your images and has a ton of customization options as well. And the thing that I liked about this that the other plugin did not do, this one is 100% responsive and also has some pretty cool snap to grid options as well.

I would’ve given this one a perfect 5 out of 5, but there is also a pro version of this and you know my rule, John. I take one point off for that.

John:                Absolutely.

Marcus:           So this one gets a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. It still sounds like a fairly useful plugin.

Marcus:           It is.

John:                Okay, the second one I’ve got in here for you today, it was another one sent in by one of our great listeners out there. It was sent in by Andrew Worsfold at gettailor.com and this is one of their plugins. It’s called Tailor Page Builder and this is a page builder plugin to allow you to customize any page. The claim is that it will work with any theme out there, so I thought I would put it to the test and use it with a theme that I have from CodeCanyon to have its own built-in page builder to see what kind of mess it would make.

And it turns out it conflicts very nicely in that way. It can’t be any theme, but any theme that doesn’t already have a page builder built into it, it worked well. I did give it a fair chance and loaded up with a couple of other themes and seeing how it works. It allows you to build your customized pages using an interface similar to the WordPress Customizer. Drag-and-drop your elements over and set them up.

The one thing I did find is only will customize pages; it won’t customize individual posts. So that was kind of a bit of a drawback for me, because there’s oftentimes where you’ll want to customize a post. One of the websites I use with a theme is sometimes the page builder allows me to customize posts along with pages. Other than that, the interface is pretty nice, clean, simple. It works very well; it’s a great plugin. Check it out. It’s called Tailor Page Builder and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Beautiful — nice. I’m always into page builders.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           I like Cornerstone; it’s the best one so far. But I’m going to check out Tailor as well.

John:                That’s my major one because it comes with all the themes I’ve purchased from CodeCanyon.

Marcus:           Right. Okay, so the next one I have on deck here is called User Rename by Azed, and that’s kind of a weird name. It should have just been User Rename. But this plugin lets you easily and completely rename a user account, and that’s the login, the nickname, and the display name. Lately, I’ve had many different instances where I’ve had to actually change a username and this one is going to be my go-to plugin for that.

Of the things that I’ve got to change, it’s a little unusual, but I’m going to bring it to light. With all the membership sites I run and, you know, the millions of members throughout all of them in terms of all the users, I’ve run into a couple of instances where I had to change an existing user’s name because they were transgender, right? They got a gender reassignment as it were and so now you have to change not only their profile picture, but also their name.

So this one worked for me on one particular instance that I had three people that I needed to change. One actually was just married and the other one had the other things that I was talking about, and this one worked very, very well, so I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Yeah, I have another change username plugin that I’ve been using for a couple of years now. But any plugin that makes the job of username changing easy is one you want to keep in your portfolio of plugins, because you’re sooner or later going to have to change a username.

Marcus:           Yeah, and it’s difficult to cancel an account and then have them sign up again, especially if they’re in a process that they’re already subscribed into —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — when it can just be small, little change like this.

John:                Small, little change instead of digging through the database. Pop this plugin in, quickly change it, and you’re done.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is another one sent in by our listeners. It was sent in by David Hehenberger at fatcatapps.com and it’s called Quiz Cat – WordPress Quiz Builder. Now everyone out there, if you have a Facebook account, you’ve seen those quizzes. Sooner or later, one pops up in your feed. Pretty much everyone has a Facebook account, so you know what those quizzes are, right Marcus?

Marcus:           Yeah, like “What Frog Are You?”

John:                Yeah, well that’s what this plugin does. It helps you build those quizzes in your WordPress website. It allows you to create the title, add images, create the answers, put images with every answer, go down and determine the total of correct answers and wrong answers, and then spit out a message with a great picture at the end saying, “Hey! Yeah, you know everything about frogs.”

So this is a great plugin. It works very well; it’s smooth. The one side-note I have to it is that this plugin collects your user information when you install it and activate it. You don’t have to opt into it. The opt-in says it won’t give all of the functionality; I don’t know. I didn’t test that. But if you do opt-in, it grants permissions for your profile, your site overview, URL, WordPress version, PHP info, plugin and themes you are currently using, it also gets the info when you activate, deactivate, and uninstall plugins.

So basically, they collect everything with your WordPress website and run it through a data collection service. There seems to be a data collection service for doing this on WordPress websites and it’s something all you developers might want to look into. It might be a great way to find out how your plugins are being used.

At any rate, great plugin. It worked very well; I set it up very fast, it was easy to create a quiz. You insert it on a page or a post via short codes and then with a little luck you create the right kind of quiz. Maybe it’ll go viral for you and you just get tons of traffic. Who knows? Anyway, check it out: Quiz Cat – WordPress Quiz Builder, and I rated it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Nice. I happened to look at this one myself and I thought it was really cool. I liked the fact that it’s not like your traditional quiz where you just go through all the answers and then it gives you a score at the beginning. This one actually, if you guessed the wrong answer, it would kind of flip over in a little card style and be either red or green —

John:                Yup.

Marcus:           — in the instance you were either correct or incorrect with your answer, and I thought that was really neat.

John:                Yeah, it’s more fun to know if you got it right or wrong in a quick instant.

Marcus:           Right. Okay, the final plugin I’ve got today is called Cf7 Messenger, and of course, Cf7 stands for Contact Form 7. Now, I thought this one was really unique. I tried this out myself early this morning and it worked very, very well. What it allows you to do is integrate your Contact Form 7 with Facebook Messenger so that if someone leaves you a message within the Contact Form 7, it integrates with this plugin and sends you a direct message with Facebook Messenger. I thought that was pretty neat.

The problem for me is I had to install Facebook Messenger on my phone because I didn’t have it. It does work also on the PC version obviously if you’re logged into Facebook. But you’ve got to be careful with this one because it’s pretty wide open and you have to have some safeguards in place to prevent spambots like Captcha or something like that. Otherwise, your whole Facebook messenger is going to get blown up with spam.

John:                That’s [inaudible – 20:02].

Marcus:           Overall, great concept. I loved the way that it accepts real-time Facebook feedback in terms of that integration from your users. A really great plugin; I rated it a 5 out of 5.

John:                Okay, yeah. It’s a great plugin. I like that idea. Yeah, I definitely want to have something to prevent spambots, because as soon as they discover something like that, they would just destroy you.

Marcus:           Yeah, yeah. That’s it.

John:                Okay, well that covers up this week. I covered up Easy Appointments, which I gave a 4 to; Tailor Page Builder, which I gave a 4 to, and Quiz Cat – WordPress Quiz Builder, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Image Hover Effects – gave that one a 4 out of 5; User Rename by Azed, 4 out of 5; and Cf7 Messenger, 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice.

 

[End of Audio]

 

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