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

It's Episode 280 and we've got plugins for Generating Pinterest Images, Click to Tweet, Disable Password Notifications, Site Lockdown and a great new way to respond to comments, privately.. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 280

It's Episode 280 and we've got plugins for Generating Pinterest Images, Click to Tweet, Disable Password Notifications, Site Lockdown and a great new way to respond to comments, privately.. 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 #280


It’s Episode 280 and we’ve got plugins for Generating Pinterest Images, Click to Tweet, Disable Password Notifications, Site Lockdown and a great new way to respond to comments, privately.. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #280

John:                Okay, this week here the first plugin I’ve got is called wprequal. This plugin here was sent in to us by Kevin Brent. I did an interview with him last week and the plugin, wprequal, is a great leads plugin that is easy to set up and activate. You add it as a widget to the widget area of your website and it helps you to create leads into your website.

Now, what it’s great for is the leads that it helps you generate is it’s designed for the real estate industry and collecting people who are looking to buy property or obtain mortgages. The plugin is preset in almost everything that’s in it and it goes through, collects their information, prequalifies them as to whether or not they’re actually going to get a mortgage or everything else. It’s much easier to use than all the other leads forms that are used out there. What this plugin has been designed to do is for people to just click a button to answer a series of questions versus having to type in all the answers like every other forms I’ve seen for mortgage collection. They go through and click all the buttons and when they get to the end, all it does is ask for their name, email address, and phone number very simply.

By the time they’ve clicked all the buttons, they’re already ready to type in those four pieces of information and then it gets submitted to you. Now, it was a great plugin – easy to set up unless you needed something more specific. It was easy to control the look and feel of the website, but there was no place in it to change the answers or customize the answers you wanted in it. I did feel the plugin could benefit from the ability to customize the questions and also the ability to change from the default privacy policy and terms that they have set into it. They have a default one that people have to accept the terms when they go to it; it’s preset information.

But other than that, it turned out to be a great plugin. The author is looking at expanding it out and connecting it up to things like Zapier, Salesforce, or other CMS systems, so eventually it’ll be a great plugin. Right now, it’s in pretty good shape. I gave it a 5-Dragon rating for all of its ease of use, so check it out: wprequal.

Marcus:           Very nice! I might have to check that one out. This is a new plugin that’s brand-new. In fact, it’s still in beta. It’s called Grid Canvas and what it does is it is a Pinterest image creator and it creates sort of a grid out of the images that already exist within your posts. You can predetermine what sort of image grid it is. And by grid, I mean sometimes when you post in Facebook and you do an album, it shows one main picture and then maybe a grid of three other photos and you can click on it and all that.

Well, this actually creates that image through the Grid Canvas API. It allows people to tweet the story or the post and it uses that grid image as the actual image that’s in Twitter, Facebook, or whatever – and Pinterest as well. This is really, really nice. I really like this plugin. It’s completely in beta right now, so it’s free to use. It will become a paid plugin and I’m sure that they’ll have some sort of a special for anybody that’s already involved in terms of the beta and upgrading to the paid version. But for now, I would check this out. This is something that really intrigued me.

I tried it out on my site and it was really, really easy to set up and the product that came out the other end was just beautiful. It’s called Grid Canvas – Pinterest Image Creator, and because it’s in beta and not quite ready for prime time, I gave it a 4 out of 5, but I’m sure the pro version once it comes out, I’m really looking forward to reviewing that. I’m sure it would get top level.

John:                Very nice. That could be quite useful for getting your stuff out to Pinterest.

Marcus:           Yeah, an it’s not just Pinterest, either. I mean, it gives you the ability to tweet the picture and do anything, but especially Pinterest because you can automatically put it there. But it’s really, really nice. It’s called Grid Canvas.

John:                Very nice. Well, thinking of tweeting things out, the next plugin I’ve got here is called Better Click to Tweet. This one came about through a client request, noticing that more and more websites out there have that little quote box somewhere in the post article that says, “Click here to tweet,” and then it tweets out that quote that’s been preset. That’s what this plugin does very simply, very easy, and very powerfully.

Once you install and activate it, it adds a new Twitter icon to your editor. You click that icon, it pops up a window, you customize the quote you want, add the hashtags you want – all the little bits and pieces to it. Then you add your username to it and hit enter and it inserts it as a shortcode into your post. Then when the post is presented to your users, it presents it in this nice grid, which you could probably do some customizing CSS to make it stand out a little more. Once they click that, it automatically sends out the exact tweet that you want sent out from your website, saving your visitors of course the hassle of trying to figure out what to say, meaning they’ll more than likely tweet things out a little more often for you, and then you get notifications of it.

I tested it out this morning on our website and after I sent the tweet, I had a couple of retweets on it, so hey, it works quite well. And of course, Better Click to Tweet because it’s so simple, easy, and saves lots of time, it gets one of those top 5-Dragon ratings. A very sweet plugin.

Marcus:           Awesome. Well John, this next plugin falls under that category that we love of lazy plugins, and that is one that you install, turn it on, and never have to deal with it ever again. This one is by our friend, Pippin Williamson, who is pretty known in the WordPress community.

John:                Absolutely.

Marcus:           It makes easy digital downloads and a whole ton of other plugins. This one is called Disable Password Change Notifications, and it does just that. Every time you get a user that changes their password, typically it goes to the administrator and says, “Hey, John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt just changed their password,” and it’s like okay, I didn’t really need to know that. So if you don’t need to know that, then check out this plugin. It is Disable Password Change Notifications by Pippin Williamson, and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Yeah, that can get annoying if you’re working on a website that has lots and lots of users who are constantly resetting their password because they forgot to get in. That’s usually what that indicates.

Marcus:           Exactly, so this will eliminate that and make it an autonomous system that doesn’t bug you.

John:                There you go. Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is an exciting one for us. This one here is WPAZ Intranet/Site Lockdown. This is the first official plugin from WP Plugins A to Z show. This is a plugin that I had hired a programmer to help customize with, I wrote some of the code, I customized some, and I hired a programmer to finish this out. This is partly where some of the donors’ money has gone to is providing things like this that we can give back to the community.

Now, this plugin here, what it is designed to do is to allow you to create an intranet site or to completely lock down your website, depending on what you want to do. Creating an intranet site usually means you have to try to keep it on an internal network. But this allows you to create a WordPress website, host it with a hosting provider, and turn it into an intranet site. This plugin will lock down your website so that no one can see anything except the login window – this includes search engines. They can’t get past the login window at all. They can’t even get to the downloads; they can’t view any files in the website – nothing. It keeps them locked out.

Now, you can open it up to specific IP addresses or IP address ranges, which is a very sweet thing. Once they have an account to log in, they can log into the website and then gain access to everything as if they were viewing the website normally, and it doesn’t even show them as being logged in with a toolbar at the top. It’s very nice in that aspect there also. You can use this for your dev sites to lock your dev site down so that no one can get into it. [There are] lots of other uses for it.

If you combine this also with Gravity Forms, you can create a specific registration page that people can register with your website and you can lock that registration down to specific domains. You know, like @johnoverall.com; if you don’t have an address at johnoverall.com, you cannot register. These are the nice functions that are being built into it. Some of these functions will continue to evolve since this is the first iteration of the plugin and we’ll be adding to this as it comes along, because I see lots and lots of uses for it.

At the moment, I would just love to give it a 5 based on the fact that it’s from us. I have to give it a 4-Dragon rating because it’s not thoroughly complete yet but still a great plugin. And if you would like a copy of it, you can get it for free. All you’ve got to do is go to the WP. support.ca website, go to the store, and download it there. It’s $5 but if you use the following plugin code, ********, you get the plugin for free. That’s ********.

Now, this code will not be published, but if you want to get a copy of the code and you didn’t quite catch it, send an email to me: john@wppro.ca, and I’ll send it out to you. The discount code will be good until January 1, 2017. After that, it will always be $5 for the plugin, so check it out. It’s the first plugin from WPPluginsAtoZ.com.

Marcus:           Wow, very nice! Very nice addition. Great. All right, well, let’s wrap up this show with a really nice one. This one is called WP Private Comment Notes, and it lets WordPress admins and moderators add and manage private notes left through the comments system.

So here’s how it works, John: if you are on my site and you read a particular blog post and you leave a comment and you ask me a certain question on it, there may be an instance where I don’t want to reply to you just in another comment. Maybe I want to reply to you privately. So what happens is I can send you a note privately and knowing that I have your email address because that’s what I require to leave a comment, it will email you my private replay to your comment based on this plugin.

John:                Sweet!

Marcus:           So that’s pretty cool. I mean, it’s just a nice way to answer somebody’s question and not continue and continue and continue in the thread. So check it out; it’s called WP Private Comment Notes, and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very sweet. That’s a nice way to be able to communicate with administrators.

Marcus:           Sure.

John:                All right, well in this episode I covered up wprequal, which I gave a 5 to; Better Click To Tweet, which I have a 5 to; and the all-new WPAZ Intranet Site/Lockdown Plugin, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I reviewed Grid Canvas – got that a 4 out of 5, Disable Password Change Notifications by Pippin Williamson – gave that one a 5 out of 5, and Private Comment Notes, 5 out of 5.

 

[End of Audio]

 

 

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Transcript of Episode 279

transcript-279All 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 #279


It’s Episode 279 and we’ve got plugins for Calendar Registrations, Zodiac and Moon Forecasts, Sequential Post Editing, Dummy Payment Gateways and a great new plugin for Writing a Novel. . It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #279

John:                Okay, the first plugin I’ve got this week is called Registrations for The Events Calendar. This plugin here, and as I’m having to face the problem of changing out the events calendar across several websites, because what I was using for the last few years, the company has just so many loops, turns, backwards, and forwards.t they’ve just changed it to the point where it’s no longer the same plugin. But in the process, I’ve been watching this Event Calendar from Modern Tribe rise up. I tried it a few times and never had quite right.

But I had a client come to me several months back using this plugin and I found out that Modern Tribe has come a long way. More and more, such as in the last show when we did a review of a plugin from Modern Tribe, I found another plugin from them. People are building plugins for this plugin, which is a beautiful thing, which means that plugin is going to be super expandable.

This one here, Registrations for The Events Calendar, allows you to take an event and turn it into a registerable event, where people can register, you can collect their email, registration information, everything you need for it, and then you can send out emails to them and track their registrations. The only one thing that I found lacking in the plugin was the ability to charge for the registrations. Other than that, it’s looking pretty good. So who knows? That may be something they add to this plugin – and it’s a relatively new plugin to begin with, so what the heck. Anyway, I gave it a 3-Dragon rating. Check it out: Registrations for The Events Calendar.

Marcus:           I use the Events Calendar on a number of different client sites —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — and it’s really handy. In fact, early on in this year, I did a two-day marathon where I added events throughout the entire year. I had literally preloaded a year’s worth of content in it and it’s pretty nice. The only thing is I always have somewhat of an issue in terms of styling.

John:                That was the only one thing.

Marcus:           Yeah, they did improve that just a little bit, but that’s the only caveat to it that I would say. So if you’re into CSS and you can do, you know, layouts and modifications and things, then you shouldn’t have any problems. But it’s a great plugin.

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           All right, so the first one that I’ve got today is very interesting. It’s called Edit Next Post, and what it does is if you are in the post editor and you’re going to edit a lot of posts, just like what Glen sort of had in terms of a question with his audio comment. What it does is it puts a meta box in the top right of the edit screen and it allows you to go to a different post or page (or custom post type or whatever you want), within that specific post type. So if you’re editing a post, it actually lists all of the rest of the post. John, let’s say we had Episode 279, 278, 276, and we wanted to go through and edit that.

John:                Mm-hmm?

Marcus:           Well, instead of having to go back into the main pages listing, we can edit one page, update it, and then go to that little box in the upper right and then select the next one to edit, and then it just automatically takes you right to the edit screen of that post.

John:                Oh, sweet!

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                It saves you a couple of steps.

Marcus:           Really easy, saves a ton of times, and it’s one of those lazy plugins we love, and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Beautiful. Okay – yeah, I like that idea. That’s nice. All right, the next one I’ve got here is called ZodiacPress. Now, this is a great plugin. If you run a metaphysical website or anything of the Wiccan variety or you like zodiacs, horoscopes, and things of that nature – you want to know your charts or you want to offer those up to people, this is a great plugin for you. What it does is it requires a GeoNames account.

Once you get that account set up, you set up the plugin, you go through and tweak all of the settings. People can enter in their birthdate and place and then what it will do is it will generate their birth chart for them. It will generate it on their website, so they can go through the information and you can give specialized readings and interpretations of all the information depending on your knowledge of this field. A really interesting plugin if you’re into the zodiac and into the metaphysical, but it seems like a pretty decent plugin and fairly well built, so check it out: ZodiacPress. I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Great. All right, the next one is something for you WooCommerce people out there. This is called Dummy Gateway for WooCommerce, and what it is it’s a dummy payment gateway plugin that you can use for the testing of the checkout process. It’s really easy to set up and it basically is a payment gateway simulator and the entire checkout process and processing procedures can be done, so you could put in a fake credit card and all that and the dummy gateway automatically approves it and everything else. It puts you through the entire process.

Now, I will say this is probably one of the most overlooked things when somebody puts up a store, because they don’t want to put their own credit card in and test it out on PayPal or whatever it happens to be, or Stripe, or any of those. This is a great way to check that out and make sure that everything that needs to fire, in terms of through that payment process, does what it’s supposed to do. And by that, I’m talking about the thank you page, the options to make sure that everything goes exactly as planned, because there’s nothing worse than setting up an entire e-commerce site and then having no sales say for like a month or a week or whatever, and you don’t know why.

Maybe it’s because there was a mistake made somewhere along the line of the payment gateway or there’s very poor onboarding, if this is something like the Membership Coach site. If I didn’t have the right thank you attribution and then one of the things I have is that you get to set up an appointment call with me right away after you pay. These are things that you need to completely go through the process to make sure that all your T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted and all the rest of it. It’s called Dummy Gateway for WooCommerce, and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Yeah, I saw that one and I was considering reviewing it myself. But yeah, I’m glad that you did.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is another one for the metaphysical. It’s called Daily Moon Forecast and this is a simple plugin that creates a widget or a shortcode you can use on your page or in your sidebars. What it does for you as it tells you what the moon’s current position is, whether it’s a full moon, a dark moon, whether it’s in Scorpio or Cancer or whatever sign it’s currently in, it gives you the ascendency – all those bits of information for those of you that like to follow that information.

It’s a really great add-on if you’re running a metaphysical site, because it helps bring people to your site on a daily basis, so they can check to see where the moon is at. You know, these sorts of things lots of people believe in, lots of people let it think it rules their lives. So if you like this sort of thing or you run a metaphysical website or want to offer up something different to your clients, check it out. It’s called Daily Moon Forecast, and I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Hmm, interesting. Well, the final plugin that I have today is something that’s very interesting. It’s called Plan My Novel and what it is it’s a tool that helps writers plan and organize all of the details that have to be handled in order to successfully create and publish a novel.

What it does is a number of things: it covers everything that you need in terms of making a novel, it helps you with outlines, doing different scenes, chapters, it’s got a custom post type for characters. So if you have characters in your novel, it allows you to kind of give the backstory of the character within a custom post type, even put their picture in there, plan it out. It has a budget that you can export to CSV and it has a lot of other things, like documents, manuscript drafts, and research stuff, and it’s all native within WordPress.

I’ve never seen anything like this from WordPress. I’ve seen plenty of desktop applications that do this kind of thing, but this is the first WordPress version that I’ve seen. It’s probably not good for a nonfiction or something that doesn’t have a lot of characters in the story. Like I don’t think I could ever do a – let’s say if I was doing a WordPress Plugins book, this wouldn’t be what I would use. I would use this for some other thing where maybe John and I are superheroes and we save the world with WordPress plugins. But it’s very cool if you are into writing fiction type novel stuff. This is an absolute must in terms of checking this out. I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Yeah, that’s very nice. When I saw there, the first thing I could think of was my wife who has taken up writing in the last six months again and is working herself up to bigger and bigger stories. She’s got characters that she would like to expand on and I can see myself having to install this on her website soon to allow her to start mapping things out.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                So thanks for bringing this one to my attention because yeah, I didn’t even see it. But yeah, I liked it.

Marcus:           Great!

John:                And I’m sure she will. All right, well I covered up in this week Registrations for The Events Calendar, which I gave a 3 to; ZodiacPress, which I gave a 3 to; and Daily Moon Forecast, which I gave a 3 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Edit Next Post – gave that one a 5; Dummy Gateway for WooCommerce gets a 4; and we just discussed Plan My Novel, which gets a 5 out of 5.

 

[End of Audio]

 

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It's Episode 279 and we've got plugins for Calendar Registrations, Zodiac and Moon Forecasts, Sequential Post Editing, Dummy Payment Gateways and a great new plugin for Writing a Novel. . It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 278

It's Episode 279 and we've got plugins for Calendar Registrations, Zodiac and Moon Forecasts, Sequential Post Editing, Dummy Payment Gateways and a great new plugin for Writing a Novel. . 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 #278


It’s Episode 278 and we’ve got plugins for Page Insertion, Google Calendar, Copy to Clipboard, Video Comments, Menu Shortcodes and Archive Control. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z


Episode #278

John:                All right, this week here, my first plugin is called Insert Pages. This one here is something that I brought in for a project I’ve been working on. What it does is it makes the chore of adding page content into another page an easy task to do. I did find a couple of limitations in what I was trying to accomplish.

What I was trying to do was I was trying to display the contest we now have on the WP Plugins site inside a regular post. But due to the type of content being created through the plugin that’s used, it didn’t quite work right. But I did test it in other areas and it works pretty great for bring in page content into another page. A pretty simple little plugin – it works fairly well. It also allows you to include any content you want, so check it out: Insert Pages, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Hmm, very nice. I like that a lot. All right, the next one is a plugin by a gentleman named Dan Delaney, and this plugin is something really great. It’s called Dan’s Embedder for Google Calendar and what it does is Dan actually created this out of the need to display Google Calendars in both list and full view format that was also mobile-friendly, customizable with a shortcode, and pretty easy to style, and so that’s exactly what he created here.

All you need is a public Google Calendar or multiple Google Calendar API key, which is real easy to do and real easy to get. This will display your Google Calendar right on your webpage and what’s great about it is if you have regularly recurring events, then what you can do is have them added to their calendar so that they have everything that the need. It really saves a lot of time. It’s somewhat difficult to do this in WordPress without a plugin like this, so I gave it a 4 out of 5. It’s called Dan’s Embedder for Google Calendar.

John:                Very sweet. As more and more people are using Google Calendars to share their stuff and keep track of things – I know I do – it’s very nice.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                Especially since I finally managed to get it to work with my phone.

Marcus:           Yeah, yeah. It’s really nice and if you do any kind of recurring events, training, things like that. For me, I wanted to enter in all of the live training and mastermind calls for the membershipcoach.com site and this is what I’m using.

John:                Very nice. Okay, the next plugin I’ve got here is called menu shortcode, and again, this was for a project I was working on and I was trying to fit a menu into a place that you don’t normally fit a menu. What this plugin helps you do is using a shortcode, it allows you to grab the name of the menu and put it into the shortcode, and then put the shortcode into the place on your website and have that menu appear for you. Then you can customize and tweak it in the shortcode for some displays.

The problem I ran into was the area I was trying to work at did not execute shortcodes properly, so it didn’t work for me. But I found that it could be a very viable option for other people and to use menus in other places where you might want a menu but they wouldn’t normally go. The only caveat here is wherever you put it, you have to be able to execute that shortcode. If you can’t execute the shortcode, it’s just not going to happen. But other than that, a really great plugin. It allows you to do any tweaks to the CSS of the menu that you’re going to display – the little bits and pieces. All in all, a pretty decent plugin. I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           I got to comment about that.

John:                What’s that?

Marcus:           Okay, so you can use Shortcodes Everywhere. Have you tried that?

John:                For some reason – oh, I didn’t try Shortcodes Everywhere – no.

Marcus:           Okay, so that’s an additional – there’s two different plugins. There’s one called Shortcodes Everywhere and there’s one called Shortcodes Anywhere or Everywhere. One hasn’t been updated in a while and one has. But that opens it up.

Now, my second question for you is does the menu – is it a vertical menu or is it a horizontal menu, like a navigation menu?

John:                I was trying to make a navigation menu in the top area.

Marcus:           And did it do it?

John:                No, I finally ended up going a whole different route, but that’s okay.

Marcus:           Oh.

John:                That’s what happens sometimes. You want to do something and you realize no, this just isn’t working. Let’s take another track.

Marcus:           Because I did have a project that needed a navigation menu, but I couldn’t find a good plugin for inserting that that didn’t just make it like it was a sidebar menu.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           I tried to make a navigation but I never could find anything, so I just ended up doing it with just a child theme and actually inserting it with PHP.

John:                Yeah, I took a whole different track with this project but that’s okay. Sometimes that happens; you want to do something. The project goes yes and then you get working and you realize it’s just not going to work and it’s not worth the four or five extra hours to do it. You just back up and go a different way.

Marcus:           Yeah. All right, my plugin – my next one here – is called Videotape and it’s pretty cool. It’s very simple; what it does is just like what we used our SpeakPipe for on our own website. This allows you to be able to intake video comments in your commenting system, so it allows people to actually record a video from their own webcam, their phone, or whatever, and leave you a video comment on your posts.

John:                Cool!

Marcus:           Pretty neat, really easy to use – it’s just kind of a Flash interface type of a thing. You’ve seen these things all the time anytime you go into a webinar or anything like that. It just asks for a little bit of control or to be able to use the camera, which it does, and I rated this one a 4 out of 5.

John:                Yeah, that can be kind of cool. If we get more interaction, we could put something like that on our site.

Marcus:           Right, yeah.

John:                All right, the final one I’ve got here today is called Archive Control. This one was sent in to us by Jesse Sutherland and it’s a free plugin. I started to test it out but I didn’t quite have a place to test it, but it still checked out pretty good for the little bits and pieces I did use it on in my sandbox page.

What the plugin allows you to do is to customize your archive listings – all your different archive listings be they tags, custom post types, or categories, and customize and modify the title, adding a featured image, including content before or after the list that’s shown on the page. You can also change the order display, you can shorten down the number that are displayed on the page, and include page nation for it. You can adjust the terms and more.

The plugin performed pretty well and it can help you do some organization to your categories, tags and custom post types. There are a couple of caveats to custom post types: you may have to enable a couple of things in there. But all in all, the plugin performed quite well. It’s called Archive Control and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Cool. I like that. All right, the final plugin for the show and from me today is called Clip to Clipboard. It is a simple little plugin that allows you to copy whole paragraphs of your site and just click it to the clipboard elsewhere. So it’s really handy when somebody needs to copy and paste something like code or an embed script, CSS, or whatever they use. Maybe it’s an email template or something like that that you just want them to have one click and then everything in that section gets copied. It’s called Click to Clipboard and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. A nice timesaver.

Marcus:           Very handy.

John:                Okay, and in this episode here I covered up Insert Pages, which I gave a 4 to; menu shortcode, which I gave a 3 to; and then Archive Control, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I’ve got fours across the board: Dan’s Embedder for Google Calendar gets a 4 out of 5, Videotape gets a 4 out of 5, and Click to Clipboard gets a 4 out of five.

 

[End of Audio]

 

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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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