It’s Episode 328 and we’ve got plugins for Photo Tiles, Email Logs, Collages, Front-End Admin Menus, Gallery Tools and Wishlists for WooCommerce. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of Marcus and John’s discussion of the weekly plugins we have reviewed.
WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #328 here.
It’s Episode 328 and we’ve got plugins for Photo Tiles, Email Logs, Collages, Front-End Admin Menus, Gallery Tools and Wishlists for WooCommerce. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Marcus: It’s Episode 328 and we’ve got plugins for Photo Tiles, Email Logs, Collages, Front-end Admin Menus, Gallery Tools, and Wish Lists for WooCommerce – that’s hard to say – and it’s all coming up next on WordPress Plugins A to Z.
WordPress, it’s the most popular content management and website solution on the internet. And with over 60,000 plugins to choose from, how do you separate the junk from the gems? Join John Overall and Marcus Couch for this weekly unrehearsed conversation about the latest and greatest in WordPress plugins. This is WordPress Plugins A to Z.
John: Well, good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, wherever you happen to be hiding out there on the globe today. Coming to you direct from the Brewery Overlook in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, I’m John Overall.
Marcus: And from the Beachside Bunker in Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.
John: And we have the usual great show for you here today. But of course we missed last week, mainly due to me cooking Thanksgiving dinner. It was Canadian Thanksgiving up here in the Great White North and I decided to take the day off and spend it with my family instead of sitting down to record a show. I know you all missed it but hey, we’re here this week to give you another great show.
John: And of course, right off the top, don’t forget you can get all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com and make sure you subscribe and review the show over at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes store. And for a little bit of extra that is slowly coming together bit by bit, please check out our training videos, screencasts, and you can watch us live on YouTube every Monday morning at 10:00 a.m., so check out all the links for those stuff in the show notes.
Marcus: Absolutely, and thank you to everybody who is watching us now. We appreciate that.
John: We do! And we do have a couple on right now. Thanks for dropping in, guys. We really appreciate it. Okay, and well, that’s – don’t forget – let everyone know. Join us on Twitter, too. You can follow the show over at Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter.
John: And with that, well let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.
[Plugins lead-in music]
John: And first off, the plugins I have today, I have a set of plugins that come as a request from Romain Capelle. He made a request on our Facebook page and Romain was looking for a plugin that creates image galleries in a particular mason style. So I decided to take on the challenge a little bit and review a few plugins, so all three of the plugins I’ve got today are related to that. So with that in mind, the first one I have up here is called Image Photo Gallery Final Tiles Grid.
Now, this plugin here has some limited ability for creating use image galleries. It is a freemium plugin and the free version that I checked out gives you very limited things you can do with it. It doesn’t do a whole lot. One of the biggest issues I’ve found is that the mason grid in the free version only creates same sized tiles, and Romain was looking for multi-sized tiles in this thing here. It could be a really nice tile grid if you’re looking for something plain and simple. The pro version adds a few more features, allows you to expand the grids, make a few more adjustments to it, but I wasn’t able to play with it or adjust it. So make sure you go check that one out. And all in all, I gave it a 3-Dragon rating, so check it out.
Marcus: Great, all right. Well, the first one that I have today is something that we kind of all run into problems with every now and again, and that’s dealing with email that comes through our sites. This plugin is called Post SMTP Mailer/Email Log and what it is, it’s a next generation mailer that assists in the delivery of email that’s generated by your WordPress site, and this is the only one to do it with all of the latest security standards. Now, that’s very important, because you want the security standards to be upheld so that you can do OAuth 2.0 and things like that to interact with Gmail and some of the other services that you do that uses SMTP email.
Now, there are so many other mail plugins out there, except some of them will take care of the SMTP part but they don’t have logs to where you can figure out if the thing is actually sending or not, or if it actually went out, and this one actually has built-in logs with it. It is called Post SMTP Mailer and it’s very unique if you send a lot of email out of WordPress itself, either through forms or something like that to third-party people. This is a plugin that you want to check out. I rated this one a 4 out of 5.
John: Very cool! A nice way to bypass some of the problems with your mail — sending PHP mail.
Marcus: Yeah, now I’ve noticed some problems with one of my hosts that’s the GoDaddy WordPress managed hosts —
Marcus: — which I love that service and I love the way that those kind of developer plans rolled out for GoDaddy, but the email portion of it stinks, so this is the way to cure that.
John: Absolutely. All right, with that being said, we’ll let you all know this show is sponsored by the following people and/or businesses, and currently sponsored by JohnOverall.com, WordPress and Web Services. And if you’re finding quality WordPress hosting and support and that can be a challenge, well, you can drop all that stress by contacting JohnOverall.com Web Services.
I can help you eliminate your WordPress Stress, solving your WordPress emergency issues or doing the more day-to-day items such as finding that perfect plugin, helping you move to a new hosting provider, or even providing quality WordPress hosting. With 20 years’ experience and over eight years dedicated to WordPress, JohnOverall.com provides all your WordPress needs from hosting, to WordPress development, repairs, and even malware removal if that happens to you. Visit my website at JohnOverall.com or call me, (818) 850-7729, or send an email direct to email@example.com.
Marcus: And anybody listening to this show, you’ve got a passion for WordPress, and why not take that passion and write about something unique within WordPress? You’ve been listening to the show, you know that I am now the WordPress editor for Smashing Magazine, one of the biggest web development resources online, and I’m looking for folks to write great articles about WordPress. You can get a lot of exposure for yourself and your work. All you need to do is go to marcuscouch.com/smashing and fill out the form, watch the video that explains everything, and I will get back to you right away with some more information, some process, some style guide stuff – and by the way, you’re gonna get a few hundred bucks for the effort as well. So check it out, marcuscouch.com/smashing.
John: Absolutely. Make sure you do that. And if nothing else, start using Smashing for some WordPress information. Some of the articles I’m starting to read there are quite fantastic, very useful, in-depth. Some of them are excellent for pros. You know, check it out, folks. A great way to make some extra money if you’re doing some writing.
Marcus: Yeah, it’s high-level stuff. It’s not like “The Top 10 Plugins for Restaurants” or things like that.
Marcus: It’s not lists; it’s tutorials, it’s hardcore diving into, you know, the meat and potatoes, so to speak. You know, that’s the phrase we use but diving into really the core of what can be done in WordPress and how it should be done in WordPress, so it’s a really great resource. Check it out at smashingmagazine.com.
John: Absolutely. Okay, well that brings us to our next set of plugins and the next one I’ve got up here is another gallery plugin, and this gallery plugin here is called Gallery – Photo Gallery, Image Gallery, Theme Gallery, Blog Gallery WordPress Plugin – wow, that’s a lot of galleries in one name. So at any rate, this one here is a lot closer to what Romain was looking for. It does create a random sized image gallery, but not quite in the sense of what he really wanted it to do.
It allows you to do some adjustments in there, it’s limited on the number of images you can put into a gallery until you upgrade to the premium version. It just has a few adjustments to allow for it to fit your site nicely. All in all, not too bad of a mason grid gallery – a bit better than the one I did previously, so go give this one a check-out. I’m just going to shorten it down to Gallery – Photo Gallery, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Yeah, that’s something they should probably call that Multi-Gallery, right? [inaudible – 9:41]
John: The name is a little bit of a mouthful.
Marcus: Yeah. Okay, so I’m – I’ve got a kind of a lazy plugin next that is called Admin Menu in Frontend, and you know, I think the customizer’s great but it always ends up in the backend out of proper sizing and scope that you might typically be used to of seeing your site. This plugin, Admin Menu in Frontend allows you to administrate the menu when you’re actually viewing the site from the frontend as well. It’s a real simple solution that helps to speed up development time a little bit and it’s pretty cool. It does things like – it’s not really like a customizer; it’s more of like your admin dashboard where you see posts, media pages, comments, appearance – stuff like that on the frontend rather than the backend, which is kind of cool. I’ve never really seen it done like that and I rated this one a 5 out of 5.
[Partial dragon roar]
[Full dragon roar]
There we go! [chuckling]
Marcus: The dragon’s got the hiccups today.
John: It does. It does. I’ve got too many screens. I added a new monitor, so I’m sort of learning to move from screen to screen and figure out where I’ve got everything now. I’ve had to move things around, so this is new.
John: We’re expanding and trying to make sure I can do lots of things, even saying hello over to the guys over there that are actually watching us on YouTube. Hello, Larry. Hello, Shawn. Thank you for dropping in to the show. So little by little, man, it’s moving forward. All right, well this is the segment of the show here where we recognize the support for the show. This is a listener-supported show. The show is a value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give some value back. In that vein, we would like to acknowledge those who have supported the show in the past week. All donations $50 and above get their note read out and published here. Those who come in below $50, they’ll remain anonymous and thank you very much.
This week, we would like to just send out a big thank you to all the donors who came in under $50 and for those of you that have set up the small weekly subscriptions, those little subscriptions really help the show and will help us grow and move forward, so we greatly appreciate your support. And there are numerous ways you can support the show. You can head over to wppluginsatoz.com/donate where we have, you know, $2.50 a week subscriptions. You know, buy us a cup of coffee every week, help support the show, or even donate more as your conscience dictates to you. Please support the show. The money goes to help the show with things such as transcripts, bandwidth, all the necessities and time that go along with creating a quality podcast like this, so…and that’s it.
Marcus: Yes, thank you for your support that everybody that does the support in terms of Patreon and the rest of it, we do appreciate that.
John: Okay, and then the final set of plugins we’ve got here today, I’ve got up the final grid gallery plugin and it’s called Easy Image Collage. Now, this one here is the one that comes the closest with the free version of it to what Romain was looking for, and while it creates a grid of multi-sized images, it does have limited adjustments such as to the grid – the width and what not and the space in between the images, etc. Some of those things can be adjusted once you hit the premium version.
You get additional adjustments such as the number of collages, you can add captions to the images, and more to it. But it does create a very nice looking grid that is based on the image dimensions versus automatically squaring them off, and you get a really nice collection of images across your webpages with it. I kind of liked this one; I couldn’t quite give it a five because of course it is a freemium version plugin and I was unable to test the pro version, so we’ll just max this one out at a 4-Dragon rating. Go check it out: Easy Image Collage.
Marcus: Very nice! Okay John, I’ve been – I don’t want to mess up my streak because I’ve been giving some pretty cool WooCommerce plugins lately, and this is no exception. We all know the power of the Amazon wish list and this called WooCommerce Wishlist. It’s a great way to help enhance your WooCommerce store by allowing your users to add products to specific wish lists so that they can purchase it later. Now what’s great is this wish list can be just like Amazon – public or private – so that the visitor can share their wish list with other people, which is really cool.
It has a lot of CSS options where you can change the button that adds to wish lists, it can support any different post type or anything like that, users can edit, delete, rename – all that stuff – to their wish lists, and obviously share the link so that other people can go there as well. Now, you can use this for a couple of things, not just a wish list, but say you want to create kind of a bundle or something like that where somebody should be able to go and just see everything that’s available to them like that. That’s a good way to do it as well, so I really like this plugin a lot. This is great for adding stuff to wish lists. I’m sure you could probably figure out some marketing to do with people that have stuff in wish list state as well (we won’t really get into that; it’s just a little handy idea). It’s called WooCommerce Wishlist and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: That’s very cool. Wish lists are so useful because I know when I do my shopping, there’s times where I’ll see something, “Hey, I kind of like that,” – tack it to a wish list and later on I’ll come back and go, “Oh, what did I want?” and I’ll look and “Oh yeah, okay. Now I’ve got the money, let’s buy it.” So —
John: Yeah, they’re very, very handy. Great tools for you. All right, well closing out this episode, the plugins I covered was Image Photo Gallery Final Ties Grid, which I gave a 3 to; the Gallery – Photo Gallery Image Gallery, which I gave a 4 to; and then the Easy Image Collage, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And my plugins are the Post SMTP Mailer/Email Log, which gets a 4 out of 5; Admin Menu in the Frontend gets a 5 out of 5, and WooCommerce Wishlist gets a 4 out of 5.
John: All right, and be sure to check out the YouTube screencast that goes up later today and watch it ‘till the end there or just skip right to the end if you are a listener to the show, where I tack on an add-on part where I go test out one of the plugins that Marcus has tested in today’s show or a previous show, just to get my first view opinion upon it.
And a note to developers out there: if you’d like to support the show and you’d like to offer up premium licenses to give away, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest, where you can submit that license and we’ll create a contest around your product that we’ll showcase here on the show and promote to all our listeners out there, and we do have a lot of those now. After the last couple of months, our downloads have dramatically increased and the number of listenership has increased dramatically.
And also, go check out our training videos up on YouTube. I know they’ve been lax the last few weeks but they’re coming. Trust me, they’re coming. They take time to prepare and if something else gets in my way, they get set aside.
John: That’s one of the reasons why I need you to support the show. Justify me putting the time into the show versus putting time into client business where I need to earn an income.
Marcus: Exactly. Yeah, John and I – it’s not about just money. John and I have plenty of ways that we can make money that don’t involve the podcast.
John: It’s time, it’s time.
Marcus: Yeah. So, you know, we do appreciate all your support. Thank you.
John: All right, and there’s also the experimentation that is coming. I know I didn’t do it last week, but Canadian Thanksgiving threw my whole week off and you will see ‘em popping up this week, the experimentation I’m doing with the new encoding software for live random YouTube or Facebook broadcasts to see how they go out. Just look for all those things out there.
John: Other than that, news and information – make sure you check it out. Just go to the wppluginsatoz.com and subscribe to our newsletter to get all the news and information and tips that we send out on a weekly basis. That’s all we’ve got now. Anything else, Marcus?
Marcus: Nope. Have a good week, everybody.
John: That’s it. That’s all we got now. Take care. Bye-bye.
Reminders for the show [female speaker]:
All the show notes can be found at wppluginsatoz.com, and while you’re there, subscribe to the Thursday newsletter for more useful information directly to your email inbox. Wppluginsatoz.com is a show that offers honest and unbiased reviews of plugins by developers because you support the show. Help keep the show honest and unbiased by going to wppluginsatoz.com/donate and choose one of the weekly donation levels or make one that fits your budget. Help us make the show better for you by subscribing and reviewing to the show at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes store. You can also watch the show live on YouTube, check out the screencasts and training videos, and remember to subscribe to us on YouTube, or follow the show on Twitter at @wppluginsatoz.
John can be reached through his website at www.JohnOverall.com, or send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Marcus can also be reached through his website at marcuscouch.com or Twitter at @marcuscouch. Thanks for watching and have a great day.
Thanks for listening to the show. This show is copyright by JohnOverall.com. So until next time, have yourselves a good morning, good afternoon, or a good evening, wherever you happen to be out there on the globe today.
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