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

Transcript of Episode 344 WP Plugins A to Z Dropbox Backups, Changing Admin Colors, Notifications, AMP for Posts, WooCommerce Client Emulation and Resellers

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 #344 here.



It’s Episode 344 and we’ve got plugins for Dropbox Backups, Changing Admin Colors, Notifications, AMP for Posts, WooCommerce Client Emulation and Resellers. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #344

Marcus:           It’s Episode 344 and we’ve got plugins for Dropbox Backups, Changing Admin Colors, Notifications, AMP for Posts, WooCommerce Client Emulation, and Resellers. It’s all coming up next on WordPress Plugins A to Z.

[Intro]

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, Canada, I’m John Overall.

Marcus:           And from the Beachside Bunker on the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach, California, I am Marcus Couch.

John:                And we have the usual great show for you today, but don’t forget right off the top, you can get all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com and we’d greatly appreciate it if you took a few minutes to drop into the Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and the iTunes store. Leave us a review and subscribe to the show. And there’s a very easy way you can do that, isn’t it, Marcus?

Marcus:           Yeah, run up to your phone, your friend’s phone, and go, “Hey, Siri…”

Siri:                  [activation tone]

Marcus:           Play the WordPress Plugins A to Z podcast.

Siri:                 [command acknowledgement tone] Okay, WordPress Plugins from A to Z podcast coming up.

Now from Websource…Hello, hello.

John:                There you go.

Siri:                  …Websourcegroup.com…

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                Nice, simple, and easy.

Siri:                  That’s what I thought!

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                I love that, Siri. Nice, simple, and easy, and she pops right in there for me. All right, yay, Siri!

Marcus:           [chuckling]

John:                Nice, simple, and easy, and you can probably do the same thing with your Google phone too by just hollering, “Hey, Google! Subscribe me to the WP Plugins A to Z podcast.”

Marcus:           Exactly.

John:                And also, don’t forget you can check out our training videos, screencasts, and watch us live on YouTube when we do our live shows. Follow us on Twitter so that you can know when the live show is going to be happening next.

Marcus:           That’s right, and make sure you go to our website, wppluginsatoz.com and subscribe to our newsletter. That’s where we put in all the special cool things that are going on in the WordPress community and the WordPress world, news, reviews, and otherwise that we don’t cover in plugin form here on the show.

John:                Okay, and that takes us right into the meat and potatoes of the show.

[Plugins lead-in music]

All right, and we have our usual great allotment of six great plugins and first up from me is a plugin called Backup & Restore Dropbox. Now, this is a plugin that if you don’t have any other real options for making your backups and restores and also if you have a smaller version of your website because Dropbox is notorious for not taking large chunks of data from WordPress unless they finally fix that.

But this one here allows you to connect to your Dropbox folder and do your backups, back them up to your Dropbox, which allows you to get all your files off of the server into a place that you can find them in your Dropbox, on your computer, on whatever other computer you have synced up to it, and it also allows you to then restore back from that Dropbox location if you have a complete failure or a hack.

Having a good backup is paramount as one of my clients found out last week, who came to me after a couple of years of not working with me after his site had been hacked. Somebody else had gone in, tried to fix it, didn’t complete it, they lost images, their CSS – all kinds of things. Fortunately, I was able to go into some old backups I had from when I did the work, along with other miscellaneous thing, and restored the site. But this was a lesson that make sure your backups are available and that you test those backups from time to time. So do that using this plugin, Backup & Restore Dropbox, a really great plugin that works pretty nicely and I gave this one a 5-Dragon rating, so go check it out.

[Dragon roar]

Marcus:           Ooh, yeah. No, I love doing Dropbox and backing up into Dropbox.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           That’s one of the best – best features of Dropbox that it can handle all those things and they can all hook together like that.

John:                Yep. I had my Dropbox sync across three different computers.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                So not only is it in the cloud, but I have it on three different computers, so…

Marcus:           Yeah, and your phone too if you download the Dropbox app.

John:                Yeah, I don’t have that much storage space on my phone. I have —

Marcus:           Well, you don’t actually download – Dropbox doesn’t actually download it to your phone —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — you’re just more looking through your directories.

John:                Oh, yeah. Finding out what’s there. Yeah, that’s —

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                — that’s nice, because once in a while I have to go fetch a file and use my phone or my iPad for it, so…

Marcus:           Right. So the first plugin I’ve got for the show is called Clean WP Admin Theme, and what this does is actually kind of just cleans up the WP Admin dashboard, gives you the ability to change around the styling options and change the colors. I actually used this plugin to match a corporate client’s official style guide colors and I made it so that it matched their brand and their logo, and it looked great. It looked – it was an intranet site —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — and it matched perfectly. And I wanted the backend to be exactly how the rest of the color structure and everything else was for the site. Check it out. It’s called Clean WP Admin Theme and I rated this a 4 out of 5.

John:                That’s a really nice feature when you’re working on corporate clients, because they like that consistency.

Marcus:           Of course.

John:                Especially on an intranet site.

Marcus:           It’s those little touches that do it.

John:                That’s what makes you stand out amongst all the competition out there in the world. Okay, well this show is brought to you by JohnOverall.com.

With all the changes in website requirements, pulled, compromised, and abandoned plugins out there, now is the time to update and upgrade your WordPress website. JohnOverall.com has 20-plus years’ experience and offers hosting, maintenance programs, support, and more to keep your site up-to-date and running smoothly. We offer free estimates and only bill you for the time you use, not by the block. While you’re caring for your business, let JohnOverall.com care for your website. Think of us when you think of WordPress. Visit JohnOverall.com.

There we go.

Marcus:           Yeah! And I’ll have something to play soon.

John:                Absolutely. All right, well let’s talk about the contest which is still running until February 14th, and that is we are currently running a contest where you can win yourself a premium license from Foliovision for their FV Player plugin. And this is a really great plugin that allows you to customize up the YouTube videos, Vimeo videos, or all the other video sources you have out there on your website. The value of the license is $75. You can also check out the interview I did with Alec Kinnear, the CEO and founder of Foliovision. There’s a link in the show notes that’ll take you to that interview. And also, to enter the contest, just go to wppluginsatoz.com/contest.

Marcus:           Yeah, that is a cool plugin. I’m gonna dig deeper and deeper into it as we go.

John:                Yeah, probably three or four episodes out here, we’ll have a very thorough review both from you and me on this plugin, so —

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                All right, well that brings us up to our next set of plugins. The next one I have up for you is called Better Notifications for WordPress, and this one came about for me because I am in the process of across many of my clients. As many of you started noticing out there, there’s lots of plugins that have been abandoned or no longer developed. They haven’t had any development or updates for 2+ years. There’s been some that have been pulled from the Repository because they’ve been sold and bought by malware developers, etc. etc.

So I’m proactive and going through my clients’ websites and finding the plugins that need to be replaced and we’re replacing them. We had a plugin in there – I don’t remember what it was – that changed the notification emails that go out from WordPress, to customize them up to make them more personal and more understanding, and we needed a plugin that would do the same sort of thing.

Well, Better Notifications for WordPress does that for you. It’s kept up-to-date, it allows you to go in there and create templates for all of the notification types that are available in WordPress and you can customize them up in any way you want to send out a very pretty looking email that fits your website and your branding. So go check it out: Better Notifications for WordPress, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Yeah, that’s cool. All right, so let’s talk about AMP for a minute —

John:                Uh-oh, we just lost you.

Marcus:           What?

John:                Your voicing just dropped right off.

Marcus:           Really?

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           What now?

John:                I’m gonna pause. Go.

Marcus:           Yep? So I’ve been looking at AMP a lot, and that’s the mobile-optimized pages that Google wants you to have. You know, for the life of me, I don’t think I want to dumb down some of my actual pages into some other format. I kind of want to keep it looking the cool, the way that I designed it in mobile and not broken out into just some text version of what my site is. And so I found this plugin called POST AMP and what’s kind of cool about this is it makes sure that none of your pages get AMP-rendered but all of your posts actually do.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           And that sort of makes sense that you’d want your posts to go into AMP and not necessarily your pages and lose all their styling. So this plugin does the trick. It’s called POST AMP and that’s really all it does. It just makes your posts AMP-compliable and not your pages. I tried it out, it worked, does the job. Easy-peasy but not groundbreaking. I rated this one a 3 out of 5.

John:                Well, that’s a cool plugin. It could be quite useful.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                Okay, well that brings us about to listener feedback, audio clips, and if you would like to participate in the show, all you have to do is either go to the website at wppluginsatoz.com, leave us a SpeakPipe by going to the lower right-hand corner, clicking the icon, and recording a message, or you can drop in at out Contact page, send us an email, or you can hit us up on Twitter or Facebook with any comment or question you’d like and we will enter them into the show here and respond back to you as soon as we can.

Marcus:           Yep!

John:                With that we have —

Marcus:           We got a question from Mindy in Round Rock, Texas and she says:

“Hi guys, I’m looking for the best way to export all of my users on my site into Excel. The only thing I’ve found so far exports XML, which I have no idea how to open. Can you help?”

Of course we can. Come on, Mindy.

John:                Yeah, absolutely.

Marcus:           We’re the guys! Yes, the plugin you want to use is Export Users to CSV, and that’s in the Repository. We left a link for you in the show notes. It’s a really great plugin that’s never let me down. I’ve used it a number of times including enormous membership sites with about 10,000 people in it and I needed to export that, make sure that we were kind of cross-referenced, everybody had their site, everybody had their access, their passwords, all that stuff within this big, enormous membership site. So this one should definitely do the job for you and give you all the details you would ever need to know about your user base, so check it out: Export Users to CSV.

John:                There you go. Answers, answers, answers! That’s what we do. And also, this show – value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give some value back. And to do that, all you’ve got to do is go to wppluginsatoz.com/donate where you can donate any amount you want and we have preset amounts. What that money does is it helps support the show by paying for the essentials such as web hosting, bandwidth, transcription charges, etc. etc. All the little basics and essentials that everyone seems to forget that we have to pay for out of pocket. So please support the show by going to wppluginsatoz.com/donate and if you donate more than $50, you can leave us a note with a link in it. We’ll feature it in the show notes and on the live shows, we’ll make sure we give you a live callout for that.

Marcus:           Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, a link and everything, so our site’s got some pretty good authority that helps them.

John:                We have a six ranking on Google the last time I checked.

Marcus:           Nice!

John:                Which I think is – I understand that’s a pretty good ranking.

Marcus:           Yeah, I’m gonna have to put some more links to my site now that you’ve reminded me.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           Thank you.

John:                I’ve got a few going to mine but yeah, we are an authority. There’s no doubt. The site has been up for years and it has talked about nothing but WordPress plugins in the entire time, so it is definitely an authority.

Marcus:           So speaking of talking about WordPress plugins the entire time, let’s round this sucker out here, John.

John:                All right, the final set of plugins we have today is – the last one I’ve got for you is a GoDaddy Reseller Store plugin. Now, I’ve been waiting for something like this for years. Now, I’ve been a Wild West domain reseller, which of course GoDaddy took it over completely a couple of years ago. They drove me nuts with the interface changes for a while, but they’ve finally settled down and it’s working quite nicely. But one of the biggest problems I have was how to interface it into my WordPress website so that I could use my WordPress website to sell my domain resellers and other things through my GoDaddy reseller store and make myself a few extra bucks.

Now, this plugin here, I haven’t thoroughly tested yet, so the current ranking is temporary until I’ve got it thoroughly tested and come back and talk to you about it. But what it’s supposed to do is allow you to completely connect your GoDaddy reseller site to it, customize up the pages, update your themes, your product descriptions, images, all really done well. The plugin is produced by GoDaddy themselves, so I’m really hopefully that they’ve done it right.

They’ve got a video in here that shows you how to use it and you can talk to them to help sort out the problems, so I will be definitely giving this one a thorough once-over because I’m integrating everything into JohnOverall.com where I’ve got my web hosting and everything else fully integrated now. Now I want to get my domain reseller system into it also. So anyway, go check this plugin out: the GoDaddy Reseller Store, and currently the ranking is a 3-Dragon rating which may rise as I check this plugin out.

Marcus:           Yeah, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about a 3.

John:                Oh, no, no. A 3 from me is actually quite respectable.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                You know, you get a 4, that’s doing damn good. If you hit a 5, you’ve knocked it out of the park.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                It’s like I don’t give out fives very often. I’m really stingy with my fives.

Marcus:           Yeah, and I don’t really put twos on. I don’t like twos.

John:                I’ve done a few of ‘em and usually lately if I’ve hit a 2, I just kind of ignored it and didn’t bring it to the show unless it was a plugin that just annoyed me to no end and I wanted to warn people about it.

Marcus:           [chuckling] That’s true. Well, this isn’t one of those warnings right now.

John:                No, no. This is a good plugin.

Marcus:           Now, to end the show here, I want to talk about a cool plugin called Shop as Client for WooCommerce. John, imagine you’ve got your own store – retail store – all that stuff, and you get a call from somebody that’s like, “Yeah, I want to order $1,000 worth of stuff, but I don’t have a computer.”

John:                Mm…

Marcus:           How do you take that order?

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           You want to still go through your e-commerce site.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           You still want to go through your website. Well, what do you do?

John:                Yeah, that’s a good one.

Marcus:           Well, Shop as Client for WooCommerce answers that problem.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           So it gives you as a shop manager or an administrator the ability to assign and enter a new order on the front end, register it to a new customer, taking advantage of all the front end stuff that wouldn’t exist maybe in the backend like, you know, adding a coupon code to an order or all that, and so you could be taking phone orders or in-person orders and just filling it out right on the site and charging, you know, a card. Take their card if you want to or, you know, have them pay later or whatever you know —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — your preferences are there, and it does automatically assign that registered customer the next time they come back, so it also has a phone number so you can kind of – even if you wanted to just make WooCommerce sort of your order tracking system internally within your business, it would actually do that.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           You could ask somebody, you know, “Hey, what’s your phone number?” You know, like they do at the grocery store sometimes. They then pop it up, “Hey, there’s you. What can I get you? Do you need…” you know, “Do you need a red pair of socks you got last time? What can I get you?” You know? Those kinds of things.

John:                Excellent.

Marcus:           So it adds two new fields to the billing checkout section for logged-in administrators and shop managers and it lets you do everything as if you are a client with all the privileges of still being the administrator. It’s called Shop as Client for WooCommerce and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

[Dragon roar]

John:                Very cool! That can actually be quite useful if you’re running an e-commerce site.

Marcus:           Somebody had a need.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           And a programmer solved it, and that’s it.

John:                That’s absolutely it. That’s the best thing about WordPress.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                All right, well closing out this episode here, I covered up the following plugins: Backup & Restore Dropbox, which I gave a 5 to; Better Notifications for WordPress, which I gave a 4 to; and then the GoDaddy Reseller Store, which I gave a 3 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Clean WP Admin Theme, which gets a 4 out of 5; POST AMP gets a 3 out of 5; and Shop as Client for WooCommerce gets a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                All right, and a final note to all you developers out there who would like to support the show. If you’ve got a premium plugin and you would like to offer up a premium license for us to give away, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest where you can enter all the pertinent details and we can build a contest around your plugin premium license that we will then promote on the show. So go check it out and hey, it could be well worthwhile for you and get lots of promotion, and we do talk about the plugins that are in our contest.

Marcus:           Definitely.

John:                Okay, and that’s all we’ve got for you now. Take care, bye-bye.

[Female Speaker] Reminders for the show:

 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 @wppluginsatoz.

John can be reached through his website at www.JohnOverall.com, or send him an email to john@wppro.ca. Marcus can also be reached through his website at marcuscouch.com or Twitter @marcuscouch. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

[Outro]

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.

[Child giggling]

 

[End of Audio]

Transcript of Episode 343 WP Plugins A to Z Opening External Links, Display Only Products, User Update Control, WooCommerce Shipping Audits, Shortcode Widgets and Extra Fees

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 #343 here.



It’s Episode 343 and we’ve got plugins for Opening External Links, Display Only Products, User Update Control, WooCommerce Shipping Audits, Shortcode Widgets and Extra Fees. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #343

Marcus:           It’s Episode 343 and we’ve got plugins for Opening External Links, Display Only Products, User Update Control, WooCommerce Shipping Audits, Shortcode Widgets, and Extra Fees. It’s all coming up next on WordPress Plugins A to Z.

[Intro]

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, Canada, I’m John Overall.

Marcus:           And from the Beachside Bunker that overlooks the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.

John:                And we have the usual great show for you today. But don’t forget, right off the top, you can get all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com. And if you’ve got a few minutes, we’d greatly appreciate your time over at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes store, subscribing to the show, and we have a little treat for you on how you can get it and make it even easier.

Marcus:           Oh…Hey, Siri!

Siri:                  [activation tone]

Marcus:           Play the WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast.

Siri:                  [command acknowledgement tone] Playing podcast: WordPress Plugins from A to Z…

Marcus:           Thank you.

John:                There we go! Simple as going to Siri and asking Siri to play it for you.

Siri:                  …and welcome to the WP Plugins —

Marcus:           It does it!

Siri:                  — Interview Show.

Marcus:           So…

John:                That’s – the latest one was an interview show.

Siri:                  It seems like I cut you off.

Marcus:           Yeah, yeah.

John:                Yeah, yeah.

Siri:                  Can you please repeat that?

John:                Go away!

Marcus:           No.

Siri:                  [activation tone]

John:                Go away, Siri. [laughing] You can probably –

Siri:                  [activation tone] Okay!

John:                — do the same thing with “Hey, Google” too.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                So that’s an easy way to go and subscribe to the show and also —

Marcus:           And make your coworkers and friends subscribe to the show too by saying it out loud.

John:                Now there you go! Now there’s something I should start doing. Everyone that’s got an iPhone or Google Play —

Marcus:           Yeah!

John:                — that has the voice activation, make them subscribe. I’ll have to test that one on a couple of friends of mine.

Marcus:           [chuckling]

John:                All right, so you could also go to our YouTube channel, check it out, where we’ve got training videos, screencasts, and more. And you can watch us live every couple three weeks when we do our live show. And also, follow us on Twitter @wppluginsatoz.

Siri:                  …of Blake Cornell…

Marcus:           God, it’s – it just doesn’t want to stop playing the show, John. [laughing]

John:                It’s really exciting, man. I don’t blame it. This fantastic show, you know? The longest consecutive running WordPress plugins show out there – WordPress show, period.

Marcus:           Yeah!

John:                So —

Marcus:           Three forty-three.

John:                Three – 343 and over six years of running now.

Marcus:           All right, well let’s get to the reason why people listen.

John:                All right, time to dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.

[Plugins lead-in music]

All right, we have our usual allotment of six great plugins and first off the one I have for you today is called Open External Links in a New Window. Now one of the things that happens when you’re working on your WordPress websites or developing out websites and you get to a point sometimes when they’re aged, you have links going off to external websites. The problem with it most of the time is they’ll open in the same window when someone clicks on them. That can be problematic for many ways. Some people don’t use the back button. I personally rarely use the back button; I just close the window, and sometimes I’ve left the website and went, “Oops…didn’t need to do that.” And if it wasn’t really important, I’d just continue on my way and forget about it.

This way here, every time someone hits an external link on your website, it opens in a new window for them and when they’re done, they can just close that window and boom, they’re right back on your website wherever they left off. A nice little plugin. This one here came into existence for me because it had to replace an older version of a similar plugin I was using across sites, so go check this out: Open External Links in a New Window, and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           It’s very nice because when WordPress – I forget which revision back ago it was – where they changed how the links were handled, they took that external link thing out of eyesight view. You could still do it through menus —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — but boy, was it a pain.

John:                It’s still a pain.

Marcus:           And it’s nice to know that you could just make all externals open in a new window like that with this plugin. That saves a ton of time —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — site-wide.

John:                And it’s only for externals. It doesn’t do it to your internal links. But this plugin does have an option where if you want specified internal links to open a new window, you can set ‘em that way.

Marcus:           Hmm…

John:                So —

Marcus:           That’s very interesting. Okay, so the next plugin here that I’ve got, it’s called Non-Purchasable WooCommerce Products. And so what this allows you to do is actually it takes away the option for someone to buy the product. You set certain WooCommerce products actually to be Non-Purchasable, like only a display model, with a custom message and button text. So it allows you to change the status of a product in WooCommerce from purchasable versus Non-Purchasable. It works with all kinds of product types including variable products that you can customize the button texts and the message on your product page, and you can actually disable the message output completely if you don’t want to do it that way.

Now, why would you want to do that? You could actually just say, “Call us,” instead – you know, “If you want to purchase this, give us a call,” right? It’s gotta be custom made or we’ve got to do a custom quote for you or something like that. But you still want to make it an option where maybe you’re gonna give a price but they still need to talk to you, and you just can’t make it so that they can just blatantly pay online like that, or maybe you require a check or a purchase order if it’s a business-to-business, and that’s where things like this come about. I seem to recall somebody asking a long time ago if they could make a catalog or something like that out of products that didn’t allow people to buy, but it gave them catalog information.

John:                Mm-hm?

Marcus:           I seem to remember that.

John:                Yep, we had that.

Marcus:           For all I know, it could’ve been five years ago.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           Who knows?

John:                Yeah, well we’ve had – we’ve answered a lot of questions and stuff all the time, so…

Marcus:           [chuckle]

John:                — it’s —

Marcus:           Yeah. But this one will kind of do that functionality.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           And it’s not meant to completely wipe out e-commerce on your site altogether, but maybe you’ve got some diamond in the rough or literally a huge diamond that you sell on the site that you want to, you know, haggle or do whatever. It doesn’t make a difference. If you want to put a Non-Purchasable product in your WooCommerce site, this is the plugin to do it and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Yeah, that’s a pretty useful plugin if you’re running a site and you do – because you do run the things you don’t want to put a price to and just have, “Hey, call me.”

Marcus:           Right, exactly.

John:                Okay, well perfect. Okay, this show is brought to you by…

Twenty eighteen is a year of growth. Your website should reflect the growth and change within your business. Show your customers where you are going in 2018 by letting JohnOverall.com work with you to update your website. Let JohnOverall.com take the work and worry out of maintaining and caring for your website with our maintenance program, hosting, emergency repair services and more. While you’re caring for your business, let JohnOverall.com care for your website. Think of us when you think of WordPress. Visit JohnOverall.com.

There you go, sponsored by JohnOverall.com.

Marcus:           There you go! All right, well let’s talk about our contest that we have where you can win a premium plugin license. This month we’re giving away – up until February 14th is I think the last day that you’re actually allowed to get involved in this. But we’re giving away the Foliovision FV Player Pro plugin, and you can hear John’s last interview. We left a link in the show notes with the founder and talk about that plugin there. So make sure you go to wppluginsatoz.com/contests to enter that contest and win that premium plugin. I think it’s worth $100, bucks, John?

John:                Yeah, it’s worth $75.

Marcus:           Seventy-five – almost.

John:                Seventy-five bucks. It’s a $75 value, one-year license on the plugin – the plugin I’m just beginning to get into testing, and it’s really a quite fantastic plugin the more I start digging into it. So we’ll have more on that in an upcoming show after I’ve given it a really good review, because I’ve actually got a client that I want to use this plugin on. So…

Marcus:           You know, that gives me an idea. You know how you had the segment of you were gonna review a plugin that I suggested —

John:                Mm-hm?

Marcus:           — on YouTube at one time?

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           We should do it where we both dig into this thing, like I say, “Okay, can you do this with it? All right, let’s – you know…”

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           “…let’s try this with it.”

John:                Oh, you dig in —

Marcus:           I should think about doing something like that.

John:                You dig into this – this one here is – is if you use YouTube videos – if you’re a YouTube video – videonet or whatever —

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                You have lots of YouTube videos, your website is full of ‘em, this one that can change the way YouTube videos display on your site. You can add your own ads to it, it has a transcription function where if you get it transcribed, you can add the transcript to the video and people can click on a word in your transcript and go directly to that point in your video. You know, there’s a lot of little functions in this plugin that I have yet to fully test. So something that you’ll want to look into and check out, and it’s something that eventually may – I may get incorporated into the WP Plugins site with all the screencasts that we’ve put up that we have transcribed. So…

Marcus:           Yeah, that’s true. I mean, I’ll tell you this right now, listeners: I’ve never heard of any other plugin that can do what this thing claims to do, —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — so it’s an original —

John:                Yeah —

Marcus:           — by every sense of the word.

John:                Yeah, and it’s not just YouTube videos. You can do it with Vimeo videos, Viddler videos – all of the major video hosting companies are accommodated by this plugin.

Marcus:           Hm…

John:                So that’s one of the great things about it, so hey, go enter the contest. Win that free license. Enjoy.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                All right, well that brings us up to our next set of plugins and the next one I’ve got for you here today is called BusinessPress. This is another plugin by Foliovision, the makers of the plugin we were just discussing. This plugin here allows you to take some control over your WordPress website. It allows you to activate – or disable – to disable the capabilities for other admin users. Say you’re the developer of the site and you give an admin rights to your client, and you don’t want them to mess with certain things.

Well, you can go in there and activate/deactivate plug- — you can prevent them from activating/deactivating plugins and themes, prevent them from updating plugins and themes, prevent the core from automatically updating (even the point versions, if you need that done). You can install/edit/delete plugins, themes. There’s a whole lot that this does. It also takes over the generator tag, the REST API, emoji – it allows you to turn those things off on your site with one plugin, preventing all of the excess things that are unneeded on many websites.

A really nice plugin – it replaces anywhere from three to five other plugins that allow you to deal with these tasks all in one plugin, which is a really nice feature. I haven’t fully tested the plugin, but hey, so far it’s looking quite fantastic. Go check it out. It’s called BusinessPress from Foliovision and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Awesome! That’s very cool. All right – okay, so the next plugin I’ve got, it’s named – it’s got a cute name but it has nothing to do with the name. So the plugin is called Weight Loss, and it has nothing to do with diets, fitness, or health. However, it will probably save your health and a lot of stress when it comes to losing money because you may have improper shipping weights —

John:                Ooooh…

Marcus:           — listed in your products in WooCommerce. So this plugin checks all of your WooCommerce products to make sure that you have weight in them.

John:                Hm!

Marcus:           Because otherwise, it will either cause your postage calculator to malfunction on check out or it will not charge them anything for shipping because it thinks that it doesn’t weigh anything.

John:                Yeah. That could be a problem.

Marcus:           So this plugin actually searches thousands and thousands of products for you to make sure that you’ve got weights listed within your products, and the ones that don’t have weights, it lets you know which ones don’t have the weight. And so why wait to install it?

John:                [chuckling]

Marcus:           It’s called Weight Loss and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

[Dragon roar]

John:                And the puns are flowing.

Marcus:           [chuckle]

John:                All right. Okay, well this leads us up to – we’ve got some listener feedback and audio clips. If you would like to participate in the show by providing feedback or asking us questions or anything along that lines, head over to wppluginsatoz.com, go to the bottom right, click on the SpeakPipe where you can leave us a message, or you can go to our contact page and send us an email with a question. We’re more than happy to do that or you can reach out to us through our Facebook page or through Twitter. [chuckling]

Marcus:           Yeah, any of ‘em.

John:                Any place. We may not answer you immediately on the forums, but we will get your questions and bring them to the show as soon as we can.

Marcus:           Yes, and so we have a question from Jeff in Cleveland, Ohio. He says:

“Hi, John and Marcus. I am writing hoping that you can help. My company uses Gmail, Google apps for email, and I want to be able to change WordPress settings so that when it emails out, meaning WordPress, it is using my Gmail account. That way, it’s authenticated plus I get a copy in my Sent folder. Does this kind of plugin exist?”

And I’m happy to say yes, it does! It is called WP Mail SMTP, and actually you can go right through the step-by-step instructions and it’s got Gmail as one of its preferred things. So you can go right through and authenticate it and all of that. And I’m telling you, within 90 seconds to two minutes after installation, you’ll be sending right through Gmail, so check it out: WP Mail SMTP.

John:                Sweet! Nice. Yeah, that was what I would’ve recommended to was WP Mail SMTP, which replaces the standard PHP function in WordPress. And for some cheap hosting providers out there, you just need this plugin anyway.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                All right, and this show here, value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give some value back. You know, we really appreciate all those who donate to the show. We list out the donors in the show that donate $50 or more and on the live shows, we acknowledge them live on the air. And hey, every little bit helps. The donations help cover the general costs of providing the show: the bandwidth, the hosting, all of the transcriptions, etc. etc. – all the miscellaneous things that are continually having to be done. So make sure you go there to wppluginsatoz.com/donate to support the show.

Marcus:           Yep, and with that, let’s get to our final plugins.

John:                Yep, last set of plugins we have for you today, the final one I’ve got for you is called Shortcode Widget. Now, you would’ve thought that when they put it into core finally to have an HTML widget and a text editor for the regular widget, that shortcodes would’ve started working in the widgets. But you’d think wrong if you thought that, which I did, and it turned out I had a recent site I was developing that we needed to run a shortcode in the widget. I thought, “Oh, well they’ve got the new widgets. Shortcodes should work fine.”

No, it doesn’t quite work that way. So you still have to go out there and get a plugin to allow for shortcodes to run in widgets. This one here creates a specialized widget that allows you to just dump your shortcodes into it and poof, your shortcodes run just the way they’re supposed to. So go check it out: Shortcode Widget, and I give this one a 5-Dragon rating.

[Dragon roar]

Marcus:           So you’re telling me –

John:                Yeah?

Marcus:           — this is me in my Matt Mullenweg mind.

John:                [chuckle] Yeah, yeah.

Marcus:           So you’re telling me people really want to run shortcodes in a widget?

John:                Yeah, imagine that! [chuckling]

Marcus:           That’s why we don’t add it to core, because we didn’t think people wanted it.

John:                Yeah, yeah. I know. Just like it took – what was it? – they just introduced it 14 years later before they had a text editor for the widget?

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                [silently chuckling]

Marcus:           Okay…

John:                [laughing] So I guess it’ll be another 10 years before we can build into the core running shortcodes in the widget?

Marcus:           Yeah, yeah. Exactly. All right, so we’ll end this show here with another WooCommerce plugin. This one is called Advanced Extra Fees, and I tested out the lite version. There is a premium version to this. WooCommerce has a pretty awesome fees API, but really, it’s only accessible to developers, so this plugin kind of cuts that gap for you and it allows you to set up some rules where different fees will apply to the cart. It depends on who’s buying it, where the products are being shipped to – all that kind of stuff. If it’s a rush order, maybe there’s a fee on it, you know, depending on when they want it shipped and any of that kind of stuff, or if you’re selling event tickets. Heck, everybody is used to paying concert tickets and paying a $10 fee. Hey, tag some extra bucks on there. Keep it for yourself – who knows?

So this one does exactly that, so it sets a different set of conditions. You can either add a negative or a positive theme, maybe you can subtract some money off it, maybe you could get a loyal customer discount of like $3 every time they put an order in and they’ve been a customer for more than a year – stuff like that. This is pretty cool. It also has a schedule of publishing of fees for the future so that if anybody comes on, they can see that the fees are going to increase or change.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           And all the fees are also visible in the cart, checkout, thank you page, and in the order email as well, so this handles all of it. Again, I tested the lite version. There is a premium version of this that does a lot more features as well, but I rated this one a 4 out of 5.

John:                Excellent. That’s always nice to be able to collect all the fees you’re missing out on.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                After all, that’s how the banks got rich: charging fees.

Marcus:           Yep.

John:                All right, well that closes out this episode and I covered up Open External Links in a New Window, which I gave a 4 to; the BusinessPress, which I gave a 4 to; and then the Shortcode Widget, which I gave a 5 to.

Marcus:           And I rated Non-Purchasable WooCommerce Products a 4 out of 5, Weight Loss (which helps you with your shipping) gets a 5 out of 5, and WooCommerce Advance Extra Fees Lite gets a 4 out of 5.

John:                And on a final note, if you’re a developer out there and you would like to support the show, you can do that by offering up a premium license for us to give away in a WP Plugins A to Z contest. All you need to do is go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest, where you can submit all the pertinent information for your license to being included in an upcoming contest that we present out to all our listeners out there. Get yourself some exposure. As you can see from this show, we tend to talk about the plugins that are in the contest. So hey, it could be well worth your time.

And also, take your time and subscribe to our newsletter that goes out every week and catch up on the news, information, and the latest shows that come out from WP Plugins A to Z. And that’s all we’ve got for you now. Take care, bye-bye.

[Female Speaker] Reminders for the show:

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 @wppluginsatoz.

John can be reached through his website at www.JohnOverall.com, or send him an email to john@wppro.ca. Marcus can also be reached through his website at marcuscouch.com or Twitter @marcuscouch. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

[Outro]

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.

[Child giggling]

 

[End of Audio]

Transcript of Episode 341 WP Plugins A to Z WordPress Galleries, Cryptocurrency, Advanced Gutenberg, WooCommerce Shipping Distance, and Disabling Multiple Processes for Improved Site Speed

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 #341 here.


It’s Episode 341 and we’ve got plugins for WordPress Galleries, Cryptocurrency, Advanced Gutenberg, WooCommerce Shipping Distance, and Disabling Multiple Processes for Improved Site Speed. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #341

Marcus:           It’s Episode 341 and we’ve got plugins for WordPress Galleries, Cryptocurrency, Advanced Gutenberg, WooCommerce Shipping Distance, and Disabling Multiple Processes for Improved Site Speed. It’s all coming up next on WordPress Plugins A to Z.

John:                [chuckling]

Marcus:           Damn yoooouu! [joking]

John:                I pushed the button and it —

[Intro]

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 today from Glitchland in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, I’m John Overall.

Marcus:           And proving that we’re actually live and from Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.

John:                I was irritated. I went to push the button and all of a sudden my entire list vanished. [laughing]

Marcus:           All right, well we’ve got a blooper for Show 400 now.

John:                There you go. All right, well welcome to the show and of course, right off the top, you can get all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com. And if you’ve got a few minutes, we’d greatly appreciate your time over at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes stores, subscribing to the show, and leaving us a review there.

Marcus:           Yeah, we’ve got a YouTube channel, too! Check that out. We’ve got some training videos, screencasts, you can watch some of the old episodes with John and I reviewing plugins, and then John goes and tries one out – one of the ones that I’ve done. It’s pretty cool.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           Also, remember you can follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz and subscribe to our newsletter which comes out every week, and that’s where we put all the news that we don’t necessarily think is plugin-related, but it is WordPress-related and it’s valuable, and that’s when we send it out to you. So subscribe to our newsletter on our website, wppluginsatoz.com.

John:                And with that, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.

[Plugins lead-in music]

And this week here, the first plugin I have for you is for all of you out there that are super-excited about the Cryptocurrencies and whatever they’re currently doing, whether it’s up, down, backwards or forwards, or maybe they’ve completely imploded. Who knows, day from day, hour from hour. First it’s, you know, $5,000 then it’s $10,000, then it’s $20,000, and now it’s back to $10,000, $14,000 – I don’t know. Pick a number. Any number is good.

At any rate, what this plugin is for is if you have an interest in cryptocurrencies or looking to trade in it, well, now you can easily look up the current rate for all that true imaginary money with this plugin. Set it up as a shortcode and enter that shortcode wherever you want the tables to appear, and it pulls in all the top numbers for cryptocurrencies and displays them on your website in a sidebar or on a page, and brings in all the currencies that everyone just loves right now, including – what are they now? We’ve got Bitcoin, we’ve got Dash, Cardano, Ethereum, Ripple, Cardano, Litecoin, Nxt – you know, pick ‘em. There’s tons of them.

Marcus:           I like to use real money.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           But anyway…

John:                Yeah, so do I. But there’s a lot of people that think this is money. So at any rate, I thought it would be a cool little plugin to bring out some people that want to track it and every once in a while, I just get curious as to what people are paying for this stuff. So I want to know what it is and stop looking it up in Google. You can put it on a website and just go to your website and look at it – kind of cool. At any rate, go check it out: Cryptocurrency Price Tracker Widget and I give it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Nice, nice. Okay, let’s talk about galleries! I love galleries; it’s where you get all kinds of cool stuff out there. There are so many gallery plugins out there. I don’t know how many. John, search – search the Repository for gallery for me real quick while I’m talking about this.

John:                There’s probably hundreds of them, all right.

Marcus:           Okay. So this is – the thing is every WordPress gallery pretty much looks like every WordPress gallery, right? They all look the same. This plugin, WordPress Gallery Extra, actually uses a different kind of an algorithm altogether to make a lot more interesting image grids. It’s fully responsive and it adapts to the browser using animation. Even on mobile devices, it can use hardware acceleration that takes advantage of the CSS3 properties of the plugin.

So what do you get? You can get columns, galleries, justified masonry, mosaics, sliders. You can do a drag-n-drop as far as the gallery builder, it’s compatible with AJAX, it’s translation-ready, it works with all these templates, and you can also do a video and an audio gallery with this plugin. I thought it was pretty cool.

John:                That’s kind of cool.

Marcus:           It handles everything as far as image tags, categories, sizes – all that kind of stuff. Here’s the deal: I think it’s the absolutely perfect plugin. But in keeping with my style for the last, you know, 300-plus shows, I have to take one point off because there’s a premium plugin that’s attached to this.

John:                Oh, okay.

Marcus:           So the free out of the gate plugin is pretty awesome and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                That’s pretty cool. I like it. It’s got lots of features and I did go look it up. There are 214 times 14 galleries in the WordPress Repository. There’s 214 pages of 14 plugins per page.

Marcus:           Yeah, well they should have erased them all and keep this one.

John:                [chuckling] Yeah, good luck with that. [chuckling] So yeah, it does look pretty cool; I like it. It’s one to consider and put into my repertoire of gallery plugins, because I remember testing a whole bunch of them about 20 episodes back.

Marcus:           I remember that as Gallery Day.”

John:                Yeah, it was Gallery Day, because I was looking for one of our listeners out there had a question about galleries and wanted a specific style. It looks like this one provides this specific style, too. And this is a relatively new plugin so it didn’t exist, so I don’t feel bad about not finding it.

Marcus:           [chuckling]

John:                All right, well this show here is brought to you by the following…

“Twenty 2018 is a year of growth. Your website should reflect the growth and change within your business. Show your customers where you are going in 2018 by letting JohnOverall.com work with you to update your website. Let JohnOverall.com take the work and worry out of maintaining and caring for your website with our maintenance program, hosting, emergency repair services, and more. While you’re caring for your business, let JohnOverall.com care for your website. Think of us when you think of WordPress. Visit JohnOverall.com.”

There you go. Brought to you by JohnOverall.com.

Marcus:           That’s how I talk in normal conversation. [chuckling]

John:                Yeah, I’m working on my radio voice for commercials.

Marcus:           All right, good job, man. It’s coming along. So anybody listening to this show has a passion for WordPress. Why not write about something that falls in line with your passion with WordPress? I’m now the WordPress Editor for Smashing Magazine, one of the biggest web design resources online and I am recruiting and looking for folks to author great articles about WordPress.

It helps you get a lot of exposure to yourself, your work, your company. You can visit one of – you know, all kinds of different avenues in terms of tutorials and all kinds of great article subjects that are out there. We have very prominent people that have already written articles and are some that are in the fire just getting started out, so join them. Visit marcuscouch.com/smashing and it autoreplies back with more information. There’s a video there that tells all about it. It’s a great opportunity to contribute to the WordPress community, get exposure, and get a few hundred bucks for the effort. Check it out at marcuscouch.com/smashing.

John:                Very good, and the articles there are quite usable and readable. In fact, one of them is gonna help me extract stuff from a WordPress MU site. There’s a really —

Marcus:           Oh, that one!

John:                — yeah.

Marcus:           Yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember doing that one.

John:                Yeah, it’s a great article, man, and I’m actually gonna have to do that real soon to a client that’s on an MU site. I’ve got to extract them out of that MU site.

Marcus:           Yeah, I would say Smashing Magazine, the stuff that we’re aiming for WordPress-wise is tutorial-based; how to do stuff.

John:                Good quality stuff to learn how to do things that you have a notion, but you don’t have all the details.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                And this articles – every article I’ve read from them provides lots of good details on how to do something.

Marcus:           Yeah, and it’s not just like a guest post thing.

John:                Nope.

Marcus:           I’m – I am one of three editors that it goes through, plus there are two reviewers in the process also, so five people help you edit your article.

John:                Absolutely. All right, well we also want to make mention we are in the middle of a contest giving away a premium license from Foliovision. The license is for their FV Player Pro plugin, which allows you to play videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and many other sources. It allows you to then enter overlay ads. You can even put Google text ads in there, too. It takes down Google Analytics, it has Lightbox, Social Sharing, HLS Stream, RTMP Streaming, and more.

This is a flow player video player plugin that enhances the videos you play on your website, so you’ll want to check this one out. You can enter the contest. It’s a free one-year license for – valued at $75. All you have to do is go to wppluginsatoz.com/contests and leave us your name and email address, enter the contest. And then if you share it out on all your social media and any of the people you share it out to using the unique link you get, you can get two additional entries into the contest, increasing your chances of winning this license, so go there now: wppluginsatoz.com/contests.

Marcus:           Awesome. Yeah, I’m looking forward to playing around with that thing.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           You know, I think even we have uses for that. We do a lot of YouTube videos.

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           We should put that on our site and then put, you know, “donate” and also “sign up to the newsletter” ads – stuff like that.

John:                Oh, absolutely. That’s where I’m gonna – gonna test it. That’s where I want to test is on our site, because that’s the biggest place I use videos right now.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                All right, well this brings us up to our next set of plugins, and the next one I’ve got for you is another Gutenberg plugin. Yeah, everyone’s gonna get sick —

Marcus:           Yeah!

John:                — of these Gutenberg plugins. I can —

Marcus:           We need a Gutenberg theme, like everyone will drop in.

John:                Yeah, we might have to come up with —

Marcus:           Another Gutenberg plugin!

John:                Yeah, there you go. I just – I can see lots of these things appearing, because these one seem to appear out of the blue. These were all suddenly relatively new in the WordPress Repository and there just seemed to be a whole bunch dropped at once. And I’ve heard recently that someone out there has released a Gutenberg training video seminar that you can get for – to learn how to build for Gutenberg. So more and more stuff is coming out about Gutenberg, so I think it’s – it’s coming, whether we want it or not. It’s coming, so if you’re gonna stay in this particular environment, you’re gonna have to – like me – suck it up and learn to embrace Gutenberg —

Marcus:           [chuckling]

John:                — and, you know, I rail against this kind of change. But eventually I kind of accept it. At any rate, this plugin here comes from Advanced Gutenberg, and this plugin has some advanced features. It’s built by Joom United, which to me indicates they were Joomla – a tough one to get out for some reason – Joomla plugin writers at one point in time or another. They might still be. Does Joomla even exist?

Marcus:           [laughing]

John:                Sorry.

Marcus:           Says the WordPress guy? [chuckling]

John:                Well, funny thing —

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                — funny thing is Joomla is almost what I went with when I first started back —

Marcus:           Me too!

John:                — into this industry. I worked with it and then I discovered WordPress and said, “Why am I wasting my time on Joomla?”

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                And so at any rate, this plugin here creates – creates edition profiles, assigns user groups, you can create additional tools per profile, you can activate Lightbox, display alt information as Lightbox captioning galleries. The plugin is based on the official Gutenberg plugin, which is under active development, so you’ll want to be careful with it. This plugin is constantly in development, so it’s evolving as Gutenberg evolves.

At any rate, it looks kind of interesting. It looks to add a whole lot of additional tools to your Gutenberg setup, so go check this plugin out if you are experimenting with Gutenberg, and currently I give it a 3-Dragon rating right down the middle of the road, so it may go up. I’ll be coming back to a lot of this stuff as Gutenberg goes live, I’m sure. So check it out: Advanced Gutenberg.

Marcus:           Great! Okay, we had a question from a listener. Sorry, because I talk so loud – sorry.

John:                Yeah, you’re doing good.

Marcus:           I’m excited about this plugin. We had a question from a listener that was asking about how to use WooCommerce Shipping and figure it for local deliveries, and I was stumped. I couldn’t figure anything out as far as what they wanted, but I finally found it. This is called WooCommerce Shipping Distance Matrix, and this is not good for – if you think it’s like oh, what UPS zone am I in? No, it’s not that. What it’s good for is local delivery, like flowers, food, beverages – whatever. It’s not limited to just those, but anything that’s like a local delivery.

So what it does is you set the shipping cost by the product shipping class, you can set distance ranges. Maybe I want to go only so far out from my business to actually deliver something. You can set the origin info, the place that you’re starting from in the system, and then it takes Google Maps distance API and it figures where they want it delivered. It calculates in either miles or kilometers, depending on which unit you use, and then you can also set the travel mode, whether you’re going to drive it, walk it, bike it, whatever.

You set route restrictions, so you’re gonna avoid tolls, highways, ferries – you know, all that kind of stuff – and then you calculate per mile or per kilometer or whatever how much that’s going to cost in delivery. So you can set a set – you know, limit – as far as how far out you’ll deliver or even a minimum as far as how far out you’ll deliver. This is translation ready, so it works on any language or any website. This is an awesome plugin and I rated a perfect 5 out of 5.

[Dragon roar]

John:                That is so awesome. I have flower clients that could use something like this for their local deliveries.

Marcus:           Mm-hm, definitely.

John:                That’s quite awesome.

Marcus:           Right! You could say if you are, you know, within one mile, it’s free. If you are outside of that range, then it’s gonna cost you.

John:                Yeah, you know, up to five kilometers free. Up to five to ten kilometers, you know, $10.  Ten to 20 kilometers is $30, and whatever. Set the distance you’re gonna go from your business, that’s nice. That is a good plugin for anyone who runs a local delivery business.

Marcus:           Absolutely, and that could be a supplier or it could be anything like that, you know?

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           You know, if you don’t have a specific route that you go deliver all of your supplies, this is perfect.

John:                Yep, quite excellent.

Marcus:           And hey, John, you know, where I live, marijuana is legal and soon to be your whole country, so…

John:                [chuckling]

Marcus:           [laughing]

John:                You look at it as it’s gonna be completely legal in —

Marcus:           Yeah! Look up your local dispensary and see if they’ll do this. [chuckling]

John:                Less than six months, man. Less than six months. Well, the problem here is the government is controlling the pot – the pot sales here. They want to keep the pot sales in the government-controlled liquor stores.

Marcus:           Oh, geez.

John:                Yeah, Canada is bizarre how they do many things. Yeah here, legalize pot. Now you’ve got to go to the liquor store, which is only open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. to buy your pot.

Marcus:           Geez.

John:                But you can go buy your booze everywhere else until 11:00, 12:00 at night, hey, it’s all good.

Marcus:           Hm.

John:                You know?

Marcus:           Interesting.

John:                Weird – we have weird, archaic, strange liquor laws and the pot laws are just gonna follow suit. But at least it’s gonna be finally legal.

Marcus:           That’s true.

John:                That’s the big thing; it’s no longer gonna be a crime to get – to get caught with an ounce of weed or smoking a doob on the street. It’s no longer gonna be —

Marcus:           Yeah, and by the way —

John:                That’s true.

Marcus:           — I want to say something right now. To you designers and developers out there that are always looking for new clients, that’s it right there.

John:                Oh!

Marcus:           Dispensaries and stuff like that in California —

John:                All the new marijuana stores —

Marcus:           — and all the other places that do recreational. You’d better start getting into that market, because those guys have money.

John:                Mm-hm, absolutely. And they have cash!

Marcus:           [chuckling] Even better!

John:                Which is of course because – because it’s federally illegal across the states. They can’t actually use a bank, so they can’t get credit, so they could only go to a credit union which is inside the state. They can’t use a bank that is across the – goes across state lines.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                And they can only deposit cash. In fact, I read something about Colorado. When they paid their taxes, they had to take pot-smelling cash down to the tax office to pay their tax bill in cash, and it just reeked of pot because it was a pot shop. So yeah, I thought that that was quite comical.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                At any rate, there’s enough aside for us and that brings us to the point here where we are always looking for feedback from our clients. And as you just heard, that last plugin Marcus did came because one of you guys – one of our listeners out there asked about a type of plugin or something that can help them. That’s the sort of service we provide you. Just go to our contact page, send us a message there, send us a SpeakPipe. You can go to our Facebook page and leave us a message there where we’ll respond to it. All that stuff there, we like to make this show a bit interactive.

And of course, this show is a value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give some value back. And that value, to give it back, you can just go to wppluginsatoz.com/donate, leave any amount you want there. There’s lots of buttons to click on to leave us an amount. The money goes to support the show by creating the transcripts that go up, paying for the bandwidth, paying for the hosting – all of the essential things that help run a website. That stuff costs money, believe it or not, so please support the show at wppluginsatoz.com/donate.

Marcus:           Yeah, and thank you to everybody who helps us out. We do appreciate that.

John:                Yep, all those donations we do get – we do get small donations on a regular basis. There’s still a couple of Patreon donors out there and although I’m still looking at whether or not I’m gonna keep Patreon running, but at the moment it still is, and any of the other smaller donations, thank you very much for those small donations. We really appreciate them.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                All right, and our final set of plugins here today, and I’m going to close this out with another Gutenberg plugin.

Marcus:           Ah, we need a jingle!

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           I keep saying that.

John:                And this one comes again from GutenKit. This is the guys I talked about in the last show that have created a whole bunch of plugins in a complete kit that they are still beta testing, which will probably go live eventually. It looks like it’s gonna be a premium plugin add-on just judging from the way they’re pulling this together. They’ll have these freebies in the WordPress Repository and then an entire kit inside as a premium add-on somewhere. This is what it’s looking like from my point of view and perspective.

At any rate, this one here is if you use pricing tables, and I know a couple episodes back, I talked about a pricing table plugin, this here is another pricing table plugin. I don’t know exactly how it’s gonna work in Gutenberg, because I haven’t yet tested it. But it’s nice if you have a block – you can just block it in, add it, go edit your pricing table, all set up, and have it within the Gutenberg framework. So go check this out if you’re playing with Gutenberg, and remember, don’t do it on a live site, because Gutenberg is not live ready yet, and I give this one a 3-Dragon rating: Gutenberg Pricing Table Block from GutenKit.

Marcus:           Yeah!

John:                That’s a lot of Gutens. [chuckling]

Marcus:           Yeah. Right now I’m Guten-free.

John:                [chuckling] There you go.

Marcus:           [chuckling] And I will be.

John:                I can see those jokes coming.

Marcus:           Yeah, I had to start one. I had the start the first.

John:                You had to start with the first one.

Marcus:           Okay, so the final plugin that I’ve got here is called Whippet. (Whip it good!) So Whippet is actually named after the Whippet dog, which is kind of like a little miniature greyhound, I think they are.

John:                Mm-hm.

Marcus:           And a couple weeks back a talked about, you know, some of the favorite kinds of plugins that I like are the Swiss Army knives that do like 50 things in one, and this is one of those. So here’s what this thing does – I’ll try and get through this list fast.

John:                Okay.

Marcus:           It removes the XMLRPC code, which is what you use to like remote publish or press this or whatever, remove the WordPress API from code if the WPJSON is disabled, disable the Google Maps embed, disable WooCommerce scripts, disable WooCommerce reviews, defer WooCommerce cart fragments, remove the WordPress API from the header, disables pingbacks, disable emoji, disable embeds, remove query strings, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….

John:                Yeah, that’s quite the list here.

Marcus:           Yeah, it does tons of stuff. Disabling RSS feeds even, or remove RSS links – those kinds of things – all of it. Does it all, really cool, check it out. It’s called Whippet and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

[Dragon roar]

John:                This is a sweet plugin.

Marcus:           [laugh]

John:                It just turns off a lot of the things in one smooth motion that some of them I have to disable with code or extra – extra information to disable them —

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                — and you might have a need for some of them, but you don’t have a need for a lot of these anymore. A lot of these things here that it disabled, all they do is slow down your site and create —

Marcus:           Yeah!

John:                Issues and holes for your site, and yeah.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                Oh, this is nice. I can see this becoming a standard in my development.

Marcus:           Yeah, you know what also this thing does? You can change the interval that it auto-saves.

John:                Oh, that’s nice!

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                Because that can be done with code. You have to have code to do that, and I’ve done that a lot because I’ve had sites where the auto-saves are using up resources. If someone’s on a cheap shared hosting service —

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                – the auto-saves and the pings that occur because of those can actually use up resources and cause you to have slowdowns and blockages and CPU lockouts from the hosting provider.

Marcus:           Yeah?

John:                And it’s just you editing a document; it’s not you actually doing anything, so —

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                — so I’ve had to go in and change the length of time for auto-saves and also change the number of auto-saves that can keep and all that sort of thing. But yeah, this is nice that it does this.

Marcus:           Yeah, it also does something cool, which is disable or limit post revisions.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           So it’s – this thing, like I said —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — Swiss Army knife.

John:                The Swiss —

Marcus:           This thing does 50 things.

John:                It’s a Swiss Army knife and yeah, the name is really appropriate.

Marcus:           [chuckling]

John:                How about that? A plugin that actually named itself well. Wow! That doesn’t happen too often.

Marcus:           [chuckling] Yeah, I think – let’s come up with the worst plugin names ever list.

John:                Oh, we’ve got ‘em. We’ve reviewed some of the worst plugin names ever.

Marcus:           I know.

John:                Good plugins but horrible names.

Marcus:           [chuckling]

John:                We reviewed them. They’re out there in one of those 340 previous episodes we’ve done.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                All right, well closing out this episode, I covered up the Cryptocurrency Price Tracker Widget, which I gave a 3 to; the Advanced Gutenberg, which I gave a 3 to; and the Gutenberg Pricing Table Block, which I gave a 3 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about the WordPress Gallery Extra, which gets a 4 out of 5 (which would’ve got a 5 if it wasn’t premium also); WooCommerce Shipping Distance Matrix gets a 5 out of 5; and Whippet gets a 5 out of 5.

John:                Whip it good…[chuckling] sorry. It’s stuck in the head.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                You know, you come from the 80s, you’re stuck with something like that.

Marcus:           Yeah, at least they got a theme if they need it.

John:                Yeah, there you go. All they’ve got to do is go pay the fee. All right, that wraps us up and of course you can go check out our YouTube channel where we have screencasts, training videos, and more up there and subscribe to the YouTube channel. And a note to developers out there: if you would like to support the show and offer up a premium license for a giveaway, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/contests, where you can leave us all the information for what you’d like to do and we’ll create a contest around your plugin license and share it with all our listeners out there. And that’s all we’ve got for you now so take care, bye-bye.

 

[Female speaker] Reminders for the show:

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 john@wppro.ca. Marcus can also be reached through his website at marcuscouch.com or Twitter at @marcuscouch. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

[Outro]

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.

[Child giggling]

 

[End of Audio]

Transcript of Episode 340 WP Plugins A to Z Content Masking, Salt Keys, Event Ticket Management, Spacing for Gutenberg, Image Optimization and Gutenberg Portfolios

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 #340 here.


It’s Episode 340 and we’ve got plugins for Content Masking, Salt Keys, Event Ticket Management, Spacing for Gutenberg, Image Optimization and Gutenberg Portfolios. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #340

Marcus:           It’s Episode 340 and we’ve got plugins for Content Masking, Salt Keys, Event Ticket Management, Spacing for Gutenberg, Image Optimization, and Gutenberg Portfolios. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A to Z.

[Intro]

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 British Columbia, Canada, 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 today, and of course right off the top, you can get all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com. And make sure you take a few minutes out of your time to go and subscribe and review the show at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes Store.

Marcus:           Absolutely. Those reviews help attract new audience members and the more, the merrier. The more listeners that we have, the better resources that are available, the more kinds of questions and all that kind of stuff. Overall, we just love helping people with plugins, and that’s what we do.

John:                Absolutely, bringing you great plugins every week – a whole new set of them. And of course, you can join us over on YouTube, where we have training videos and screencasts and more. And also you can follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz.

Marcus:           Yep, and we have a great newsletter at our website, so go to wppluginsatoz.com, subscribe to our newsletter. That’s where we store all the news and all the stuff that is non-plugin related and bring it to you every week in your email box.

John:                Absolutely. So with that being said, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.

[Plugins lead-in music]

And today we have our usual allotment of six great plugins, and the first one I’ve got for you right out of the bat is called WP Reset Keys and Salt. Now, this is a really simple plugin and for those of you who might not be comfortable or know how to edit your WP config file, this is a plugin for you. And in case you don’t know what it is, the WordPress itself uses Salt keys to increase the encryption of your password and other sensitive areas of your site. Everywhere that there’s encryption going on that uses Salt keys – there’s a set of (I think it’s) six of them now. They originally started with four and they’ve expanded it. Now, changing those Salt keys requires you normally to go create a new set of Salt keys at WordPress.org/salt2 (I believe) – something like that is the URL. And then you copy those keys and then you would open up and edit your WP config file, paste in the Salt keys, and then save the WP config file.

Not always an easy task for those that are not technically inclined and for those that are nervous about editing the most critical file of your WordPress website. This plugin saves you all that grief. You just install this plugin and with one click of a button, you can update all those Salt keys and then reset the encryption of your website. Now, one of the beautiful things about resetting Salt keys is if you’ve been hacked or you have people that have been in using stuff and you don’t know if everyone’s logged out properly, the moment you reset the Salt keys, every user is instantly logged out of your WordPress website, so they have to re-authenticate with whatever current credentials they have.

So this is a great plugin for handling that and this plugin here – simple. It eliminates the problem of having to manually edit your file, easy to install, easy to use – the best type of plugin we love here – so of course I give it a 5-Dragon rating.

[Dragon roar]

Go check it out: WP Reset Keys and Salts.

Marcus:           Use with caution.

John:                Well…I don’t know.

Marcus:           [chuckling]

John:                It’s not that hard to use. You just make sure you’ve got your current passwords so you can log back into your site, because the moment you use this, you’re logged out of your site, too.

Marcus:           That’s true. All right, I want to talk about a really nice plugin that I just tried out. It’s called Ultimate Image Optimization Helpers. I used this plugin called Image Magic already and I’m going to put a link to Image Magic in the show notes. It’s a free plugin that you can get in the Repository. And this is a very, very nice companion piece. It’s a very efficient solution to help reduce your image file sizes and improve the SEO and performance, while still preserving and improving your image quality.

John:                Very nice!

Marcus:           So you use this plugin if you’ve got a lot of image quality issues. Maybe you sized things down too much and then it upscales. Maybe WordPress generates kind of an alternative image size and it’s not very good in terms of how it looks. I mean, that’s all over the place. This one will do it.

It will adjust the image compression rate. You can also apply a light blur or a filter to compensate for some of the quality loss that you might expect. So if you’re upscaling, maybe blur it a little bit or use a filter that helps it. I mean, it works wonders on your phone, right? Why not your WordPress site?

John:                Why not?

Marcus:           It optimizes actually the original image and it does a list of all the image sizes right in the Media Library, so as you’re looking at the image, it shows you the actual size of the thing. Now here’s the cool thing, John.

John:                What’s that?

Marcus:           If I want to and I have a nontransparent .png file or PNG, I can convert that with one click to a .jpg —

John:                Hm…

Marcus:           — and make it a lot smaller in size. This thing has tons and tons of features – all kinds of cool stuff. I definitely recommend you check it out. It is called the Ultimate Image Optimization Helpers, and I rated this one a 4 out of 5.

John:                That’s nice! A nice free one.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                And it’s very important to optimize your images, improve your speed load of your websites.

Marcus:           Yeah, that’s the biggest thing —

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           — is speed. And if you reduce your image file size – oh gosh, what was the name of that? Pingdom, I think? The name of that tool is?

John:                That’s one. I use GT Metrics a lot.

Marcus:           Yeah. So you go to those and you put in your website and it tells you how long things take to load.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           And on my old site, images used to take forever because I was stupid and put like 3MB images on there.

John:                Yep, didn’t optimize them. Yeah, I had the same. It’s part of the reason why JohnOverall.com became a website at 14-16 seconds down to 2 seconds, so —

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                — images were a big, big thing.

Marcus:           Yep, that’s it. So this helps even that. Check it out.

John:                All right. Well, with that being said, this show here is brought to here by…

“Take the work and worry out of maintaining and caring for your WordPress website. JohnOverall.com has 20+ years’ experience and offers hosting, maintenance programs, emergency support and more to keep your site up-to-date and running smoothly. We offer free estimates and only bill you for the time used, not by the block. While you’re caring for your business, let JohnOverall.com care for your website. Think of us when you think of WordPress. Visit JohnOverall.com.”

There you go – brought to you by JohnOverall.com.

Marcus:           Right. And I say it every week, so I’m just gonna be brief this time, which is if you’re interested in writing about WordPress, any kind of a tutorial or maybe something cool that you found about WordPress or plugins or a specific theme or techniques – whatever you want to do. I am the WordPress Editor for Smashing Magazine.

If you’re interested in the opportunity to get a lot of exposure by one of the biggest design resources on the planet, check out marcuscouch.com/smashing. I put a little video together that explains the entire process. You’ll fill out the form and as soon as you do, it’ll reply back with more information, kind of the guidelines of what we do, what we’re going for, and you take it from there. So check it out at marcuscouch.com/smashing.

John:                And the other content there is a great thing to get to. All right, and currently we are in the midst of a contest where you can earn yourself a premium – or actually, win yourself – a premium license from Foliovision for their FV Player Pro plugin. And this video player plugin allows you to play YouTube, Vimeo, and many other video sources on your website in an excellent player and allows you to put things such as overlay ads and other controls on there to give your user a more satisfactory video experience for you to put more information on there than just having the YouTube videos and depending on the ads for your stuff.

So anyway, it’s a great thing. The license is worth $75 for a year’s worth of license at the pro level, so go check it out and you can enter the contest by going to wppluginsatoz.com/contests. So head on over there and enter the contest. All we need is your email information and your name to enter the contests.

Marcus:           Heck yeah. That’s a great, excellent plugin to use. Even if you’re using your own videos —

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           — why not put a button on there or a promo or your current service or the hot product that you’ve got this week?

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           That’s pretty cool and it’s also something you can check out in terms of client use, too.

John:                Oh, absolutely.

Marcus:           That’s really cool. You know, put a related video on there. If you’ve got a golf website, let’s say you know, your client golfs or you have a golf store or something like that. You know, you could use golf swing techniques and just throw your product on there as terms of the ad or the pop-up or the overlay.

John:                “Click here to buy this video now…”

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                That’s it. All right, and this takes us to our next set of plugins, and the one I’ve got here next for you is another Gutenberg plugin that had been appearing, and as I’ve said, more and more of these are appearing in the Repository. This one is the Gutenberg Spacer Block by GutenKit. Now, this is one of many plugins I’ve discovered from this one developer. They’ve got a whole kit they’re putting together, so I’m gonna showcase the plugins they’re putting into the Repository and there’s a link in the show notes that’ll take you to where you can possibly sign up to get access to the whole kit, which is currently in private beta.

So at any rate, this plugin here, it doesn’t do a whole lot except create a spacer block, and from what my understanding so far is of Gutenberg, the spacer block will be a space in between the blocks you create for your content, much like a page builder where you can put a space block in between your blocks of content in the page you’re building. So I assume it’s gonna be something like that. I haven’t been able to test these yet, but as I get a chance to test the Gutenberg products, you will know more and more and more and more of my opinions and viewpoints on Gutenberg. But anyway, go check this out if you’re experimenting with Gutenberg. Just stay away from a live site with it. I give this one a 3-Dragon rating. Check it out: Gutenberg Spacer Block by GutenKit.

Marcus:           Note to self: start checking Guten domains.

John:                Mmm…. now there’s an idea!

Marcus:           Or ‘berg domains.

John:                Yeah, there’s an idea. That is something to start thinking about.

Marcus:           [chuckling] All right.

John:                Because those are gonna start to become really popular soon as people suddenly wake up to the fact that Gutenberg is really popular – or they’re gonna be popular.

Marcus:           I gotta think of a cool name.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           Hm…all right. So I’ve dealt with a lot of clients that are motivational speakers or they are associations that have conferences and expos and events, and what is the biggest pain in the ass when dealing with an event? And that is ticketing.

John:                Oh, yeah.

Marcus:           Dealing with tickets, checking people in, making sure they get their stuff, doing all this – you know, it’s crazy. There’s all kinds of plugins out there. I used to use the ticket module that goes with the Events Calendar. I’ve used WooCommerce tickets. Nothing compares to this next plugin called Tickera. It is a WordPress event ticketing agent and it does exactly what I’ve been looking for for a long time. You can send and sell tickets, especially if you’re setting up your own kind of hosted solution where you set up the profits. This is contrary to like, Eventbrite —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — which a lot of people fall back to but they forget that you have to give up a cut to Eventbrite.

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           Also, you can use an Android or an iPhone and it has a barcode reader that will actually read the barcode on the ticket, which goes to check people in on your WordPress site. So you have a list of who’s checked-in and who’s not checked-in – all that. It totally speeds up the check-in process. It’s called Tickera, the WordPress Event Ticketing Plugin, and I give this one a perfect 5 out of 5.

[Dragon roar]

John:                That is so cool that somebody has finally figured out the ticketing issue.

Marcus:           Yeah!

John:                Because that I’ve experimented with several of those too, and I’ve never been able to get one to work fully 100% and had to fall back to someone like Eventbrite where you have to give up – what is it? – 5% or 10% of your ticket price?

Marcus:           Yeah! Yeah, it sucks.

John:                So not only are you giving up money to them; you’re still giving up money to the credit card processors. You lose 15%.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                You know, it’s bad enough to lose 3-5% to the credit card processor, but hey…

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                And this way, you can keep it all and also maintain the control, so that’s nice.

Marcus:           Yep!

John:                I like that.

Marcus:           Yep, fully-ingrained system and again, I always say if you’re a developer or designer (because we have so many of those that listen). I mean, if you’re into WordPress plugins, God, you’re in this deep.

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           So, you know, this is something that you can use for clients that have events and say, “Hey, look. We keep this all in-house.”

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           “We don’t have to do anything externally.”

John:                Absolutely. All right, well this brings us up – the next thing is we’re always looking for listener feedback. You can do that by going to our contact page at wppluginsatoz.com or clicking the SpeakPipe button in the bottom corner and leading us a SpeakPipe message there, or you can email us directly off the website. So go do that; we’re always looking for questions or comments or, you know, whatever you think about us, the show, or anything else. We’re always looking for that information, so go leave it.

And also, this show is a value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give some value back. And to do that, you can simply go to wppluginsatoz.com/donate to leave a donation to the show, and all donations go to help support the show by paying for things such as transcripts, bandwidth, web hosting – all the necessary things just to keep a website up and running. None of the money actually makes it to our pockets. It goes to pay expenses. And that’s all we’ve got for that, so that brings us up to the last of our plugins for today.

And the last one I’ve got for you today is another Gutenberg plugin for you. This one here is called Gutenberg Portfolio Block, and again, it’s by GutenKit. And this one here is pretty straightforward in that what it does for you is it creates a block for your Gutenberg website to allow you to create your portfolio of websites or images or whatever your portfolio is made of.

It looks relatively easy and straightforward to use if you’re running Gutenberg. You plug it in, turn it on, and now you have this new block to use in your editor area. So if you’re into Gutenberg and still testing it out, add this one to the mix and see what it does for you. Go check it out. It’s called Gutenberg Portfolio Block, and I give it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Awesome. You know, John, a long time ago when I first started designing websites, I did it in this program called Net Objects Fusion.

John:                I sort of recall that.

Marcus:           Going waaaay back!

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           And it was a very obscure program. Not many people knew how to do it. I happened to work for a company at the time that paid me to go get training and the main two guys that created it actually taught me how to use it, which was great because then I could get into the shortcuts and all that. One of my favorite things that I used to use on that all the time was called Screen Door, and it allowed me to pull in content from other places, yet still maintain it on that specific page.

John:                Hm…

Marcus:           Today, I found that in a WordPress plugin. It’s only taken 14 years, but it’s here! It’s called Content Mask. Now, let me tell you about this. It allows you to embed content on a URL similar to like what a domain forwarder with domain masking would do.

John:                Yep?

Marcus:           So if you go to GoDaddy obviously or any other website, you can change the – what do they call that? – the records —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — you know, the domain records.

John:                Yeah, those records. Mm-hm?

Marcus:           Yeah. And it basically will – okay, so if I had, you know, thegreatestpluginshowonearth.com and I just wanted it to go to wppluginsatoz.com, what happens then? Do I get any benefit from any Google Analytics? Do I get to put any Facebook pixels in that? Do I get to do anything like that? Nope – nothing separately, right? But Content Mask actually allows me to do that.

So if I wanted to take a domain or any page or anything like that and make it go to somewhere else, like what a 301 would typically do, yet still get all the benefit of WordPress running in the background so I still get all the stats as to who hits that page. I still get all the – be able to, you know, put a Facebook pixel in there so that I can remarket to them later. Add a Google pixel and all that kind of stuff? This is awesome for that. It’s called Content Mask and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

[Dragon roar]

John:                That’s kind of a cool plugin, reading about it and what it does. It creates a complete – what’s the thing I’m looking for? – is domain masking.

Marcus:           Yeah!

John:                So you can pull in XYZ domain and point it to WXY domain and make it look like it’s coming from WXY domain while it’s coming from XYZ domain. That’s pretty neat.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                Yeah, that’s a neat tool. That can be used in numerous ways, especially if you have your own domains masking stuff back and forth between websites.

Marcus:           Right. I’m not going to get into the dark side of what you can do with this —

John:                The dark side of this —

Marcus:           [laughing]

John:                The dark side is what popped in my head first —

Marcus:           [laughing]

John:                And I actually got a big warning – they actually got a warning here on the thing that says, “Make sure you have the rights to use the content before you mask it.”

Marcus:           [raucous laughing]

John:                Because you could find yourself in trouble if you went into the dark side and they tracked you down for it. But yeah —

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                — it’s kind of cool.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                Well —

Marcus:           So be careful. Be careful.

John:                Everything has a dark side available to it. That’s absolutely is true.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                All right, well that wraps it up for this show here, and I reviewed in this show here the WP REST Keys and Salts, which I gave a 5 to; the Gutenberg Spacer Block, which I gave a 3 to; and the Gutenberg Portfolio, which I gave a 3 to.

Marcus:           I talked about the Ultimate Image Optimization Helper, that is – 4 out of 5; Tickera, the event ticket management plugin gets a 5 out of 5; and we just talked about the evil…[laughing] —

John:                [chuckling]

Marcus:           — or potentially evil —

John:                Potentially.

Marcus:           — Content Mask, which gets a 5 out of 5.

John:                It’s a great plugin, but its potential for misuse is really high. All right, well that brings us up – you go check us out on YouTube and you can check out our YouTube channel where we have screencasts, training videos, and more there. And a note to developers who would like to support the show, if you want to offer up a premium license to give away, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest to submit that license to us and all of your information. And that’s all we’ve got for you now. Take care, bye-bye.

[Female speaker]       

Reminders for the show:

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 @wppluginsatoz.

John can be reached through his website at www.JohnOverall.com, or send him an email to john@wppro.ca. Marcus can also be reached through his website at marcuscouch.com or Twitter at @marcuscouch. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

[Outro]

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.

[Child giggling]

 

[End of Audio]

Transcript of Episode 338 WP Plugins A to Z WooCommerce Frontend Management, Social Cross-Posting, Podcast Players, Device Detection, Caching and a new Swiss Army Knife plugin

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 #338 here.


It’s Episode 338 and we’ve got plugins for WooCommerce Frontend Management, Social Cross-Posting, Podcast Players, Device Detection, Caching and a new Swiss Army Knife plugin you’ll want to know about. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #338

Marcus:           It’s Episode 338 and we’ve got plugins for WooCommerce Frontend Management, Social Cross-posting, Podcast players, Device Detection, Caching, and new Swiss Army Knife plugin that you’ll want to know about. It’s all coming up next on WordPress Plugins A to Z.

[Intro]

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 beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, I’m John Overall.

Marcus:           And from the sunny shores of Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.

John:                And of course we have the usual great show for you here today. Welcome back to the new year! Happy New Year’s, everyone. Welcome to 2018. This is our first show for 2018 and we’ve got a pretty good one for you today, along with the usual slew of six plugins that are coming. Don’t forget, you can get all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com, and if you’ve got a few minutes, make sure you stop in to Stitcher Radio, Google Play, the iTunes store, subscribe to the show there, and leave us a review. They really help us out.

And don’t forget —

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                — oh, go ahead.

Marcus:           [laughing] Dang! We’re two minutes in and already a mistake this year. We’re done.

John:                That’s all right, man.

Marcus:           [chuckling]

John:                Welcome to the new year. You know, we’re a little rusty. We haven’t done a live show since before Christmas, so hey —

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                — it’s all good.

Marcus:           Just wanted to acknowledge YouTube, all the people that are watching us live right now, as we do every Monday morning at 10:00. We may shift that around a little bit but please join our Facebook group and you can actually get notifications as to when we go live. Also on that YouTube channel, check out some of the training videos that John’s done, screencasts, all the other stuff. And remember, we’re also available on Twitter. You can follow us @wppluginsatoz.

John:                All right, and that’s an excellent thing. Don’t forget, you can subscribe to our newsletter, too. That’s changing up too, coming into the new year. All right, with that, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show, so off we go!

[Plugins lead-in music]

All right, the first plugin I’ve got here today is a plugin that was submitted in to us. It was submitted to by Shhiv Narayan and it is a WooCommerce frontend manager plugin. It’s WooCommerce Frontend Manager – WC Marketplace & WC Vendors with Booking & Listings. So what this one is – this is a WooCommerce plugin that is a frontend manager that allows you to manage your WooCommerce site from the frontend, instead of the backend of your website. And for some people this is a much more efficient way to get in there and manage, especially if you set this up for a client and you set them up with this frontend management tool.

It allows them to go in and manage their store, see their stats, billings. It’s also compatible with most of the WooCommerce add-on plugins, Multivendor Marketplace, WooCommerce Bookings, WooCommerce Appointments, Job Manager, and more. It looks to be a really great plugin if you’re running a full-blown WooCommerce store. You might want to check this out. I give it a 4-Dragon rating, so go check it out: WooCommerce Frontend Manager.

Marcus:           Yeah, and okay – so I’ll give you my impression of this that I’ve seen just 15 seconds of what this can do. This is great. I love this because of one specific thing only – well, among others.

John:                What’s that?

Marcus:           But I love this because it allows your clients to access their store, their orders, their sales, and all of that, yet keeps them out of the backend of WordPress.

John:                Oh, now there’s a thought that hadn’t occurred to me – very useful thing.

Marcus:           Because if a client is going to do something, you basically want them just to deal with their ecommerce situation.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           You don’t want them messing around with WordPress unless they’re doing blog posts or things like that, and as a developer, you can charge to do those things. So this is a great solution.

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           Wooowww…nice!

John:                Yeah, it’s a very nice looking plugin, so…

Marcus:           All right! Thanks for submitting that and I’m gonna check that out myself. Okay, so in the intro I talked about a Swiss Army Knife tool, and this is called WordPress Developers Tool. I love plugins like this. I love them! So what this does is it will replace maybe three or four different plugins that you may be using or perhaps you’ve got scripts or things like that. So real quickly, here’s what this thing could do.

It can compress large images. It can add second titles to your posts. It takes care of views; so how many hits does your individual page have? You can temporarily disable comments. You can remove attachments with posts. You can change the empty page message. You can set it up for maintenance mode. You can disable emojis. That’s pretty cool – all that stuff. It’s got a bunch of scripts and then it also has WooCommerce functions, like you could set what product is your best seller. You can do wholesale. You can measure units. You can do different pack quantities within the box, so you can calculate your shipping more effectively. You can add plus and minus buttons for quantity. You could do all those kinds of things, so this is just one plugin and it does all this kind of stuff.

Now, ordinarily that’s a perfect plugin. But then I started using it a little bit this morning and I noticed it is a little wonky with some of the scripts that it does. It does like sticky blocks and font awesome and those kinds of things. I don’t think I’d use it for the scripts; I think I’d maybe use those scripts on my own or within my theme itself. But for the WooCommerce and the WordPress components itself, this is a great plugin and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Cool! It looks like one for me to give a little bit of a checkout to see if it’s something that can help me trim some plugins.

Marcus:           Yeah, it’s got about 50 different functions, and I’ll tell you, if ten of them are applicable to you and your WordPress site, worth it.

John:                Yeah, it’s definitely something worth checking out. All right, well that brings us to the point here – this show is brought to you by the following people. With all the changes in website requirements, pulled, compromised, and abandoned plugins out there, now is the time to update and upgrade your WordPress website. JohnOverall.com has 20+ years’ experience and offers hosting, maintenance programs, support and more to keep your site up-to-date and running smoothly. We offer free estimates and only bill you for the time used, not by the block. While you’re caring for your business, let JohnOverall.com care for your website. Think of us when you think of WordPress. Visit JohnOverall.com.

There you go – brought to you by JohnOverall.com.

Marcus:           Damn, I need like a lightning strike at the end. “JohnOverall.com…” [lightning sound effect by Marcus]

John:                Hey, now there’s an idea. I can improve that ad. That ad’s actually running on another podcast now.

Marcus:           Oh, is it?

John:                Mm-hm.

Marcus:           Well, now you’re making me step up my game here for my ad.

John:                I was rather stoked to – one of my clients doing a podcast asked me about an ad and I went, “Okay,” and so we created ads and I recorded them.

Marcus:           Nice.

John:                So…

Marcus:           All right, well from my end, anybody listening to this show definitely has a passion and a drive for WordPress, and I am looking for authors for a new gig that I’ve taken as WordPress Editor for Smashing Magazine. If you have any inkling about a different technique that you work in or something within WordPress, I’ll tell you, one of the great articles that I’m editing right now is by a gentleman that is sight impaired. He’s legally blind and he uses WordPress, and he tells us how and actually shares a video, too. So it’s pretty cool in terms of what it is that we’ll do over there.

Smashing Magazine is a huge entity. It gets millions of hits every single month. It’s bigger than all of the other WordPress news sites combined, so if you’d like to get some exposure for yourself and for your work, visit marcuscouch.com/smashing and I will reply back with more information about the opportunity. It is a great way to contribute to the WordPress community, get exposure for yourself, and get paid in the process. Check it out at marcuscouch.com/smashing.

John:                Excellent. Yeah, it’s actually a good deal, folks. I like the articles there. I’m finding more and more of them are appearing in Google Search when I’m searching for information on WordPress now.

Marcus:           Yeah, there’s a lot coming, too.

John:                So that’s actually gonna be nice as more and more information appears there.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                Because the ones I’ve read, they’re really well done, so – and if you’re a writer, submit. You can make a couple hundred bucks, instead of the freebies that are everywhere.

Marcus:           Yeah, it’s not an easy process. I will say that. You get reviewed at least four or five different times before it even appears on the site – and that’s a good thing.

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           Because that keeps you honest as a writer, it makes sure that what you have is worth it —

John:                Mm-hm.

Marcus:           — and there’s a lot of different processes involved. So yeah, by the time it hits the site, it’s actually gone through 10 or 20 different edits at that point.

John:                Well, that would explain why they’re so good in the end.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                All right, well we’ve got – it’s been a while since we’ve had one, but we do have a contest starting this week and it will be going up this week. It is a free license from Foliovision and Foliovision is a plugin that allows you to host your video anywhere. It gives you powers over your videos. You can add…. I’d have to go look through it again, but I can’t remember all the stuff.

Marcus:           Hm. Yeah, it looks like it’s a video player that does embedded ads within it as well.

John:                There we go. Yeah, ads that you can control, HTML overlays – there’s a lot to this. This plugin here, we’ll be doing a review on this plugin in an upcoming show.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                But at the moment it looks to be a fantastic plugin to check out. I don’t have all the details of it, but they are giving away a free one-year license to you our listeners out there. All you’ll have to do to enter the contest is go to wppluginsatoz.com/contests and fill out all the information there to enter the contest. That contest will be running through to the second week of February, so make sure you jump on it and get yourself a free license for this, especially if you run videos on your website. This is a plugin that will help you dramatically, so…

Marcus:           Hm. Yeah, and I’m going to inspect this myself, so look forward to a review on this coming soon.

John:                Yep. Coming soon, folks! Okay, well that brings us up to our next set of plugins and the one I’ve got for you here is another one that was submitted to us by a plugin author. This is called the Podcast Feed Widget Player, and while you might be using Blubrry’s Podcast Player, the podcast thing that I use from Blubrry or you might be using the Feed Player from WordPress, this one here is a little different in what it does.

What it allows you to do is it allows you to go out there and get a podcast. You could either use your podcast or if you wanted to showcase others, go out and get the podcast feed for the podcast, the number you want to display from the feed, the thumbnail, and then the iTunes information on it and the Google Play information. What it’ll do is it will pull in the podcast specific or the unique custom podcast tags, which allows some of the podcasts out there have used them to the max where their artwork changes every time the show plays and it brings in additional custom ID information. I haven’t gotten around to getting that detailed with ours yet, but many of those podcasts do it, so it’s a nice way to display your podcasts and you stick it in the sidebar in a widget.

Very nice, versatile, little podcast feed player widget without having to go through a whole lot of work in your site to display podcasts. Go check it out. It looks to be a very simple plugin. It was submitted to us by Douglas Karr from DKnewmedia.com, so a great little plugin. I give it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Nice! And I am going to put something in the show notes next to that, John. I interviewed Doug Karr —

John:                Oh, did you?

Marcus:           — on a little show that I used to do called Industry Night.

John:                Oh, nice! Okay.

Marcus:           And I have a link that I’m going to put in the show notes where you can hear me and Doug talking about developing in WordPress and all the rest of it. So that’s nice. Thank you! Thank you so much, Doug.

All right, I’m gonna talk about something called Device Detect, and ordinarily I don’t think I’d really care about this kind of thing. However, many of you know that I am doing a day gig right now where I’m working for the largest telecommunications company in North America. Do they do marketing based on device? Oh, yeah.

John:                I would hope so. [chuckle]

Marcus:           Oh, yeah. I mean the cardinal rule is you don’t show people that have iPhones the Android stuff, and vice versa.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           Right? So this is pretty cool because it allows you to detect a device of the user and insert content specifically for those devices within your posts, pages, products – whatever you want to do – and it really restricts what other devices can see. You can show desktop-only stuff, maybe if it’s desktop-only, then you can make it so that, you know, maybe the content is not so optimized. Maybe you want to make it so that the videos play in 4k or whatever it happens to be, that’s the way to do it. So this is a really handy little plugin to sort of identify what device is on your site and changing the content accordingly. It’s called Device Detect and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                That’s pretty cool. The marketing for that is gonna be quite useful. And as I learned a whole lot over the holidays, I had a little extra time not having to work on the show during the holidays and I spent a lot of time getting better at my SEO and understanding Google Analytics in particular for a client that runs a newspaper.

Marcus:           Mm-hm?

John:                And I was watching the traffic and I was amazed watching the traffic flow across. How many? It was 75% mobile versus 25% desktop, and it’s like this sort of thing could allow them to tailor ads.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                Tailor ads —

Marcus:           Absolutely!

John:                — specifically for the mobile devices.

Marcus:           Right!

John:                Increase their ad revenue by hey, we’ve got ads, we can sell to 75% of our visitors come from mobile. We can get your mobile ad right there in front of them, so yeah.

Marcus:           That’s right.

John:                That’s some nice stuff there. Excellent.

Marcus:           Yeah, if you don’t do it already, I always build for mobile first —

John:                Well, I do build for mobile first now.

Marcus:           And then back out into desktop.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           And not the other way around.

John:                You have to do that now, especially since the traffic changed about – what? – it was about two years ago.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                It became even and now it’s about 75% mobile traffic now to a website.

Marcus:           Yeah, which is great because then I can use my little netbook that doesn’t have any resolution anymore to build sites now. [chuckling]

John:                There you go. Excellent. Okay, well this brings us up to the section where we’ve got listener feedback, audio clips. This week we don’t have any but don’t forget you can contact the show, leave information on our contact page, ask us questions, hit the little SpeakPipe button down in the lower right-hand corner, leave us a voice message, and we’ll be happy to respond to those for you. You know, get some free advice. You know, our time is quite valuable, so it’s a way for you to get free advice from us.

And of course, this show is a value-for-value model, meaning if you get value out of it, please give some value back. It helps support the things necessary to run this show, meaning the transcripts that we do, the bandwidth, the hosting – all of that stuff has to be paid for somewhere. And if you’re so inclined, please donate. Anyone $50 or over will get mentioned here in the show. Less than that, we’ll just say thank you very much.

This week here, we would like to thank Jezweb Pty. Ltd., who donated $50 and he left a message here for us:

“This is on behalf of This is on behalf of Lady Bikes International. http://www.ladybikes.org which is a non-profit organisation helping women in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda buy motorcycles to setup [their] courier businesses. It is a neat example of a single page website by Jezweb ( http://www.jezweb.com.au ) built in WordPress.”

And give me half a moment and I’ll get that site up for people to just have a quick look at, because that sounds kind of interesting. I forgot to make the links in the show note properly, but that’s okay.

Marcus:           That sounds like a really great idea: Lady Bikes International.

John:                Yeah. Well, here it comes – loading up – there we go.

Marcus:           Oh, so we’re going to show it to our YouTube audience – oh, very nice!

John:                Very – yeah.

Marcus:           They’ve got biker jackets and everything.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           Awesome.

John:                It’s a single page, so it’s a one-page scroll all the way down to the bottom. Nice!

Marcus:           Yeah, that’s all – it looks like it’s app-driven also.

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           Man, everything’s app-driven. John, soon you and I are gonna be – where’s the WordPress developer app where I just need you to come to their business real quick?

John:                Oh, absolutely.

Marcus:           [chuckling]

John:                That’s a cool site.

Marcus:           All right.

John:                All right, and thank you to anyone who came in under $50. And there are great ways you can support the show by going to wppluginsatoz.com/donate.

Marcus:           Yeah, it’s very important. Please help us out. We don’t try and harp on it, but it is listener-supported. We do depend on your help to, you know, at least make things break even. John and I don’t do this for a living in terms of this show.

John:                No.

Marcus:           You know, it’s pretty impossible to do that.

John:                Well, we tried. [chuckling]

Marcus:           But we do like getting the hosting and the transcriptions and all the rest of it covered, and all the contributions help, so thank you very much.

John:                Yeah, that’s one of the biggest things is trying to get the hosting, transcriptions, and the bandwidth and other miscellaneous things covered.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                All right, well this brings us up to our last set of plugins, and the last couple plugins we have today, the final one I’ve got for you today is called WP Fastest Cache. Now, one of the things I’ve been doing for the last few months, especially running towards the end of the year, is I was doing a lot of SSL conversion and site improvement work across the web for many of my clients, new clients that were coming in and needed that done, etc. And one of the things I wanted to do was I wanted to get better at making websites run faster, and my website was a big example of it.

I think my site was loading at JohnOverall.com was loading like 12 to 16 seconds, which was ridiculously slow. So I went through and I learned a lot, improved, and found specific codes necessary to bring that site down. Of course, speed is one of the major influencers for SEO these days. But a lot you can do manually can only bring your site down so fast, usually within the 3-5 second range and you can’t get much faster than that without some caching.

Now, I had been using WP Comic Cache, which is a good plugin, but it wasn’t always working correctly. It would have issues occasionally. The cache would corrupt – I don’t know what was going on with it. So I started examining other caching plugins and the one that I kept hearing from in particular, I would hear from May Ann over at BlogAid.net, and she talks about this one, so I thought I’d give this one a shot and see how it worked. It’s very easy to use, very easy to set up. It does a really great job of caching, clearing its own cache when it needs to. It has a premium version which allows you some expanded stuff for minifying and other CSS – maybe even get another half a second out of it.

But what I found great with it was it brought my site down to approximately 1.8 to 2.5 second load speeds, which is a dramatic improvement overall for everything I did.

Marcus:           Yeah!

John:                So all in all, a fantastic plugin. It trimmed almost two seconds off of my final load time before I put this in, and it seems to be quite stable. I’ve been watching it now for – I think I’ve had it on my site for four weeks now and I’ve been watching it. The stability has been nice and I’ve started to use it across my clients’ sites to bring their speed down even further. Now, I was never a big one for caching until the last eight months or so when I realized even through you don’t need caching per se for traffic, you need caching now to get your speed down to get your SEO up, because speed is a major ranking factor nowadays. So anyway, go check out WP Fastest Cache, and this one here hit the top mark of a 5-Dragon rating.

[Dragon roar]

That dragon’s loud.

Marcus:           First one of the year, all right!

John:                The dragon’s loud today! [chuckling]

Marcus:           Very good – yeah, it’s a little loud. All right, I am going to close off the first show of the year here with a plugin called Social Booster, and it is pitched as “A helping hand for engaging your social audience and keeping your content alive.”

So what it does is it’s a social media auto-poster and it also does scheduling. So you can make a post and it will automatically publish it to – I believe right now it’s just Twitter and Facebook, and I think that LinkedIn is coming, I think Google+ is coming, and a couple of other ones. I like this because it’s free and there are so many other plugins out there that are not free that do these types of things.

So it automatically publishes your posts out there to social media, it can auto-publish old blog posts so that you can repurpose some of your old content, you can schedule to post later – so if you put your blog post out and then you want it to maybe wait an hour or so until it does that, you can do it. It lets you auto-post and schedule so that you could auto-post the old stuff and schedule new stuff to go. You can have custom message options, white labeled posts – all the rest of it – and the nice thing is it has a log that keeps track of everything that it does so you can monitor the success.

So it is called Social Booster and I rated this a 4 out of 5.

John:                That’s very cool. I like the fact that it allows you to repost some of the old stuff, because I’m currently using a paid plugin for doing the auto-posting, but it doesn’t bring back the old stuff, which is —

Marcus:           Right.

John:                — kind of nice.

Marcus:           That’s why I found this pretty unique.

John:                Yeah, I like that because it’s great if you can repost your old stuff that’s still relevant —

Marcus:           Right.

John:                — and drive traffic back for those things, so yeah, a great plugin.

Marcus:           Yep.

John:                All right, well that closes this episode out. I covered up in this episode the WooCommerce Frontend Manager, which I gave a 4 to; the Podcast Feed Player Widget, which I gave a 4 to; and the WP Fastest Cache, which I gave a 5 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about the WordPress Developer’s Tool, which gets a 4 out of 5; Device Detect, which gets a 4 out of 5; and we just talked about Social Booster, which gets a 4 out of 5.

John:                There we go, a nice roundup of plugins for the new year, everyone. All right, and don’t forget, go check out a few things. Check out our YouTube channel where we’ve got screencasts, training videos, and other miscellaneous things up there. And a note to developers, if you want to support this show, offer up a premium license to give away, go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest, where you can submit your license to us to create a contest around you, where you’ll get a fair bit of promotion around it too, so keep that in mind.

And that’s pretty much it.

Marcus:           All right, first one in the can for 2018!

John:                That’s all we’ve got now. Take care, bye-bye.

[Female speaker] Reminders for the show:

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 john@wppro.ca. Marcus can also be reached through his website at marcuscouch.com or Twitter at @marcuscouch. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

[Outro]

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.

[Child giggling]

 

[End of Audio]

Transcript of Episode 337 WP Plugins A to Z Forced Plugin Updates, WooCommerce Phone Verification, Shortcode Finder, Gravatar Cache, Scheduled Posts and Adding Authors without Adding Users

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 #337 here.


It’s Episode 337 and we’ve got plugins for Forced Plugin Updates, WooCommerce Phone Verification, Shortcode Finder, Gravatar Cache, Scheduled Posts and Adding Authors without Adding Users. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #337

Marcus:           It’s Episode 337 and we’ve got plugins for Forced Plugin Updates, WooCommerce Phone Verification, Shortcode Finders, Gravatar Cache, Scheduled Posts, and Adding Authors Without Adding Users. It’s all coming up next on WordPress —

[Intro]

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, Canada, I’m John Overall.

Marcus:           And with a lot to say and getting cut off by the mix —

John:                Oh, I blew my wad.

Marcus:           [laughing] From Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.

John:                Yeah, one of those things. My finger was hovering over the button and it just barely grazed it and fired it.

Marcus:           Yeah, that’s all right.

John:                That’s all right, that’s all right.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                It makes for an entertaining intro to the show as we start the day off here. All right, well as usual, don’t forget you can get all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com and if you’ve got a couple of minutes, stop in to the Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or the iTunes Store, leave us a review, and subscribe to the show there. And stop in to our iTube – our YouTube channel – where you can check out the show and also some training videos.

Marcus:           That’s right. We’ve got a lot going on. Remember, you can follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz and also subscribe to our newsletter where you can get a lot of the different WordPress news that we don’t talk about on the show. It might not be plugin-related, but WordPress-related in general. That’s where you’re gonna find it by doing to wppluginsatoz.com and subscribing to our newsletter.

John:                Absolutely. And we do have the usual great allotment of six plugins for you here today, so we will start right off into those right off the bat, so off we go.

[Plugins lead-in music]

All right, first up today I have the following plugin. It’s called Forced Plugin Updates. Now, there’s gonna be the occasional time where you’re gonna want an easy way to re-update a plugin that was already recently updated. Now, the most common way to do that is you have to go download the plugin from the Repository or wherever you got it and FTP it back up to overwrite the files.

This plugin makes that job a whole lot easier for you. It goes in there and it sets it up so that you can go in and click a simple button on the thing and it adds a function for you that will force that plugin’s update. Now, why would you want to do this? Maybe you’ve just cleaned up a website that was hacked when the plugins were updated and you want to ensure that those plugins have cleaned files. This saves you that headache.

You just go in and install this plugin, go check off all the boxes and list of plugins, go select under the bulk to update, and it will force the update of the plugins again, even though they were up to date. A very nice plugin, very easy to use, pretty straightforward. God check it out. It’s called Forced Plugin Updates and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Very nice.  Very nice. Well, I want to give a plugin here to people that typically schedule their posts. This is a handy little lazy plugin. What it does – it’s called Hide Publish Button Until Schedule, and what it does is this. It lets you pick the date that you’d like to schedule the post. Great, we’ve all been able to do that all along. The one thing that it does do that the regular function does not do is it won’t let you accidently hit that publish button until that scheduled date has arrived. Now this is great if you’d like to get a scheduled post that you start and you want to make sure that clients or other people don’t hit publish by mistake, this is that nice little safeguard.

It’s a little niche-y. You’ve gotta have a specific reason for wanting to use it. I happen to have a need for it on a site that has multiple user involvement and I didn’t want these things getting out to the public before I was ready, so I installed this. It is called Hide Publish Button Until Scheduled and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Yeah, that’s kind of cool, actually. I like the way that helps you save some headaches. I could actually use it just for myself because there’s been times where I’ve been working on a post and scheduled it, but then I accidently hit publish.

Marcus:           Yeah, and then because of the fact it hits things like RPC, Ping-O-Matic and all those other ones…

John:                Mm-hm.

Marcus:           Got it pinging actual locations at the backend, then you’re in trouble, and that means it reads through your RSS feed, and that means anything that goes through – SS aggregator, like podcasts and all that. Sees it, publishes it, and then delete it or whatever you want to do…

John:                Publish it.

Marcus:           Yeah, that makes you get a 404 error on your website.

John:                Yeah, or it could be worse. You could have some automatic be pushed out to Facebook and other places and then it gets pushed out there. It’s like you draw it back but it’s already out there and now people are banging your 404 error.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                Very nice tool.

Marcus:           This meets all that.

John:                Very, very nice tool. All right, well this show here is sponsored by the following people and/or businesses. Currently sponsored by JohnOverall.com. Finding quality WordPress hosting and support 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 JohnOverall.com.

Twenty years’ experience online, over eight years dedicated to WordPress, JohnOverall.com provides all your web service needs from hosting to WordPress development, repairs, emergency malware removal support, and, well, WordPress hosting. Visit my website at JohnOverall.com or call me at (818) 850-7729 or send an email to john@wppro.ca.

Marcus:           And as we round out the year, I want to say one last time I am the WordPress editor for Smashing Magazine at smashingmagazine.com. It’s one of the biggest web design resources online and I’m looking for folks to write great articles about WordPress. I was very impressed this year, John. I was able to get almost 35 posts from different authors out the door in 2017 and —

John:                That was only half a year, wasn’t it?

Marcus:           — a lot more next year. What’s that?

John:                That was only for half the year, too. Wasn’t it?

Marcus:           Yeah, mm-hm. Yeah, that was six months’ worth, so really, really looking forward to it. I’ve put up a page, marcuscouch.com/smashing, and there’s a nice video there that walks you through the entire process and tells you exactly what it is that’s expected of you. If you want to get exposure, contribute to the WordPress community, and get a couple hundred bucks in your pocket for the effort, check it out for yourself: marcuscouch.com/smashing.

John:                Absolutely, and the articles there are great and you will probably see mine in the new year. I’ve almost got mine rounded out to be ready submit to you.

Marcus:           Great!

John:                All right, well, that brings us up to our next set of plugins and what I’ve got here for you today is I’ve got one called Shortcode Locator. Now, this one here is kind of an important one too if you’ve been doing some redevelopment on a site, you’re changing up a site, you’re removing plugins that might have used shortcodes in the website and replaced them with something better (which is going to happen to you more and more as older plugins aren’t being updated and you have to replace them with something new).

Well, this helps you hunt down those shortcodes in your website and get them eliminated so that when people hit pages, they don’t suddenly see a blank shortcode or a shortcode that just shows there where the information should be showing, making your website look kind of ugly on pages that you might’ve forgotten you created or can’t find. At any rate, it’s a really simple plugin. You plug it in, activate it, and then it goes and creates a list for you on all the posts and pages that you created shortcodes on.

Also, you can have it check into custom post types too to make the job of hunting them down a whole lot easier. Then when you find them, you can go remove them nice, clean, and easy. It does take a little time to work with but a great plugin all round. Give it a checkout. It’s called Forced Plugin Updates and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Very nice, very nice. John, what’s the biggest pain in the butt when it comes to having a guest person post?

John:                Ah…good question.

Marcus:           Well, the answer usually is all the backend stuff they have to do. You have to make them a user, you have to give them a password, you have to do all that stuff. This is a cool new plugin. It’s called Add Authors Not Users, and it does exactly that.

John:                Oh!

Marcus:           You can add a guest author name to posts and pages without the need to add them as a registered user. So what it does is you add the guest author as a – well, you have to add the guest author as a user first, which includes adding their email, making sure they have the right permissions, etc., and then you actually just associate the person to that guest status and it actually adds an author box and all the rest of it to a post where you say that they are the author.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           So, what does that do – okay, so what’s the difference? Yay, you’re adding a user anyway, right? Big deal, BS. You’re full of it, Marcus, right?

John:                [Chuckling]

Marcus:           What this does is it doesn’t add them to things like a site login. It doesn’t give them any sort of privileges. It doesn’t let them author new posts or any of that stuff. It really restricts what they can do as a guest author. So if you use guest posts or guest authors, this is probably the way that you want to go with it. It’s called Add Authors Not Users and I rated it a 5 out of 5.

[Dragon roar…abbreviated, then a full one]

John:                Oop…problems with the buttons today.

Marcus:           There you go.

John:                All right, hey, that’s actually quite nice. I like that idea and as I’ve been considering taking some of the people who’ve offered to be guest authors, this would be a great way to keep them under control.

Marcus:           Mm-hm, exactly. Yeah.

John:                All right. Well, that brings us up here. This show here is a value-for-value model show and in that vein here, we’d like to recognize the donors this week. This week we have from Jezweb Pty. Ltd. — $50 – and this donation from them and the note that he provided: “This donation is on behalf of Newcastle Footwear at newcastlefootwear.com.au, a new WordPress website built by Jezweb in Australia.” And of course we’ve got a slow connection to Australia right now, but that’s all right.

Marcus:           Hm. Well, I want to thank Jeremy and Jezweb for everything that they’ve done throughout the year.

John:                Oh, yeah!

Marcus:           And interestingly enough, all of you developers out there maybe pad in an extra $50 to donate to your favorite show, your favorite WordPress plugin show, and this is the only one, so…[chuckling] that’s gotta be us. And that’s a good practice to get into in the new year, so we hope to get some donations from people in the future. I want to thank Jeremy for all of his support throughout this year.

Just real quickly – I don’t want to dwell on it – but what did we do with the money throughout the year, John? Well, for the most part, let’s see…. I took like $50 of that money and got a Chrome extension that helped promote on Facebook, which it barely works right now. It’s just so outdated and Facebook changes their stuff. The other thing is some of the bandwidth and the hosting that John does.

John:                Mm-hm.

Marcus:           And the third thing is all the transcripts.

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           — and that’s probably – I’d say at least 50% of our expenses is those transcripts.

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           So that’s it! John and I did not go on a European vacation.

John:                [Chuckling] Yeah…no.

Marcus:           We did not buy brand new machines. We are not [laughing] living the life of luxury, so that’s where the money went and hopefully you can support the show and understand that those things have to get paid for either way.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           So wppluginsatoz.com/donate.

John:                Yep, please do. Support the show there. As a side note, dealing with Patreon, I know there’s only like three or four Patreon donors over there. I’m probably going to be pulling down the Patreon account in the new year, especially with the way Patreon keeps flipping and flopping and dealing with their —

Marcus:           Right.

John:                — processing system. It hasn’t been beneficial and plus it hasn’t been used to the maximum way it could be used. So in the new year, I’m probably going to pull that down and any supporters there, if you want to pull your donation, that’s fine. Otherwise, I will end up cancelling it when I close the account.

Marcus:           Okay.

John:                So, it just hasn’t been worth the headache involved. And on another note, the Christmas holidays are upon us, both Christmas and New Year’s this year fall on show days, so we will not be doing the shows on those days – no live shows, no pre-recorded shows. You never know, I might put out a little note here and there just to let everyone – wish everyone Happy Holidays during that time period. But we will not be putting out actual shows during the Christmas holidays, so this is our last show until the new year.

Marcus:           That’s right.

John:                So Merry Christmas to everyone and a Happy New Year.

Marcus:           Absolutely.

John:                All right, this brings us up to our final set of plugins for today, and this one here came about because I follow several Facebook groups, and one of the groups I was in, somebody asked about caching Gravatar images. They had enough comments and other things using Gravatar images. It was giving their site a bit of a slowdown. And then it was asked back and forth, “Well, can’t you just cache them?” and nobody really had an answer. So a quick check from me and sure enough, I figure there has to be a Gravatar cache plugin, and sure enough, there is a Gravatar cache plugin. A really great plugin, really simple to use.

It goes in and if you use Gravatar images on your site, be it in your comment section or even other places where your Gravatar might be appearing – even your author bios and such – this plugin can help save you that .5 of a second speed or load – any of those things there to help your site run faster. Well, that’s always good for your SEO and customer experience. A great plugin; you just go in, install it, activate it. There’s only a couple of small settings to be made in it and then you just have it run the initial cron to cache the plugin and you can tell it how often to run the cron to re-cache the images.

It does seem to help on one site for one of my clients I’ve been working on her Gravatar was used all over it, and it gave me, you know, maybe a quarter of a second of improvement. But hey, it’s still an improvement, and one less call-out to an external resource for that stuff when it’s loading the pages. So give it a check-out. It’s called FV Gravatar Cache and I gave this one a 5-Dragon rating.

[Dragon roar]

Marcus:           Awesome. You know, John, I saw something funny on the screen there.

John:                What’s that?

Marcus:           As you were doing that…I didn’t notice it. This is a new thing, but on the Repository screen that you’re on, it says, “This plugin is not translated into Canadian English yet.”

John:                [Chuckling] That’s new. I haven’t seen that. [laughing]

Marcus:           Canadian English. Why don’t you translate it and just like everything that’s about is aboot

John:                Aboot, eh? [chuckling]

Marcus:           And a sentence with eh?

John:                [Chuckling] That’s actually quite comical.

Marcus:           That – here we go…There’s one problem with Gravatars, eh? [Laughing]

John:                [Laughing] That’ll be we’ve gotta put all the extra Us, too, for all of the things that have an o after them, you know. You know, flavour or – you’ve gotta get the right cheque in there – C-H-E-Q-U-E, you know. All of those sorts of things. [chuckling]

Marcus:           Right. Congratulations to all you Canadians out there for finally getting your own language in the Repository. Good job.

John:                Yeah, that’s comical.

Marcus:           [Laughing] Okay, so the final plugin for me and for the year is called WooCommerce Phone Verification on Checkout, and it is put out by RingCaptcha, and RingCaptcha is a pretty popular phone verification service that’s out there for websites. This does almost the exact same thing. So WooCommerce has no kind of phone verification at all. People can just put in random phone numbers and the business owner can never verify if it’s an actual legitimate order/phone number or not, so this is good for business owners doing a lot of different cash transactions, a lot of deliveries, and those kinds of things. A verified phone number is always tied to each order, so this plugin always helps reduce fraudulent and fake orders since a user and a customer must verify a phone number before they can actually proceed in checkout.

It also has the ability to send SMS notifications whenever somebody places an order. It’s useful for shipping or if you just want to give a thank-you message to somebody; this is a great plugin to do it. It also requires the usage of RingCaptcha, which is a paid service. So I took one point off for that. Otherwise, this plugin, WooCommerce Phone Verification On Checkout, gets a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Anything to help lower the amount of possible fraud on your site is important.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                Especially nowadays.

Marcus:           Yeah. You know, on enough porches even, so you can even get it to the sense where you verify the customer but then they get the package and somebody rips it off. We’ve gotta do something about that.

John:                Oh, absolutely. More packages with exploding dog shit. [slight chuckle] Okay, well that closes out this episode and the plugins I covered here was Force Plugin Updates, which I gave a 4 to; the Shortcode Locator, which I gave a 4 to; and the FV Gravatar Cache, which I gave a 5 to.

Marcus:           And I’ve talked about Hide Publish Buttons Until Scheduled gets a 4 out of 5, Add Authors Not Users gets a 5 out of 5, and WooCommerce Phone Verification gets a 4 out of 5.

John:                All right! And was there something about Green Screen you wanted to throw in here?

Marcus:           Nope…nope, that’s private talk.

John:                All right. Well – and just a last reminder, be sure to go check out the YouTube screencast that goes up later. There may or may not be additional stuff with it today; it depends on how much time I’ve got. And also to developers out there, if you would like to support the show, you can offer up a premium license that we can create a contest giveaway around. Go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest and that’s pretty much everything we’ve got for you. I’d just like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and a Merry Christmas, since we’re probably not going to talk to you over the next couple of weeks, and enjoy your holidays. That’s all we’ve 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 john@wppro.ca. Marcus can also be reached through his website at marcuscouch.com or Twitter at @marcuscouch. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

[Outro]

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.

[Child giggling]

John:                All right, well thank you for listening to the show. This is the last official WP Plugins A to Z podcast for 2017. Although there might be a couple little brief blurbs that’ll come up in the next couple of weeks, just to keep everyone informed of things I’m doing and what’s up, I wanted to take a couple of minutes here just to showcase the relaunch of JohnOverall.com with a new look and a new feel and a new focus going into the new year.

JohnOverall.com, which is of course my business, and it’s focusing on quality WordPress hosting, emergency WordPress support, and WordPress website maintenance, meaning if you’re tired of the same old hosting providers that provides you with limited resources, limited bandwidth, limited etc. and you’re tired of slow loading times or time to first bite being slow, well, talk to me.

I offer limited hosting to everyone – and limited, I mean I limit the number of people I take into my hosting environment. You can contact me to be hosted with JohnOverall.com and if you are in need of emergency WordPress support…maybe you white-screened, you don’t know what’s happening, maybe you have your own VPS and something’s gone wrong and you can’t quite figure out what happened – anything along that line there, I can help sort that problem out for you, get it fixed, get you back up and running in as short a time as possible.

And finally, WordPress website maintenance. WordPress website maintenance that takes the headache away from you of ensuring that your website is kept up to date and current, that it’s kept secure, and that it’s monitored for any unusual changes in that website, plus including offsite backups that are always somewhere else besides the server itself and numerous of those backups so that if something happens to your site, it’s easy to get it back to where it belongs, limiting the amount of data loss, sometimes in many cases, I don’t even lose data when I restore a website that’s hacked.

So anyway, go check out JohnOverall.com for all of those things there and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’s and enjoy your holidays. Thank you very much for listening to wppluginsatoz.com and thank you for your support of this show and your support of me and Marcus throughout the entire year. It has been much appreciated. That’s all we’ve got for you now. Take care, bye-bye.

 

[End of Audio]

Transcript of Episode 336 WP Plugins A to Z Subtitling, Conference Sessions, Admin Sticky Widgets, Event Countdown Timers, User Path Routes and more

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 #336 here.


It’s Episode 336 and we’ve got plugins for Subtitling, Conference Sessions, Admin Sticky Widgets, Event Countdown Timers, User Path Routes and more. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #336

Marcus:           It’s Episode 336 and we’ve got plugins for Subtitling, Conference Sessions, Admin Sticky Widgets, Event Countdown Timers, User Path Routes, and more. It’s all coming up next on WordPress Plugins A to Z.

[Intro]

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 smoky Beachside Bunker in Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.

John:                Yeah, you’re down there near the fires. How close are those fires to you?

Marcus:           Forty miles in every single direction. They literally surround me.

John:                Oh, hey. Like being in the oven, baking and cooking.

Marcus:           [Chuckling] Yeah, so if – put it this way – you would have to go through billions of dollars of property to get to me, so…

John:                Yeah, well. Today, it seems like they have not been doing too bad of a job of doing that.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                Well, at any rate, let’s get going here. And of course, don’t forget right off the top, you can get all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com. And if you’ve got a few minutes, we’d greatly appreciate your time over at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes Store, leaving us a review and subscribing to the show there. We’d really much appreciate it. And you can also take a few minutes to visit at YouTube, where you can catch us live and also there’s some training videos and all of the other shows go up there on a regular basis, so go check us out on YouTube. All of the links are in the show notes.

Marcus:           That’s right. Also remember you can follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz and subscribe to our newsletter. That’s where we keep a bulk of the latest news content and things like that, so check all that out at wppluginsatoz.com

John:                Okay, and this takes us – we’ll just jump right into the show and into the meat and potatoes and everything we’ve got, so off we go.

[Plugins lead-in music]

First up this week here, we have our usual set of six great plugins for you and I’ve got with you the first one called Add Subtitle. Now, the reason for this one here, what it does for you is any theme that you have out there, this is a simple way to add subtitles to the titles of all your posts and pages. And in particular, I’ve got a site that I’ve been working on that had a subtitle system built into its previous theme that we needed to rip out as we were updating and upgrading, and this is a nice, simple plugin to compensate and redo that. But it’s something you could add in at a later time or if you wanted to build a website.

It’s simple in that all you really have to do with it is turn it on, plug it in, play, and just start adding subtitles in there. Now, one caveat I did discover unfortunately is with some of the new themes out there such as N-Fold and others, it stuffs the subtitle underneath the metadata, which would be, you know, the date, time, the author – all that information there, instead of having the subtitle above it. So it might take a little bit of adjustments to cure that problem, but other than that, the plugin seems to work really great, so go give it a check-out. It’s called Add Subtitle, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Very nice. Very nice, indeed. All right, John, this is actually one of these kind of no-brainer plugins. Why should it even need a plugin? This one is called Admin Sticky Widget Areas and if you’re like me, John, you probably have a bunch of different widgets and stuff on the left side that you typically would drag it to. Maybe it goes down pretty far, right? Sometimes those go down really far, way past where the widgets are. So what happens is you end up having to grab one, drag it, wait for the screen to scroll all the way to the top, pray that you’ve clicked it long enough to hold the thing down, and drag it into a specific area.

Well, this plugin does something a little bit differently. What it does is it fixes those widget areas on the right side of the page on the admin area so that they are always in view when you’re scrolling up and down on the left side, trying to find out which widget to add. So it holds – it takes a lot of time away from having to hold the widget, dragging it, dropping it over, you know, a long distance, and then having to finally put it down. So if you’re like me and you’ve got a lot of little inactive sidebar stuff and widgets that you could drag and it’s sometimes a little bit difficult to move that over, check out this plugin, Admin Sticky Widget Areas, and I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very cool! I kind of like how that is gonna hold them in there for you, even if it does add a little bit of time.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                Nice – nice work. All right, well that brings us up here. This show here is sponsored by the following people and/or businesses. Currently sponsored by JohnOverall.com WordPress and Web Services. Finding quality WordPress hosting and support can be a challenge. Well, you can drop all that stress by contacting JohnOverall.com Web Services. We 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 online, over 8 years dedicated to WordPress, JohnOverall.com provides all your web service needs from hosting to WordPress development repairs, and emergency malware removal if such be the case to your site. Visit my website at JohnOverall.com or call me (818) 850-7729 or send an email to john@wppro.ca.

Marcus:           And anybody that listens to this show loves WordPress, loves the inner workings of WordPress, and we might be able to tap that and make something out of it. What do I mean? How about writing for Smashing Magazine, where I’m now the WordPress editor. It’s one of the biggest web design resources online and I’m looking for people to explain what it is that they love about WordPress, tell me their latest tips and tricks, all those kinds of things – lots of different articles that are needed.

Now, what happens? You submit an article to me, it goes through editorial processes, reviews by peers, all that kind of stuff. Eventually, it makes its way to that beautiful website that gets over 6,000,000 unique hits a month and you get a lot of exposure on your end. So if you want more information, go to marcuscouch.com/smashing. It’s where I’ve set up a little video and a form where you can sign up to be an author. So check it out: marcuscouch.com/smashing.

John:                Yeah, it’s very cool. I like the new website they’ve got. It’s a whole lot easier to navigate than it used to be.

Marcus:           Yes, definitely.

John:                And also, they’ve got a great membership package where you can get a whole lot of additional information, too, so you might want to check it out.

Marcus:           Yeah, that’s actually brand new – that membership component.

John:                Yeah, that’s what I understood. But I was checking it out last week after I discovered they changed their website out. Okay, well that brings us up to our next set of plugins. Next up here I have one called WP Widget Cloner, and this one here is a fantastic one, especially when you’re in the process of developing your websites because in that process you’re often using the same widget over and over, only with slight tweaks to adding things. Say you want to have multiple widgets, for example, Facebook or something, but you want to lead it to different Facebook pages, instead of having to drag over a blank one, fill in every item that goes in there, you can just hit the clone button, and then go in and change the one line you need, save it, and you’re done, thereby saving you a few minutes.

This is a really great tool if you’re building out a website or if you’re just updating a website and adding more widgets to it. It’s a great way to get all the additional widgets in there. It’s very easy to use; you plug it in, turn it on, and then you just go to your widgets and there’s a little clone button there. Click it and it clones it and then you just add it. You can even move it to other widget blocks as you need to. Very sweet little plugin – one of my kind of favorite ones – nice, easy, lazy, and it helps you out quite a bit, so of course it gets a 5-Dragon rating.

[Dragon roar]

Check it out: WP Widget Cloner.

Marcus:           Yeah, I love that. And everybody’s always heard me complain about the widget area needing an export and import, and we actually did that review —

John:                Yes.

Marcus:           — not too long ago.

John:                Yeah, the export and import ones are nice, too, especially when you’re changing website.

Marcus:           Mm-hm. All right, so this plugin is very intriguing. It’s called Allowed Routes and here’s what it does, John is if you determine that Page Z can only be seen if you first go through Page X, then Page Y, that’s what this is.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           It basically says, look, if you’re gonna get to Page Z, I’m not going to let you just be able to copy and paste this link and go to this page. So what happens is it gets a 404 or a custom error message if it hasn’t gone through those first two pages or wherever you’ve set up as being the path for that page. Now, that’s pretty cool because what it does is it prevents the backend pages from actually getting indexed, it makes sure that no custom post types add unwanted permalinks, and it’s a very cool thing to make sure that someone goes through a particular path before they see certain content.

A very nice plugin; very specialized, yet if you need something like this, you definitely know that you need something like this. It’s called Allowed Routes and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                This is very sweet and one of the things I see is fantastic for is if you’ve got a particular sales path you want to lead people to —

Marcus:           Right.

John:                — it prevents them from showing up at the end and not seeing the stuff in the beginning, which is very important to it.

Marcus:           Right, exactly.

John:                So yeah, very nice. This is a great way to keep people guided through your site doing the things you want them to do.

Marcus:           That’s right.

John:                Nice! I might have to keep that one in mind as I’m rebuilding my website.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                All right, well this leads us up to – we’ve got some listener feedback this week and some donors. And this week here, listener feedback – well, before we get into that, I want to say hi, Larry. Thanks for showing up and watching us live. Much appreciate. You keep showing up week after week and we greatly appreciate that. And some of the feedback we’ve got this week, got a little email that said:

“Hi guys, thanks for your continuing to do this podcast. It is a great source of information. On the last podcast, Marcus reviewed Facebook Messenger Plugin and commented that everyone uses it. You may want to clarify that you guys are talking about North America. Outside of North America, the picture is very different. I have lived and traveled extensively throughout Latin America and I can tell you that Facebook Messenger is hardly used here. In this part of the world, WhatsApp is king and I wanted to mention this as I assume that you have a lot of international listeners.” And he’s got a link here to go check out how big WhatsApp is. “Anyways, take care, guys and keep up the good work. – JG”

Marcus:           Hm. Well, I can only speak for what I know.

John:                Well, that’s true; we do. We only speak for what we know. But hey, it’s nice that someone helps you point out – we often forget that there’s an entire world of internet, not just North America where a large part of our clients are at.

Marcus:           Sure. Okay, so let me address that even further, which is I speak to that from a business standpoint.

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           And WhatsApp, even though it’s great, doesn’t have the page capability like Facebook does or the setting of a business within it, or those kinds of things. So I would say that WhatsApp is probably lacking in that particular end, I have reviewed WhatsApp integrations in the past, so I know those things are already out there in terms of reviews. But I appreciate the heads-up on that one and know that when I speak, it’s generally of the world that I’m in, so that’s my point of reference for that.

John:                Absolutely. All right, and this week we do have a donor. Thank you very much. We got $50 from Jezweb Pty. Ltd. and this donation is on behalf of Coops Mowing, a WordPress website built by Jezweb in Australia. Visit them at coopsmowing.com.au to see an example of Jezweb’s handiwork. So he built some great websites.

Marcus:           I think that’s Coop’s Mowing.

John:                Coop’s Mowing, oh. Sorry, I’ve been working with some co-ops here and building websites for co-ops, and I see C-O-O-P and it’s co-ops for me. Coops – Coops Mowing, you’re right. My mistake. You know, let me blunder my tongue back under the teeth.

All right, and if you’d like to support the show, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/donate. And you can currently still support us at Patreon although I am considering moving out of that and doing away with Patreon after their debacle over the way they changed their donor system. Now they’re charging the donors a transaction fee, so…

Marcus:           Hm.

John:                It’s kind of – it’s been a bit of a debacle. I know that I had donations going out to Patreons and because they were going to tack on additional costs to it, I just yanked my things there and I’ve contacted them and say, “Hey, you send me a PayPal, I’ll send you the money direct,” thereby saving us both money.

Marcus:           Right. Hm, interesting.

John:                And that’s one of the things that at Patreon I think is going to shoot themselves in the foot with this. But that’s an aside and another aside and a note is that the Christmas holidays are on us. Merry Christmas to everyone out there and since both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on show days, we will not be doing shows at that time. We will return in the new year, possibly on a new day and time though as has been mentioned in previous shows, so go listen to previous shows to find out all about that.

Marcus:           Yep, so this is gonna be our last show for the year right here.

John:                Oh, no. We don’t want more, don’t we?

Marcus:           Oh, yeah, the 18th.

John:                Eighteenth. We got next week. Next Monday will be our last show for the year – next Monday will be the last show for the year.

Marcus:           All right.

John:                So we’ll be here next Monday and then after that, we will be off for two weeks as we enjoy our Christmas holidays with our families.

Marcus:           Sounds good.

John:                Okay, and that brings us to our final set of plugins for the day. And the last one I’ve got for you here is called Countdown for the Events Calendar. Now, the events calendar has become a very popular calendar – they’ve actually become the most popular calendar because they were smart enough to keep it as a calendar and make it easy for everyone to use, and then only charge for the add-ons that people use, versus the other calendar that I like much more than this one until things changed.

But the nice thing about the popularity of this calendar is more and more free plugins are appearing in the WordPress Repository to help you out with it. And this is one that I have seen in specialized themes and it is a countdown timer that’s nicely stylized and allows you to set up a timer for any particular event in the calendar. We currently use it on the WP Plugins A to Z site front page as we count down to each show every week. This was built into the theme, so I couldn’t take it anywhere else.

But the nice thing about this add-on here – this plugin – is that it allows you to create the countdown timer and then insert it anywhere in the website you want with a shortcode, so you don’t lose it with the theme. You can carry it from theme to theme if you decide to change themes, which happens, you know, every couple of years with a lot of people.

All in all, a very great plugin; very simple to use. It works quite effectively and it is stylizable. You can go in there and change the colors on it, change it from a large to a small countdown timer. There is a few tweaks you can do – not a lot, but just enough to make it very stylized. You can add text that will show up when the event starts and you can add text that will show up after the event ends. That way when people show up as it starts or after it ends, they’ll know what it was or a message you might have that says, “Hey, look for our next event.”

At any rate, go check it out: the Countdown for the Events Calendar. A really great plugin and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Very nice, very nice. Okay, I’ve got something at might be a little bit in the same vein. This one is called Conference Scheduler, and I need to update the notes here for you, John.

John:                Yeah, I went to go click that one up and I ended up on the wrong page. That’s okay.

Marcus:           Yeah, that’s all right. If you want to get off that note for just a second —

John:                Yeah…yep, we’ll bail out of there and let you add that in there.

Marcus:           Good. Okay, so Conference Scheduler is pretty cool. It allows you to easily manage and display complex session schedules for conferences and similar events. It allows you to basically have a clean, searchable, responsive interface. It shows different classes and different sessions that you’ve got going on. So if you’ve got something I guess similar to like a WordCamp or something like that and you add different sessions into a site, this is definitely the way to do it.

So what it does is it gets the information about each session, a session ID code, time, location, description, who the presenters are, presenter bio, and a limit if there are limits to how many people can actually sign up and attend. So it’s a really, really nice, clean interface, very cool kind of a responsive tile, like a masonry layout for all the sessions and things, and this one is a winner in my book. I love this plugin; it’s got everything that you need in terms of setting up an event, taking care of any of those particular sessions or think conferences, whatever it is that you put together that you want to sync up, and this does it magically and wonderfully. It is called Conference Scheduler by Shane Warner and I give this one a perfect 5 out of 5.

[Dragon roar]

John:                Very cool! I found it.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                They’ll get a little peek at it before we wrap it up here. All right, well that wraps it up here. In this episode I covered up the – brain cloud – and after the brain cloud, we got the Add Subtitle, which I gave a 4 to, the WP Widget Cloner, which I gave a 5 to, and the Countdown for the Events Calendar, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I covered Admin Sticky Widget Areas, which gets a 4, Allowed Routes, which gets a 4 out of 5, and we just talked about Conference Scheduler, which gets a 5 out of 5.

John:                All right, and that wraps it all up for today. And just a couple of reminders, be sure to check out the YouTube screencast that goes up later. I don’t know if I’ll add anything to it today, but hey, it’s a great way to catch up with the show. Also, a note to developers: if you’d like to support the show and you would like to offer up a premium license to give away, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest and remember to stop in on the YouTube channel just to check out our training videos and other miscellaneous videos we have there.

Marcus:           All right.

John:                And that’s all we’ve got for you 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 john@wppro.ca. Marcus can also be reached through his website at marcuscouch.com or Twitter at @marcuscouch. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

[Outro]

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.

[Child giggling]

John:               All right, time for the post-show wrap-up. Well, post-show, maybe. This week here, well, we’ll take a couple of minutes here and think about it. I’ll get right back. No, that’s a wrap for today’s show. We’re not going to add on anything additional. Running into some issues here that I really have to solve, but thanks a lot for listening to the show. Much appreciate. I look forward to talking to you next week. Have yourselves a good show. Take care, bye-bye.

 

[End of Audio]

Transcript of Episode 335 WP Plugins A to Z Christmas Displays, REST API, Car Dealerships, User Migration and Facebook’s Customer Chat

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 #335 here.


It’s Episode 335 and we’ve got plugins for Christmas Displays, REST API, Car Dealerships, User Migration and Facebook’s Customer Chat. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #335

Marcus:           It’s Episode 335 and we’ve got plugins for Christmas Displays, Rest API, Car Dealerships, User Migration, and Facebook’s New Customer Chat. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A to Z.

[Intro]

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, Canada, I’m John Overall.

Marcus:           And from the sunny shores of Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.

John:                And we have the usual fantastic show for you here today and of course, right off the top, don’t forget all the show notes can be found over at wppluginsatoz.com. And if you’ve got a few minutes, we’d greatly appreciate your time over in the iTunes Store, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, subscribing to the show and leave us reviews there. They really help us out a bit. Also, go check us out on YouTube where you can find us live and find screencasts and training videos and other miscellaneous pieces as they appear.

Marcus:           That’s right. Hey, also remember, we are pretty active in social media. So if you’ve got a question, a comment, anything like that that you want to talk to us about, you can follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz. We’ve also got a very thriving Facebook page which you can search us on Facebook. And remember, a lot of the meat of the show that we don’t get to in terms of news and other information is available on our newsletter, which you can subscribe to at wppluginsatoz.com.

John:                All right, and with that, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.

[Plugins lead-in music]

And today we are reviewing our usual great lineup of six great plugins and right off the top first off, I have some Christmassy plugins for you – well, a couple of them here today. The first one here being today is called Christmas Calendar by CMobile, and this plugin here is to help you build and an Advent-type calendar into your website where you can offer up something new every day leading up to Christmas. I imagine there’s a possibility to use this in other ways, too. But it’s Christmastime, so we’re talking about an Advent calendar.

You can create specific landing URLs for each date on here, leading to a special offer or a special of some sort. They do have a premium of this plugin, which will allow you to expand it out a bit further and you can have dynamic URLs with the premium version. You can add in QR codes and the ability to create your own custom coupons with specialized messages on that – even have some stats to see how things are going.

Basically, it looks like a really good, interesting plugin that may help you improve your sales during the Christmas season or just showcase something fun and entertaining for the Christmas season for people who are visiting your website. Anyway, go check it out. It’s called Christmas Calendar by CMobile and I give it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           I know how I could make this a 4-Dragon rating.

John:                Okay.

Marcus:           Can it go beyond the Christmas holidays?

John:                I don’t know.

Marcus:           Can I use —

John:                That was a thought that I didn’t get into digging into testing, but I was wondering if it could be done that way, because then you could use it in numerous other ways.

Marcus:           Sure! Countdowns to a product launch —

John:                Mm-hm.

Marcus:           You know, you could have special videos every day with little snippets or things like that. You could have a Deal of the Day.

John:                Oh, yeah!

Marcus:           All that stuff. You could have like a special month like, you know, one big holiday here in America is Chevy Truck Month…

John:                [laughing]

Marcus:           [chuckling]

John:                I thought that was just a big holiday doing taxes.

Marcus:           Different trucks…you know, this has got some potential as promotional item in another way. I never really thought about an Advent calendar with in WordPress, but it’s actually a great idea.

John:                Yeah, it’s got its uses. It just – you know, since it’s at its basic right now, it’s a brand new plugin. You know, they could expand it out and turn it into something very viable for multiple uses.

Marcus:           Nice! Okay, so one of the things that I like to do is look at different niches that you can get into as a WordPress developer or WordPress designer. And one of them that’s very big is a car dealership. Now, a lot of the bigger vehicle places – you know, big, huge car dealerships – they’ve got their own thing and a lot of them even have their own internet department where they’ve got many different people. But there are those occasions where you can get some small, family-owned lot, used car lots, or anything like that, and you might be able to get some work from it. A lot of these people rely heavily on things like Craigslist and Facebook ads and all of that, and it’s a great way to sell cars.

John:                Mm-hm.

Marcus:           So I want to talk about this plugin. It’s called JS Vehicle Manager and it gives you the ability and the functions to completely build your own car dealership site. It’s not a theme; it’s a plugin, and it’s really customizable. You could put in a lot of different kinds of cars, a lot of their features, and you could do vehicle comparisons of them all. It’s really nice. It does everything that you would expect in terms of the custom fields, like how many miles is on the car, what kind of engine does it have, the colors – all of those things that are all searchable.

It also has a lot of different statistics that you can use to track and talk about the things, and it has a section for tons and tons of photos. Really, really nice in the way that it works. It’s brand new and really, it’s in development at this point. There is a pro version for it as well. I have not seen what that pro version can do; I’ve just looked at the demo and one of the actual themes that they package in with the demo, but it looks pretty nice. It’s called JS Vehicle Manager – Run your own car dealership – and it’s rated 4 out of 5.

John:                Yeah, that’s very nice. The theme the package with it looks pretty decent, so…

Marcus:           It is! Cool.

John:                If you’re looking to build it out, I know a couple of small car lots here in town here and they do depend heavily on the Used Victoria, Craigslist, and the other areas, and this would help them redirect them back to their website.

Marcus:           Exactly! So here’s what you can do if you’re not sure about this and if the pro version is a little bit expensive, and maybe you don’t want to get into it – I don’t even know how much this plugin costs as far as the pro version. I didn’t really look. But show them the demo. Go to a car dealership and say, “Hey, man. You got a second? Let me show you something on my laptop. Let me show you something on my phone. What do you think about this? Would you like to have a site like this? I can put it together for you to look just like this.” That’s all you gotta do.

John:                Yeah, it’s pretty nice and you could definitely get yourself into a niche market.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                All right, well with that being said here then, we dive into and let you know that this show is sponsored by the following people and/or businesses. Currently sponsored by JohnOverall.com WordPress and Web Services. Finding quality WordPress hosting and support 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 online and over 8 years dedicated to WordPress, JohnOverall.com provides all your WordPress needs from hosting to WordPress development, repairs, and emergency malware removal. Visit my website, JohnOverall.com, or call me (818) 850-7729, or send an email to john@wppro.ca.

Marcus:           And anybody listening to this show, you’ve got just a love for WordPress. We know it, because if you’re into plugins and you’re listening to a plugin podcast, you might as well open the vein. You’re already hooked! Well, if you want to show off exactly how hooked you are and some of your expertise, remember, I am now the WordPress editor over at smashingmagazine.com, one of the biggest web design resources online, and I’m looking for folks to write great, awesome articles about WordPress – different things that you can do.

Now, what do you get in return? You get a lot of exposure for your work, yourself, and you get a few hundred bucks for the effort. If you’re interested, go to marcuscouch.com/smashing, fill out the form, watch the video, and it will reply back with more information on how to get started. It’s a great opportunity to contribute to the WordPress community, get exposure, and get some scratch too for your wallet – not a bad deal. Check it out: marcuscouch.com/smashing.

John:                Absolutely. It’s a great deal. It looks like Smashing Magazine launched a new website.

Marcus:           That’s correct! A lot of new things coming around the bend for Smashing Magazine and there is a membership component to it as well now.

John:                Oh, sweet! All right. Well, make sure you go check one out, folks. Highly worthwhile. All right, well that takes on to our next set of plugins here, and what I’ve got here for you today is one that I found brand new in the Repository. It’s called Rest Manager and what it does for you, this plugin – the use of it is not explained very clearly in their description, so as I dumped it in to give it some exam and check it out, it appears one of the things it can do is help you speed up your WordPress website by filtering out which plugins can use which routes in the API.

It looks like it could be of benefit but one of the biggest things I’ve found with it is you’re going to have to up your knowledge of the REST API and all the multiple routes and things you can do with it. It’ll go through – and when you’re setting it up, you can choose which REST API route it can use and then which plugin to use those routes, and how it can be done. Now, I don’t have a full knowledge on how this works, but it’s something that I’ll probably little by little dig into, now that I’ve discovered it.

It looks like it could be of benefit to help you with your website but you will have to spend a fair amount of time researching and understanding all the things that go into this and what you could do. It does look like something that could quickly make a mess of your website if you assign plugins to the wrong spots or tried to tell them to do things that they shouldn’t do, so it could make a big mess of it so you want to be careful if you use this plugin. But if you’ve got the knowledge, give it a check out. It might be of something for you to use. It’s called the Rest Manager plugin and I give it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Not too bad. All right, okay. So one of the new things – if you’ve been listening to the show a while, you know that in the last year I’ve been on this kind of kick about chatbots and RPA, which is robotic process automation. Well, one of the new things that I’ve been doing is playing around a lot with Facebook Messenger, and just about every website that I build nowadays has a Facebook Messenger component built into it, because let’s face it, that’s the platform, right? Everybody’s got that on their phone now, they’re always looking around, they’re always using Messenger, and this is a great thing to use.

So this customer chat actually takes advantage of something that the plugin actually takes advantage of a brand new technology from Facebook. It’s called Customer Chat. Facebook is obviously trying to build up their chatbot, a Messenger-type service for different businesses. Why? Because that’s their platform. They want businesses to come in and advertise. That’s just the nature of it. So they’re going to start building more and more tools for businesses to take advantage of the different things like customer chat.

So, how do you take advantage of it in WordPress? Well, this is the first plugin that I’ve seen that can do it and it integrates pretty well so far. So there are a lot of different things that you can do in terms of options and all that. But a chat is chat; you guys all know exactly what that does and this allows you to do that. I am putting a link in our show notes that has a link from the Messenger developer’s blog post that talks about this brand new beta, which is the Facebook Customer Chat. Really cool plugin and I rated this one a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very cool! It looks like something quite interesting to use. I’m gonna have to start adding that into my website and get it built up since I’m relaunching JohnOverall.com in the new year.

Marcus:           Yeah, now I will say the reason that I want to use Messenger so much is because Facebook is actually very open source in terms of how this particular entity runs.

John:                Hm.

Marcus:           And it runs with ManyChat, which is the thing that I use to program a lot of bots, so it’s kind of got a lot integration in it already.

John:                Hm, well it’s definitely something to dig much deeper into.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                All right, well that brings us up to we’re talking about some listener feedback, audio clips. We like listener feedback and you can leave listener feedback on our contact page at wppluginsatoz.com or through SpeakPipe by going to the website and going to the lower right-hand corner and clicking the SpeakPipe, or you can send us an email through our contact form page.

So this week here, we finally got a little bit of feedback from someone on the show and from a listener who has stopped listening, according to his email. I’m pretty sure for a long time I’ve come across as arrogant and tended to take things a little bit personal. Well, that is and has been changed in my life. He suggested that we were begging a bit too much on the show and as we wanted a value-for-value model, it does tend to sound that way. We are done with that though. He made some suggestions on how the reviews could be improved by talking about the code, the install base, or the update cycles.

But I myself have always felt that this was not necessary. What is important about a plugin is how easy it is to use. Does it solve a problem and can you make money with it? Well, I had a couple of back-and-forth emails with him and while the feedback much appreciated, Jay, and I hope your SEO business does well. So anyone else want to leave us some feedback, please dump it in, send it to us. We’ll be happy to talk with you about and get some emails back and forth, and even present a little bit of it here.

Marcus:           You know, I want to talk about one thing though.

John:                What’s that?

Marcus:           Which is our reviews style. Now, we try and plan this show out so that the things that we talk about, it doesn’t matter that you’re listening to Show 335. You could easily be listening to Show 235 and it should have the same relevance to you in terms of the plugins.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           So that’s why we don’t talk about versions. We may say it’s a brand new plugin or something like that, but we want it to be left to you. If you blindly install plugins just because we talk about it, you’re kind of dumb as a developer. I don’t want you to do that. I want you to look at it for yourself to put it on a test server, put it on a staging site. Make sure that it works there, which is where you should be doing all your tinkering and your development. You should be doing it in a workshop environment, not on a live client site. That’s the biggest mistake I see all the time.

John:                Absolutely. Even I don’t do that.

Marcus:           So understand that. We can’t get too deep into the weeds when it comes to this type of review style.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           We want to make it short and sweet. Could John and I do a four-hour show talking about plugins?

John:                Absolutely!

Marcus:           Sure! Anybody like that? Maybe two? I don’t know. Who knows? But that’s kind of why we do what we do.

John:                Yep. But some of the other feedback we’ll definitely take into consideration.

Marcus:           Put it in the circular file.

John:                Ah, not entirely.

Marcus:           [laughter]

John:                Some of it I kind of, you know, “Okay, some of it. All right. I’ll work with it a little bit and see what we can do.”

Marcus:           All right.

John:                All right, well this week also, we just want to let you folks know we did have a good donor this week. We got it from Jezweb Pty. Ltd. I want to thank them for their generous donation of $50 this week and the donation is on behalf of Hotel 75 in Newcastle, Australia, who are Jezweb WordPress website clients. Check them out at hotel75.com.au.

Marcus:           Nice!

John:                So thanks a lot and we greatly appreciate it, Jez. Very much appreciate all your support of the show that you have been giving us for about the last 18-20 months. Much appreciated.

Marcus:           Absolutely. It looks like a really nice website, too.

John:                It is. It’s quite nice. And if you would like to support the show, please head over to wppluginsatoz.com/donate or go on over to our Patreon page and support us there.

Marcus:           Great.

John:                All right, this brings us to the last couple of plugins we have for today. And the last one I’ve got for you, another Christmas plugin, and this is one that you use on your website to give out some Christmas greetings and cheer. This plugin here, say Merry Christmas to your visitors and provide them with a discount if you’d like. It has integrations into WooCommerce and so you can offer up sale promotions or coupons with personalized messages. Just another great way of, you know, sharing the Christmas spirit and, you know, helping folks out and encouraging them to spend money on your website.

So go check it out: Christmas Greetings and I give it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           You know, these things are actually nice too to bring to your clients.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           Or you put on your own business site, because it’s already prefab, pre-done – the graphics are done, it does fancy little animations and stuff.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           And it’s relatively easy to implement. And most importantly, to take off —

John:                Oh, yeah.

Marcus:           — when it’s done.

John:                That’s it. Put ‘em on real quick. You know, showcase it a little bit and then poof, done with the season.

Marcus:           Yeah. Very nice. Okay, so finally I’m going to talk about a plugin that you can also use as a designer or developer that will allow you to kind of convince your client to migrate from other sites. It’s called Migrate Users and it’s a very simple plugin. It helps you migrate users from any other system into your WordPress website with just a few clicks. You basically import the user file from a CSV. You then map the fields from your file into the plugin and it actually gives you a sample file that you can start off with and map your fields directly into Excel or Google Sheets or whatever you use.

The great thing is actually you could update existing users. When you export the users, you could actually import them back in with new values. Maybe you want to edit them offline or add different stuff to them. You can do that. There is a complete error log for the entire import process and it’s very, very easy to actually import the users and automatically send them that reset password link that you’ll often get when you sign up for a new account.

Very cool – it’s very easy to use. It’s called Migrate Users and I gave it a 4 out of 5.

John:                That’s kind of cool. That would be quite useful for bringing people from other platforms into WordPress.

Marcus:           Sure! And it works on massive scales, too because things like MailChimp or Constant Contact or even click funnels or any of those things, they don’t necessarily integrate right back into your site. So when somebody subscribes, it doesn’t add them in as a user, so this may be a good thing to actually enter and do a monthly export and maybe enter some new users into the system, give them a welcome email, “Hey, we want you to participate in the site.”

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           “…or participate in the store,” or whatever it happens to be, so this is a great plugin to start that off.

John:                Absolutely. That’s pretty nice. All right, well closing out this episode, I covered up the Christmas Calendar by CMobile, which I gave a 3 to; the Rest Manager, which I gave a 3 to; and then the Christmas Greetings, which I gave a 3 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about JS Vehicle Manager, which gets a 4 out of 5, Facebook Customer Chat gets a 4 out of 5, and the same 4 out of 5 rating for the latest plugin we just talked about, Migrate Users – 4 out of 5.

John:                All right, and as a couple of final reminders, one thing I’d like to do is I’d like to thank the listeners out there that supported me through Movember and donated to the Movember campaign. Thank you very much. You helped me raise over $365 this year and that money goes to help raise awareness of men’s issues and men’s health issues, and all kinds of things about the men’s world. So thank you very much for your support and that greatly appreciated.

And also, take a few minutes and drop on over to our YouTube channel. Check out the extended screencasts, our training videos, and more. And if you’re a developer in WordPress and you’d like to get yourself some more promotion, drop in to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest and leave all the information there to share one of your premium licenses and we’ll build a contest around that and showcase it to all our listeners.

Marcus:           That’s right, yeah.

John:                I guess that’s it. That’s all we’ve got for you 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 john@wppro.ca. Marcus can also be reached through his website at marcuscouch.com or Twitter at @marcuscouch. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

[Outro]

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.

[Child giggling]

 

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