Draft template – Transcript of Episode 325 WP Plugins A to Z

All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of Marcus and John’s discussion of the weekly plugins we have reviewed.

WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #371 here.


It’s Episode 371 and we’ve got plugins for Content Redirects, Plugin Notes, Conversion Tracking, Custom Author Profiles and Read-Only Admins. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #371

Marcus:           It’s Episode 371 and we’ve got plugins for Content Redirects, Plugin Notes, Conversion Tracking, Custom Author Profiles and Read-Only Admins. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-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 great show for you today but right off the top, don’t forget you can get all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com. And if you’ve got a couple of minutes, we’d greatly appreciate your time over at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes Store, leaving us a review and hopefully soon, we will be up on Spotify.

Marcus:           Yeah, I want to say to the audience, you’re slacking when it comes to iTunes. We had one review in the last year.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           One – one.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           You are slacking, people – slacking.

John:                And that’s where the majority of our listeners come from.

Marcus:           Yeah, so if you’re listening to us and you download this podcast in iTunes or the Apple Podcasts, or whatever they’re calling it these days, stop right now, pause the show, go to our page, give us a review. That’s the price of admission for today’s show. Go do it.

John:                There you go.

Marcus:           All right, next, you can check out all of our training videos, screencasts, watch us live, all the stuff on YouTube, and watch us live at noon the first of every month, and that’s actually next week, so be prepared. Come on, join us. Ask us some live questions. We’ll be happy to talk to you.

You can follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz and also while you’re at our website, subscribe to our newsletter. That’s where you’re gonna find special discounts on items, you’re gonna find all the latest WordPress news, security bulletins – all that kind of stuff. It comes out every single week on Thursday. You’ve got no excuse. You need to get our newsletter; that’s where we talk about all the other stuff because on this podcast we talk about plugins.

John:                Absolutely, and with that being said, let’s jump right into the meat and potatoes.

[Plugins lead-in music]

Okay, first up this week I have a couple of plugins coming up that are replacement plugins. The first one here is called rw Quick Page and Post Redirects. Now, this is a replacement plugin for the Quick Page Post Redirect plugin. And one of the reasons for this is if you’ve had a website online for any length of time, being anywhere from two to five to seven years (which one of my clients I’ve been working with for several years now), we’ve got quite a few plugins there that we used way back when we built it.

But of course as time goes on, some of the plugins you like and you use that are really stable are getting older – three, four years old, they haven’t been updated in a while, they’ve got a couple of glitches. They’ve been abandoned. Well, you’ve got a choice: you can either redo the plugin yourself and upgrade it or go look for a replacement. And I’m noticing more and more and it’s something I’m actually doing myself; I’m hiring a small developer to help me do this is to take some of these old, abandoned plugins, fork them, update them, and re-upload them and use them to give away for people.

Now this one here, the rw Quick Page and Post Redirects plugin, this is a direct replacement for the Quick Page Post Redirect plugin. The author of the rw one, he took and forked the original one, used the original data – the original data blocks in WordPress, so this is a really simple replacement if you happen to have been using that plugin. You just deactivate the old one, reactivate the new one – all your data is still intact and in the same places except for it works a little better. It’s smoother, the bugs have been fixed in it and it’s a really great replacement plugin. So go check this out: the rw Quick Page and Post Redirects plugin.

If you don’t need it as a replacement and you just want something that’s a quick redirect plugin, this one here, what it does for you, it allows you to create 301 redirects quickly and easily directly from your post or page if you’re gonna redirect them, or you can create a list. You can also import a list that’s pipe delimited and insert that whole list of redirects into your site. A whole lot of nice, simple ways to do the redirects on your page and posts. So go check it out and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Awesome – that’s nice. All right, the first plugin I’ve got out of the gate is called Sys…ah, easy for me to say. It’s called Simple Custom Author Profiles and it actually simplifies the process of adding custom information to a user or an author account. It allows you to add custom fields to a user’s edit page without all kinds of crazy advanced custom field stuff or anything like that. It’s really easy. The new fields are automatically included in the user edit page once they are created and easily inserted into WordPress template files.

So if you’ve got multiple authors or you want to jazz up your own author profile, this really helps to improve kind of the off-the-shelf stock WordPress author page that is out there. It’s called Simple Custom Author Profiles and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                That’s kind of nice! That’s similar to the plugin I covered up in that last episode or the episode before.

Marcus:           Yeah, actually. That’s what inspired me to bring this one.

John:                Yeah, absolutely. A great plugin. Okay, and this show here currently brought to you by…

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And we do have a contest currently running until the end of the month, only another week to enter it, and it is a premium licensed version of the WP Nearby places plugin. They are offering up the free license – thanks a lot, Al. We greatly appreciate your donation to the show, and WP Nearby Places is a great plugin that helps you use Google Maps to showcase all your neighboring businesses. A really useful tool. I’ve experimented with it a little bit and I’ve found it to be quite fun. And if you’re looking to just buy it right off the bat, use the coupon code FLASH and get 25% off.

And all the contests that are done by WP Plugins A to Z are powered by the Simple Giveaways plugin. Thank you to them for giving us a pro version of the plugin to power our contests.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                It’s a really great plugin. It works great.

Marcus:           Yeah, I’m gonna actually either ask them to let me have a license or I’m gonna buy that one myself for my own new podcast – yeah.

John:                It’s cheap; I bought one for a client of mine who wanted to do it and I was like, “Here’s the plugin for you,” so yeah.

Marcus:           What is it? Like $20, $30 bucks?

John:                Yeah, it was $30. It wasn’t that expensive.

Marcus:           Huh!

John:                I can’t remember now — $30 to $40 – somewhere around in there.

Marcus:           Good.

John:                It’s a good license and the plugin has got a lot of useful tools. They do have a free version if you just need limited amounts, you know.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                They do have a free version of the plugin. The pro version just gives you more features.

Marcus:           Yeah, I want to find a giveaway thing that also not only just has somebody sign up —

John:                Mm-hm?

Marcus:           — but you have to do things. Like you’ve got to tweet it out, you’ve got to do – you know, you’ve gotta link to it or whatever. You know?

John:                No.

Marcus:           I’ve been in those kinds of things but anyway…

John:                There are plugins to do that, too.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                To enter the contests you must send this tweet before you’ll get the page that allows you to enter.

Marcus:           Exactly – or however many tweets you get and retweets you get, then that’s how many entries you get.

John:                Oh, the plugin does that.

Marcus:           Oh, it does?

John:                Yeah, this plugin here, it gives them a unique URL code that if they retweet it all out, they get additional entries into the contest.

Marcus:           Oh, excellent. Okay.

John:                And then you can —

Marcus:           It just might be the one I’m looking for.

John:                — you can set the number of entries they get. Like if the tweet it out, they can get one entry or if they tweet it out, they can get five additional entries.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                So you can set any number you want.

Marcus:           Hm.

John:                But it’s like anyone who retweets our contests to refer people, they get an additional entry into the contests.

Marcus:           Oh! A secret for all of you contest people out there.

John:                There you go. And I guess we should talk more about that with the contests. I seem to have forgotten that feature.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                We will do that in future shows.

Marcus:           Great!

John:                All right, well this brings us up to our next set of plugins here. The next one I’ve got is another replacement plugin. This is Plugin Notes Plus, and this one here is to replace a plugin called Plugin Notes. And what this plugin does for you, if you work on multiple websites such as myself, sometimes I’ll install a plugin on a website and I’ll come back to it and I’ll say, “What did I install that for? Because I can’t remember it.” It was something one-off for that site.

Well, what this plugin does is it allows you – it creates a column in your plugin list and you can create notes there and write down what you put that plugin in there for.

Marcus:           Hm!

John:                What it does, why you created it, what it’s there for. I did this for a client of mine who wanted to know what all the plugins were and we were using the Plugin Notes plugin, and that plugin now is four years since it’s been updated and it’s starting to have a little bit of glitchiness and starting to have problems with PHP 7.1, so I needed to replace it. And I found this one here, which while not in the exact match, was close enough to – it still gave me the plugin notes in the same or similar format, which is what I needed. So it’s a really great plugin. Go check it out: Plugin Notes Plus and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Very nice! All right – boy, there’s a lot of cool plugins in this podcast and I’m gonna continue with that roll. One of the biggest gaps besides the shopping cart (which we talked about last week for WooCommerce) is conversion tracking. There’s a huge gap. If you want to use your own JavaScript or use a tag manager or things like that to integrate into your analytics tracking, really you have almost no out-of-the box tracking when it comes to WooCommerce. You don’t have variations as far as cart, what items are put in the cart, what’s checked out, what order confirmations are, or things like that. You have nothing out of the gate.

Well this plugin, Conversion Tracking for WooCommerce, actually fills that gap for you. It allows you to set different variables on URLs that represent the cart, the checkout, and the order confirmation, so that you can track every single stage of your website in terms of the e-commerce stuff. That’s huge, because if you can’t test it, you can’t improve it. That’s just the way that it goes.

John:                Absolutely.

Marcus:           So check this one out if you do any sort of e-commerce on a heavy basis and you get into tracking and analytics and things. This is the tool for you. It is called Conversion Tracking for WooCommerce and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

[Dragon roar]

John:                There’s a useful tool for figuring out what they’re putting in their cart, what they’re checking out with, and what they’re taking out of their cart.

Marcus:           Mm-hm.

John:                You know, why do they take it out of their cart? Was it too expensive? Did they not like it? Not the color? Hey, good – good information. You can enhance your site.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                Okay, and of course the show, we love listener feedback. We’re always looking for it and if you would like to get some listener feedback featured here on the show, reach out to us via our Contact page, SpeakPipe, leave us a message, email us direct. All the links are in the show notes for that. Reach out to us through our social media: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. All of those areas there, we do try to reach back out at you through the social media, and if not, we’ll definitely get it into the show and answer questions for you. A great way for you to get some expert advice and not cost you any money, so leave us some feedback, folks. We’d really appreciate it.

And this show, value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give some value back. And because of that, we like to acknowledge when people give us $50 or more by reading out the note they give us and leaving them links in our show notes. Also, those below $50 are left anonymous, mostly because well, $50 is the break-even point.

And a big thank you to all our donors out there and we really appreciate your help with the show. And if you’d like to support the show, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/donate to support the show. Lots of ways there you can donate to the show.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                And our final set of plugins today is the last one I’ve got for you here is called Better Click to Tweet, and this is the free version of it, and it is a great plugin that makes it easy for your visitors to tweet out your content with a pre-prepared tweet. You write out the tweet, you put the hashtags in there that you want to go out, and all they have to do is two clicks away from sending out the tweet.

They click it, it pops up the Twitter window, they verify it, and it’s gone – provided they’re signed into their Twitter, which most people are on their computers anyway. So a really great tool. If you get the premium version of it, it gives you the ability to customize the tweet you’re going to send out, the way it looks on your site, to turn it into a block, give it colors, make it stand out more against your content.

We currently use this plugin on wppluginsatoz.com and I use it regularly to send out the tweets of when a show goes live. I go in there and click it to send out a tweet, so it’s a really great tool. It makes it easy, helps encourage people to tweet out your content to get it out there more than it normally is. Check it out: Better Click to Tweet, and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Very nice! If you’re gonna use that, make sure you have them @youruserID, too —

John:                Oh.

Marcus:           — so that you can tell.

John:                This automatically does that.

Marcus:           Beautiful!

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           All right. Okay, I’ve got a very unique plugin to end the show with here and then the month. It is called Readministrator. It is short for Read Only Administrator. It sound kind of weird, but when I describe it you’re gonna be like, “Ah, that makes perfect sense.” So what this does is it allows users to get a “readministrator” role – not an administrator role, but a readministrator. In other words, they can just see things – no editing is allowed by this particular access level.

So these users have all the privilege of editors but they don’t have the ability to do anything with them at all. So they can see all of the admin settings, they can do a full audit, they can look at all the plugins, all the posts, all the themes – all that stuff. They just can’t change anything. Now this is perfect for any of those times that you want somebody to look at something to see if there is an error or something like that and you don’t necessarily want to give them edit access to the site. This is great – and by the way, clients, too. Don’t let them change things but let them see everything.

John:                Yep!

Marcus:           That’s a great way to do it. It’s called Readministrator and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.

[Dragon roar]

John:                Now this could be a very useful tool. I like it.

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                I definitely like it. It’s a great way to get things to work properly.

Marcus:           Yeah – without having clients interfere and change things.

John:                All right, well that closes out this episode of the show and I am closing out with rw Quick Page and Post Redirects, which I gave a 4 to; Plugin Notes Plus, which I gave a 4 to; and Better Click to Tweet, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about Simple Custom Author Profiles, which gets a 4 out of 5; Conversion Tracking for WooCommerce gets a 5 out of 5, and Readministrator gets a 5 out of 5.

John:                Okay, and a couple of little quick reminders. For those of you that live in Victoria or here on the island. If you’re interested, we’ve got a Victoria WordPress Meetup group. Our first meeting is September 5th, so that’s like a week and a half away now. The sessions are going to be recorded and hopefully we will get them live up on YouTube at the same time. I will be doing two sessions; one session for how to install WordPress correctly and get it all set up and another session on how to set up Yoast SEO plugin and have it configured correctly from the get-go. And there’ll be more of these sessions from WordPress Meetup. We’re going to be having them once a month all the way throughout the rest of the year and into the next year. Go check it out at the Victoria WordPress Meetup group. If you’re a Meetup user, we are there. Just look for YYJ WordPress and you will find us.

Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for screencasts and a note to developers, if you would like to support the show and offer up a premium license for giveaway, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contests and leave all of the information there.

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]

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