Sortable HTML tables, Invoicing, Timelines, Enhanced Nav Menus and Notification Bars

WordPress Plugins from A to Z Episode 130

 

It’s episode #130 and we’ve got plugins for Sortable HTML tables, Invoicing, Timelines, Enhanced Nav Menus and Notification Bars . All coming up next on WordPress Plugins A-Z.

 

Don’t forget you can get the show notes at:

WordPress Plugins A-Z Podcast Can also be found at WPPluginsAtoZ.com

And head on over and review us at:

WordPress Plugins A-Z Podcast can be found on Stitcher Radio Click here to Download app or listen online Now.

WordPress Plugins A-Z Podcast can be found on the iTunes Store here.

 

>>>Self Promotion of my businesses here<<<

WordPress has become easier and easier to use over the past 5 years and as we know the easier it is to use the easier it becomes to break. Do you find that you suddenly need some quick WordPress support & need to figure out that one simple task? Correct that simple layout issue or has something broken and you have the white screen of death. Or maybe you have received notification of a hack on your site? Visit me for Emergency WordPress Support at WPPro.ca/Emergency for some quick tips or contact me and I can help you with live support via screen sharing or phone 818-850-7729.


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John’s & Marcus Rant: What to rant about?

Run the WP Medic Podcast commercial here

Join me on the WordPress Medic Podcast find it at https://wpmedic.ca where I will be discussing in depth how to help your ailing WordPress website help you through those tough times and interviews with experts from all over the World.You can find the WordPress medic Podcast at iTunes Store here, Blubrry.com here, and Stitcher Radio and any place else you find me.

 

Listener Feedback / Audio Clips

Stuart with Twitter Widget / Post Plugin Question

 Orlando with request for plugin like Drupal ImageCache.

 

**WordPress Plugins Reviewed by John**

 

Navception 1.0.0

The Lowdown:

I think I may have found something great here. A plugin that allows you to place menus into menus.. The idea here is that there are times when I am creating menus for a website and I have to add the same sub menu to different menus and i have to recreate them several times.. Well with this plugin you simply create it once and then add it as a menu item whenever you need it. It seems to work pretty smoothly and without fail I highly recommend this if you are doing lots of menus.

 Rating 5 Dragons

 

 

Fluid Notification Bar 1.1

The lowdown:

Well this had promise for a top bar that could be pretty nice but in reality it was inconsistent in loading and was limited in what you could do with it. With lots of tweaking it would be great but there are better options as the next plugin shows.

 

Rating 2 Dragons

 

 

Foobar Lite Notification Bars 1.1

The lowdown:

This plugin does have a premium version that is real great and highly recommended but for this I will focus on the free version.

You can add any that you want and then you can easily colourize the bar and give it some simple stylings, you can also do a little tweaking to the jquery and even simply stop it for a bit if need be.

Now if you go for the premium version you have even more controls over it such as what page to show it on better colour controls, plus you can have multiple Foobars and they are supposed to be coming out with stats tracking soon for your bars..

 

Rating 3 Dragons.

 

 

**WordPress Plugins Reviewed by Marcus**

CSV to SortTable

Requires: 3.2.1 or higher

Compatible up to: 3.5.2

Last Updated: 2013-7-11

Downloads: 3,553

 

CSV to SortTable has been recently updated, and it’s turning into the kind of plugin that may have more usage than the developer even intended. The plugin functions by calling an external CSV file from a URL of your choosing and transforms it into a sortable HTML table. It’s simple to do on a per post basis in the form of an easy shortcode, such as [csv src=https://example.com/myfile.csv], showing the direct path to the file. There are other shortcode options as well, like hiding/showing the top or bottom rows, etc. I tested this on a few different CSV files with great success. The tables all looked great right out of the gate with little modification. So how does this plugin work and what can be expanded from it? Well I tried a few scenarios. The first thing that I did was try to make changes to an already uploaded CSV file to see if it would update on the fly. It did. So we know that it updates the file in real-time. This can be good and bad. Good because it always has the newest data. Bad because it’s always trying to download and convert that file on the fly. The load time wasn’t worth abandoning the plugin over, so I tried a few more “hacks” to see if I could expand the range even further. I took the same CSV file and saved it to a local dropbox folder. Then I went to the Dropbox site to get a private link to the csv file. This worked! I imported straight from Dropbox. The one issue I had is that I then went back and made a few changes to the file and re-saved in Dropbox. Even after editing and re-synching the folder, the new revisions did not “take” with the plugin. It could be a cache issue or something on the end of Dropbox, but it’s a good idea for the developer to think about using services like Google Drive and Dropbox to feed the CSV source path. I would love the ability to edit files on the fly and have them self-update into pricing or product tables in near real-time. It’s almost perfect and certainly works well as intended. It would be nice to connect a few more pipes to it though.

 

Rating: 5 out of 5

LateralPress

Requires: 2.0.2 or higher

Compatible up to: 3.5.2

Last Updated: 2013-7-9

Downloads: 42

 

LateralPress is an interesting java based design plugin that allows you to display an animated scrolling timeline of content relative to the post date and a custom post type modifier. I found this plugin to be quite visually appealing. However the JavaScript time did take a while to load in the test application that I tried on a staging site. While posts set up for previous posts to be included in this plugin’s display is a tedious process, the results are rather difficult to compete with when it comes to final output. I think this would be an excellent plugin for people who would like to tell a story with their content over an evolutionary period of time. It adds a lot of visual appeal to what would otherwise be a boring about us or bio page on your WordPress installation.

 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Invoice King Pro

Requires: 3.0.1 or higher

Compatible up to: 3.5.2

Last Updated: 2013-7-16

Downloads: 160

 

Invoice King Pro helps you to send out invoices and estimates to clients within your WordPress installation. This is especially intriguing to me as I already spend $40 a month on FreshBooks to handle my client invoicing and cost estimates. IKP features different “themes” for each invoice and estimates which vary in look and feel when printed. Custom themes have been pre-configured and are available as add-ons to the plugin for an additional $5 per “theme”. You begin your setup process by adding all of the custom fields that you intend to use in the invoicing process. Once complete, you enter your client contact information into the system and start the billing! When you have an invoice or estimate to send, it emails to your client the PDF document automatically with the pre-defined mail credentials and reply-to that you set up. So if your client replies to the invoice, it goes straight into your inbox. Once payment is made from the client, you can easily mark the invoice paid and fire off a receipt to the client in the same manner. While this seems to be a robust plugin on the surface, there are a lot of opportunities for improvement. A payment gateway or direct link to PayPal with forwarding invoice information would be an outstanding addition. There is still a long way to go to match FreshBooks or similar services, but this is a really great, bold attempt at cracking the glass by using WordPress. How about modding this so we can all install it on our client’s web sites and it invoices it from there? Perhaps add a countdown timer to shutting down the site if the invoice isn’t paid? LOL. I’m kidding, right?

 

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

 

**Rambling Last Words and Plugin Wrapup

Navception 5, Fluid Notification Bar 2,  Foobar Lite Notification Bars  3,

 

CSV to SortTable 5, LateralPress 4, Invoice King Pro 4

 

 

Just some reminders:

Rate us at iTunes, blubrry.com, ViaWay.com, Stitcher Radio and any place else you find us.

What’s coming in future podcasts:

Special guests with their own plugin picks.

How to Contact Us:

John can be contacted at:

 

Marcus can be contacted at: