WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for Episode #289
It’s Episode 289 and we’ve got plugins for Word Counts, Auto Complete, SMS Notifications, PhoneGap, and Dynamic Maps. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: This week here, what do I have for you? Well, first off, I’ve got WP Word Count Pro. This plugin was sent in to us by Brian Link. It’s a premium plugin and also has a free version. The premium plugin can be found in the link in the show notes and the free version can be found at WordPress.org. So if you want to know how much you have been writing on your website – your word count, in other words, you want to know how prolific you’ve been in producing content over the weeks, years, or months that your website has been up, well, this plugin is one that you might want to check out.
What it does is it goes in and it counts all the words for all the posts you’ve created and then produces some really interesting reports to show you on a post-by-post, page-by-page, or total count how you’ve been at creating content. Say you’ve been trying to achieve certain word counts, well, this is one way to find out if it’s happening. I did check this plugin out and I did run into some issues with it though in the MU environment. It doesn’t seem to work there. I haven’t reached out to the developer yet to see if it can be solved, but it works beautiful on a standalone install of WordPress. But it’s a really great plugin and I found it to be quite nice. It’s only $10 for a premium version, so well worth the money. Check it out: WP Word Count Pro and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Excellent. All right. I’ve got something that – John, do you recall a couple of years ago they came out with something called App Presser?
John: App Presser – I vaguely remember that.
Marcus: It was something that would supposedly turn WordPress into an app machine.
John: Oh, I do remember that, yes. Yes.
Marcus: Scott Bolinger demoed it for me at a local WordPress Orange County meetup here. That was a couple of years ago and it seems like every question I asked Scott – and bless him, he made some great code. The answer was always, “Well, if Phonegap can do it, then App Presser can do it.” So really, App Presser was just a bridge to Phonegap, and that’s what this next plugin is as well. It’s called Phonegap Connect.
Now, the nice thing about this is it’s on Github, so if you want to contribute to the code or help it along, this is a great way to do it. So what it does is it gives you a direct connection from WordPress to the Phonegap application, and Phonegap is sort of an app construction kit. You’ll be able to connect WordPress into this Phonegap and make some apps that pull data or posts from WordPress. So if you’ve ever been interested in making your own app with items in WordPress, maybe for clients or for yourself, this is a great way to do that. It literally and figuratively bridges the gap with Phonegap, and I rated this a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. Yeah, I’ve yet to check into that, so sometime I may have to look into it. Okay, what I’ve got up next for you is MapifyPro. This is a plugin that was sent in to us by Josh Sears. It’s a premium plugin, $49, available on their website. They do have a limited free version that you can download from their website also.
This plugin here, what it does for you – well, if you want to jazz up your Google Maps or create your own custom image maps, this plugin helps you complete that task by allowing you to add any and all of the following to it. You can use Google Maps with custom images, the ability to add full blog posts to a map (which is great for travelers). You can add blog posts for all of the places you visit on the globe, you can share locations and social media, fully responsive maps, bulk uploading of locations, you can customize map markers for all your locations, advanced search filtering location.
This is a really great one if you have a business with multiple locations. It allows you to create custom maps for that. All in all, it’s a pretty great plugin and I’m hoping to get an interview with Josh here and who knows, maybe get them to donate a license for us to give a way. Anyway, a great plugin. Check it out: MapifyPro and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Cool! All right, well John, a couple of weeks ago I talked about an item that would connect WooCommerce to Facebook Messenger. I ordered something – I don’t even believe it was through a WordPress site – but I ordered a hat about a week or so ago. I logged in with Facebook just to create my account and all that and it gave me the option if I want to use Facebook Messenger or SMS as a conduit to keep me up to date on shipment notifications, tracking, and all that other stuff. So I wanted to see what it would do in Facebook first and it was a fantastic experience I’ll tell you, because they linked up all the tracking information, they showed a map to my house, where it was going, and all that kind of stuff.
I solved that portion of it; now I wanted to get into the SMS version and there’s 50 million SMS things out there. But there’s very few that are specific to Woo Commerce, so there’s a service called ShoutOUT SMS, and this plugin is called ShoutOUT SMS for WooCommerce. It allows you to use WooCommerce to send SMS notifications to your customers. You could auto-send them based on order status, whether it comes in from backorder, it’s ordered, it’s shipped, anything like that. You get to use customizable message text to do it. You do have to sign up for at least a lite account. It’s free at ShoutOUT and you get to start sending SMS messages based on what the order status is to your customers of your site.
I’m going to explain something to everybody. First and foremost is if you have any client that uses WooCommerce at all, if you’re not starting to talk to them about the updating of ship notifications beyond email, you’re a fool, because this is easy money for you. Show them examples of how Amazon does it and all the rest of them, and this is the way of life. This is what people are going to want from now on and if you don’t give them that stuff, email is not going to cut it anymore.
Marcus: So I rated this one a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice! Yeah, that’s for certain more and more people get more information via their SMS than they do email. I know people that never even check their emails now.
Marcus: Right, absolutely. Especially when you can go both Facebook Messenger and SMS – give somebody the option for that – this is a perfect solution for pairing those two together.
John: Absolutely. The last plugin I’ve got here today is called My CloudPress. It’s a site backup third-party service. This was sent in to us by Christopher Hicks and it’s a premium plugin currently in beta testing, so you can currently sign up and get it for free, give it a check out. They do have a free account that’s going to be available from the stuff on their website. What it’s for is if you’re looking for a cloud solution for backing up your WordPress website and easy restore functions, this may be a plugin for you to check out. It offers both for you, it’s very easy to use from what I can see. I didn’t hook it up and test it out because I’ve already got all my own backup solutions for everything. But while the plugin is still in development, you can get in on the ground floor and check it out.
What it does for you is when you register and go into it, it allows you to do backups and it backs things up through a slightly different method in here that I’ve seen. It backs up it looks like from your database. It backs up users, posts, comments, options. It grabs the user meta, the post meta, comment data, and other bits and pieces, and stores that stuff. So it looks like it pulls it from your database and it doesn’t look like it pulls your actual files. It probably does but because I didn’t dig that deeply into it, I’m not entirely certain of it, but it still looks like it’s a really great backup solution or a very simple, easy backup solution for getting started. And as they advance and finish their development, it may turn out to be a fantastic plugin. At any rate, check it out: My CloudPress.com, and I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Hmm…interesting. All right, we are all used to, as we said in our last plugin that I just reviewed, the mobile lifestyle, right? For crying out loud, I just saw an SES report, John. There’s a Samsung S8 or whatever that you can hook straight to a monitor and use it as a PC.
Marcus: Your phone.
John: Oh, man!
Marcus: It’s got Windows on it!
John: Your phone.
John: Wow, we’ve got more power in our phone now than —
Marcus: I know, it’s ridiculous. But one of the things that, love it or hate it, that we kind of use on our phone a lot is autocomplete.
John: Oh, yeah – love and hate.
Marcus: And we don’t have autocomplete for WordPress until this plugin, which is simply titled Autocomplete. It’s useful for autocompleting words, author stuff. But by the default, WordPress is the only word that autocompletes correctly. So you can add stuff into the autocomplete, especially branded terms or things that have to be spelled a specific way. There’s just options in there and you can add words or just keep moving along as you go. You can reset the list if you want to. It uses a text completer JQUERY script in it to get it to work, but I tried it and I love it. So check it out yourself; it’s Autocomplete, and it gets a 4 out of 5.
John: All right. So this wraps it up. I covered up this week WP Word Count Pro, which I gave a 4 to; MapifyPro, which I gave a 4 to; and then My CloudPress, which I gave a 3 to.
Marcus: And I talked about Phonegap, which gets a 4 out of 5, ShoutOUT SMS gets a 4 out of 5, and Autocomplete gets a 4 out of 5.
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