It’s Episode 253 and we’ve got plugins for Robots.txt, Color Swatches for Products, Enhanced Comments, Image Cropping and a great way to hide content between mobile and the desktop. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of Marcus and John’s discussion of the weekly plugins we have reviewed.
WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #220 here.
It’s episode 220 and we’ve got plugins for Domain Mapping, Wholesale Pricing for WooCommerce, Enhanced Comments, auditing tools for plugins, Link Titles and a tool for managing plugins on MultiSite. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right, in a continuation from last episode where I’ve been talking about my massive MultiSite project, this is another premium plugin called Domain Mapping. It’s from wpmudev.org and is a very nice plugin. What it does for you, whereas the last time I talked about a plugin it was for adding multiple domains. This one allows the users of your WordPress MultiSite to map their own personal domain onto the subdomain. Much the same way if you use WordPress.com and you want to buy a domain, you can map it onto your subdomain there.
This is the exact same setup and it works very, very nicely. The plugin sets up very simply; there’s just a few technical tricks you have to know about it, so not for the faint of heart of course, but it works beautiful. If you’re digging into WordPress MultiSite and setting it up, once it’s set up, you set up the A record for it. All the user has to do is once they have their domain — and they may have to set an A record at their registrar. If they don’t know what that is, have them contact you or have them contact me. I’ll be happy to set people set —
Marcus: You mean just like the DNS record, right?
John: Not necessarily the DNS record — the A record.
John: You can leave your DNS there and you can set up an A record pointing to the IP address of the server.
Marcus: So is that something that like when you own the domain, you can do that pretty easily when you’re just a regular old user, like for GoDaddy or anything like that?
John: Yeah, and GoDaddy. GoDaddy has a DNS edit section where you can go edit it up.
John: You can set the record. It’s not that hard to do. Once it’s done, they can pump that domain into their own account and map their domain MultiSite off of your site, into your domain and it works beautiful. I had to give this one a perfect 5-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Awesome! So basically — and you just took some tech guy’s job away from him having to worry about this crap.
John: Pretty much, yeah.
Marcus: This is just exactly like what you would do if you were using a hosting account, except you’re just pointing it to whatever that WordPress installation is.
John: Exactly, yes.
Marcus: Yeah, cool. All right, I like it, John — 5 Dragons. Way to go right out of the gate like that. Let’s see if I can do something to top that.
This one is called Plugin Auditor, and it records the details of which user installed and activated every plugin on your website, and leaves a little notes section to explain why they installed it — or for you to explain to yourself later why you installed it. What do you think of that?
John: I like that. Very nice.
Marcus: So it’s just an audit trail. It’s really just a trail of who did this, when did they do it, and why did they do it. Now let’s talk practical applications of this. Let’s just say you’re leaving a client with a website and you’re pushing his boat off into the water, into the wild, and letting his company employees do things with it.
Marcus: Sometimes you come back and if you don’t disable plugin installation, you’ll find all kinds of little Easter eggs on that site.
John: Tons, yes.
Marcus: All kinds — you know, WeatherBug things all over it. This is a nice way for you to at least figure out who put this stuff on here. “All right, who did this?” That’s really what this plugin is all about, so I rated it also a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice. Yeah, that’s always good if you’ve got multiple administrators to be able to figure out who’s doing what to the website.
John: All right, and in the continuing vein here of MultiSite, the next plugin here is called MultiSite Plugin Manager. What this does — in WordPress MultiSite, you have the ability as the God mode administrator, you’re the only one that can add plugins to the entire network. Once you’ve added those plugins to the entire network, you can determine with this plugin which users, which websites get to use those plugins or whether they can even see those plugins in their plugin folder.
This is a very nice plugin for controlling what gets turned on and off in the site. It’s also useful for determining, say you have a client that is special and has a special needs plugin but you don’t want this plugin to be used anywhere else through your network, but you’re going to let this one user have it. You can install the plugin, allow that plugin to that one user, and prevent everyone else in your network from seeing that it exists.
John: So it’s a very nice feature of WordPress MultiSite. I found the plugin to be really nice. The problem I ran into with it is it conflicted with another plugin I was using for [inaudible: management?] and other stuff.
John: And I didn’t want to spend the time determining how to solve the conflict and since this one was a lower priority than the other management plugin, I had to push this one to the side. But it’s still a great plugin if you don’t end up with a conflict. I did give it a 3-Dragon rating but it’s probably worthy of a 4 because of its usability. So check it out: MultiSite Plugin Manager — a great little plugin.
Marcus: Well, it looks like it hasn’t even been updated for a year, as I look at it on the repository right now.
John: Well, that could be a problem with it, too.
Marcus: So maybe it might help to ping Aaron Edwards, the guy who made it. Or just pop a review in there and say, “Look, this is an awesome plugin. We reviewed it on the show, but here’s what happened.” Maybe it’s a simple fix? Maybe he can bump you up?
John: It could be.
Marcus: All right, well we’ll keep you updated, folks. The next one is a WooCommerce plugin. It seems more and more I’m working with WooCommerce projects. This one is something that I came across that I actually had an immediate need for, which there was a company that they sell used equipment. They want to be able to sell palates of the used equipment and they want to do it with a wholesale price.
That’s not something that you would typically want to put on a front-end site or a consumer just usually buys one quantity — maybe two at the most.
Marcus: You know, you don’t want to make it go up to 2,000 and then deal with all the repercussions that happen when somebody does that. This allows you to have specific users — specific customers — that can log in and they will see wholesale pricing for their different product ranges that you designate that yes, wholesale pricing is available on this products. You edit the products in WooCommerce and then you can say what the wholesale pricing happens to be.
So if you’ve got a client with a need for this, you are going to be the mayor of your town or at least your block, because this has been a long time coming with WooCommerce sites out there. This is a selling point for all of you designers and developers out there. Go out there and find somebody that has wholesale pricing and also sells direct to consumer and say, “Hey, does your website do that? Because I can do that for you.”
John: You bet.
Marcus: I guarantee you you’ll get the gig. It was just a little clunky to set up in the product area, so I deducted one point away from it. But otherwise, I thought this is a really slam-dunk of a plugin and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. All right, well the final one I’ve got here today is a premium plugin and another one from WPMU Dev. You’ll probably hear quite a few from them because I took a membership out with them as they produce a lot of MultiSite plugins — their specialty. This one is called Comments Plus, and this plugin takes advantage of your WPMU network and this plugin can be activated network wide, so that all sites are using this added functionality.
What it does is it adds the ability across the entire network to the comments section for visitors to the website to create their comments with Facebook, Twitter, Google +, or their WordPress.com accounts. It’s very simple; you do have some work to do in the back end to set it up. You’ve got to go set up a Twitter app, a Facebook app, and a couple of other connectivity issues. Once you’re connected to all of that, it works quite nicely.
The nice thing about it is it helps encourage the visitors to your network to leave comments on peoples’ websites without all the added work of adding an email address and everything else. They just click — most people are usually logged into their Facebook account wherever they go online. They just hit Facebook, it logs them in, it gives them the information, and boom, they can leave their comment.
And if they want to share, it shares it right out to their Facebook wall or shares it right out to Twitter, or shares it to Google +. It’s very nice in that aspect, too, so a very nice little plugin. I started giving it a 3 rating, but I’m going to have to give it a 4 rating because it’s a halfway decent plugin. So check it out: premium plugin Comments Plus.
Marcus: Well that’s very nice. I like that. Well John, with the release of 4.2 — and subsequently 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 —
John: And 2.3 is coming soon.
Marcus: — and 2.3, yes.
John: There’s actually a flaw that needs to be fixed.
Marcus: Yeah, and 2.4 soon after that. Anyway, do you know what they did?
John: What did they do?
Marcus: In 4.2.0 and on, they took away the title and then no follow for links.
Marcus: When you add a new link?
John: I didn’t even notice that.
Marcus: Yeah, what’s with that? I need my SEO there — or not. Maybe I don’t want to follow that link and put an REL no follow tag in there. Well, they used to have all that stuff. It used to open a new window or something like that, but that was a REL no follow, so they took that away.
Well, this plugin called Title No Follow for Links puts it back in there.
John: Puts it back in there, okay.
Marcus: Yep, so short, sweet, simple: 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice.
John: I hadn’t even noticed they had done that with 4.2. I’m glad somebody noticed it and took care of it.
Marcus: Oh, I did. I did — the SEO marketing guy, I’m going to know. They still messed up the media library, too.
Marcus: I need to find a plugin that changes what you can do with the images and things in there.
John: Oh, dear. Okay, well they fixed the security holes. Take away some functionality. What can we say?
John: Give and take.
Marcus: My function is back.
John: But the function is back; leave the security holes patched. All right, well that covers up in this episode, I covered Domain Mapping, which I gave a 5 to; MultiSite Plugin Manager, which got a 4; and Comments Plus, which got a 4.
Marcus: And I talked about Plugin Auditor, which I rated a 5 out of 5; WooCommerce Wholesale Prices — go look into that, WooCommerce people. You’re going to like it and you can get some clients out of it. I rated that one a 4 out of 5. And we just talked about Title and No Follow for Links, with a 4 out of 5.
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