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!
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 —
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.
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 —
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.
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.
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…
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.
John: Very cool! I found it.
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.
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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.
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.
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