WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for Episode #261
It’s Episode 261 and we’ve got plugins for Live search, Cookie Law Compliance, Content Expiration & Redirect, Database Resets and Exit Popups It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!!
John: All right, the first plugin I’ve got this week was one that was sent into us by Lord Pappi, and he sent us in one called Ajax Live Search. I have actually installed the free version, which is what they sent out to us to test out and it’s available at the WordPress Repository. I’ve installed it up on the WP Plugins A to Z site to check it out because I’ve been trying to find a good search. This one here is looking to be pretty nice in how it works.
The initial load of it is a little slow when you first plug it in and you hit the first page as indexes your site, it slows down. You would want to load it up at your own site first and get the index started. After that, it seems to be fairly quick and decently accurate in sorting through and finding out what you’re looking for based on keywords. It also allows you to add plus and minus, quotes, plus and minus words – basically a similar algorithm to what Google offers you for searching.
As time goes on and I get more and more testing on this, I will know more. But so far, so good. If you jump into the premium version of it, you get improved AI for it and improved relevance algorithm, and also the ability to set sponsored results on your search page. It might be worthwhile at that point there, so I’m going to be checking and looking into that further. But at the moment I had to give this a 4-Dragon rating mainly because we’re talking about a freemium version here. So check it out: Ajax Live Search.
Marcus: I like that sponsored search part. Yeah, it’s huge.
John: Yeah, it’s probably something I’m going to get just to help benefit the WP Plugins A to Z site.
Marcus: Right, right. Awesome. Okay, well the first one that I’ve got out of the gate here today is for Woocommerce. It is called Woo File Dropzone and here’s what happens. It allows you to have the customer send you files directly when they purchase specific items or services or whatever during the product checkout process – or you can put it in the cart, you can put it in the product detail page – anything you want.
It’s a great tool for instances where somebody is going to upload maybe a business card design or printing job or maybe something to print on clothing. Who knows what it is; maybe it’s an Excel sheet you have them send that you want to work on or anything like that. Maybe even emailing services – emails your list or stuff like that. This is really what that’s meant for and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. That can be quite useful for folks.
John: Okay, the next one I’ve got here is one that I keep popping into and this is mostly relevant to those of you who do business in the EU. The EU has their wonderful cookie law which says that if you run a website that is hosted in the EU or targeted towards EU customers, you must have a pop-up or a notification or something to tell people that you’re using cookies on your website. And of course if you’re using WordPress, you are using cookies, because they are pretty much required for WordPress to work.
It’s a really great plugin. Very simple, straightforward, works well, and I had to give this one a top 5-Dragon rating.
Marcus: I wonder if that’s going to be around much longer – just like the EU.
John: Since the first step of the EU breakup has occurred, who knows?
Marcus: Who knows, but know we see exactly what they’re talking about when they say “bureaucratic laws,” that’s one of them. John, I’m going to reveal a plugin that I use frequently. This is a new kind of plugin that works actually better than the old one I had. It’s called Reset Database and it puts something in the settings page in the dashboard tools.
It basically allows you to reset the entire WordPress database to restore it to default and it also removes all the media files.
John: Oh, sweet!
Marcus: So if you’ve got a stage site or anything like that that you play around with frequently and you want to reset it, this is a great plugin to do that. It’s called Reset Database and it gets a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice! That’s nice to have. It can be very dangerous in the wrong hands…
Marcus: Okay, well let me say this in terms of wrong hands. It’s not like you’re depositing the nuclear codes just to anybody who’s got backend access.
Marcus: It actually requires the admin password in order to reset the database.
John: Oh, okay. There’s a little bit of vetted [inaudible 13:44] —
Marcus: Turn two keys at the same time.
John: — turn two keys to keep from launching the nuclear detonation, yes.
Marcus: That’s right.
John: Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called Content Expiration & Redirect. This one here looked to be a fairly useful plugin in dealing with your content that expires on your website. We all have it – we created a page or a post for a specific purpose and then we forget it exists. One day we’re going through, cleaning up the website, and we go, “Oh, we’ve got that,” and you notice that the page still gets traffic but yet the content is no longer relevant.
This is a perfect plugin to deal with that issue. Once you install it and activate it, you then go back to the post and you set the expiry date of the post and set the expiry date for the day you’re cleaning up your mess, then set a new link to redirect that post, too. You don’t lose any traffic that may be wandering in through that link by having it dead off to a 404 Error. You can send it to something that might be more relevant or newer content or some content that’s related to it.
A very great little plugin – it works very well. Check it out: Content Expiration & Redirect. I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Let me tell you what I use this plugin for.
John: Oh, you actually use it. Cool!
Marcus: Oh, yeah. Okay, so I have a site that this guy does something where he gives out free classes and it’s an in-person thing. He does a tour and he goes around to different cities around the country. So in this instance, I got sick of going back every Monday and cleaning up what he had just done over the weekend in terms of the old locations and all of that stuff and removing it so that it doesn’t say, “Hey, the next event is this.”
So what I did was I used this and expired it a day after the event so that the next one would fall right into place.
Marcus: So that’s what I used this one for and it works great for me.
Marcus: Really great. All right, I am going to talk about something that I use quite frequently. It’s called Exit Popup and I use things like Opt-in Monster and sometimes Lead Pages — those kinds of things. This one is free and what it does is it enables you to display a J-query modal window, which is just a pop-up, I guess you could just say. You can have it include text, videos, forms, maps – whatever you want. It basically just uses the exact post editor within WordPress and then pops that up.
So what happens is somebody is trying to hit the back button and they quickly move their mouse up to that end and it comes up with this pop-up. Maybe it’s an offer that you want to present, a promo code to purchase, or anything like that. You can expect if you use something like this maybe a 10-12% conversion rate increase. And if you rely on conversion rates, you need something like this on your site. If they’re going to leave and never come back, at least you’ve got one more chance to market to them.
I really, really like this plugin. It’s got a lot of different options to it that not a lot of other ones have, just solely based on the fact that you can create anything you want and it’s not restricted at all in terms of the content. It’s up there with all the paid plugins in terms of quality, so I gave this one a 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice. Very useful. I’m not certain where to use that yet, but I know I’ve got some ideas for it.
Marcus: Well, I can give you suggestions. Are you sure you want to leave WP Plugins A to Z? Maybe you might want to leave a SpeakPipe or —
John: Oh, I know. That’s what I’m looking at. That’s what I’m looking that. We’re going to have some of these features start to appear on the website as I finish cleaning up the new design.
Marcus: Yeah, and because of the fact that you can use the regular post editor in terms of that, then you can short code it – do whatever you need to. It works great.
John: All right. Well, this week I covered up the Ajax Live Search, which I gave a 4 to; the EU Cookie Law Compliance, which I gave a 5 to; and the Content Expiration & Redirect, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I talked about Woo File Dropzone, gave that one a 4 out of 5; Reset Database, 5 out of 5; and Exit Popup, 5 out of 5.
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