It's Episode 272 and we've got plugins for Detecting Ad Blockers, Google Spreadsheets, Bookmarks, Scheduled Posts and BuddyPress Registration. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 272

It's Episode 272 and we've got plugins for Detecting Ad Blockers, Google Spreadsheets, Bookmarks, Scheduled Posts and BuddyPress Registration. 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 Episode #272

It’s Episode 272 and we’ve got plugins for Detecting Ad Blockers, Google Spreadsheets, Bookmarks, Scheduled Posts and BuddyPress Registration. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Episode # 272

John:                Okay, the first plugin I’ve got this week here is called Detect AdBlock and I’ve kind of got mixed feelings about it whereas I know advertising is important to websites, for some websites it’s their main source of income. I also know that advertisements are an annoyance when you go to websites. Some websites overdo them to the point you just abandon the site because they’ve got to so many. Some websites have a few; just enough to support themselves. But we’ve been hearing a lot these days about ad blockers and how to get past ad blockers and what people are doing.

Well, this plugin here, what it does for you is detects when someone arrives at your website using an ad blocker and then it blocks their ability to view your website unless they turn off the ad blocker for your website. It’s a very nice plugin. It’s relatively easy to set up. You just turn it on, go in and adjust the message you want to appear, and when people arrive at your site, if they are using ad blockers you can politely say, “Hey, we depend on ads for such and such. Please turn off your ad blocker to view our website.”

With the plugin you can allow for exceptions such as logged in users or certain types of visitors. It has several settings in there for allowing for exceptions. It looks to be a pretty decent plugin. I would check it out if you depend on advertisement in any way, you might want to check something like this out. Anyway, it’s called Detect AdBlock and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Very nice, very nice. All right, I’m going to talk about something that is really cool. It’s called Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer and so any of you out there that use Google Sheets in terms of collaboration, you’re going to like this one. This one embeds public Google spreadsheets, app scripts, CSV files, or whatever, in WordPress posts or pages as an HTML table or even an interactive chart (if you want to make a chart out of it).

Now what’s really great about this is that it’s not like you’re embedding the spreadsheet in the page and then everybody can edit it; it actually just takes the results. So I find this really cool because then you can edit on the back end and then whatever the results are, then you can populate that to a page. Now some people, if you do client stuff then maybe there’s a thing that they want to use a table for and you might want to keep them out of WordPress, this is a great way to share a Google spreadsheet on the back end that they can then edit and then people can actually see it.

Here’s another application for this: let’s say you’re doing something in WooCommerce and you use some littleware like Zapier to take all of your existing orders or new orders and populate them to a google spreadsheet. Well, maybe you want to put a secret page on the back end for your warehouse in terms of their fulfillment, shipping information, and the things that they need to send out. Password protect that page or something like that just to keep that away from prying eyes, but that’s absolutely another way that you can do it. So it’s called Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer and I gave this a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! I have actually a couple of other ideas. If you’re a sports stat nut and you’re on a fantasy football league or something and you’ve got spreadsheets you’re always working with, this is a great way to share it.

Marcus:           Yup, you’re a runner so you can use that for —

John:                Running and other things —

Marcus:           — your running times —

John:                — anybody who uses spreadsheets such as my wife, this is a really great tool for sharing that spreadsheet information if you’re going to share it.

Marcus:           Yeah, absolutely.

John:                I like it.

Marcus:           So check it out.

John:                Okay, the next one I’ve got here is one that helped solve one of the problems that’s starting to occur with many WordPress websites, and that’s dealing with mixed use content when you add an SSL cert to your site. Because of course over the years if you would start out without an SSL cert on your site and you add one, you’ll have links throughout your site that will be hardcoded for the non-HTTPS and you’ll need to change that information.

That’s what this plugin does. There’s another plugin that sets SSL; what this one does for you, it’s called Remove HTTP and it removes the HTTP protocol from all links so that all links in your site are protocol neutral. So no matter what protocol is called on your page or whether it’s the secured or unsecured, it always has the correct link.

It seems to work relatively well. It’s pretty straightforward and you just turn it on and you activate it and you’re done. So of course, you know it’s a really great plugin and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating. Check it out: Remove HTTP.

Marcus:           Great. One thing, John, that I’ve been doing a lot of lately is scheduled posts, so everybody knows what that is, I think.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           If not, it is where instead of just publishing live, you change the date and time of when you’d like to publish the post, and technically, it should post it right then. However, depending on your host, sometimes it might miss the schedule.

John:                Yes.

Marcus:           And this plugin will fix that. It is called Scheduled Post Trigger and what it does is it checks all the posts to see if any scheduled posts have been missed. And if so, it publishes them. So you just have to make sure that your time zone and everything is set in the settings general section and this one will do the rest. It worked really well for me. I’m going to use this on my podcast, sites, and other places that I rely on published content. I gave this one a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Yeah, I’ve had that problem in the past with some websites where I scheduled the post and I’ll check and, “Oh, it missed the schedule.”

Marcus:           Yeah, it’s weird how it does that but —

John:                It has to do with the way WordPress Cronjobs work.

Marcus:           Hmm – well, this one’s a good failsafe mode, so check it out.

John:                Yeah, this is a great failsafe.

Marcus:           Scheduled Post Trigger.

John:                Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called Highlight Bookmark Manager. This was sent in by one of our listeners out there. It was sent in by Patrick Huang – it looks to be one of the developers on the plugin. And it’s a pretty great plugin and what it helps you do is encourage interactivity on your website from your users.

It allows people to highlight a passage or a sentence or a word and it highlights it in yellow. It then allows them to share that highlight into an account that you’ve got to get set up with the Highlight Bookmark manager guys. Then you can easily share that information through social media. I’ve actually installed it up on the WP Plugins A to Z site to see how it works and see if we can encourage a little more interactivity.

We’ll see how it goes over the next few weeks. If it doesn’t pan out, we’ll remove it. But at the moment it looks like it might be pretty interesting. So at any rate, it’s a pretty great little plugin. It could encourage some great interactivity on your website and encourage people to share and save information, thereby bringing in more visitors. Check it out: Highlight Bookmark Manager, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           That’s cool. I like that. All right, finally one thing that I’ve been experiencing with a lot of different membership sites is a lot of times we will use BuddyPress —

John:                Yes, we do.

Marcus:           — to integrate into that so that we can do things like forums and feeds and groups and all kinds of stuff like that. But the thing is when you use BuddyPress, it’s a little wonky in terms of how the registration process is and integrating somebody in there so that they’re automatically populating their photo, their avatar picture, and some of the other things.

This plugin is called Better BP Registration – it stands for Better BuddyPress Registration. It replaces the standard BuddyPress registration process with something that’s split into different steps and it explains a little bit more about what it needs and provides a higher level of convenience and it makes it a little easier to understand. So check it out – if you use BuddyPress, this may be an intriguing way for you to improve your registration process. I gave this one a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. Yeah, BuddyPress’ registration process does often need some improvements.

Marcus:           Yes.

John:                Okay, well that’s it. I covered up in this episode Detect AdBlock, which I gave a 4 to; the Remove HTTP plugin, which I gave a 4 to; and then the Highlight Bookmark Manager, which I gave a 4 to in there – all tongue twisters today.

Marcus:           Yes, I talked about Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer – gave that one a perfect 5 out of 5, Scheduled Post Trigger gets a 4 out of 5, and we just discussed Better BP Registration and that gets a 4 out of 5.

[End of Audio]









Transcript for Episode 258 and we've got plugins for Unique Post Stat Tracking, Handling Free WooCommerce Downloads, Newsbars, Payment Gateways and a new plugin for keeping Dashboard Notes. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 258

Transcript for Episode 258 and we've got plugins for Unique Post Stat Tracking, Handling Free WooCommerce Downloads, Newsbars, Payment Gateways and a new plugin for keeping Dashboard Notes. 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 Episode #258

Transcript for Episode 258 and we’ve got plugins for  Unique Post Stat Tracking, Handling Free WooCommerce Downloads, Newsbars, Payment Gateways and a new plugin for keeping Dashboard Notes. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Episode #258

John:                All right, the first plugin I’ve got for you this week is called Post Views, and this is a pretty simple plugin for those of you who are statistically inclined and just addicted to knowing anything and everything that happens inside your WordPress website.

This is a plugin that you install, you turn on, and then it starts to give you crazy amounts of charts and other information about each and every post: how often a post has been looked at, who’s looking at it, their IP address, what country their coming from. It puts it into charts, graphs, and all kind of pretty stuff for those of you addicted to statistics. (Wow, that’s a mouthful.)

So anyway, it’s a great little plugin. It works well and I’ve got a couple of clients that use it because they just want to know everything that’s happening in the world of their website. It’s called Post Views and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Very good! So that’s basically a unique post stats plugin, right?

John:                Unique posts. It tracks the individual post stats.

Marcus:           Excellent. It’s like the old counter days. All right, I’ve got a bunch of things there – by the way, all three of my plugins have to do with WooCommerce, so you can tell what I’ve been doing the last couple of days.

John:                Nice.

Marcus:           It’s basically been a lot of WooCommerce stuff. So this first one is called Download Now WooCommerce, and essentially what this allows you to do is to have users download products from the product page without having to go through the checkout process. You could still keep something in WooCommerce – maybe you’re going to charge for it later, maybe it’s something that you’ve already charged for and now you want to make it a free download.

Basically, you set it to be able to download for free and instead of having to go through and put everything at zero and then add to basket, checkout, and then the whole processes that has to go through it, instead when the regular price is detected at zero, the Add to Basket or Add to Cart button is then replaced with a Download Now button.

John:                That’s neat.

Marcus:           The button can be customized from the settings page. You can change the button text, whether it shows for sale items as well, and you can even customize the CSS style of the button. I thought it was a fantastic plugin and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                I can see a sweet way to use that. If you’ve got something you want to give a temporary giveaway on, mark it down, have low pricing that’s temporarily zero, download now, and then when the sale expires, it automatically goes back to being a paid-for download.

Marcus:           That’s right.

John:                Hey, some really great uses for that one. All right, the next plugin I’ve got here is a newsbar plugin. This one here came for a client that was looking for a way to display their latest posts in a floating newsbar. There used to be once upon a time some decent newsbar plugins in the Repository, but not so much anymore.

This is a premium plugin and it’s from CodeCanyon. It’s a pretty decent plugin that places either in the footer or the header, floating on top or the very bottom of your screen, and then it allows you to go in, choose what kind of post you’re going to pull. It has some limitations here, unfortunately, in that it will only pull the entire post and it doesn’t pull you the categories of them. But it will pull custom post types, which was kind of a nice feature. So if you’ve got a specialized custom post type in there, you can pull just that.

It’s really nice and it has a few customizations you can set up, some colors, adjustments – all of those usual things there. But the fact that you couldn’t categorize it or specialize it down, I had to place this one at a medium rating of 3 Dragons. But still, a pretty decent plugin if you’re willing to pull in all of your content. So check it out, it’s called WP jNewsbar Plugin, and it’s located at CodeCanyon, and that is an affiliate link in the show notes.

Marcus:           Okay. All right, well let’s continue on the WooCommerce train. John, I’m sure you’ve set up payment gateways in WooCommerce before, right?

John:                Oh, one or two.

Marcus:           Yeah. Well, this is a pretty unique plugin and it just came out of necessity because of different price points I wanted to switch to a different payment gateway.

John:                Oh.

Marcus:           And that was for basically the high-dollar, high-ticket stuff. I wanted to go to something that was just a little less in terms of how much they took, in terms of the vig —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           And this one actually allows you. It’s called WooCommerce Payment Gateway Per Product.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           And so what it allows me to do is select the default payment gateway on a product-by-product basis, so that I could do the higher ticket stuff maybe in Stripe rather than PayPal or anything in between. It’s a really, really nice plugin and very easy to set up. It’s just basically kind of a mapping thing in terms of each product and where it gets checked out to in terms of the payment processor. I rated this one a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. That can be quite useful to save yourself some fees along the way.

Marcus:           Yes, indeed.

John:                Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called WP Dashboard Notes. Now one of the problems that I face is I have a couple of websites with multiple admins that I work in. I’m an admin, I’ve got a couple of other admins in there. We use Base Camp for coordinating stuff, but sometimes you’re not always paying attention to Base Camp. You log into the website going, “I know I need to do something,” you look, go into Base Camp, and you just can’t find it.

What I was looking for is an easy way to communicate with the other admins to let me know of things I need to take care of on the website or let them know stuff. Notes came and I was like, “Well, we can put notes in there. There’s got to be a Notes plugin.” This creates sticky notes like those old, yellow sticky notes you just have tacked all to your walls, computer screen, and everything else once upon a time, even though some of us still use those.

This allows you to create sticky notes basically for your WordPress dashboard. You can colorize the notes and it gives you multiple colors. If you want your own custom colors, you can go put those into the CSS for it if you like (probably not truly necessary). But it creates really great notes that the moment you log into your WordPress website and that dashboard loads up, that note in all it’s full, yellow glory pops in your face and you go, “Oh, I’ve got something to deal with here.”

I realized that after we put that in there and I log into the site, I go, “Oh, yeah. I forgot.” This is a very sweet plugin for communicating that information and for helping you to remember what you need to do and talking to your different admins. Great plugin – I had to bring this one because it’s simplicity and actual workability, I had to give this one a top 5-Dragon rating. So check it out: WP Dashboard Notes.

Marcus:           Awesome! That’s very cool. It reminds me of somebody I know that used to do that with Windows. Do you remember the old Sticky Notes?

John:                I had those in my Windows 3.3 and Windows 6.

Marcus:           Yeah, I remember that they had just a whole screen full of notes. That was funny. All right, well finally we’re going to wrap it up with our last WooCommerce plugin and this one is called Hide Price Until Login, and I’ve pretty much given the entire description of the plugin right there with just the name.

What it does is it hides the price of all the products in your shop and product detail pages until the user is logged in. It requires someone to actually log into the system to see the price. Now, that’s not exactly membership, but kind of, right?

John:                It is kind of a membership.

Marcus:           It’s sort of that. It makes it so that you have to be in the system in order to do a transaction. That’s in itself sort of a lead generation idea or technique, which is you can put some absurd prices in there only for your members. It doesn’t show anything until they actually sign up, go through the system, get a login, and log into the site.

Now that’s really good because you can take your first-timers, walk them through the system, talk about the different price advantages, and all that kind of stuff. Also, it’s something to where you can – let’s just say you’re having a private event and you want tickets to only go to your specific people. This is a way to do it so that the public isn’t just buying things up. It actually has to be people registered into your system.

It’s flawless. This plugin is great in the way that it works and I gave it a 5 out of 5.

John:                Very nice. That’s an excellent plugin and can be of immense value to someone running a WooCommerce site.

Marcus:           Yeah, so for example, I’m going to use it as a lead-in so that you have to first sign up into the system before I’m even going to let you sign up for the program. That’s strictly so that I have everyone’s email address and all of their contact information and all of that so that I can market to them later.

John:                Oh, absolutely. All right, well in this episode I covered up Post Views, which a gave a 4 to; WP jNewsbar Plugin, which I gave a 3 to; and then WP Dashboard Notes, which I gave a 5 to.

Marcus:           And I covered Download Now for WooCommerce, gave that one a 4 out of 5; WooCommerce Payment Gateway Per Product got a 4 out of 5; and Hide Price Until Login got a perfect 5 out of 5.


[End of Audio]