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 #354 here.
It’s Episode 354 and we’ve got plugins for Lucky Prize Wheels, Forums, Product Page Templates, Integrating Amazon’s Product API, WooCommerce Support Tickets and a new WooCommerce Customizer. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Marcus: It’s Episode 354 and we’ve got plugins for Lucky Prize Wheels, Forums, Product Page Templates, Integrating Amazon’s Product API, WooCommerce Support Tickets, and a new WooCommerce Customizer. It’s all coming up 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, Canada, I’m John Overall.
Marcus: And from the sunny seaside bunker in Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.
John: And we have the usual great show for you here today, but of course 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 reviews there and subscribing to the show.
Marcus: Yep, don’t forget also every Monday of the month – every first Monday of the month, rather, you can watch us do the show live on YouTube. You can also check out our training videos and screencasts that we’ve got. Also, follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz and don’t forget, the most important thing: subscribe to our newsletter at wppluginsatoz.com. When we do giveaways, you’ve got to know the secret link that’s only available in the newsletter, so do that today.
John: Absolutely, and with that being said, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.
[Plugins lead-in music]
And we’re reviewing our usual great allotment of plugins and first off, I have another plugin that was sent in to us by a listener out there, Artyom Chakhoyan – sorry, I just butchered that name. I’m done.
Marcus: It’s Chakhoyan.
John: Chakhoyan, there we go. Chakhoyan. I’ve gotta work on my enunciations of reading names from Europe. At any rate, the plugin is called wpForo. It’s a WordPress forum plugin and it’s the first new WordPress forum plugin I’ve seen in quite a while, and they’re promising that it’s a new generation of WordPress forum plugins made by gVectors Team. Everything you need to run an efficient and professional community, powerful and beautiful bulletin board with unique features, wpForo Forums is the best WordPress forum plugin, full-fledged, yet easy and light forum solution for your WordPress website.
It comes with modern, responsive forum layouts and styles and this WordPress forum brings everything you need to run an efficient and professional community, and this might eventually become a – something to go up against bbPress, which would be kind of cool because bbPress is a bit of a pain in the neck. So at any rate, it’s a pretty nice looking plugin. I like the way it sort of starts to lay out and use. It’s something you’ll want to check out. I’m not in any hurry to try to create another form system. The last time I did it, it failed miserably, so next time I do one, I want to make sure it’s actually gonna work. But this looks like it would be quite nice.
So if you’re building a forum system, you might want to check out this plugin before you fully commit yourself to bbPress. So go check it out – it’s called wpForo. It’s available at WordPress.org and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Not bad. We could definitely use it because bbPress sucks.
John: Yeah, it’s basically —
Marcus: Sorry to say.
John: — oh yeah, I’ve tried using it and you can make it work, but it takes a lot of effort.
Marcus: Yeah, it’s not good. So kudos to the authors for sending that in and bringing that to our attention. I look forward to seeing exactly where they go with that. It looks like – it looks like it integrates pretty nicely.
John: Yeah, it’s got a lot of integrations to it and it’s – it looks pretty clean, so it looks a whole lot cleaner than bbPress, so…
Marcus: Nice. Okay, so one thing that I tried out on a different site and then when I came across this plugin, I thought, “Oh, this is just the same thing. It’s really fun.” There’s this thing called the Lucky Wheel. You go to a website and it says, “Hey, put your email address in and spin the lucky wheel and you’ll get a prize.” Now, who wouldn’t want to do that? So this gives your site viewers a great experience. They get to spin this little wheel and by entering their email, they get a chance to win a specific discount code by spinning it and see where it lands, like Wheel of Fortune.
You can use it to obviously encourage your email subscriptions to your newsletter and your product briefings and things. It automatically sends out the coupon codes to their email address if they win and the results are calculated on the server side, not some third party, so it remains 100% in your system. It’s called the WooCommerce Lucky Wheel and it rolled into a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: That’s kind of cool! Nice way to help gamify your website.
Marcus: Yep, that’s exactly it.
John: Yeah, and everyone loves games.
Marcus: And because of the fact that they think that that discount code is a prize.
Marcus: They want to redeem the prize and by redeeming the prize, they’ve got to buy something from you.
John: That’s right. There you go. Ways to manipulate the masses – gotta love it. All right, well this website here – this website. This podcast here, currently brought to you by:
With all the changes in website requirements, pulled, compromised, and abandoned plugins out there, now is the time to update and upgrade your WordPress website. JohnOverall.com has 20+ years’ experience and offers hosting, maintenance programs, support, and more to keep your site up-to-date and running smoothly. We offer free estimates and only bill you for the time used, not by the block. While you’re caring for your business, let JohnOverall.com care for your website. Think of us when you think of WordPress. Visit JohnOverall.com.
There you go. Give me a call. I should be able to fit you in in about three weeks. All right, also a quick mention: don’t forget to go sign up for our newsletter where all the latest contest information is now going out, and there could be something there for you, so make sure you sign up for the newsletter at wppluginsatoz.com.
Marcus: Yeah, as we keep going, John and I are going to add more and more stuff to that newsletter.
John: Oh, absolutely. It’s getting – it’s starting to become useful and there’s quite a few subscribers and it goes out every Thursday morning. Okay – yeah, Thursday morning, somewhere around noon – 11:00 to noon.
Okay, our next set of plugins we’ve got for you, I have one here for you called Simple Connect Adverts – Amazon API Connect and Adverts – there we go. It’s an Amazon Connect plugin that lets you easily integrate Amazon products into your WordPress pages. You can use your own template, you can preset the products in the style of your website, all using simple shortcodes.
It allows you to connect up and bring those Amazon products in for all the different posts and pages that you’re using. It helps make it easier for you to collect that extra Amazon bucks. A really nice plugin, seems fairly straightforward and simple to use. Go check it out. I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: All right. Well, I’ve asked for it forever, it’s finally here. This plugin is called WooHoo, and it’s the very first WooCommerce customizer. That’s right, John —
Marcus: — customizer.
John: Customized WooCommerce? This’ll be interesting.
Marcus: I you want to easily and quickly customize WooCommerce, here’s what it allows you to do. It allows you to add and customize the cart icon, enable or disable product galleries, lightboxes, sliders, zooms, change the ‘add to cart’ button text, change a product’s description, additional info, reviews, tabs, titles, all that. Put a prefix on your order numbers, add content to the order complete page, enable or disable WooCommerce breadcrumbs, autocomplete all orders – that’s if you get virtual or downloadable products. The number of gallery thumbnails per row on a product page, the number of products per row, enable or disable order notes, place order buttons in checkout, enable or disable categories, product images, related products, rename the coupon code field – all that kind of stuff.
It’s a lazy plugin, it does a ton of different stuff, it allows you to really customize WooCommerce that you can’t do with one plugin anywhere else. It’s called WooHoo – The WooCommerce Customizer, and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very cool! I haven’t built a WooCommerce site in a while but hey, this could be quite useful.
Marcus: Yep, it allows you to do all the stuff that you are kind of stuck doing out of the box and off the rack with WooCommerce in the past.
John: Nice – customize it up. All right, it looks like we have a little bit of listener feedback this week. You want to take it?
Marcus: Yep, okay. Let’s see if we can handle this one. This is from Tim from North Carolina. “Is there a way to have multiple WooCommerce sites but have all orders go to a single backend or a CRM plugin that all orders are on one WordPress backend? Can’t figure out how to do this.”
Well, I can, and you need to check out this new plugin called WooMultistore, and it allows you to create different shops using Multiuser or Multisite, so you’re going to make a WordPress Multisite, which you can map different domains to. It allows you to have a whole different option and use one single store as your checkout across all of the different stores.
So here’s a great example. Let’s say, John, you and I are making a cosmetics line, right?
Marcus: And we get a bunch of people that are going to be making their own blog about beauty and cosmetics and things. But we want it to be able to order from our cosmetics line with our WooCommerce store.
Marcus: Instead of setting up affiliate codes, instead of setting up a bunch of different things within Multisite that everybody’s got to use, what if I just want to put a block there?
Marcus: And put it on different sites? Well, this allows me to do that. It also allows you to create different – so that different domains have different products.
Marcus: Different domains can be translated into different languages. Different domains or subsites can have completely different product descriptions. You can manage all the orders in a complete multisite in one place, get it all done in one – just a one-stop shop, so check it out at WooMultistore.com. Tons of different options but if you’re doing with it what I think you are, this is well worth the cost.
Marcus: Check it out.
John: That’s a very nice looking plugin and yeah, if you run into problems, Tim, with WordPress Multisite, give me a ring.
John: I have – WordPress Multisite is a challenge unto itself and this would add an additional layer of challenge to it, but it can be one and it can be managed, so…it’s a nice deal. I like that.
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Marcus: Yes, please help.
John: All right, and our final set of plugins here today, the last one I’ve got for you here is called WooCommerce Support System, and this is a support system you can add into your WooCommerce website. It allows you to set up a support service that is essential to your e-commerce site. So if people have problems, issues, this is a nice way to add a ticketing track service into it. The WooCommerce Support System integrates into your WordPress website, simple, fast, and support system.
It allows your users to open a ticketed system for WooCommerce products purchased and they receive notification when a reply is published. And the ability to update the ticket with new messages allows you to keep the thread alive and the conversation. It really helps you keep in contact with your customers throughout the support process and know what’s happening. That way, you don’t lose your customers or worse yet, have to give back the money they’ve already paid.
So this is a really great plugin you might want to look at if you’ve got products that require support in any way whatsoever, or even if you’ve just got products that people get questions on. This is one of the things you might want. Anyway, check it out: WooCommerce Support System, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Nice. Got a whole WooCommerce theme going on here.
John: Yeah, just a little bit today.
Marcus: All right, and this next plugin is called WooCommerce Product Page Templates. It’s one of the things about WooCommerce that actually I didn’t like is the fact that to make these product pages, you’ve got to really customize the heck out of everything. Even themes never get it right.
Marcus: They never get it perfect.
Marcus: So this plugin, WooCommerce Product Page Templates, allows you to create custom page templates for your different WooCommerce products. It lets you convert these product pages into landing pages and a whole lot more. If you want to do things like add a left-to-right sidebar to a product page, this one will do it easily. Want to add sidebars or widget areas above or below the product description? This one totally has you covered.
The product pages generally look back out of the box in WooCommerce and stuff like this really helps out. Again, it’s called WooCommerce Product Page Templates and I gave it a 4 out of 5.
John: That’s cool; I can save some time for folks. If you’ve ever edited WooCommerce product pages or custom templates, you’ll know this could be a lifesaver – at least a timesaver if nothing else.
Marcus: Time – yeah, absolutely.
John: All right, well that closes out this episode. I covered up this time here wpForo – WordPress Forum Plugin, which I gave a 4 to; the Amazon API Connect and Adverts, which I gave a 4 to; and then the WooCommerce Support System, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I talked about the WooCommerce Lucky Wheel, which gets a 5 out of 5; WooHoo, the WooCommerce Customizer gets a 4 out of 5, and the WooCommerce Product Page Templates gets a 4 out of 5.
John: All right, and a couple of quick reminders: please go check out our YouTube channel where we have screencasts, training videos, and more that go up there. And a quick note to developers: if you would like to support the show, you’d like to offer up a premium license for us to give away for one of our contests, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest and enter in all the pertinent data there and we will talk about your plugin and share that information out with our listeners.
And that’s all we’ve got for you now. Take care, bye-bye.
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