WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #202 here.
It’s episode 202 and we’ve got plugins for Secure Site Error Detection, Idea Submissions, BitCoin Tips, Performance Testing and a new plugin to help with natural Post Tags. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right, the first plugin I’ve got here today — this one was referred to us by Nick Tomano. And this one here is called Coinbase Tip. Now, if you’re a bitcoin user — I myself am not. I kind of regret not getting into bitcoin back when they were, you know, two cents apiece. I remember that. But if you do use bitcoin and you have a wallet, you might consider this plugin. It’s a great little plugin — a way to get a few of those bitcoins from your visitors that use them.
You simply install this plugin. You go to Bitcoin Wallet. It’s — I forgot the name of it now, anyway. They have a place where you can go create a bitcoin wallet, set it up, integrate it into your site, and then set it up on a per-post basis for people to leave you a tip in bitcoins, so you might collect a few bitcoins, add to that crypto currency and accumulate for the future when the entire world economies collapse and all we have is bitcoins, right?
Marcus: Yeah, but if the world collapses, I don’t think the internet is going to be around to collect that bitcoin.
John: Oh, well. It could be worse. It could be like the guy who threw away several hundred bitcoins in a hard drive into the dump, back when they were $1,200 or $1,500 a bitcoin. So anyway, check it out. I give it a 3-Dragon rating. It’s a nice little plugin and it looks like it’d be pretty good for you.
Marcus: All right. Well, I don’t use bitcoin — and by the way, that was a submitted plugin to the show. Thank you very much.
John: Yeah, it was submitted. Yes.
Marcus: Yeah, they contacted me on Twitter and wanted to get a review and we’re happy to do that. Just a reminder to all you plugin developers out there and anyone who wants to get a plugin or something featured on the show, there’s a ‘Submit a Plugin’ button on the website at WPPluginsatoz.com.
So my plugin today, the first one out of the gate is called HTTPS Mixed Content Detector — long name again. Guys, come on here. It’s basically this: they should call it like SSL Radar, or something like that. It does an excellent job in finding all those errors in mixed content. Now here’s what I mean by ‘errors’: sometimes, you can have a secure site certificate in SSL, where if you’re running ecommerce or something like that.
And every once in a while, you’ll see a page up at the top that has a lock with a line through it in your address bar. It’s giving some sort of a secure site error; maybe there’s a third-party widget or something like that that you’re running that’s grabbing content from a non-secure site out there, and not running actually through the SSL. This plugin goes through your entire site and finds all of those secure site errors for you. So you don’t have to just look around and try and find anything that’s buggy or giving you issues.
Also, it will alert you ahead of time — not ahead of time, but it will alert you as it happens if you have any other errors on your site. So it’s a good early warning system that you can find out exactly what’s going on, what pages are giving you the error, it has a nice log that you can examine for any warnings or anything like that. It’s just overall a great plugin to have if you have an SSL certificate on your site if you’re a secure site and you want to make sure that that experience goes through to your actual site viewer. So I rated this one a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: That’s very nice. That could save tons of time. I know I could’ve used that a few times in the past.
Marcus: Yeah, and not just time, but understand something that there are oftentimes when a customer is making a purchase during checkout on your site and they’ll get to that and see that, oh, there’s a little error there and I don’t want to put my credit card in, so I’m just not going to buy from that particular site.
John: Yeah, that happens.
Marcus: So it could cost you a lot of money if there’s an error on your checkout page.
John: Especially with your SSL. All right, well the next one I’ve got here is another plugin referred to us. This one was referred to us by Szilard Mihaly, and it’s for all of you soccer fans — football for the rest of the world — soccer for those of you in the United States. And this plugin here, if you’re one of the soccer fans — football fans — it allows you to display the listings and rankings for teams across the world.
It includes such leagues as the Euro League, UEFA, English Premier, and more. It gives you stats, results on games, something to check out. It’s kind of cool. I’m not much of a soccer fan myself, but for those of you that are, install this on your site, share with your friends, you know, your love of soccer, and the results of the games. So give it a check out. It works pretty nice. A 4-Dragon rating on that plugin — Soccer Info.
Marcus: There you go. All right, the next plugin for me is called Performance Tester, and what it does is it helps you to analyze your homepage and give you a couple of different metrics. Things like how large is the load — how long is the load time, how big is the page as far as size. Are you rocking a 3-meg homepage here? You know, this one gives you pretty good results and it lets you compare over time, really clear interface, kind of a cool little pie graph or circle graph, I guess you could say.
It gives you analysis as far as where your website is supposed to be in relation to other websites out there, so it’s sort of a comparison thing. It’s called Performance Tester — really great little thing to use if you’ve got clients, if you want to give them something in their monthly report, do a quick screenshot and include that within it. It’s really nice. So again, it’s called Performance Tester and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. That’s a nice way to do it from within WordPress, instead of heading out to the other testing sites.
Marcus: Right, things like Pingdom or any of those other tools. And this one does it repeatedly, so it’s always nice to keep things within WordPress when you can.
John: Yeah. All right. And the final one I’ve got here, another plugin referred to us. This one was referred to us by Yohanna Schwartz and it’s called Fossura Tag Miner. This is a pretty great little plugin for tagging your posts automatically, and it does it with natural language formula, although the biggest problem I had with this plugin was the lack of any controls, being the control freak that I am.
What it does is that it creates the tags automatically. It only appears to create five tags at a time. But sometimes you might not want that many, but the nice thing it does give you is the ability to set it up so it creates the tags on creating a draft, versus when it’s publishing — up to you, which way you go.
But if you have it create the tags on a draft, it goes through, looks at the content, you save it as a draft, it then creates your tags, and you can look at the tags it created and see if the appropriate tags for it. I kind of would like to see it come with adjustments for a number of tags, to adjust them down or up, depending on what your preference it. I would’ve like to see it with a little bit more refinement to whatever their formula is. Other than that, pretty nice plugin. Give it a checkout: the Fossura Tag Miner. I gave it a rating of 4 Dragons.
Marcus: Tags are often an unutilized feature within WordPress.
John: I try to utilize them in every single post I make, because I use those tags to navigate to other peoples’ sites that use them.
Marcus: That’s right, and a lot of the SEO plugins out there, you put ‘no follow’ on their tags. That’s stupid.
Marcus: That’s really dumb.
John: They’re internal, aren’t they?
Marcus: They are internal, but the thing is I think nobody likes to keep that running archive from an SEO perspective. But I’m going to tell you guys, when you leave tags as far as a followed option to get indexed, you’d be surprised as what you can rank for, just based on your tag archive page.
John: There you go. Nice little tip.
Marcus: Yeah. So the last plugin I’ve got here, it’s one of these that’s almost perfect, John — almost. It’s called Idea Factory. And I’m sure you’ve seen these kinds of things, as far as maybe sometimes — I used to be a member of this theme club where everybody would put an idea out about the existing framework of new improvements or features to add within the actual theme. And it was handled with kind of this third-party voting software, so somebody would put an idea out there and then others would vote on it. At the end of the month, whichever top three had those votes, they would put these features in.
So this allows you to do the exact same thing, so it’s like a suggestion box that everybody can then vote on. There were a lot of plugins out there that the author had seen and tried and boy, I joined them in this one. I’ve never seen anything that can do quite what this plugin does. It’s really nice — it’s HX-powered. It allows one vote per user, per idea, so they can’t just sit there and put 50 million votes on one idea. It emails the administrator every time they get a new idea submission.
It’s short-code based, which is really nice and you can also give it a threshold where each idea gives a particular status based on the total votes. So it can be like, ‘hot’, ‘popular’, something like that. It’s extensible; you can have hooks, actions on events, things like that, put certain featured things based on how it responds to hooks, and it’s completely mobile-friendly as well, as far as the output.
The only problem with this, John —
John: What’s that?
Marcus: You have to be a logged-in user in order to utilize this plugin, as far as submitting an idea or voting on an idea.
John: That is a problem.
Marcus: That’s the problem. That was the deal breaker for me, as far as installing it on one site. Otherwise, this is a great idea, great execution. Once we get rid of this whole user restriction thing, I think this is going to be a very, very cool plugin. But for now, I had to take a point off because of that user thing, and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Still very nice, yes. I like the idea. It’s a great little plugin but yeah, you definitely need to allow non-logged in users to be able to do that.
Okay, well that’s all I’ve got. I covered up in this one, the Coinbase Tip, which I gave a 3 to, the Soccer Info, which I gave a 4 to, and Fossura Tag Miner, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I talked about HTTPS Mixed Content Detector, which I have a 5 out of 5, Performance Tester, I gave a 4 out of 5, and we just spoke of Idea Factory, which I gave a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice.
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