It's Episode 319 and we've got plugins for Database Backups, MultiSite Themes, Podcasting, Amazon Affiliates, Gamification and a great new native countdown timer. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

WordPress Plugins A-Z #319 Database Backups, MultiSite Themes

Episode #319 Database Backups, MultiSite Themes #Wordpress #Plugins #Podcast Click To Tweet

It's Episode 319 and we've got plugins for Database Backups, MultiSite Themes, Podcasting, Amazon Affiliates, Gamification and a great new native countdown timer. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!It’s Episode 319 and we’ve got plugins for Database Backups, MultiSite Themes, Podcasting, Amazon Affiliates, Gamification and a great new native countdown timer. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

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It's Episode 319 and we've got plugins for Database Backups, MultiSite Themes, Podcasting, Amazon Affiliates, Gamification and a great new native countdown timer. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Transcript of Episode 319 WP Plugins A to Z

It's Episode 319 and we've got plugins for Database Backups, MultiSite Themes, Podcasting, Amazon Affiliates, Gamification and a great new native countdown timer. 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 See complete show notes for Episode #319 here.

It’s Episode 319 and we’ve got plugins for Database Backups, MultiSite Themes, Podcasting, Amazon Affiliates, Gamification and a great new native countdown timer. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Episode #319

John:                First up this week here, the plugin that I just briefly touched on that was all about the latest training video, it’s a plugin that I covered way, way, way back in 2011. It’s the PowerPress Podcasting Plugin by Blubrry and it is the plugin we use on our website for managing the podcast. I covered it back in Episode 53 in December 2011 and originally I gave the plugin a rating of 4 Dragons. Well, over the years this plugin has changed a lot in the past six years since the first time I showcased it. Now, a lot of times I thought to come back and re-review it and I tried to deal with their updates. A lot of times I just would touch on them and I wouldn’t fully implement them on our site because I always had something else on my plate to do it.

Well, while I was doing the training video, I updated it for our site and tweaked the settings in it. The plugin has made a lot of advances in its settings. It’s improved to allow settings now to your podcast that will allow you to set up individual images per podcast episode. It will allow you to create new titles over the base titles that are in the post itself. It allows you to now submit to Google Play for showcasing along with an easy way to get it submitted to the iTunes Store. It also has SEO settings in it now to help improve the SEO settings. It even will insert C-data information in there to your podcast. There’s a lot that this plugin does now and it’s very thorough, very stable. It comes with some really great built-in players, so you don’t have to hunt down players.

And if you’re one that opts to use Blubrry services to host your podcast episodes, you can use their player and they have a really fantastic player which unfortunately I can’t use because I don’t use them for hosting my podcast. But their service is relatively affordable for those that want to use it. It’s like $15 a month. Anyway, a great plugin, it really had some great improvements over the years. Go check out the training video. I walk through how to set this plugin up, how to configure it, and tweak it all. So anyway, check out PowerPress Podcasting Plugin by Blubrry and it has been raised to a 5-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Yeah, this one definitely gets a 5 from me as well.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           I have been podcasting since the tail end of 2004 – that makes it almost 13 years.

John:                Yep.

Marcus:           And when I started, you actually had to hand in code your RSS and XML feeds.

John:                I just missed that window.

Marcus:           And then somebody – a pretty prominent person – told me, “Hey, there’s this thing called WordPress that can do all the RSS feeds for you automatically, and that’s what brought me to WordPress, absolutely. Hands-down, I was coding my site in something called Net Objects Fusion at the time, which still has some advantages over WordPress but definitely not enough for me to stick with it. So I am a huge believer in Blubrry and Todd Cochrane, who’s the CEO over there. They’re great – I don’t subscribe to the service myself, but in terms of this particular plugin, it’s the only one I would ever use or recommend for podcasts.

John:                Absolutely.

Marcus:           All right, so let’s go to my first plugin of the day. It’s called GamiPress. It’s one of the easiest ways to use gamification on your WordPress website in just a few minutes. It allows you to award your users with digital rewards for interacting on your site, easily define the achievements, organizational requirements, and choose from a range of options to determine whether each task or requirement has been successfully activated. So that would be things like reading a particular article would give you X amount of points. Filling out a contact form would get you a certain amount of points. Leaving a comment gets you a certain amount of points.

And with all of those, then you actually unlock something or it could be just something as simple as a participation badge to actually real prize or things like that or reviewing products – any of those particular things. It’s a really great system, it has a lot of cool plugins and add-ons that go along with it that interact with things like Contact Form 7, GravityForms, Ninja Forms, and the like. A really cool plugin, nice base, something for you to check out. It’s called GamiPress and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                That looks like a very nice plugin for implementation to us, maybe encourage people to do some stuff on our website.

Marcus:           Yes, absolutely. I am privy to the internal website of one of the largest telecommunications companies in the United States just because of the work that I do with them. They have this exact same thing within their internal sort of intranet site and it actually monitors all of the training videos that you watch. It monitors all of the different tasks that you do and gets you kind of a running score and it resets every month, which is pretty wild too, because then you’ve got to go back into it again. So gamification is a great way to encourage a lot of participation on your website and I recommend you check it out.

John:                Nice. I will definitely be looking at that later this week when I’m working on our stuff. All right, next up here I have a plugin that came out of necessity and this last week I had the necessity to retrieve a website from a host of ill repute for a client. It seemed their hosting provider would not give them C-panel access, which was generally making their life difficult for the things they needed to accomplish on their growing website. The one fortunate thing that we had was we had FTP access to their site. And with the FTP access and the fact that I have a script that allows me to upload via FTP and then to insert an administrative contact into any WordPress website if I’ve got FTP access, this allowed us to gain access to the website.

It allowed us to gain access into it to go in there and start pulling down all of their files, getting a hold of their files. Our big problem was getting the database. They had a fairly extensive database and in particular, a database with lots and lots of tables in it. This presents a problem especially on this particular hosting provider they were on where they had a server that had limited resources. So trying to grab their entire database at one time with a database backup plugin, it kept choking on it.

What I needed to do was find a database backup plugin that allowed me to pull out table by table or groups of tables at a time so I could limit the amount of resources on the server. Well, this plugin here is called WP Database Backup fit that bill perfectly for me in that it allows you to go in there and limit which data tables you’re going to yank in your backup. This allowed me to go through in the tables that have way too many records to exclude those and allow me to pull out the tables in chunks, and then pull out one table that had too many records all by itself.

This allowed me to pull the database out in pieces and then to piece it back together, add a quality host ( hosting, by the way), and get it up and running again. It was a lot of work but well worth the effort and this plugin performed beautifully for doing that job. Now, the plugin offers more than that. It allows you to upload the backups to multiple destinations, you can put it to Amazon S3, Dropbox, email, FTP. If you’re going to use it as a backup system, it allows you to schedule the backups to do the backups on it. It does a system check to tell you how good the systems on it is and a bit more. All in all, a fantastic plugin. It performed perfectly, did what I needed, and will do more in the future for me. So go check it out: WP Database Backup Plugin. I gave it a 5-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Yeah, that’s very important. Very important.

John:                Your hosting provider, one of the most important choices you’ll make with your website.

Marcus:           Yeah, yeah. Okay, I am a big fan of countdown timers. They prompt a specific call to action and a deadline and create kind of a sense of urgency. One of the problems though is that countdown timers are often third-party things and you don’t necessarily get the advantage of using your own site when doing these things and you’re running external scripts and all of that. This is different. It’s called WP Deadlines and it displays a customizable countdown timer to your WooCommerce page and site as well. It has a site-wide FlyOut banner, countdown timers, and all of that for email, so you can actually use this in your email as well with a kind of embed code.

You don’t have to use any extra plugins for countdown timers or SAS services or anything like that. Everything is combined in this and it’s totally free and open source. So what this does is it allows you to run this countdown timer natively within your own site and save everybody the hassle of throwing it into spam and all the rest of all that stuff. A very good plugin – I’m just testing it out now on an actual live site that’s really, really working out well for me. I’ve just started using it actually last night and thought I would throw it in here for reviews. It’s called WP Deadlines, a great countdown timer, and I rated it actually a 4 out of 5.

John:                Very nice! I like those. I have often been pulled into things when they throw a countdown timer at me if I’m hemming and hawing about whether I should get something.

Marcus:           Right, and that could include things like special discounts, okay?

John:                Well —

Marcus:           If you want to do it for one day, then you have a special discount that has a countdown timer.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           A lot of different things.

John:                Yeah, because usually a product or a plugin or a service or something, I look at it and go, “I can use it but hey, it’s discounted and they’re gonna kill it. Will they actually?” So make sure you use it legitimately, folks. If you’re going to offer a discount, make sure you kill that discount when you say you’re going to, instead of I see companies that say, “Discounts…limited!”

Marcus:           Right.

John:                And then two weeks later, the same discount, same limited timeframe. It’s like, “Okay, guys.”

Marcus:           Yeah, exactly.

John:                So really, I can just buy it anytime at the discount. No, make it legit. But yeah, I have been pulled in because of those, so they actually help encourage you to do that, so check ‘em out.

Marcus:           Yep.

John:                All right, final one I’ve got here today is called Amazon Auto Links and this one here, it seems I am going to be making another foray down the world of the affiliate links again for a client who wants to set up some Amazon linking systems in there. This is a plugin I started checking out to look at to make the setting up of the Amazon links on your website an automatic process versus having to manually do it. This look like a plugin that’s going to fit the bill quite nicely. I’m just now digging down into it to see what it does.

But one of the nice things it does, it’s pretty straightforward. It sets up its connection using the Amazon product API key. You can choose from 12 server locations from across the globe depending on where you’re at, including Canada, France, and the UK (which is really nice for my client who is Canadian). You can go in and whitelist products and blacklist items. It also has a product cache so that it’ll cache the stuff on your website up to you determine the number of days it keeps the cache live, so it helps improve the speed and performance of your site, instead of always having to wait for Amazon to load.

It uses your affiliate linking information for Amazon, so it automatically puts your affiliate link into all of the ads it produces for your site and it can be inserted into the site using shortcodes or widgets into your site, so it’s relatively straightforward. More and more will come out of it as I start to use it but at the moment, it’s looking like it’s going to be a good 4-Dragon rating plugin, so check it out: Amazon Auto Links.

Marcus:           Yes. Amazon is actually very important within your site. I actually wrote a blog post on my site and I referenced a book like a year ago.

John:                Yeah?

Marcus:           And for some reason, I ranked pretty high on that term for that book.

John:                Hmm…

Marcus:           And I made already I think this year, just based on one little blog post, about $150 in commissions on that, and just kind of did it secondhand. I really didn’t intend on making any money with it but I thought, “You know what? I better put an Amazon link into it since I’m referencing it anyway,” and I was surprised.

John:                [chuckling]

Marcus:           So give that plugin a shot and, you know, it’ll help you with Amazon links as well.

All right, let’s wrap it up here, John. I’ve got a lazy plugin.

John:                Oh, sweet! We haven’t had one of those in a long time.

Marcus:           Yep, and it’s actually a lazy plugin that has to do with WP Multisite, or WPMU, whichever one you want to call it. One of the things that I hate the most as a super-admin with this thing is it still locks me out of editing and administering different sites as I’m navigating through the different networks. I wanted to just use a theme and use the theme on four or five different sites so that I could kind of build them sequentially, and every time you do it, you’ve got to go back into the other site and you’ve got to network admin navigate it, and you’ve got to do all this other stuff.

So this is called WPMU Allow All Themes and you activate this plugin and it eliminates the need completely for any network activate when it comes to themes. It’s a real good timesaver. To me, this should be a toggle in Multisite, but it’s not. I don’t know why.

John:                [chuckling]

Marcus:           So check it out for yourself. If you use Multisite, it’s few and far between these days of people that are actually using Multisite, but that’s okay. I do – I love it and this is a great, lazy plugin, rated a perfect 5 out of 5.

John:                Yes, that is a nice plugin. I will have to add that to my Multisite that I still currently run —

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                — because I do have that problem. It’s like I load a theme and I’m like, “Oh, crap. I’ve got to go load here, change, activate this…”

Marcus:           Right!

John:                Yeah – Multisite is a great tool and it’s also a challenging tool at the same time. It does have its issues but I think I’ve solved the issues that were plaguing our site, so —

Marcus:           Oh, really?

John:                — our site might stay Multisite after all.

Marcus:           Hmm…

John:                I found a plugin that was conflicting, so —

Marcus:           What was that?

John:                Um…

Marcus:           What plugin?

John:                [chuckling] It was conflicting with the theme we’re using.

Marcus:           Ah.

John:                So it’s the plugin that uses the – it’s the dashboard from WPMU —

Marcus:           Oh!

John:                — their dashboard plugin was conflicting with the theme, so I turned it off and all the problems went away. I was like, okay. So contact them, eventually they’ll update their plugin, because they can be a little slow at updating the plugin when it’s a not a priority problem.

Marcus:           Right.

John:                But they usually do get around to it. So anyway, a great plugin, yeah. I like that idea.

All right, that wraps us up for this week. I covered up PowerPress Podcasting Plugin, which I gave a 5 to; the WP Database Backup, which I gave a 5 to; can the Amazon Auto Links, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I reviewed GamiPress, which gets a 5 out of 5; WP Deadlines, the countdown timer, gets a 4 out of 5; and we just talked about WPMU Allow All Themes, which gets a perfect 5 out of 5.

[End of Audio]

WordPress Plugins to Recover from Disaster, Access Instagram and more..

WordPress Plugins from A to Z Episode 93 

It’s episode #93 and we’ve got some amazing new WordPress plugins that help you safely recover from disaster, access your Instagram photos, track your social shares, Quick Uploads, Pinterest, and a great new teaching plugin. It’s the show that takes it’s coffee at a #000000 value, It’s WordPress Plugins A-Z!

WordPress Plugins A-Z Podcast Can also be found at
WordPress Plugins A-Z Podcast can be found on Stitcher Radio Click here to Download app or listen online Now.
WordPress Plugins A-Z Podcast can be found on the iTunes Store here.

>>>Self Promotion of our businesses here<<<
Do you need WordPress Emergency support you know when you see the ever favorite White Screen of Death. Or just some questions on how to do something please visit for some quick tips or request some help.

Marcus is now available for phone consultations at If you need help with WordPress, Podcasting, SEO or general Internet Marketing help, the new platform is an easy way to schedule and pay for a consulting phone call.

John’s & Marcus Rant

Today’s recording (November 1st) marks the one year anniversary of Marcus co-hosting the show! Here’s to many more in the future!

Shout Outs:

Thank you to everyone who has continued to give us high ratings and praise on iTunes by providing a review, especially in the last few weeks. We really appreciate the support and are quite ecstatic that there are thousands of you out there that get great benefit from the content that we create. Keep the reviews coming! It helps the show to rank better within iTunes and let’s new WP enthusiasts know about the show with more prominence.

Listener Feedback / Audio Clips

Lyria looking for a sidebar plugin to subscribe to future posts and not use feedburner.

-You may want to check out Newsletter, a plugin that we’ve previously discussed on the show. ( It allows you to do both single and double opt-in newsletter subscriptions without the need of a third party service. It also handles unsubscribe requests automatically.

-Additionally there’s a plugin called “Easy Automatic Newsletter Lite” ( that has many of the same functionality points and has added benefits of controlling the frequency in which new posts go out in newsletter form.

Andrew McGivern with some great show feedback and wants to know of a plugin to sync comments from one site to another..

-This is a tough one Andrew, as you would have to share the same SQL user table between two installations, not to mention the fact that you would have duplicate content on two different sites, possibly negating any positive gains that this functionality would give you. You bring up an interesting point in using Facebook, in which you could use Alex King’s new SOCIAL plugin ( to act as a conduit for cross-pollinating your comments between WP and Facebook and Twitter.

Another suggestion is to try the premium plugin “WP-ROBOT” ( as a way to grab both posts and comments and post to another WP installation, though it may not have the ability to continually monitor each post individually and update them one by one. Version 4 of WP Robot was just released with a ton of new features, but Marcus has not yet had the opportunity to review it in full to test it’s full capabilities and limitations.

You may want to try the FaceBook SEO plugin for comments and palce it on both sites with same app code. It was reviewed back a few episodes by me.

David from Perth, Australia has a new podcasting project using WordPress and is looking for a solution to facilitate a directory that podcasters can use to submit their own podcast information.

-Marcus suggests using DirectoryPress theme, which you can buy at (This is an affiliate link that helps to support your hosts)
The theme features both free and paid options for adding entries into the directory, robust child themes, payment gateways and plenty of methods in which to import mass content from CSV or other means. I love using these premiumpress themes not only for their functionality and free lifetime upgrades, but also for the amazing community and support forums that go along with it.


World of WordPress News and other interesting WordPress related posts:

Wordpress 3.5 Beta 2 has been launched. If you are interested in beta testing this version, head on over to and grab a copy. WordPress 3.5 is scheduled for official release on December 5th, 2012.

New improvements in the beta that are being implemented for future release versions include:


  • New workflow for working with image galleries, including drag-and-drop reordering and quick caption editing.
  • New user interface for setting static front pages for the Reading Settings screen.
  • New image editing API allowing you to edit images in the WP dashboard.
  • Plugin Favorites: You can browse and install plugins you’ve marked as favorites on, directly from your dashboard. (Sounds like someone at WP has been listening to our show!)

**WordPress Plugins Reviewed by John**

QuickUpload 1.0

  • Version: 1.0
  • Author: Ayman Al Zarrad
  • Last Updated: 1 day ago
  • Requires WordPress Version: 3.3 or higher
  • Compatible up to: 3.4.2
  • Downloaded: 11 times
  • Plugin Page »

The lowdown:
Was excited when I first saw it but less as I actually installed and activated it. They have the right idea but wrong approach I think. This should add a box to the post/page edit area not o the Dashboard for your admin. So let me ask a quick question how many people actually spend much time on the dashboard page and do any work there aside from look at stats?
Rating 2 Dragons

My Pinterest Badge 1.0.1

The Lowdown:
So by now you know what pinterest is right? Well I have recently begun to actually use it and start to apply it as clients have started asking for it. This one caught my eye for those of you who use it and what to share what you do on pnterest in your sidebar. My not yet there but some of you may be. You install it activate it and then add your username and choose image size and that’s really about it but if you like pinterest this is for you.

Rating 3 Dragons

WP Teacher 1.0.1

The Lowdown on this one:
This one is so very new and something I have been looking for since I do site for one of my local schools just the quick use I have to say it is impressive here is the creators info on it..
WP Teacher is a plugin that allows teachers to use WordPress to their advantage by integrating course content into their personal website to enhance student learning.
WP Teacher functions like typical blog postings, but provides additional features to maximize student learning. All the features work together. The plugin is maximized for customization which makes it perfect for multi-site wordpress installation.

  • 2 Post Types
    • Assignments
      • Document Uploading
      • Due Date for assignments
    • Events
      • All Day
      • Date Range
      • Time selection
  • 2 Widgets
    • Assignments List
      • Display X ammount of posts
      • Choose a course category to display
      • Choose a assignment type to display
    • Events List
      • Display X ammount of posts
      • Choose a course category to display (That applies to a specific course)
      • Choose a event type to display
  • 3 Taxonomies (Post Categories)
    • Course
    • Event Type
    • Assignment Type
  • Calendar
  • Plugin Options
    • Calendar view settings
    • Select Specific courses/events to display on calendar
    • Color choices for the courses taxonomy

As for me with the short amount of time I have used it so far I have to rate it as 4 Dragons but that may go up.


**WordPress Plugins Reviewed by Marcus**

WP – Social Stats

Wpsocialstats is a social analytics tool that tracks the performance of your site at Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Stumbleupon.

Requires: 2.6 or higher
Compatible up to: 3.4.2
Last Updated: 2012-10-3
Downloads: 561
WP Social Stats is a social analytics plugin that tracks the performance of your blog or website posts on social networks. People love to share great content with their friends on social networks, but do you know which network is the most popular for your blog/website or what type of blog posts are shared the most? WPSocialstats helps you answer these questions so you focus on creating great content, the key to success for any blog or website.

With WP Social Stats you can:

  • Track number of times a post is shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ , Pinterest, LinkedIn and Stumbleupon
  • Data is presented in a table view, easy to read and analyze
  • Sort results per category or tag and see which type of posts are performing the best
  • Sort results per month
  • Track performance of your blog or website pages as well

Marcus’ Take:
While there are numerous ways to add and propagate social likes and tweets, there is often a large gap in how to associate that data within WordPress itself from a statistical standpoint. This plugin bridges the gap, allowing you to see sharing statistics for your posts directly in the WordPress dashboard. I found this to be a great improvement in determining what posts “go viral” and also identifying what users are sharing your post content online.

Rating: 4 Dragons

Safe Mode

Makes it possible to enable safe mode for WordPress. In safe mode, plugins will not be loaded and the default theme (if installed) will be activated.

Requires: 3.0.1 or higher
Compatible up to: 3.4.2
Last Updated: 2012-10-19
Downloads: 73

This plugin enables safe mode for WordPress. This means:

  • No plugins will be loaded.
  • A default theme will be temporarily activated (if it is installed).

Why is this useful?

Whenever something’s wrong with a WordPress site, the first rule of thumb is to disable plugins and possibly revert to the default theme. Depending on the nature of the error, that is not always an option. The back end (dashboard) may also be down, you may not have FTP access to manually disable plugins or themes and so on.

Enter Safe Mode. Safe Mode will completely disable all plugins and the active theme temporarily for a single page view – ultimately enabling you to log in and remove the offending plugin. (This is not guaranteed to work in all scenarios, please read the disclaimer)

How does it work?

If your site crashes due to an upsetting plugin or theme, all you have to do is add a querystring parameter to the URL. That will temporarily disable all plugins for that single page view, as well as temporarily activate a default theme if such is installed.
Let’s say you’re the owner of To enable safe mode for one particular page, you add this to the URL: “?safe_mode=1”.
Bear in mind that you have to do this for every view. The querystring parameter isn’t carried on automatically. So, for instance:

When you go to plugin management, all plugins will seem to be deactivated (due to the way Safe Mode works), but you’ll still be able to explicitly deactivate each plugin. Just use the “Deactivate (safe mode)” option.

What is default themes?

By default theme, I’m referring to either Twenty Twelve, Twenty Eleven or Twenty Ten.
The plugin checks if any of these themes are installed (in that order), and if so, activates the first theme it encounters. Thus I highly recommend that you keep one of those themes installed at all times. If you don’t, safe mode will keep your current active theme, and that theme may just be the offender – leaving safe mode useless. Keep this in mind.

Marcus’ Take: There are many times in which a plugin can interact negatively. These can include WordPress core version updates, plugin updates, theme updates or any other scenario in which the code changes over time. When this happens, there is often a conflict which can literally stop a site in it’s tracks. This plugin helps to keep your site in “safe mode” with a simple trailing string on your URL, which lets you get to the root of the problem without having your site completely dead. It’s an easy way to get the site back up again if problems ever come up that seem to be out of your control.

Rating: 5 Dragons

A WordPress plugin that allows you to create amazing blog posts or galleries for your WordPress website that include your Instagram photos.

Requires: 3.3 or higher
Compatible up to: 3.4.2
Last Updated: 2012-10-26
Downloads: 387

Simply install the plugin on your WordPress site, activate and authorize your account connection to Instagram and then start importing your photos and creating galleries.

Where can I use it?
Easygram can be used with any WordPress install. As long as you have a site and as long as you have WordPress then Easygram will work for you.
Auto-import all your Instagram photos
With the above setup done, you can simply start creating your galleries using Easygram’s auto-import feature. Click the Instagram tab and you’ll be able to see your Instagram photos which you’ve taken.
Select Multiple Photos at a Time
Select multiple photos and include as many as you like in your galleries.

Marcus’ Take: This is an outstanding bridge built to let you access your mobile photos directly in your WordPress Media Gallery. It adds an “Instagram” section of your Media Gallery, allowing you to use the images in your post with just a few clicks.

Rating: 5 Dragons


Just some reminders:

Rate us at iTunes,,, Stitcher Radio and any place else you find us.


What’s coming in future podcasts:

How to Contact Us:

John can be contacted at:

Marcus can be contacted at:

WordPress Plugins from A to Z Episode #53 — Podcasting Plugins and More

  Popping your top ehThis episode brings to you some great plugins for podcasting and site motoring. We also review a great plugin for creating your own accordion menu system.

John’s & Marcus Rant: What to rant about?

Just some random chatting about Vegas and the marathon there and cheep beer while playing penny slots..

My thoughts on WordPress 3.3, ever notice when the creators of software are thinking they are making it better they actually bloat it right up. It seems WordPress is doing some of that, the  flyout menu annoyed me fast and I installed the plugin Expanded Admin Menus the only problem is that it does not persist across computers or browsers since it is java driven and does actually disable the menu. This gives the best of both worlds and is how WordPress should have done it. A new menu bar at the top in the admin area and the one on the front I liked better before was faster I thought that this new drop down. What does Automatic have someone there who has a hard-on for unnecessary flyouts and dropdown menus, including the new feature tour and WTF how come I can’t turn off the admin tool bar up top..

Shout Outs:

Jason at another membership plugin he brought to my attention reviewed below..

Manny with some great suggestions for upcoming plugins.

WordCamp Victoria 2012 happening on January 14 2012..

Check out @runnerskye 2012 YYJ Run for Cancer Calendar at

Travis Smith

List of interesting sites that run on WordPress:

World of WordPress News and other interesting WordPress related posts:

In case you live under a rock WordPress 3.3 has dropped on Dec 12

List of Plugins:

—–Johns Plugins——-

Paid Memberships Pro

What they say:

Paid Memberships Pro is a WordPress Plugin and support community for membership site curators. PMPro’s rich feature set allows you to add a new revenue source to your new or current blog or website and is flexible enough to fit the needs of almost all online and offline businesses.

What we say:

Pretty easy to get setup one flaw I saw was in payment gateway they offer paypal express and pro but not standard seemed strange to me since many folks starting out do not pay for the extra paypal express or pro. This is a premium plugin where all the functionality of the plugin seems to be there but you cannot access the documentation without payment. A good model but I feel it should be disclosed in the description when you download it from the repository. I felt a little deceived on that front. I do like the way it functions it does have a simple check box when creating a post/page to define if the post is member only. All in all this is a pretty goo plugin except for the issues above.

Rating 4 Dragons

NY in VegasBlubrry PowerPress Podcasting plugin 2.0.4

What They Say:

Blubrry PowerPress brings the essential features for podcasting to WordPress. Developed by podcasters for podcasters, PowerPress offers full iTunes support, the Update iTunes Listing feature, web audio/video media players and more. PowerPress is designed as an upgrade to PodPress.

PowerPress is developed and maintained by Blubrry, a podcasting company and community providing tools and resources for podcasters to measure, monetize, publish and host podcasts. Although we’d like you to become a member of Blubrry, no membership is required to use this free open source podcasting plugin.

What We Say:

I have actually been using this plugin for over a year now and felt it was time I reviewed it again since there have been many changes to it and I was recently asked about podcasting plugins.

I still found this pretty easy to setup although it still take time to get it right. Make sure you know if you are going to do more than one type of podcast on the same site there are setting for that. also think though your setting for iTunes before setting them up changing them later can sometimes cause issue there. It also does video in case your planning that.. Make sure to get a Blubrry account so you can use their stats program.

Rating 4 Dragons ease of use but time to get setup.


What they Say:

podPress adds a lot of features designed to make WordPress the ideal platform for hosting a podcast.

podPress includes a bug fix. You can read more about this version in the Changelog and pay attention to the Upgrade section.


  • Full featured and automatic feed generation (RSS2, iTunes and ATOM and XSPF playlist)
  • Podcast Download stats, with graphs.
  • View MP3 files ID3 tags when your Posting

…. more

What we say:

There where several other podcasting plugins but they seem to have been abandoned so I did this one again sine it was my original choice when I first started podcasting and what I taught in my classes.

I still found this one to be a bit more difficult on the setting up the one good thing i liked was control over how you player looks and where it appears. The one thing I did not like was the lack of control on a per post basis for iTunes and that there is no verification of the media when uploaded it simply pulls it from the directory you assigned in the settings. All in all not too bad just seems more work after install instead of less.

Rating 3 Dragons for extra work.

Harly heaven——Marcus Plugins———-


WordPress Sentinel

This plugin acts as a sentinel that watches over your core WordPress programs, as well as installed themes and plugins. It periodically checks things

WordPress Sentinel tracks all files in a WordPress installation (core, themes, plugins) and then periodically rechecks and notifies the administrator of any files that have changed in any way.
Most attacks against WordPress sites will install rogue code wherever they can – in new and existing files in the themes, plugins and even in the WordPress core files. This plugin is designed to tell the administrator exactly what files have been touched and when in order to make hack detection and recovery much easier.

Rating – 3 out of 5


WP DoNotTrack

WP DoNotTrack stops plugins and themes from adding 3rd party tracking code to your blog to protect your visitor’s privacy.

WP DoNotTrack stops plugins and themes from adding 3rd party tracking code to your blog to protect your visitor’s privacy. WP DoNotTrack uses (a slightly modified) version of jQuery AOP to catch and inspect elements that are about to be added to the DOM and renders these harmless if the black- or whitelist says so.
The current version is blacklist-based and stops tracking by media6degrees and quantserve. This can easily be changed in the javascript though. Future versions will include a WordPress admin-page to change these settings.

** This is an interesting model for a plugin, and one who’s overlying concept may one day become an issue in WordPress as a whole. At what point should we / can we be circumventing internal functionality of other plugins and/or scripts?

Rating 2 out of 5


A simple and easy way to test your theme for all the latest WordPress standards and practices. The theme check plugin is an easy way to test your theme and make sure it’s up to spec with the latest theme review standards. With it, you can run all the same automated testing tools on your theme that uses for theme submissions.
The tests are run through a simple admin menu and all results are displayed at once. This is very handy for theme developers, or anybody looking to make sure that their theme supports the latest WordPress theme standards and practices.

**A great theme development tool! I used this to find issues with a hand-coded theme I was working on and it saved me hours of headaches.

Rating 4/5


NY in VegasWP Accordion Slider

The WP Accordion Slider plugin allows you to upload images from your computer, which will then be used to generate a jQuery Accordion of the images. Custom titles and content from various sources can be shown. Content, excerpt, and content limits can all be used for posts and pages.
Each image can also be given a URL which, when the image is active in the slideshow, will be used as an anchor wrapper around the image, turning the image into a link to the URL you specified. Images can also be deleted via the plugins Administration page.
NOTICE: Currently in Beta.

This plugin also enables the use of shortcodes in widgets

  1. Set Auto Play (and thus, slide delay, whether to pause on hover, and auto restart delay)
  2. Create custom titles
  3. Set caption height, delay, and easing
  4. Create custom content for captions or capture content from the post’s or page’s content, content limit or excerpt.
  5. Set accordion navigation key. If set to true, users can use right/left arrows to navigate through the accordion slider.
  6. Custom set the div/ul ids as well as set the image/div sizes.
  7. Ability to Deactivate/Reactivate images/slides without deleting them
  8. Set Caption Background (white/black) transparency
  9. Cross browser tested (IE7+, FF 3.6+, Chrome 10+)


Latest version: Download WP Accordion Slider v1.8b [zip]

Rating 4 out of 5

** I had some interaction with Travis Smith, the plugin’s author. He was really great about giving instant feedback. If you use this plugin, please thank Travis at @wp_smith


Some Terms here for plugins: Nothing special this week..

Yes that is a hotel how strange ehIn closing here is what is coming in future podcasts:

An interview with Scott Cariss the creator of the File Monitor plugin coming soon, just as soon as I can connect with him.

scroll plugins or banner tickers

Commenting plugins

404 redirect plugins

Ad banners plugins

More Lazy Plugins

How to Contact Us:

John can be contacted at:

on my website @ or you can follow me on Twitter @Ahkonsu or even like me on Facebook at

Marcus can be contacted at:

Marcus Couch can be contacted at his website at, on twitter   @marcuscouch and on facebook at

Some of the music provided tonight is from Mevio’s Music Alley. Check it out at ‘

WordPress Plugins from A to Z Episode #52 — Membership Plugins and TOS Plugins

Alone with thoughtsWordPress Plugins from A to Z Episode 52  Nov 30, 2011

Today’s show brings in some great membership plugins as well as a TOS plugin and a couple others that will make your WordPress website the envy of all your friends.

John’s & Marcus Rant: What to rant about?

making fun of spammers, seems I have been targeted by SEO spammers and others that think I need help ( well I might but not in that way) I figure if they can find me something must be happening otherwise how else do they manage to contact me.. lets take this most recent one and the first spam comment to get though in almost a year “by MarciaDale –

The internet has become the world’s marketplace. You can do business all over the world. But you have to stand out from your competition. It’s all in the website, linking, keywords — all the tools of Search Engine Optimization. We know them. Let us show you how we can help you.”

My guess is it got though because they used my own domain as the one in the url box and damn they almost seem sincere….

stepping upShout Outs:

Adam @ Integrity Solutions his plugin theme scheduled themes.

Check out @runnerskye 2012 YYJ Run for Cancer Calendar at

Something new list of interesting sites that run on WordPress:

Ministry of Transportation BC

World of WordPress News and other interesting WordPress related posts:

WordPress the most popular open source CMS for second year running

WordAds Opens Monetization to Free WordPress Blogs launches WordAds to help you make money from your blog

List of Plugins:

—–Johns Plugins——-


What they Say:
Membership transforms your WordPress website into a fully functional membership site. Provide access to downloads, online content, videos, forums, support and more through flexible membership levels and options. Simple to use, flexible – this plugin will meet all of your membership site needs. Want to create a site like GigaOm, Izzy Video, PSD Tuts? Now you can do it, easy!

You can use Membership lite to create…

  • A WordPress membership site, offering resources, forums, downloads, videos, support and more… with two different levels of membership and complete customizations.
  • Multiple membership sites on a WordPress MultiSite install – so any user of your site can have their own membership site.

What we Say:
This one also has a premium version but in the case of that if I cannot get the free one to work properly I will not spend the money on premium. What I found is that it is pretty easy to get all set up instructions are pretty easy but I ran into one major glitch. Every time I tried to register it would lock up on the second page of registration requesting to select a subscription but unable to select it. Finally had to abandon it due to this issue.

Rating 3 Dragons due to issue around the registration page.

Free WP-Membership Plugin 1.1.8

What they say:

Protect your content with Levels. Levels can protect Posts, Pages and Categories. Levels are not sequential, they are more like groups. Currently the Payment gateways are non-functional due to stripping out the copy-protection during the open sourcing process. These will be restored over time, including: PayPal, and Google Checkout.

The primary repository for Free WP-Membership is at GitHub. The project home page is at Free WP-Membership.

What we say:

Oopppssss this one cause a fatal error on both my test sites so was unable to test it out…

Rating: Epic fail—- 1 Dragon

HotWP-Members 2.6.4

What they say:

WP-Members™ is a plugin to make your WordPress® blog a membership driven site. Perfect for newsletters, private blogs, premium content sites, and more! The plugin restricts selected WP content to be viewable by registered site members. Unlike other registration plugins and WordPress® itself, it puts the registration process inline with your content (and thus your branded theme) instead of the native WP login page. WP-Members™ works “out-of-the-box” with no modifications to your theme, but it is fully scalable for those that want to customize the look and feel, or want to restrict only some content. It is a great tool for sites offering premium content to subscribers, and is adaptable to a variety of applications.

What we say:

I like this one pretty easy to setup and also allow you to request additional info when they are registering. and it works much better than the first one I tried. just a few simple settings and you can block everything by default and ope up or open everything and block as needed. Plus they have some great documentation on their site at

Rating 5 Dragonsfor easy use and actually working.

——Marcus Plugins———-

Twitter Lock


Requires WordPress Version: 2.8 or higher

Compatible up to: 3.2.1

Last Updated: 2011-11-28 Downloads: 83

TwitterLock can easily lock up content, which will only be revealed when the user will follow you on twitter or Tweet using twitter

* Description

* Installation


* Screenshots

* Changelog

* Stats

TwitterLock can be used for locking content on a page or post.

Options for the plugin

1) Unlock Type – Here you can set whether you want users to Tweet and unlock the content or Follow you on twitter and then unlock the content 2) Tweet Message – This is the message which will be tweeted in user profile if you use the Tweet and Unlock content. 3) Twitter user ID to follow – This user id will be followed if you select Follow and Unlock the content 4) Locked Content Text – This content is displayed just above the Twitter button.

Author: Mohit Jawanjal

Rating – 3/5

Has a lot of potential for additional ways to grow your followers. This would really need to have some savvy persuasion skills, or a lot of good content that would support the means for a gateway.


WordPress Quick Save


Do you habitually press CTRL+S when writing? Do you fear missing posts? There’s help!

WordPress Quick Save adds a CTRL+S keyboard shortcut to trigger the Auto-save functionality in WordPress. If you find that you habitually hit CTRL+S while writing posts, this will stop those annoying popup save site windows from appearing.

No more having to stop and click save to ensure you don’t lose your recent edits. Keep in mind, this saves ONLY as an autosave.

This plugin should work with most versions of WordPress, but has not been tested in versions earlier than 2.9

Author: Aaron Harun

Requires WordPress Version: 2.9 or higher

Compatible up to: 3.3

Last Updated: 2011-11-27 Downloads: 122

Rating – 4/5

This is a simple plugin with basic functionality that just plain WORKS. For those who are continually paranoid about saving your work (as I am) then this is the plugin for you!

Shippng out


Enable Image Scaling on Upload


Requires WordPress Version: 3.3 or higher

Compatible up to: 3.3

Last Updated: 2011-11-26 Downloads: 131

This enables use and display of the image scaling option that comes with the new uploader introduced in WordPress 3.3.

WordPress’s new uploader, Plupload, comes with a an option to scale down images during upload. This plugin makes that option visible on the upload screen, leaving you to choose whether you want to scale on upload or not.

Rating – 3/5

Author: Drew Jaynes ( )

Good start at adding some new functionality for the 3.3 upload feature. Plain and simple, this gives out of the box functionality to something that I assume will eventually be integrated as a stock feature in the new upload functions. But for now, this plugin does the job.


Terms & Conditions


This Plugin adds a Terms & Conditions agreement page the first time a user logs in and a welcome message for new members.

The WordPress Terms & Conditions plugin, pops up a Terms & Conditions agreement page the first time a user logs in. In addition the new users are presented with a nice fully customisable welcome message after they agree to your Terms to help them get started using your blog.

For WordPress installations setup with the multiple site option the Terms & Conditions will pop up the first time a user loges into there new site.

Features * Works for both New Blogs and New users.

* Customisable Open Source Terms of Use agreement.

* Customisable Open Source Privacy Policy.

* Customisable Welcome Message.

* Can be integrated into a mature blog.

* Support for both WordPress and WordPress MU.

* No changes need to be made to the Sign up process.

Requires WordPress Version: 2.0.2 or higher

Compatible up to: 3.2.1

Last Updated: 2011-11-26 Downloads: 303

Author: levi.putna

Rating 4/5

This is a great little plugin that covers your bases when laying down the ground rules for other users who may be adding content to a WordPress installation. It forces them to agree to your terms and conditions before allowing them back-end access.


Some Terms here for plugins: Nothing special this week..

In closing here is what is coming in future podcasts:

An interview with Scott Cariss the creator of the File Monitor plugin coming soon, just as soon as I can connect with him.

Possible interview with Casey

podcasting plugins

More Lazy Plugins

How to Contact Us:

John can be contacted at:

on my website @ or you can follow me on Twitter @Ahkonsu or even like me on Facebook at

Marcus can be contacted at:

Marcus Couch can be contacted at his website at, on twitter   @marcuscouch and on facebook at

Some of the music provided tonight is from Mevio’s Music Alley. Check it out at ‘