WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #310 here.
It’s Episode 310 and we’ve got plugins for Better In-Post Links, Search and Replace, PayPal Payments, Multiple Admin Emails, A/B Splitting and using External Media without Import . It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: This week here I have three great plugins of course as usual, and the first one off the top is QPP Quick PayPal Payments. This plugin here came about because I needed to produce a really quick PayPal payment form on a website and I couldn’t remember the last one I used for doing such a thing. PayPal has become so near impossible to just find a payment button in their system now that this goes something easy.
Anyway, this plugin here is a really great, simple payment processor forms you can create. Once you create the forms, you place them on your site somewhere via a shortcode and it makes the job of creating and placing the forms just a piece of cake. Now, the forms themselves, this is kind of an amazing one for a free plugin. It gives you the ability to create forms that either have plain amounts, preset amount, or you can set a sliding scale in it. You can add multiple options about information you want to collect in the form. You can go through the form, customize the form up by colorizing it, adjusting the colors, the layout, format – many different options are available for you to set this up and it doesn’t take very long at all.
I think it took me all of like ten minutes to get it all set up and with a really clean looking form for precisely what I needed done for a very simple payment. So it was a really great plugin. It worked just the way it was supposed to – one of those premium plugins that we just thoroughly adore, so I had to give this a top 5-Dragon rating. Check it out: QPP Quick PayPal Payments.
Marcus: Nice! All right, I’ve got a very cool lazy plugin that actually should be something that’s part of core itself. It is called Multiple Admin Email Addresses, and you can figure out what it does. It allows you to replace the blog admin’s email with a comma separated list of admin emails. So if you have two different admin emails that you’d like to send it to (not just your standard one), or if you have somebody else that you’d like to kind of CC in all of the administrative tasks, this is it.
So you just go to your WordPress dashboard menu, choose Settings à General à Set Email Address à Comma Separate Multiple Email Addresses (2 or more), and you’re all set to go. It’s called Multiple Admin Email Addresses and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: That could be useful when you’ve got multiple admins. Get them all on the same page when emails go out.
Marcus: Yes, definitely.
John: All right, next up I have a plugin I’ve probably covered in the past or at least one similar to this. It’s called Search & Replace, and I don’t think I used this exact one, because there’s multiple search and replace plugins. And of course again, I was having to do something I hadn’t done in a little while, which is dig through a database and do a search and replace in the hidden reams of the database for a URL that kept getting missed with all of the other tools, and without having to go into the phpMyAdmin and go through and do a manual query. So this was the simplest way to do it.
This one here is a really great plugin. You set it up, install it, and it allows you to go in and search and replace a little different than most of them. You can select all the tables or one or two of the tables you need, it’ll replace a domain URL, similar to the other URL plugin that I always use. It also will do a database backup for you, import SQL files, and a few other things in it. It’s a really great plugin. It worked very well for doing the task I needed. It felt relatively smooth and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating. Check it out: Search & Replace.
Marcus: Very nice. I don’t know if you were thinking of Pretty Link or one of those other ones, but anyway —
John: No, no. I was thinking of Velvet URLs.
Marcus: Oh, that’s right. Okay.
John: That’s the one for changing your URLs, and that’s all it does. It just changes your URL from one to another and it doesn’t always get everything, because it misses some tables where URLs are often hidden.
John: That’s the one I was just thinking of.
Marcus: Okay, so I have a cool plugin. It is called External Media without Import. We all know that by default adding an image to the WordPress media library requires that you import or upload the image to your WordPress site, which means that there’s always a copy of the image stored at the site. There’s really no use for dynamics in that; it’s really hard to make a featured image – a dynamic image – that loads somewhere else that constantly changes. You’re kind of stuck with loading the one image, either by adding it by URL or actually physically uploading it. You’re stuck with that one image and it can never change.
Well, this plugin actually enables you to add an image stored on an external site to the media library by adding it via URL, but this plugin will make sure that you don’t have to download it, so it’s an external reference to that link —
John: Oh, nice!
Marcus: — but it can change. So if you have a client or somebody like that that has an image that changes or they’re trying to look at the latest stock tickers or whatever it happens to be – anything like that – any kind of image that you want to load from a URL and not from directly on your site, this plugin works great. Now to me, it’s perfect but – that big but there —
Marcus: — it’s not something you want to do with everything because every time you load an external image, it’s actually going to slow your site down a little bit. Just a little tiny bit, because it’s doing that external call-out, so use this with caution but it’s a fantastic plugin. It’s called External Media without Import and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice! That can be useful but yeah, you’re right. You don’t want to have all your stuff coming in from an external source.
John: Okay, the final one I have here today is called VC Splitter Pro and it’s also got a freemium version. This is a freemium plugin. It starts at $10 a month or free if you download it from the Repository. It was sent in to us by James Cantoni and I’ll be talking with him later today in an interview, so there will be more coming from him in a secondary show, so you’ll want to listen up for that.
Anyway, this plugin here, it allows you to do A-B split testing on your content easily if you’re using Visual Composer. It’s designed to work with Visual Composer and it gives you three levels of access where you can split test A-B buttons, split test A-B headings, or split test A-B images. Now, if you skip up to the next level of it which is the first paid version that you can get from CodeCanyon, it adds in things such as text testing, tracking views, clicks, and bounces, and a statistical dashboard.
If you jump into their full-on pro version which you get from their website, it allows you to test all Visual Composer elements. In other words, go into everything into your Visual Composer and A-B test it. You can set it up for multicolumn testing, row testing, and even mobile device testing toggles. So there’s a lot to it if you jump up to the pro version and they sell the pro version two ways, which I’m still not clear with but I’ll get that more clear with him later today, so you’ll have to listen for the interview with him to get the clarification about the way they sell their pro version. It’s kind of a different pricing format that I’ve never seen.
At any rate, the plugin is really great. It seems to be very easy to use and set up. It’s absolutely useless if you don’t have Visual Composer on your site (as I realized when I went to test it on one of my test sites that didn’t have Visual Composer – I wasn’t thinking). So just so you know, you’ll make sure you’ve got that component in your website. But if you’re doing A-B testing for just about anything, this is something you’ll want to check out. So check out VC Splitter Pro and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: That’s cool. All right, I love it when people send us plugins.
Marcus: That’s pretty cool.
John: Keep sending them in. All you developers out there that find us, listen to us, send them in to us, man and then contact me for an interview.
Marcus: Yeah. All right, the final one – we are all aware of this kind of technology. Every time you go into Facebook and you put a link in or sometimes Twitter and put a link in, it generates kind of a little preview, and that’s what this plugin does. It’s called WP Link Preview and right now as it stands, WordPress on its own can do this when you link to other WordPress sites, however this is for every kind of site. It adds a button to your post and page editor which you can use to generate a link preview for a specific URL. The link preview gives off a title, a description, and an image, which results in a similar look as when you share a link on Facebook. So it kind of gives you that preview, picture, the title of the site or the link, and a little description in it as well.
That’s a really cool way, by the way, to link to different stories, different articles, different things that you want to talk about, and it does it in a way that is a little bit above and beyond your typical just straight blue link that you would add to your site. A really nice plugin; it worked very well out of the box. I like it a lot. It’s called WP Link Preview and it gets a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice! That does look like a really sweet little tool to have in there.
Marcus: Yeah, that’s another one that should be in core. It is kind of with only other WordPress sites being able to use that, but this is a pretty cool thing.
John: I don’t know why they couldn’t just take the one that included the WordPress site and modify the code and have it do this. That’s probably how somebody created this plugin.
Marcus: I think so.
John: So at any rate, I covered up in this episode here – I covered up the QPP Quick PayPal Payments, which I gave a 5 to; the Search & Replace, which I gave a 4 to; and the VC Splitter Pro, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I covered Multiple Admin Email Addresses, which gets a 5, External Media without Import gets 4 out of 5, and WP Link Preview gets a 5 out of 5.
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