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 #255
Transcript for Episode 256 and we’ve got plugins for Cleaning your Media library, Limiting Login Attempts Visual Composer Realty Listings, Country Based IP Blocking and a great new way to import products into Woo Commerce from Excel.
John: All right, the first plugin I’ve got this week is a premium plugin. It was sent into us by Jason Xie. It’s called VT Property Plugin and it’s available over at Code Canyon. If you hit the link in the show notes, it is an affiliate link, so please do. We can use the extra $5 if you purchase it. This is a plugin that integrates into Visual Composer, and I remember last week you were talking about Visual Composer add-ons, Marcus, and do this looks to be another one.
John: And it’s probably going to be more and more of those Visual Composer add-ons, since Visual Composer is becoming so useful. But this plugin here is designed for property websites – real estate websites – be they listings for sale or rent or whatever.
But what it helps you do is create advanced property types for more precise listings. It works great for both rental and sales listings. You can use it with multiple agents, it’s got Google Maps integrations, it helps you create all the specialty items such as rooms, listings, and all the little bits and pieces. Since it integrates into Visual Composer, it helps it look good with your website.
All in all, a pretty good plugin. I gave it a brief checkout but I don’t have any real estate websites I’m working on at this current moment in time. It does check out pretty nice, so I gave it a 4-Dragon rating. So check it out: VT Property Plugin.
Marcus: Very nice. Yeah, a lot of Visual Composer stuff coming down the pipe lately and it seems like it’s going to be one of those kind of bridges in terms of being able to design pages and components within the page, so I’m looking forward to checking that out.
John, today I want to talk about this first plugin that’s called Media Cleaner and it’s very nice. It basically takes your media library and it scans it and tries to see which items in your media library are not being used in any posts, galleries, and so on. What it does is it helps you to clean out your media library so you don’t have images in there that don’t belong in there. or maybe you have old ones or you uploaded three different ones to get the versions in there – all those things.
Now this is a freemium plugin; there is a pro version which also scans the uploads folder and not necessarily just the media library – it scans everything. It also does something in the pro version where it scans for retina images, tries to pop those down, it also looks in short codes and HTML on the side bars to see if image items are being used or not, and it scans through all pages and post types.
I would have given this a perfect 5 out of 5, but it does have that pro version, which I always take off a point, and it gets a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. Yeah, this is the one I reviewed last week or the week before.
Marcus: It’s the same one?
John: Same one – gave it the same rating.
Marcus: Oh, wow. Well, I actually used it on a site and it was a site that I did some presentations on. Then after I killed the conference, I had 600 images of speakers and slide decks and things like that, and this thing took care of it in about 10 minutes.
John: Very nice! Yeah, that’s nice. I didn’t have that kind of opportunity to test it, but yeah, it checked out really good then. So check it out, folks. There’s two good resounding reviews for it.
All right, the next one I’ve got here is called WP Limit Login Attempts. It’s another plugin to help limit the logins and attacks on your website. While I’m not a Captcha fan – I really dislike using Captchas unless it’s 100% necessary – this plugin seems to depend on Captchas. What it does is when someone tries to login, they’ve got to enter a Captcha and once that’s entered, they get five attempts to log into the website. After five attempts, it then locks the access for 10 minutes. It’s a pretty simple way to help slow down all the attempts on your website from bots and malicious login attempts.
It does seem to have an issue with the creation of the Caption PHP file that’s working in it. From time to time, you may have to manually create that file when installing this plugin. But it does look like an okay kind of way – fast, quick, and dirty – to block unauthorized access to your website. So if you’re looking for something simple, check out WP Limit Login Attempts. It was sent into us by Arshid KV and I gave this a 3-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Hmm…nice plugin.
John: Yeah, it’s a good, average plugin. Nothing super special about it, so —
Marcus: Yeah. The next plugin for me is a Woocommerce product importer. It is called Woo Product Excel Importer and it does exactly that. It lets you take an Excel sheet and on the fly, you get to import it. It does data mapping so you can kind of drag and drop what fields go to where in Woocommerce. It’s submitted through AJAX, so there’s really no page reloading or anything like that after it happens.
You can import things like title, description, products category, you can include custom taxonomy for things like weight, SKU, and that kind of thing, regular price, sale price, stock, manage the stock, and the product images. All of that can be done right in Excel Import, so if you’ve done any kind of major Woocommerce project with potentially hundreds of different items, this is your way to go. You definitely want to use something like this to import it all at once and then go back in, do a little cleanup, editing, or whatever it takes. I rated this one a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. This is a relatively new one, is it? It is.
John: Yeah, because last time I did a Woocommerce site that I had to import a couple hundred products, I had to use a different importer, but you definitely want one of these.
John: This one works; check it out, folks.
Marcus: Yeah, this is different because the other ones that I’ve used did not have custom taxonomy, so it’s even more detailed in terms of what it can import.
John: Very nice. Okay, the final one I’ve got for you here today is called Country IP Specific Redirections. This is a plugin that will detect what country your visitors are coming from based upon the IP address and then you can either redirect them to a specific page, block them completely, or if you’ve got the urge, send them off to Disneyland if you want.
You set this thing up and it’s pretty simple and basic. Once it’s set up, you go in and you create your list of rules. You have to choose the country and then you can block them by category, by specific posts, or by general landing on your website, and send them off to a very specific page.
Now, this does have some good uses if you’re marketing to specific countries or areas, they come from those specific countries and you can direct them to it. You could direct people from specific countries to specific language sections on your website, for instance, so it can be very useful in that way. Or if you’re getting a lot of traffic from Uzbekistan or Russia or some other strange place and you know you don’t want them, you can redirect all that traffic off to Disneyland.
So all in all, a pretty nice plugin but it does take a fair bit of work to get it all set up. I gave this a 3-Dragon rating. Check it out: Country Specific IP Redirections.
Marcus: Ooh, we’re running out of short names for plugins, I guess.
John: Well, you know, there are over 40,000 right now so it gets harder and harder to come up with a name.
Marcus: Yeah. So the next plugin I’ve got here – the final one for the show – is called User Login History. This is really nice; it’s not a feature that’s native to WordPress. What it does is it looks at all of the different users that you have and provides a complete history for you. It has tracking functions for login, logout, in terms of what time they logged in or out, how long their user session duration was, what IP address was, what browser they were using, operating system, country name, country code, last seen, and all that stuff.
It’s a really nice, comprehensive way to log all of your user activity to see what kind of traction you’ve been getting in terms of your site and it works very, very well, so I gave it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice! It looks like they’ve got some additional features and one of the nice things they could add to it would be to add tracking on what they do when they’re logged in.
Marcus: Yeah, exactly – like a full history of modifications. What was the thing they used to have that did that?
John: There was a plugin way back and I haven’t seen it in a while. It’s something that would track the user’s login, their logout, their session duration, but also track if they turned on and off plugins or if they have new posts, or uploaded media, to find out what people are actually doing. That’s a very useful kind of thing to have if you’ve got a multi-administration website and even for yourself, because sometimes it’s hard to remember what you do to a website where you’re working for it.
Marcus: Is it called Scribe? Was that it?
John: That might be.
Marcus: I don’t know. Anyway —
John: It’s somewhere in the hundreds of plugins we’ve reviewed, which we’ll eventually get this stuff sorted.
All right, well, that’s what we’ve got. This time I covered up VT Property Plugin, which I gave a 4 to; WP Limit Login Attempts, which I gave a 3; and Country IP Specific Redirections, which I have a 3 to.
Marcus: And I reviewed Media Cleaner (second appearance here on the show), rated that one a 4 out of 5; Woo Product Excel Importer, rated that one a 4 out of 5; and User Login History, also a 4 out of 5.