WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for Episode #258
Transcript for Episode 258 and we’ve got plugins for Unique Post Stat Tracking, Handling Free WooCommerce Downloads, Newsbars, Payment Gateways and a new plugin for keeping Dashboard Notes. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right, the first plugin I’ve got for you this week is called Post Views, and this is a pretty simple plugin for those of you who are statistically inclined and just addicted to knowing anything and everything that happens inside your WordPress website.
This is a plugin that you install, you turn on, and then it starts to give you crazy amounts of charts and other information about each and every post: how often a post has been looked at, who’s looking at it, their IP address, what country their coming from. It puts it into charts, graphs, and all kind of pretty stuff for those of you addicted to statistics. (Wow, that’s a mouthful.)
So anyway, it’s a great little plugin. It works well and I’ve got a couple of clients that use it because they just want to know everything that’s happening in the world of their website. It’s called Post Views and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Very good! So that’s basically a unique post stats plugin, right?
John: Unique posts. It tracks the individual post stats.
Marcus: Excellent. It’s like the old counter days. All right, I’ve got a bunch of things there – by the way, all three of my plugins have to do with WooCommerce, so you can tell what I’ve been doing the last couple of days.
Marcus: It’s basically been a lot of WooCommerce stuff. So this first one is called Download Now WooCommerce, and essentially what this allows you to do is to have users download products from the product page without having to go through the checkout process. You could still keep something in WooCommerce – maybe you’re going to charge for it later, maybe it’s something that you’ve already charged for and now you want to make it a free download.
Basically, you set it to be able to download for free and instead of having to go through and put everything at zero and then add to basket, checkout, and then the whole processes that has to go through it, instead when the regular price is detected at zero, the Add to Basket or Add to Cart button is then replaced with a Download Now button.
John: That’s neat.
Marcus: The button can be customized from the settings page. You can change the button text, whether it shows for sale items as well, and you can even customize the CSS style of the button. I thought it was a fantastic plugin and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: I can see a sweet way to use that. If you’ve got something you want to give a temporary giveaway on, mark it down, have low pricing that’s temporarily zero, download now, and then when the sale expires, it automatically goes back to being a paid-for download.
Marcus: That’s right.
John: Hey, some really great uses for that one. All right, the next plugin I’ve got here is a newsbar plugin. This one here came for a client that was looking for a way to display their latest posts in a floating newsbar. There used to be once upon a time some decent newsbar plugins in the Repository, but not so much anymore.
This is a premium plugin and it’s from CodeCanyon. It’s a pretty decent plugin that places either in the footer or the header, floating on top or the very bottom of your screen, and then it allows you to go in, choose what kind of post you’re going to pull. It has some limitations here, unfortunately, in that it will only pull the entire post and it doesn’t pull you the categories of them. But it will pull custom post types, which was kind of a nice feature. So if you’ve got a specialized custom post type in there, you can pull just that.
It’s really nice and it has a few customizations you can set up, some colors, adjustments – all of those usual things there. But the fact that you couldn’t categorize it or specialize it down, I had to place this one at a medium rating of 3 Dragons. But still, a pretty decent plugin if you’re willing to pull in all of your content. So check it out, it’s called WP jNewsbar Plugin, and it’s located at CodeCanyon, and that is an affiliate link in the show notes.
Marcus: Okay. All right, well let’s continue on the WooCommerce train. John, I’m sure you’ve set up payment gateways in WooCommerce before, right?
John: Oh, one or two.
Marcus: Yeah. Well, this is a pretty unique plugin and it just came out of necessity because of different price points I wanted to switch to a different payment gateway.
Marcus: And that was for basically the high-dollar, high-ticket stuff. I wanted to go to something that was just a little less in terms of how much they took, in terms of the vig —
Marcus: And this one actually allows you. It’s called WooCommerce Payment Gateway Per Product.
Marcus: And so what it allows me to do is select the default payment gateway on a product-by-product basis, so that I could do the higher ticket stuff maybe in Stripe rather than PayPal or anything in between. It’s a really, really nice plugin and very easy to set up. It’s just basically kind of a mapping thing in terms of each product and where it gets checked out to in terms of the payment processor. I rated this one a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. That can be quite useful to save yourself some fees along the way.
Marcus: Yes, indeed.
John: Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called WP Dashboard Notes. Now one of the problems that I face is I have a couple of websites with multiple admins that I work in. I’m an admin, I’ve got a couple of other admins in there. We use Base Camp for coordinating stuff, but sometimes you’re not always paying attention to Base Camp. You log into the website going, “I know I need to do something,” you look, go into Base Camp, and you just can’t find it.
What I was looking for is an easy way to communicate with the other admins to let me know of things I need to take care of on the website or let them know stuff. Notes came and I was like, “Well, we can put notes in there. There’s got to be a Notes plugin.” This creates sticky notes like those old, yellow sticky notes you just have tacked all to your walls, computer screen, and everything else once upon a time, even though some of us still use those.
This allows you to create sticky notes basically for your WordPress dashboard. You can colorize the notes and it gives you multiple colors. If you want your own custom colors, you can go put those into the CSS for it if you like (probably not truly necessary). But it creates really great notes that the moment you log into your WordPress website and that dashboard loads up, that note in all it’s full, yellow glory pops in your face and you go, “Oh, I’ve got something to deal with here.”
I realized that after we put that in there and I log into the site, I go, “Oh, yeah. I forgot.” This is a very sweet plugin for communicating that information and for helping you to remember what you need to do and talking to your different admins. Great plugin – I had to bring this one because it’s simplicity and actual workability, I had to give this one a top 5-Dragon rating. So check it out: WP Dashboard Notes.
Marcus: Awesome! That’s very cool. It reminds me of somebody I know that used to do that with Windows. Do you remember the old Sticky Notes?
John: I had those in my Windows 3.3 and Windows 6.
Marcus: Yeah, I remember that they had just a whole screen full of notes. That was funny. All right, well finally we’re going to wrap it up with our last WooCommerce plugin and this one is called Hide Price Until Login, and I’ve pretty much given the entire description of the plugin right there with just the name.
What it does is it hides the price of all the products in your shop and product detail pages until the user is logged in. It requires someone to actually log into the system to see the price. Now, that’s not exactly membership, but kind of, right?
John: It is kind of a membership.
Marcus: It’s sort of that. It makes it so that you have to be in the system in order to do a transaction. That’s in itself sort of a lead generation idea or technique, which is you can put some absurd prices in there only for your members. It doesn’t show anything until they actually sign up, go through the system, get a login, and log into the site.
Now that’s really good because you can take your first-timers, walk them through the system, talk about the different price advantages, and all that kind of stuff. Also, it’s something to where you can – let’s just say you’re having a private event and you want tickets to only go to your specific people. This is a way to do it so that the public isn’t just buying things up. It actually has to be people registered into your system.
It’s flawless. This plugin is great in the way that it works and I gave it a 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice. That’s an excellent plugin and can be of immense value to someone running a WooCommerce site.
Marcus: Yeah, so for example, I’m going to use it as a lead-in so that you have to first sign up into the system before I’m even going to let you sign up for the program. That’s strictly so that I have everyone’s email address and all of their contact information and all of that so that I can market to them later.
John: Oh, absolutely. All right, well in this episode I covered up Post Views, which a gave a 4 to; WP jNewsbar Plugin, which I gave a 3 to; and then WP Dashboard Notes, which I gave a 5 to.
Marcus: And I covered Download Now for WooCommerce, gave that one a 4 out of 5; WooCommerce Payment Gateway Per Product got a 4 out of 5; and Hide Price Until Login got a perfect 5 out of 5.