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WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for Episode #281
It’s Episode 266 and we’ve got plugins for Quick View in WooCommerce, Speeding Up Your Site, Free Gifts for Your Ecom Shoppers, Protection against DDos Attacks, and Tracking how far down people scroll within Google Analytics.. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Okay, the first plugin I’ve got here this week is called WP Super Speed. This plugin promises to help reduce your system resource usage, in particular, CPU and RAM usage by your website. It’s a very simple plugin – not 100% perfect as far as I can tell. It’s kind of hard to tell whether it’s reducing everything unless you have set up monitoring for your site.
But all you need to do is install the plugin, activate it, no configurations, and it’s supposed to lower the amount of CPU and RAM that your website uses. So all in all, a pretty nice little plugin. It does seem to work well in the MU environment, which is where I’ve tested it, which is always important for me nowadays since even WP Plugins A-Z is on an MU platform. So check it out; it’s called WP Super Speed and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Pretty cool. I like that. All right, I’ve been using WooCommerce a lot lately and these first two plugins are directly WooCommerce-related. The first one is titled WooCommerce Quick View and it allows your users to get a really quick look at the products in your store without having to open that product page.
So it has kind of a light box type of a pop-up and it has the product image, the title, price, quantity to add to the cart – all that stuff – in a pop-up. You can disable that on mobile if you wish, because I know that pop-ups are a little crazy within mobile. You can change the label; instead of quick view, it could be something else, and it’s really, really friendly to use. You can even customize the exact style of that modal – that little pop-up. It’s really nice. I really liked this plugin a lot and I gave a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very cool. Yeah, I haven’t done WooCommerce in several months now, but that sounds like a very useful one if you’re building out a WooCommerce site.
Marcus: And another thing that I forgot to mention is that once that pop-up is up, it’s almost like a gallery because they can scroll through your products, hitting a next and previous button, and it just keeps loading the different products on the site in that little pop-up.
John: Oh, cool! That sounds very cool.
John: Okay, the next plugin I’ve got here is called Protection Against DDoS, and it’s a very simple but effective plugin to help protect your website from attacks. All you need to do is install it and activate it, and you have instant protection from attacks.
The plugin works by setting a cookie in the user’s browser to see if they can actually log in – see if they’re human. And because it sets the cookie, when bots come in, they don’t actually accumulate those cookies and information. They just attack and attack. So if it doesn’t see the cookie when the plugin is active, if it doesn’t see the cookie in the person’s browser, it automatically boots them away from your website and prevents them from accessing it any further.
It’s a great little plugin; it seems to help a little bit. I’ve installed it on a couple of websites that were having a bit of a load from bots and that seems to have dropped off, so it does seem to be working. A great little plugin called Protection Against DDoS, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Cool, I like that. The next plugin I have – also a WooCommerce plugin – this is called WooCommerce Free Gifts, and it’s a pretty small plugin. It helps you to give away free gifts to your WooCommerce customers based on a threshold of a dollar amount that you set.
So here’s what happens: if somebody puts something in their cart and say you have a threshold of like $30 and they don’t quite make it with that first add to the cart, it can actually say in the cart, “Hey, spend another $4.88 and qualify for a free gift!” – just like you see at other stores.
John: Yeah, on Amazon and everywhere else.
Marcus: Right! And once it’s reached, you can actually change that message to say something like, you know, “Hey, awesome! You’ve got $80 in the cart. Now you qualify for this free gift,” and then it gives them the button to accept the gift and add it to their order if they want.
Marcus: They don’t have to but it allows them the option to accept the free gift. I know one store that does this pretty well, and that’s Macy’s.
John: Yeah, yes.
Marcus: Anything you order from Macy’s, whether it’s men’s or women’s, they’ll always throw in fragrances and all of that, and you accept that – yes, no, I don’t want the free gift – whatever – and it works out pretty well. So try this out. Heck, if it means some extra sales just to get a free gift, it’s totally worth it, so I rated this one a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice. Everyone likes to make an added sale and hey, if you can bump them up $3 to $5, that’s $3 to $5 more in your pocket.
Marcus: Yeah, so the trick to that is whatever threshold you’re going to make it, take what your average product is, say you’re selling e-books for $20 apiece and make it so that the threshold is $30, so you’re going to sell at least two things.
John: That’s right. Keep them somewhere in the middle.
John: Excellent. Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called WordPress Inspector. This is a simple plugin; I thought it might be a little bit more when I loaded it up, but it’s a plugin that takes and leads you off to a testing website at WordPressInspector.io.
You really don’t need a plugin to do this; it kind of seemed like a waste of a plugin to me. You click the plugin and then you click to inspect it, and it opens up the other website and just automatically inserts your URL into it. But all in all, I guess it’s an okay little plugin. The thing that I found disappointing is even when I went to the WordPressInspector.io is they give you some information, they tell you how your site is working, but when they find something that doesn’t seem to be right, all they say is something simple in there such as, “We found blocking rendering stuff in here,” and you really can’t tell any information from that. So they tell you that you’ve got too many page redirects and you have no way of figuring out what’s there, because it doesn’t give you a list.
So other than that, it’s an okay little plugin. I gave it a 3-Dragon rating: WordPress Inspector.
Marcus: Three, that’s low.
John: That is low for us. That’s real low for us.
Marcus: Yeah, we don’t usually like to bring those. But yeah, that’s okay.
John: Hey, if we run across them and I took the time to test it because I’ve had hopes, I’m going to tell everyone what I found.
Marcus: Yeah, exactly. All right, the final one I’m going to talk about it something that’s not necessarily an item or a metric that Google Analytics reveres as a valued thing when it comes to page score. (Maybe it does. I don’t know.) But this is called Easy Scroll Depth and what it allows you to do is track how far down the page users actually scroll in terms of a percentage.
And this is nothing new; there are more plugins that do this kind of thing to take advantage of Google Analytics and that. But the thing is I’ve never gotten any of them to work. I’ve tried them all and none of them have worked. For well over a year, I’ve been looking for a new plugin to come around and this one did just literally last week, and it works, it tells me exactly how far down in the page people scroll. I’m using this for membership sites to see exactly what the average is in terms of where people get down to and make sure that everything measures out accordingly as it should.
So this is another way to just track exactly how much content is being read. It’s a little bit further in terms of logic than just on-page time – you know how long they were on the page. They could’ve just gone to a new tab and done something else, so the on-page doesn’t really matter. This one does. It’s called Easy Scroll Depth and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice! You brought the perfect hand today.
Marcus: Mm-hmm. Three of a kind.
John: All right, that’s definitely useful to help people figure out how far down the page they’re going. Because if they’re not going down far enough, you need to either get better content below or get all your good content right at the top.
Marcus: That’s right.
John: Okay, well in this episode here I covered up WP Super Speed, which I gave a 4 to; I covered up Protection Against DDoS, which I gave a 4 to; and then WordPress Inspector, which I gave a 3 to.
Marcus: And I talked about WooCommerce Quick View; gave that one a 5 out of 5; WooCommerce Free Gift, gave that a 5 out of 5; and Easy Scroll Depth, also a perfect 5 out of 5.