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WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #267 here.
It’s Episode 267 and we’ve got plugins for Easy Back Buttons, Advanced backup Features, Featured Image Generators, Automated WordPress Download Directories, and Bulk Editing for Woo Commerce. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Okay, well the first plugin I’ve got this week was one that was sent into us by Watcharapon Charoenwongjongdee at aum.im. But it’s called Featured Image Generator and it’s a really interesting plugin. This is a great one for finding featured images and what it does for you is it creates a link in your featured image block to allow you to go to unsplash.com, where they have a great selection of images that are all licensed for Creative Commons. You can pretty much use them any way you want for the most part, depending on the license. I didn’t read it specifically, but being Creative Commons means you can use them in your posts.
It allows you to go through, search the upsplash.com website from inside your WordPress admin, find the image you’re looking for. I couldn’t find zombies, because that was the one I was looking for, but other stuff like running, hey, they had a great selection of them. They are decent images from medium quality to high quality – a lot of medium quality images – but it’s a great way to add for more images when you’re looking for that perfect featured image and you can’t find it anywhere else.
You don’t want to have to go buy one, so check it out. It’s a really great plugin. It was very smooth, very easy to set up, it allows you to adjust for thumbnail sizes when you download the images. It downloads it to your site, inserts it as the featured image, and you could even then insert it into your post once it’s into your media library. So check it out; it’s a really great plugin and because it’s so easy and simple, I had to give this one a top 5-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Nice! I didn’t even know about that site. Interesting.
John: This was one that neither did I.
John: Gotta love our listeners out there who send stuff to us.
Marcus: Yeah. Okay, so I was trying to find something to upload plugins to and create kind of a software directory of plugins that I developed, right? And I wanted it to be able to organize all of the different plugins and yet also send out an alert because of the fact that I’m not putting them into the Repository. I wanted an alert sent when I update a revision of one particular plugin. And so I found something called Download Directory and it’s pretty nice.
It allows registered users to actually receive that update alert and it’s got a lot of cool features to it, but it doesn’t do everything that I’m looking for. But if you are looking for something in order to add software, whether you’re doing this for a client or something of your own in terms of things that you develop, you should probably check this out. It’s called Download Directory and we gave it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. That’s going to be very useful to help you organize stuff up.
John: Okay, the next plugin I’ve got here was another one send in by a great listener, sent in by Tsvetan Tsvetkov at http://ignitevision.bg/. The plugin is called IVGuard. It is another security plugin and currently it looks to be in beta and you can sign up for it. It’s a third-party software where you sign up and it connects the plugin to their system and it starts to examine your site.
As soon as you connect the plugin, the first thing it seems to do is make a backup of your website. I wasn’t certain where the backup went. I didn’t quite find it in the dashboard. Their dashboard is still a little rough; it’s not completely intuitive yet, but I imagine they’re working through some of those bugs in it. At the moment, I couldn’t find a pricing on it, so I assume that while it’s in beta, they’re just throwing it out there for everyone to test and they’ll set pricing later, because I imagine this is going to be a service that’s going to cost some money. It looks like you can add multiple sites to it and have multiple sites in the dashboard for monitoring and maintaining.
It examines your site files, gives you a warning if there’s something wrong. I did find the section where it listed up the site files that it thought were problematic and I found that several of what it lists as problematic were false positives. So at the moment it’s kind of a bit rough around the edges but you might want to check it out if you’re looking for a security plugin for your website. It’s called IVGuard and I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Hmm…interesting. So John, I was working with a conference plugin that I’m developing myself and dependent on what sessions or category or speakers you are looking at, it was always hard to insert a back button. It would get them back to where they happen to be from, and when you’re putting things like speaker profiles and session profiles and things, it’s just tougher – it’s tougher to know where somebody was coming from or what their intent was.
This plugin is called Back Button and it does all of that intuitively, smart, and you can actually filter and navigate in terms of where it’s allowed to go back and where it’s not allowed to go back. It’s something I’ve been actually looking for for a long time. It’s called back button and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice! That’s always nice to have a decent back button to get yourself back to where you were.
John: Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here for you is UpDraft, suggested by Jez at jezweb.com.au. Thanks, Jez! So this plugin here is a pretty decent backup plugin for those that need a straightforward backup plugin. I myself use BackWPup, because it allows me to do much more than just backup. With this plugin though, you can set it to automatically backup your site daily, weekly, or monthly.
You can have it store of course locally, FTP, Amazon S3, or even at Rackspace, or try to email you the file. But nowadays, the websites being upwards of 2 to 3G in size, it’s pretty hard to email that file, so you have to have a small WordPress website before you could email it. Now one of the things Jez mentioned in his Speakpipe was that when going to do an update of the plugins, it would automatically do a backup. I couldn’t get it to trigger that and I couldn’t get it to show me any settings for that particular feature, so I’m not sure how that feature works, but it would be a really cool feature to have and if it works like that, a fantastic thing to have for a backup.
But other than that, it’s a great plugin. Very simple to use, very straightforward for the most part; just your usual, average, good quality backup plugin – UpDraft – and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Very good! And the final bit of action that I’ve got today for you on this show is called Bulk Edit WooCommerce. We’re all familiar with what bulk editing posts and pages are, and now you can do that with all of your products within WooCommerce. You can change things like SKU, the catalogue visibility, the stock visibility, the quantity, the price, sale price – things like that – across the board.
I tried it, it’s very nice, it’s got a lot of cool filter options too so that you can pick types of products and categories that you want to bulk edit. You can edit things over a specific price, under a specific price – those kinds of things. It’s really handy when you’ve got a lot of products in your store within WooCommerce but then you need to do a lot of quick editing of those products fast. There is a premium version of this, so I took one point off for this version’s review and I gave it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. It’s always important to be able to bulk edit, especially when you’ve got products that go up and down in price at the same time.
Marcus: Yeah, I think bulk edit and duplicate should be things that are stock in every kind of post type.
John: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, well this week I covered up Featured Image Generator, which I gave a 5 to; IVGuard, which I gave a 3 to; and UpDraft, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I discussed Download Directory, which we gave a 4 out of 5; Back Button got a perfect 5 out of 5; and Bulk Edit WooCommerce – we just talked about that one – got a 4 out of 5.