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 See complete show notes for Episode #268 here.
It’s Episode 268 and we’ve got plugins for Post Shortcodes, Affiliate Links, Emailing Your Users, WooCommerce Product Tabs, Order Testing, and a new way to skip the dashboard on login.. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right, the first plugin I’ve got here today is called Post Shortcode. This plugin was sent in by Sachin Jadhav located at https://sachin8600.wordpress.com/, and this is a plugin that is pretty nice. What it does is it allows you to include post snippets into multiple places on your WordPress website. You can do this by either using a shortcode or by using the widget creator.
What it does for you is it allows you to go into either the widget creator and create the specific post you want to have by using your categories, tags, custom post types, etc., organizing them into hierarchies, and then set your widget out. Or you can go into the settings board for this and do the same thing, then it will produce a shortcode for you which you can then place onto any page or post within your site. It does a really great job of bringing in the featured image, the post layout, moving it left or right, adjusting it, tweaking it, and there’s a whole lot you can do with it.
All in all, it’s a pretty great plugin for including your additional posts in multiple places of your website. If you want to highlight something, share some information – little bits and pieces. It is manual, so it does take a little bit of work to do. All in all, a pretty great little plugin, so I gave it a 4-Dragon rating and it’s Post Shortcode.
Marcus: Excellent. Well, the first one that I’d like to talk about today is called Products Tab Manager for WooCommerce. Now we’ve all seen different tie-in sites in terms of e-commerce out there – your typical store. And sometimes they have tabs. I’m reminded of Costco.com and they have different things like specifications, shipping information, you know, detailed product information, and all of that.
This allows you to do that. You can create tabs for any products that you want. You can create one tab for all products or custom tabs for each individual product. You can set the default WooCommerce and custom products tabs as you wish, so you can create one that’s global along the way. The nice thing is all of these product tabs have a nice native, whizzy wig editor, so it’s really easy to edit the content that’s within them. It’s really nice; it’s kind of a drag-n-drop in terms of where the tabs go and there is a lot you can do with this plugin straight out of the Repository. I would have given it a 5 out of 5 but as the rule has it, there is a premium version of this as well, and I gave it a 4 out of 5.
John: Still a pretty nice plugin for helping you set up the tabs in your WooCommerce though.
Marcus: It does add a big degree of professionalism in terms of what you can add to it, perhaps even the tab because of the fact that it’s Whizzy-wig compatible, you could actually add a gallery in that tab with different product specs, angles, views, and things like that – anything you want, so it’s really nice. Product Tabs Manager for WooCommerce.
John: Cool, it sounds like one to check out if you’re building a WooCommerce store. Okay, the second plugin I’ve got here for you today is called Affiliate Links Lite and this was sent in by Ni Ky at https://www.teamdev.com/. This is a nice plugin for creating redirect links to your website. It bills itself as a great way to mask affiliate links and it looks to be a useful way to create other redirects on your site.
It does have a little bit of quirk that I’m not too sure of its usefulness, because it only seems to create the links. It does this by creating custom post types, which is a little bit of a different way for creating links that I thought. It does also add an additional word to the end of your URL, so it will be your URL and their default word is ‘go’ and then /whatever you title the link as. So it’s kind of a bit of an unusual way of doing things, so I’m not too certain of it. It didn’t look like there was a way to remove that additional word in the middle, so I’m not too sure of how it’s going to work.
It does do tracking. You can create 301 redirects, it does do Google Analytics if you want to upgrade to the premium version. The custom post type redirection to me was a bit of an unusual take on it. All in all, not too bad of a plugin. It does seem to work pretty well and it seems to be pretty stable. But if you’re looking for something to create short links or redirects, I’ve still got to recommend Pretty Links as the plugin you want to jump on. All in all, not too bad. Check it out: Affiliate Links Liked, and I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Very good. Next on my list here is also another WooCommerce plugin. You could tell I’ve been doing a lot of WooCommerce stuff lately.
John: Hey, yeah. It sounds like it.
Marcus: What I’ve had in the show – and this one is called WooCommerce Order Test, and essentially what it does is it allows you to make sure that your checkout works from start to finish. So in order to test your WooCommerce order process, you just enable it by going to the WooCommerce setting page and you just enable the order gateway, which does not allow or authorize any sales or transactions, but it does take you through the entire sales process, checkout, and all of that.
It’s an excellent way to see exactly what the consumer sees when they do a checkout and that includes all of your upsells, all your cross-sells that you’re going to be doing, what does the thank you page look like, what emails trigger after the fact in terms of the sale – all of those things. A really nice plugin: WooCommerce Order Test, and I gave it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called WP Email Users and this one was sent in to us by Siddharth B. at https://techspawn.com/. This plugin here is a great plugin to allow you to create your own local newsletter, customize emails coming out from your website, it allows you to send your emails via any SMTP service you may have, be that Gmail, Syngrid, Amazon, your local host, or whatever you want to do.
The customization of the messages is pretty nice. If you want to send out autoresponders that go out after say somebody leaves a comment or say somebody signs up to your website, you can create these autoresponder templates that you can then have automatically go out to people with additional information they might need or want. As far as replacing a newsletter system such as MailChimp or something, I’m not entirely certain about that due to the problems in existence today of getting past the IP filters out there – the black lists, and the spam filters. You really need to be using someone like MailChimp or something to help ensure your newsletters get where they’re going, especially if you have a large list.
I know from experience sending from my own servers, I have to do such a fight to keep my IP addresses out of black lists and sometimes it’s just not worth it because sometimes the blacklist is like a totally irrelevant reason they will ban you. So this is one of the things that you face if you try to do it all yourself as far as a newsletter. But as far as some of the other features on this, a pretty great plugin, especially the autoresponders. Those sort of things can come in very handy for sending out information. So check it out: WP Email Users. I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Very good. And yes, those are very valid points concerning the origination source of email —
Marcus: — and it’s very easy to get flagged.
John: Oh God, is it ever.
Marcus: Yeah, so it’s worth it in terms of spending a little extra money for things like MailChimp and all of that just to make sure that your deliverability rate is up there.
John: For newsletters especially.
Marcus: Yeah. So I’m going to talk about a plugin next. It’s called Skip Dashboard. It’s a really neat little plugin. This is really lightweight, really easy. It allows the WP admin user upon login to skip the default WordPress dashboard and go to one specific page – any specific page. So that’s pretty neat; you can direct it to do that kind of thing.
Maybe you want it to go straight to the orders page or you wanted to go to the posts page or anything. If you just want to skip the default dashboard, go right to where you want to go, if you go to one page more often. Also, this is great for clients that may need to log into the site – if you can make their path easier in terms of a better experience and less stuff for them to break, if they need to go post pages or create posts, maybe just put them onto the posts page and keep them in the right frame of mind, instead of having to have them wander around. It’s called Skip Dashboard – a really great plugin – I gave it a 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice! That can be quite handy and help save you a few seconds of time when you’re going into specifically to like get your orders and other things you need.
Marcus: Right. If it’s a repetitive thing over and over and over and that’s really all you’re doing is going into the dashboard and checking the orders, this is awesome.
Marcus: This is a great way to do it.
John: Excellent. Okay, I covered up in this episode Post Shortcode, which I gave a 4 to; I covered up Affiliate Links Lite, which I gave a 3 to; and WP Email Users, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I reviewed WooCommerce Product Tabs – gave that a 4 out of 5; WooCommerce Order Test, 4 out of 5; and we just talked about Skip Dashboard, which I gave a 5 out of 5.