WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for Episode #272
It’s Episode 272 and we’ve got plugins for Detecting Ad Blockers, Google Spreadsheets, Bookmarks, Scheduled Posts and BuddyPress Registration. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Episode # 272
John: Okay, the first plugin I’ve got this week here is called Detect AdBlock and I’ve kind of got mixed feelings about it whereas I know advertising is important to websites, for some websites it’s their main source of income. I also know that advertisements are an annoyance when you go to websites. Some websites overdo them to the point you just abandon the site because they’ve got to so many. Some websites have a few; just enough to support themselves. But we’ve been hearing a lot these days about ad blockers and how to get past ad blockers and what people are doing.
Well, this plugin here, what it does for you is detects when someone arrives at your website using an ad blocker and then it blocks their ability to view your website unless they turn off the ad blocker for your website. It’s a very nice plugin. It’s relatively easy to set up. You just turn it on, go in and adjust the message you want to appear, and when people arrive at your site, if they are using ad blockers you can politely say, “Hey, we depend on ads for such and such. Please turn off your ad blocker to view our website.”
With the plugin you can allow for exceptions such as logged in users or certain types of visitors. It has several settings in there for allowing for exceptions. It looks to be a pretty decent plugin. I would check it out if you depend on advertisement in any way, you might want to check something like this out. Anyway, it’s called Detect AdBlock and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Very nice, very nice. All right, I’m going to talk about something that is really cool. It’s called Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer and so any of you out there that use Google Sheets in terms of collaboration, you’re going to like this one. This one embeds public Google spreadsheets, app scripts, CSV files, or whatever, in WordPress posts or pages as an HTML table or even an interactive chart (if you want to make a chart out of it).
Now what’s really great about this is that it’s not like you’re embedding the spreadsheet in the page and then everybody can edit it; it actually just takes the results. So I find this really cool because then you can edit on the back end and then whatever the results are, then you can populate that to a page. Now some people, if you do client stuff then maybe there’s a thing that they want to use a table for and you might want to keep them out of WordPress, this is a great way to share a Google spreadsheet on the back end that they can then edit and then people can actually see it.
Here’s another application for this: let’s say you’re doing something in WooCommerce and you use some littleware like Zapier to take all of your existing orders or new orders and populate them to a google spreadsheet. Well, maybe you want to put a secret page on the back end for your warehouse in terms of their fulfillment, shipping information, and the things that they need to send out. Password protect that page or something like that just to keep that away from prying eyes, but that’s absolutely another way that you can do it. So it’s called Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer and I gave this a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice! I have actually a couple of other ideas. If you’re a sports stat nut and you’re on a fantasy football league or something and you’ve got spreadsheets you’re always working with, this is a great way to share it.
Marcus: Yup, you’re a runner so you can use that for —
John: Running and other things —
Marcus: — your running times —
John: — anybody who uses spreadsheets such as my wife, this is a really great tool for sharing that spreadsheet information if you’re going to share it.
Marcus: Yeah, absolutely.
John: I like it.
Marcus: So check it out.
John: Okay, the next one I’ve got here is one that helped solve one of the problems that’s starting to occur with many WordPress websites, and that’s dealing with mixed use content when you add an SSL cert to your site. Because of course over the years if you would start out without an SSL cert on your site and you add one, you’ll have links throughout your site that will be hardcoded for the non-HTTPS and you’ll need to change that information.
That’s what this plugin does. There’s another plugin that sets SSL; what this one does for you, it’s called Remove HTTP and it removes the HTTP protocol from all links so that all links in your site are protocol neutral. So no matter what protocol is called on your page or whether it’s the secured or unsecured, it always has the correct link.
It seems to work relatively well. It’s pretty straightforward and you just turn it on and you activate it and you’re done. So of course, you know it’s a really great plugin and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating. Check it out: Remove HTTP.
Marcus: Great. One thing, John, that I’ve been doing a lot of lately is scheduled posts, so everybody knows what that is, I think.
Marcus: If not, it is where instead of just publishing live, you change the date and time of when you’d like to publish the post, and technically, it should post it right then. However, depending on your host, sometimes it might miss the schedule.
Marcus: And this plugin will fix that. It is called Scheduled Post Trigger and what it does is it checks all the posts to see if any scheduled posts have been missed. And if so, it publishes them. So you just have to make sure that your time zone and everything is set in the settings general section and this one will do the rest. It worked really well for me. I’m going to use this on my podcast, sites, and other places that I rely on published content. I gave this one a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. Yeah, I’ve had that problem in the past with some websites where I scheduled the post and I’ll check and, “Oh, it missed the schedule.”
Marcus: Yeah, it’s weird how it does that but —
John: It has to do with the way WordPress Cronjobs work.
Marcus: Hmm – well, this one’s a good failsafe mode, so check it out.
John: Yeah, this is a great failsafe.
Marcus: Scheduled Post Trigger.
John: Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called Highlight Bookmark Manager. This was sent in by one of our listeners out there. It was sent in by Patrick Huang – it looks to be one of the developers on the plugin. And it’s a pretty great plugin and what it helps you do is encourage interactivity on your website from your users.
It allows people to highlight a passage or a sentence or a word and it highlights it in yellow. It then allows them to share that highlight into an account that you’ve got to get set up with the Highlight Bookmark manager guys. Then you can easily share that information through social media. I’ve actually installed it up on the WP Plugins A to Z site to see how it works and see if we can encourage a little more interactivity.
We’ll see how it goes over the next few weeks. If it doesn’t pan out, we’ll remove it. But at the moment it looks like it might be pretty interesting. So at any rate, it’s a pretty great little plugin. It could encourage some great interactivity on your website and encourage people to share and save information, thereby bringing in more visitors. Check it out: Highlight Bookmark Manager, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: That’s cool. I like that. All right, finally one thing that I’ve been experiencing with a lot of different membership sites is a lot of times we will use BuddyPress —
John: Yes, we do.
Marcus: — to integrate into that so that we can do things like forums and feeds and groups and all kinds of stuff like that. But the thing is when you use BuddyPress, it’s a little wonky in terms of how the registration process is and integrating somebody in there so that they’re automatically populating their photo, their avatar picture, and some of the other things.
This plugin is called Better BP Registration – it stands for Better BuddyPress Registration. It replaces the standard BuddyPress registration process with something that’s split into different steps and it explains a little bit more about what it needs and provides a higher level of convenience and it makes it a little easier to understand. So check it out – if you use BuddyPress, this may be an intriguing way for you to improve your registration process. I gave this one a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. Yeah, BuddyPress’ registration process does often need some improvements.
John: Okay, well that’s it. I covered up in this episode Detect AdBlock, which I gave a 4 to; the Remove HTTP plugin, which I gave a 4 to; and then the Highlight Bookmark Manager, which I gave a 4 to in there – all tongue twisters today.
Marcus: Yes, I talked about Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer – gave that one a perfect 5 out of 5, Scheduled Post Trigger gets a 4 out of 5, and we just discussed Better BP Registration and that gets a 4 out of 5.