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 Episode #275
It’s Episode 275 and we’ve got plugins for Custom Sidebars, Admin UI, , Integrating Magento and a new way to clean out old images in the media library. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Okay, the first plugin I’ve got this week here is called Custom Sidebars and it’s a freemium plugin from WPMU DEV, so they do have a paid version of this plugin. What the Custom Sidebars is for is to allow you to create new widgeted areas on your website that you can then apply to anywhere in your website. You can apply it down to the user level, you can have the widget appear on specific posts or pages, you can have it show for specific categories, you can have it display everywhere, you can put it in the footer, and you can put it for memberships.
There’s all kinds of ways to use this. If you need even more customizations, they do have a pro version which allows you to assign the widget to specific user roles such as editors or administrators, you can also then create clones of these widgets to share across other websites that you might work on, so you can synch the widgets across websites, import and export custom sidebars, and even more.
It’s really great when you move on to the pro version of it. Of course, you’ve got to become a member of WPMU DEV, which is quite affordable now. But all in all, a pretty great plugin. I tested out both versions of it: the free version, I give it a 4-Dragon rating and the pro version gets a top 5-Dragon rating. There we go.
Marcus: Awesome. All right, the first one I’ve got today is a WooCommerce plugin and it is called Dynamic Quantity Table. Now you can set up different pricing tiers based on how many items somebody orders, so that if you order like one to three, the price is $10. Order, you know, four to seven, it’s going to be $9 – on and on and on – quantity discounts.
What’s nice is this plugin actually creates a table and displays it within the product page itself to show you the complete breakdown so that you can see what the different prices and the quantity breakdowns are right next to the product. A really cool plugin and I gave it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice – a nice way to do things.
John: The next plugin I’ve got here is called WP Admin UI plus pro, so this is another one that’s got a free version and a pro version. It was sent into us by Benjamin Denis at WPAdminUI.net. He sent us in the pro version to test out and of course I didn’t realize that you actually needed to install the free version before you can use the pro version. So at any rate, they have a free version.
The free version is pretty nice and what it does is it allows you to do some pretty thorough customizations of the WordPress UI. It allows control over items such as the image quality of images being uploaded to the Media Library, you can add columns such as dimensions, EXIF info, and more. If you have multiple types of files, you can have filtering. It can be a real timesaver. You can get customizations for login screen, which they have my new favorite checkbox, which allows you to disable login by email, and so much more.
The thoroughness of this plugin in the pro version (which is what I tested out) is very extensive. It allows so much customizations: you can change the headers, the admin bar, who can see what pieces – it’s just a very thorough plugin. I didn’t get the price on it but it looks like it’s probably worth what they’re charging for it. So of course, pro version is a Top Dragon rating. I gave it a 5 here. Check it out: WP Admin UI plus pro.
Marcus: Excellent. Good job on that. Okay, the next one is an experimental plugin that I just toyed with a little bit. You can try it for yourself and see how it works for you. It really depends on what your site structure is and how you’ve used media, but this is called Clean Unused Media.
What it does is it scans all of the uploaded media to your site and it finds the media that is not attached to anything. It works with posts, pages, thumbnails, favicons, custom post types, advanced custom fields – all of that. It scans all of it and then gives you the option to delete media that you have in the installation but you’re not using. And that happens a lot because sometimes you’ll upload an image and then you’ll go and say, “Okay, that’s not the size I want,” and then you’ll upload another image. Then the other one that’s out of place that you didn’t want there to begin with is still there, so this helps to find those, locate them, and exterminate them. So this one gets a 4 out of 5 rating.
John: Very nice! It sounds like a great way to clean up the media library and help keep your file count down, which some hosting providers limit you to the number of files you have on your website.
Marcus: Yes. I have a site that is for a client that I’m going to try this on in a stage capacity, so that means I’m going to move it to a stage site and then test this.
John: Oh, nice.
Marcus: And it has 90,000 images in the media library, so hopefully I can —
John: Clean it up a little?
Marcus: — clean it up, yes.
John: Absolutely, so a great plugin there, folks. Okay, the final one I’ve got here today is called Wordcamp Dashboard Widget. It’s a free plugin located in the WordPress Repository and it’s a simple plugin. What it does is it will show you all the upcoming and past Wordcamps for the year that are listed at the Wordcamp.org website. It shows them in your dashboard as a widget and it’s a pretty decent way to find the information out. What I felt could be improved with this plugin is having the ability to display it on your website.
When I saw it initially, I hoped, “Hey, this would be a cool way to show folks what the Wordcamps up and coming are on the website.” It turns out it only works in your admin dashboard at the moment. So other than that, a great little plugin – very simple, helps you find out where the Wordcamps are, when they’re coming up, or which ones have already gone by. Check it out: Wordcamp Dashboard Widget – I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Yeah, that bummed me out, too. I thought that was something we could use for our show site.
John: That’s what I was going to do with it. I was going to put it up on the show site.
Marcus: Yep. All right, finally, those of you that work with Magento, it is a WordPress – it’s not like WooCommerce. It’s actually its own platform, so it’s just like WordPress in the sense that you install it almost the same way with PHP and MySQL and things like that but it’s separated. A lot of people use Magento because it’s relatively powerful in what it can do.
It does have sort of its own theme system and all of that. If you wanted to work with either yourself or a client that’s using Magento too, it’s really nice to be able to integrate that into WordPress, so thus this plugin. It’s called Magento 2 WordPress Integration and here’s what it does. It integrates the two together so that users are cross-pollenated between both sites and you have a unified user experience. It shares session and cart data, navigation menus, header, footer products, layout elements, and all of the static blocks that is available in Magento, and you can insert into WordPress with a short code —
Marcus: — which I thought was really nice. So this gives you the ability to – if you find somebody that has Magento and they’re trying to use it for their entire structure of their company presence or website or whatever, and you want to pitch them to be able to do a WordPress backend, frontend, whatever you want to call it, this is a great plugin to do that. It’s called Magento 2 WordPress Integration, and I gave it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. Yeah, those sorts of things are needed more and more these days.
Marcus: Yes. There’s so much in terms of compatibility or incompatibility, rather, when you deal with other platforms outside of the WordPress eco space and this is something that helps to bridge that gap, so check it out.
John: All right. Well, this week I covered up Custom Sidebars, which I gave a 4 and a 5 to; WP Admin UI plus pro, which I gave a 5 to; and then Wordcamp Dashboard Widget, which I gave a 3 to.
Marcus: And I talked about WooCommerce Dynamic Quantity Tables – gave that one a 4; Clean Unused Media gets a 4; and Magento 2 WordPress Integration also gets a 4.