WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for Episode #281
It’s Episode 281 and we’ve got plugins for Navigation menu Role Control, Donald Trump Quotes, User Roles, Featured Image Size Notification and a new protocol tool that connects WordPress to the Internet of Things. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Okay, the first plugin I’ve got here this week is called Nav Menu Roles. Now what this one’s for is when you’ve got your nav menus, there’s oftentimes where you need to limit access to different items in the nav menu and there’s multiple ways to go about this. You can write code, you can have shorts, you can do all kinds of things, but I wanted a simple method. I got tired of all the headaches involved with it, so I thought well maybe somebody has created a plugin by now that makes that job easy. And sure enough, as they say, “There’s an app for that,” well there’s a plugin for that.
This one here is very simple to set up. You set it up, activate it, and then you get to go into your menus and you choose the menu items, hit the drop-down, and then you can choose to show or hide that menu item, depending upon their role, whether they be administrator, a member, a user, subscriber – whatever – choose their roles. You can hide menu items quick and easy and it works beautiful. This is one of those quick, simple, easy, lazy plugins that we just thoroughly enjoy, so I had to give this one a top 5-Dragon rating. Check it out: Nav Menu Roles.
Marcus: All right, very nice. Okay, first one I’ve got here is called Show Featured Image Size in Admin TopBar. Come on, guys. Condense these names. This is way too [inaudible]. This is a really simple plugin. What it does is it displays the image size, the resolution, of whatever the featured image is on the admin bar up at the top. It’s really handy because then you don’t have to look up the default size of each featured image or anything like that every time you post. So it will change according to what post you’re looking at and show you what the resolution of that featured image is.
Now, it’s handy because sometimes it gets cut off or it’s skewed or sometimes there’s text that you might lay out that just ends up getting chopped in different sizes. This is a handy reference to let you know what you’re looking at when you’re developing a size to kind of get that featured image size exactly the same dimensions that you need it to be in order to work well. So I rated this one a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice! Excellent. Okay, the next one I’ve got here for you today is called DCG Display Plugin Data from WordPress.org. Now, this is a very nice plugin and this is one that I’ve been looking for for quite some time. We’ve had other options to be able to pull the plugin data from the WordPress Repository. You know, all of the information about star rating, the location, the URL for it, the author, and all those bits of information. That’s always been problematic, because I’ve had to use multiple shortcodes to pull it together. Well, no longer.
This plugin here uses one shortcode and you can put pieces into the shortcode to show more or less information. But if you use the default shortcode, it shows the short snippet of that plugin information from WordPress.org. You can use it in multiple areas and how I’m using it mainly for us, I’ll start to use it with our show notes, so all the free plugins will always show the latest information, instead of the short bits of information we’ve been showing for a very long time.
But the main reason I wanted this is in the store of the WordPress A to Z website is I wanted to be able to have an area where the plugins that we find fantastic, we can easily share with people, and they can go over to our store, locate them, and then download them at a later time. They’re going to be sorted by types and other things as it goes along, and this plugin just made that job so easy to do to be able to display that information. It’s one of those beautiful, lazy plugins that actually works the way it’s supposed to, and of course, this one gets another 5-Dragon rating.
Marcus: All right, this next plugin is called WP-MQTT. Now what it does is it connects WordPress to the Internet of Things.
John: Oh, wow.
Marcus: Yes, this plugin will automatically send MQTT protocol messages when something happens on your website. MQTT is a machine-to-machine Internet of Things connectivity protocol. You know, I know that the Internet of Things is supposed to be so that your washer and dryer can talk to each other and – I don’t know, tell you when the clothes are done and your fridge is supposed to tell you when you’re out of milk and eggs and all that kind of stuff. I’m not quite sure what this could be used for, but I like the idea.
Marcus: I like the idea of maybe when I go to a certain page, the lights come on, or when a sale happens. Maybe I’ve got something that —
John: Have a bell go off while you’re watching your favorite movie.
Marcus: Yeah, or maybe it ices down a cold beer for me when I get a big sale.
John: Hey, there you go.
Marcus: Who knows? Who knows. You guys tell me what you would use something like this for and I’ll definitely take that suggestion in consideration. In the meantime, I gave this one a 4 out of 5.
John: Sounds like it could be interesting to use and of course, the first thing that popped into my mind was a way to expand that giant botnet that attacked a few weeks ago.
Marcus: Oh, great! [Laughter]
John: Sorry, Internet of Things, man: wonderful and scary at the same time.
Marcus: Yeah. You know, I don’t know. I don’t have anything – I don’t believe I have anything else that’s connected to the internet. I know my washing machine or my fridge is not. But who knows?
John: I have my phone, my computers, and my TV and my DVD player.
Marcus: Now, here’s another thing: I wonder if it goes the other way, which is the other things can connect to your WordPress site.
John: That’s the whole problem.
Marcus: And give you a nice dashboard.
John: And that’s what is eventually occurring.
Marcus: Yeah, so maybe I can use it to monitor all the cool things that are going on in my house?
John: Monitor it or you’re at the airport and you go, “God, did I turn that light off?”
John: Quick log onto my website and look at the signals. There you go.
Marcus: Interesting. So that might be something for developers that you might want to consider. So if you’re into the Internet of Things, which I’m not connected to the Internet of Things, then give this plugin a try.
John: There you go. All right, the next one I’ve got here is called User Role Widget Areas. This is kind of a unique one that I’ve had different ways of doing this in the past to be able to have widgets that would display and hide, depending on the role of the user logged into the website. I’d forgotten which ones I had used and I couldn’t find them, so I just decided to do a search and see what’s new out there.
I discovered this one here and this one is kind of different in how they go about the process of putting your widgets into and setting them for user roles. It creates separate widget areas for separate user roles, and you dump your user roles into those widget areas and then you take the other widget that is for that specific user role and then you add that to your sidebar. So it’s kind of a two-step level here; while it seems complex, it’s rather easy to work with and it works rather well to be able to create multiple levels of users for different widgets to have the different widgets show up.
You might need widgets that would show up a login/logout bar. I’ve been working quite a bit lately on an intranet website and I needed to be able to show a logout box for people when they were logged into the intranet. But I needed that box to be completely disappeared if they access the website through the IP addresses that were free to get into the intranet, because otherwise, it asked them to log in when they didn’t need to. So this is one of the ways that I came about doing this to be able to hide that box. It worked quite wonderfully well.
So it’s a really great plugin, very simple to use, and just does exactly what it’s supposed to do, so of course we put this one right at the top as a 5-Dragon rating: User Role Widget Areas.
Marcus: Hmm…got a lot of 5-star plugins there.
John: This was a rockin’ day for me, man. I had a full house today.
Marcus: Wow! Well, I’m going to leave you with something that maybe only Americans can appreciate, but I’m sure that everybody around the world is fascinated by this. We all love Hello Dolly, Matt Mullenweg’s famous plugin.
John: Oh, yeah.
Marcus: This one is Hello Trumpy!
John: [Chuckling] All righty.
Marcus: So what this does is it features quotes from now elected 45th President-elect of the United States of America, Donald Trump.
Marcus: So whether in a good way or in a bad way, this actually gives some of Donald Trump’s most famous quotes right there in your admin bar. It’s just like Hello Dolly, except it’s Donald Trump. I thought it was pretty funny.
John: It is funny. It is quite funny.
Marcus: Regardless, and I will warn you, it’s probably not safe for kids, because Donald Trump does say some things that are —
John: Yeah…yeah. His quotes are not always safe for kids.
Marcus: [Laughter] Exactly.
John: I’ve avoided bringing out the most famous one, just to keep our podcast clean.
Marcus: Exactly. So if you want to have a little fun, whether you like Trump, whether you don’t like Trump, this is Hello Trumpy, and it gets a 4 out of 5 rating.
John: There you go, check it out. All right, well that covers up our plugins for this show. I covered up Nav Menu Role, which I gave a 5 to; DCG Display Plugin Data from WordPress.org, which I gave a 5 to; and then User Role Widget Areas, which I gave a 5 to.
Marcus: And I talked about Show Featured Image Size, which gets a 4, WP-MQTT gets a 4 – that’s the Internet of Things plugin, and Hello Trumpy gets a 4 out of 5, and Donald would call me a loser for giving him 4, but that’s okay.
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