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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 #285
It’s Episode 285 and we’ve got plugins for Displaying Instagram Feeds, Product Review Charts, Page Builders, Email Tracking, Time Based Content, and a new way to update your WooCommerce customers in Facebook. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Okay, this week here I have the first plugin called InstaShow, and it’s a premium plugin. It costs about $19 and it was sent in to us by Andrew Kozinski and it’s available over at Code Canyon. There’s a link in the show notes, and yeah, it’s an affiliate link. The lowdown on the plugin: if you want to showcase your Instagram feed or showcase Instagram – any feed or any tag in Instagram, you can bring these images into your website with this plugin.
This plugin does a really clean, beautiful job of displaying those images. It allows you to lay them out in multiple ways and grids, pull the images from anywhere, set up some stylization so when people are clicking over it, it pops up, gives more information for deeper linking into your website. It has Visual Composer support, so it has an instant button if you use Visual Composer in any of your websites.
The plugin looks pretty great as an excellent way to showcase your Instagram pictures or Instagram photos from other people’s feeds. All in all, a pretty great plugin, InstaShow, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: I actually used this plugin for a client – the professional version of it – and it was really nice because what we did is we made it as part of their kind of event. It was for a conference and we made it as part of their event page is you could take a look at it. You know, it was developed to kind of be like a pseudo-mobile app, so you could click on it and see what was going on in terms of the shares of that. Now, here’s what’s really nice: you can follow specific accounts but you can also follow just a hashtag.
John: Yeah, that’s what I was trying to say.
Marcus: Yeah, and so it was great because the event actually put up on one of their big screens that page that had this plugin running, and so people knew to use that specific hashtag. What we did is just send an auto-refresh on Chrome and just made it load the page every minute and it self-updated itself, which was really nice.
John: That’s a pretty cool way of displaying stuff.
Marcus: Yeah, it’s really cool. All right, speaking of pretty cool ways to display stuff, I’ve been putting together the reincarnation of the Daily Plugins site. Something that I found that came out just recently is really nice. It’s called Product Review, and it’s a WordPress plugin that does a lot of cool things like star ratings, it does charts, it does little graphs – anything that you really want in terms of editing or reviewing anything, and this may be something we might even want to consider for the WP Plugins A-Z site.
It does pros, cons, it has a button to buy that you can put your affiliate link in, all of that stuff. The revision that I tried is on the Repository, but there’s also a paid version, which is what I’m really interested in, so this one gets a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. It might be something we’ll definitely look at then.
John: Okay, the next one I’ve got here is another website builder plugin and it’s called King Composer, and it was sent in to us by Anthony Pham. The plugin starts at $29 for a license for it and it’s a new website builder plugin. I hadn’t seen this one before and from the small amount of testing I did using their test site, they have a great demo site where you can go test out this plugin and not have to install it on your own.
It has a few things that other composers don’t seem to have, such as pie charts, counters, the ability to add Facebook posts or a page in there very quickly and easily. It has fewer options than some of the other composers out there, such as Visual Composer. But it’s interface is very clean and very nice and it’s very intuitive in how it works. So if you’re building a smaller website or you’re going to turn it over to a client who doesn’t need a whole lot of options for it, this is a really great composer plugin that can be added to that site.
It looks like they’re encouraging developers to build themes with this composer in it, so you might start to see it appear in some custom themes as time goes along. But all in all, I found it to be a pretty easy plugin to use and pretty easy for building out pages in its composer functionality, considering in the last few months I’ve worked with like three or four different composers for different themes. This is one of the better ones I’ve found. But anyway, check it out. It’s called King Composer, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: And I tried this as well, because I’m on that same thread when somebody submits something, and here’s what I thought was pretty cool about this. Typically, when you get into page builders and you do different columns, you’re only allowed sometimes to go down to like one-fifth width of the page.
John: Yes, mm-hmm.
John: I didn’t catch that.
Marcus: What’s interesting about King Composer is that the column widths are drag-n-drop. You know, you kind of just scale them on your own, so it doesn’t have to be that exact percentage (a half or one-third, a fourth, or whatever), so you can get down there as far as the size and get exactly what you want within all the columns. It’s really nice.
Marcus: So I’m going to try this out on a staging site that I have and just try and whip up a quick site together with it and see what it can do, so I recommend it as well. I tried it out, too.
Marcus: All right, so let’s get into the second plugin here that I’ve got of the day, and this is something that’s very intriguing and I want to give a little bit of backstory first. I am starting to get into (in terms of the research of study), chat bots, because I think that’s really kind of the thing of the future in terms of marketing is chat bot. And what is that? That’s basically just a program’s version of something that responds. Let’s just say Facebook Messenger, for example.
Here’s the plugin that works with this: it’s called Messengerbot for WooCommerce. And what does is when someone is hooked into you, maybe they want to log in via Facebook or you’ll require that at checkout or something like that. It can actually send a receipt, update with order statuses, shipping notifications, and order notes. Instead of emailing it to you, it can also send it to you via Facebook message.
John: Oh, cool!
Marcus: Now, that’s pretty intriguing, so out of all the chat bot stuff out there, I never really thought about integrating it straight into WordPress like this, but it seems like somebody has. It’s really neat, really intriguing the way that it works, and I think that it would really help out in terms of engagement for your product, your site, your service, or your client, and for that, I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice. Yeah, that’s – I hadn’t actually thought about that and you’re right. That’s probably going to be the future, considering how many people use Messenger and other chat formats now.
Marcus: Right, and it’s not text messaging. It’s not any of those things. It goes right into where your customer is and then you can capture them that way. I wonder what can you do with Messengerbot down the road. Thirty days outside of the product purchase, can I send them something new via Facebook Messenger? Can I offer them a discount code on their next purchase via Facebook chat? Can I ask them to review the product? Those are all things that you might want to think about. So check it out; it’s called Messengerbot for WooCommerce.
John: Very nice. Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called WP Chrono, and this one here was sent in to us by – lost the contact info for WP Chrono. Okay, well at any rate, it was sent in to us and this is a plugin that lets you show the content on your website and you can show and hide content depending upon dates or date range. It’s a pretty straightforward plugin and you can build one post with multiple items that you want to show and hide.
Say you have a number of promo codes that are going to run over the next couple of weeks. Instead of having to build out multiple pages, you can build one page with this shortcode in there to determine “Show this content if the date range is such-and-such.” And then underneath that, you can build in, “Show this code if it’s this date,” “Show this code if it’s this date,” “Show this code if it’s this date,” and it’ll run them all and then at the end, you can even add a message that says, “This promo is over. We’re done.”
It allows you to build it all out and just have one page and just let it go and run. Then you can just have to update it as time goes on. All in all, it’s a pretty great way of showing and hiding content depending upon date ranges. So check it out. It’s called WP Chrono, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: That’s nice. The only thing I would caution about on that is if you’re using any kind of tracking pixels or if you’re doing advertising to that page. You will probably not be able to know what out of that Chrono feature is being displayed to your customers. You would know actually, according to the date and the time that they did the conversion, but you don’t always get that kind of data, so that’s the only thing I would use caution about when using that plugin. But if you’re not using advertising, then don’t worry about it.
All right, so finally let’s end it here on a high note. This plugin is called Email Tracker, and it’s a very easy plugin that lets you know if the emails that you’ve sent have been read or not. Have they been opened? That’s an easy WordPress plugin that just basically just tracks your email that goes out of WordPress and it gives you statistics on how many times the email has been read, the last date, the receiver, who’s looked at it, every email that’s sent by the native WP/mail function, this allows you to actually do all that. It also has a nice area which you can compose and send the email within this as well, so it’s really nice. Email Tracker is what it’s called, and I gave it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice! That would be nice to be able to track some of the emails going out of the website.
Marcus: I think all of them —
Marcus: — because especially if it’s change of password and such like that, then you’d definitely want to see what’s going out.
John: Yeah. Okay, well that covers up in this week here. I covered up InstaShow, which I gave a 4 to; King Composer, which I gave a 4 to; and WP Chrono, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I talked about Product Review, which gets a 4 out of 5, Messengerbot for WooCommerce gets a 5 out of 5, and Email Tracker gets a 4 out of 5.